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Kate Gingold
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Christmas in July

If you sell products, you likely already plan for holiday sales by offering discounts, buy- one-get-one deals or free shipping. No doubt you advertise these promotions through emails to past customers and ads on your own website.

Take some time now in the off-season to locate complimentary businesses that you can build a relationship with so you can advertise on their website as well. Work with the Amazon model of "people who bought A also bought B." Brainstorm what other products your customers might buy that go well with yours.

For instance, if you sell vitamins, try a company that sells work-out clothes. Or pregnancy books. Or travel items for busy executives. Look for non-competitive, complimentary products and pitch a collaborative marketing plan to them. You can each code your website to hide the promotion automatically when the deal ends for complete control.

If you provide a service rather than a product, you can still take advantage of holiday marketing by offering gift certificates. Judging by the number of Groupon clones on the Internet right now, people have become very comfortable using print-at-home certificates. Also who doesn't love the ability to shop at home in their pajamas at any odd hour during the cold, busy days of December?

Our client Elegante Salons offers hair, skin and nail care along with massage and body treatments. You can't stick a stylist in your mom's stocking, but you can certainly buy a gift certificate to put under her tree.

At the Elegante Salons website,  you can choose between four different themes for your gift certificate: holiday, birthday, mother's day and any-occasion. Then you decide on the denomination. Pay for the gift using your credit card at PayPal, a proven, secure online payment system. Then simply print out the certificate on your home printer.

Each certificate is individually numbered to prevent unauthorized copies from being redeemed, protecting both the customer and the service provider, and you don't need to drive to the mall to pick it up.

With a little creative thinking, any service could be provided by gift certificate and you could still use the complimentary business collaboration for marketing. July is a great time to plan for holiday marketing – contact us today and we'll help you brainstorm the possibilities!

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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