Holiday 101 Part II – Promotions

It wouldn’t be a holiday season without sales – lots and lots of irresistible sales. The trick to any successful marketing campaign is to be able to offer sweet deals to customers without losing the shirt off your back. You also have to get the word out, how else would anyone know about your amazing offers?

Attention getting banners or images on the homepage and throughout the site has got to be one of the best ways to advertise your specials. If you are a small business without a graphic designer on staff, you have a couple options.


First, you could hire a graphic designer to create a series of images to take you through the holiday season. Most developers offer this service, visit their website and look at their portfolio to see if a particular style suits your store. You can get a high quality graphic to use in a relatively short period of time for a reasonable price this way. If you keep the year out of the design, you may even be able to use it the following year.

Another option is to create your own image using a program like Photoshop, or my latest discovery – Aviary. You can click here to read a recent post I did about the free editing suite.

Graphics can be fun and glamorous, but shoppers need to get to your store to see them – right? How do you get them there? Obviously you have your normal traffic – search engines, pay per click ads and other marketing efforts – namely, email marketing campaigns.

Email Marketing

Getting the frequency of your emails can be a delicate balancing act and you will never please everybody. I recently unsubscribed from a store that was (in my opinion) over sending messages. I was getting about 4 emails a week from them and a couple weeks before I unsubscribed, they did a 10 or 12 day straight promotion – which isn’t a bad idea, I just think following that up with emails every other day is too much. But, I’m sure not everyone feels that way – you just have to get a feel for your list and see what works, here are a few important things to remember when crafting your campaigns –

Subject lines are super important! It can be a challenge to get the recipient to open the message. You don’t want to sound like spam, but you do want to let them know there is an offer they can’t refuse inside the message. “25% off for valued customers through 10.7 from Your Company Name” could work. You are letting them know that you are offering an exclusive, limited time offer for current and past customers.

If you got them to open the message you are halfway there, give them a link and they will click it! Decorate your message with pictures and cute buttons they can click to go straight to your promotional items and start shopping.

Think about different email clients and mobile devices. One of the most surprising things when I first started email marketing was the vast difference in the way messages render. Set up accounts across all the major email services and clients and send test messages to them all – you may be surprised at what you see!

For more ideas to get your promotions rolling, click here to see other posts I have written on the topic, you can also visit The Promo Manager is one of our systems that will allow you to run a virtually unlimited amount of promotions of all types. If you missed it, click here for the 1st installment of Holiday 101 on Shipping or jump to Part III, Timing.

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