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5 Holiday Marketing Ideas to Capture the Christmas Spirit (and Foot Traffic)

Shopping is at an all-time high and you can create the holiday cheer!

On today’s episode, Mark and Adrienne kick-off the Christmas season with 5 ways you can capture a customer’s attention (and their wallet). 

Tangible Takeaways

1. Host a Donut with Santa event;

2. Place a mailbox outside your store and allow kids to send their letters to the North Pole (bonus! if you have “Santa” write them back);

3. Be the host destination for an Angel Tree;

4. Make photo backdrop settings for customers to use for their holiday cards; and

5. Make a bet on the weather! Offer an incentive for customers who spend over a certain dollar amount to be entered into a drawing where if it snows on Christmas, they get their purchase free!

Whether the events are simple or elaborate, invest in your Christmas spirit this season!

Need More Marketing Ideas?

Check out how virtual room scenes are converting higher sales in the online shopping experience.


Mark Kinsley: The holiday season is upon us, and we have five holiday and Christmas marketing tips to drive retail traffic to your store. The FAM Marketing Show starts right now.

Mark Kinsley: Jingle Bells, and welcome to the FAM Marketing Show Strategies, tips, and Ideas to help retailers, brands. And mattress companies and everybody in between grow their furniture, appliances, and mattress business. I’m just so excited about Christmas. I was trying to breeze right over what the show’s all about.

Adrienne Woods: I know. Well, we’re gonna make the show about Christmas so that we can stay in the holiday spirit. I was gonna start like with, so this is Christmas, but then you started in with Jingle Bell, so I was like, well nevermind. I guess that’s where we’re going.

Mark Kinsley: I guess we’re going jingle Bells. Yeah, that’s fine.

Here we’re going Jingle Bell. Okay. So when you think about the holiday season, you think about Christmas, you think about eggnog and presents and decorations, what, what’s your favorite part about it?

Adrienne Woods: Oh gosh.

Mark Kinsley: Mm.

Adrienne Woods: Oh my gosh, I really like Dec. So here’s what’s funny. I love decorating for Christmas and we love hosting just various functions at my house, but I don’t actually like the process of getting stuff out.

But like once it’s out, once, once we have made the commitment to actually do it, I love decorating with my kids. I recently figured out I have an obsession with like Charles Dickens, um, like Christmas houses, like department 56. And so Amelia and I, collectively between the two of us have started, I guess we probably have 13 or 14 now, so we just set up a little village, like a little Christmas village.

That’s what makes me

Mark Kinsley: happy. Oh, I love it. Now. Now did you get it set up right after Halloween ended or do you wait until after Thanksgiving? Like what’s your timing? No. Okay.

Adrienne Woods: So I also grew up in a family who, my mother’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. And so she was adamant that we cannot skip over Thanksgiving.

And so we always put up our tree the weekend or like the day after Thanksgiving. So we’ve kind of, we brought that same, same tradition over into my family. So we don’t usually decorate until like Black Friday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is what we did this year.

Mark Kinsley: So, I feel like at my house, Tara is trying to wipe out any, any scene of Halloween.

Like it was the scene of a crime like she’s coming in with. It was like if it was the scene of a crime, she’s coming in with bleach and scrubbing and all kinds of like whatever it takes to clean it up. Because this year is like the day after Halloween, every trace of fall disappeared. We had lights on the house, we had Christmas trees.

And I’ll tell you that’s my favorite part too. It’s not necessarily the getting everything set up in an order, um, because it seems like the time of year we do it, it can be pretty warm still. Yes. But I do love for a couple of months every morning, waking up and your house is transformed and it looks whimsical and magical.

And it gets you in the holiday spirit, and it just makes me happy. I

Adrienne Woods: love it. No, and I mean, I know you don’t have kids, but there’s something fun about having like five year olds, and we have six year olds this year who are just like, they already want to make those like Christmas paper chains. I’m like, we still have like 54 days left until Christmas, you know, or 32 days or whatever, and they’re like, oh no, we gotta make a chain.

We gotta take one off every night.

Mark Kinsley: We gotta make a chain. It’s gonna stretch all the way around the house, up the chin

Adrienne Woods: there, all the way around the house. It doesn’t matter. Rooftop. They love it. They love it. And I will say that just gets me excited. So like, you know, the, the mental exercise of having to pull our stuff out exhausts me.

But like once it’s out and it’s up, it’s just beautiful. It’s like

Mark Kinsley: Christmas. Hey, you know what? Go over to and text us and tell us what’s your favorite part about Christmas. It can be cookie parties, decorations, being with family, uh, all the above. Um, but you know, even just hearing you describe, you know, the fun you’re having with your family and mm-hmm.

you know, the mornings when I wake up and the house is all beautiful and the lights are on and it’s still dark outside, but yet your Christmas stuff is lighting up your morning. You know, these are all things that, that people feel and gravitate toward during this time of year. And so we wanted to bring you five holiday marketing ideas to drive foot traffic to your store and help people capture those moments of holiday joy.

And in many cases, remember those moments of holiday joy and tie them back to your business. So here we go. We’re gonna give you a rundown. So number one, wait, we have our tribute

Adrienne Woods: question? Yes, we do. And it’s Christmas related, so you don’t get to skip over this. Okay. It is Christmas related. So have you seen the movie

Mark Kinsley: El?

I have seen the movie Elf. Yes. Okay.

Adrienne Woods: So what is the first rule of the code of Elves?

Mark Kinsley: The first rule of the code of Elves. Elves. I gotta get the view in there. ELs

Adrienne Woods: elves? Yes.

Mark Kinsley: Hmm hmm. Hold on a second. Hold on a second. Well, do we get options or do I need to have a fill in the blank answer for this

Adrienne Woods: trivia question?

I would say let’s, I will think I will. I don’t have any, but as we go through this episode, I will come up with some, and then by the end of the episode I’ll repeat the question and I’ll give you some options.

Mark Kinsley: Okay. I got a trivia question for you. So my, my sweater here. Mm-hmm. has this nifty, it has a nifty little, uh, you can put anybody’s face in there.

And so at some of the holiday parties I go to, if you’re watching on the video, you can. A picture and a face. And this is my holiday . Wait, sorry. This is family friendly . So here’s a pretty question for you, Adrian. Who is this on my shirt that

Adrienne Woods: I can’t place’s? Pixelated. It’s pixelated on my end. I can’t tell.

I, I, I really, you had Mark Quinn up there for a while, but when my screen gets back from not being pixelated, I’ll, I’ll see if I can look at it

Mark Kinsley: closer. All right. Well, if you’re, if you’re playing along at home, uh, your hint is Canada. Oh, Canada. Who do I know? Mike Douglas would get this. Bruce Malson would get this.

Um, who, who are my other friends connected to Canada or

Adrienne Woods: Canadian? Those are the two people I was thinking of. And I’m like that from the pixelated image That doesn’t look anything like either one of ‘

Mark Kinsley: em. All right, so as we, as we try to get the, uh, the pixelation gone, um, we’re gonna give you clarity around these five marketing ideas to drive holiday, cheer, and foot traffic to your store number.

You’re gonna give us some flavor on this. Number one is have Santa at your store. Now, in the past, you know, people will go to malls and you can get your picture taken, but that’s evolved Adrian. So there’s more to it than just getting your picture taken with Santa these days. Yes.

Adrienne Woods: Yes. 100%. I mean, do you want me to go, I can talk for a while on this.

Do you want me to go into my ideas for what people should do?

Mark Kinsley: Well give us the two big ones first because I think you said there’s breakfast and donuts with Santa and then there’s cookies and there’s

Adrienne Woods: the afternoon. So if you, if you have kids, I would say, Eight and under do a Donuts with Santa event and then like kids nine and above, maybe nine to 12 do cookies with Santa.

For a lot of people, their kids get up early and so you would host that, that the donuts with Santa in the morning and then you would do the cookies with Santa in the afternoon for the, for the older kids, and this is more than like your 22nd sit on a lap, tell Santa what you want and take a picture.

This is an actual experience and we have talked about experiences here on the marketing show. People remember these things. Sell tickets, keep, keep the audience size small, but Santa Eats with them and has breakfast with them. And sometimes they bring a Mrs Clause and they’ll read a book to them and, and just makes it this whole wonderful like morning experience that kids remember.

And then the same happens in the afternoon with cookies.

Mark Kinsley: I like that. See, you can make, make like a crafts project that maybe has some of your store branding on it. You can give them a, a photo that you email to everybody, so you get everybody on your email list as. And then you send ’em a photo maybe with like a watermark logo of your business on it.

So create that experience. Mm-hmm. really think through creating extensions of those touch points. And it’s a pretty, you know, reasonable investment and people are gonna tie that holiday memory back to their visit of Santa Claus at your store. So number two, and this is more so that san Visit Santa at your store, that’s number.

Number two is letter drop off. Kids write letters to Santa Claus and they need someplace to take them. What should retailers.

Adrienne Woods: So get, you can go to Walmart, you can get an old fashioned looking mailbox for like 49 98. Set it up outside your store and then blast that all over social media because people are always looking for letters to Santa drop offs.

And if you have somebody on your staff that you can dedicate to actually writing them back, even if it’s the same boiler plate template, that just goes a very long way with kids to think that their Santa got their letter and he saw what they wanted and he’s acknowledging. And you know, who doesn’t love getting a piece of.

Mark Kinsley: Now in conjunction with that, you have to make sure ahead of time to ensure that the kids put their home address on there. Yes. So that when you write ’em a letter back, you can write a letter to the kid. Mm-hmm. to the kiddo that took their time to drop it off at your store. And you can also write a separate letter to Mom and Dad.

And you can let them know, Hey, we were so happy that you dropped off, you know, Santa’s letter. Um, you know, whenever it’s time to do any Christmas shopping, come back and here’s a special offer of some sort. So create the connection with the parent who’s gonna be the buyer as well. Way

Adrienne Woods: to elevate that, like to the next level mark.

I mean, just

Mark Kinsley: bringing it all in. You know, the other thing you could do is you could place a trackable QR code on the mailbox. And so whenever somebody, you know, scans a QR code, maybe there’s a fun video that pops up that Santa, you know. Thanks everybody for it. But make sure the QR code also, maybe it could go to a landing page and that landing page has the video and a special offer.

So you create, create some immedia immediacy around the connection and the potential for a sale as opposed to going direct mail route.

Adrienne Woods: Impressive, sir. Impressive.

Mark Kinsley: Oh, okay. And, and maybe you could create an offer where, uh, like 10 random kids letters are gonna be, you know, selected in some way from the mailbox for some sort of special prize.

Maybe it’s like a oversized gingerbread house, or maybe it’s a prize for mom and dad as well. So give ’em an incentive to actually want to drop the letter

Adrienne Woods: off. Oh, I love that. I would definitely do something like, Like take my kids to a store just to drop it off, just to be entered into a win prize.

Mark Kinsley: Hi.

Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so number three, angel Trees for kids, or it could be called Operation Christmas Child. Take us into it.

Adrienne Woods: So, Basically it’s the idea of underprivileged kids in your area. A lot of times these go through the school system, so you may partner with the schools to say, Hey, do you have 25 or 50 kids that you know, Christmas is just gonna be hard on their parents this year.

Find out what their want list is, and then we’re gonna create a tree with all of these kids names and their wish lists on them. And so then as people are either already shopping in your store and see this, they think, oh, I’ll take a wishlist kid, and then I’ll bring all of their stuff back, or, You can promote it as an opportunity to say, Hey, are you looking to give back this holiday?

Come to our store, grab a kid’s name off of the tree, bring their stuff back, and we will make sure that, you know, all of these kids have a wonderful Christmas and maybe you can even do a match sort of deal just to incentivize people. You, you know, if we get 25 people buying for kids, we’re also gonna fund 25 kids wishlist.

Mark Kinsley: Love that. It reminds me, I mean, it’s not the same thing, but I. Um, our friend, uh, Michael, who was on the show, was talking about a, a promotion where they would have everybody drop off, um, gowns that young ladies could wear to prom, but they didn’t have enough money to, or the resources to get a nice gown.

So they had a dropoff and then they would have the fitting with the, the mothers and daughters created a great in-store experience, so they brought people back into the store. So anytime you can, you know, bring people into your store, be that connect. Thread, especially for a good cause. It’s, it’s huge. So that’s number three.

Number four on our list of holiday foot traffic drivers is very simple. Make backgrounds and scenes mm-hmm. that are perfect for family Christmas cards. I mean, even last night Tara and I were sitting there, oh my gosh, we need to take a family picture. And, and so I’m trying to get the lighting right and luckily I’ve got, you know, some of that stuff.

And, you know, we’re hitting the timer and I’m like throwing the toy over on the other side of the camera at the right time so that Jones will actually look toward the camera. Mm-hmm. . So it’s so much easier for families, especially with with young kids, to go in, get nice lighting, get a professional card photograph that you’re gonna keep forever.

Use it in your Christmas card and just have a really nice family photo. You could show off your furniture, you could show off your decor, you could show off your design team’s. To create, um, interesting environments. Um, and you can just do some fun stuff too, like maybe set up a beach scene. So my lucky, lucky Maka, you know, it’s like a Hawaiian, what, whatever you wanna do, just have some fun with it.

Adrienne Woods: I totally feel that I have our Christmas. In fact. Hold on. I’ll even, well, for those of you who can’t see it, We’ve got our Christmas PJs already back here and I’m trying, for those of you that aren’t watching the video, they’re red with like white embroidery on them and I’m thinking that’s just gonna have to be our Christmas card picture this year.

We’re just all gonna get in our PJs and I’m gonna have to figure out a solution cuz I haven’t scheduled anybody to take our family pictures. So I love that idea completely. You gotta get, just go through, get fill on lighting. I

Mark Kinsley: know I do. Yeah. Then hire a guy like, uh, like Philip Thomas to come and actually do the the pictures and people are gonna love them because if you get an amazing photographer, he’s gonna bring things to life in a different way.

So definitely make that investment. All right. What’s number four like? We do all the time. Number. That was number four. Number five, last four. Last on our list today. Here’s a promotion for you. You ready for this? ? Now you are gonna have to mess with the numbers, but if you’re in an area of the country where it could potentially snow, You could put together a promotion and you could make a bet, not unlike Mattress Mac does with his customers in the Houston area.

Maybe not a 10 million bet that gives you 75 million like he did when that when the Astros won. But here’s the bet you can make if it snows on Christmas, if you’ve purchased $2,500 or more in furniture and mattresses from our store and it snows on Christmas on the 25th, it’s all free. Oh,

Adrienne Woods: now. It’s good.

Mark Kinsley: I mean, you people could do, there are all kinds of ways to go offset that bet. Um, and you kind of have to dig into some of the math around that, but man, what a magical fun promotion.

Adrienne Woods: Oh no, I think that would be awesome. I knew a guy that bought his wife’s engagement ring, and the jewelers thing was if it rains on your wedding day, the diamond is free.

Well, they got married in the middle of July, he goes, so I pretty much knew that that was not gonna happen, but that’s their promotion. If it rains on your wedding day, the diamond is

Mark Kinsley: free. Love it and maybe, maybe you could offer something that’s part of a bigger package is free. So if they got an entire living room set for $10,000, you know that $2,500 sofa is free.

But tie it, tie that 2,500 value to the 25th in some way because that’s Christmas Day. Mm-hmm. . But yeah, have some fun with it. That could be a fun promotion. And gosh, if you take all five of these ideas and you do something with. Please let us know. Go to, text us, hit us up on LinkedIn or social, but a quick recap.

Here we go. And then we’re gonna get to the to the trivia. Question number one, visit with Santa where you’re gonna have breakfast or you’re gonna have a cookie party in the afternoon. Create a letter drop off Angel Tree for CRI Kids. Also called Operation Christmas sets and scenes for family Christmas cards and the promotion, the bet.

If it snows on Christmas. So there you go. There gets you some ideas going into the holiday season to drive foot traffic and connect with your community. All right, time for that trivia

Adrienne Woods: question. Okay. And the movie Elf. What is the number one rule for the code of elves? So is it number one, spread Christmas cheer for all to hear, treat every day like it’s Christmas or sugar is the number one food group,

Mark Kinsley: uh, is.

I feel like in the movie it talks so much about spread Christmas cheer for all to hear. I’m gonna go with it.

Adrienne Woods: No, it’s treat every day like it’s Christmas, but every day. But he does talk about spread Christmas cheer, which is why I put it in there.

Mark Kinsley: Okay. Well hey, we gotta get my trivia question in too. Do you know who that is?

My shirt. You still can’t see ’em? I can’t see it. Justin Trudeau.

Adrienne Woods: Oh, I don’t know. I mean he’s, he’s been on our show.

Mark Kinsley: Couple, not, no, no, no. Justin Trudeau, the, uh, prime Minister of Canada. Oh, no.

Adrienne Woods: Definitely would not have got that .

Mark Kinsley: The only reason I had that on my church is my, my friend Thomas was in town.

He’s Canadian, and he was at the Christmas party, so I had his face on here, but I also had faces of president. So I’m like, yeah, I gotta put Trudeau on there. Can’t leave our. Our friends to the north

Adrienne Woods: out. It kind of looks like an older picture of Ronald Reagan from the Pixelation, like I should just, but it would’ve been like a young, young Ronald

Mark Kinsley: Reagan, young Reagan boy.

Um, we hope that you all have a happy holiday season. Have a Merry Christmas. Enjoy your time with family. We hope that you know somebody, people in this industry have family run businesses. We know that you spend a lot of time at your stores or in your companies, and we hope you’re. Uh, you know, put your feet up and enjoy some eggnog and sink some carols and, you know, get around the Christmas tree and make some memories.

And, and hey, um, if you got something that you wanna share with us, uh, maybe a Christmas marketing tip that’s worked for you, head over to Shoot us a text right there in the bottom right. And be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcast on Spotify. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter because we never want you to miss an idea that could make you a

Adrienne Woods: Christmas merry maker.

Mark Kinsley: Christmas merry maker, and join us each week as we bring you more fam marketing magic.

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