Time is slipping by and we are getting closer and closer to the largest sales season, and the most important time to develop a holiday marketing plan. Most producers generate 50% or more (about 65% on our Tastes of Idaho site) of their sales in the 4th quarter of the year: October, November and December!
If you are new or just not very organized this year, Clare at Indie Retail Academy put together a holiday marketing plan that looked pretty good:
You’ll ask yourself “how much money would I like to make from selling my work to shops this Christmas?”
When you’ve written that figure down, you’ll work out how many wholesale orders you need from stores to make that much money.
…You know that retailers are spending a lot of money on stock right now, and Christmas is getting closer with every passing day. That motivation and urgency is already on your side.
… spruce up your product photos or take some new ones.
You’ll make your existing products more giftable and pull together a starter pack.
You’ll freshen up your existing layout or create a brand new document.
And you’ll make certain your catalogue not only tells retailers HOW to buy your products, but WHY THEY SHOULD. And you’ll do that using your own style and voice, so those shopkeepers come to like and trust you.
Then you’ll send your wholesale catalogue out to stores, along with a personalized pitch email or letter, making your lead times and last order date very clear indeed.
You’ll hopefully have Christmas orders coming in by now. ….
You’ll also follow up with stores as needed, you’ll think of upsells and add-ons and you’ll consider whether a free shipping offer (or another type of incentive) might help you reach your goal….
Then you’ll take another look at your incredibly persuasive catalogue, and hit send or pick up the phone.
NOVEMBER and DECEMBER
You’ll take very good care of your customers.
Apart from the odd panicked email, the majority of stores will have finished buying. Depending on how close you are to your goal you might still run a last-minute, limited-time offer, but your main job now is making sure your stockists have what they need, when they need it.
You’ll dispatch orders on time.
You’ll stay on top of the tracking information for your parcels in case there’s a delay.
You’ll be immediately reachable when stockists have a problem or a question, and you’ll be calm and helpful when you respond.
As your final order date approaches, maybe you’ll ring round your stockists to ask how they are and check if they need a final top-up….
Then you’ll wrap things up for another year.
For more tips to make your holiday sales smoother, I have more articles here: Holiday Tips