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Marketing Mondays: Preparing for the Holidays ~It's NEVER too early to start!

Welcome to the first Marketing Monday forum post--Warning, this post is loaded with information. Grab a cup a tea and enjoy!

Bells, Boughs and Gift Baskets..... in October? YES!

It’s time. As Holiday season approaches life becomes busy. Family and community obligations and increased retail activity in our Poppy Swap stores means the pace will pick up. Let’s start preparing now!

5 Essential Tips to rock this season right:

  1. Build your inventory. You need products to fill those holiday orders.
  2. Create holiday products. Stocking stuffers, gift cards, and gift baskets are good. Budget conscious people are already shopping for the Holiday’s. I know, I know, it’s blazing hot here in Colorado so the idea of winter/spiced/holiday teas really seems like a lifetime away but I’ve already had a customer contact me about stocking stuffers! Realize the demand will be even greater in a few months. Be prepared!
  3. Adjust your listings. Make your business ‘Holiday friendly’.  Busy shoppers need it to be easy and they love a hook, such as “free gift card included”, “a perfect gift for that hard to buy for person”, “express shipping available”, and so on.
  4. Make it pretty!  New to selling online? Go out on the internet and see how other people are doing it to get your own creative juices flowing. Come back and see how is your Poppy Swap store looking. Are your photos representative of your products? Can the viewer feel, smell, and experience your product through the photo? What about your product descriptions? Are they understandable to the ‘non-herbie’ shopper? Did you ever ask Santa for something anti-spasmodic, bitter, and carminative? Grannie needs to know that your herbal tea will help soothe her belly after Christmas dinner not how to increase peristalsis.
  5. Communicate! If you are planning on blogging, emailing, or using social media, Start Now! It takes time to build readership and followers if you haven’t done so already. And if you do have a strong following, start mentioning the Holiday’s now and sharing what you offer with your network. You want to be jingling your Poppy Swap specials in their ear when they start shopping!

Widgets, tools, and other cool things!

Poppy Swap has some great tools available to its Swappers that will assist with your Holiday marketing efforts and beyond.

Poppy Swap widget: upload the free Poppy Swap widget to your Facebook fan page, website, and blog to allow shoppers quick and easy access to your store. Ask your friends if they will use your Poppy Swap store widget on their blog and website. The more the merrier!

Personalized URL. Use it! Each store on Poppy Swap has a personalized URL that links directly to your store. Be sure to include this on all of your marketing materials (i.e. business cards, blog, Facebook page, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn accounts and more).

Don’t be shy! You also want to be poppying up on the Poppy Swap forum and Facebook page to engage fellow swappers and customers. It’s a great way to connect with fellow swappers and potential customers.

4 More Essentials if you want to your customers to count you as a blessing--and come back next year!

  1. Custom/gift wrapping. Again, MAKE IT EASY! People love convenience. (If you offer this, consider creating a separate listing for this service. People can to add to their sale so that you don’t lose money on this service.)
  2. Notecard: Offer to include a personalize notecard with their purchase.
  3. Express shipping. If you intend to offer express shipping, be sure to offer rates and timing. Last minute shoppers LOVE the option of express shipping!  
  4. Cut-off dates. As the Holiday approaches be clear with Holiday ordering and shipping cut-off dates. Be sure this is communicated clearly throughout your store. It will keep you sane and your customers happy.

1 Essential thing you may not know:

  1. Promotions: You can now offer discounts in your Poppy Swap store!! To assist with bringing more traffic to your Poppy Swap store you might want to consider offering limited free shipping, 10% or 15% off on selected items, running a promotion on your gift packs, shipping and more!

Savvy Swapper Example

Check out this rockin’ swapper, Wild Rose Herbals. Wild Rose Herbals does it right with savvy product descriptions, clear, crisp photos, and plenty of products within the inventory for lots of buying options.. Go Wild Rose Herbals!

Some dates to remember:
November 24: Thanksgiving
November 25: Black Friday (Sales)
November 28: Cyber Monday (Sales)
December 20-28: Hanukkah
December 25: Christmas
December 26: Boxing Day (Sales)
December 26 – January 1: Kwanzaa
December 31: New Year’s Eve

Got some tried and true Holiday marketing tips to share with your fellow swappers? Let's hear it! Post your comments and feedback here. We'd LOVE to hear from you!

About the author:: Feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start? Would you like just a little bit of support to expand your herbal and business efforts? Kristie Nackord, fellow swapper and the ‘herb girl’ behind Spirit Horse Herbals, is also an independent marketing consultant available to support you with your business. For more information click here!f

Kristie Nackord
Marketing Consultant~

Replies to this topic

  • DragonflyDew
  • DragonflyDew

Thanks Kristie ~ these are fabulous tips and ideas. So many things all rolled into one post, I'll have to read through it several times to take it all in. I'm looking forward to the whole series, and already have some items on my task list for this week.


For gardens and gardeners, nature lovers and earth sustainers ~ http://www.gardeningfornature.com
Dragonfly Dew at Poppy Swap ~ http://www.poppyswap.com/shop/DragonflyDew
  • admin
  • kiki

What a great start to our Marketing Mondays!! Thanks Kristie this is amazing! A great print out and have in a Poppy Swapper work space!!

Remember all of you creative swappers:

*keep me posted with what's happening on your store and with your products. We love to have material to use in our newsletter and blog. 

*product samples = product giveaways = people clicking into your store in droves!

*read your newsletters!! lots of new features to the site have happened since you signed up!

All of your work is so beautiful. I am so proud of our community!! 

We really have the opportunity to ease people's stress about engaging all the crazy consumerism that happens at this time of year. Sustainably handled gifts from the earth, made from our hearts and hands.......are we the coolest elves or what!

~bring people herbs~

Hello Fellow Swappers~

I had ANOTHER idea that I wanted to pass along to you, that is if YOU haven't thought of it already!

Coupon/Postcard printed inserts to include in shipments::

Do you ever throw any coupons, inserts, or other marketing materials into your boxes that go out with each shipment? If not, this is a excellent thing to do! And to further prepare for the Holiday's you could begin including a "Holiday Coupon/Postcard" that you print out and include in each box you ship out. As soon as Poppy Swap makes discount codes available to you (should be this week or shortly thereafter!) create a coupon code specific to the holiday's. Include on the postcard/insert the URL to your Poppy Swap store, 10-15% off, or whatever your discount is, with an expiration date, and all of the other 'necessary' company information (logo, etc). No doubt this will be a great way to stir sales with already satisfied customers!

  • greenjourney
  • greenjourney

Dear Kristie & Kiki,

I appreciate your first Marketing Mondays post very much! I'm working on Essential tips1 & 2 right now, and have also started posting to this forum. I'm working on product photos to add to our store. Thank you for all your sound tips and encouragement!

I like Wild Rose Herbals store and followed the link to her site (should I alert her to an typo in her URL link?), in which she shares some herbal healing stories. Way Cool.

I checked out the face book page and saw that Kiki had posted my posts there, too. Thanks for passing it on, Kiki!

I'm so glad to be part of this community of cool elves...Light and Love, Aline


Aline Crehore, Green Journey Seeds
In Plants We Trust
  • admin
  • kiki

Great Aline!!

We love what you do!! Keep it coming and we will plant the seeds of Green Journeys far and wide!! oxoo

  • admin
  • kiki

I also want to remind everyone! READ THE NEWSLETTERS! They are full of news about the site and community. If you think you've missed some of them, we archive em on the blog so you can always catch up here.

I would only add one point - don't spam people. As Christmas gets closer and closer, there is nothing I like less than feeling everyone is pushing me to buy something from them. Promotion strategies must work all year round, not two months before Christmas. We have made great sales on January and February, when people are supposed not to buy anything; and honestly, this Christmas craziness is created and supported by a system we don't believe in, based a on mindless consumerism we don't expect from our customers. All the advice presented is GREAT advice, on any time of the year!

  • RosaArtemisia
  • gwendolyn ♥

I don't know about you all, but I know its gonna be good when the email starts out with the disclaimer, "grap a cup of tea!"

@Kristie and Kiki- Thank you so much for the compliments to my shop!  What a lovely surprise!!  I appreciate all the efforts being made to help all of our businesses thrive. 

@Aline of Green Journey Seeds- Thank you for pointing out that the link to my blogsite was broken.  I fixed it! 

@Carolina of House of Eleggua- I love your attitude!   I for one am certainly working towards and within a new consciousness, and I hope my business is attracting like-minded customers. 

I do love the holidays- I loooove holiday cheer!  I love the hustle and bustle, a select few hand-made or consciously chosen gifts wrapped in recycled papers or fabrics with yarn or satin ribbon, a potted tree with many years collection of home-made ornaments, evergreen boughs decorating the windows, festive music, candles and incense, yummy smells from the stove top or oven.  I hope I have a bustling business this holiday- it would make me feel sooo happy and honoured to know that my customers thought so highly of my products as to gift them to themselves or others, a little slice of summer bottled or put in a jar!!  These tips have already come in handy as I probably wouldn't have thought of any of it, especially building up my inventory and those dates to remember... it is all sort of a madness, but we learn to roll with it, I suppose!  Thanks all!!

Gwendolyn Rose Botanicals ~ ♥
  • greenjourney
  • greenjourney

As October steadily approaches, I'm pondering the coming holiday season, and what steps I will take to promote my internet business. I am bringing back this thread for inspiration, and giving all these ideas fresh consideration.

I just reread this and am appreciating this year of dancing on the forum with all of you. I've felt so loved and supported by this community that I have been able to loose much of my shyness and inhibitions around social networking. I've learned to raise my hand and seek the help I need, and you have all responded so kindly. Thank you for making my first forum year rewarding!

A lot has changed, but this advice is sound...it's not too early to start planning. I'm wondering what all of you have in mind, what you aspire to do? I am assembling gift sets of seed greeting cards in anticipation of holiday sales. Two of our local retailers have already stocked these. They want gift items now, so that folks will begin to get ideas for their holiday gifts.

The Wild Rose storefront was renamed Gwendolyn Rose Botanicals, and Gwendolyn has a great new blog/trading post linked to her signature. I think her aesthetic works especially well for the holidays, the midnight blue labels and amber red contents of her fine products truly appealing. Gwendolyn, have you closed your poppyswap store recently, or renamed it? I not finding it...

You know, Gwendolyn, last fall you helped me greatly to understand the value of resonance and dissonance in fueling the creative process. I love what you said about how to use those feelings generated by the words of others to discover our own true path. But you said it more eloquently than I can! Care to comment? Gwen or Anyone?

Here's an idea, what about making up some gift "baskets" composed of products from several poppy swappers. Arranged around a theme, choosing items which compliment each other, or otherwise go together? These could be used for facebook giveaways and/or sold thru the appropriate storefronts? Just a thought to promote the value of our collective community and raise awareness of all the talent here on the swap.

Love, Aline



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