Thanksgiving is almost here, which marks the start of the frenzied holiday shopping season. As you know, it has not been a good year for businesses – particularly small businesses – thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The nationwide lockdowns have affected thousands of businesses across the country and caused massive financial losses.
If you are a small business owner, now is the time to put everything behind and focus on the holiday season. In this article, we take a look at eight simple yet effective marketing strategies that can generate interest in your business and help you attract more customers.
Thanksgiving Offers for Existing Customers
One of the best ways to expand your customer base is to offer something special for your existing customers. Reach out to the top 20% of your customers and thank them by offering special discounts and gifts. Given below are a few suggestions.
- Offer special discounts (more than what you usually offer) on the products they regularly buy or the services they regularly use.
- Offer tiered discounts – the higher the value of the items your customers buy, the higher the discount they get.
- Find out what they like by going through their shopping history and offer personalized gifts related to their hobbies and interests.
- Start a referral program and offer gift cards and special discounts for your existing customers who bring in new customers.
- Offer an upgrade (at a discounted rate) for the products your customers are already using.
- Last but not the least, conduct an online event (it is 2020, after all) to thank them personally for their continued support.
What about the other 80% of the customer base, you might wonder. You certainly should not make them feel left out or unwanted. At the same time, you cannot afford to offer them the same discounts and privileges that you offer your top 20%. So, your best option is to send a personalized, handwritten thank you note to the rest of your customers to show your appreciation for their support.
Conduct Thanksgiving Themed Contests
Contests are an excellent way to drum up enthusiasm among your customer base. While in-person, face-to-face contests can be more fun, they might increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your community. So, it is a good idea to conduct online contests through social media.
Some of the contests you can conduct include:
- Ask your customers to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes on social media. The customer whose recipe gets the highest number of likes or shares gets a prize.
- Ask your customers to upload a short video stating what Thanksgiving means to them and what they are thankful for. The customer whose video gets the highest number of likes or shares gets a prize.
- Start a fitness challenge program to help your customers shed the extra weight they gain during the holidays. Offer prizes, discounts, and gift cards for customers who achieve their weight loss goals.
Offer Thanksgiving Tips to Your Customers
Depending on your niche and the products and services you offer, you can offer relevant, useful Thanksgiving tips to your customers. Some of the useful tips you can offer include:
- How to cook a delicious and sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner on a budget?
- What are some of the lesser-known Thanksgiving recipes your customers can try this year?
- How your customers can decorate their house for the holidays?
- What kind of products/services make great Thanksgiving presents?
You can come up with more such suggestions and help your customers celebrate Thanksgiving happily with their friends and family.
By doing so, you can not only develop a strong, personal bond with your customers, but also sell them more of your products. For instance, if you tell them that a particular product can be a great Thanksgiving present for a veteran, you can follow it up with an offer – a discount on the product or if they buy two products, they can get one for free, and so on.
Offer Thanksgiving Themed Products and Services
The best part about Thanksgiving is that pretty much any product can be branded as the ‘perfect gift for Thanksgiving’. Whether it is home décor, clothes, jewelry, toys, or electronics, you can market them as Thanksgiving related products, which your customers can buy for their own use or as presents for their guests.
Instead of promoting individual products, you can put together a bunch of Thanksgiving related products and create product bundles. For instance, you can put together bath salts, essential oils, scented candles, and personal hygiene products in a basket and market it as the perfect Thanksgiving present.
Have an Exclusive Secret Sale
If there is one thing that can make your customers feel special and appreciated, it is ‘exclusivity’. In other words, offer them something that you do not offer to others.
The best way to do it is to have a secret sale for your loyal customers. If you want to have an in-person sale, open your store an hour or two earlier than you normally do and allow your loyal customers to buy what they want at discounted rates.
Alternatively, you can also host an online event and offer Thanksgiving related products at a discount exclusively for your loyal customers.
Reach Out to Influencers
Reach out to micro influencers on social media, offer them free samples of your products, and ask them to promote your business on their accounts. Similarly, reach out to niche bloggers, offer them free samples, and ask them to promote your business on their blog.
Reach Out to Other Businesses
You can partner with other business owners in your locality and promote each other’s products and services. It can not only help you sell more products, but also help you build goodwill among other business owners in your community.
Promote Your Business at Local Events
Community-level events are a great place to promote your products and services. Whether it is an art fair, craft festival, food festival, or country fair, you can grab a booth and promote your products and services.