Four of the year’s biggest shopping events – Cyber Week, Halloween, Christmas lead-in and Boxing Day – are packed into its final quarter. The season offers both profitable opportunities and challenges to time-crunched merchants.

Preparation can smooth out problems and open up the sales channel. Strengthen your performance during the year’s peak shopping season with help from this handy checklist.

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British retailer John Lewis’s annual “Merry Christmas” campaign focused on the excitement of gifting and time with loved ones. A traditional holiday card opened to reveal carefully selected gift ideas. It reinforced the theme with an invitation to enjoy a free pie and hot drink in John Lewis. Once the card’s recipient spent a 100 pounds, they received a bottle of sparkling wine – ideal for festive gatherings.

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Nordstrom’s send customers a direct mail piece inviting them to a private shopping night in early December. The red-carpet gala feel of the evening puts attendees in the shopping mood, despite the fact that items are full-price.

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Perhaps due to the novelty of the physical in such digital lives, Millennials prefer direct mail over other marketing channels – and more than half of them feel that businesses in their neighbourhood need to better at keeping them informed. Target these avid shoppers where they live!

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Beauty marketer Sephora’s gift guide for Black Friday highlighted 10 products for $10 that were available instore and online for just one day. With gift guides outperforming purely promotional mailings, it’s a tactic that lends itself well to budget-friendly channels like Facebook ads, emails and over-sized post cards.

Get help planning your next holiday campaign. Contact us.