Here we are on the eve of the vast Holiday season, where fun, frivolity and the collective shooing of over-served relatives will soon be heard throughout the land. In the midst of this, traffic in the home, increased system usage and changing of the seasons will equate to more in-home service calls… for the 873rd year in a row.
What marketing messages work best during the holidays? Here are a few tips to get the egg-nog flowing…
- Rebates, cash, tax incentives – Use these extensively from November through January, focusing heavily on either “Cash Back for the Holidays” rebates and/or tax incentives for replacements, urging compliance for this year’s tax credit.
- Seasonally-Effective Guarantees – Many people “put off” having contractors come into their decorated homes or adding to the general discord. Thus, offer “We’ll leave your home as clean – or cleaner – than we found it or pay you $100 cash.” Stands out, very effective. Leads will greatly outpace your unwarranted concern that homeowners will take advantage.
- Creative Discounts – Before the season hits hard, offer discounts that support “savings” toward Holiday cash needs. This means to “tie” the savings you’re offering into helping pay for other gifts such as, “How to Turn This Postcard into an iPad.” That one is new for us this year, but clients have successfully used variations on this for years. We’ve also done well with, “Have a Repair Free Holiday!” which introduces the Maintenance Agreement program.
- Publicity, Charitable Giving – Call your local Habitat for Humanity and inquire about upcoming participatory projects. Alternatively, call your television news for same, telling either you’d like to get involved. If you’re granted air time, make sure of 3 things: 1) Thank the other volunteers, 2) Encourage other service businesses and individuals to help out, 3) Wear company attire with a company truck nearby. “Good heart marketing” is real; people are naturally attracted to support those who support others.
- “Thanks” – If you can only do one of these, do this one. Every year, I urge contractors to do this: to be a guaranteed standout, send a unique Holiday Card (not the same cartoony junk everybody’s sick of) with a nice “thankful” message or a little humor. Also, consider adding a web address on your card so customers can easily access your website.
- Video Cards – In addition to your Holiday Card, you can make a short video from your company to post on YouTube. Sing a holiday song, no matter how poorly, or just thank customers for being your customers. If it’s especially heartwarming or funny, you can bet that the link will get forwarded well beyond your customer base. Put the link to this video in your email signature and in your Holiday Cards for more exposure.
Bottom Line: The holidays are full of opportunities to get out front and stay there. Don’t waste this built-in opportunity to generate leads, goodwill and future sales. I promise you, if you retreat during the holidays, you’ll have more “Silent Nights” than you ever wanted. Get bold, get creative, have fun.