11 ways to use your CRM for better follow-up during the holidays

Sara Korn

Updated: May 09, 2023 · 6 min read

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For small businesses, the holiday season presents (pun intended) an excellent opportunity to connect with leads and show your favorite clients how much you care. 

Whether you want to strengthen relationships with existing clients, convert new leads into clients, or warm up lukewarm relationships — or all of the above — follow-up is important. 

But the busy holiday season is often when it’s the hardest to find time to do the outreach you want to do. That’s where automation comes to the rescue. Using small business CRM and automation software like Keap, you can create a campaign once and then re-use it every holiday season, automatically. 

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Holiday hours

If your small business has a retail or office location, you probably have special hours during the holidays, and this provides a great reason to follow up with clients and prospects. Even if you operate your business remotely, you may have limited availability during the holiday season that you can let folks know about. 

And while you’re mentioning your limited availability, you can also present an end-of-year special offer.

2. Holiday greeting with personalized tips

Spice up the standard “Happy holidays, thank you for your business” email by providing some helpful tips. Better yet, personalize the tips based on your audience segments. 

For example, a pet grooming business can send an email to dog owners with tips for dogs, and cat tips to cat owners. This can be done quite easily using Keap by tagging contacts in the CRM as “dog owners” or “cat owners” and then building an automation that sends the correct email to each audience.

3. Holiday giveaway

During the season of giving, consider having a raffle to give away your products and services to a few lucky winners. 

For example, a coach might give away a coaching package or a membership in a group mastermind. An author/speaker/trainer could give away free copies of their latest book or membership in their flagship online course.

4. Charity drive

If you have a favorite charity, consider asking the people in your network to join you in supporting it, especially if the charity provides services to people in need at this time of year. Nearly all charities need additional donations at the end of the year, so your efforts could make a big difference.

5. Exclusive offer for existing clients

Show your appreciation for loyal clients by surprising them with a special offer. You could offer a discount, or add an extra item of value to a regular-priced purchase. If you have digital products, these make for great giveaways and discounts because they don’t cost you very much to fulfill, yet can be of high value to clients.

6. Referral discount

If you need to start the new year off with a source of fresh new leads, consider asking your existing clients for referrals. 

You can provide a discount or freebie in exchange for a referral, or simply ask for referrals as part of the holiday spirit of helping out people in need. Choose whatever approach feels most authentic to you. 

Pro Tip: Once you’ve found a referral program that works, automate it using Keap’s small business automation software so that referral requests go out automatically throughout the year. This “set it and forget it” approach allows you to create a steady flow of referrals all year long!

7. End-of-year upsell offer

Upsell existing clients on a product or service they haven’t yet purchased. You can offer special end-of-year pricing, and position it as an opportunity to start the new year off right. 

The best CRMs for small business will allow you to segment your audience to send customized messages to different customers. For example, people who have purchased your online course could get an offer for a coaching package, and your coaching clients could get an offer for your course. 

8. Highlight client successes

The holidays are the perfect time to express your gratitude for your clients and all you’ve accomplished together this year. 

By sharing customer success stories in your holiday follow-up email, you make the focus of the message about them and how you’ve helped them. Focusing your message on your audience rather than yourself is a great way to make messages impactful at any time of year.

9. Inspiration or tips

Do you love inspirational quotes, or moving stories of overcoming challenges? Maybe you enjoy providing creative gift ideas or tips for holiday entertaining. Perhaps you discovered a new approach that has helped you save time this year or improve your relationships. 

Whatever you’re passionate about, share it. The holidays are a time of giving, and sometimes the best gifts for others are the ones you love to give.

10. New Year’s resolutions and resources

Share your New Year’s resolutions and what you’re excited about for the coming year. Then ask your customers to reply and tell you about theirs. This provides an opening for you to have a conversation about how your services might help them achieve their resolutions.

Pro tip: Also share what you’re apprehensive about: What obstacles or challenges do you fear might keep you from achieving your goals in the new year? Showing vulnerability makes it safe for your community to share their own challenges, and that can be important if your products and services are designed to help people overcome obstacles to their goals. 

11. Pricing update

If you’re planning to raise prices in the new year, consider giving your clients and prospects an opportunity to pre-purchase services now at the current prices, and then use the services now or in the future. Many savvy small businesses use this tactic to fill up bookings early in the new year while bolstering revenue for the current year.

Whatever your holiday follow-up strategy, we highly recommend using Keap’s small business CRM and marketing automation software to streamline and automate your email campaigns

Sign up now for a 14-day free trial, and test it out on your holiday emails. The free trial comes with free in-app support and Keap Academy offers free marketing automation training, so you’ve got plenty of support in your corner.

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