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Column Marketing & Sales

Holiday Marketing Promotions


Since the holiday season is upon us, most of us have probably already thought about marketing with a holiday theme. My question has always been, is it worth it? Or will my promotion just blend in with all the other millions of holiday specials out there vying for the attention of the buying public?

The famous marketing principle from Robert Collier gave me my answer: “Enter the conversation ALREADY (currently) occurring in your prospects’/clients’ mind.” For those of you who may have never heard of Robert Collier, he was an American author of self-help books in the early 20th century and a marketing and copy-writing guru. His ideas inspired Rhonda Byrne, the author of the popular metaphysical book “The Secret.”

Collier’s quote reminds me of what I have heard every expert say about Facebook: “You are already being talked about on Facebook, so you might as well join the conversation.”

The holiday is just the excuse, or the hook, to hang your promotion hat on. Everybody is thinking about the holidays, and when a holiday includes the act of gift giving, you are home free. Thinking of a gift is half the battle of successful giving, so if we can inspire the idea, then we have probably won the battle.

In short, I am confirming that holiday promotions are worth every ounce of energy you put into them. However, you will only get lost in the fray of other holiday promotions if you are not energetic in your approach. So now the question becomes, how to be energetic?

Keep your promotion simple. It does not have to be a discount, but it does have to offer a benefit or at least a good reason to purchase now, rather than at another time.

Holiday promotion ideas:

Gift certificates for services: full price or discounted.
Packages of services for slightly reduced fees.
Buy one, get one.
Trial memberships for members to gift to friends and family.
Free trial sessions for services, to upsell later.
Package a membership discount with a free service.
Package a 3 or 6-month gift membership.
Offer gift cards for any monetary amount to be used on any services (including membership fees if you want).

Make the purchasing of the promotions attractive and easy.

Create a three-dimensional presentation for your holiday promotion that is attention getting. For example, line your front desk with gift bags full of tissue paper with bows on them. As you sell each gift certificate or gift item, place it directly in the gift bag and give it to the member. This makes the purchase easy and gift wrapped all in one step.

Another idea is to create a “Hint List” which is a list of gift options that can be purchased. The member completes the list with their choices and indicates whom they want to be told. Your sales staff can then call that person and suggest that they buy one of the gifts and e-mail a gift certificate, or set aside the gift for later pick up if they purchase over the phone. The Hint List can be promoted with signage, e-mail blasts and list cards throughout the club that are turned in at the front desk.

Another way to create urgency is to post a large countdown on a Christmas Calendar in a high traffic area of your club, to create a way to keep moving the date forward. This way, every time it is seen, it will serve as a reminder to buy those last-minute or forgotten gifts.

The overarching message here is to be involved in the discussion that your members are having, whether it be holidays, seasons or new products or services. Stay current and appeal to what is already going on in their heads and utilize it for your marketing whenever possible.

Linda Mitchell is the director of marketing, public relations and charitable giving for Newtown Athletic Club in Newtown, Penn. She can be reached via e-mail at linda@newtownathletic.com.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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