Traditionally Boxing Day was when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their employers (think year-end bonus). These gifts would often be packaged in small boxes and might even include delicious boxed up left-overs from their extravagant Christmas meals the day before. In some places Boxing Day is actually better known as St. Stephen’s Day and is celebrated as a religious day. As accounts reveal, St. Stephen’s Day came into being when special offerings were collected in church donation boxes to help the needy. In modern times, however, Boxing Day has become a retail holiday in places like Canada and the UK (akin to our Black Friday). Boxing Day also plays host to a number of high-profile rugby, soccer, cricket, and horse racing events worldwide.
Now that we’re all caught up on the origin of Boxing Day, let’s go over what your business can learn from this interesting holiday:
The holidays are a great time to let your customers know that you appreciate them. Offering special deals and promotions for existing customers is a great way to reward loyalty and is often much appreciated during a time of the year when money can be tight. Even if you don’t give anything away of monetary value, hand-writing a card can go a long way in recognizing the people that help your business succeed. In fact, one local service provider told me that she started sending inexpensive holiday cards to each of her past clients and the results were overwhelming – in no time at all they booked the whole month of January and suddenly started receiving positive online reviews across Yelp and Angie’s List. So before you think customer appreciation is a waste of time or money, think again!
The office can get crazy during the holidays as employees take vacation-time and orders pour in, but after the frenzy dies down, take some time to reconnect with your community as a business. Giving back to the community that supports you is just good sense – it gets your team out of the office for a change of pace and helps make where you live and work to a better place. Lots of charities and non-profits need help after the holidays as they plan the year ahead, so why not have employees sign up for some volunteering hours?
Continuing the Holiday Season
Boxing Day is an extension of the holiday season and represents an important business opportunity. While Boxing Day falls immediately after Christmas, there are plenty of other holidays that prolong the holiday season even further. Don’t forget about your marketing goals during these less popular holidays, because they’re still really important. Here are just a few that you should be aware of:
Mid-Dec to mid-Jan – Winter break for schools and universities
Dec 31 – New Year’s eve
Jan 1 – New Year’s Day
Jan 3 – Mawlid al-Nabi
Jan 6 – Epiphany
Jan 7 – Christian Orthodox Christmas
Marketing to different audiences throughout the entire holiday season instead of just up until Free Shipping Day can be a lucrative strategy to capitalize on more niche holiday traffic. So keep think twice before turning off your online ads and giving your marketing team the rest of the month off!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!