Creative ideas for marketing during the holidays and getting new leads while everybody is on vacation.

Snow, Santa, gifts. Christmas is great. Well, not for marketing teams. Starting mid-December, the lead generation rate for B2B and many B2C companies drops, in many cases by up to 95%. It seems there’s nothing to do around this time of the year – advertising costs are crazy, nobody reads professional content and there are no conferences. Well, it’s a great time to get creative – acquire new users and nurture existing ones using tactics which match a time when no one is thinking about work.

Give your users something to do during their flights

It’s time to think offline. Your users will spend long hours on flights, travels or while simply killing time with grandma. An effective tactic is to send them an eBook or a binder of your posts, just before Christmas. A great idea would be to present it is as important reading material wrapping up 2016, to be enjoyed on their flight. A binder of your top posts from 2016, saved as an appropriately designed PDF, can do wonders. Highlight this content as optimal for the ‘dead’ time during the holidays, and a perfect opportunity to learn something
valuable just before 2016 ends.

While focusing on good mobile experiences is important all year, it requires extra attention during the holidays. People are likely to spend more time on mobile as the main means of accessing your emails and content. Make sure your eBook/ posts binder has an optimal mobile version.

Use “out of office” emails to learn more about your users

Definitely one of my favorite hacks. Most of us know little about our users or about subscribers to our company blog. The holidays are a great time to get better acquainted with your users. Send a newsletter on Christmas day. It can be a minor feature update or a new post – don’t waste the good stuff, no one is going to read it at this time. Now comes the good part – you’re likely to get automatic ‘out of office’ replies from at least 30% of the users you’ve emailed. Those emails include their professional signature – their job title, employer, social network links and even their phone numbers. Data which can be super valuable to your sales team, as well as help you better understand your user base and segment them.

Create campaigns inspired by the holiday season. Get creative. I’m not a big fan of pasting Santa figures or Hanukkah stickers on standard marketing materials. It won’t make a difference. But, the holidays and the new year are a wonderful opportunity to communicate differently with new and existing users – on a much more personal level. Here are some of my favorite examples:

Leverage new year resolutions 

One of my favorite campaigns – Codecademy published at the end of 2011 “The year of code” project – they targeted people who’d were interested in learning how to code. The campaign encouraged them to pick ‘start coding lessons’ as their new year resolution for 2012. The original website is no longer live, but it inspired users to commit to their resolution and plan their courses for the entire year using Codecademy. This campaign went viral and led tens of thousands to sign up to Codecademy.

Christmas gifts campaigns

A beautiful idea implemented by WeWork – WeWork’s gift guide. In 2015, WeWork published their ‘Gift guide’ – a list of gift ideas, all items
Made by WeWork companies. The list included 3D printed cards, charity gift cards, chewable coffee cubes and even a small device indicating when you’d drunk too much at the new year’s party. It’s a great way to promote the WeWork’s community, highlighting WeWork’s brand by spotlighting their companies.


Empower your virtual community with a secret Santa game

The holiday season is a great time to add your personal touch to a virtual community. Reddit led this tradition as of 2010 by offering a worldwide Secret Santa game, where “Secret Santa’ gifts are given and received by randomly picked strangers based on a short paragraph you wrote about your interests. In 2014. Over 200,000 people took part, including Bill Gates. You can track the 2016 game here. The Secret Santa game has become very trendy over the last couple of years with many Facebook groups adopting the idea.

Some of you probably manage a very active Facebook group or similar virtual community. Helping your community members getting to know each other has a huge impact. Even if a small percentage of your community members join the game (even a few dozen) it can create a huge buzz, helping you connect better with your users. Covering the game and sharing the users’ stories may contribute to your brand.


Allocating your ads budget to Christmas gifts

As December nears, advertising prices rise. More advertisers compete over the same audience, and as the holidays near it becomes impossible to compete with the large brands. Instead of doubling or tripling your acquisition cost, reallocate your advertising budget to new channels. An investment of even a few thousand dollars can achieve beautiful campaigns.

Some basic ideas to start with:

  • Buy a unique or a handcrafted giveaway and create a small competition around it.
  • Use the budget to ‘face lift’ your blog – redesign your blog, create a different version to A/B test it or add illustrations to existing blogs posts to create a unique theme.
  • Translate your most successful posts into other languages
  • Send small giveaways or give a discount to new users who sign up during the holiday season.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you wish to analyze your website and marketing efforts, and really improve results, you are welcome to try our new analytics tool for Free.