Content Marketing Blog

Will your Christmas website promotion leave you with eggnog on your face?

Christmas is fast-approaching and while most of us will be looking forward to a well-earned break, many website owners and marketers will be making one final push before 2015 comes to an end.

Festive promotions can be a great way to drum up some deals before the holidays. If you’re in the B2B space, you can get your special offer in front of decision makers while they’re still planning for next year. For businesses targeting consumers there’s the collective Christmas gift pot – worth $7 billion this year, according to a recent Adobe survey.

But as with any promotional activity there is always the danger that it will go terribly wrong. If you misjudge your audience, mess up the timing or do bad job on the messaging you could, at best, waste your time and effort, and at worse actually damage your relationship with existing and potential customers.

Am I really only worth five cents to you?

You might be planning to include a financial inducement in your Christmas promotion. Perhaps you plan to email an electronic voucher to loyal customers or offer a time-limited discount on a particular product line.

But be warned. Research has shown that using small amounts of money as a thank you can leave people feeling under-valued.

A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Marketing found that a thank you note on its own had much more of a positive impact than a thank you note accompanied by a small payment.

“Financial acknowledgements, if they are too insignificant, can definitely backfire,” the authors said. “We refer to this backfire phenomenon as the ‘trivialisation effect’ – the notion that including a very small amount of money may devalue or trivialise a consumer’s relationship with a company. In other words, something is not always better than nothing at all.”

The example cited in the study was a Microsoft promotion that awarded customers with Xbox Live credit worth just 25 cents.

Support a good cause and get more sales

Christmas is a time for giving and if you keep that in mind when putting together your festive offer it could benefit your bottom line as well as your conscience.

A number of independent studies have established a strong link between good deeds and sales. When your customers see you supporting worthy causes or talking about issues they also care about you are more likely to win their business.

Research published by the American Marketing Association at the end of last year found cinema goers were more likely to make a purchase if they were told a portion of the ticket price was going to charity.

This could be a good tactic to consider for Christmas promotions, especially if you have a limited budget for discounts and gifts. If you don’t want to run the risk of upsetting people with a small monetary offer giving that money to a good cause might be a better option.

Keep your Christmas offer consistent with your content strategy

If your business regularly supports charitable organisations your content marketing will play a central role in communicating that activity and the values that underpin it.

Your blog, your email campaigns and your social media are ideal channels for letting your audience know about the topics you think are important and want your brand to be associated with.

So when it comes to putting together a Christmas promotion, you should look to your content marketing strategy for ideas not only about how to promote it but also what to offer.

If you can find a way to make a festive deal feel part of an ongoing conversation between you and your audience you have a much better chance of getting a positive response.

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Adam Barber
Adam Barber About the author

Adam is one of Castleford's founders and remains actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business. He started out as a writer and still contributes regularly to our blog, covering SEO, CRO, social media and digital strategy.

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