Sales increases, fun marketing messages, and exciting promotions aren’t just for retailers. If you run a service-based business, your bottom-line can benefit from the holidays, too!
The key is creativity and the goal is to find a way to make your service giftable, solve common holiday problems, or embrace the holiday spirit in a unique way. Ready for some inspiration to get you started?
Reconnect with clients
Do you receive dozens of holiday cards each year from people you haven’t heard from since last season? It’s common to reach out to friends and relatives with updates on your family’s annual adventures.
You can do the same with your company — if you serve people, you’re in the relationship business. Dust off your client list and put it to work!
You don’t have to include a coupon or catchy sales language. Instead, write a warm message and consider including a small gift or token to help clients remember their work with you. People expect and appreciate holiday cards, and with good timing and the right message, they’ll open people’s minds to working with you again.
You might give your best customers an actual gift — a basket full of local goods, a bag of high-end coffee, or a personalized notebook — but you can also send thousands of holiday-themed postcards pretty inexpensively. The physical nature is a nice touch, especially during COVID-19, and is more likely to be noticed than an email. Someone who’s been ignoring your other messages just might see you with new eyes!
Turn services into gifts
You might normally provide a service that people buy for themselves. But these same people would probably love for their friends to pick up the tab as a holiday gift. Or they might want to give your services to loved ones. You might inspire this kind of action with a marketing message like, “Enjoy our service? So will your friends. Treat someone you love this season.”
To make your services more “giftable,” think about how you can create packages that are easily consumable and within a reasonable budget. If you sell car washes, you might make a package of three washes for $27. Or if you’re a cosmetologist, you could sell gift cards, but it would be even more fun to offer, “six months of fabulous hair!”
People love to give physical items because they imagine what it will be like to see the recipient’s face light up when they open their gift. So, without something to open, people might hesitate to buy your service as a gift card.
Gift cards are still a great fall-back, but to make them more appealing, you might include additional physical items as a “sweetener.”
If you sell car washes, create a package of five washes and include a gift box with a tire-shine spray and air freshener to use between washes.
Keep the following tips in mind when creating your gift packages:
- Make it easy: Create packages that are pre-wrapped and ready to go.
- Turn it into an experience: Tie in a physical element to make services feel more like a gift.
- Go the extra mile: Add extra value to your services to help gift givers imagine the “wow!” experience.
Focus on solving holiday-related problems or reducing stress
The holidays are a lot of fun, but they can also bring a wave of stress over people and organizations looking to complete long to-do lists for shopping, decorating, cooking, and more.
If you can pivot your service to complete holiday tasks, like turning your landscape company into a holiday-light-hanging company, your move might be pretty clear. But what other ways can companies adjust?
If you sell dry cleaning services, you could market to folks with a desire to look great for holiday photos. If you’re a car detailer, you might point out that customers want their vehicle to look its best for visiting in-laws.
But your company may not be able to pivot its services to meet seasonal needs or market the same services to solve common holiday problems. Instead, focus your marketing on how you can free up people’s time to get more holiday tasks done or enjoy the holiday spirit around them.
Do you simplify office tasks or home chores? If you’re a mobile pet groomer, you not only save customers time, you also make beloved companions look extra adorable for photo ops.
Sponsor holiday events or support local causes
If making your service giftable is a stretch and you can’t solve common holiday problems, you can still attach your brand to the good will of the season. Seek opportunities that support causes tied to your company’s mission or the audience you serve. Participate in fundraisers, virtual events, projects with a monetary donation, or mobilize your employees as volunteers.
If you have a convenient physical location (and COVID safety protocols allow for it) offer your lobby to serve as a drop-off location for a toy or food drive.
No matter what you do, your business can support holiday activities (physical or virtual) to spread cheer while doing good and promoting your business — the ultimate win-win-win!
Bundle services with something people want to gift
Commiting to another year of professional accounting service might not seem like it can be tied into the holidays, but what if a signup bonus included five $20 gift cards?
If you’re marketing to business owners, they have a lot of holiday shopping to take care of — not just for their family and friends, but often for employees and clients. By packaging a set of gift cards, they get a service they need anyways (accounting) and they can keep the bonus for themselves or pass it on as a gift.
Sell home cleaning services? Offer a holiday wreath with the purchase of an extra cleaning.
Provide dry cleaning? Offer a free, gift-wrapped tie with the purchase of next year’s services.
Don’t let retail have all the fun
Creativity is an essential ingredient for success in business, and that spark of inspiration can provide a holiday boost for almost any company. Whether you offer a new service, show people how your regular service can help them enjoy other aspects of the season, make your service giftable, or tie in bonuses as part of a special sale, don’t let the season pass you by without getting into the spirit of it all!