Standing Out from the Holiday Advertising Crowd Requires More Than a ‘%’ Sign

20% off. 15% savings. Save 25%. 20% off sale. 10% holiday rewards. Save 30% in-store only.

Imagine coming home one day in November, getting your mail, and flipping through these six promotional offers from various companies all on the same day. It’s kind of dizzying. Or mind-numbing.

This year, you can do much more in your holiday direct marketing campaign than just another percentage-off sale.

Holiday marketing – especially during the Christmas season – offers businesses a rare opportunity to win over new customers while also re-engaging existing and lapsed ones. It’s the one time of year many consumers are looking and waiting for great deals. Thus, it has also become the time when they receive more offers than any other time of year.

The challenge for you isn’t just to send out holiday marketing campaigns. It’s to present them in such a way that you stand out from the many other businesses doing the same thing.

During the holidays, you’re not just competing against other businesses in your industry. You’re competing against all stores offering holiday sales. You’re competing for the limited amount of money people will spend during that time of year.

In other words, your sale is up against every other sale that prospects see. They’re asking themselves, “Should I go here for my gifts, or there? Should I buy this item, or that one?” Clothing or tech? Concert tickets or hobby supplies? Massages or auto tune-ups? They’re ALL your competition during the holiday season.

Here are six essential traits every holiday direct marketing campaign should include in order to stand out from the pack of advertisers.

1. Show Up Where No One Else Is

Standing out in your holiday direct marketing campaign is challenging no matter what you do. But the surest way to overcome the first hurdle (being seen) is simply to show up in places no one else will be.

The best place to do that is on their front door, the only remaining undistracted location for media.

With front door marketing such as the enhanced door hangers available from Power Direct, which are more like mini-billboards, your holiday campaign is all but guaranteed to be seen and considered. See 9 front door media options.

More than anything else, this will increase your conversion rate simply by virtue of having no visual competition.

Christmas gift

2. Offer More than Some Percentage Off

In the beginning of this article, you saw first-hand how these kinds of offers can make customers feel. Nearly every other holiday marketing campaign offers a percentage off. That’s great if it works, but is it enough to stand out? There’s always someone else willing to one-up your sale.

Instead, infuse your offer with more than just a percentage off. Rather than give away profits as part of a sales discount, consider these other more compelling offers:

Free gift with purchase

This works especially well if the customer has to come in the store to claim the gift. Just make sure the gift has broad enough appeal. A desirable or useful free gift, by itself, will be enough to motivate shoppers to choose you over other places for their holiday shopping. Bonus points for making the gift holiday-related, such as a box of cookies.

Enter to win a prize

Ideally, require a store visit in order to enter the contest. If you can offer more than one prize, such as a lot of smaller prizes and one or two higher-value prizes, you increase the chances of winning and will attract more participants. Taco Bell’s ‘free taco day’ is an example of this approach. Everyone who comes in the store wins. Again, if you’re willing to spend money on a 20% discount, why not spend it on something with more allure?

Special, exclusive access to elite status or limited offers

Does your business have a rewards club or customer loyalty program? Depending on the details, look for a way to work this into your holiday direct marketing campaign. Amazon, for instance, uses Prime Day to get more people to sign up for their monthly membership. You can do the same thing with your holiday campaign and your own loyalty club. For instance, “Spend $100 and get your first two months of membership free,” if your club comes at a price.

Can’t-miss in-store experiences

Special holiday performances will draw people to your store over another store that has nothing special to see. Look especially for activities for kids, like a magician who can keep their attention while the parent does their shopping. Musical acts, simple performing arts groups, special product demonstrations – you have a lot of creative options here. If you couple this with some kind of monetary discount or sale, you’ll have a dynamite combination.

Remember – holiday shoppers have low brand affinity. This is the time of year when they’ll visit stores they’ve never been to before. With really special offers like these, you will greatly increase your attraction for new as well as returning customers.

If you’re going to spend money on marketing for the holidays, you should have something to say. Offers like these feel like breaking news to customers. They feel “new” and different. Combine “new” with “urgent” and you’ve got a winning marketing campaign.

Put these offers on your front door marketing, and now you’ve tapped in to the trifecta of new, urgent, and the promise of being seen.

3. Keep It Simple

Make the value of your offer immediately apparent. This speaks to clarity of offer as well as presentation. Don’t bury the critical details in the same font size, type, and color as the rest of the piece.

The customer should be able to look at the headline in your holiday marketing materials and in less than five seconds, understand the basic premise of the offer.

“Save 10% and Enter to Win. In-Store Entry Deadline: December 24”
“Free Magic Show Happening All This Weekend. You Shop & Save. The Kids Have Fun.”
“Free Gift! Come to Our Store [or Call this Number] Before December 10 and win a free gift”

Again, simple templated headlines with no context, but you get the idea. The point is, highlight the most valuable and desirable part of your unique offer so it’s impossible to miss.

Imagine getting a slew of direct mail with 20% off, 10% off, save 15%, and then you see one of those three offers listed above. Which one would get your attention? There’s no contest.

4. Know Your Campaign Goal and Targets

Are you targeting new customers, or marketing to existing ones? Or both? The more targeted your audience, the more you can align your offer to them.

For new customers, you can give a special one-time only discount, special gift, or some other unique experience. For returning customers, you might put out a holiday campaign that clearly identifies them as the only recipients. “Special holiday sale for our most loyal customers,” for example.

Depending on your products or services, you also should target based on demographic factors. This would include the obvious ones like age and gender, but you can go much further than that. With Power Direct’s sophisticated audience targeting capabilities, you can target over 4000 demographic variables.

Yes, you read that right – 4000. Not 400.

This includes categories like number of vehicles owned, range of home value, types of occupation (we have 22 categories), and educational attainment.

For certain lines of products and services, you might not want to blast a whole neighborhood with marketing that really only appeals to men with high school diplomas who work in a trade.

However, remember that no matter who you’re targeting, your campaign might be seen by someone else in the home. Because this is gift-giving season, that’s okay! That’s why the offer and the target audience must be immediately clear in your marketing media.

The more you specify your targeting, the more your campaign will appeal to its recipients.

5. Measure, Measure, Measure

Use special codes like QR codes and coupon codes on every physical piece of marketing you send out. You want to know how well your campaigns are working, especially if you’ve done extensive targeting.

It’s also a good idea, as this article suggests, to run some pre-holiday testing campaigns, perhaps in October. See which versions of your copy, offer, and other features resonate the most with your audience before rolling out your full holiday direct marketing campaigns.

Track your data. Determine your key numbers such as ROI and cost per sale. If you’re using more than one form of media, track each one in all the same metrics. Then use those insights to target even more effectively next year.

holiday direct marketing with doorhanger-shaped Christmas cookies surrounded by decorations

6. Make It Fun

Holidays are supposed to be fun. Not pedantic or perfunctory. However, because they can quickly start to feel like a slog for shoppers, you need to bust them out of any holiday funk or stress they might be feeling. And nothing wilts your prospects more than seeing sixteen “20% off!” offers in three days. This makes them throw up their hands in futility at having all the same choices, and just do whatever they did last year.

Make your marketing reflect the fun, unique, and exciting experience you will give them if they come to your store or purchase your services online or over the phone.

This can involve the use of creative design elements like color and imagery that ties in to the holiday and also your offer. It can also include special textures and different sizes of items. In front door marketing, we offer several different sized versions of front door media. Ask about our options by talking with a front door marketing consultant.

But more than anything else – the fun is in the offer. Especially at this time of year. Here, you can get away with fun language, puns, silly jokes, and funny pictures.

Have fun. Get noticed. And grow your revenue in your next holiday marketing campaign.

Want to Plan a Front Door Holiday Direct Marketing Campaign?

Talk to a Power Direct campaign consultant while you still have time to plan one!