Unbelievably, another 12 months have disappeared, and it’s time to rip the cellophane from a shiny new calendar.
While the temptation for us business owners is to kick back and relax, recharge and start again next year, this is the perfect moment to try to capture our customers’ attention. Because while they are in a festive and goal-setting mood, it’s an ideal opportunity to boost your sales.
Did you know that during the New Year period, over 60% of small businesses report significant increases in customer engagement by using targeted email campaigns?
Furthermore, 41% of local businesses rely on social media as a critical source for generating revenue – a trend which becomes more pronounced during the New Year due to increased customer engagement.
These statistics highlight the New Year’s tremendous potential as an opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to launch effective marketing campaigns.
Here, I’ll guide you through a few New Year’s campaign ideas for SMEs to amplify your reach, boost engagement, and, ultimately, spike sales.
Maximising Your Reach on Social Media During the New Year
In the digital world, social media is a crucial tool for SMEs. Research from Bain & Company concluded that customers who engage with a business on social media spend up to 40% more with them in the long term.
The New Year is a bustling time on social media platforms, offering a grand stage to widen your audience. Many of your customers are not working between Christmas and the New Year, and their social media use peaks during that period.
So, to maximise your reach, start by crafting content that clicks with your target market. Whether inspirational quotes, resolution tips, or a peek behind the scenes of your business, your goal is to provide value and foster a community vibe with your followers.
A great tactic is to share customer success stories. These real-life tales not only inspire but also bolster your credibility. Consider sharing these stories in blog posts, videos, or even live customer interviews.
Another smart move is collaborating with influencers or industry partners. Influencers can extend your reach to their loyal followers, helping you tap into new markets. Choose partners who share your brand values and genuinely like your offerings.
Running social media contests or giveaways is another engaging strategy. For instance, ask followers to share their New Year’s resolutions and how your product or service can help. This not only boosts interaction but also creates valuable content for your channels.
Don’t forget to harness the power of trending hashtags and consider creating a unique branded hashtag to engage your audience further.
Lastly, keep a keen eye on your social media metrics. Analyse the performance of your posts, learn what resonates with your audience, and tweak your strategy accordingly.
Remember that organic reach on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is headed downward. If you absolutely, positively have to sell something, you may need to pay to advertise to guarantee the reach you need.
Driving Engagement with Unique New Year’s Promotions
To stand out online and offline, offer unique New Year’s promotions that grab your customers’ attention. Think of limited-time offers or exclusive discounts in the first few weeks of the year to add a sense of urgency.
Enhance engagement by rewarding your loyal customers with personalised offers or gifts. Making them feel special bolsters loyalty and encourages them to spread the word.
Consider themed holiday campaign ideas that resonate with the New Year spirit. For instance, a fitness studio could (and probably should) offer a “New Year, New You” promotion with discounted memberships.
Other industries that market heavily in the new year include travel agents (for people sick of the cold), nutritionists (for people who ate and drank too much over Christmas), and all manner of personal and business coaches and financial advisors (for people who want to make January a new start.)
Hosting special events or workshops tied to the New Year theme can also create unique customer experiences. Again, you can leverage social media to promote these offers. Engaging content, like videos showcasing product benefits or customer testimonials, can increase your visibility.
And, of course, track the results of your promotions to refine future strategies.
Crafting the Perfect New Year’s Email Marketing Campaign
According to data from Blue Corona, email marketing is the preferred marketing tool among small businesses, with 54% of them utilising it. Email marketing is an enduringly powerful tool which can be particularly impactful during the New Year.
Crafting an engaging email campaign involves more than just sending out a generic message; it’s about connecting with your customers on a more personal level.
Personalisation is Key
Start by segmenting your email list. This allows you to tailor your messages based on customer preferences and purchase history. Personalised emails, including addressing each recipient by name and suggesting products based on past purchases, can significantly increase open rates and engagement.
The content of your email should be compelling. Use engaging visuals and catchy subject lines to grab attention. Visuals could range from vibrant graphics reflecting the New Year spirit to images of your products in action. The subject line should be intriguing, yet relevant, to encourage opens.
Fun fact – according to Brevo (who I use), adding images to your email campaigns makes them less likely to be flagged as spam by Gmail.
Calls to Action
Your email should have a clear call to action (CTA). Whether it’s urging them to take advantage of a New Year sale or to check out your latest product line, the CTA should be straightforward and prominent. Limited-time offers create a sense of urgency and can effectively drive conversions.
If possible, incorporate storytelling in your emails. This could be by telling a customer’s success story or a narrative about how your product/service fits into the New Year theme. Storytelling makes your email more relatable and memorable.
Follow-up and Feedback
Don’t forget to follow up. Rather than a one-off, a sequence of emails often yields better results. My own 21-email series, “20 Ways to Stand Out Using Print” (yes, I know), generates many more replies than single emails. It’s always a good idea to encourage feedback to learn from your customers and continually improve your approach.
Making the Most of Seasonal Discounts and Offers for SMEs
With the New Year, SMEs have the perfect occasion to capitalise on seasonal discounts and offers. Align your promotions with current trends and events, such as health and wellness resolutions, and offer packages or bundles that add value to customer purchases.
Collaborations for Greater Impact
Partnering with complementary businesses can amplify the impact of your promotions. For instance, a health-focused collaboration between a fitness studio and a nutrition brand can offer holistic benefits to customers, thereby increasing the offer’s appeal.
Making the Most of New Year’s Resolutions
Craft offers that speak directly to your customers’ New Year resolutions. Whether it’s a discount on health products or a special package for home improvement services, tailor these offers to align with common New Year goals.
Leverage the fresh-start mentality of the New Year to encourage customers to meet their goals with your products or services. Create targeted campaigns that inspire and motivate, offering incentives for reaching certain spending thresholds or buying multiple items.
Highlight how your offerings can benefit your customers in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. If you’re selling organisational tools, for example, highlight how they can aid in creating a more structured, efficient lifestyle.
Exclusivity and Urgency
Introduce exclusive deals for the New Year. This could be a special line of products or early access to new services, creating a sense of exclusivity and urgency.
As we’ve seen, the New Year period is ripe with opportunities for SMEs to engage customers through well-crafted campaigns, especially via email. By maximising social media reach, engaging with unique promotions, crafting effective email campaigns, leveraging seasonal offers, and capitalising on the New Year’s momentum, you can effectively connect with your audience, engage them, and see a rise in sales.
Remember, making your campaigns as personal and relevant as possible is key. Here’s to a prosperous and engaging New Year for your business!
Plan Your Print Marketing With Confidence
As the New Year approaches, it’s time for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to harness the full potential of their marketing campaigns. The Print Marketing Planning Journal, specifically designed for SMEs, is your ideal companion in this journey.
This tool isn’t just about organisation; it’s a strategic asset that refines your approach to marketing. From developing effective social media strategies to creating engaging email campaigns, it guides you in crafting impactful promotions.
Think of it as your roadmap to a clearer, more structured marketing plan, ensuring each campaign resonates with your audience.
Dive into 2024 with confidence and a solid plan. Discover how this essential tool can streamline your marketing efforts and contribute to your business’s growth.
Stand Out From The Crowd With Print Marketing
As mentioned above, you can subscribe to receive my FREE email series, 20 Ways to Stand Out Using Print, directly in your inbox.
Here’s a fact most businesses ignore: If you do what everyone else does, you can’t possibly beat them.
When most people market their small businesses, they do what everyone else does – they head straight to social media because it’s free.
But the big downside to ‘free’ digital marketing is getting noticed.
So why not do something different? It’s your ideal chance to stand out.
It’s something that’s tried and tested, but few do these days – market your business using print.
In this FREE series, my 30+ years of print marketing experience have been condensed into 21 short, daily emails containing simple tips you can use as your own.