In my previous article, I shared a checklist of marketing tasks to do before the holiday season starts. In this article, I’ll help you know what to do during the holiday season. If you know what you need to do before the holiday season starts you can plan ahead and be prepared. Let’s jump right into the checklist because after all, there’s no time to waste!
During the Holiday Season:
1. Send out an update to your mailing list about your new holiday line. Timing is everything on this task. You don’t want to send it out too early (don’t even think about sending it out before Halloween!), but you don’t want to send it out too late either. Buyers need time to be able to consider purchasing your items, perhaps transfer funds to their Paypal account, and feel confident that their purchase will arrive before Christmas. Consider these factors when deciding when to send out your update.
2. List and relist often. This is particularly important on Etsy where the most recent listings end up at the top of the search results. Since other sellers will be also using this strategy, you may need to list, relist, and renew more often than usual. Before renewing a specific listing on Etsy, use this tool to check the location of your items in the search results. Don’t waste money on a renewal if your listing is still near the top of the search results.
Renewing items is not any issue on Artfire because their search results are not sorted by most recent listing (except for the main page). However, if you’re on Artfire you still need to keep your shop fresh with new items, particularly for your repeat customers (they will be looking for new and unique items from you, not the same old stuff you have the rest of the year!).
Another tip for Artfire sellers, list the actual quantity of a particular item you have. There’s no need to set up different listings for each fuzzy red hat. List it once and change the quantity from 1 to the actual number you have, for example, 5. The reasoning behind this is that when you sell 1 fuzzy red hat, the listing will automatically relist itself until the quantity is zero. This also gives your buyers the opportunity to buy all your fuzzy red hats if they want to outfit their whole family in fuzzy red hats!
3. Send out “snail mail”. It may seem prehistoric, but it’s tradition around the holidays to send out a card to someone to let them know you are thinking of them. This is a great time to thank your repeat customers. Do not spam every customer; if they wanted to hear from you they would have signed up for your mailing list. However, if they have ordered from you numerous times throughout the year, they are clearly comfortable with you and your business and would appreciate a note of thanks for their support. If you specialize ingreeting cards, or another craft that could be used as a substitute for a greeting card, use your skills! This is an excellent opportunity to show off your work (and show how versatile you can be especially if seasonal work is very different from your usual style). A note of caution – be considerate and realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah. The last thing you want to do is offend your supporters! A winter theme for your snail mail (and other marketing creations) is more appropriate.
4. Thank your key business contacts. If you have a few people or companies that played an important role in the success (or start up) of your business, it’s time to thank them. Get in the spirit of giving and create something for them to show how much you appreciate their help. Show them that investing in your business was worthwhile by showing them what “handmade” is all about. If you’ve become so busy that you’ve lost sight of what “handmade” is all about, check out this article to rekindle your burning fire for the handmade philosophy! Don’t forget that showing your appreciation to your key business partners (and other supporters) can be a great way to fuel word of mouth marketing and referrals!
The “fourth quarter” is the time of year that most businesses rely on to bring their sales up and finish the year off with a bang. Prepare now so you can also finish strong at the end of this year. I wish all of you the best during the fourth quarter! Don’t hesitate to share your upcoming marketing plans for the holiday season in the comments below.
Image Credit: HartleySoapCompany.artfire.com