Cheap Holiday Marketing Ideas for Your Business

Is it possible to create a smart holiday marketing plan that brings in customers and doesn’t leave you in the red? There are plenty of great ways small businesses can promote themselves around the holidays on a shoestring budget, both in the store and online, including using creative holiday marketing ideas. So, instead of running deeper and deeper discounts, try out these cheap holiday marketing ideas.

Preview holiday goods.

A cheap holiday marketing idea is to get customers excited by previewing limited-edition items you’ll be offering for the holidays. If you impress them with a preview, they’re more likely to make a purchase. You can do this on social media (Pinterest and Instagram are great platforms for this) or as a creative email marketing campaign to your customer base. If the item usually sells out, make sure you create a sense of urgency in your marketing. Language like “limited run” or “only 100 made” goes a long way toward incentivizing people to head into your store to snatch one up.

Customize gift cards.

Gift cards do double duty: They’re a super-convenient gift option for customers, and recipients tend to end up spending more than the gift card amount (which benefits your business into the new year). Those are two good reasons gift cards should be part of your holiday marketing plan. Go the extra mile and make your gift cards stand out from the pack by branding them for your business. Square can help you design a style of gift card that leaves a memorable impression on your customers. If you want Square’s custom gift cards by early December, we recommend ordering them by November 15. Turnaround for Square’s holiday designs are much shorter and are a good option if you’re pressed for time.

Throw a party.

Sounds too expensive to be a cheap holiday marketing idea, right? It doesn’t have to be. Skip the gift bags, DJ, and photo booth this time around for a punch bowl full of mulled wine. Shopping with a beverage in hand takes the experience to a whole new level. Add in a rocking holiday playlist, and you have a recipe for success. Events are a big draw if you’re a brick-and-mortar shop, so be sure to spread the word with posters and event invites on social media.

Bank on email and social media.

This is the most wallet-friendly way to get potential customers engaged. A creative holiday marketing idea is to give your email templates a holiday theme — Square’s email marketing software has some ready to go for the holidays — then remind people what your business has in the way of gift items. Update your website with a festive backdrop and a special holiday section. Put together Pinterest boards to help your customers shop for everyone on their list. For example, “What Dad wants this year.” Consider running a weekly Wish List, where you feature one of your shop’s top items each week and ask customers to share what they’ve got their eyes on. Think of these channels as the best ways to send out timely updates and compelling calls to action.

Reward loyal customers.

With Square Customer Engagement, you can come up with lots of creative holiday marketing ideas to email your customers. For example, segment your email list and send messages to loyal customers with special offers, sneak previews, free shipping, or secret sales. Everyone likes to be rewarded for their loyalty, so do what you can to thank frequent customers when you’re creating your holiday marketing plan.

Join forces with neighboring businesses.

During the holidays, put competition aside and think instead about how you can work together with fellow businesses so you all reap the benefits with some inexpensive holiday marketing. Partner with complementary stores or restaurants to offer customers a limited-time special. For example, a scoop shop could link up with a gourmet market to offer special discounts on each other’s respective goods.

Whatever cheap holiday marketing ideas you dream up, remember there’s lots you can do to effectively promote your business on a budget.

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