No-Headache Holiday Campaign: A Blueprint You Can Implement Today

The 2012 holiday season is around the corner, and for many companies the fourth quarter of the year represents a significant portion of their annual sales and revenue.

To support the sales of your company, I’d like to give you some tips on how to approach a multi-step holiday campaign and some tips and tricks. This blueprint can be easily modified to your company needs, and/or other occasions.

Before we start, you’ll need:

  • Pen and paper/PowerPoint/any other drawing software (for those of you who have mind-mapping software, great, use it!)
  • Graphic designer
  • Copy writer
  • Your database (DB) administrator (buy him a cup of coffee, you’ll need him later)
  • Promotional ideas/company goals (are you promoting gifting ideas, holiday special offers, limited editions, etc.)

Here, I have created something you can start working with immediately. Call it my holiday gift to you.

Couple of tips and tricks:

  • Create something that is manageable and can be operated by you without too many complications.
  • It’s time to buy the cup of coffee to your DB administrator; he’ll need to segment the data for you.
  • Coordinate with your logistics team to ensure that the campaign is lined up with the delivery times of the products – they have to be there before the holidays!
  • You also want to start the communication when it is not too late – in other words, find the right time to ensure your customers haven’t yet finished purchasing everything they need.
  • Run a dry test on the lifecycle before deploying it fully, so to ensure the flow is correct and your mind can be laid to rest when the campaign runs.
  • Be very clear on the call-to-action. What do you want your recipients to do? Communicate it clearly.


For those of you who manage an e-commerce shop alongside a brick-and-mortar store, you have to take into account that your audience may buy either ends. Your communications then, need to support it. It can help you increase your footfall in your shops.

  • Using QR codes: You can use QR codes in your shops, which can redirect to registration form, and when filled by the customers will trigger a lifecycle campaign and ultimately award you with new recipients.
  • Barcodes/vouchers: To drive recipients to your online shop, use voucher codes, ensure that you also use barcodes that your clients can print and use in your real shops.
  • Shop locations: Provide shop locations for clients in your territory. If you have available data on the client’s Zip code, provide them the shop closest to them.
  • Click to call: Your communication should include the shop telephone number large enough so that the client can simply tap and call on mobile devices. Do the same thing with the address – linking it directly to your location in Google maps.
  • Opening hours: Communicate opening hours clearly, especially extended ones during the holiday.
  • Events: Communicate well in advance events that you’re running in your shops. Redeemable bar codes can increase the footfall in your shops.


Incentives can be tricky. From one hand we want to give our clients a treat for exemplifying desired behavior, on the other hand we want to ensure they do not buy only when there’s a sale. Vouchers are proven to be very effective – people like discounts but sales may only peak when vouchers are available. I’d recommend more “constant” incentives such as free shipping, or a discount from a second purchase proportional to the money spent. If you are a luxury brand and you would not like to provide discounts, you may consider giving a gift for X amount of dollars spent, or loyalty points that can be redeemed in the future.

And here are some ideas for the holiday campaign:

  • Campaigns with gift suggestions
  • Communicate urgency and cater to last-minute shoppers
  • Send a holiday e-card to customers
  • Promote online or in-store gift card redemption
  • Offer more payment options
  • “12 deals of Christmas” messaging
  • “Advent calendar” countdown messaging
  • Exclusive January sales preview alerts
  • Being clear about last order/delivery dates
  • Offer a value-add gift wrapping service


With the 4G mobile devices becoming more available and networks offering better coverage, your customer will check your website and mobile communications. Ensure that you have a mobile-supported site, or an app to link communications to. Allow your customers to redeem vouchers/bar codes in the brick-and-mortar stores via their mobile phones. Ensure your email communication is optimized to mobile; preferably using responsive design in place to support mobile content automation.

C’est tout. Till next time, stay tuned.


Christmas decoration image on home page via Shutterstock.

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