Category Archives: Holiday

How to Keep the Happy in Holiday Customer Service

By | Customer Service, Holiday, How We Do It, Small Business | No Comments

Over at CMS Wire they have a really cute infographic about customer service during the holidays, but the stats aren’t cute at all.

74% of the respondents in the survey believe that contacting customer service is more of a hassle during the year-end holidays than at any other time of the year. 37% percent said they’d rather eat last year’s stale fruitcake than contact customer service during the holidays.

Sure, it’s kind of a funny statistic, but what it’s really saying is that there is some room for improvement for the holiday customer experience. So here are some tips to help your business shine during this busy season.

Empower Your Team

If you haven’t already seen this video from Canadian airline WestJet, take 5 minutes and give it a look. As much as the customers enjoyed this holiday surprise, the WestJet employees really seem to be the winners here. Imagine how much fun they had pulling this off. Read More

Holiday Countdown: 5 Last Minute Holiday Social Promotion Ideas for Your Small Business

By | Holiday, Small Business, Social Media | No Comments

5 Social Promotion Ideas

Wow, time is flying and the holiday season is in full swing! If you’ve been following along with our blog series and our Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions, then I’m sure you have things under control. Since you want to keep the momentum going, now’s a great time to put together a social promotion or two and we’ve got 5 ideas for you.

1. Deck the Halls

You’re likely to have more visitors than usual, so spruce up your social profile pages for the holidays. Whether the images are holiday themed or have a promo code that customers can use (or both) , this is a great way to get some attention post-Cybermonday. Social Media Examiner has 5 Ways to Prepare Your Facebook Page for the Holidays, but these ideas can work for other social networks too.

2. Win Big

Put together a contest for a cool gift item or gift certificate on your Facebook page. You can use apps like Offerpop to easily set up the contest, keep track of the entries and pick a winner. If you use Pinterest (and you probably should), I love the idea of having a “Follower of the Week” contest. Maybe a weekly holiday themed contest for the next three weeks?

Social Media Statistics

3. Coupons

Customers will come looking for coupons and special offers before they decide where to spend their holiday dollars, so make it easy for them to find  the info they need. You can easily create an image of a coupon and then share it across your social media networks just like any other picture. You can make even more interesting images if you have a designer on staff or are handy with graphic design software.

4. Take a Picture

Twitter recently added image previews. This means you can upload a photo with your tweet and it will be seen in the twitter feed without having to click a link. You probably don’t want to add an image to every tweet, but if you have a coupon or a fun image to share it’s more likely to be seen if your followers don’t have to click on a link to open it.

5. Countdown

Why not run a social promotion counting down to the holidays? The folks at Brix Wine Shop run a 12 Days of Christmas promotion for the last 12 shopping days. They run different sales and tastings in their store each night. Remind your customers how many shopping days remain and give them a cool gift idea for each day.

Have you done any holiday social promotions that were really successful? Tell us about what has worked and what hasn’t.

5 Holiday Greeting Card Ideas for Your Business

By | Holiday, Small Business | No Comments

Thanksgiving is nearly here and that means holiday greeting cards should be arriving soon. If you don’t have a plan for your cards yet, it’s not too late! Here are 5 ideas you can use to make some memorable holiday greetings.

Reindeer Games

1. Let The Dog In

Do you have an office pet? Now’s your chance to dress him up like Santa, or Rudolph, or Frosty, or… all of them? Luckily, holiday pet costumes seem to be plentiful in the stores this year, so here’s your excuse to finally buy one. Can pet costumes be written off as a business expense? Hmmm…

2. Dress Up

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Bust out those ugly holiday sweaters and get a picture of your team wearing them. If you have an in-office competition for the ugliest sweater, you’ll be sure to get some interesting ones. It’ll bring a smile to the recipient’s face and it’ll be a lot of fun your team, too (or at least for the photographer).

3. Share Some Info

Take a quick survey at your office or share some milestones from the year in the form of a holiday infographic. You can use a tool like Piktochart to create the graphic and have it printed on greeting cards or even as a small poster. I’m not gonna lie, you’ll need to get started on this one pretty soon. Or see #5.

4. Decorate

Add some holiday bling to your logo for your greeting cards. Our friends at Swiftly sent over a Thanksgiving-ified Batchbook logo that they made for us.

Happy Batchbooksgiving

You might try a Christmas, Hanukkah or winter theme for your logo and make a cute card with that. If you just don’t have time to do it yourself, consider outsourcing the task to Swiftly or a local designer.

5. It’s Never Too Late

Just can’t squeeze it in before the end of the year? There’s always next year! Send New Year’s greetings instead for a change of pace. Direct Mail Manager has a fine selection of New Year’s cards that you can quickly customize and they will mail them for you. Thank me later.

But Wait, There’s More

This is just the latest in our holiday blog series. If you missed the previous ones, you should take a look. We also have our Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions, which is full of ideas for your small business holidays. We’d love to hear how your holiday promotions are going. Are you stuck on anything? Let us know, we’re here to help! Also, if you dress your pet up in an embarrassing costume, we want to see those photos!


Win Free Holiday Cards for Your Business!

By | Contests, Holiday, Small Business | No Comments

Holiday Facebook Contest

As part of our holiday blog series, we’ve just launched a Facebook contest where you can win 100 free holiday cards for your business! Our friends from Direct Mail Manager will provide 100 free, customized cards which they will mail for you AND they pay the postage. All you need to do is select one of their lovely holiday designs, choose your greeting and upload your logo. You can even send your mailing list over from your Batchbook account using their handy integration. They do the rest! Sounds great, right?

Don’t Procrastinate!

To enter, you just head over to our Facebook page and tell us something that’s really great about your business. Don’t be shy, we really want to know. The contest ends 12/3 and we’ll pick the winner on 12/4. Good luck!

Holiday Countdown: 5 Tips for Small Business Saturday Procrastinators

By | Holiday, Small Business | No Comments

Small Business Saturday

I don’t know about you, by I am in Big Time Denial that Thanksgiving is next week. Which can only mean one thing: Small Business Saturday is next weekend. Yep, I know, it snuck up on me, too. If you’ve been too busy to plan your Shop Small strategy, take heart. It’s never too late. (Actually, it would be too late next Sunday, but you know what I mean.) Here are some tips to quickly get ready for the big day.

1. Get Started

Just put one foot in front of the other and head over to the Marketing section of the Shop Small site. It’s pretty much one stop shopping over there. You can create a personalized marketing campaign and register your business so shoppers will know you’re participating. There are logos and templates and signage you can use. Join a neighborhood circle, so you can help promote other businesses in your area, and they can promote you. You can customize your Facebook tab while you’re there, as well. All for free! Even if this is all you have time to do, it’s a great way to let shoppers know where you are. But wait, there’s more…

2. Make It Special

Put together a quick list of the special promotions you’ll be running that day. A percent off of everything? A BOGO offer? A small free gift for everyone who comes by? Give it some thought so you’ll be ready to share with your customers ( see #’s 3 & 4).

3. Let Them Know

You’ve got your free, branded  signage, right? Put some of those cuties up around town. Library, Post Office, grocery store, you get the idea. If you have an assistant (or a kid) you can make a list of places to distribute the signs and get it done in half the time.

Remember how we talked about email campaigns? This should go in your email newsletter. Make an Eventbrite listing or a Facebook event to share via email and ask your customers to invite their friends!

4. Socialize

Put up that new Facebook graphic that you got form the Shop Small site. Invite your fans to your Facebook event and ask them to share. Wouldn’t hurt to give them a coupon or Super Special Deal, either. Send out some quick messages to any of the social networks you have a presence on.

5. Have a Party

It wouldn’t take much time to order up some refreshments from another local business, for shoppers who are coming by to Shop Small. Make your business as inviting and welcoming as possible with a festive decor and party atmosphere. Shoppers will appreciate the extra effort and remember you for it. A good experience will result in return visits and word of mouth referrals.

Have some fun!

The holidays are a wonderful time to connect with your customers and show them how much you appreciate them. Even though you will be really busy, try to enjoy it. These are the people who support your business, what could be better?

Participating in Small Business Saturday? Leave a comment and let us know. We want to hear all about it! If you’ve been procrastinating about other things, we’ve got the Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions as well as a whole series on this very blog to help you out.

Holiday Countdown: When to Schedule Your Holiday Emails

By | Holiday, Small Business | No Comments

Following along with our series about holiday promotions? Today we’ll help you decide when to schedule the holiday emails we talked about last time.

Timing is Everything

Holiday Email Statistics

We shared some statistics in our guide for the best days to send holiday offers. Think about when your customers will be reviewing their shopping lists and looking for offers or sales. Be sure your emails arrive before they’ve planned where to go and where to spend.

When to send?

While the perfect time to send will depend on the type of business you have, consider these suggestions:

  • Thanksgiving Day – US customers who shop on Black Friday finalize their lists on Thanksgiving. If you have a Black Friday offer, get it in front of your customers in time to be considered.
  • Cyber Monday – total sales reached $1.98 billion on Cyber Monday in 2012. Cyber Monday sales take place online, so if you offer ecommerce, be sure to participate in this important sale day. If you have a brick and mortar store, you may still be able to cash in on Cyber Monday with creative email promotions. Think about sending a coupon via email coupled with extended after work hours and snacks to entice shoppers to shop your holiday sale.
  • Christmas Day – 57% of shoppers will be out shopping the day after Christmas. They are looking for sales, so be sure they know about yours before they head out.

While we wouldn’t suggest burying your customers in holiday emails, you’d also want to let them know if you are having an open house, extended shopping hours, or if you have new stock (especially if it’s a sought-after item).

How’s it going?

We know you’re busy at this time of year, but if you have a moment let us know how your holiday promotions are going. Need more ideas? Take a look the other posts in our Small Business Holiday series. There’s more to come!

Holiday Countdown: 5 Tips for Writing Your Small Business Holiday Emails

By | Holiday, Small Business | 3 Comments

5 Tips for Holiday Emails

This is part 2 in our series on holiday promotions for small business. Check out part one.

If you’ve been following along with our Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions, then you know it’s time to get your holiday emails ready to go. (If you haven’t seen our guide yet, go take a quick peek.) Today we’ve got 5 tips for  your holiday marketing emails.

1. Make a List and Check it Twice

Be sure to take some time to curate a healthy email list. You can divide you list based on your customers’ prior buying behavior, location or other factors.  Send relevant special offers to each list, rather than just one generic ho-hum offer to everyone. Customers are more likely to click on an offer that is tailored to their interests or buying habits.

2. Entice Readers to Open Your Email

A carefully crafted subject line will get more people to open your newsletter. MailChimp has done a ton of research about subject lines, which can help you write yours. They suggest that you tell rather than sell and keep it short and descriptive. There is a Santa’s sack full of emails being sent during the holidays, so it’s worth taking some time improve the chances yours get opened.

3. Reach Customers On the Go

It’s a good idea to use a mobile friendly template when you’re creating your holiday emails. A recent study says that 61% of brand emails are opened on mobile devices. If customers aren’t able to easily read your email on their phone or tablet, they may just delete it. Most email service providers have mobile templates to choose from which will make it easy for you to get started.

4. Keep it Simple

Busy customers will appreciate receiving a short email with easy to understand offers. Spell it out for them, quickly. A long email with a lot of information will likely get saved to read later, or worse, deleted. Show your customers that you appreciate their time by keeping it short.

5. Have Fun!

If you can deliver your message with a sense of humor, all the better. People will be more likely to remember (or even forward) an email that brought a smile to their face. Consider including a fun photo or graphic along with some friendly text. This is a great place for that fun team photo, meme-type image, or a creative shot of your product. If you don’t have a graphic designer on staff, you can create your own pretty easily using tools like PicMonkey or Canva (Canva’s in Beta, but I have a couple of invites. Let me know if you’d like one!).

Tell Us About It!

Let us know if this post was helpful for you in the comments. If you have other holiday ideas or tips, we’d love to hear them. We’ve got a few email ideas over on our Pinterest board. Be sure to take a peek at the other posts in our Small Business Holiday series. Our next post in this series will talk about the best times to send those holiday emails (the answer may surprise you).

Holiday Countdown: 5 Ideas for Your Small Business Holiday Blog Posts

By | Holiday, Small Business | One Comment

5 Holiday Blog Post Ideas for Your Small Business

We published our Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions last week to help small businesses schedule their promotions and… well… quit procrastinating! This post is part one in a series that will dive in to some of the tips from the guide’s holiday promotion timeline.

The first thing we have on our timeline is to write holiday blog posts. We know coming up with the idea for a blog post can be the hardest part, so we thought we’d help you get started with that.

1. Gifts Guide

Let your customers know what your company’s popular holiday gifts are. Give them a top ten list of cool gifts within a price range. If you can think of themes to use for putting together gift packages, you’ll make it easier for shoppers to find the perfect gift.Themeing gifts around the recipient can be very helpful for shoppers.

How about:

  • Gifts for Teens
  • Gifts for Moms
  • Gifts for Teachers

You can probably come up with a bunch of ideas for themed gifts from your inventory. Extra points if you offer to take orders, wrap and ship the gifts for your customers so they can get busy doing other things.

Read More

Holiday Promotions Guide and Infographic to Help You Make the Most of the Season

By | Holiday, Small Business | One Comment

The holidays are the busiest time of year for a lot of small businesses. It’s easy to procrastinate on planning your holiday promotions because you have so much other stuff to do. But if the holidays are sneaking up on you we are here to help!

With this year’s Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions, we’ve pulled in a whole bunch of useful stats and tips into one easy to digest guide. Read it to find out:

  • Which days are best for email promotions (the answer may surprise you)
  • Just how important social is becoming for holiday consumers
  • Why you absolutely must format your emails to be read via mobile
  • And a whole lot more…

Our guide is completely free and 100% useful, so check it out now (really, some things just shouldn’t be procrastinated).

You can get it here: Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions

As a teaser of some of the great information you’ll be getting in the guide, we’ve put together this handy infographic on popular holiday promotions. Feel free to share it on your own blog our via Twitter.

InfoGraphic: Holiday Promotions for Small Businesses


View a bigger version of the infographic >>

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More to Come!

Over the holidays, we will be sharing a series of blog posts with promotion ideas, tips, and stats. This series is geared toward helping you find and launch the best holiday promotions in the smallest amount of time. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to follow along!

The Season for Sharing

You may have some great ideas and stories of what has worked for you (or hasn’t) in the past when it comes to driving sales during the holidays. Please be kind and share with other small businesses looking to increase revenue and decrease stress over the holidays. Leave your ideas in the comment section below!