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As the days tick by and the end of the years gets closer, it’s time to think about how you can beat your year-end revenue goals. Holiday promotions are a great way to do it for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses, including businesses working in the cannabis industry.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to spread the word about your holiday promotions, but before you dive in and start sending messages more often than you usually do and to larger audiences then you typically send to, be sure to learn what to send and when and follow holiday email marketing do’s and don’ts.
Once you’re caught up on current holiday email marketing best practices, it’s time to develop some promotions to drive year-end sales and revenue. Following are five popular promotions that people look for and want to receive during the last months of the year.
Limited-time and limited quantity (e.g., while supplies last) sales promotions that last for a short period of time are very effective at creating a sense of urgency and tapping into the fear of missing out (FOMO) that people feel during the holiday shopping season – even more so in 2021 with widespread supply chain delays.
Limited time and limited quantity offers require a minimum of three email marketing messages. First, you need to email your audience before the offer launches so they know it’s coming. This builds awareness and anticipation. Next, you should send an email when the offer starts with a reminder that the offer will end soon to feed into the sense of urgency. Finally, send a last chance message just before the offer ends (or when supplies are almost gone) reminding them that time is almost up so they need to act fast to get the offer.
Referral marketing should be part of your marketing plan throughout the year, but it’s definitely worth it to offer additional referral incentives during the holidays to boost end-of-year sales revenue. Reach out to your current customers and leads via email and offer them an additional incentive to refer customers. This extra incentive could be a discount for the people they refer as well as a discount to the customer or lead who refers them.
For example, if you normally offer a 10% discount on a subsequent purchase after a customer or lead makes a referral, increase that discount to 20% during the holiday season. When someone refers a new customer, they get a 20% discount, and the person they referred gets a 10% discount. Of course, both discounts should expire before the year ends to help you beat your revenue goals.
Determine when the increased incentive will start and end, and then, send at least three email marketing messages to let your current customers and leads know that the special offer is coming as well as when the offer launches and just before it ends.
Importantly, make sure it’s easy for your audience to share the offer and for both your audience and anyone they refer to actually get the discount or any other incentive you offer. People are busy at the end of the year, so the process has to be simple, or they’re unlikely to invest the time to take advantage of the offer.
More than three out of four email marketers (77%) report that investing in Black Friday email promotions provides a significant return according to new research from Pathwire. In other words, despite the fact that people get inundated with Black Friday email messages, the reality is those messages still work.
With that in mind, you should plan Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions and make sure your target audiences know about those offers by creating special email marketing campaigns leading up to each holiday and on the day of each holiday.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t the only date-specific promotions that you can create to boost end of year revenue. Consider the following dates of widely-celebrated U.S. holidays in November and December for other year-end promotions:
Buy-one-get-one promotions are perfect for the holiday season because they allow people to buy something they want from you and get a second that they can give to a charity or to someone else as a gift (or keep for themselves). The offer could be a true BOGO or you could offer a buy one and get half off a second (or another discount of your choice).
This type of promotion has gotten popular for every type of product or service. Retailers and restaurants are even offering buy one gift card and get a discount on a second. For example, it’s common to see offers to buy a $50 gift card and get $10 off a second gift card of the same value.
These types of promotions don’t necessarily have to be as short as limited-time offers, but they should have clear deadlines to motivate people to take advantage of them before the year ends. You could offer a BOGO for the month of December and send an email campaign promoting it each week as well as a final message on the last day of the promotion to give people a final chance to buy.
Countdown promotions make sense at the end of the year when people are already used to counting down to Christmas or on New Year’s Eve. Therefore, consider sending out a message each day during a specific countdown period. The countdown can either lead up to a final big offer or you can send a smaller offer each day.
A popular way to structure a countdown promotion during the holidays is as a “Days of Giving” series of email messages. For example, you could hold a 12 Days of Giving promotion (or any number of days you choose) and send a message with a different discount, freebie, or other incentive each day. In keeping with the “days of giving” theme, you can even tie-in a charitable donation from sales made directly through the promotion.
Be sure to include a calendar to visually show the countdown as it’s happening. This builds additional excitement and anticipation, so people will be looking for the next message in the campaign to see what the next special offer will be.
Holiday promotions can help you beat your year-end revenue goals but only if you follow the do’s and don’ts of holiday email marketing, plan your promotions to match your audience, and build excitement, anticipation, and curiosity leading up to and during your promotion periods.
Ready to send your holiday promotions to cannabis and hemp license holders? Schedule a demo of the Cannabiz Media License Database to see how you can connect with your target audience with effective sales outreach and email marketing.