I know we all cringe to see holiday trees and decor on display in August, but take it as a not-so-gentle reminder to get your holiday plan in place now.

It’s tricky to do during the last sweaty days of summer, but first get yourself in the right frame of mind; not the ho-ho-ho kind, but the true spirit of the season no matter your beliefs. What is it that you would like to convey to your clients and how do you want them to feel after hearing from you? It’s important to bring emotion and sincerity into any campaign during the holiday season – it is NOT the time for a hard sell campaign, save that for another season. The exception to the soft-sell rule is that it’s ok to be very competitive with your offer in the name of buying the “perfect gift” for that special someone.

Now that you’re in the holiday spirit, I offer a couple of ideas for you to kick around.

Idea #1: Everyone Loves to Receive a Gift with No Strings Attached

No matter what, it always feels good to receive a gift just because someone appreciates you. It’s important to select a real gift with value that doesn’t require tons of hoops to jump through just to get it. Use the gift campaign as an opportunity to thank your customers for their loyalty. You can ask for some type of action to receive the gift, but make it simple and gracious. For example, a free item/service with any visit to your shop, special commemorative gift for donors, or home-baked goods delivered with your holiday card will all make a positive impact. Even in today’s fast-paced digital world, goodwill goes a long way.

Idea #2: Make It Very Easy to Do Business with You during the Busy Holiday Season

The scarcest resource during the holidays is time. Developing strategies to make it easy to do business with you or quickly respond to your campaign will improve results. Always make the decision easy, whether that means a special bundled package with everything included for one flat rate price or a simple way to respond via email/web landing page that takes just seconds, help your customer simplify their life.

Idea #3: Offer Deferred Billing until January 2015

Offer the option to invoice clients now or wait until January 2015. For some companies the option to push expenses into the next fiscal year allows them to say yes to your proposal on the spot and saves tons of follow-up calls. Clearly tout the special financing option on all promotions, again as a way to make their lives easier during the busy holiday season. Sick of that yet?

Idea #4: Become a Drop-Off Site for a Give-Back Campaign of Your Choice

Offering your facility as a charitable drop-off site gives people the opportunity to interact with your company in a very different way. Trust me, the amount of loyalty and goodwill an event like this generates is mind-blowing. Whether it’s a food drive, Toys for Tots, clothing drive, or gift drive for local military officers that can’t get home, make sure it’s a cause that’s close to your heart. It’s a great opportunity to involve your employees in the selection of the cause, organization of the event, and to experience the great feeling that comes from helping others.

I’ll admit this is premature, but I wish a wonderful holiday season and happy 2015 to each and every one of our client partners! All of us at Three Dog Logistics value your business and are doggone happy to call you a part of our team.