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3 Ways to Boost Holiday Sales in 2021

Last updated on October 19, 2022
10 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Create holiday-themed events that follow health and safety guidelines.
  • Set up gift cards in time for the holidays.
  • Feature holiday promotions to generate bookings.

Skill Level

All Skill Levels

With the holidays once again upon us, it’s time to execute your holiday marketing strategy to boost sales during what is traditionally a busy time of year. The holidays looked a little differently last year due to the pandemic, and while many activities and events have resumed in 2021, health and safety continue to be a priority. 

Individuals and businesses alike remain dedicated to celebrating the holidays this season — we all just have to get a little more creative in doing so. For businesses, participating in this year’s holiday season may include expanding your traditional reach to marketing your tours and activities during less common holidays, like No-Shave November and Giving Tuesday.

No matter what your holiday marketing efforts look like this year, this guide outlines three strategies sure to boost sales and get your business holiday-ready!

a close up of a sign

1. Safely connect friends and family with themed events

These past few years have proved that customers are willing to pay more for festive private tours and COVID-safe special events that get them out of the house or give them something to look forward to. In fact, 66% of online bookings in the third quarter of 2020 came from “COVID-safe” tours and activities (FareHarbor).

Advertise that your tours and activities are COVID-safe by sharing health and safety standards on your website so that guests know exactly what to expect. When marketing your holiday events or activities, be sure to promote what makes them safe. For example, highlight the fact that they take place outside, are private, or require all customers and employees to wear masks. 

If you have the ability to offer private tours for members of the same household, make the most of this opportunity by offering discounted rates or promoting your private experiences on social media, emails, and on your website.

Finally, get creative for the holidays! Make your tours and activities stand out by adding a celebratory touch. Host socially distant photo sessions with Santa before or after the tour, include a holiday gift basket add-on filled with local goodies, hold a holiday raffle, set up a drive-thru holiday display, or plan any other themed events that come to mind. 

2. Make it easy to gift your tours and activities

It’s the season of giving! Great news for tours and activity operators: 63% of U.S. adults would rather receive an experience than a material gift (Eventbrite and Harris Interactive). Don’t miss out on your slice of the pie — be sure to make it easy for your customers to purchase gift cards for your tours and activities to give to their friends and family. We can help you get your gift cards set up today with just a few details.

You might be wondering if you should create gift cards or gift certificates. Both are great options, but we recommend utilizing gift cards if possible. Gift cards allow the recipient to choose between all of your offerings, which can lead to upselling as the user might book several experiences or add-ons. Gift certificates, on the other hand, can only be used to book the activity for which it was purchased. People will be more inclined to purchase gift cards when they know that their recipient can choose exactly what they’d like to do!

graphical user interface, website

Dana Wharf does a great job of offering multiple gift card and gift certificate options so users can choose what type of gift they’d like to give. The website features gift certificates for specific cruises, gift card packages, and e-cash gift cards to be redeemed on anything the business offers.

a double photo of a person jumping in the air

graphical user interface, text, email

Draw attention to your gift cards: 

  • Add a call-to-action button in the menu of your website.
  • Add a banner on your website that calls out your gift cards.
    • Check out this example from Gateway Clipper. Bonus points for the festive holiday image in the background of the page.

a stack of flyers on a table

3. Entice users with a promo code

Everyone loves a good deal, especially around the holidays! Offering promo codes is an easy way to encourage customers to book a tour or activity. Visit our Help Center to learn how to set up promo codes. 

Frequently asked questions about promo codes:

Q: Can I include a promo card in a gift card?
A: Yes! If you want to run a promotion on your gift cards, the team at FareHarbor can set that up for you in time for the holidays.

Q: Why would I want to include a promo code for a gift card?
A: If your business isn’t operational during the holidays but you still want to cash in on the holiday gift-giving season, you can incentivize customers to purchase a gift card now to use down the road by offering a discount.

Additional ways to generate buzz for your holiday campaigns

Regardless of what holidays you choose to promote this season, it is critical to make the most of your marketing efforts. Follow these tips and tricks to promote your offerings and drive bookings:

  • Promote the campaign on social media.
  • Create a blog post about the holiday and why your business is celebrating it.
  • Ask your audience to contribute user-generated content and share their best ideas.
  • Create holiday-themed social media giveaways and reward winners with free merchandise, discounted bookings, or other perks.
  • Add a banner to your website so visitors can easily see the promotion you’re running.
  • Create landing pages for the promotion or event early so that Google has time to index the page and users have time to find it.
    • Use the same URL if you’re promoting the same event every year rather than creating a new URL (e.g. use sale/cyber-monday rather than sale/cyber-monday-2021).
  • Get involved with your community. Reach out to other tour operators or businesses to see how you can partner up to further promote both of your businesses.

We hope you’re ready to boost your holiday sales with these quick tips! Don’t forget to follow the holiday promotion checklist to keep track of all your marketing efforts. Happy holidays!

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