The holiday season brings people together in celebration and camaraderie, right? Not so in the entrepreneurial world, where it means you’ll have to compete even harder with compelling offers and values. Instead of trying to match competitors with deeper discounts, build special holiday promotions that stand out. This can include rolling deal-a-day offers that refresh at midnight (or whenever your audience will best respond), new Gigs you reveal only during the promo period, and fresh spins on your most premium services.
Here’s our guide to creating a compelling holiday promotion.
Mix up your offers.
Don’t bore customers with different variations on the same offer all week long. Add some excitement by changing it every day. That gives people a reason to refresh your Gigs daily and percolates interest.
Not sure how you can fill a week with different types of offers? Rotate through these four types, mixing and matching as you go.
- Discounts: Take a percentage amount off the price of your Gig.
- Buy One, Get One: A time-honored way to get customers interested in more than one of your services by offering a second at a discount or for free.
- Freebies: Offer free services. Best used with stipulations, such as “Free Gig worth $5” or “$10 worth of Gig extras for free.”
- Referrals: Offer discounts for customers who refer your services to others (if that referral results in a purchase). This is a great way to expand your customer base.
Announce your promotions.
Although bargain hunters love surprises, you can also drum up anticipation for your promo week by posting advance notice on your profile and Gigs. How long in advance depends on your business. You need to strike a balance by reeling in customers before they shop elsewhere, but without losing too much full-price business to your impending discounts.
Whenever you start announcing, be clear and specific about your promo period, such as “The promotion will begin Friday, November 24 at midnight CST, and will end Thursday, November 30 at 11:59 pm CST.” Stand firm to these times.
You can still keep the details of each deal under wraps until they go live. That way people will shop (and potentially buy) every day of your promo week. Customers can decide if the offer is enough to pounce on their favorite Gig right away, or if they want to gamble on the next day. Either way, all eyes will be on you for the week.
Create limited-time Gigs and extras.
If you’ve been contemplating a new service or feature that might not be a permanent part of your repertoire, this is the perfect time to roll it out. Use your promo week as a test bed for new Gigs and extras, or to add a holiday spin to your existing Gigs. Unlike a discount, this kind of offer can benefit from advance buzz. Leave hints about the new or enhanced Ggig and when it will be available. The day it drops, any discount or special promo should tie in with that new service.
Put it all together.
Here’s a look at a sample promotional week. It starts and ends with a splash about your special service, sprinkling in a variety of compelling offers in the middle.
Sunday: New, limited-time Gig available this week only
Monday: 10% off Gigs
Tuesday: Free Gig extra worth $5
Wednesday: Buy one Gig, get the second half off
Thursday: 25% off Gigs
Friday: Half-price Gigs and/or half-price extras
Saturday: Discount on the new, limited-time Gig, on its final day before disappearing
This structure offers better discounts as the week goes on. You can also experiment with the reverse, making the best offers available first, then decreasing the bargains as the week goes on. If you get booked up quickly, this may help you manage the flow of new business.
Bring a little something extra to your Gigs this holiday season, and let customers know that you’re putting your best offers out there. You’ll be busy and they’ll be joyful.
How important is the holiday season to your sales? What are your goals when you run promotions? What’s the most successful deal you’ve ever offered? Tell us about it in the comments below.