There is no time of year—especially in business—more important than the holidays. Understanding that, the PFL team works very hard to provide actionable strategies, tactics, and product recommendations for marketers specific to the holidays.
To ensure success for Q4 revenue and beyond, there are several strategies and tactics to keep in mind no matter where you're sending direct mail for the holidays. To that end, we recently produced a virtual event titled, “Strategic Holiday Planning: How Celebrating Your Customers Leads to Revenue.” In it, our expert team of Amber Sikkink, Director of Merchandising and Creative Services, and Alana Rhodus, Director of Customer Experience Operations, walked attendees step-by-step through the process of celebrating customers during the holidays—ways that keep your brand top-of-mind during budget-planning season and increase your revenue.
The full webinar explores strategies broken down by place in the funnel, starting with existing customers, then prospects, and finally partners and vendors. Within those strategies, Amber and Alana explain tactics for each. Finally, there is a section on tips and tricks that help you accomplish you holiday marketing plans with ease and optimize the experience for your customers.
In the meantime, here is a high-level overview of the webinar content. If it piques your interest, follow this link to the full replay of the webinar.
When it comes to the holidays, there are really four key drivers. We call these:
The 4 Pillars of Holiday Gifting
Make it Personal
Personalized cards, for instance, offer a simple opportunity. And don't get tied to just a “first name” or any single piece of data—map the data from your CRM platform or MAP to personalize as much as you can.
Use a Tiered Approach with Personas
Using a tiered approach allows you to align with the audience or persona. Again, make sure it's something of high value and thoughtful: Is it a new customer or one that’s been loyal for years? You must be sure to approach this properly.
Use a Tiered Approach with Sales Cycle
Third, use a tiered approach that aligns with the stage of the sales cycle. This is incredibly important. You want to make sure that you're gifting appropriately wherever they are in the funnel.
Use Evergreen Themes for Holiday Outreach
Fourth, use evergreen themes to add relevance to your holiday outreach. This is something that's actually easier than it sounds. Simply take your everyday messaging and turn it into a holiday send. It can be as easy as merely changing up your artwork, like throwing on some snowflakes, to make it more holiday themed.
Now, each of these pillars can be used to build orchestrated and automated direct mail sends to all your ICP and personas.
Use a strategic holiday send to show appreciation for a customer and reinforce the relationship.
Welcome: Celebrate and add value right away.
Re-Engagement: Holidays are the perfect reason to reach out to accounts that have “gone quiet.”
Loyalty: Show appreciation and promote retention.
Cross-Sell/Upsell: Create a moment that helps you to stand out.
Use a strategic holiday send to show gratitude for a prospect's interest and invite them to continue the journey.
Holiday Promotions: Drive conversion through holiday promos.
Capitalize on Meetings: Surprise and delight with a “thank you” for meeting.
Deal Accelerator: Ensure your brand stays top of mind on stalled deals.
Celebrate Wins: Increase initial engagement with a celebratory mailer.
Recognize partners that allow you to achieve revenue goals more quickly and efficiently. This will result in a strengthened relationship.
New Partnerships: Strengthen relationships through brand affinity.
Nurture Relationships: Nurture existing relationships with a gift that shows how much you value them.
Recognize VIPs: Drive retention through recognizing top partners/vendors with a sincere “thank you” mailer.
Re-ignite Old Partnerships: Reinvigorate stale partnerships by driving engagement.
5 Tips to Make the Holidays Successful
We’d like to leave you with five final tips for the holiday season to help you make it the best holiday season possible.
- Start early. Now—September—is the ideal time to begin your holiday planning. But, in any case, have your holiday scheme all buttoned up by October 18th.’
- Don't stress. We recommend, during the holidays, sending kraft shipping boxes with a logo sticker for branding. This is the perfect occasion to play it neutral—and it’s budget-friendly. This gives you the opportunity to spend a little more on the item your sending, especially if it’s a high-value contact.
- Stand out. With holiday direct meal, it's so important to rise above the crowd, and timing is a good way to do that. We recommend thinking about Thanksgiving or the New Year as being part of the holidays, and these are ideal times to appreciate those contacts that are vital to your business.
- Think out of the box. Send direct mail gifts to employees, and maybe influencers, speakers, investors, donors, and the like is a great thing to do. One great way to do this is give gifts that do more. Choose items that come from brands that responsibly and actively support social and environmental sustainability. It's a great opportunity. (Many such vendors and products are highlighted in the PFL “2023 Holiday Lookbook.”)
- Be authentic. These days, people know when they're receiving marketing messages. We have found that personalizing is the best way to create a truly human-to-human connection. Connection builds the relationship, makes people feel understood, and moves the conversation along.
Holiday and Every Day
PFL’s sole focus—during the holidays and every day— is to simplify the direct mail process for our customers. We help you boost engagement with our end-to-end software solutions that make it possible to automate your data and use it personalized mailings in a variety of ways. And even if you don't have a MAP or CRM platform, we can still gather information and data from your systems of record and help you do more outreach efficiently at any volume. That’s a marketing gift that gives all year long.
Click here to watch the video replay of the full webinar and click here to download the 2023 “Holiday Lookbook.”