Now is the time to organize your Holiday marketing plan! Get out your calendars and start plotting your plan of attack. There’s lots you prep work you can do right now so that you’ll be organized and ready to go for the holidays. The following ideas should help you start thinking about your plan, but really these tips are just the tip of the wintery iceberg. Do you have some tips for your fellow sellers? Please post them in the comments below or join us this Thursday (September 4th, 2008) at 4:00 pm EDT in the Online Labs for a discussion on this topic!
Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your customers this holiday season. The first thing you need to do is build your mailing list and choose how you are going to send your newsletters. You can create a Google Group or Yahoo Group for free and by inviting your customers to join these groups (a great place to do this is in your Message To Seller field in Your Etsy), you can build an easy mailing list that is simple to use. (Here’s an article I found that can show you how to do this.) If you don’t mind paying for a more versatile service try ConstantContact or VerticalResponse (or one of the many other newsletter programs). These will allow you to create HTML newsletters, get stats and creatively manage your contacts.
This does take a bit of work to set up, but once you have your mailing list established, you can easily contact your best customers and let them know of your new items for the holidays or a sale! Another great way to use this is to send out a newsletter a week before the last day they can order from your shop in order to get their package before Christmas to let them know the deadline is fast approaching!
Tip: Remember to ask your customers to opt-in to your mailing list! Emailing about a promo without permission is considered spamming.
If you don’t have a blog yet, now is the time to set one up! Like newsletters, blogging can keep you in touch with your customer base and let them know about your holiday specials, new designs, deadlines for holiday ordering and more. In addition, you can get your customers thinking about the holidays early by pointing out what you are doing to plan for winter. Blog about gifts you might be giving to friends and family, decorating how-tos, your favorite holiday recipes, etc.
Tip: Create a weekday series (for example: “Tuesday’s Tips for Holiday Decorating”). This will keep you — and your readers — coming back to your blog!
In a previous article, Pimp My Shop, I wrote about the importance of social networking. Here are a couple of ideas for utilizing social networking sites over the holidays:
- Offer an exclusive special or free gift with purchase to all your contacts on one social networking site. This will reward your contacts for following you and make them feel special!
- Spend some time wishing your contacts a happy holiday season. Here’s my suggestion: No flashy graphics! Just leave a personalized comment to those of your contacts who you are familiar with (ie. past customers, Etsy friends, bloggers). For example, “Dear DeeDee, Thank you for supporting me this year! I wish you all the best and hope it doesn’t get too cold in Colorado this winter! Happy Holidays!”
Freshen up your advertising and start early! Put together a frosty photo-shoot and get some great crisp shots to use in your online advertising. Think snow, icicles and glitter! Get those holiday ads out right after Halloween, which means you should be lining up your favorite place to run online ads now. Don’t know where to get started? Check out your Blog Roll. Many of your favorite blogs offer adspace, and if they don’t they might start with you, just ask! Another great resources is a site called ProjectWonderful, where you can bid on adspace for as little as $0.25!
The holidays can be an exciting and fruitful time of year for sellers. Make sure you’ve done what you can to bring in new customers and connect with your previous customers. These tips should help you start to form your plan.
Need more inspiration for your holiday marketing plan? Remember to join us this Thursday (September 4th) at 4:00 pm EDT in the Online Labs! This will be the first in a weekly discussion on organizing your shop for the holidays. Hope to see you there! And make sure to check back for more Holiday How-Tos!