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What are seasonal promotions?

Seasonal promotions are special offers, discounts or limited edition items tied to an event during the year. This can be a specific holiday such as Memorial or Columbus Day, or a certain time of year, such as back-to-school season. The primary benefit of these promotional marketing strategies is to attract attention to your business at an opportune time and increase revenue in an otherwise quiet period. In some cases, these seasons are critical to revenue because they represent a time when a substantial amount of your sales takes place. Additionally, increasing interest at unique times of the year offers you various chances of converting one-time customers into loyal patrons. You can provide an experience that is memorable to consumers, boosting your brand and delivering quality results.

Types of holidays

There are three types of timely events from which you can build a seasonal promotion. They are as follows:

  • Recognized holidays. These are typical holidays such as Thanksgiving, Labor Day and Valentine's Day.

  • Annual events. These are periods of time where certain cultural events occur consistently at a specific time of the year. A good example of this is the back-to-school season, which coincides with the time of year when children and young adults prepare to return to school, usually mid-August to mid-September.

  • Nontraditional holidays. These are days of the year that aren't considered real holidays but are commemorated because they serve a specific purpose. Consider National Craft Month as an example, or National Coffee Day. They're usually supported and celebrated by business groups associated with the subject matter.

Seasons and holidays enable opportunities for promotion.

Understand what roles a holiday plays in promotions

Not every holiday or annual event can apply to you, nor should they. If you constantly latch on to every holiday with a full-fledged sale, you'll cut into your profit margins. Depending on the types of products you sell, there may be certain times of the year where you get the most revenue, and it's during that period where a promotion is most effective. For example, lawn and garden products are ideal for sales on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

A great way to understand the effects of a promotion is to use sales lift as a metric. This measure determines the difference between promotional and baseline sales. Getting the latter portion of the metric right is crucial, for it provides a foundation from which you can determine the campaign's success, but it is highly variable due to factors such as seasonality, product trends and unforeseen circumstances like a disaster or viral effect on sales. Three areas where you can possibly base your initial sales include sales prior to your promotion, a 52-week window or prior-year seasonal average that eliminates historical promotional periods. Once you have a reliable baseline, you can determine if the promotion is effective enough to draw in enough sales.

A seasonal promotion can help you boost sales by increasing your visibility among consumers. Whether it's for National Golf Day on October 4 or the more well-known Columbus Day a week later, providing a promotion linked to the day or event can give you a revenue lift that accounts for sales while giving you potential new customers.

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