Is the thought of Christmas weighing on your mind yet? With only ten-weeks to go it should be.

But the Christmas rush, along with the limited time opportunity you have to capitalise on it, might be even more pressing than you think.

In a completely unscientific straw poll conducted with a handful of retailers at this week’s eCommerce Expo event in London, I learned that the Christmas sales rush appears to have started early this year.

Newspaper reports of an imminent cold snap set to freeze shoppers’ efforts on the high street and delay online purchases from reaching your customers’ Christmas stockings might have something to do with the early rush. Last year due to adverse weather conditions 17% of gifts bought online failed to arrive before the big day. Although, one retailer I spoke to reported a sudden spike in the number of warm winter socks sold on the same day the mercury hit 29° during the recent Indian Summer highlighting the fact that consumer behavior is difficult to second guess.

I don’t need to tell you, that in today’s tough economy, additional Christmas sales do not come gift wrapped. You’ve got to work for them. And you better believe your competitors are working hard to ensure that they are Santa’s suppliers of choice.

The first step of any seasonal marketing comes down to planning. You need to understand what motivates your customers to make the buying decisions they make and the key triggers that kick-start that festive spending spree. This is equally true for campaigns across all mediums, including and not limited to PPC, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing and more traditional forms of promotion.

With this in mind, iContact, the email marketing and social media marketing company for small and medium sized businesses, have published a detailed guide to marketing your business throughout the festive season. A Christmas Marketing Story – features 12 sections designed to help you better plan and execute your Christmas marketing campaigns.

The guide features tips around key dates leading up to Christmas as well as offering advice on targeting different kinds of shoppers (ranging from Early Birds and Prime Time Shoppers all the way through to the dreaded Last Minute Shoppers). Equally important it also offers a checklist to ensure you have the basics right before you start your campaigns. This is something that should stand you in good stead for the rest of the year when pickings might not come so easily.

Download iContact’s A Christmas Marketing Story: The 12 Chapters of a Successful Season – (no registration required).

John Hayes

John Hayes


John Hayes is the EMEA Business Development Executive for iContact.