This Holiday, Be the Last-Minute Hero


There are many reasons a business might need a last-minute promotion in Q4, from under-performing tactics to stock miscalculations, to bad timing and simple human error.

It’s smart to have a few tactics up your sleeve…even if just to impress your C.E.O. In that spirit, our incentive experts offered up this list of last-minute incentive tactics to take you from under the wire to over forecast.

Elite for a Day. If you have a loyalty program, give your non-member customers membership for a day. For your members, elevate them to elite status for a day. This promotion delivers the perks of status, drives sales and inspires top shoppers to shop more often to keep their new-found status.

Send a Holiday Greeting. Don’t try to sell anything—keep it sincere to wish your top customers a happy holiday. Then, a few days later, hit up the same list with a special incentive to use your services.

D.I.Y. Sales. To make your business a holiday priority, position a standard coupon or door buster as a “Choose Your Own Sale Day” where they get to pick the day to save or get an incentive.

12 Days of Giveaways. To create buzz and generate daily traffic, give something away every day with purchase. The giveaway can be timed to bring customers in during off-peak hours…or during peak hours to create even more buzz.

Final-Hours Shipping. Cater to procrastinators! Contact your shipping provider to ask for discounted overnight shipping rates, then pass them on to your customers to get their gifts delivered on time. Plus, procrastinators are well aware that they might have to pay more for their tardiness.

Operation Feel Good. More than ever, media outlets are looking for feel-good holiday stories. Think about what makes your business stand out—or do something outstanding. Help a family, honor our troops, support an employee or host a charity event…make a difference and send out a press release to draw positive attention to your business.

Offer Irresistible Incentives. Choose incentives that work with your operations and your budget. They can range from discounting your own products or services, free gifts (related or unrelated to your business), and instant gift cards to your or other businesses. The most successful incentives have broad appeal, offer a high value and make customers think of you long after the holidays have past.

Talk to an Expert. We are always striving to serve you—and your customers—with motivating experiences that support your brand and help your business thrive through the holidays and beyond.

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