How Are Small Businesses Marketing For the Holidays?

Study Takes a Look

Data from a recent study by the U.S. Federation of Small Business and DYMO showed that 36% of businesses who participated were minimizing marketing efforts to save some money in the weakened economy. I suggested that this probably was not the best course of action for pinching pennies.

"To me, it seems that marketing has never been more important for the survival of a business. For one, if you are not marketing, people might forget about you, or even assume that your business in trouble because they have not heard from you lately," I said. "Marketing shows potential customers that you are still there for them even in these rocky times. Secondly, you have to drive people to your business. How else do you intend to attract customers?"

Well, a new study from Constant Contact would suggest that most U.S. small businesses would agree with this mentality, particularly as we approach the holiday season. 76% of their respondents are planning holiday promotions and last minute shopping offers. This number has actually grown from the same survey last year, which saw 62% doing so. 63% of this year’s respondents have even begun their holiday campaigns already.

"There’s no question the economy is a cause for concern, especially for U.S. small businesses that rely heavily on holiday sales," says Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman. "However, in true entrepreneurial fashion, small businesses are fighting back. Small businesses recognize the value of focusing their marketing efforts to enhance communication with their loyal customers, as well as to attract new business."

So what ways are businesses marketing themselves these days? According to Constant Contact, Email Marketing takes the cake:

Marketing Holidays

I should point out to those who don’t know, Constant Contact is an email marketing company, so it stands to reason that there is a good chance their respondents are already users of email marketing. That said, I have discussed at length myself why email marketing can be a great way to get targeted results.

"Email marketing and online surveys are catalysts to the success of small businesses in any economic environment, but they can make the critical difference in trying times," says Goodman. "History shows that small businesses have led the way to better economic times in the past, and we are confident that today’s small businesses will do so again.” 

I would by no means stop at email though. Read this article for some tips on how to use Google to get some extra sales this holiday season.

There are 7 Comments. Add Yours.
  1. SMS marketing is catching up especially in India. We have seen good results. It is a painful process but we have had people call back after many days.

     

    It works and I am willing to experiment and test any new strategy.

  2. Thanks, Chris, for this great article. I’ve checked into email marketing for my safety and security web site and apparently that’s not the best way for me to go. I love the idea but it doesn’t work for all businesses.

  3. Guest

    Debbie, what business are you in? If you or somebody else own a restaurant you can check out USDiners.com at http://www.USDiners.com/Restaurant. For only $5.95 you can list your restaurant with a link to your own website. If you like to use coupons to attract more people, it’s only $29.95 per month per coupon.

  4. To overcome the challenge of spam filters, I use fax marketing (in Australia) very successfully. The Spam Act in Australia doesn’t include faxed adverts, although one has to be sensible about how many one sends to each prospect.

    I target market a specific group depending on what I am selling, harvest fax numbers and send my one page advert for a very low cost per page using an electronic fax service. 

    Results are usually excellent and very few people complete an opt-out procedure.

    Email might be great for established clients, but not for new prospects. Fax is better.

    PS: I enjoy reading your informative articles.

  5. Thanks for your response, Chris. Although email marketing does not work for my safety and security web site, I agree that you have to constantly keep your business before the public.

    For me, it’s social marketing. Web 2.0 is the way I need to go. More info on this great marketing tool would be helpful.

  6. I have tried many different advertising methods but have found in my line of work that online advertising is the best followed closely with email and fax marketing.

    Unfortunately TV, magazine and newspaper advertising are very costly and only provide a very small return.

     

     

  7. B. Shah

    Do you the percentage of PC Owners in your country ?

    Note that the majority customers are not on PC

    So why bombard those already having PC access…Spam

    I invite people to use my PC, and act as their Agent,

    offering them my services. It works. Even a tailoring

    Shop gave me an add to promote sales.

    For such stories and guidance in the unexplored field

    contact B. Shah

    shahwin@super.net.pk

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