By Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time for businesses to solidify their seasonal promotions so they see an increase in sales. As reported by CNBC, holiday spending is expected to rise by 5 percent in 2019, and if your seasonal marketing strategy isn’t in place, you’ll miss out on the extra revenue

Creating a seasonal promotion benefits your business for many reasons. For one, it brings more attention to your brand and furthers its reach. It also gives consumers another reason to shop with you versus your competitor if you offer a deal that’s too good to refuse. 

Whether your goal is to boost sales, grow your email list or improve customer engagement, you can achieve these objectives during the fruitful holiday season with a solid campaign.

Here are three ways your brand can use a seasonal promotion this year to increase sales.

Use gamification.

People love to play games, so why not add those elements to your seasonal promotion? Gamification is fun and gives your audience something unique and interesting to focus on. If they associate joy and excitement with your brand, they’re more likely to move through the conversion funnel and make a purchase.

For example, Kirkland created a campaign called “Home For The Holidays” to give its customers an incentive to participate in their holiday sweepstakes. If customers answer the brand’s weekly poll question, they receive two entries into Kirkland’s sweepstakes where they have the chance to win prizes.

Creating a seasonal game is a great way to boost user engagement and boost sales. The more you can get customers into the holiday spirit and stir up excitement, the sooner you’ll see an increase in revenue. 

Leverage psychology.

If you’re going to persuade your audience to buy from you for the holidays, leveraging psychology is a surefire way to do so. Most marketers aren’t psychologists. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t use psychological practices to further their marketing efforts and reach revenue targets.

One way to use psychology on your audience is to create a sense of urgency with your promotion. Because it’s seasonal, that adds to the feeling that consumers must buy as soon as possible if they want to catch a great deal. 

Use a countdown timer of your website’s seasonal landing pages and product pages to add urgency to your marketing strategy. Send email campaigns reminding subscribers about your limited-time offer with a call to action leading back to your landing page.

Another way to leverage psychology is through FOMO, or the fear of missing out. People don’t like to feel left out. If they see others enjoying a product or service, they’re more likely to follow along because they want to experience that feeling too.

Use FOMO to urge your customers to participate in your seasonal promotion. Incorporating phrases such as “act now” and “don’t miss out” triggers users into taking action and giving your promotion a second chance.

The more you can make people feel like they’re part of something special by engaging with your brand, the more of a spike you’ll see in your seasonal sales.

Showcase seasonal social proof.

If you don’t gain the trust of your audience, you won’t be able to keep them on your website so they engage with your content. If you’re going to push consumers through the sales funnel, then you need to show them you’re a business worth investing in.

According to Nielson’s “2012 Global Trust in Advertising”’ report, a staggering 92 percent of consumers trust earned media, such as family and friend recommendations, over traditional advertising. You can use this to your advantage by showcasing seasonal social proof on your website, in your emails and on social media.

Collect testimonials and reviews of customers who have raved about your seasonal products and promotions. Implement them into your newsletter. Post them to your social media accounts, and include them in your holiday email marketing campaigns. If your audience sees that customers just like them enjoy your products and services, they’re much more likely to follow in those footsteps and spend on you, too. 

During this time of the year, it’s crucial to consider how your business can cater to consumers’ needs to hit its target. The holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of increased customer spending so your brand can achieve its marketing goals and soar to new heights. 

Stephanie Wells is the founder of Formidable Forms, a drag & drop form builder for WordPress that empowers freelancers to create form-based solutions.

Published on: Dec 12, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.