Top 5 Holiday Promotions You Can Automate Today

Sara Korn

Updated: Dec 12, 2023 · 12 min read

Holiday Promotion

Boost sales fast by creating and automating a promotional sale around an upcoming holiday.

Why Every Business Should Run Holiday Promotions

Holiday sales are a win-win for small businesses and their customers.

For businesses, they’re an opportunity to:

  • Offer a promotion when customers are more open to buying
  • Create a sense of urgency by tying the sales deadline to the holiday
  • Boost sales in a short period of time, especially during slow periods
  • Fill your schedule with billable work or sell off excess inventory
  • Sell larger bundles or high-ticket items with an attractive discount
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Drive repeat sales from past customers

Customers value and even look forward to holiday sales because they:

  • Have time off on the holiday to shop
  • Are in a festive mood and looking to treat themselves with purchases
  • Are looking for sales to help them save money on things they want
  • Appreciate businesses that celebrate the same holidays they do

The tried-and-true promotions in this guide work with any holiday, such as:

  • Major national holidays (President’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Boxing Day)
  • Holidays with a smaller-but-growing adoption (Galentine’s Day, Friendsgiving)
  • Commercial holidays (Black Friday, Cyber Monday)
  • Personalized holidays (your founder’s birthday, business anniversary)
  • Appreciation days (school supply shopping day, national coffee appreciation day)

Any occasion can be an opportunity for a thoughtful and creative promotion.

5 Holiday promotion ideas for small business

Holiday promotions can work for any business, but we’ve tailored the examples here to focus on small service-based businesses selling high-ticket items—like coaching and consulting packages—and one-to-many programs such as online courses and masterminds.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to easily and quickly launch five of the most effective types of promotions:

  1. Buy One Get One (BOGO)
  2. Flash Sale
  3. Dollar Off or Percentage Discount
  4. Bundle Sale
  5. Charitable Cause Sale

Use your imagination and you can easily tailor these promotions to your business, and to the holiday itself.

Let’s dive right in!

Buy One Get One (BOGO)

As the name suggests, a BOGO sale is when a customer can buy one product and get a second one free (usually of equal or lesser value).

A BOGO promotion is great if you need to:

  • Sell off excess inventory or book a lot of consultations
  • Get customers of one product/service to try a new offer
  • Quickly ramp up sales of a digital product
  • Entice prospects who are “on the fence” to give you a try

Buyers like BOGOs because of the huge discount, but as a business owner you need to make sure you don’t give away too much and end up losing money. You can do that by:

  • Limiting the number of purchases
  • Get customers of one product/service to try a new offer
  • Only offering items that you have excess inventory of

BOGO Examples

For a coach who needs to fill their calendar with paying clients:

Buy one month of coaching, get the second month free!

Hurry—This offer is limited to the first 10 clients who purchase.

For an author who wants to boost sales of their second book:

BOGO sale: Buy my bestseller and get my second book FREE

(Great for gift-giving!)

For a course creator looking to boost sales fast with a sweet offer:

Buy one course, get the second free

Use the second course yourself or gift it to a friend!

For a marketing consultant who wants their one-on-one clients to try their new mastermind:

Buy our SEO consulting package and get a FREE 6-month mastermind membership!

Only available until midnight on Monday, or while supplies last. Only 10 spots available.

Flash Sale

All sales should have a limited-time offer to create a sense of urgency, but a flash sale takes it to the next level by limiting the sale to one day or even just a few hours. Flash sales usually offer better discounts than regular sales.

Flash sales are ideal if you want to:

  • Give a steep discount but limit quantities
  • Generate a lot of excitement and sales in a very short period of time
  • Sell a lot of a single item quickly

Holidays are perfect for flash sales because there’s already a built-in deadline in the form of the day of the holiday.

Flash Sale Examples

For a course creator looking to fill an upcoming course quickly:

50% off XYZ Course – Ends at midnight tonight!

Plus: All self-paced courses available at 30% off

For a service business needing a cash flow boost now, but with delivery spread out over time:

$100 off all services booked this weekend

Buy now, redeem later: Pick the service you want, schedule it when you’re ready

For an author wanting to boost book sales and get in front of new readers:

24-hour flash sale: All books only $9.99!

Tell your friends and family to take advantage of this limited-time offer

For a coach seeking to book VIP days and get more people taking their on-demand course:

Flash sale: Book a VIP Day and get a course free!

Choose the topic you need most right now: Time Management, Strategy Refresh, Hiring Essentials, or 5 other topics small business owners need to know.

Dollar Off or Percentage Discount

Offer a dollar amount (ex: $50 off) or percentage (ex: 25% off) discount that is attractive enough to nudge prospects into buying.

The tricky part of this type of promotion is figuring out how much to discount. You want a big enough savings to entice buyers while still maintaining a healthy profit margin for your business.

Discounting works best with products that have big profit margins, because you can still hit your revenue targets even after the discount. For services with tighter profit margins, consider value-add promotions like bundling or emotionally charged offers like a charitable cause sale.

Discount Examples

For a consultant selling a package:

Save $150 off on a $750 consulting package

Act now: This offer ends Monday!

For a life coach seeking to fill an in-person group program:

Register now and bring a friend for 50% off!

For an author wanting to boost sales of a physical book while covering hard copy costs:

Buy my book for $10 off

For a limited time only: $5.99 instead of $15.99

Bundle Sale

Offer multiple products or services together in one package, at a lower price than what it would cost to buy each item individually.

Unlike a BOGO, which usually offers two of the same or very similar items, a bundle promotion allows you to package more varied items, and in a wider range of quantities. See the examples below.

Bundle Sale Examples

For a trainer using a book and workbook as an entry-level product leading to bigger packages:

Buy my best-selling book and get the companion workbook for FREE

Hurry: Sale ends this weekend!

For a business consultant selling a series of sales training courses:

Get three courses for the price of two!

For a limited time only, save big when you purchase the Sales Booster Bundle

For a coach seeking to sell a big-ticket package by adding valuable bonuses:

Buy a year-long coaching package and get 2 VIP days free

Charitable Cause Sale

Holidays are the perfect time to support worthy causes, and by offering to donate a portion of sales to charity, you may entice people to buy who wouldn’t have done so otherwise.

You can select a charity you support year-round, one that is specific to the holiday being celebrated, or allow customers to choose the charity.

Charitable Cause Examples

For a yoga studio wanting to offer need-based scholarships to people in the community:

Your annual membership purchase supports free yoga for those who need it most

10% of your annual renewal fee will go towards our Yoga Scholarships Program.

For a business coach supporting a local charity:

15% of every package purchased in November will go directly to the local food bank for Thanksgiving meals

For a marketing agency lifting up local nonprofits:

For every marketing plan or branding package sold, we'll offer a free consultation to the nonprofit of your choice.

Ready to Launch Your Promotion? Here’s How.

There are endless ways to run a promotional campaign, but to keep things simple and get your campaign launched quickly, we recommend a 4-day campaign using the following marketing assets and launch schedule:

Day 1 - Two days before the holiday

Announce the sale, pushing the limited-time nature of the offer tied to the date of the holiday. Send your first message to your entire list, or the segment of your list that the offer is appropriate for.

Assets needed:

  • Offer landing page. Give your promotion a dedicated landing page or shopping cart item.
  • Email blast
  • Text marketing blast
  • Social media posts on all active networks
  • Social media cover photos (swap them out temporarily during your promotion)
  • Social media advertising (optional)

Day 2 – One day before the holiday

Remind your audience of the limited nature of the offer, and boost excitement about the holiday and how purchasing will help them enjoy it even more.

Assets needed:

  • Email blast. At this point, segment and tailor your emails by audience. For example, don’t send an email to anyone who took advantage of your offer and already made a purchase. Also, you may want to tailor your emails to those who opened your first email (saw the offer but didn’t buy) versus those who did not open the first email at all (who probably haven’t seen the offer yet).
  • Text marketing blast
  • Social media posts on all active networks

Day 3 – Day of the holiday

Wish them a happy holiday and remind them that the sale ends in just a few hours. It’s best to limit messages on the holiday to email and social media, since text messaging would probably be considered too disruptive.

Assets needed:

  • Segmented email blast
  • Social media posts on all active networks

Day 4 – Day after the holiday

If desired, announce that you’re extending the special offer one extra day due to popular demand.

Assets needed:

  • Segmented email blast
  • Text marketing blast
  • Social media posts on all active networks

Optional – Sold out!

If you have a limited-quantity offer, be prepared to send a sold-out announcement and cancel the remaining communications in the campaign. You may also need to update social media posts by adding the sold-out messaging in the description of the post.

Assets needed:

  • Email blast
  • Social media post

Ready, Set, Automate.

Once you’ve decided what your holiday promo offer will be, watch the video above to learn how to easily automate your campaign in Keap.

If you don’t yet have a Keap account, get started for free now.

Keap automates your campaign so that you don’t have to manually send out messages. This means that you can enjoy the holiday yourself while your campaign is running on autopilot!

And once you’ve created one campaign in Keap, you can simply clone it and customize it for your next promotion, reducing your workload even more.

Ready to get started? Try Keap for free and set up this promotion right now!

Don’t Wait. Create a Promotion Today.

Many potential customers are waiting for the “right time” to purchase from you. A holiday sale can provide that little extra incentive they need to take action. When you combine a great product or service with an offer that allows them to get it for less, you’re helping prospects overcome their procrastination and make a purchase that can improve their lives.

With the easy-yet-effective promotions shared here, plus sales and marketing automation from Keap, you can triumph over your own procrastination and get a sales promotion up in a day or two. Don’t just take our word for it—Try it for free now!

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