While you prepare to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas, here are 12 holiday marketing mistakes to avoid. Remember the holiday, or the Christmas shopping season is defined as November and December. Also don’t neglect these special shopping days for 2013: Black Friday (November 29), Small Business Saturday (November 30), and Cyber Monday (December 2).

Mistake 1: No plan – Plan to fail.
Your marketing plan should have started about the same time you put away the summer suntan lotion. If it’s not too late, try to do something. You can use this list as a guide.

Mistake 2: Ho-hum campaigns.
While we can drag out the same decorations around our homes every year-after-year, you can’t do the same in your marketing. Last year’s campaign will be as stale as last year’s fruitcake. Bake up some fresh ideas.

Mistake 3: Not sending customers holiday greetings
If you want your customers to remember you, first remember them. Although it may be more expensive than email, sending greeting cards through standard mail adds more of a personal touch. Especially if you send email regularly, the extra effort will be noticed. There are plenty of services for doing this. You can even included discount coupons.

Mistake 4: No holiday offers
Just because people are involved in gift giving around the holidays is no guarantee your sales will increase. Why not use the holidays as a reason to kick out your biggest sale of the year? Give away promotional items free with purchases. Take advantage of the fact that people are in a buying frame of mind and give them a deal too good to pass up.

Mistake 5: Forgetting about last minute buyers
As legendary New York Yankees Manager, Yoggi Berra, famously said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over …” and that includes December 25th. More than ever before, buyers are looking for and expecting “after holiday” sales and offers. Use this to your advantage by making offers or discounts from December 26th until January 2nd.

Mistake 6: Not updating your web site with a holiday theme
Adding a holiday flavor show many things about your company: it stays current and active, it reflects the mood of its customers, it is professional, your web site is always up to date, it has spirit, and more. Have fun and be creative. Topical, holiday-themed blog posts can also drive more traffic.

Mistake 7: Not tailoring offers to different buying segments
Rather than focus your marketing efforts on the largest group of buyers, why not create holiday offers for different segments?

Mistake 8: Forgetting about Mobile Shoppers
Mobile markets are expect to grow significantly this year according to adobe.
A 68 percent increase is predicted for mobile sales in Europe for 2013. What does that mean for your business? It means if your promotions, emails and web site are not mobile optimized, you could be losing sales.

Mistake 9: Focusing only on Christmas as the Holiday
Don’t forget Chanukah and Kwanzaa. There is celebrating (and spending) there too. It’s likely that your customers and clients are diverse and your marketing should match.

Mistake 10: Not asking for feedback
Want to know one easy way to make changes for next year that will matter? Ask your customers. Using the holidays as a contact point, it’s an excellent time to ask customers for their feedback. In return, offer them something of genuine value for their time.

Mistake 11: Putting too much emphasis on discounts
While not creating holiday offers has already been pointed out as a mistake; it is equally a mistake to put too much emphasis on it. You can seriously hurt your year round sales if customers expect that your deals will be so fantastic that this is the only time to buy. The key is too find a balance of pricing. Other offers, such as free items given with purchases, can often be equally as incentivizing as steep price slashing.

Mistake 12: Not Making Connections
The holidays give you a perfect reason to contact and touch base with associates, partners, customers, clients or prospects.

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