The kids may be heading back to school, but in marketing circles, it’s already time to start planning for the holidays. This is not only a time of great opportunity for small businesses, but also a time of great creativity as they embark on sales and marketing initiatives that embrace the spirit of the season.
Whether it’s holiday cards for your clients, in-store signage, or open house invitations, small businesses need professional print solutions that help them stand out without breaking the bank.
I recently sat down with Bill Martin, vice president of print services for The UPS Store network, and asked him about holiday marketing tips for small business owners.
Q: As a small business owner, it’s important to recognize good customers around the holidays. Is there a simple and affordable way to do this?
A: I agree. A simple note of thanks to each customer can certainly go a long way and help to build long-lasting relationships. The holidays are a perfect time to do this – with or without a promotion. Another idea is a 2012 calendar. Rather than spending the time and money on individual gifts, a 2012 calendar is a useful present that will remind your customers of your business 365 days a year.
Q: How do you recommend small business owners spread the word about their holiday deals and offerings?
A: The holiday season is a great time to tie in a promotion or incentive that benefits you and your customers. Spread the word through flyers near the cash register, kickback offers and other in-store signage. And, don’t forget the power of direct mail. The UPS Store will handle the logistics of printing and delivering direct marketing mailings through the U.S. Postal Service to every address in that neighborhood.
Q: It seems every business sends out holiday cards or open house invitations at the same time. How can small business owners ensure theirs doesn’t get lost among the inundation of holiday mail?
A: The key is to send out your card or invitation early. Start compiling and updating your mailing list and think of a design now to avoid the rush. Keep the message simple and direct, and take advantage of early printing offers like “3 FOR ALL” campaign, which provides 30 percent off three featured print products through Oct. 10 at participating The UPS Store franchise locations.
Q: The holiday season is full of parties. Any advice for small businesses owners as they head to their next holiday get-together?
A: I can sum up my advice in one word: network. The holiday season is prime time for networking, so I suggest business owners carry plenty of business cards with them and attend every party they can. We offer full-color professional business cards that will help them stand out from competitors and are a great leave-behind piece for potential customers. When you get home, follow up with an email or connect with the person on LinkedIn.
Q: What do you suggest a small business owner look for when identifying a printer to work with?
A: I recommend choosing a printer with the ability to custom print on demand. Small business owners are incredibly busy, and flexible printing will help prevent printing from becoming an obstacle to doing business. Plus, you can define the message based on your target audience and print what you need when you need it.
|Category:||Business Insights, Helpful Tips and Ideas|
|Tags:||3 For All, business cards, calendar, holiday, holiday cards, invitations, marketing, networking, printing, signage, small business, The UPS Store franchise|