50+ Christmas Small Business Marketing Ideas for 2018

Christmas Small Business Marketing Ideas – you are looking for them and we have them!

Increasing Your Q4 Earnings

It’s Q4, also known as GO TIME for small businesses. Let’s finish 2018 with pushing our small businesses this final quarter and find ways to generate additional income with holiday traffic. We are looking at Christmas small business marketing ideas.

Our focus here at Online Small Business Coach is helping small business owners create growth in their small business.

Christmas Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Let’s find ways to generate business and increase you Q4 earning with these Christmas Small Business Marketing Ideas.

Christmas Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Business Christmas Cards

Should I order Christmas cards for my business? YES.

Are you sending Christmas cards to your clients and customers? Why not? If you think Christmas cards are too old school for you, think again. Sometimes digital just doesn’t do it.

business christmas card from minted

People put their Christmas cards on display, yes – even business Christmas cards – especially if they are pretty. Will your card be on their mantel? Not if you don’t send it! If you are contemplating on whether you should buy Christmas cards for business, yes. This minimal investment can create big impact and puts a reminder of your small business to the customer / client.

Action Item: Order your business Christmas cards (sooner rather than later!)



Host Shopping Parties

Do you have a retail location? Buy a few bottles of wine, grab a few boxes of Christmas cookies, burn a Christmas smelling candle and host a shopping party!  Next, notify your people. Your people are family, friends, customers clients, social media followers – anyone that you have a connection with that knows about you and your business.

Offer giveaways every 30 minutes. Play Christmas music. Set the atmosphere for Christmas SHOPPING. Shopping means spending money and spending money means growing your business. Also – makes sure to find a way to collect customer data. This could be as simple as collecting email addresses when doing the giveaways.

Shopping bag for in store shopping party - christmas marketing ideas small business

If you don’t have a retail location, is there someone you can partner with that you could do a collab shopping party with? Find that collab small business friend and find ways to synergize both of your businesses!

I have a friend who hosts shopping parties. She has gotten creative, even throwing a husband party where they shop for their wives. Serve beer and bring in the husband’s for some shopping!

Action Item: Create an atmosphere for Christmas shopping with a shopping party. 

Flash Christmas Sales

Every day before Christmas – put one item on sale, deep discount. A Flash Christmas Sale can generate people coming to your store front or eCommerce store to buy the item, but also you are setting the mood for shopping.

Bath and Body Works does a great job with flash sales. They will put their wallflowers or candles on sale for a deep discount, and I can tell you when I buy – I don’t just buy the wallflowers or candles!  It’s all about the upsell, people!

Action Item: Decide what products you can make minimal on that will drive traffic in. Make sure you have your up-sells ready!

Continuing thru our list of Christmas Small Business Marketing Ideas..

Free Gift Wrapping

If you offer free gift wrapping, my husband will buy from you. I jokingly told that to a friend who has a store front but in all seriousness – do it.

Free gift wrapping may require labor but by wrapping the gift, you are making that present perfect and ready to be placed under the Christmas tree. Someone won’t be looking at their purchase thinking, should I have bought that… It’s wrapped and done.

free gift wrapping

If you are an online retailer – this is an easy add-on. Or, even if you don’t offer free gift wrapping – why not up-sell gift wrapping? It works for Amazon.

Amazon Gift Wrapping

By the way, Amazon’s gift wrapping is now crap. It use to be so much better, but they have now gone way of gift bags. Impress your customer’s with a nice gift wrapping job, please. Or if you do gift bag it – throw some cute ribbon on the bag handles. The devil is in the details!

Action Item: Find a way to add gift wrapping as a free add-on or as an up-sell.

Christmas Email Marketing 

What are you doing for Christmas in regards to email marketing with your small business? While you may think “my open rates are low” or “people don’t read emails” you are right and you are wrong. You have to look at the benefits. You must have a consistent email marketing schedule and now is the time.

Action Item: Create a Christmas email marketing schedule.

We are talking Christmas small business marketing ideas in this post, but Christmas email marketing ideas is something we will hit up in another post. The ideas are endless.

Host a Local Charity Drive

Christmas is so much more than just being the biggest shopping holiday. Maybe you aren’t in retail or maybe you are a realtor, in insurance or in construction. Even if Q4 isn’t your huge quarter – now is the time to find ways to do cause marketing and a great example is a hosting a local charity drive.

People need coats. Host a coat drive. People need food. Host a canned food drive. Get your employees and customers together and make sandwiches for the homeless.

How can you use your business for good?

Action Item: Find a way for your business to give back this holiday season.

Host a Holiday Giveaway

Ready to do some customer data collection? Does that sound too complicated? It’s not. Host a holiday giveaway. What product of your small business can you giveaway?

If your business doesn’t have a physical product – how can you host a holiday giveaway with something that your customers would want this Christmas season?  Give away an Amazon gift card, grocery store gift card, Visa gift card – people are all about giveaways and this is the time to host one.

Make sure that you are gathering customer data in your holiday giveaway. We use Gleam which enables data collection and is a great way to start growing your social media accounts.

Action Item: Create a giveaway for your business and make sure to collect data!

Host a Gleam Giveaway

Twitter Party

Why not host a Twitter party for your business? Make sure you have a hashtag for your party. Do giveaways. Generate buzz and business!

Action Item: Set a time, create a creative hashtag, notify your customers, have a Twitter party.

Update Social Media Profiles with Christmas Themed Graphics

Make your online appearance festive by updating your social media graphics with Christmas themed graphics. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – update them all!

picmonkey instagram template christmas

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to know how long it would take me to create an Instagram graphic in PicMonkey using one of their templates. The above Christmas Instagram post took me 60 seconds to create in PicMonkey. I created this in 60 seconds and it would have been quicker if I hadn’t walked thru PicMonkey’s new beta tour. You can do this.

Try PicMonkey

Action Item: Use PicMonkey an update all of your social media profiles for Christmas.

Give Client Gifts

Gift your top clients and customers with something personal and memorable. A surprise gift to a top customer never hurt anyone’s business.

Action Item: Identify your top customers and gift them. 

Host a Client Christmas Party

Invite your top clients or customers to a private client Christmas party. This is a great end of the year write off.

*Contact your CPA, we aren’t accountants. 🙂

Action Item: Host your customers for a Christmas party.

Exclusive Up-sells

Here I go referencing Bath and Body Works again. On Black Friday, they offer an up-sell of an amazing bag FULL of products BUT you have to purchase a minimum before being able to purchase the up-sell.

How can you move products that would be going to clearance as an up-sell rather than clearance? Get CREATIVE! Think like Bath and Body Works marketing department!

Action Item: Identify how you can up-sell your customers and increase your average sale.

Set the Atmosphere in Store

I don’t care how against Christmas you are, if you own a retail establishment – people want Christmas music. Okay, or holiday music.

Create an atmosphere that people want to buy Christmas gifts. If you have an office, set the mood – but not too much. Just enough so your employees still like you.

Action Item: Find ways to create Christmas in your store or office. 

Feature Christmas Gift Ideas

Whether online or offline, introduce and seed ideas for gifts with your customers. Create gift tags with who these gifts could be to. Maybe put a sign over sunglasses that says “Perfect Gift for the Teen Who Doesn’t Want to be Seen” Do something silly but memorable.

Gift ideas gift tag - this is the perfect gift for the grumpy grandpa

Even if you don’t have traditional Christmas presents, how can you use create a Christmas gift product line?

Action Item: Feature Christmas gift ideas specific to target audiences. 

Offer Gift Cards

Find a way to offer gift cards. Yes, I know they can be a pain to setup digitally, but guess what? They create sales.

We will look at ways later on setting up gift cards, but for now – we are Q4ing it people. Let’s generate sales and grow our businesses with gift cards.

Action Item: Offer gift cards or find a way to offer gift cards!

Santa Claus Creates Sales!

Hire a Santa Claus to sit in your store or office. Make sure that you create an Insta Moment by setting a background behind Santa that features your business name. Take photos for people. If you want, provide a print out.

Encourage people to TAG YOUR BUSINESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA (hello, Instagram!) and let’s generate some sales. Maybe Santa Claus will deliver you a gift of new customers!

If you don’t want to hire a Santa Claus, you can always just buy a Santa Claus suit and find someone who can work well as Santa.  Amazon even sells Santa bellies. I’m not even kidding. (I know any press is good press, but you may want to avoid hosting a scary Santa.

Action Item: Let Santa Claus deliver your customers this Christmas. Find a Santa or buy a Santa suit!

Referral Marketing 

Find ways to generate new business this Christmas with referral marketing. Maybe you offer a referral code and pay when someone uses that.

Action Item: Get creative and find ways that you can reward your customers for bringing you business with referral marketing.

Affiliate Marketing

If you have an online business, check out shareasale.com. Share a Sale is an affiliate network that can connect you with a network of marketers that are looking for affiliates to promote. They offer small businesses (and big) a great way to earn income and grow your business thru affiliate marketing.

Action Item: Expand your marketing network with an affiliate program.

Cross Promote with Other Businesses

Find businesses with similar audiences and find ways you can promote each other.

Action Item: NETWORK and find how you can partner and cross promote with other businesses with similar customers to you.

Hand Out Flyers

Yes, digital is here to stay but paper still works! Pass out paper flyers of your Christmas sales or maybe about that holiday charity drive or Christmas party you are hosting. Or maybe that you are having Santa Claus come to visit for photo ops.

Picmonkey template flyer holiday open house

See where I am going here? Good. So like the Instagram post above, I wanted to show you how easy it is to create a flyer. I created this in less than 30 seconds using a PicMonkey template for a flyer. I chose the holiday tag and here is my beautiful graphics template. You have no reason to say you can’t do graphics! (I did downsize this for web, but that was super easy to do when exporting!)

Try PicMonkey

Action Item: Print isn’t dead. PicMonkey is your friend. 

Hot Chocolate and Cookies

Don’t limit free hot chocolate and cookies to the holiday party. Have your receptionist have these up front and offer to any clients coming in. Remember that setting the atmosphere thing? That doesn’t just apply to retail stores.

free hot chocolate and christmas cookies for customer

If you have an office, simple and affordable Christmas gestures like hot chocolate and cookies can make a big impact.

Action Item: Make some hot chocolate, buy some cookies – get festive!

Social Media Ads

It’s time to up that social media budget and buy some social media ads. Yes, you will most likely pay more but it’s because people are in buying mode.

Capitalize on the Christmas surge and rock those Q4 earnings!

Action Item: Determine where your social media ad money will be best spent and place those ads. 

30 More Christmas Small Business Marketing Ideas

Oh, you thought we were done? Nope! We are coming at you with 30 MORE Christmas Small Business Marketing Ideas. Read these, and if something sticks out (something WILL stick out.) DO IT. BE AN ACTION PERSON.

More Christmas Marketing Ideas for Small Business

Remember, action creates change and change can create GROWTH. We are helping you grow your small business. Use these Christmas marketing ideas to move your Q4 earnings upwards!

  1. Returns – Offer an easy return policy.
  2. Sidewalk Sale – Host a sidewalk sale.
  3. Free Shipping – Offer free shipping after a minimum purchase.
  4. Kiosk – Rent a mall kiosk for the holidays.
  5. Delivery – Offer delivery for free or for a fee.
  6. Influencer Marketing – Find online influencers that can expand your reach.
  7. VIP Sales – Offer your best customers a VIP sale.
  8.  Calendars – Everyone needs a 2019 calendar – give out calendars branded tastefully with your business.
  9. Pet-Friendly Events – Host a pet day. Hold a cutest dog Santa contest. Pet lovers are big spenders, just saying.
  10. Coupons in Bags or Boxes – Include a coupon in each bag or box (if you mail) that is good for a later date.
  11. Post on Social Media – Are you posting consistently on social media? Start now and include some holiday love.
  12. Portion of Sales to a Charity – Create a limited time promotion where you donate a portion of sales to a specific charity or non-profit. This works well with schools!
  13. Comfort for Non-Shoppers – Do you have books or toys for kids to play with? What about a couch for the tired dad? Create comfort for non-shoppers this will allow more time for shopping for the people spending money.
  14. Store Windows – If you have a store window or office window, make it festive and appealing and something that screams Christmas.
  15. Make Shopping Fun – Find ways to make the shopping experience unique, either in-store or eCommerce.
  16. Write Thank You Notes – A hand written thank you note is everything (well, almost.) Show you appreciate your customers with a thank you note. Did you know that December 26 is Thank You Note Day? Well… just saying, now you do.
  17. Market not just for Christmas – Hanukkah starts December 12th in 2018. December 21 – Winter Solstice Day. December 23  – Festivus. December 31 – New Year’s Eve.
  18. Collect Customer Data – Believe me, you will thank me later. Collect customer data. Again, think like Bath and Body Works. There is a reason they ask for your phone number or email EVERY SINGLE TIME you check out. That’s why they make all the monies. (Well, one of the reasons. Their marketing department rocks.)
  19. Create Videos – Create videos of what your business is doing the holidays. People LOVE BTS (BTS means behind the scenes.)
  20. Instagram Stories – Okay, you don’t want to create videos but at least do Instagram stories. Keep them real and show what is going on at your company.
  21. Free Swag – Offer free swag with your business name. Make your swag clever, but include your business name. Clever will take your swag from something that a customer gets for free to something that they use and show off.
  22. Host a Concert – Do you have a coffee shop or a retail store? Bring in a local artist and host a free concert featuring everyone’s favorite Christmas carols. This is surprisingly affordable marketing idea! Do make sure the artist is compensated well if she or he is just working for tips.
  23. Search Engine Ads – How are those Google ads working for you this holiday season? Oh, you aren’t using them? WHAT – start.
  24. Encourage Social Media Tagging – Put signs up with a creative holiday hashtag. Encourage people to tag you and take photos of your products on social media.
  25. Early Bird Pricing – Host an early morning sale – make sure you have coffee. Put strict time perimeters around the sale, make it an event that people won’t want to miss. Maybe a stuff-a-bag sale? Or allow customers to draw and get a percentage off their sale?
  26. Employee Training – Train your employees to treat your customers well. Greet each customer, decide on “Happy Holidays!” or”Merry Christmas.” Let them know what to say if someone is offended by “Merry Christmas” and how to handle situations well. Employees can make or break a business!
  27. Celebrate 12 Days of Christmas – The 12 days leading up to Christmas, do something each day. This could be a sale or just a social media post. Keep your name in front of people. Brand recognition is essential in helping your business grow.
  28. Send Gifts to Potential Clients – Is there a business that you have been trying to get but just haven’t been able to close a deal. A box of Christmas cookies and a nice Christmas card,  just may do the trick. It might not be immediate, but you are reminding that client of the company.
  29. Host a Holiday Meet-up With Local Businesses – Network, network and NETWORK! Small business owners, you will find a ton of success by networking. Don’t be afraid of competition. See others in your field as friends not foes. Host a meet-up with local businesses and find ways to network and work together.
  30. Do Something Outrageous – Do the unexpected. Do you have company vehicles that are branded? Why not light them up with Christmas lights? Purchase a 20 foot inflatable Santa Claus/ This will create buzz. Let people talk about you. Find ways to get the word out thru doing something outrageous!

There you have it. Over 50 Christmas Small Business Marketing Ideas to help you generate business. You can do this. It just takes some creative thinking and motivation. Let us be that business inspiration that drives you to ACTION.

20 Foot Santa Inflatable

And yes, PLEASE tag us on social if you buy the 20 foot inflatable Santa Claus We would want to see more small businesses be outrageous (and successful!)

20 foot santa inflatable

Have a Creative Marketing Idea for Christmas?

If you have a creative Christmas Small Business marketing idea, drop it in the comments! We love to hear how you are using the holiday season to propel and grow your business.