For shops, both brick-and-mortar and online, holidays are the hottest time of the year. It’s the final chance to improve the bottom line, so businesses are ready to fight to the death for their customers’ attention and money. But what if you’re not Amazon or Macey’s, but a humble software developer with a limited budget and a product that cannot be promoted as ‘a perfect gift for your loved ones?’
Fret not! You can still use this frantic time to attract new customers, strengthen relationships with existing ones, and raise brand awareness without spending a fortune on it.
In this article, we’ll share 7 marketing strategies for SaaS companies that want to make the most of the holidays.
Most SaaS companies cannot afford to provide huge discounts on new subscriptions: despite the short-term hype, this devalues the product and can hurt the business in the long run.
Upselling is another deal. Customers already understand the value of your product, and offering them more features at a special price will boost their loyalty and increase their average paycheck at the same time.
You can offer an upgrade at the end of your Year in Review newsletter—the report will show how much you (or your clients with a dash of your help) have achieved throughout the year and encourage people to do even more in the next one. Or you can offer an extended trial for a higher plan to let people explore the cool new features—that can also help tip the scale toward an upsell.
#2 Gift Downloadable Products
Contrary to popular belief, showering your clients with gifts isn’t obligatory. However, a downloadable product—an ebook with unique knowledge, an online course, or an (all-time favorite) gift card—can be a great prize for any holiday-themed social media activities. Run a contest or giveaway on social media to raise brand awareness. Or select a few winners among your existing client base to boost loyalty. Whatever your holiday strategy is, a downloadable product will be the perfect partner to achieve your goals.
#3 Be Creative with Your Newsletter
A holiday newsletter is a great way to connect with your clients. Sending a light-hearted message with a personal touch helps your audience see the people behind the brand, instill trust, and turn ‘customers’ into ‘community’. So even if you don’t do any big promotions, a holiday newsletter is a good investment into client retention.
Sending a traditional well-designed email newsletter is fine, but if you want to leave the mark, why not try something different? For example, you can create an interactive flipbook, a life-like publication you can pack with videos, GIFs, and pop-ups. And while email newsletters are limited to, well, emails, a flipbook is available via a direct link. Which lets you share it on social media and embed it into your website to maximize outreach. Here’s an example of a newsletter we, at FlippingBook, created a few years back:
FlippingBook's Christmas Recipes
Need more holiday content ideas? Check out our blog post.
#4 Run Social Media Referral Campaigns
If you want to use the holidays to expand a client base, promoting your product via referrals is the perfect way to do so. Encourage existing clients to gift subscriptions to your service by adding an extra free month or extending a trial period. Enabled with social proof, the product won’t lose value for new clients, and your loyal customers will feel good about sharing something great with their friends.
True, this mostly works for B2C, not B2B businesses, but if you are one, don’t hesitate to try it.
Pro tip: Give back through charity.
You can offer to give a portion of your profits coming from the holiday referral campaign to charity. It aligns perfectly with the Christmas mood of sharing and giving back and will win you a couple of social points (besides, obviously, doing a good deed).
#5 Share What’s in Store
It’s only natural that at the end of the year people take a look back. Businesses talk about their achievements, share statistics, and dwell on important milestones. That’s a great strategy if you have strong figures and events to highlight.
And what if it was a quiet year for you? It’s okay. Just look forward. Give clients a glimpse at your roadmap, and share bits of exciting new features or upcoming events. Knowing you have it all planned out will boost trust and give people a reason to stay at your side next year as well.
#6 Promote Holiday Use Cases
Can your product be used to solve a holiday-related issue? Then you are among the lucky few who can create amazing holiday content without scraping for ideas for weeks. Promote your B2B holiday solution: post on social media, create a themed video, run an email campaign. Or host a free webinar explaining how to use the product to solve the problem. Even if people haven’t associated your product or service with holidays before, now is your chance to expand their knowledge and display/showcase even more value of your product. Just remember to focus on people’s real pain points instead of only talking about the features — and don’t forget to add a couple of real-life examples to prove your point.
This strategy works for both prospective and current clients, so you can use it to get new subscriptions as well as connect with your audience.
#7 Don’t Run a Holiday Campaign
We promised a twist, didn’t we? Well, here it is. Don’t run a holiday campaign. Just don’t!
It may feel counterintuitive. However, keeping in mind that holidays are the most expensive time for paid ad campaigns (spiking 25%, according to American Marketing Association), and people’s inboxes are bursting with promotional emails, this isn’t that crazy a suggestion.
If your business has nothing to do with holidays, the budget is limited, and clients are busy wrapping up gifts or running marketing campaigns of their own, it’s okay not to go overboard with promotions.
Keep it simple: write a heart-warming email with thanks and seasonal greetings or make a short personal video featuring the team behind your brand. Anything to let your clients know you share the sentiment and think about them during the holiday season.
And when everyone calms down a bit, you can use the post-Christmas quietness to run a cheaper—and more effective—campaign.
And there you have it. We hope this article gave you a few fresh ideas on a holiday marketing strategy. As a fellow SaaS business, we wish you the best of luck with your next holiday season!