The busy holiday season can sneak up on you fast and if you are not prepared your art gallery could miss out on maximizing the revenue opportunity. Here we will look at some potential steps to take early, so your business makes the most of the shopping season.
People start thinking about gift ideas as early as August and September and really start shopping in October. My local grocery store in early October has Halloween and Christmas items sitting side-by-side. Sigh…..
This is the time to start planting the seed in your collector’s and prospect’s mind that art could be a memorable gift for the holidays. You want buyers to know what you offer and how easy you make purchasing art as a gift. Or for themselves.
Holiday Marketing Plan for the Gallery
There are some important areas of marketing, sales, and general organization that should be carefully considered as part of your gallery holiday plan. Below, I break down the elements you might want to include:
- Plan seasonal events and any other special items you will have available, such as decorative items, jewelry, handmade ornaments and other gifts outside of your normal gallery inventory.
- Consider special partnerships in your community, such as charities or pop-up locations for expanded exhibitions or promotions.
- Decide if gallery’s hours will be extended to make after-work shopping easier.
- Design holiday inspired graphics to help tie your gallery’s marketing campaigns together throughout the holiday season. These graphics could be used on email newsletters, your website, and social media.
- Determine how your holiday marketing plan will be tracked so you know what worked well and what should be revised for next year.
Next get more specific about what holiday promotional activities you will implement for each of your marketing channels. Let’s look at few ideas.
- Send holiday greeting cards to all those who have purchased from you in the past to remind them of your gallery and say thank you.
- Promotional postcards and mailed gallery invitation can be more effective during the holidays especially for more affluent collectors. They definitely stand out over the flood of email your clients will be receiving during the season.
- Use a single gorgeous image, clear message and call to action. Modern postcard is one of my favorite resources, although Mailchimp has just started offering this service as well.
- Make changes to your website that are specific to the holiday season. Emphasize what the gallery is offering and how you make giving the gift of art special.
- Make sure your gallery’s event calendar page is updated well in advance, so people can plan to attend your events.
- Plan what additional holiday campaign landing pages could be valuable. Consider creating a specific holiday page for recommended gifts, services and events offered throughout the season. Use this page for your gallery ads, social posts and emails to drive to during the season. This can be extremely effective at helping to increase web sales.
- Add holiday specific keywords and meta tags so search engines pick up your site for online shoppers.
- You might also add holiday design elements that mirror your email campaigns to give your site a festive look.
- Define your plan for email communication, timing, and messaging that is both attention grabbing and informative.
- Plan holiday themed subject lines and preview text for your emails to improve open rates during the season.
- Decide if you will change your email template to be visually festive during the season and get that design ready to go. For example, you may want to use the footer as place to promote gallery gift certificates throughout the holiday season.
- Most importantly, segment your mailing list for targeted and interest relevant communications to warm and hot leads. These could come directly from gallery sales associates vs. the gallery itself. Your prospects may respond more favorably.
- Social media success is becoming more reliant on advertising. Consider running paid ad campaigns on the social media platforms where your gallery business has the largest and most engaged presence.
- Share your holiday social media marketing plan with your artists and community partners. Get them involved by asking them to share your posts with their networks and vice versa.
- For more ideas on planning your art gallery’s social media plan for the holiday season, check out Art Gallery Social Media Marketing for the Holidays
Get Organized and Add Holiday Value
Success during the holidays is more likely if your organized. You know that. Creating a simple calendar for all the pieces of your art gallery’s holiday communications will make your job much easier and ensure that your messaging is comprehensive. If you already use a marketing calendar – Bravo! Just add your holiday specific items to it. The calendar should include:
- Dates for when holiday specific email campaigns will go out
- Social media updates
- Holiday related website updates
- Gallery events
Don’t forget to create and order printed materials such as direct mail postcards and holiday greeting cards. Sending handwritten or hand addressed cards adds a personal touch that gets noticed at the mailbox, but takes time if you have a large list.
An art gallery may not be the retail business for typical holiday sales. Instead determine what extra value you can offer during the busy season to make life a little easier for your clients. Value might include gift wrapping, private shopping appointments, payment plans, or special Champagne installations for holiday purchases. Decide what would work best and appeal to your market.
It may also be a good idea to more actively promote throughout the season such services as lay-away or payment plans.
To the Point
Your collectors will be inundated with holiday messages after Thanksgiving. Actually, probably Halloween. Careful planning and starting to plant the seed early could make a big difference in your bottom line. Help your prospects see how easy it is to buy art from your gallery by focusing on the value you offer in the gallery and the services you provide busy shoppers.
Getting organized early for the busy season can help take the marketing task off your shoulders when it comes time to implement.