While the e-commerce brand agencies are working 14-hour days, living off coffee and checking metrics at 5:00 am on 11/24, lead generation agencies are much less stressed out during the holiday season. Why? Because the holidays are known for quick impulse buys, finding that perfect sweater for mom or electric tool for dad, not high time intensive and monetary commitments. Spring and Summer are generally crunch time for these type of agencies.
So, does this mean lead generation agencies should slip off their shoes, drink copious amounts of hot chocolate and watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies all month long? Hardly.
As American astronomer, Carl Sagan said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Lead generation agencies should abide by this rule and take time during the holidays to be as prepared as possible for once high season quickly hits again.
Mac McIntosh, who has been helping businesses generate leads in the New England area for more than 20 years, gave 4 great tips to do just this and as he put it, “To get fruit you have to plant seeds.”
- Develop Inbound/Outbound Marketing
“The holidays are a good time to develop inbound and outbound marketing platforms. Inbound marketing is a searchable website or blog that can be found from Google keyword searches. It’s about customers finding you on a social network or through recommendations.
Outbound marketing is creating an ad or entering a trade show to attract prospects, or writing offer emails or developing telemarketing ideas. The best marketing is where you’re doing both: You’re being found on the web, and you’re also reaching out to prospects that are likely to become clients.”
- Develop a Social-Media Identity
“If you haven’t already, join LinkedIn and Twitter. Do it now and have your company Twitter name reflect what you offer. Follow others in your industry, and retweet their posts. Watch keywords and watch hashtags. The person you retweet will often retweet your tweets. Follow a ratio of 3 to 1. Tweet something useful and relevant three times before pitching any service. You might tweet a white paper on selecting the right architect, then later offer a special holiday deal: 50 percent off a consulting fee in the year ahead.”
- Time Your Market
“In a non-retail business like HVAC or interior design, potential clients research brands and technologies and green options; it’s not an impulse buy. When blogging or tweeting or emailing, the message to them has to be about the benefits they will receive directly, not a hard sales pitch. How do you help them lean toward hiring your company? It’s about timing and the long haul. When blogging or tweeting or creating a white paper, the information has to be useful and relevant. Then you become a trusted advisor, not just someone trying to sell them something. So when they are ready to buy, you are first on their list.”
- Build Up, Build Out
“During the holidays, focus on building your database, targeting prospects for outbound marketing, developing content, calls-to-action offers, how-to guides, case studies. You can have that information on your website available for download or from a landing-page form leading to a download. Then refresh, reuse, re-bundle and repackage.
Re-bundle means putting four or five offers together into a decision-maker kit. Repackage means turning a white paper into a video, or a video into a checklist; you’re using the same content packaged with different media. You could record a podcast of the same content previously covered in a white paper, or have an interviewer asking the questions that are answered in the white paper.”
McIntosh also offers some holiday do’s and don’ts:
“Don’t direct mail to potential clients around Christmas and New Year’s Day. You’ll get lost in the shuffle of dozens of fliers and catalogs. And when sending cards, don’t assume everyone is Christian in this global world.
Always say ‘Happy Holidays,’ which can mean Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah. Be culturally sensitive. And, if you send Thanksgiving cards internationally, be aware that Canada uses a different date for Thanksgiving than the U.S.”
Rebecca Elliott | Director of Digital