Use digital marketing to do something thoughtful this Thanksgiving |

Use digital marketing to do something thoughtful this Thanksgiving

Sydney Schalit/ For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat Pilot & Today

— Thanksgiving kicks off an intense time for most everyone, from visitors and travel to holiday shopping and staying in shape. But amidst all the planning and cooking, purchases and playing, it’s important to reflect and express your gratitude for the people who have supported your business this year: your customers.

Put the emphasis on others.

If you don’t already have a local charity partner, team up with an organization that makes sense for your business, like a domestic violence shelter if you run a women’s clothing boutique or our local food pantry if you operate a restaurant. Then, offer a discount when customers bring in items such as gently used clothing or nonperishable food items. As a small business, it’s crucial to have ties to the community, and customers feel good about patronizing a company that gives back.

Make your partnership known with a well-branded, simple-to-follow email and social media campaign, so your loyal customers know how to get a deal and do something good, too.

Offer retail therapy.

The stress of family gatherings, gift lists and the hustle and bustle of the holidays can take the shine off the most wonderful time of the year. Utilize your email marketing tools to invite your customers to explore retail therapy options at your shop. Make it easy for your customers to get most of their shopping done in one stop, or offer festive treats while they peruse your merchandise. It’s a lot easier for shoppers to feel festive when they’re relaxed.

Always offer a gift-wrapping option to ease their holiday chores, and be sure to promote your festive, helpful retail therapy offers on your social media and email marketing platforms.

Invite your customers to an after-hours shopping event.

Things get hectic around the holidays, and that means regular business hours aren’t always convenient for your customers. Instead of the typical dawn-busting Black Friday event most of us dread, anyway, try the opposite: Extend your hours one evening, and turn it in to a proper party. By hosting a special, night-owl shopping event, you can generate a lot of excitement around your brand, your priorities and all the great deals you offer during the holidays.

An extended hours shopping party is a great event to promote online and with personalized emails.

Welcome back customers.

Thanksgiving is all about reflection and gratitude, so take a look at your email list and social media followers, and reach out to those customers you haven’t heard from in a while. Send a targeted message, thanking them for their business and offering them a discount if they come back and make a purchase during the holiday season. It doesn’t take a beautifully designed email, but a thoughtful, generous, sincere one will definitely drive the message home.

No matter how you capitalize on the holiday shopping season, remember to be authentic in your offers, generous with your employees and consistent in your messaging. Utilizing the grateful spirit of the season will remind your customers of the brand behind the company and reignite their enjoyment in shopping locally.

Sydney Schalit is the content manager at Steamboat Digital, a local digital advertising agency specializing in web design, video production, social media marketing strategy and beyond.

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