This is number two in our mini series on how small business online can take advantage of the Christmas holiday season.
Here’s Idea Number One
The Christmas season gives you the chance to look and sound different – and reach new people.
All year long our sites look pretty much the same.
Sure, we may add new stuff, change bits and pieces and showcase new products or services.
But essentially, things stay the same. (And for a lot of good reasons – we’re after some continuity, we’re trying to build a consistent brand image, we want our customers to be familiar and comfortable with our site and newsletters.)
But more of the same, week after week, can get pretty bland. Like wearing the same clothes every day, or eating the same meals again and again.
Big events like Christmas give you the opportunity to look and sound a little different.
Redecorate your site. Add a little seasonal design. Offer some products or services that you don’t offer at any other time of year. You can get a nice ‘time-limited-offer’ thing happening there.
Give your visitors something to talk about. (And add a ‘Tell a Friend’ feature – so they CAN talk about you.)
One big thing you can do in the ‘time-limited’ arena is to publish a special newsletter that goes out only three or four times a year – in the run-up to Christmas. Give it a different title, a different voice, a different feel – and pack it with different information and offers.
Send this special newsletter out to your existing newsletter database – and use this opportunity to build your customer base by submitting your Christmas newsletter to the various ezine listing sites.
Where can you find these sites? You can find a lot of them right here: http://www.zinebook.com/publicz.html
Sure, after Christmas your special edition newsletter goes back into the desk drawer for another ten months. But in the meantime, you’ll have had the opportunity to convert your ‘Xmas special’ audience into ongoing customers or subscribers.
In addition to which, you’ll have refreshed your image among your existing customer base by offering up something a little different.
Not the same old stuff. Not the same old meals.
Right now somebody is thinking, “Hey, why not just have the usual newsletter and give it a seasonal theme, as and when appropriate? Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving.”
Good question – but I don’t think it does the same job.
Remember when the big retail stores had just one or two big sales a year? They were something special. Now those same stores seem to have ‘sales’ on all the time. So all the impact is lost.
Something that’s ‘special’ all the time just isn’t ‘special’ at all.
And Now For Thought Number Two
This is a variation on last week’s theme number two.
Last week, I talked about how two non-competing companies in the same space could do some co-promotion together.
As an example, I suggested PartySmart.com and Mcphee.com distribute virtual gift certificates for one another.
Well, maybe they could do more than that.
They could put together gift baskets or packages that combine products from each of their sites. And maybe invite some other companies into the deal, too.
PartySmart.com could provide the party ‘consumables,’ Mcphee.com could provide some gifts, and they could invite Charliesgourmet.com to pitch in with a Christmas fruitcake – and so on.
Would it be a logistical challenge to put together these combination Christmas baskets? Sure. But think of the benefits of promoting the baskets across all of the participating sites at the same time.
Everyone gets to sell more stuff and everyone gets to expand their customer base at the same time.
Could this work with services and for business-to-business? Sure. It’s just like a web ring.
But a seasonal web ring that sells stuff.