While most people are enjoying jingling bells and ho-ho-ho-ing Santas, it can be hard for small businesses to feel motivated to start new marketing campaigns as it's the end of the year and you may already be quite busy. But it’s worth trying, because Christmas and the end of year are both massive retail opportunities that businesses should welcome... and they only come once a year!

We’ve compiled a few ideas for holiday marketing to help send your sales sky-high this Christmas season and into the new year. Follow the tips below to make your small business' marketing more festive than a ton of tinsel.

Get festive with your emails

Emails are a crucial method of communicating with your customers, and rarely is that more true than at Christmas. Research by marketing firm, Magnetic, found that 70 percent of consumers shopping for deals learned about them via email.

While Black Friday (24th November) is the key date during this period for North America, more and more businesses are extending offers over the entirety of December and even November. This is also true in Europe and across the world. Add a Christmas touch to your branding in emails and beyond by updating logos, pictures, and packaging to reflect the festive season, draw attention, and highlight offers.

Price promotions and seasonal offers

Holiday shoppers will expect a good deal, so consider greater discounts than you might at other times of year if you think (or have the stats to show) that they’ll drive more traffic to your business.

Bear in mind that research shows consumers will put a greater value on getting more of a product for the same price than receiving the normal product at an equivalent reduction. This effect makes ‘buy two get one free’ offers more tempting than ‘33% off’, despite having the same unit cost. Stacked discounts, like 25% off an already 20% discounted price, will also be more effective than the identical 40% off.

Give back to the community

Sometimes the best way to market yourself and your business is just to embrace the Christmas spirit and help out in your local community. Organising, hosting, or donating to a charity campaign or event is a great way to do this. Collect for a local charity and match customer donations or hold a lunch or dinner to raise money.

Retirement homes and community centres are obvious locations for your efforts, but you can get more creative and find a cause that ties into your business’s industry or vision as well. If you’re in the catering industry, why not do something at a well-known local supplier’s farm?

Not only will this improve your image, but if there’s any way to incorporate your products—through a raffle or just donations—you’re getting your name out there as well.

Celebrate (and engage!) with your customers

Christmas is a perfect opportunity to reach out and garner some interaction by asking a few questions and perhaps the most effective way to do this in person. Organise a special event or even a customer party and encourage your staff to socialise with your customers, finding out what they like or what they would like to see from your business. This could give you ideas for new product lines, while asking what they’d love discounts on can shape your promotion strategy.

About the author

Jake Waller is a wordsmith who plies his trade here at Findmyshift. He uses his background in engineering to simplify complex topics for a variety of tech firms. When not writing for Findmyshift he blogs under a pseudonym at My Name is Skylance and has a passion for creative writing and editing, about which he's always talking on Twitter.