Keep the Momentum Going: 5 Ways to Connect with your Network This Season

Lead generation is a year-round task, so why should the holiday season bring it to a halt? While many businesses focus on Christmas and New Years for generating leads, you can use the months of November and early December to revamp your business strategies and gain a long-term competitive edge.

Follow these smart tips to help capitalize on the momentum that’s been growing since the start of the year and end 2021 with a bang.

The Art of Effective Follow Up

While most businesses prioritize outreach during the holidays, they tend to forget the final step that ties everything together – follow-up. About 80% of sales leads need an average of five follow-ups after initial contact, and failing to do so means leaving money on the table.

Effective follow-up can add more qualified leads to your sales pipeline, which, in turn, will affect your sales revenue. However, the keyword here is “effective.” With a chunk of businesses marketing across channels during the holidays, it can lend to advertising fatigue and aversion to brands that overdo it.

To make your efforts more meaningful, set defined criteria of prospects/customers with whom you will follow up. Make a point of prioritizing these accounts, and keep up the cadence.

Host (or Sponsor) an Event

From ‘Charitable Christmas’ to ‘Crafting With Family’, the holiday season offers ample opportunities to network with customers through events. And with online events gaining popularity, the cost of infrastructure is no longer a constraint for businesses that wish to harness this opportunity.

Capitalize on events to capture lead information and use this data to build meaningful connections with your network. Invite the customers who showed an emphatic response during last year’s holiday season. Market the event online as well as off with the help of promotional items such as banners and flyers. 

After the event’s conclusion, consider distributing season-specific promotional items such as swag bags to cement your brand in your customer’s minds even after the holidays.

Targeted Touchpoints Through Direct Mail

As opposed to what sensationalized headlines want you to believe, direct mailing is not dead. USPS reports that American households receive an average of 454 direct mailers for marketing purposes. The response rate of direct mailers, which is pegged at 5.3%, is impressive against the 0.6% of emails, 0.6% of social media, 0.5% of paid search ads, and 0.9% of online displays. 

Even if you are heavily invested in the digital marketing front, direct mailing can be effectively used as a complementary strategy to bolster your efforts and beat the internet crowd. In fact, brands are already capitalizing on these opportunities by equipping direct mailers that offer online integration through QR codes, website links, etc.

Master Professional Gift-Giving 

If there’s one surefire way to endear your brand to customers, it’s sending them gifts. 

While gift-giving is known to strengthen interpersonal relationships, it is still an art that needs perfecting. The stakes are even higher around the holidays. After all, it is the season for exchanging gifts!

To make professional gift-giving more meaningful, we recommend the following Dos and Don’ts:

  • Skip the generic corporate gifts and make the gift more personal.
  • Curate a bunch of gifting options to match the recipients.
  • Match the gift according to your relationship level.
  • Gift from the heart rather than following a sense of obligation.
  • Go off the timeline and send your gifts in advance.
  • Utilize beautiful presentations to make your gifts stand out.
  • Keep your gift appropriate for the occasion and the receiver.

Offer Value to Your Customers

At the crux of it all, you need to offer upfront value to your customers. And there are several ways to meet these expectations.

Send out business cards that contain coupons or promo codes that offer attractive benefits to last-minute holiday shoppers. Branded calendars can ring in the New Year. In other words, the possibilities are endless.

As long as you continue to offer value consistently and across every touchpoint, you will notice that customers will be more open to connecting with your brand. Apart from higher engagement levels, you will also see a marked uplift in highly-qualified leads attracted through referral marketing and customer advocacy.

With the tips shared above, you can revamp your holiday networking efforts to make them more well-rounded, effective, and result-driven.

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