The holidays are coming up which means most businesses will wind down, lead generation efforts will be at a minimum, and the focus will be on next year’s strategy.
And although most B2B businesses take this approach during the holidays, yours shouldn’t.
In fact, if you’re looking to stand out from the competition, the holiday period is actually a key opportunity for lead generation that countless businesses miss every single year.
But if most businesses are winding down, how do you keep your lead gen efforts going? And is it worth the work?
In this post, we’ll cover the key outreach strategies you need for your holiday marketing plan and how to secure new clients while your competition isn’t even looking.
If you’re busy this holiday season and don’t have the time to dedicate to more marketing and outreach, Bant.io is the automation tool you need. With our proprietary software, we’ll find ideal prospects, engage, and book appointments for you so you can come back to your office in the new year with a full calendar. Request a demo now and we’ll show you exactly how we do it.
The Challenges of Generating Leads During the Holidays
There’s a reason a lot of businesses slow down during the holidays – the season does come with some challenges.
Business operations are winding down
Many B2B businesses have plans in place for the new year but with team members taking time off for the holiday period, it is much quieter. This can make it difficult to reach vendors or book appointments.
However, because business is slowing down, you might actually find team leaders respond to emails more during the holidays. Business leaders are often spending time during the holidays evaluating their options and making plans for the new year, which often means clearing out their emails and scheduling appointments for the new year.
If you do get in contact with a prospect, make sure you’re prepared and make it worth their time.
Steep discounts are expected
During the holiday season, discounts and holiday promotions are often expected as the norm and massively influence buyer behavior this time of year – even in the B2B space. With many businesses offering holiday discounts, it can be a little more difficult sticking to your normal rates when generating leads over the holiday season.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Stop Generating Leads During the Holidays
Although there are a couple of reasons why securing new leads during the holidays can be tricky, this time of year also comes with some considerable benefits.
- Your prospects are in the planning stage
December marks the year-end for many businesses, meaning many business leaders will be in planning mode. When businesses are thinking about next year’s budget and looking for solutions to improve, it’s the perfect time to introduce them to your product or service.
This gives you a head start over competitors and since they’re planning for next year, key decision-makers will be more open to pitches.
- There is less competition
It’s not just prospects winding down this time of year, your competitors are likely decreasing their lead generation efforts.
It’s a widely held standard that business slows down during the holidays – but that gives you a key opportunity to make progress and take the lead in your niche.
Even if you don’t close deals with prospects, you’ll plant the seed in their mind that your business takes initiative, and they’ll think of you in the new year when they’re ready to buy.
- Leads are still on social media
If you’ve tried reaching out to a potential customer but keep getting recorded holiday messages, remember, they’ll still be checking social media. In fact, people are on social media much more during the holidays.
This is a key reason to keep your social outreach campaigns active over the holidays – especially on LinkedIn.
It’s easy to keep conversations light and festive – all it takes is a simple “happy holidays” to start a conversation with someone and put them in a receptive mood.
- Prospects have annual goals
Any B2B business will have a budget ready to allocate for the upcoming year, but they might also have a remaining budget to allocate this year. If that budget has to be spent this quarter and they have goals to meet, they’re going to be actively looking for solutions.
What better time than now to pitch your product or service – especially if you have done your research identifying a potential pain point your potential customer has.
What Makes a Great Holiday Lead Gen Strategy
The benefits of continuing your lead generation efforts over the holiday season should have you sold. The next piece of the puzzle is tweaking your strategy to give your ideal holiday shoppers a more compelling reason to make a decision now and not wait until the new year.
Develop a strong inbound marketing strategy
Coming up to the holidays, review your inbound marketing strategy. Is the buyer journey simple and clear?
For example, check if your website is easy to navigate and optimized, make sure you have enough content for a potential buyer to do their research of your products and services, and keep up with your social media campaign.
Having every facet of your inbound marketing optimized going into the holiday shopping season will make it much easier for customers to make that buying decision quicker.
Stay active on social media
Staying active on social media is key for your holiday marketing efforts. The key difference is keeping it light and seasonal. Prospects are checking their social media more over the holidays, but they’re not hoping to see promotional business offers.
Instead, take this time to educate your target audience, give them tons of free value, and start discussions to keep engagement high throughout the festive period.
Many businesses make the mistake of forgetting to check their social channels, so messages are left unread and comments not replied to. This is a wasted opportunity to build relationships with new clients, so stay ahead of the competition and stay active throughout the holidays.
Send the perfect gifts to prospects
‘Tis the season of giving, so why not send prospects a gift during the holiday season? This helps set your business apart from the competition and shows you go the extra mile for your loyal customers.
Send thank yous
Lead generation isn’t just about finding new clients, it can also be about onboarding previous ones. Now is a great time of year to send thank yous to the clients you worked with and remind them of your services and offers.
This also goes a long way in securing referrals from previous clients. The more you can show you care about your customers, the more likely they are to refer you to colleagues or other businesses in their network.
Ask what customers would like to see from you next year
Customers want to feel valued, so now is a great time of year to get them involved in the discussion. Whether it’s on social media channels or your newsletter, ask your followers and email subscribers what they would like from you or how you could better serve them.
Encourage honest feedback at the end of the year and take steps to implement that feedback along with your usual buyer intent data in next year’s strategy.
Customers are much more likely to do business with companies they feel listen to their opinions and views.
Focus on database growth
Boost your database growth this year by promoting your email list more. Offer a free holiday-themed incentive for sign-ups and send out in-depth, valuable content throughout the holiday period.
Many businesses may not be interested in making a purchase with you before next year, but having them in your database will make it much easier to follow up next year and secure that business.
Tips for Generating Leads During the Holidays
To help you generate those last-minute leads during the holidays and right up until the new year, here are some key holiday marketing tips to follow.
It’s difficult to reach prospects at the best of times in the B2B market, but it gets a whole lot harder during the holidays. Call every few days if you can’t get through, send follow-up emails, and be persistent.
It may feel like you’re doing too much but your prospects are going to be busy this time of year and miss 90% of your communication efforts.
Having a persistent follow-up strategy will not only improve your chances of a return call but will show your prospects you are keen to do business with them.
Creating appointments with prospects is the main goal of lead generation, and the more automated you can make the process, the easier it is to stay consistent over the holidays.
With Bant.io, you get proprietary email outreach technology that not only sends high-converting, personalized email campaigns to prospects, but it also automatically engages and books appointments for you.
Imagine coming to your office at the beginning of the new year and seeing your calendar filled with new lead gen appointments – that’s what our done-for-your appointment booking services do.
Prospect with holiday spirit
It’s important to inject festivity into your outreach during the holidays. Prospects will generally be in the holiday spirit and the last thing they’ll want is a dry, corporate email to read through.
No matter what you celebrate this time of year, keep your holiday campaigns light and fun. Your proposition will be the same, but your delivery should be tweaked to align with the time of year.
There are plenty of office events and networking opportunities during the festive period. Although they’re not the place to pitch your ideas, they are the ideal place to become known to your clients and establish relationships. This will be invaluable when you send follow-up emails afterward.
Prospect on Fridays
In the month of December, a higher percentage of prospects take Fridays off, which is why most people don’t bother with lead generation on Fridays.
However, with fewer people in the office, the ones that are still there are much more likely to respond to emails and set up appointments (they’ll have fewer meetings and distractions).
Set aside Friday mornings to send out cold emails or set up appointments. You’ll get through to a lot of voicemails but have quality conversations with potential customers you do get through to.
Don’t let the holidays go to waste
Although the busy holiday season is actually a time to slow down, make plans for next year, and evaluate how the previous year went, it’s also the perfect time for setting new appointments.
With many businesses forgetting about lead generation this time of year, it’s an easy time to stand apart from the competition and show your prospects your company values their time and business.
But just because you’re committing to continued lead gen doesn’t mean it needs to take up more of your time. With Bant’s automated appointment scheduling software, you can book new client calls completely on autopilot and come back into your office next year with a full calendar of appointments to get started with.