The do's and don'ts of Christmas marketing


(4 - 5 minute read)

‘Tis the season to be creative…

Christmas marketing campaigns from the big players are becoming more elaborate each and every year and trying to compete with a limited budget can seem near enough impossible. But, the good news is, people are full of positivity and in the giving spirit in the lead up to Christmas and if they feel a strong connection with your brand they are much more likely to part with their hard-earned cash. The key ingredient is those touching moments that everyone can relate to on a personal level. 

But, there are ways to get it right, and there are ways to get it wrong. So here are the biggest do’s and don’ts to make sure your festive campaign succeeds:

Do: Plan ahead

Planning ahead is essential and if you’ve already got your Christmas marketing campaign up and running then well done! But, we know things get busy around the festive season and that the Christmas campaign can be easily forgotten about. Do not worry though there’s still plenty of time to get some ideas together and start reaching out to your community — just remember to keep it simple and effective. 

Tip: Set some time aside in the New Year to review past successes and start building upon those for next year’s Christmas campaign. You’ll feel great when it gets to this time next year and you’ve already got your ideas firmly in place! 

Do: Send out cards

Keeping things classic and simple is a great way to connect with your audience. Sending out a business Christmas card adds a personal touch, and it’s a great way to remind your community of who you are and that you’re there for them. Plus, as an added bonus, you can use Christmas cards to share information on any Christmas promotions you may be running. Whatever you choose to do with your card, this type of branded print is the perfect opportunity to reinforce your brand values with something creative and memorable. 

Tip: Remember to write or, at the very least, sign your cards by hand if you can, this adds even more of a personal touch and shows your community how much you appreciate them.  

Do: Use email marketing

Email marketing is a quick and low-cost way to grab your customers’ attention over the Christmas period. It is another opportunity to create a stunning visual message that highlights your values as a business. Your email marketing can be anything from virtual Christmas cards to, product launch announcements or even a little helpful advice for the festive season. The added bonus of email marketing is it is much more measurable, as you can track email open rates, click-through rates and conversions very easily.

Tip: Make sure your design is up to scratch, don’t send out a rushed, half-hearted email that will do your brand more harm than good.  

Do: Add value

Everybody loves a little something extra, especially at Christmas, so there’s nothing wrong with getting into the giving spirit to put a smile on your customers’ faces. We’re not talking big, expensive things here, just those little extra touches that will brighten people’s days. If you’re an e-commerce business, you could offer free gift-wrapping for purchases. Or, if you’re sending out direct mail marketing, you could include a small discount voucher or a free product sample. These little things can go a long way to improving customer loyalty. 

Do: Get social

Social media is one of the biggest free marketing tools available to you so don’t neglect it. Use it to share new content (perhaps a Christmas video that your audience will want to share) or to promote new deals and products to support your wider marketing strategies. If you already have a large following and you produce some high-quality content you won’t need to spend any extra on advertising. And, if you feel your content could use a boost you can use paid advertising across a variety of channels to reach a wider audience. The costs involved in social media promotions are minimal compared with those of traditional advertising and you can reach a much more targeted audience. 

Tip: Keep it festive. Festivity is what people expect to see and what they want to see on their social media channels so don’t be afraid to come up with a festive hashtag or encourage your audience to join in with a festive challenge!

Now, on to the Don’ts:`

Don’t: Do the dreaded calendar

The business Christmas calendar has been done to death and it’s a bit of a cliché, so this is one Christmas marketing tactic we advise you to swerve. More often than not calendars cost more to produce and distribute than they give back in revenue, so it’s rarely worth the effort. You also don’t want to annoy your community by sending them the 8th calendar they’ve received this year! There are exceptions to the rule, however. Creative, physical advent calendars full of unique treats are great marketing ploys for building hype around your brand, and online daily-deals advent calendars can also work if they suit your business model, but printed business calendars are best avoided.

Don’t: Go overboard on discounts

Little discounts and Christmas deals are great for adding value but there is a line you need to avoid crossing with these. If you go overboard with heavy price slashing and extended discounts, you run the risk of putting repeat customers off paying full price when the cold light of January arrives. Keep your deals enticing enough to draw in the crowds, but modest enough so as not to sabotage future revenue.

Tip: Put an expiration date on your deals, don’t let them run endlessly and therefore decrease in value.

Don’t: Neglect your existing customers

Christmas marketing campaigns are a great way to entice new customers to your business, but don’t let yourself get too carried away with this, or you risk neglecting your already loyal customers. Be sure to send some festive appreciation their way too, as they’re the ones most likely to buy from you and recommend you to their community. 

Tip: Send out cards or an email containing a unique code that only your loyal customers can use over the Christmas period.

Don’t: Forget your brand image

Christmas is a time for us all to let or hair down, but caution should be exercised if you run a business with a more serious or professional image to uphold. Don’t ditch your values and messages in favour of Christmas spirit, or you risk trashing all the hard work you’ve done building your professional brand. Work within your brand, and keep your Christmas marketing classy and professional if your business usually promotes itself in this way. 

Tip: Everyone loves a bit of festive spirit but it doesn’t mean they want to see Father Christmas and giant snowflakes every time you send them an email.  `

Don’t: Forget to say thank you

This is the time of year where we can all look back on the last 12 months and reflect on our successes and shortcomings. As a growing business, you come to value every success and every loyal customer who has helped you move forward. Now is the time to show your appreciation for those that have stuck by your side. So, whether it’s a thank you note in your business Christmas card or email campaign, a creative video, or touching social media post, make sure you share the love.  

Katherine Heath