3 Last Minute Holiday Marketing Ideas You Can Use Today

Last-Minute Holiday Promotions

The holiday season has a way of creeping up on business owners. One second you’re planning summer sales and the next thing you know it’s December.

The holiday season can account for as much as 30% of a business’s revenue, so marketing during this busy time is vital.

Whether you’re a little behind on holiday marketing, or just want a few new ideas for the final push, here are three last minute holiday promotions to get your registers ringing:

1. Host a flash sale

Give your holiday revenue a quick boost with a flash sale. Tell your customers that you’ll slash the price on one of your most popular items for a small window of time. Offering a 10-20% discount will generate some buzz, but the most successful flash sales offer deep discounts.

How can you offer big savings and still make money? Offer a limited number of discounted items for a limited time.

Think about Black Friday doorbuster deals. People line up to get their hands on the 10 TVs that are on sale for $50-$100. A few lucky customers will get a great deal, but a deal like this is enough to get customers in the door. Once they’re in your shop, they won’t leave empty handed. They’ll likely shop for other items on their list.

Tips to run a successful flash sale:

  • Leak the news of a flash sale on social media the day before, and send a text message or email that tells customers to watch for a can’t-miss promotion a few days in advance.
  • Be honest. Tell customers the deal is only good “while supplies last.”
  • Make the deal so good it’s hard to resist.
  • Keep it simple. Make the deal easy to redeem, like this example from Nine West that tells customers to print the deal or show their phone at the checkout.


2. Create a countdown of giveaways

Create a holiday-themed giveaway on social media. For example, 12 Days of Giveaways can lead up to Christmas, or 8 Days of Hanukah Gifts can lead up to the Jewish holiday. Each day one lucky customer wins a free item via social media.

Why give things away for free? Word of mouth advertising is important, especially around the holidays when more customers are paying attention to your company and its gift potential. Giveaways are an effective way to generate a positive buzz.

The Journal of Marketing says there’s a 20% increase in positive word of mouth when a customer receives a product for free. Contrary to popular belief, deals and discounts didn’t impact digital word of mouth at all, according to the research.

Need another reason? For customers to enter your giveaway, you can require them to provide their email address. Now you’ve added another contact to your list that could become a loyal customer down the road.

To host a countdown giveaway, you have to do a little planning. Set the dates, pick a gift to giveaway for each day, create a brief set of rules and promote the giveaways like crazy.

Rockstar created this countdown last year:

Rockstars 12 Days of Giveaways

Each day has a certain branded item to giveaway. To win, participants must provide their email address.

The giveaway is also promoted through specific posts on social media like this one:


Tips to create a giveaway:

  • Offer prizes that are related to your business or brand.
  • Tend to the giveaway. Don’t forget to award a winner each day.
  • Cross promote the giveaway on all of your social channels, via email and in-store.

3. Host an exclusive holiday party

Reward your loyal customers with an exclusive party. Businesses with a loyalty program in place can use the data collected to identify their best customers and invite them to a special party that takes place when the business is typically closed.

Seventy-six percent of shoppers say elite status is one of the biggest perks to a loyalty program, so why not give your customers what they want?

During this party, provide VIP treatment. Give your special guests a coupon to use that night only, provide holiday-themed beverages, offer free gift wrapping and give customers that spend $100 or more additional loyalty points.

Tips to host an exclusive holiday party:

  • Invite your top-level customers via email or text message.
  • Create a fun, yet exclusive atmosphere that makes customers feel appreciated.
  • Get a little face time with your most valued patrons, while encouraging them to shop at the same time.

Last year the average shopper spent $802 on gifts, decorations and food. By using these three last minute marketing ideas, you can encourage customers to spend some of their holiday budget in your store.

Lisa Furgison
About the Author
Lisa Furgison

Lisa is a writer at Fivestars, a freelance journalist, and co-owner of a media company, McEwen's Media.

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