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10 Ways to Engage with Customers over the Holidays

November 16, 2016

The end of the year can place pressure on business owners to achieve sales goals, yet it may feel as if you’ve run out of ideas to engage with customers. Luckily, the holiday season not only gets customers in the spirit of spending, but also opens the opportunity for you to promote seasonally themed communications. We've put together 10 ideas you can use to engage with your customers and prospects to not only get them to learn more about your business, but also direct some of their spending your way.

1. Holiday Cards

We’re all familiar with the family holiday greeting cards - showcasing how much the children have grown and displaying them on our refrigerators for our house guests to see. Businesses can use this tradition to share team photos in the same fashion. Show how well you know and appreciate your valuable customer by including a brief, personalized note.

2. Creative Holiday Gifts

In addition to a branded card, consider including a small gift with your mailer. This could be as small as a delicious treat like hot chocolate or something more substantial that aligns with your company culture and brand. If budget is a concern, consider sending these more substantial gifts to your most loyal and referring customers.

3. Thank You Cards

The holidays are often a reminder to appreciate those who have made the year memorable. Gratitude is a powerful gesture and one that will likely be appreciated. Thank you cards are also a good method of reaching your customers without focusing on the holiday theme if that's something your brand would like to avoid.

4. Holiday Gift Cards

Promoting holiday gift cards is a great way to include your product or service within gift giving traditions. Sending a direct mail postcard announcing the gift idea will bring your brand to top-of-mind when your audience is trying to think of creative gifts for family and friends.

5. Business & Coupon Cards

We often meet a lot of new people and see old friends at social gatherings that occur throughout the holiday season. As a business owner, it's likely that your company is brought up in conversation. Instead of only talking about it or passing on a simple business card, consider including a coupon on the back of your card. This will encourage your new acquaintance to try out your product or service.

6. Host a Holiday Party

Who doesn't love a good party? Gathering employees and valued customers is an opportunity to share your company culture while at the same time nurture important relationships. Even if a few customers can't find time in their busy schedules, they'll feel honored to be invited when you recognize their loyalty.

7. Give to a Good Cause

Aligning your brand with a nonprofit will make you and your customers feel good. The news of your charitable contribution and how your customers can help is a fun message to share through both direct mail and social media. Have a donation amount you'd like to reach? Need toy donations dropped off at your location? Spread the word!

8. Free Gift with Purchase

People are often looking for a good deal when doing their holiday shopping, and free is certainly an enticing word. Including a sample size of a product with a purchase is a great way to share new product lines. You can also encourage gift card purchases by promoting deals such as: buy $50 dollars worth of gift cards and get an additional $10 dollars for free. Again, your direct mail campaign is sure to pique some interest when you mention the word "free".

9. New Year Company Announcement

Celebrating the transition to a new year can be a good opportunity to share either success over the last year or introduce changes for the next year. If you've been wanting to roll out a new logo, product, or service, aligning your announcement with the New Year is a popular strategy.

10. Holiday Dates as a Motivator

An added benefit of holiday gifts is that customers must act by a certain time to be able to give them to their friends and family at get-togethers. Similar to how a temporary sale can motivate customers to buy in a particular weekend, you can promote a sale, product, or service around a significant holiday date to encourage your audience to act.