It's Time to Think About Your Holiday Promotions

We've had some record heat lately, so it can be challenging to think about silver bells, holly trees, and frosty air. But if you don't plan your holiday promotions now, you can be left without the homey glow of candlelight to keep you warm. Today, you need to make a list and check it twice - whether you have a retail business, a non-profit, or any other kind of operation:

Holly, from Flickr user Arquera.
1) What are your goals for this holiday season? Some retailers get up to 40% of their annual sales during the winter holidays and the end of the year is peak time for most non-profits as people want to be generous and be sure to have their tax deductions ready. Do your financials and figure out what you need to bring in.

2) What's your strategy for reaching that goal? Are you going to start before Halloween, as more and more retailers do? Are you going to peg big sales/donation drives to Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa? When do you expect to meet each goal milestone? Are there particular items that are going to drive most of your sales? Do you have an overarching theme?

3) What tactics are pegged to those strategies? Is it the 12 toys of Christmas? Give for Thanksgiving? How are you going to use email, social media, your web site, your telepresence, videos, traditional mail, and everything else in your arsenal to support your strategies?

4) What do you need to do now? If your major holiday promotion is tied to polka dot ties, you need to make sure you have them, and their displays, packaging, and shipping materials, in stock soon. If you're going to be sending out holiday cards to donors, you need to get these designed and ordered now. If there's some heavy lifting to do on your web site that your in-house staff can't do, think about what you need and talk to a consultant now. Lots of us are busy during the holidays and we'd much rather help you today.

What are your holiday plans? Please share.

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