Three small business automation ideas for the holidays

Updated: Nov 30, 2022 · 5 min read

Holiday cookies

If you sell toys or holiday decorations, your small business is probably thriving this time of year. But if your products or services don’t relate to the holiday season, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the year’s busiest time to buy.

These days, websites are just as likely as retail stores to reap the benefits of the season: Almost half of holiday shopping takes place online, according to the National Retail Federation. No matter what you sell, automation software like Keap can help you grow your business and drive sales more efficiently and strategically.

Let’s dive into the why, when and how to use sales and marketing automation to make this season your most successful yet.

The benefits of automation for your small business

If setting up automation sounds like just another item on an already long holiday to-do list, consider how it can help your small business grow.

Stay top of mind with clients

When you walk into a retail store, there’s usually an employee who greets you at the door, or when you’re walking around and asks if they can help you with anything. Your clients, even virtually, need that same greeting to get to know your business better, and they need that welcome message immediately.

By scheduling automated emails, you can start the conversation with clients and keep it going, all while you work on other aspects of your business. Automation software also helps you respond immediately to prospective client inquiries with personalized, ready-to-go follow-up messages.

Regarding staying top of mind during the holidays, Adobe reported more than $204 billion in online sales during the 2021 holiday season, expecting a 2.5 percent growth in online sales year-over-year. Customers act on those emails, too: 59 percent of adults say email influenced their decisions to make a purchase. Once the holidays are over, automated emails help you stay in touch with clients into the new year and beyond.

Save time

November and December are busy months for just about every business. Automating emails and tasks helps you work more efficiently with your limited time. It also helps keep your business running when you leave early for a holiday party or take a week off to spend time with your family, so you don’t feel guilty about stepping away from your computer.

A “contact us” form on your website, created by smart client management software like Keap, can automate lead collection and responses while you’re away. A prospect completes the form by entering their name and email address, and the automation software issues an email reply immediately. The response is a prewritten template, but it can sound like you just fired it off.

Continue the celebration

Establishing automated campaigns for the holidays requires set-up time. Fortunately, “holiday” doesn’t have to be exclusive to events in November and December. Many automated campaigns can be repurposed for other events throughout the year, celebrating the start of summer, company milestones, or customer account signups. Plus, you can use the same campaigns next November and December by updating some of the email verbiage and images.

Top 3 ways small businesses can automate holiday tasks

From offering promotions to tracking down abandoned shopping carts, business automation software can take care of your behind-the-scenes holiday tasks, ensuring that you never let a prospective client fall through the cracks. Plus, more time and leads mean more growth for your business — just in time to take advantage of the busiest sales season of the year.

Here are three ideas to automate your holiday messages:

1. Respond quickly to new inquiries

Automation ensures you’re never too busy to respond to prospective clients. When a client completes a web form, automation software replies with a pre-written response. In addition to a greeting, include information that might be particularly useful during the holidays, whether it’s a link to your most popular products or answers to frequently asked questions about holiday gifts or shipping details.

2. Tailor emails to your clients

Even if your target market this season is “everyone,” you can still benefit from using automation software to segment your list of clients. Separating clients into groups — men and women, for example, or people who live in one part of town versus another — allows you to create tailored messages that stand out amid the holiday hoopla. Consider segmenting your list based on purchase history, using software to apply tags to contacts that have and have not purchased from you.

Contacts who aren’t yet clients could receive emails introducing your company and holiday offerings, while emails to existing clients can be written in a more familiar tone. You might refer clients to the products or services they’ve purchased in the past or make recommendations for complementary products. While segmentation helps your emails resonate now, it also leads to additional findings about your clients’ interests that can inform your future marketing efforts to nurture and strengthen your relationship with your clients.

3. Offer a holiday promotion

Holiday shopping has become synonymous with offers and discounts, especially during the promotional bonanza that is the weekend after Thanksgiving, known as BFCM, or Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Outside of those two main deal days, you can also highlight your business on Small Business Saturday, celebrated the day after Black Friday.

Cyber Monday is the top day for online shopping, according to Statista. Small Business Saturday ranks fourth.

  1. Cyber Monday ($6.59 billion)
  2.  Black Friday ($5.03 billion)
  3. Thanksgiving ($2.87 billion)
  4.  Small Business Saturday ($2.43 billion)
  5. The day before Thanksgiving ($1.8 billion)
  6.  Veteran’s Day ($1.3 billion)

Consider the timing of your automated emails and promotions to coincide with the holiday season’s busiest times.

Don’t wait for customers to realize they need to restock and slowly come around to making the purchase. Be proactive by automating prompts for future sales.

Start Automating Your Holiday Promotions

With Keap’s small business CRM and sales and marketing automation software, you can easily set up your holiday promotion within minutes. Keap’s proven growth framework, expert coaching, in-depth training, outstanding support, and dedicated community of small business owners can help you quickly grow your business to the next level.

Ready to jump in and get clients excited about your holiday promotion? Start your 14-day free trial today.

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