Black Friday and cyber MondayIf you run an online business, even over here in the UK, your competition is getting ready to launch their Christmas campaign with gusto.

For the US and Canada, the first Friday after Thanksgiving is traditionally the start of the Christmas shopping season. Most retailers offer special promotions and major discounts on this one day and even open the stores as early as 4am! It all creates a sense of urgency (as well as queues around the block and traffic jams). But it doesn’t end there, Black Friday is soon followed by Cyber Monday (invented as an attempt to boost sales after the Black Friday mayhem).

What better way to start your Christmas sales than an eyecatching Black Friday / Cyber Monday offer? Whatever the excuse, now is the time to get going with your Christmas sales. And what better way to say thank you than to send your subscribers or best customers a personalised offer. Do some clever Facebook marketing and target your list only with a discounted offer or send out an email postcard, or even pop one in the post, to your best customers. Or go all out and transform your website into a flash sale and encourage visitors to sign up to get your special offer.

Here are some sparkling design ideas to get your Christmas offer to stand out and tempt people in.

Make them feel special

Pay special attention to the look of your gift, whether online or a card through the post. Find a Christmas look that suits your brand and will appeal to that special customer.

Give them a warm fuzzy feeling

Whether your brand is soft and cuddly, elegant and classic, or crafty and organic, you have something unique that your customers love. Think how your ideal customer will feel after buying your product or service, or how they will feel about getting it on offer. Will they be excited, relieved, relaxed, happy, more glamorous, pampered? Take that feeling and illustrate it with one strong image – the bigger the better.

Don’t confuse them

Make your special offer big and bold. Short and concise wins here. You are selling to people who have already bought into your brand, so just tempt them with the one special offer. The image will communicate what they will get if they buy so don’t clutter your sales message up with lots of extra information. You can always point them back to your website or store for more details anyway.

Make it a hero

Your special offer may include many different products or services but your sales piece needs to focus on one. Choose a best-selling product that you’ve got great feedback about or a brand new product or bundle launched especially for them. For physical products, choose just one good picture. For virtual products or services, give your offer a tempting name and let the discount sell for you.

One call to action

Include ONE main call to action, whether a link to your sales page, a link to download your offer code or a phone number to book. Make big and bold and as easy as possible to take action.