Alright, team, I'm about to spill the beans on how we made our 2023 Christmas Gift Guide Sponsorship offer a smashing success- and how YOU can use some of these strategies to boost sales in the lead up to Christmas too!
Here's the context
In 2022 we ran our first Christmas Gift Guide. I'll admit it was last minute idea and ended up being LOTS of work! While it was a success, it didn't nearly reach it's potential for She Owns It as a business OR for this community.
Here's what I did wrong:
1. Didn't plan in advance (winged it from end to end)
2. Didn't offer sponsor spots
3. Didn't plan in earlybird offers, Member discounted spots
4. Didn't use categories to make browsing easy
5. Didn't promote it as widely as we could've for as long as we could've
6. Didn't track and measure results clearly
Anyhoo, moving on fast (😂) the opportunity was clearly there so this year we endeavoured to level up, and so far, great results!
So, in the hope of helping you avoid some of the same mistakes in the lead up to Christmas, here's a run down of what's made a difference so far, I'd love to know in the comments below if you get any ideas!
The pre- launch
So yesterday, inside the Membership I announced a Pre Launch of our Christmas Gift Guide.
Before I announced it, we updated the Gift Guide page, adding in clear sample Sponsor spots, categories, and sample listings so people could see what it is going to look like.
I gave Members the heads up that the Gift Guide will be launching soon, and the opportunity to get involved now by snapping up a Sponsor spot or grabbing a FREE listing.
This was the offer:
Option 1: Community Sponsorship (10 spots available)
Premium placement at the top of the Gift Guide, 3 x Sponsor Shoutouts across our socials in Oct/ Nov/ Dec, She Owns It Membership for 1 year
Price: $350 + GST
Earlybird Member Offer: $200 + GST (Offer closing 6th October)
Option 2: Listings & Bundles
Single Listing on the Gift Guide or a Bundle of 5 or 10 Listings
$20 + GST per Listing/ $60 Bundle of 5/ $120 Bundle of 10
Earlybird Member Offer:
2 Listings Free (Offer ends Oct 6th)
Member Only Earlybird Price: For additional listings book your bundles before October 6th to get 50% off ($10 Single Listing, $30 for a bundle of 5, $60 for a bundle of 10)
Results & insights so far
All ten Sponsor spots sold out over night, plus two bundles which was a happy surprise. Total income $2120 + GST.
As my other half kindly pointed out, if they sold out that quick they're probably way too cheap 😂😂😂. Yes that's true. However, as noted above, this was an offer off the back of a promise of reach and exposure, without solid stats to go off.
The Members who've signed up for this HAVE got a great deal, but I know they're also doing it to show support for this community and have put their trust in me that I'll do my best to get them a ROI +++.
So, my job now is to make that happen for them by tracking page hits and trackable links on all of their Sponsor promo.
Next year, I'll be making sure they get the first chance for Sponsor Spot packages again! With more tracking and stats and proof behind us, the price will go up (setting expectations there) but they'll get the first option to choose to be involved.
Also, depending on how the admin goes this year, we could add in Category based premium listings- pay more to get your listing at the top of the category type thing. We'll see!
I want to make sure the Sponsor spots remain the best ones in terms of visibility so would need to make sure of that.
Finally, the popularity of these Community Sponsor Spots tells me I should also be reaching out to aligned corporate sponsors to get behind this.
Watch this space, it's not my comfort zone so I'll need to push (inside my head) boundaries to make that happen!
Breaking down the strategies
1. Member only Pre- Launch
I'm always looking at ways to add value inside our Membership, and I know that one of the hardest things for a lot you is visibility. So, offering free listings and Member only discounted rates for a pre launch is a no brainer.
I hope it helps our Members feel exclusive and special! It also means by the time we 'actually' launch the Gift Guidewill be populated with Sponsors and Listings, which adds social proof and encourages more people to get involved.
2. Earlybird Pricing
Earlybird pricing is like a secret handshake for savvy shoppers. It's where you offer a sweet deal but only for a short time. Why? 'Cause it kicks up urgency, and helps people get off the fence to buy. Here's how we did it:
Limited spots are like saying, "We've got something special, but not everyone can have it." Here's how we did it:
How you can use these strategies
If you've got a product or products available for sale on your website YEAR round, on what's called an evergreen basis, you might be wondering why the sales just aren't happening.
The above is a simple example of the difference between trying to make evergreen sales with no urgency, and making sales using the combined urgency of limited time only, limited number available, limited access to purchase.
Ethically, using urgency can be challenging. No - one wants to TRICK people into buying their products or services.
But here's the thing.
If you have a product or service that you KNOW has great value, you KNOW people who do buy get results from as a consumer I know I'd much rather purchase from YOU than from big business.
So please, encourage me to do it by using urgency ethically to encourage buzz and more sales.
Calendar based events offer such great opportunities for businesses to do that! You have a legitimate reason to:
- celebrate with your community
- make an offer
- put a time limit on it
and make a big song and dance about it!
What's coming next...
Well obviously it's only September so we have lots of scope to make this Gift Guide a huge success this year!
Our Members (sign up to the waitlist here if you want to get involved) have until the 6th of October to grab their free listings and discounted bundles.
After this, we'll be officially launching the Gift Guide mid October with a Give-away (watch this space) and our wider community will also have the chance to get their Listings submitted.
Actual promotion for the Gift Guide will start from the 15th of October, so we'll be working hard to send all sorts of traffic to the page- using our social channels, ads and community involvement.
It's going to be so fun sharing this far and wide!
I feel SO MUCH better about this given the small amount of time I've put into to planning this time around.
I know these results aren't transformational or million dollar business making- but it's all benchmarking and informing future decisions for me.
Plus, it's all so feel good and aligned with our vision for getting behind women- owned businesses.
I just hope that something in the above will spark some ideas or energy or action from you that brings some success as you move forward!
I'd love to hear from you below if you have any takeaways? Let me know! ⤵️⤵️⤵️