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8 Killer Last Minute Holiday Marketing Ideas

By Renuka Prasanna on Oct 31, 2022

We mentioned in a previous article that 43% of people start holiday shopping before Halloween. For that reason, we recommended planning your holiday marketing strategy well in advance. But that doesn’t mean that these same people and others aren’t still shopping well into December For those people, you need last minute holiday marketing ideas. Even after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is still quite a lot of business to be had.

When trying to get last minute holiday business, focus on making things as easy as possible on your customers. That includes everything from helping to choose the gift to making sure it arrives on time.

Following are holiday marketing ideas you can implement well into December.

1. Update Business Listings (Holiday Edition)

Make sure your business listings such as your Google Business Profile is up to date with your holiday hours. They should feature any holiday events and sales you may be having and relevant website holiday landing pages. Include information about special shipping deals, delivery service and the like.

2. Create Gift Guides

Gift Guides are a great idea throughout the holiday shopping season, but they are particularly helpful for those who have left their shopping to the last minute. You can make gift guides available on your website, in your physical store, through email and on social media.

Suggest gifts that are popular according to demographics such as stunning gifts for Mom, fun gifts for kids who are 8 to 10 years old, etc.

And don’t forget that people buy for themselves at the holidays. This is the time of year where many people are attending or hosting gatherings. They may be looking for party clothes, Christmas table decorations and the like.

3. Set the Tone

Buying decisions are usually heavily influenced by emotions. So, to get people into the holiday spirit, be sure both your website and your brick and mortar store (if you have one) reflect the season. This is a time to think about family and friends, a time for fuzzy feelings.

People often embrace a celebratory mindset at the holidays. Why wander into a mundane looking shop or website when others await offering glittery holiday attractions and decorations?

Finally, holiday decorations and themes tell people your location is a good one to find the perfect gifts.

When you are decorating, keep in mind that people celebrate a variety of holidays in December: Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa often are at the approximately same time each year. Don’t limit your last minute holiday marketing ideas and decorations to Christmas.

4. Consider Free or Expedited Shipping

There may be nothing more important to holiday shopping than being certain the gift arrives before the big day. If a gift arrives the day after Christmas, it almost might as well not arrive at all.

Those shopping in December are running out of time. They are ready to buy. So, make it easy for them and offer them what you can to push them over the edge to pressing the “Purchase” button.

If it works for your margins, consider offering either free shipping or a good deal on expedited shipping. And very clearly post “ship by” dates not only on your shipping page but throughout your website. This is critical for customers who order online and want to have the gift in hand when they go to Grandma’s for Christmas dinner as well as those who buy at a physical store (or online) but want to have the gift shipped to Aunt Susie who lives out of state.

5. Offer Holiday Gift Baskets

You don’t have to be Pepperidge Farms to offer gift baskets. Many retail businesses can offer special bundles that are festive and celebratory.

Your gift baskets need not be traditional or involve fruitcake. Here are a few examples:

  • Comfort basket with slippers, comfortable robe, sleeping mask, white noise machine
  • Gym bag made festive with decorations that contains a gym membership, workout clothes, towel, rubber exercise bands, small weights and book of stretches
  • Pet basket with items for the recipient’s dog or cat such as treats, brushes and toys
  • Romantic basket with silk sheets, two crystal wine glasses, chocolate, bottle of wine
  • Three or more different types of coffee, French press, two coffee mugs, biscotti
  • Really any related items where you can create a theme

6. Create Social Media Contests to Foster User-Generated Content

Create some fun give-away contests on social media in the days counting up to Christmas and Hanukkah.  This is a wonderful way to engage your customers and encourage them to post content that promotes your brand. Tell your customers about your contests on social media, email and your website.

Here’s some ideas for people to post photos or videos on their social media accounts with the brand hashtags you designate:

  • Worst gift you ever received story
  • Best gift you ever received story
  • Wackiest family holiday tradition
  • Ugliest Christmas sweater
  • Best Christmas cookie recipe
  • Best snowperson
  • Most elegant decorated Christmas tree, most original, most fun, etc.

What’s the prize? Maybe you could offer the choice of a few different prizes as a way of displaying some of your popular products. Or maybe you could run a contest every week until the holiday and offer a specific prize from your inventory each week.

7. Tie Your Products and Services to the Coming New Year if Possible

If you have a business where you could tie some of your products to the coming New Year, December is the time. Perhaps offer a discount or package what you are selling in a way that your customers won’t see once the holidays are over.

Do you sell something that could be connected to New Year’s resolutions such as healthy food, gym memberships or the like? Package it as in the example already given of a gym bag filled with a gym membership and related items in the Holiday Basket section of this article. Include a banner or a note that says something to the effect of “Merry Christmas! Here’s to New Year’s Resolutions!”

8. Offer Deals For Last Minute Christmas Shoppers

Special offers and deals are a time-honored way to bring in a lot of business in a short amount of time, and we would be remiss not to include this in our last minute holiday marketing ideas. Is there something you can do offer only at this time of year?

Consider a just before Christmas blow-out sale. This could offer discounts in some cases and special offers in others. For example, for every purchase above a certain amount, or perhaps tied to the purchase of a particular product, you could offer a small gift or service for the buyer themselves. That can be more attractive than saving money for the buyer who would enjoy a little treat!

Send coupons or an online discount code to your VIP customers through email. Determine if you want them to be used throughout the season or only on specific days.

An alternative holding an all-store sale or giving a general discount is to offer a really great deal on a specific item each day, and make sure your customers know about what’s coming up through email, your website and social media. This can help engage your base, because they are looking for the next great deal.

Need Help with Last Minute Holiday Marketing Ideas?

These are just a few ideas for your December holiday marketing. There is much more that can be done between now and Christmas including Black Friday strategies.

Contact Umbrella Local to discuss how we can help you beat out your competition and increase your profits during the holiday shopping season.

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