6 Things NOT to Do When Planning a Holiday Promotion
Frequently we give out ideas or strategies for promotions, but sometimes we need to talk about the failures to prevent companies from making the same mistakes. Here is a quick list of what NOT to do when planning your holiday promotion so your brand can outshine the rest.
- Don’t forget who your customer is.
One of my favorite “they did not just actually do that, did they?” moments was when a client decided to run an online sweepstakes but only promoted it to customers who were already in stores on Black Friday. The high number of entrants they were expecting never materialized when doors opened because people were too busy doing what they were there to do – shop in the store! The interesting take home from this was that we did see a big increase in activity to the online experience before stores opened as people waited outside. Too bad the form didn’t go live until the stores opened, though. Maybe an alternate solution would be to offer an online site with games or instant win prizes that users could access while they wait in line. Think through the call to action on your holiday promotion to ensure that the ask makes sense for your customer.
- Don’t run too many promotions at once.
Big retailers seem to do this a lot. There is a bonus offer, some coupons, some rebates, some loyalty offers, and a chance to win a partridge in a pear tree in their holiday flyer and patrons don’t know what to do first. Try to stick to one promotion or offer at a time to keep people engaged over the course of the holidays.
- Don’t overcomplicate it.
You have seen it. Sweepstakes forms that ask for your name, address, email, mobile phone, date of birth, children’s names and ages, 5 or six survey questions, your social handles, consent to opt you in to 7-25 lists, the latest picture of your dog… You get the picture. The more you ask people to do, the more people you will lose in the process. Decide on what’s the least amount of info you need to meet your goals in running the promotion and then stick to that.
- Don’t rely on word of mouth promotion.
Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. That was the movies. In real life, you have to promote your sweepstakes. To be successful it may take more than word of mouth and organic social posts to do the trick. Paid advertising, influencer posts, emails to current and potential customers and other means of advertising may be necessary to get you the entry numbers you are reaching towards.
- Don’t skimp on the prizes.
Sure, you got everyone’s attention with the promise of a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to see Santa in New York City at a Broadway show. But if the trip is really just tickets to the show and doesn’t include airfare or hotel, then don’t expect a lot of entries. What you may get instead is a lot of angry customers. Customers are getting more savvy about who they give their private information to, and they tend to give away their info and their consent to receive more info about your company only when a company offers them something of high value to them in return. Don’t disappoint them.
- Don’t forget to have a back-up plan.
Running the most-talked about holiday deal of the year? Everyone clamoring to get to your store or go online to fill out a sweepstakes entry form? Great! Just have a backup plan in case your entry forms run low (or you run out) or, in the case of an online promotions, servers go down. This is why you need a promotional marketing company to help you plan the details out so this doesn’t happen to you.
Marden-Kane has been helping clients run successful holiday sweepstakes for over 60 years. We can help you plan, build and execute your sweepstakes in time for the holidays. Contact us to get started.
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