Cost-effective marketing strategies for this holiday season

Christmas season. People sending holiday campaigns, exchanging gifts, and taking pictures in a selfie booth put up by Zoho Partners.

The holiday season is almost here! It’s the most wonderful time of the year with enthusiasm all around and a feeling of warmth in our hearts despite the cold weather. Just like we’ve seen in the past, these holiday sentiments have already driven record spending in 2021. And while that makes it more appealing to try pushing marketing campaigns to jumpstart your sales for the new year, you might want to wait before rushing to buy paid ads or sending huge email blasts.

All that holiday cheer is great, but this is also the most expensive time of the year—both for consumers and the businesses vying for their attention. Paid ads on Google will cost a premium due to the peak season, and with customers already getting email after email to their inbox, click-through is harder to secure. All of this raises your customer acquisition costs (CAC) during the holidays.

So what can you do?

Walk a more unconventional path. Here are some small, but effective marketing moves that can make a big difference:

B2B ad spending share 2018-2023. Graph showing difference between traditional and digital ad spending.

 

Customer acquisition.

A sustainable growth model for the SaaS industry can be achieved with reduced CAC and a reduced churn rate. Whether your aim is to acquire new customers or cross-sell and upsell, it’s important to understand your audience: Where do they spend their time and money? What are their main needs? What experiences do they have that would lead them to your offering? This understanding will help you get a clear picture of their pain points so you can develop targeted solutions and more effective campaigns to market them.

  

A snowman standing near a window with a candystick. Optimise your online presence. 

  • Website and SEO

This season, don’t just redecorate your homes and workspaces! Revamp your website, too. Your website is your digital storefront. Make it vibrant, lively, and enthralling! You can create a festive feel with your designs, or you can simply give the page an overall update to better reflect your brand as it stands today.

Work with a keyword finder to ensure your website is SEO optimized as well. As a local business, filter your keyword search by location and language while researching, and do a domain search to understand what your competitors are ranking for. While focusing on high-volume keywords is important for short-term growth, it is crucial to keep long-tail keywords in mind for sustainable, long-term growth. Incorporate these keywords in your website and your blogs. This will help you rank better once indexed, so the next time leads search for ‘Zoho partners near me,’ you’re sure to rank!

 

  • Landing pages and content marketing

This is the right time to create seasonal landing pages and themed popups. With Zoho LandingPage, you can easily craft amazing webpages that direct visitors through optimized CTAs. Feel free to choose from a wide variety of pre-existing templates. With your holiday landing page in place, you can easily advertise seasonal promotions or offers on service costs and post-implementation support.

Don’t forget about your content marketing game, either. Seasonal blogs aren’t the only way to grab the attention of your audience. Optimize your blogs with keywords. Promote your blogs on free platforms like Medium and Growth Hackers. You could also try the free versions of Zest Marketing and Quuu Promote.

  • Note: Cross-publishing your blogs will not hurt your SEO. By adding a canonical tag when you cross-post, it points the search engine to the master copy of your content and helps the original version rank higher.

When crafting your content, taking a lighter tone during the holidays doesn’t hurt. Try a touch of humor, experiment with memes, or try creating fun videos with your team. A year-end newsletter is another great way to advertise without sending promotional emails with gimmicky subject lines.

 

  • Social media marketing

The holidays are a great time to increase your online visibility, and social media is one of the most accessible ways for you to reach your leads. It can serve as an amazing first point of contact. Conventional social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube are tried and tested, but have you tried some unconventional places? Platforms like Quora, Reddit, and Pinterest still have millions of visitors every minute, but they may not be as competitive depending on the industry you are working in.

Quora is a knowledge-sharing platform. You could pick questions from your niche, answer them, and follow relevant spaces. Gradually building trust is a good way to increase inbound leads.

Reddit is a social news aggregation platform. You could start by creating a relevant subreddit, or user-created discussion group, so you can bring your target audience right to your doorstep.

Repurpose your content into colorful infographics, quotes, and images for Pinterest, or build a stronger brand with Snapchat. These spaces still reward those who are earliest to start marketing there, but the volume of competition may not be as fierce. This is especially true if you’re able to better target your audience through the unique tools offered by the platform itself.

  

A Christmas tree with trinkets standing near a window. Create more effective email campaigns.

Email is still very relevant in marketing despite how long it’s been around. But like with any tool, the way you use it will determine your overall success. With so many people trying to garner attention during this season, the usual approaches to email marketing (i.e. encouraging account upgrades for people on a trial version, or grasping for reactivations from people who haven’t been using their app consistently) just won’t be enough.

Instead of trying to reach huge volumes of leads with generic emails, specifically reach out to people who would value your offer most in that exact moment. Considering that you have honed your practice as a Zoho Partner by offering amazing implementation and training services, and perhaps even extraordinary post-implementation support, here’s what we think you should do.

A person sending holiday mails to leads. Best tips to send effective emails.

 

  • Cross-selling and upselling

This is the only email method we are mentioning because it’s by far the most effective during the holidays. Q4 is not the best period to see optimal traction in terms of new leads, especially in the B2B space. That means you must create campaigns that target existing customers. With this approach, the increased lifetime value of the customer is just the icing on the cake. The true value is in the time you save by skipping all the campaigns you would send to other audiences.

This allows your marketing teams to come up with more appealing email copy for current customers, resulting in more conversions. Not to mention that the odds are stacked in your favor with this method. Based on our internal analytics on partner performance, the probability of success in acquiring a new customer is 5-20%, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 65-75%.  Reactivation accounts for a substantial portion of our Partners’ revenue.

Christmas gifts near a snowing window. Collaborate and build your brand.

The holidays are a great time to experiment with affordable marketing tools that you may not have tried before, giving you avenues to target new audiences.

For example, something as simple as a non-intrusive popup that doesn’t look like blatant marketing could give you a competitive advantage. Setting up a banner and a holiday-themed selfie booth in high-traffic places could help you draw attention. During other times of the year, these approaches may not be viewed the same way, but when your competitors are spamming customers with promotional popups, a popup that goes against that trend will turn more heads. Similarly, a booth may look cheesy during a random spring day, but during the week of Christmas, it will blend right in.

You could also partner with local cafes or mom-and-pop stores that are often visited by your target audience and co-market with them. Offer free napkins, notepads, and stationery with your brand on their premises, or place QR codes leading to your website/product brochures. This helps interested audiences find more information about you faster.

 

Customer retention and experience

The holidays are not only about acquiring new customers or selling more products. Customer retention is a crucial and cost-effective strategy. In the long term, high customer retention means less churn. For businesses working on a subscription model, retaining customers is particularly key. Remember, long-term customers are more likely to become promoters for your brand and service, meaning more word-of-mouth marketing at no additional cost to you.

Here are some holiday tips to strengthen your customer retention:

  • Send message cards and festive goodies

 All your competitors are using traditional email campaigns and pre-made templates for this season! The secret to customer loyalty is to make them feel important, and you don’t achieve that by taking the same approach everyone else does. Instead, contact them, listen to them, and give them gifts, rewards, or incentives that they will actually care about.

This is also the time to show gratitude to your customers. Thank them for believing in you and choosing to stay with you. Let them know you value them. Sending a personalized email with a heartfelt message is a good move. If you operate in the same region as your clientele, send out handwritten messages, notecards, or even letters.

These small gestures could go a long way in making customers happy. Stand out and be that ‘friendly neighborhood Zoho Partner.’ A simple thank you can make a world of difference for your customer satisfaction rates.

Many businesses go a step further than a thank you and send festive goodies. Whether you want to send something useful and functional or something fun like trinkets and memorabilia, the option is yours. You could send a coupon or voucher to your dedicated customers, donate to a charity of your followers’ choice, or send a thoughtful gift in the mail. 

Goodies sent by Zoho to thier Partners and customers.

 

  • Organize customer meetups

Post-pandemic, we have all felt closer and more connected despite the distance! What if you can’t host a meetup physically? You can still get in touch with your customers one on one and bond over conversations and a steaming cup of hot chocolate, as long as it’s safe and the local laws permit it. If not, don’t worry. Plan an informal virtual party for the festive season and celebrate! Trust me, this will be of immense help in building a better relationship with your customers!

Keep getting feedback from your customers throughout the year as well. Reach out proactively. You could use this connection to create a strong foundation to build customer testimonials and case studies. In the long run, it will help you optimize your operations as a business. Get your customers to talk about you!

 

We hope that you have an amazing holiday season! Don’t forget to share your ideas in the comments section!

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