Summer is gone, and Autumn has a firm grip on the northern hemisphere. Halloween is just days away, hailing the beginning of the most significant promotional period of the year. Have you got your seasonal marketing strategy ready for it?
Product retailers would have us believe that Black Friday and all the other “Special Sale Days” are just for buying things. However, people are beginning to realise that experiences, not things, are what give our lives meaning. Services, events, and personal wellness are becoming more important than buying the latest tech gadget, or the lump-of-plastic toys for kids.
Seasonal Marketing Works for Services Too
While some service businesses have pretty even turnover year-round, other companies have the opportunity to boost their revenues at particular times significantly.
Seeing as Halloween is so very close, I’ll start with the autumn season of promotional hyperactivity. Some services don’t lend themselves to this period, but if you look at the consumer market for your services, the chances are that you can tap into a need that will peak about now.
Party season is beginning. It starts with Halloween, Thanksgiving (for the US, anyway) not far behind, and then it’s onto the Christmas party period. People want to look and feel good at parties, and while with their families.
Christmas is also the primary gifting period of the year, and as such is a perfect time to make a service, package or event an ideal present.
Following the festive period, you get the over-indulgence regret, and the “get my life in order” New Years Resolution crowd. There are even those in need of therapy sessions, to get over the stress of spending the holidays with family (it happens).
By the time Easter comes around, the life-enrichment types are looking for something to enhance their lives as the sun shines more brightly. Those who missed the New Years Resolutions but want a “beach-ready body”, and even the students who are finishing school, college or university that either want to add to their studies, or treat themselves to some much-needed downtime.
As Summer kicks into gear, and people start having their annual vacations, there are holiday preparations that step up a gear.
It doesn’t matter which industry you represent in the service sector; the chances are that you can reach your clients with some seasonal marketing that will bring them and their friends to your door.
Check out your client demographics and the life-cycle they navigate throughout the year.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, January Sales & Small Business Saturday
Have I missed any? According to Amazon, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday seem to last the entire length of November and well into the beginning of December. However, you don’t need to go that far to bring your clients back to you and to entice them to share your services with their friends and family.
This year, the Black Friday weekend promises to be the biggest ever. Conveniently, Black Friday comes on, or close to, the last payday before Christmas; compelling many to wait for the significant reductions available to do their Christmas shopping.
With that in mind, it’s an ideal time to market your giftable services.
Offering Service or Event Gifts
Offering Gift Cards is excellent; it means that your prospective new clients get to choose which of your services they use, and also it allows them to add that little bit extra if they wish. If you want, you can offer different gift card designs to match the specific festival.
Packaged gift services, mean that you can bundle complementary and related services and product add-ons into a single gift package. It’s a great way to introduce new clients to your lesser-known services and to get them hooked on your amazing related products.
Memberships are a great way to introduce new clients to your membership-level services. It doesn’t need to be for a full year or even six months, but if you couple gift membership with a discount voucher for renewal after the gift expires, you could be onto a winner.
Some Autumn and Winter Tips for Different Sectors
If you haven’t already planned your seasonal marketing strategy for the coming months here are just a few ideas that could benefit your business with a holiday-themed twist.
The beauty industry is active nearly all year round, but when the festive season comes around, you can guarantee that people want to feel good about their appearance.
- Halloween – Temporary hair dye for that costume party (without the risk of drastic mishaps) for a discounted price.
- Thanksgiving – Pre-festive restyles for hair, or a facial so that your skin looks fantastic over the dinner table.
- Christmas parties – Hair and make-up styling before the company party.
- New Year – Resolution for self-care, a package beauty treatments covering the next three months.
Sports & Fitness
There are times when you can really play on the mentality of your clients; others are less obvious. However, there are still times when you can pull in the customers with a well-aimed seasonal marketing strategy.
- Halloween – Do something that scares you – commit to the gym for the next two months and you won’t have to worry about festive weight gain.
- Thanksgiving – Too Much Turkey and Pumpkin Pie? Work off those extra pounds in time for Christmas – your body will thank you.
- Christmas – Gift the gift of fitness to your loved ones this year.
- New Year – Feeling heavy after the festive season? Get active and feel lighter again.
Health & Wellness
People feel the urge to take care of themselves after periods of stress or over-indulgence. Fost festive periods are ideal times to target this market.
- Thanksgiving – Were you hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this year? Destress with a 60-minutes full body massage for the price of 45 minutes
- Christmas – Give that special someone the gift of mindfulness with meditation training
- New Year – Start the new year with a plan for improving your health with a nutritionist consultation, initial consultation free
Education & Training
This period is not an ideal time to engage people in new learning and training. Usually, course semesters start in September and January, but that’s no reason not to offer short courses that start later.
- Halloween – Learn the history of Halloween with your friends.
- Thanksgiving – Be the perfect host and learn the secrets to cooking, serving, and creating the perfect Thanksgiving dinner
- Christmas – Give the gift of knowledge, book your loved one onto a course (obviously pick something they will like).
- New Year – Start the New Year learning a new skill.
Events & Entertainment
Let experiences and events shape the way families and friends interact and remember each other. It’s a great thing for parents too. Rather than being inundated with toys that get forgotten after a few weeks, parents are encouraging people to gift experiences that will last in the memories of the children. The great times we have together as adults are also important.
- Halloween – Scare yourselves silly in a terrifying escape room
- Thanksgiving – Take the stress out of hosting the family and get someone else to cook for you in a restaurant
- Christmas – Family portraits make a fabulous gift for far-flung relations
- New Year – Soften the blow of January blues, Go to the theatre as a family.
There are dozens of different personal services that can benefit from seasonal marketing, depending on the service and the seasonal twist you want to play.
- Halloween – Get a professional to design your party venue decorations.
- Thanksgiving – Want your home to sparkle before the family descends? Get a deep cleaner to scour your home before your in-laws arrive.
- Christmas – Can’t take your cat friend to your parents this year? We’ll take care of Kitty over Christmas and New year, and you only pay for six days.
- New Year – Start the New Year by reconnecting with your spiritual self.
How to do it?
Anyone already using the SimplyBook.me scheduling system knows that there are many different features you can use with a seasonal marketing strategy.
Packages mean that you can bundle services and products together. Gift cards that you can customise to your specific needs. Membership levels and classes that people can book.
Your ability to customise the platform means that you can even tweak the appearance of your booking website to reflect the festive event you’re marketing.
If you plan on marketing your services as gifts, your primary customers will be your existing clients. You can connect SimplyBook.me with an email marketing campaign manager, such as Mail Chimp, via Zapier and let all of your clients know about your gift services and packages.
When you start marketing your services as gifts, you can keep it up year-round, too. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other celebrated occasions happen all year through.
The benefit you receive is immense; all these extra clients and you still don’t need to put in the extra work to schedule them in because they will do it themselves.
Make sure to check back with us next year to see our ideas for Spring and Summer marketing.