5 Holiday Season Promotion Ideas and How to Optimize Them

  • UPDATED: 01 September 2022
  • 4 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s that time of year again! While everybody is busy making travel plans, us marketers, are working overtime, trying to crack holiday season promotion ideas and campaigns. The holiday season is a once-a-year window of opportunity to boost revenues, making it imperative for marketers to run well-conceived promotions and campaigns to make the best of the season.

In 2015, Cyber Monday digital sales touched a whopping $3 billion. What’s also interesting is the almost 50% increase in m-commerce spending as reported by comScore. Marketers need to sit up and take note of these statistics as they show the spending potential of shoppers and how and where they prefer to shop during the holiday season. To help you (marketer) get your share of the overall $3bn holiday season spending, we have jotted down a few holiday season promotion ideas which you can implement.

Bonus Content

👉 Holiday Marketing Guide 2020: Trends & Actionable Strategies [Download Ebook]

👉 Beginner’s Guide to Omnichannel Marketing for 2021 [Download Ebook]

👉 Landmark Group Observes 56% Uplift in Purchases during White Wednesday Sale [Download Case Study]

👉 Popular U.S. Bridalwear Brand Cocomelody Observes 30% More Sales  [Download Case Study]

When should you start thinking of your holiday promotion ideas?

holiday season promotion ideas

“As early as possible” will be the short answer to this question. To be precise, your holiday season promotion ideas and plans should be ripe by starting of October. Shoppers generally shop during the months of November and December. However, there is a sizeable chunk of the population who would like to beat the holiday rush and start slightly early.

So, early October would be when I’d start thinking of my holiday promotion ideas.

Profitable yet promotional offers

holiday season promotion ideas

In general, holiday season offers can be used effectively to:

  • re-activate previous shoppers or customers
  • convert shoppers (one-time purchasers) into repeat customers
  • convert prospects to shoppers and convert inquiries to shoppers.
  • attract more shoppers through existing customers.

Discount offers

Make the customer reach a certain order value to receive a discount. For example, offer a 20% discount if the order value reaches $100. You can also level-up the discount offer by analyzing shoppers’ previous average ‘order size’ and rallying up relevant discount offers. For example, people with a $50 average cart value can receive a 10% off, if their order value touches $70 during the holiday season. This way you can push up order values without having to give away too much as discounts. This usually works for many industries and should work for you too.

Bundle sales

Another smart way to push up order values is by bundling items that do not move well with the hot sellers. This works best with electronic items and apparel. Bundling accessories with cell phones (cell phone covers, headphones etc) or clothing (stoles, handbags, bracelets etc.)  is a great way to give your customers a feeling of ‘more’ for what they paid and at the same time get better margins on sales.

Gift card discounts

Gift cards are one of the best holiday season promotion ideas. It provides huge value to indecisive gifters, last-minute shoppers, and generally best while gifting someone who is not familiar. Given the fact that a lot of gift cards are not redeemed, it makes a perfect holiday season promotion to have for marketers.

Referral discounts

Referral discounts can come in very handy while boosting the number of orders during the holiday season. By providing discounts to customers who refer and arrive through a friend’s referral you can grow your orders exponentially. Leverage marketing channels that aid referrals like Facebook and other social media to help spread the word about your discount.

A dollar amount off

An upfront ‘dollar amount off’ offer will easily draw more customers than any of the above. Many people are too skeptical of the hidden terms and conditions behind the above offers and would like an ‘honest’ ‘dollar amount off’.

Testing your offers

holiday season promotion ideas

Testing your holiday season promotion ideas provides you with information on which orders are working best for your brand. Here are three keys to testing your offers:

  • Keep a central offer intact if it always works for you (for example, free shipping).
  • A/B test your offers & promotions and stick to what gets the most results. For example, you might want to break up your audience into two groups and send a ‘50% off’ message to one half of the group and a ‘Buy 1 get 1 free’ message to the other half. Check the response from both the groups to the campaigns to determine what type of offer works best for your audience.
  • Pay attention to messaging. How you craft your message, how it is communicated to your audience can influence how many people redeem your offers. In a recent test done by a large e-commerce firm, the following results were observed: Messaging with an element of ‘Urgency’ (buy now, hurry, etc) embedded within returned a CTR of 18% while a good ol’ ‘Festive offer’ returned a CTR of 9%.

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