During the holiday season, standing out in a flood of marketing can be extremely difficult. Consumers are inundated with marketing emails and other forms of advertising throughout the month of December. That’s why you need to stand out from the noise.
Direct marketing through the mail is a good trick to have up your sleeve. A physical item that audiences can touch increases the likelihood of getting a return on your investment. In fact, according to the Direct Mail Association Factbook, the average success rate for direct mail is 4.4%, about 10 to 30 times higher than direct email marketing.
So, does it make sense to send mailers? Not every product or service does equally well through the mail. With direct mailing, you can target specific geographic zones that are close in proximity to your business.
For example, real estate is a good product to market geographically. You can target your mailings to neighborhoods that are in your price bracket, and close in proximity to your development. Other products that are predisposed to direct mail marketing are restaurants and events. Informing the community about your restaurant or event is easiest through a geographically targeted campaign.
When you are sending direct mail to your audience, you’ll want to take advantage of special occasions like the holidays. Throughout the month of December, you’ll be able to use holiday cheer in your marketing, and you can strategically place inserts for events and products. If you have a special deal, you should print that deal on an insert for your larger mailing. This way, the deal on the insert will jump off the page – literally!
One example is a direct mail campaign that Targeted Persuasion created. The developers of Hidden Lake wanted to draw potential home buyers into the community. Because of the nature of the real estate business, it can take a while for leads to convert. We sent multiple mailers to potential customers over the course of several weeks. ‘Drip’ campaigns like this have been proven to convert: sending one ad is good, but reminding potential customers about your product again and again can increase your customer base over time.
Our first mailer establishes what Hidden Lake looks like, where it is located, and outlines some amenities, all in a well-designed, attractive foldout.
In real estate, it is vital to get these potential buyers to come physically see the development and the homes. So, when December hit, we took advantage of the holidays. We created a marketing mailer for the drip campaign representing Hidden Lake, filled with holiday cheer.
The mailer is a thick, glossy foldout, filled with photos of snow-covered front lawns and holiday meals in pristine kitchens. It represents all that the holidays can be if you move into one of the homes at Hidden Lake.
And amidst the attractive photo spread, we attached an invitation to a holiday party held at the Hidden Lake clubhouse. The insert is pretty enough to place on the fridge or a bulletin board in a prospective buyer’s home.
With Christmas and New Year’s Day fast approaching, you’ll want to get started on creating your direct mail campaign today. It takes time to design, print, and physically distribute mailers, so the time is now.
As we begin our countdown to the holidays, so do brands. Vying for eyes in a saturated market, holiday marketing campaigns must stand out in a big way. To get that engagement, brands need a fun, festive, and cohesive plan for their holiday marketing.
We’ve highlighted five of the top brands to follow on Instagram this December. Because who can resist puppies and delicious recipes?
Starbucks has done a fabulous job positioning themselves as the most festive coffee company around. Their viral holiday cups are a big deal, and a large amount of their holiday marketing plan centers on posting pictures of their seasonal drinks in the holiday cups, not to mention the cozy aesthetic they cultivate.
2. Food Network
The time for food to shine is during the holidays, and Food Network knows it. Their marketing plan involves lots of how-tos and recipes for seasonal meals and desserts. Having recipes of the day guarantees engagement from fans who follow the brand on Instagram.
3. LL. Bean
LL. Bean is a cult cold-weather apparel brand, but their marketing strategy on Instagram centers around adorable puppies. Cute animals are a guaranteed win on Instagram, and LL. Bean has the engagement to prove it.
During the winter, NYC turns into a holiday themed wonderland, and Macy’s wholeheartedly embraces this aesthetic with their holiday marketing. Beginning with the Thanksgiving Day Parade and running through Christmas, they have plenty of NYC-centric material to post on their social accounts.
J. Crew’s preppy aesthetic works well over the holiday season. Last year, their campaign featured “holiday pairs” of the day, highlighting two things and illustrating how they can work together. Each post featured a holiday-centric color palette as well, helping to continue the consistency.
Now that you know the best Instagram accounts to follow, you can fill your feed with holiday spirit, and maybe learn a little something about holiday marketing along the way!
Whether attending events, giving to charity, or spending on gifts for family and friends, people are eager to engage during the holidays. Their wallets are open and they are full of the spirit of giving. No matter what your industry, this time of year can be a great opportunity to reconnect with old customers and reach out to new ones.
That’s why we’ve compiled some ways you can stand out on social media and marketing emails by tying your cause, service, or product to the holidays.
1. Tailor your campaign for specific occasions.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday – there are a ton of occasions around the holidays that give you the opportunity to create tailored ad campaigns. Aside from these staples, the holidays are a great time to create your own event (think 24 hour flash sale or donation drive).
For small businesses and local organizations, look for events in your community that you can use to engage. The holiday tree lighting in your town is just one example.
This ad was created for Black Friday, and does a good job of promoting Macy’s handbag sales specific to the occasion.
2. Create a sense of urgency.
People will respond when they sense that they have limited time to do something or buy something. You can use this to your advantage by highlighting limited time offers in your ads. This technique works year-round – not just during the holidays – and is a useful tool for any call-to-action or advertisement.
“Only 24 hours left to cash in on these savings!”
“City Council votes on December 1. Make your voice heard today!”
This technique is so effective, it even helps Groupon sell ugly Christmas suits – which are an actual thing that you should totally buy.
3. Focus on driving site traffic.
This is especially important for ecommerce businesses. This may seem basic, but remember to include as many links to your site as possible in your ads and marketing emails. If they click the picture, they should go to a landing page on your site. If they click your site name, they should be directed to your homepage. List your link in the actual ad copy as well.
Your call to action should be clear in everything you post or send. Keep the call to action simple, and include the link to the page where it is easiest to fulfill.
US PIRG provides a good example here: they provide information about the problem and then a large link to their website, which takes users to a page where they can contact the Governor-elect.
4. Create holiday-specific messaging.
Keep your messaging festive, and give people new ideas for product uses. The best holiday ads include recipes, tie-ins with traditions, and emphasize family and togetherness.
If you’re a local political, business, or community leader, you may want to talk about how your family engages with the community during the holidays. Highlight a local charity or event to tie in with holiday traditions and remind folks how much your city or state means to you.
If you’re marketing a product, talk about how perfect your product is for gifting. For example, the below ad talks about how the Kohl’s Cares books and toys are ideal as stocking stuffers. Giving out ideas like this can help your audience think of uses for your products.
5. Keep an eye on engagement.
If you’re scheduling many holiday posts, it can be easy to “set it and forget it.” But don’t! Watch for engagement. If someone has a question, you’ll want to quickly and helpfully respond. If you don’t, you could lose a customer!
Below, Wander Beauty has someone responding to customer questions that can crop up on their product ads. Make sure you have notifications enabled, and a dedicated team member to respond to concerns. Great customer service is responsive and has the answers that people need.
Hopefully our holiday ad tips will help you to promote your product, service, or cause. Whether you’re a big retailer working the Black Friday sales, a small town politician trying to make an impact over the holidays, or a charity trying to raise awareness, these social tips will come in handy from now through the New Year.