Five holiday marketing ideas for your small business that aren't cheesy

Five holiday marketing ideas for your small business that aren’t cheesy

November 30, 2021

Holiday marketing is TOUGH. There’s an obligation to show up during the holidays and make your business known. All the while, the big businesses are cluttering everyone’s inbox with sales, discounts, more more more! It’s difficult to cut through the noise and connect with people who are busy, over-targeted with ads, and see right through cheesy holiday clichés. Here are some holiday marketing ideas for your small business that aren’t cheesy.

custom holiday marketing stock image for small business featuring a glass of bourbon and pieces of pecans in front of a bowl of roasted nuts, greenery, and gold and bronze ornaments in the background

Send a personal holiday card

This one is obvious, but I wouldn’t call it cheesy. Everyone loves snail mail! Send your holiday card to your customers, especially those that bring you repeat business and referrals. Write them a thank-you for spending their time and money with you this year. Give them a small taste of what’s to come next year. reaching out–no spam, gimmicks, or sales–keeps you on their mind. Some of you have large customer databases. You may want to think about ways to automate this process, or take some of the leg work out. There are services out there that will integrate with your CRM (customer database) to automate sending birthday, thank you, and holiday cards to your customers based on your own custom parameters. Check out Hand Wrytten for more info!

collage of a cozy winter blanket beside a christmas tree, and a close up image of a holiday pastry

Celebrate your wins throughout your holiday marketing

One of the holiday marketing ideas small businesses forget to utilize is their past success! Your business has probably changed a lot this past year. You may have had huge booking milestones, opened a new location, offered new products and services, launched a customer loyalty program, increased your staff size, focused on a specific niche, or achieved a new certification or educational milestone. Some of these achievements involved your customers. Maybe you catered your largest event yet, or made your largest floral installation ever. Many people are making plans now for 2022, so this is the time to remind them what you’re capable of! Use the last month of the year to count down your greatest accomplishments.

Close up image of a mug of hot coco piled high with marshmallows in a festive snowman cup sitting on a large knitted white blanket

Gather and share testimonials

Speaking of your customers and wins, this is a great time to ask for testimonials! Client experiences are an amazing and underutilized marketing tool. People get busy and forget to leave reviews. You have to ask. Maybe more than once! If this isn’t in your client workflow, then it’s time to catch up on your review requests. Reach out to your customers. Let them know you are thankful for them, and the greatest gift they could give you this season is an honest review. Make it known that they are a big part of your marketing process. People love to feel involved and valued!

the lobby of bear lake resort decorated with wreaths, stocking, holly, and festive "noel" pillows for a holiday marketing event

Don’t run another generic holiday sale

I know, I said it. Sorry if I’m calling you out! Sales work for some industries, so if that’s you, skip right ahead. Most of you reading this are in the luxury events, personal service, or one-to-one market that requires customers to recognize your value and invest in your services. They aren’t going to book you on a whim. Remember that people typically watch your content for a while before they book. When you start marking down goods and services, people may internalize that your regular pricing has the potential to be lowered. Instead, try running a promotion that adds more value to what your client receives. For instance, a wedding planner may run a temporary offer for a free bonus hour of day-of coverage for any full service planning package booked before 12/30. This allows you to maintain your pricing, give something valuable to your clients that only costs your time, and give your clients an overall better experience.

the lobby of bear lake resort decorated with wreaths, stocking, holly, and festive "noel" pillows for a holiday marketing event. Red velvet cupcakes are sitting in front of a "Noel" sign

Show up, speak genuinely, and connect with people

Not every bit of your marketing has to be planned, part of a campaign, or tied to a very specific end goal. Sometimes the goal can just be relationship building. While I definitely want you to turn off the phone, disconnect, and get some quality family time this holiday season… don’t be afraid to take two minutes to show up exactly as you are! Let people know some of your holiday traditions, what fun you have planned, and that you’re excited to unplug but thankful for the year you’ve had. You could pre-schedule a cute holiday graphic with a message from your company to post on Christmas. You could also post a quick story of your family in jammies, waving and saying Merry Christmas. It takes two minutes, and then you can turn off work. Don’t worry about your hair and makeup, or the weird lighting. Just show up, and speak from the heart. Leave a question box and ask what people are up to or excited about. This will also give you an opportunity to see who’s listening to you, and what your audience cares about during the holidays. Take note of these things for next year!

the lobby of bear lake resort decorated with wreaths, stocking, holly, and festive "noel" pillows for a holiday marketing event

Bonus holiday marketing idea for your small business: the classic holiday event!

I know we’ve all spent way too much time on screens in the last two years. The days of the holiday open house or customer appreciation event are not over! Last week, I covered several ways to make your holiday event an impactful tool for your business. Missed it? You can read the blog here.

Love these holiday marketing ideas?

Great! Holiday marketing for small businesses is tough. There’s a lot going on, people are distracted, and you have to have a lot of things vying for people’s attention. I hope these tips were helpful! You might also like these posts from around this time last year:

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