If you’re like us in the Schedulicity office, you may be thinking “I can’t believe the holidays are already here!”

According to digitalcommerce360.com, online holiday shopping will increase by almost 16% and online shoppers are poised to spend about $120 billion (USD) in the 2018 holiday season.

Take advantage of the holiday frenzy by planning now – and Schedulicity is here to help! Think of us as your ‘helper elf’ with our marketing tools and resources.

Every year, the holiday season starts even earlier—these days less around Thanksgiving, more whenever Starbucks rolls out its Pumpkin Spice Latte (ahem, October)—so if you don’t have a holiday marketing plan for your small business in place in advance, you’ll miss out on money-making opportunities all winter long.

1. Get Listed in Local Gift Guides

You’ve probably been thinking about your decorations for your physical location, so why not go one step further and decorate your social media profiles, your Business Listing on Schedulicity and even your website?

Upload a festive picture of your storefront window or of you and your staff in silly sweaters. It just takes a couple minutes of your time, but brings you more attention.

One easy way to get in front of a new audience is to get featured in a holiday gift guide from a local blogger or newspaper.

You can even offer a free service to the writer, so they can recommend you in earnest in their guide. There’s a reason why influencer marketing is rampant on Instagram. Personal recommendations are always preferable—potential customers are more likely to book if a service comes from a trusted source. As you reach out to the people behind your ideal gift guides for your holiday marketing, use this template for getting in touch:

Hi [Editor or blogger name], 

I’m [your name] from Ocean Park Spa. I’d love for our services to be considered for your holiday gift guide, and I’d like to invite you to try out one of our premium services free of charge. We offer massage, reiki, acupuncture, acupressure, and facials. Please let me know if you’d like to schedule a complimentary appointment!

Thanks,

[Your name]

2. Encourage Clients to Give Your Services as Gifts

Get personal! Put your social media accounts to work and tell a story!

You choose whether it’s inspirational, heartwarming, or funny. By sharing, you’ll be more relatable to your followers as they can learn more about you and your staff. Your social followers may even re-share! That just means more online visibility for you! 

Social media is one of the best ways to market and grow your business. Who doesn’t love a good story during the holidays?

Your customers aren’t just buying your services for themselves—they’re giving your products as gifts, too.

Or, they should be!

Remind them what good gifts your services make by sending an email to your clients listing what you have to offer, and who the gifts are for. For example, what about a 10 Perfect Gifts for Your Best Friend list? Or 5 Holiday Gifts Under $100 for New Moms?

You can also put an emphasis on buying local to support small businesses during the holiday season. Think: 10 Unique Ways to Support Small Businesses This Holiday Season (include some of your friends stores as well as links to your own products!).  

Encouraging gift-buying is a super effective way to re-engage your existing clients, and find a whole new client base in the form of gift receivers. They’ll be so happy with their service that they’ll come back.

3. Offer Gift Cards

If you don’t have time to write hand-written cards to each client, take advantage of Schedulicity’s Email Marketing

Holiday email greetings are the key to showing appreciation to your clients during this holiday season. You can select a holiday themed template, customize a message, and possibly even include a discount as a holiday gift with our Deal Manager option. This is a great way to show a little love to those clients that make your business successful throughout the year.

If you don’t have gift cards available, now is the time to have some made. They’re the easiest way to give your services as gifts, and you want to make buying your products for the holidays as painless as possible for your customers.

This is a perfect way to capitalize on that “I don’t know what to get her” feeling while also delivering a unique solution—we all get sick of Amazon gift cards at the holidays.

Going digital? Here’s how to offer gift cards through Schedulicity.

4. Get Festive With Your Virtual Storefront

You’ve probably been thinking about holiday decorations for your physical location, so why not go one step further and decorate your social media profiles and your website?

Upload a festive picture of your storefront window or of you and your staff in silly sweaters. It just takes a couple of minutes of your time, but gives your brand some extra personality—which is key to differentiating yourself from the competition.

5. Bundle Your Services With Donations to Charity

Because this is the season for giving, why not send a percentage of your earnings to your favorite charity?

It’s an easy way to give back, but also makes potential customers more likely to buy. Your clients will find higher value in purchasing your services, knowing a portion is being used towards the community.

6. Grow Your Social Media Following With A Festive Giveaway

Pick a service to give away—a massage, a haircut, a personal training session—and post it to your social accounts. Tell your followers to tag a friend for a chance to win. You’ll grab more followers and drum up follower engagement with minimal effort.

7. Change Product Names to Seasonal Options to Maximize That Holiday Marketing

A cardio workshop becomes New Year Refresh + Rejuvenate. A dye job becomes New Year, New You.

Don’t these just sound more exciting?

Besides, the timeliness will give a sense of urgency, pushing your clients to book ASAP.

8. Set Up a Booth at a Holiday Fair

You can expand your reach significantly by joining a holiday fair in tons of ways: You can have a signup list for your emails, sell gift cards for your services, or give away time-limited, holiday coupons.

Don’t be afraid to offer free samples: If you’re a masseuse, give people a five minute massage!

9. Get Personal On Social Media

Great social media tells a story, and the holiday season is your opportunity to tell the stories of the people behind your business. How are your employees celebrating? Did you have a party? How about recording a personalized video thank your clients?

The best small business holiday marketing (really, the best small business marketing in general) is all about authenticity and great storytelling.

10. Re-Engage Your Clients With Holiday Cards That Encourage Them to Rebook

Your scheduling software should have an Email Marketing feature that helps you send out holiday greetings where you can thank you clients for their business. Bonus: Include a holiday discount that shows client appreciation and urges them to book another appointment.

11. Don’t Forget Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday

Remember that the holiday season starts at Thanksgiving, so don’t neglect the huge sale weekend immediately following Turkey Day. To get the most bang for your buck, tie the sales together. When customers purchase on Black Friday, give them a coupon for Cyber Monday. You’ve incentivized them to come back for more—and another transaction is more money in your bank account.

12. Set Up a Last-Minute Gift Sale / Last-Minute Shipping

Are the holidays almost here and you’re a little short on your revenue goals?

Setting up a last-minute gift sale is an easy decision—there’s always customers scrambling at the end of the season and a discount could convince them to finally get that shopping done.

You can even position this sale as a “secret sale” only available to social media followers or email subscribers. Offering sales to limited people proves the worth subscribing to your content, and will keep customers coming back for more.

Don’t forget that if you’re selling online, you should make holiday deadlines for ordering front and center. This is a great way to encourage immediate purchases. And if you’re one of the lucky small businesses to have a storefront, consider opening for a few hours in the morning on holidays such as Christmas Eve for the very, very last-minute gift shoppers.

Schedulicity includes a discount option to some year-round automated email templates, learn how they work here.

13. Partner With Another Company on a Holiday Bundle

If you’re a salon owner, why not bundle a style and the services of a makeup artist for a Holiday Party Glam Up? You can drive your customers to the makeup artist, and she’ll send her clients your way. Win-win.

14. Offer Perks

It’s the holidays and people are expecting a little something extra. This is the time for free gift wrapping, free shipping, or double points in your rewards program. (Don’t have a rewards program? Set one up!)

15. Set Up Holiday Discounts

Holiday promotions can help you stay busy during this season without much effort—and encourage more sales to strengthen your bottom line. Consider special packages or buy two, get one free deals for the month of December. Set them up easily with our Deal Manager feature with these instructions.