Holiday Marketing: How to Keep it Simple for You & Your Customers

By Maria Peagler

Nov 05

Welcome to November — the busy holiday social media marketing season is upon us!

Are you ready?

Most small business owners say they feel overwhelmed when it comes to social media, and they have no idea where to start with so many social networks to choose from.

So I’m going to make it dead-simple for you to do easy holiday marketing that doesn’t exhaust you and your resources.

2012 Holiday Case Study

Let’s take a look at a case study from here at Socialmediaonlineclasses from the 2012 holiday season.  I ran a promotion called the 12 Days of Christmas Bonuses; the goal being attracting new members during a typically slow month of December (people aren’t thinking about doing online training. They’re shopping for family members enjoying holiday parties).

I offered a new bonus everyday for 12 days.  It required a lot of work on my part, as I developed the majority of the bonuses myself, including a 12-page Unique Value Proposition Blueprint, a 5-Minute Facebook Marketing Plan spreadsheet and much more.

I also wrote two blog posts for each bonus: one was the marketing post that described the bonus and encouraged visitors to register, while the second post delivered the bonus.

I began developing the bonuses in November and the promotion ran through mid-December.

What were the results?


The 12 Days of Christmas Bonuses didn’t generate a significant groundswell of new memberships.  After the holiday season was over, I knew that was not a program that I would repeat.  Too much work for too little ROI.

2013 Summer Case Study

Fast forward to the summer of 2013: again it’s a slow season for online training because people are on vacation at the beach, driving cross-country with their families, and spending time together.  Online learning takes a backseat during the summer months.

I tried a dead-simple  promotion:  a 12-hour Flash Sale.

I drastically reduced the price of an Annual Membership by 60%, I promoted it on my blog with only one blog post (instead of the 24 posts for the 12 Days of Christmas Bonuses), and blanketed my social media marketing channels with the promotion for just one day.

The result?

My best sales day ever!

I generated significantly more revenue from a simple 12-hour promotion then from a 12-day promotion.

Why did it work so well?

Reason #1:  People love a discount.  Visitors already connected to SMOC (a FB fan, LI connection, on my email list, etc) who were considering signing up did so because they saw a huge discount.

Reason #2:  Scarcity.  Offering the sale for only 12 hours created a huge motivation to act now.

Reason #3: Trust.   I had already built-up trust and credibility with these potential members, so when they saw a huge opportunity, they acted on it immediately.  They didn’t need to check out my reputation.

Your Action Items

My recommendations for you?

  • Keep your holiday social media marketing simple.
  • Don’t make people think or jump through hoops to get your offer
  • Start early:  Black Friday is the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.  Make your offer earlier so you don’t have to compete the Black Friday messages. members:   you’ll be getting my Holiday Social Media Marketing kit, making your social media so much simpler!  It’s a graphics pack, a timeline cover, and 10 posts (with images) for the holiday season to increase your engagement and your leads.


About the Author

Founder of, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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(2) comments

Barb Wiseberg November 5, 2013

Maria, thank you for this relevant information. In Canada, Thanksgiving season is now past, and both online and storefront retailers are in full Xmas mode.

Marketers here have the luxury of 7 weeks to promote their products and services, which creates its own challenges.

Taking a cue from the daily deal industry, your flash sale promotion worked tremendously well. I am looking forward to the Holiday Social Media Marketing kit.

ps – did you know that this year, US Thanksgiving and Chanukah both land on Nov 28, for the first time in 77,000 year. Thanksgivukkah is creating a host of unique promotions for some savvy companies :).

    Maria Peagler November 6, 2013

    Barb –
    Wow! Didn’t know that about Thanksgiving and Hannakuh. That’s definitely a big opportunity. 🙂

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