The Five Most Effective End-of-Year Marketing Initiatives

It’s October. That means raking leaves, football, and cooler weather. In business, you are most likely planning on how to boost revenue for the 4th quarter, maximize your 2011 marketing budget, and set yourself up for success in 2012. It’s a busy time for us all.

Over the past fifteen years, I’ve had the privilege of helping marketers figure out how to get the best results in the final three months of the year. Here’s my top five list of initiatives that have helped our clients finish the year strong.

1. Email Campaigns

Consumers like to spend money during November and December. In 2010, the average consumer spent $689 during these months on holiday related shopping alone. Businesses spend more too, distributing profits and budgets to prepare for Uncle Sam.

Email Campaigns are the holiday champion of marketing. Big retailers start their holiday campaigns in late October and stay strong through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and even after the New Year. (In 2010, retailers on average sent 3.2 emails per week!)

Use email to increase sales with strong incentives and coupons, tell customers about new features on your website, introduce new products, and survey your customers. There’s no better time to promote your company through email than now.

2. Catalogs, Circulars and Direct Mail

Do you think that your customers don’t pick up the mail anymore? If so, consider this: Forrester Research found nearly 40% of consumers make their buying decision with a catalog, circular or direct mail piece in hand. Direct mail drives customers to spend nearly $300 billion on eCommerce sites and nearly $650 billion in brick-and-mortar stores from October through December alone.

Simply put: consumers use catalogs and direct mail to cut through the clutter and pre-shop, whether online or in-store. Produce an end of the year catalog or direct mail piece packed with information, incentives, coupons and special offers to entice customers to spend their money with you.

3. Update Your Website

According to the Direct Marketing Association, nearly 85% of consumers go online to your company‘s website to learn about your company before they spend money. Having an up-to date website featuring your latest products, services and promotions is one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with your customers.

From website updates to full redesigns, every $1 invested in your website brings $4-$8 in return within a 6-month period. Never let your website become stale, for it is truly the hub of your online marketing presence. In fact, studies show that industry-leading companies refresh their website every 9-14 months.

4. Customer & Employee Appreciation Gifts

Your past customers and employees hold the key to your success. On average, past customers are seven times more likely to purchase from you than prospective customers, and typically tell 5.2 people each time they have a positive experience with your company. In addition, marketing to past customers offers the most profitable return on investment for your marketing dollars since acquisition costs are much less than they are when courting new customers.

Don’t forget to thank the people that keep your business running, too. Surveyed employees perennially say ‘Appreciation and Recognition’ as their #1 desire from their employers – far outpacing ‘Better Pay and Benefits’.

So, why not thank your customers for doing business with your company, and thank your employees for their hard work? Branded gifts like clothing, desktop accessories, drinkware, portfolios and tote bags last all year and remind your customers and employees that they are part of a team that cares. Plan early so that your end of year efforts aren’t rushed.

5. Banner Ads

When you consider the ability to send relevant information and offers to consumers where they surf online, banner ads are a powerful tool to build awareness and drive traffic to your website. By creating various types of ads and placing them on specific websites visited by your customers, you can instantly find out how many people are seeing your ad, interacting with it, and then clicking to visit your website.

The key to a successful banner ad program is in the analysis of each ad’s performance. Since traffic statistics are compiled in real-time, it’s easy to see which sites are delivering traffic to your website, and which ones aren’t. And, with today’s trends towards interactive, rich-media banners, you can fit a lot of information into each ad – powerfully building your brand every time your customers go online.

No matter what’s left in your marketing budget, banner ads can be an extremely effective way to deliver end-of-year results and get your brand in front of potential customers.

The bottom line is that wise marketing investments at the end of the year can compliment your regular marketing programs, deliver a boost in sales, reduce your tax burden, and set yourself up for success in 2012. Synapse has the talent and ideas to create end of the year initiatives that deliver real, measurable results.

Exclusive Offer

Contact us today and mention this Report to get 10% off any of the end of year marketing initiatives listed in this Report. You must contact us by 10/31/2011 to receive this exclusive offer.

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