Many companies spend more of their marketing budget in the few months around the winter holidays than the whole rest of the year. It’s easy to see why: consumers spend billions Halloween through New Year’s.


But that doesn’t mean that marketers have to go hog wild to succeed. In fact, being smart about how you market around the holidays – to get the most bang for your buck and optimize your direct mail success – is as important now as ever. And being smart, in large part, is about timing. Here’s why: 


Everyone advertises in November and December . . . a lot! By advertising earlier, and more often, you can stay ahead of the curve, and more importantly, ahead of your competitors. 


Mailing early and often keeps you top-of-mind with your customers and also allows them time to shop well before the holiday rush. Many people start their holiday shopping in October or even before, so give them lots of opportunities to visit your store or shop online. 


4 seasonal marketing tips 


1) Stay fresh – Don’t reuse the same postcard designs or slogans from last year, and don’t copy your competitors. Give your customers and prospects something new, something different, something that sets you apart from the rest. Try new strategies – enable mobile marketing, mail a flyer instead of a postcard, buy a mailing list instead of Every Door Direct Mail (or vice versa). Mixing it up keeps your customers interested and allows you to see what works this year as opposed to last. (If last year’s strategy was a real winner, play upon it in this year’s campaign.)


2) Be consistent – Even if you are using new designs, new slogans, new types of mailers, it is still important that your message and your brand remain consistent – between this year and last, and across all marketing channels. Consistency builds brand awareness and recognition, which enables you to build a relationship with your prospects and customers. 


3) Personalize – A personalized mailer attracts recipients’ attention and engages them. So wherever you can, try to personalize the experience. Use the recipients’ first names, use photos that mimic what you know about their lifestyle, tailor the message based on their unique interests. For example, a pizza company segmented its customers into three categories: families, college students, and seniors. The company created three different mail pieces, each with photos reflecting the demographic (i.e., a family eating pizza together, a group of college kids in the dorm) and saw a great increase in response rate. 


4) Market often – They say it takes about seven “touches” before your audience makes a purchase. So the more you market, the better chance you have of converting those prospects into customers. How often? Mail enough to develop and nurture the relationship with your prospects, but not too often that you are annoying. Always, keep your message and your offer fresh and enticing. When prospects get value from what you send them, they’ll look forward to receiving your mailers – and they’ll think of you when it’s time to buy. 


With these four seasonal marketing tips, don’t delay! If you haven’t already, start planning your 2014 seasonal marketing campaign to beat the holiday rush to your customers and prospects. To get started, visit