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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Give to Get: Holiday Season Tips to Boost Sales

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on Give to Get: Holiday Season Tips to Boost Sales

HolidayWith Black Friday and Cyber Monday officially in our collective rearview mirrors, it is now full steam ahead for businesses trying to capture the attention and dollars of would be customers and clients. And while the holiday season is really all about giving, we all love to “get”, too! So, if your business sales could use a holiday boost (and really, what business couldn’t?), it’s not too late to give to get this holiday season. Here are a few tips:

Give with contests.
Holiday-themed contests are a great way to entice clients and customers to patronize your business over that of competitors. The better the prizes are and the more that they appeal to your particular target audience, the more likely it is that customers will choose your business. So, for example, if you own a yoga studio, maybe skip giving away a subscription to the bacon of the month club (but if you don’t have a yoga studio, in my opinion, the bacon of the month club is an AWESOME prize)!

Contests work well if you tier the amount of entries a customer will get with the amount of items or services purchased, or dollars spent. Big prizes, like electronics or luxury travel tend to create the most splash, so consider using most of your marketing budget for a big prize and advertise via free channels like social media and newsletters. If your contest theme or prize is splashy enough, you may even be able to get free local media coverage, too.

You can also get another company to sponsor the contest and provide the prize in exchange for advertising to your customer base. A complementary offering works best here, again, keeping in mind what would most appeal to your particular customers. Contests are highly regulated, so make sure to check local, state and federal laws for compliance, so that your good deed doesn’t go awry!

Give with special offers.
Everybody loves “free” stuff and feeling like they’ve gotten the best deal in town, so boost your sales with special holiday offers. Give free gifts with purchase, once again, being mindful of the kinds of items that your customers would want. Utilize some of the same strategies as above to get other companies to provide the freebies in exchange for marketing to your customer base.

And like with the contest prizes in the above tip, if you tier the free gift given with the amount of dollars spent, you incentivize consumers to spend more to get the better freebie. And if appropriate, it’s also a great idea to consider giving gifts to your customers’ kids this way, too.

Give with charity.
In the spirit of the holiday season, giving with charity and donations is also a great idea. Pick a charity with a particular importance for your customer base and tie in charity donations with purchases, so customers feel like they are helping others while buying. For example, if you are a food delivery service, maybe select a local food bank as your charity of choice. Include a note that a portion of their purchase went to the charity that you selected.

Utilize local media, social media, print media and press releases to let everyone know about your charity offerings. The media will likely be more receptive to talking about charity offerings above a standard holiday deal. And for extra attention, get those media outlets to co-sponsor or partner with your charity efforts. Getting other local businesses on board will also magnify your reach.

While the holidays can be a great time to boost sales, for true customer loyalty, nothing replaces strong customer service and products and services that solve real problems.

What other tips do you have for boosting holiday sales? Please share them below.

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth