Get Customers in the Store for Christmas in July

Tip #416 - Christmas in July

Dear Tip of the Weeker,

This year "Christmas in July" - July 25th, 2010 -  lands on a Sunday which makes it perfect timing for a simple, fun, week-long promotion.

Start by making your customers a Christmas in July card... like this one we made for you!

Get customers with a Christmas in July card.

It only took about 15 minutes to gather up the team, head to the beach, and get the shot. If you're not lucky enough to have the gorgeous beaches of Lake Michigan in your backyard (wink!) head for another summery spot like a park, baseball diamond, swimming pool, garden, or marina.

Adding the frame, funny hats for John and Susan, and the Merry Christmas text took another few minutes. There are lots of great photo sites that will let you do this, so pick your favorite and in less than a half hour you can have the kick off for your promotion ready to go.

Next, decorate your store but don't over-think or over-do. The idea is to make this promotion fun, spontaneous, and kitschy. Put a string of colorful Christmas lights around the counter. Wear Santa hats. Decorate a small potted Spruce and put it in the window. Crank up the A/C to make your store feel wintry inside.

In a twist on the always-popular "12 Days of Christmas" promotion (Tip #388,) send your customers one email a day starting on Monday next week. Offer one crazy-good "deal of the day" and announce the fun Christmasy activity for that day.

Here's a possible schedule of Christmasy activities (and you will certainly come up with more fun ideas of our own!)

Monday: Email your Christmas in July Card and announce the promotion. Give away candy canes or other red and green candies.

Tuesday: Play Christmas carols in the store all day long. Ask a church choir, the high school ensemble, or local barbershop quartet to come sing carols in front of your store.

Wednesday: Serve hot chocolate and sugar cookies with red and green sprinkles on them. (Slice and bake!  Keep it simple.)

Thursday: Bring in your biggest TV to the store and have a Christmas in July movie festival. Show your favorite Christmas movies like "White Christmas," "A Christmas Carol," or "The Miracle on 34th Street."

Friday: Rent a snow cone maker and give away red and green "snowballs."

Saturday: This is Christmas in July Eve! Santa comes to the store (in Bermuda shorts?) and takes pictures with your customers.

Sunday: Christmas in July! Give every customer (anyone who buys that day) a gift. Wrap up a bunch of old merchandise you don't want or can't sell and make a grab bag of gifts. It's like a 'buy one, get one free' sale, but you get to decide what they get for free! And the grab bag adds the fun of a lottery to the event.

Whether you do your Christmas in July promotion for the whole week, the weekend or just one day, it's a simple, fun way to get your customers in the store and buying.
Merry Christmas in July!

Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,

Bob Susan