To many marketers, the holiday season is about kicking back, reconnecting with family and enjoying a well-deserved break. Few think about the holiday season as a time to be chasing new leads. Most prefer to use this period for light research work, report writing and developing strategies for the New Year. Yet, the holiday season is the most opportune time to gather new leads for the New Year. There is ample research that validates this statement. For example, a study by Shortstack, covering more than 360, 000 marketing campaigns found that companies collect more leads during the holiday season than at any other time of the year.
Clearly, there is no reason to put the brakes on lead generation just because everything else is slowing down. Let’s examine six reasons you should, in fact, increase your lead generation efforts during the holiday season.
1. Conversion Takes Months
Lead conversion is a process that typically takes a few months. Moving a prospect through the sales funnel to the point where they become a customer takes a while. With this in mind, prospecting aggressively during the holiday season can result in impressive Q1 sales. So, while other companies are struggling with Q1 sales, why not ensure you don't struggle with sales in the first few months of the New Year by going out hard during the holiday season.
2. Excellent Opportunity to Communicate
The holiday season is the best excuse to send out marketing communications both online and offline. In fact, clients actually expect it and won't frown on it as much as they would during other times of the year. So, take advantage and use whatever means at your disposal – email, social media, brochures, online and offline ads to communicate with your customers. The communication could run the gamut from, giving them an annual recap of major things you have done during the year, to informing them about planned products or services.
3. Holiday Spirit
In addition to being the perfect opportunity to communicate, it is also the perfect opportunity to deftly get in on the holiday spirit. B2B marketers should, for example, use this time to organize customer end-of-year parties and cocktails where you get to mingle freely with your customers and in process gain referrals, cross-sell and upsell. During such events, you could also give out coupons and branded gifts.
4. Less Competition
It also makes sense to work harder when everyone else is laid back. In fact, run a lead generation marketing campaign during the holiday season and there is a greater likelihood that your emails will be read because prospects are not being bombarded with as many marketing messages as happens during other times of the year.
5. Not Everyone is on Holiday
Finally, not every customer or potential customer is on holiday. In fact, this is the best time to schedule appointments with people you wouldn't otherwise be able to see at any other time of the year. The reason is that many people don't have many meetings or business trips during this time of the year and tend to spend more time in the office. Such prospects are more likely to grant you an appointment during the holiday season and more importantly, give you their full and undivided attention.
So, with this in mind, let’s examine some of the tips that can help you quickly generate leads this holiday season.
Go Big On Social Media
Since this is the season most people have spare time on their hands, they are likely to spend more time on social media. So, assuming you already know the favorite social media haunt of your target customers, invest more time and resources in the lead generation tools provided by these platforms. For example, LinkedIn Lead Gen forms come to mind. Also, find out the best times to post your content for maximum clicks. For example, a study by AddThis found that the best time to engage people on LinkedIn during the holiday season was between 10 and 12 am and between 4 and 5 pm.
Send Unique Cards and Gifts
Steer away from the usual ordinary cards or gifts that everyone expects and send your customers, your referral sources, something that's personalized or relevant to them. For example, have your graphics guy design a card with your face photoshopped onto a reindeer. It's goofy but it definitely catches one's attention. The point is, be creative and extraordinary with cards and gifts.
Invest in the Right Tools
To have an effective campaign, you need the right tools to identify and build lists of potential prospects. GetProfiles is your best friend this holiday season. Take advantage of its powerful list building features and build lists of potential prospects from LinkedIn, Viadeo, Xing and Crunchbase (soon from InBound, AngleList and more). Once you have your lists, approach the prospects with a well-crafted email and I guarantee the results will be impressive. GetProfiles is simple to use and intuitive with a gentle learning curve. You will be an expert user in no time. And, it beats buying expensive lists or spending long hours searching these networks and building lists manually. What's more, the first 150 leads every month are free and once you hit this threshold, you only need invest $25 a month.
Last minute holiday campaigns are more about firming up and maintaining relationships with existing and target customers than about making actual sales. As already stated earlier, converting leads takes a while, so it doesn’t make sense to delay your lead generation activities until the New Year. While the holiday season may seem like an inappropriate time to generate leads, the opposite is actually true. Try it out and let us know how it went in the comments section below.