This is part 2 of a 3 part online holiday marketing special guest post series.

Holiday specials will boost your sales dramatically. They will satisfy your existing customers, as well as get you many new ones. Regardless of what you’re selling, during the holiday season you should be able to spice up your offers with specials. Here are a few essential holiday marketing strategies to consider.

  • Offer free shipping for all orders, or at least for orders that exceed a certain amount. People love free shipping, especially when it’s offered by international shops that sell their products to a global audience. For best results, add deadlines to your free shipping offer, to build a sense of urgency.
  • Gift-wrap products for free. You can do this if you sell small products such as books, music albums, DVDs, jewelry, body-care products, clothes, and so on. Ideally, you will want to let customers choose from several gift-wraps.
  • Make available a free shopping guide on your site. Many customers tend to get stressed out during holiday shopping. Finding the right gifts for friends and relatives can be tricky. Help them out by creating a special section on your site accessible through the main navigation menu, titled Shopping Guide, or something similar.
  • Offer special deals such as buy 2 and get 1 free. Of course, you can’t do this if you’re selling home appliances. But if you’re selling e-books or T-shirts, it’s easy to pull off.
  • Feature vouchers and other promotional codes that offer 5% or 10% discounts – or more if you can afford it – for orders placed within a certain interval. Distribute these codes through your social media networks, guest blog posts, email newsletters, and partner websites or blogs. Put deadlines on these discounts, to urge customers to buy right away.
  • Offer substantial discounts to select product categories in your store, by rotation. Let’s say you’re selling books. Offer a daily discount of say 20% for certain bookshelves: Monday cut Crime Fiction prices, Tuesday cut Romance prices, and so on.
  • Create product packages and sell them for a discount. For example, if you’re selling music albums, create a Johnny Cash collection with all his releases in your store, and make it available at a special price.
  • Make available free downloads such as e-books. You can trade social media likes or shares for free downloads. Ask customers to like your homepage or a specific product page, and once they press like, unlock the download for them. There are plug-ins for all major content management systems that let you do this.
  • Implement a rewards system. Major wholesale shops often excel at this. They give customers shopping points for every product they purchase, and then offer discounts, special deals, or even free products once customers accumulate a certain amount of points. Custom reward systems work best with shops that sell small and cheap products, like books or DVDs.

Use your creativity to come up with outstanding holiday specials, and customers will flock to your site. What’s important to keep in mind is that you have to offer as many specials as often as possible, and to add deadlines to them, to make them urgent.

The final part in this series will be about practical online marketing tips.

About the Author:

Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100 Live Chat, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication. Find Kevin on Google+ to find out more about him.