The holidays are right around the corner, and savvy business owners know that you need to start before they’re in full swing to launch a profitable holiday marketing campaign. Start your planning early, and you’ll be able to focus on your day-to-day operations while your holiday marketing plans roll out. Maximize your profits this holiday season with the following 25 holiday marketing tips and ideas.

  1. Start planning your main campaign right now so you’re ready to launch well before Black Friday. By doing so, you’ll be able to take advantage of last-minute marketing opportunities.
  2. Repetition sells, so market often. Send multiple emails, direct mailers, or holiday cards announcing your sales.
  3. Create time-limited offers to encourage customers to buy now.
  4. Offer a pre-Black Friday guarantee: If customers find a better deal on Black Friday, you’ll refund the 25 Holiday Marketing Tips & Ideasdifference. This encourages early sales and lets you compete with the big box stores.
  5. What do you have that the big box stores don’t have? Highlight what makes your company unique in your marketing materials. If you’re a small business, emphasize quality, experience and service if you can’t compete on pricing.
  6. Use posters and flyers to reinforce your marketing campaign, especially in targeted high-traffic and shopping areas.
  7. Employ giant floor stickers to bring customers to your best (or most profitable) in-store product displays.
  8. Try direct-mail postcards with coupon codes to get customers to your website or store.
  9. Concentrate on marketing your niche products to a highly targeted audience.
  10. Introduce add-on incentives, such as a vacation drawing entry with every purchase or set dollar spend.
  11. Encourage multiple sales by offering customer loyalty cards or referral cards for discounts; perhaps a set percentage off for every customer who refers a friend.
  12. Host a holiday season kick-off event to bring customers in – such as a tree-lighting ceremony with hot chocolate and a visit from Santa – and make sure customers leave with your holiday catalog.
  13. Use email, social media and your website to let customers know about your upcoming deals.
  14. Print “pre-catalog” postcards with a special offer, which you send several weeks before your main catalog. Your mini-catalogs will provide customers a representative offering, encourage web sales and make them look forward to receiving your big catalog.
  15. Make sure every customer between now and the holidays receives a flyer or brochure with information about your upcoming holiday sales.
  16. You can make shopping easy for your customers by sending a unique gift catalog with suggestions for everyone on their list.
  17. Feature your upcoming holiday specials on your blog and reinforce the reasons why it’s better to buy from you than your competitors.
  18. Finders, keepers! Print coupons on business cards and leave them in strategic areas where your target customers are likely to find them.
  19. Print door hangers to distribute to targeted neighborhoods.
  20. Keep your business top of mind every day. Give 2014 calendars away before your competitors do so you can ensure you’re the brand customers see day in and day out.
  21. Make sure to print special daily, weekly or monthly offers on your calendars to encourage direct sales.
  22. Print hang tags to market your holiday sales early.
  23. Give away branded holiday magnets to customers. They will think of you every time they open their refrigerator.
  24. Here’s some food for thought: Partner with a restaurant to print table tents that promote your company to their customers.
  25. Make sure all of your holiday marketing is measurable so you can track your return on investment and plan for an even more profitable campaign next year.

When you plan your holiday marketing early you’ll not only maximize your profits, you’ll actually get some free time of your own to enjoy the holidays with friends and family members.

What are your favorite early holiday marketing tips? Get more free holiday marketing resources at our VR Everything Holiday site including holiday email templates, festive call to action buttons and a subject line generator that will create 18 holiday subject lines in seconds!

This post was contributed by Brian Morris.