The holiday season is coming to its peak, and along with eggnog, packed shopping malls, and cold weather, this time of year brings with it a valuable opportunity for B2B marketers. Making the right move could end your year on a favorable note; making a marketing blunder could land you on your prospects’ naughty list as you head into 2014. Let’s check out a few best practices to make sure your holiday-season marketing strategy isn’t backfiring on you.
Don’t flood inboxes.
Your prospects will have enough to do when they sit back down at their desks on January 2nd without having to delete ten emails from you. Inundating prospects with emails that won’t get read is not only a waste of your time, it’s likely to leave a bad taste in their mouths about your sales process. So keep sales emails at a minimum and consider pausing nurturing campaigns during the most hectic weeks of the holiday season.
Stay active on social…
Just because they’re not in the office doesn’t mean your clients and prospects aren’t active on social media. Don’t go MIA over the holidays; plan ahead of time and schedule tweets and social posts to go out when you’re not around. Also consider using any extra time on building up your social networks. Try a new term search on Twitter — you could end up tapping into a knowledge base that will provide you with fresh ideas in the coming year.
…But don’t over-automate.
Automation is a powerful thing, and the ability to schedule out emails and postings in advance can come in really handy — particularly at this time of year. But don’t just put communications on autopilot and walk away for a week; if you’re scheduling out emails and social posts, check back in from time to time and respond with genuine interactions. And read this cautionary tale if you’re even thinking about putting your Twitter responses in the hands of a bot.
Refrain from sending a self-promotional “holiday card.”
Use discretion in the way you approach holiday-themed messages. Sending a short, sincere note to your clients thanking them for their business and wishing them well this holiday season? Absolutely. An email with a few gift ideas and some genuinely helpful information about discounts and savings? Sure. Sending your prospects a trite and cliché business promotion masquerading as a holiday card? Definitely not.
Lay off the sales-heavy content.
The bottom line? Ease up on the sales pitch. Remember that business is not the foremost thing on your prospects’ and clients’ minds at the end of December, and instead use this opportunity to make your company seem as human as possible. Focus on providing fun, helpful content for your prospects and clients to read in their down time, and save your more sales-focused content for the new year.
And finally, take a break — you’ve earned it! You’ll be at your best in 2014 if you enjoy some well-deserved time off and come back fresh.