Marketing Dos and Don’ts Over the Christmas Period

The festive season is one of the most creative advertising periods and allows marketers more freedom than usual to express their imaginative flair; but that doesn’t mean the standard marketing dos and don’ts don’t apply. Like all times of the year, the Christmas season has its ups and downs and there are still some golden rules you need to abide by if you’re going to make the most out of the holiday period.

marketing dos and don’ts - The Brains
December 23, 2022
10 mins to read
marketing dos and don’ts - The Brains

At The Brains, we’re a leading SEO agency. We not only do marketing, but we teach it, too. We think it’s important to give businesses the power and knowledge they need to successfully run their own campaigns in-house, should they want to. There’s no secrets here – we’re fully transparent about what we do. That’s why we’re not locking down the marketing dos and don’ts of the Christmas season – we don’t want your campaigns to run awry when everything should be jolly and bright.


To help keep everything on track, here are the essentials of marketing over Christmas. 

Marketing dos

We’re starting off with marketing dos – the basic things you should be doing. These points are to marketers what the E-11 Blaster Rifle is to the Stormtroopers: standard issue. They should always be at the forefront of your mind when strategising over this time period, and the good news is, they’re very basic and easy to abide by.

Target seasonal terms

Firstly, you should be targeting season-specific search terms. Don’t be afraid to start sprinkling the word ‘Christmas’ into your SEO strategy around November time. It might seem too early then, but come December, you should start to see some positive traction. This will bode well when the time comes for customers to be searching for festive search terms. 

Too many businesses make the mistake of not including seasonal keyphrases in their strategies, both for organic website content and paid ad content, then wonder why they’re not capturing the holiday traffic but their competitors are. Don’t be shy – mention Christmas and the holidays and do keyword research specifically around it. 

If you don’t want to mention the big C months in advance, you can always publish content on your website but make it non-navigational until Halloween is over. This way, the content will still get crawled and indexed by Google, but you won’t have to deal with the many ‘Christmas already? It gets earlier every year!’ remarks. 

If you need help with curating Christmas content that converts, speak to us about our SEO copywriting services today.

Thank your customers

This goes without saying, but you need to show your gratitude to your customers. You should be taking steps to do this all year round, such as with unique discounts and thank you gestures, but Christmas is when you can make creative specifically to say, ‘thanks’. Think: email campaigns. 

We all like to feel special and valued, and recent years have been far from easy for any of us, so making sure your customers receive an email in their inbox that’s addressed to them and that shows you’re grateful is a good way to give back. After all, without your customers, your business would fail entirely, so it’s down to you to do everything you can to keep them on board. A little shoutout is the least you can do.

If you need help with your email marketing, speak to our team today.

Post promotions and discounts

If there’s one thing people love (and expect) at Christmas, it’s a promotion or a sale. Times are tough, and with so much shopping to do, it’s natural that people might expect some sort of holiday discount to help them out. Even if it’s a simple 10% off every order over £30, or free delivery, a promotion could be the difference between someone choosing to convert or not. 

To really push sales, consider putting a time limit on the discount or offer, such as free delivery if you order before midnight. This creates a sense of urgency and a fear of missing out, and these are two delightful (if slightly panicky) emotions that result in sales. So, if you’re in a sales slump, or if you simply want to capitalise on the festive season even more, fire up a little promotion and publicise it everywhere – including email and social media, and don’t forget to add a countdown to your PPC ads. 

If you need advice or help with PPC advertising or social media advertising, we are here.

Focus on your audience

Our final marketing do is to remember what really matters: your customers. Sure, you might have a lot of cool festive videos and snaps to share that feature your business and brand, and you might have lots of promotions and offers on, too, but these aren’t the be-all and end-all of Christmas marketing. 

At this time of year, sales are important, but engagement can go even further. Think about how you can give back. We’ve briefly mentioned a thank you email, but you can also explore giveaways and prizes, or shouting out customers and reaching out to them directly to say thank you. 

We know you’ll be inundated with sales and queries, but always remember to keep your customers at the forefront of everything you do, especially at Christmas.

Marketing don’ts

So now you know what to do, it’s time to shed some light on what not to do. Whilst there’s so much that could go right for your business over Christmas, there’s also a whole lot that could go wrong. Keep the Grinch from stealing your festive thunder by making sure you avoid these common errors.

Make big website changes

You might think that the Christmas break is the perfect time to overhaul and revamp your website, but this couldn’t be more wrong. Christmas is the busiest time of the year for eCommerce businesses, and it’s also when you’re likely to be running on skeleton staff, so it’s actually the worst time to be making big changes. Doing so runs the risk of a mistake happening and no one being in the office to spot it or rectify it, resulting in a bad user experience, a damaged reputation, and ruined sales.

marketing dos and don’ts - The Brains

Spam your customers

We spoke highly of promoting discounts earlier on, and we stand by it, but there’s a fine line to tread. You want your customers to be aware of discounts and how much you value them, but you don’t want to spam them. Don’t flood their inbox with several emails a week talking about your latest promotions and deals, and don’t clog up their timelines with endless promotional posts, either.

Christmas is stressful enough as it is for shoppers. Many will be keeping an eye out for tracking information on orders they’ve made and posts from loved ones – your business isn’t top of their priority list, so don’t insert yourself there.

Stick to the golden rules of self-promotion: once or twice a week at most. This will make sure people are aware of you and what you’re doing, but you’re not annoying them in the process.

Ignore the holiday season

No one likes a Scrooge. You might think posting about Christmas is tacky or beneath you, or that it might alienate some of your client base, but these aren’t good enough reasons to ignore the season altogether. Like it or not, Christmas is the biggest time of the year for online shopping. It’s when you stand to make the most profit, but if you don’t engage with it, why would people spend their money with you?

Festive cheer is contagious and goes a long way to humanising your brand and making you more relatable to your customers. Even if they don’t celebrate Christmas, they’ll still appreciate a discount, so you can still capture an audience, even if Christmas isn’t really their bag. No one is saying you need to go all out, but just a sliver of festive cheer is enough.

Run last-minute campaigns

Finally, under no circumstances, run a last-minute campaign or promotion. These things take time to plan and need meticulous attention to detail. If you decide on a whim to launch a 30% discount sale just because your competitor is doing so, there’s a very good chance something disastrous might happen. Strategise your promotions, plan them in advance, and stick to them.

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Final thoughts

So, those are the core Christmas marketing dos and don’ts. If you stick to these, everything should be merry and bright. If you’re struggling to keep on top of your marketing, though, and feel like you could benefit from some marketing magic, our Brains can help. Get in touch with us to find out how.

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