Another holiday strategy to engage with your clients is being a break from business during the holiday stack in December.
(The previous post on holiday content is on gratitude around Thanksgiving.)
Because They Need The Joy
The holidays are supposed to be a fun and joyous time of year. Supposed to be. But in truth they can be hectic and busier than ever. Everyone - including your contacts - has plenty going on both professionally and personally. This "most wonderful time of the year" causes a lot of stress. So be very careful not to add to that.
First and foremost, be sure your customer service is at its best during this time of year. You want to win new clients, but you certainly don't want to lose existing ones. And people deal with more customer service than usual during the holidays. Stand out by comparison for being uncomplicated and a pleasant surprise.
This is also a great opportunity in both customer service or in outreach to be personable. After all, sales and discounts are great for short-term transactions, but emotional connections are better for customer lifetime value. They help define your brand and build relationships with it. Always sincere and honest though. We have all become quite good at smelling 'fake'. You don't have to pretend to be their best friend. Just be friendly, polite, and gentle. Assume the contact is having a rough or stressful day. There is a good chance they are. And if they aren't, they will simply see you as extra nice.
This can also be a good time of year to get back into the minds of your clients because many may be planning or about to start planning the next calendar year's strategies or budgets. And you want to be in the back of their minds when they set aside funds.
Your Message Style Matters
Stress levels grow and schedules fill up as the month of December goes one. So start early and use light touchpoints.
And while you can make your touchpoint or message directly about the upcoming holiday, you don't need to. Connect your company's brand or mission with one of the key emotions of the holiday or season. It will already be top of mind, you will be relevant and timely, and it can reinforce your brand identity.
There are plenty of emotions to choose from: happiness, love, peace, nostalgia, family love, comfort, security, hope, and more.
Many companies simply wish their clients and followers a happy holiday season. Go the extra step with a message that is personal about your company or a leader within the company. Make the message feel human but also have a simple purpose. Say something beyond a generic greeting.
Everyone Loves a Gift
So what should give them besides a holiday greeting? Everyone loves a gift. Don't sent them another branded calendar or refrigerator magnet. Please, just don't. The environment thanks you in advance.
Provide them useful tips and tricks on using your services, or navigating any unique language barriers or issues around this time of year. If relevant, make their professional experience with your industry better.
You can also share free expertise, resources, downloads, or other information. This is less exciting, so it should definitely be useful. But present it as a gift. Perhaps as appreciation for them being a client. Such information-based gifts are best sent via email. But make sure the emails are personalized and not a blast to "Dear Valued Customer". Use tokens in your marketing automation system. Manually type names if you have. But if the gift isn't personal, the delivery absolutely should be.
Or just give the gift of fun. Send entertaining content that is only loosely related to your business. Everyone needs some diversion from work seriousness at this time of year. Be that fun for them. It doesn't have to be perfect, just fun. It might even end up being shared in their networks.
And don't forget to add your branding. No sales push. And any call to action added to fun content should be minimized to avoid it feeling like a bait and switch sales pitch in disguise. Fun content is about brand development, not business development. If you push too hard, you can damage that customer's trust.
And as always, have clear goals for your outreach (conversions, engagement with specific properties, moving contacts to the next stage of the pipeline, etc.) and very clear and simple calls to action for the targets. Your content should be short, concise, simple, and with one basic action you want them to take.
Channels the Spirit
And yes, email marketing is a great channel around the holidays. People are used to receiving and reading more emails during the holidays with B2C deals and offers or to track packages and deliveries. So if you can offer a deal, great. But you don't have to. The point is that people are more attentive to email inboxes at this time of year.
Email can be easier for many contacts during the holidays because they may be out and on the go more often. Trying to catch them on the phone or schedule web meetings may be more difficult because their schedules as less predictable or more full than usual. Emails are at their own convenience. Email marketing already has strong B2B conversion, but it is more customer-friendly during the holidays.
If you do decide to send fun content or diversion though, these types of content work better on your social media than on email. They are inherently more shareable, but also feel more appropriate for the channel. Just remember to respond if a customer engages (comments, replies) on social media.
Not Just for Clients
And lastly, this season is not just a great time to add altruism to your messaging. If you can, it is also a great time of year to be altruistic. Consider donating your time or money, or coordinating opportunities for your staff to volunteer for worthy causes in your community. These shared intrinsic rewards can help with team building. They can make a difference to people in need. And the holiday spirit will be much more than just a message.
Be safe, be kind, and take care of each other. Happy holidays everyone.