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Out of the Box Holiday Marketing Tips for Businesses

Written By The Art of Business Content Team

‘Tis the holiday season… to try something new in your marketing!

Why not right? It’s not a normal year, which makes it the perfect time to think outside the box when it comes to your holiday marketing strategies.

  1. Create an interactive Gift Guide to showcase your holiday promotion ideas

  2. Add in festive packaging – and that includes emails!

  3. Team up with another business

  4. Run a holiday giveaway – we’re going pretty meta with this one

  5. Deal of the day/week push notification

  6. Reward your top customers


Create an interactive Gift Guide 

There aren’t many of us who browse through printed catalogues anymore – unless you count 7-year-olds madly circling the Toys R Us catalogues that still come in the mail. #allthelego

Creating a digital catalogue, or Gift Guide is easier to create because there’s no printing required.  Stunning imagery, well-crafted photos, and quality design are all great ways to show off your products and gift sets, without having to worry about printing them – winning!

>>Here << you can see how Meraki Movement is using a gorgeous LookBook (a fancy way to say catalogue) to show off their high-quality alpaca products to customers who aren’t sure exactly what they want, or who want to complete a set.

Think about how your customers want to buy during this holiday shopping season – do they want stocking stuffer ideas for under $10 – and organize the guide along those lines.  

Do your customers want something for the different personalities on their list, like the Holiday Entertainer, The Outdoorsy Friend, or the Holiday Recluse? 

Think about all the ways you can organize your gift guide, by:

  • price (gift cards come at every price point!)

  • shipability (it’s a word)

  • sets of things (colours, use cases)

  • personality of recipient


  • holiday sales

Now make it REALLY special. Make it INTERACTIVE!

Create an interactive catalogue for the festive season by making each product image a link to the relevant product page. This can help you keep track of your user’s flow through your website.

Or use something like FlipSnack to make it more of a ‘reading’ experience. 

Your interactive Holiday catalogue can be marketed just like any other piece of content – on social media, in a blog, and a link in your main website navigation menu!

Once you go through the effort of creating it, make sure to showcase it often and everywhere – make it a staple of your holiday marketing campaign. Pull out items or pages to highlight on social and in your emails. Share about it 3-5x a week for maximum effectiveness.


Make your packaging FESTIVE!

Did you know how important custom packaging is for your brand?

Packaging is the only thing that reaches 100% of your customers and it can be the first step in creating a memorable unboxing experience. Brand loyalty can be established right from this moment.

Holiday packaging for your products over the season adds a touch of luxury, fun or intrigue and, if coupled with a holiday edition product, can really help create a sense of “exclusivity“ around your product.

Holiday-themed packaging can be convenient for your customers as well. A Holiday-themed mailer box or mailing bag can remove the need to wrap a gift entirely! Make sure to really show this option off on your site, to make gift-giving suuuper easy for your customers.

But what if you sell courses, consulting or a service? Nothing to box up there. 

Get creative with your email subject lines, use holiday-themed emojis (just not too many please and thank you), or just make your writing more festive. 

Include words and phrases like these in all your holiday communication, from your welcome sequences to your order confirmations:

  • treat yourself/your loved ones

  • like kisses under the mistletoe 

  • naughty or nice?

  • tis the season

  • believe in magic

  • warm wishes

Writing in a fun and festive way will help build customer loyalty just as well as fancy gift wrapping!


Use in-browser push notifications

Remember you’re open to trying new things! This might be really out of the box for you, but it’s actually a painless process.

Install push notifications on your website during the holiday season, and those who allow them will get a popup on their screen when you send one out. 

Imagine snuggling in with a blanket and hot chocolate, opening your laptop on a Saturday morning getting ready to buy presents and you see a notice like the following, 

‘Happy holidays to you and your DAD! Grab our most popular product for him, 78% off today only!’

Push notifications are wildly effective, as they give you a direct line of communication with your subscribers. A flash sale, store hour changes, and last call for purchases before Christmas are all great ideas to push out.

Remember to use them carefully, as you don’t want to bombard people with too much information. Do this and prepare for unsubscribes in mass quantities. 

New to pushing? Read more about how to set it up here.


Team up with another small business

Do you have a network of business buddies who share an audience with you but are not direct competitors? They would be perfect for a joint promo. 

Or do you sell hoagies down on main street? Ask the Oil & Vinegar store beside you if they want to team up for a main street giveaway. 

It comes down to how well you know your user. Do you know any other problems that all your customers have?

For example, if you’re selling high-end hosiery, it’s obvious that your customers also need some great jewelry. In this situation, you could expand your audience by teaming up with local jewelry stores for discounts, a giveaway, or just sharing each others’ audiences via social media and email. 

This holiday business idea is one that can carry over into the New Year – and beyond – and help your business reach a new audience every month!


Run a Holiday Giveaway 

Speaking of social media – we were, weren’t we? – another great way to show up on social and spread holiday cheer is by running a social holiday giveaway. We recommend running a social campaign across all the major platforms your business uses (Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) to get more eyes on your business. And don’t forget about your email marketing campaigns! Share about it every. where.

If it’s free during the holidays, who wouldn’t like it? Get into the holiday spirit of giving with a big discount, free add-on, or just something completely for free. Asking in your social media posts for people to comment, share, and like is how people usually run them, but have a look at KingSumo or GrowthTools for easy help with the tech.

There are lots of things you can do to get more engagement in your contest, offer your audience an extra entry for:

  • sharing to social

  • watching a video

  • joining an email list

  • emailing a friend

  • visiting a website 

  • commenting or liking a post

Please note the Facebook and Instagram rules and regulations for running giveaways!


Deal of the day/week push notification

The days leading up to Christmas are always busy with customers looking for the best deals. You can keep them coming back to your website or store by having daily or weekly promotions as a part of your holiday campaign.

Send a web push notification (you’ve just learned about them, why not try them out this way?) to let window shoppers know about your promos. Use our second tip and include a festive talk in your push notifications. (🎄 emojis are great too) 

The 12 Days of Christmas is a great pre-existing concept that you can use for familiarity, while the push notifications are def out of the box!


Reward your top customers

If you want to show your appreciation for your loyal customers, you can give them special appreciation gifts during the holidays. We loved reading this book, all about gift-giving as a way to grow business.

Offer your raving fans and most loyal clients deeper sales and savings than ‘regular’ customers get, extra perks or add-ons, or even open the doors of your business so they can have a personal shopping session if they choose to do so.

If you can’t afford to take a cut on your margins, reward your customers by simply remembering them. Send out Christmas cards to show your appreciation. is a handy tool to streamline this idea. 

That’s a WRAP!

Sometimes it feels like TOO MUCH to run holiday promos, or to think differently than you have in years past. But for this upcoming holiday season, the busiest time of the entire shopping year, we hope you try at least ONE new idea.

Why not? Remember, it’s just that kind of year. 

Holiday Greetings to all the friends of The Art of Business!