Christmas Marketing Ideas: 8 Proven Tactics to Unwrap More Revenue
The holiday bells are ringing, and it's time to unwrap a foolproof Christmas marketing strategy that not only dazzles but delivers.
In this festive guide, we're spilling the cocoa beans on how to turn your past wins into this year's victories, keeping it chill amidst the merry madness, and making your brand the Christmas star.
From timing that hits the sweet spot to understanding your audience’s behavior, we've got your back. We’ll cover 8 powerful Christmas marketing ideas you can implement to drive more sales and profits for your store.
So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s sleigh this Christmas marketing season together! (That’s the last of the puns, we promise).
What Makes a Great Christmas Marketing Strategy?
Before we jump straight into the Christmas marketing strategies, let’s quickly cover how to set yourself up for success.
1. Audit your previous christmas marketing campaigns
If this isn’t your first christmas marketing campaign, use your previous data to guide this year's decisions.
Break down your previous strategy and tease out what worked best. Look at things like:
- Your best performing channels (e.g. email, social etc)
- Customer segments who spent the most
- Your best performing ads
- Offers that showed the highest CVR
Once you’ve assessed what worked and what didn’t, you can focus double down on what’ll drive results.
For example, let’s suppose that your email marketing campaigns generated 65% of your holiday revenue, while organic social only contributed 4%.
This year, you can do the bare minimum on social media, while doubling down your efforts on email.
Note: Consider also how your customer demographics have changed since last year. This may be relevant to choosing the best Christmas marketing strategy for your store.
2. Don’t overcomplicate things
It’s easy to get caught up in the mania of Christmas marketing, especially if this is your first or second holiday season. The FOMO of not doing everything right, can drive you insane.
So, if your resources are limited, simply focus on getting the basics right. You don’t need a groundbreaking campaign to drive sales and build customer relationships.
Customers are already in buying mode at this time of year, so don’t go overboard. If in doubt, err on the side of simplicity. Take solace in the fact that many established retailers with 10+ holiday seasons under their belt, simply revert back to executing the simple things well over the festive period.
3. Plan in Advance
In line with keeping things simple, give yourself adequate time to prepare your Christmas marketing ideas.
Most eCommerce marketers start planning their holiday campaigns in October (or earlier). So, it’s wise to give yourself a similar runway. Don’t be afraid to start early - even launching your Christmas sale as early as December 1st like Boohoo did last year.
If you’re running late, focus on one or two things that you can do well. It’s far better to nail one or two elements of your Christmas marketing plan, rather than doing everything poorly.
If it’s one week till Christmas, and you’re staring at a blank document, look at what worked last year, and see how you can improve it.
Depending on your resources, this may mean creating one email, one discount and one social post - that’s ok.
You won’t drive astounding sales. But if you focus your efforts on doing one thing well, it’s better than lots of disjointed tactics flung together in a rush.
4. Understand Your Audience Deeply
It goes without saying that good marketing comes from a good understanding of your audience.
For some reason, this often seems to go out the window at Christmas time. For example, if your audience is composed of Gen-Z, don’t go full Christmas corporate on them.
When planning your Christmas campaign, think beyond the holiday season. Consider your audience's values, and think of ways you can incorporate them into your marketing efforts.
For example, perhaps this means partnering with a local non-profit, and donating a portion of sales to showcase your dedication to a particular cause.
Almost always, your long-term customer relationships are more important than any short term boost in sales around Christmas time.
8 Christmas Marketing Ideas Ideas (With Examples)
Now let’s jump into some Christmas marketing ideas you can implement in your store. As a former merchant, these strategies are the ones that worked best for me when planning a Christmas marketing strategy.
1. Cross-sell gift wrapping or priority shipping
If you offer a Christmas discount, it’s important to offset your reduced profit margin.
One clever way to boost profit margins is to cross-sell two services customers want: gift wrapping and fast shipping.
Not only does this strategy boost your profit margin, but it also enhances the last-minute shoppers experience.
If you’re a plus store, you can use ReConvert to offer gift wrapping and priority shipping at checkout. Or if you’re a regular Shopify store, you can offer them as one-click upsells shown immediately after checkout.
Every store is different, so you may not wish to use this exact offer. You could use a simple offer like ‘buy a second one for 20% off”. But the underlying idea still stands: deploy cross-sells and upsells to boost average order value and drive more profitability this Christmas.
2. Offer Discounted Gift Cards on Your Thank You Page
Gift cards are becoming more popular around the globe. What’s more, a recent report suggests that 58% of people buy gift cards for self-use.
So, you could experiment by presenting a $100 gift card on your thank you page, for a one-time price of $75?
It’s a great gift for a friend. Or if the customer loves your store, it’s a chance for them to go back and pick up a few more items that caught their eye.
Again, this exact offer may not translate to your store. But you can place any product in inventory on your thank you page, and create an additional sales opportunity that’ll help you generate more sales.
Pro Tip: For more gift card marketing inspiration, visit Sephora’s gift card page. There’s tons of ideas there from a brand that knows what they’re doing. Sephora’s gift finder quiz is also worth a look.
3. Create a gift guide & product bundles
The holiday season is the time for giving, and your Shopify store can make gift shopping a breeze with curated gift guides and enticing product bundles.
For inspiration, checkout Kiehl’s holiday gift guide. They do a fantastic job of categorizing their products so shoppers can quickly find the right item, to suit their budget.
Kiehl’s also presents their products beautifully on a dedicated landing page. They include a nice mix of bestsellers, and hidden gems to appeal to all tastes.
One clever way to organize your gift collection is by price like cookware brand ‘Circulon’ does. Typically, shoppers have a set amount they wish to spend. So, by showing them products within their range, you streamline their research journey and boost the odds of conversion.
Remember to include a stocking filler category of lower priced items. These make the perfect add ons to larger orders, and you can also add them as cross-sell offers on your thank you page.
Another strategy that can boost your bundling efforts is to give your best customers VIP access to your Holiday offers before they go live for everyone.
You can easily do this via email. Consider adding a special code for VIP customers to give them additional impetus to buy (e.g. free shipping, or an additional 5% off before the gift guide goes live)
Ultimately, offering curated gift guides can simplify the gift-buying process for customers, increase average order value, and spread holiday cheer. Make this season memorable for your customers by providing them with thoughtful and convenient gifting options.
4. Use HARO to get featured in gift guides
Beyond your own gift guide, you can also have your products featured in other sites' gift guides. This kind of digital PR can not only get you lots of exposure, but it’s also great for your eCommerce store’s SEO power.
Google sees it as a good signal if you have several trustworthy websites linking back to your store, and this makes it easy to rank your pages.
But how to get featured in other websites' gift guides? The simplest way is to register as a source on HARO (aka Help a Reporter Out).
When a writer needs to create a gift guide, they’ll often submit a request to HARO. HARO sends you three emails daily with requests from writers.Here’s an example I just got in my inbox:
By responding to these writers, you stand a chance of having your products featured in their guides - which will boost your reach, and your website's domain rating.
5. Offer an extended return policy
As mentioned, the holiday period often sees a surge in gift shopping, and an extended return window acknowledges the unique challenges your customers face when selecting the perfect gifts.
Offering a more lenient return policy, such as an extended timeframe beyond the standard window, demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.
It provides peace of mind to your shoppers, encouraging them to make purchases without the fear of time constraints.
This customer-friendly gesture not only enhances the overall shopping experience but also fosters trust and loyalty.
In a season focused on joy and generosity, an extended return policy reflects the spirit of giving, showing that your brand prioritizes customer happiness over strict policies, ultimately contributing to a positive and lasting relationship with your audience
6. Run a countdown to the Holiday’s promotion
One way to keep your sale interesting is to run specific offers on the days or weeks before Christmas.
For example, watch brand Linjer ran several different promotions, each valid for only 24 hours last year.
This kind of promotion has built-in scarcity that drives customer action. It also has the advantage of holding customer interest - if shoppers don’t know what offer is coming next, you’ll likely get high email open rates - especially if you use curiosity-based subject lines.
For example, you could create a 12 days of Christmas sale between the 5th-17th December showcasing a new offer each day.
For an even better conversion rate, you could personalize these campaigns using customer purchase history to send more targeted offers (e.g. one segment could be female customers who purchased a make-up product in the last 12 months)
7. Give your homepage a holiday makeover
Transforming your eCommerce homepage with a festive holiday makeover is a crucial strategy during the Christmas season.
The homepage serves as the virtual storefront, and by infusing it with holiday-themed elements, you create an immediate and immersive connection with your visitors.
Special holiday banners, graphics, and seasonal promotions prominently displayed on the homepage grab attention and communicate a sense of excitement.
This visual transformation not only enhances the user experience but also signals that your brand is actively participating in the holiday celebration.
It sets a positive and inviting tone, helping to differentiate your online store during a competitive shopping period.
A holiday-themed homepage fosters a memorable and joyful online shopping atmosphere, encouraging visitors to stay longer, explore your offerings, and, ultimately, make festive purchases.
8. Extend your campaign for a new years sale
Extending your sale into the New Year is a strategic move, providing a seamless transition from the holiday shopping frenzy.
While Christmas marks the peak of gift-buying, the post-holiday period is characterized by consumers seeking deals and spending gift cards received during the festivities.
By prolonging your sale into the New Year, you tap into this continued enthusiasm for shopping, maximizing revenue opportunities.
Some reasons to extend your sale are:
- Capitalizing on Gift Cards: Many customers receive gift cards as presents, and extending your sale allows them to make the most of their newly acquired purchasing power.
- Catering to Late Shoppers: Some shoppers may delay purchases until after Christmas to take advantage of post-holiday sales. Extending your sale captures this segment of the market.
- Clearing Excess Inventory: Continue offering discounts on holiday-themed or seasonal items to clear inventory, making way for new products that you didn’t offload in the holiday sales.
More Epic Christmas Marketing Examples
Sometime marketing examples from other brands are good to get your creative juices flowing. So let's look at some mismatched pieces for your Christmas marketing swipe file.
1. Lego's Fun Social Media Posts
2. H&M's Festive Film Directed by Wes Anderson
3. Spotify's New Year's Goals 2018 Campaign
4. Google's Remake of Home Alone
5. Homeware Store Woodies Christmas Ad
Use These Christmas Marketing Strategies Today!
To create a great Christmas marketing strategy, start by analyzing past campaigns for valuable insights.
Focus on what worked best, such as high-performing channels and successful ads, allowing data to guide your decisions. Simplicity is key amid the holiday marketing frenzy; master the basics rather than succumbing to overwhelming pressure.
Timeliness is crucial—plan well in advance to launch your Christmas campaign as early as possible to boost effectiveness and reduce stress-levels.
Understand your audience deeply, aligning your campaign with their values for resonance beyond the holidays. Practical ideas, from cross-selling services to extending the sale into the New Year, aim to boost profitability and enhance the customer experience.
In essence, a successful Christmas marketing strategy combines data-driven insights, simplicity, timely planning, audience understanding, and creative implementation.
Adopting these strategies promises a joyous and prosperous celebration for both customers and your store!