The holidays are upon us, and you know what that means, right? Time to go out and buy stuff!
OK, sure it’s also a time to find things for which you are thankful, for spending time with family, and for finding ways to help others in need. And there are even those among us who go to great lengths to avoid spending any part of the holidays at the mall. Whatever your approach, though, there is no denying that if you are holding a calendar fundraiser, the holiday season is a critical time. If you have not been promoting those calendars, it’s time to start, and if you have been promoting them, it’s time to kick it into high gear.
It’s no surprise why the holiday season is so important for selling your calendars since 1) calendars have a limited shelf life, 2) the end of the year is the natural time for people to think about buying a calendar for the new year, and 3) people are going out of their way to buy things at this time of year. So how do you go about promoting the calendar? Here are a few ideas.
Go Social, and Go Social Often
Of course you’ve shared your calendar on Facebook, but have you posted about it every week? Every day, even? It’s easy for people to see something online and say to themselves, “That’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll order one of those.” And then forget about it completely. People are so busy these days that you need to frequently remind them why your calendar is such an attractive and worthy cause.
Still, you don’t want to spam people with the same message over and over again. So, it’s important to think of your social media posts as an ongoing conversation about your calendar. Say something different about it each time. The obvious way to organize this is to go month by month. Do your own 12 days of Christmas by posting about a different calendar page each day, with a little detail about the model or subject for that month. For example, a dog rescue calendar post might go something like this: “Today we’re featuring Mr April: Skittles, a bassett hound rescued from a puppy mill and looking for his own forever home. Order your own calendar at our website. They make great Christmas gifts.”
The Internet is Visual — Use Pictures!
People are much more likely to respond to and to share your posts if they have great visual content. Luckily, your calendar is visual all the way through. If you are posting about April, then include the April page in the post. If we are printing your calendar, then you already have all of the images for each month and the covers. You can retrieve them by going to your proof page and right-clicking each image to save it to your computer.
Expand Your Social Circle
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are promoting your calendar only to your own supporters. The great thing about a calendar fundraiser is that it can help you grow your network. Every time you post about your calendar, encourage your supporters to share it with their friends. Ask them to add a few words of their own make it stand out. Every time a friend of a supporter buys a calendar, that’s a new supporter for you. And if a friend buys a calendar as a gift for someone else, then that’s two new supporters for you.
It’s Not Just Facebook
Facebook is great, but don’t forget all the other social networks out there. If you are active on Twitter, then be sure and tweet your 12 days of Christmas as well as posting it on Facebook. Pinterest is also great for calendars because it is such a visual network. Set up a Pinterest board for your calendar and pin all the calendar images there. Make sure your pin includes a link to the calendar ordering page. Flickr, Instagram, and Tumblr are also great places to share images from your calendar — just make sure they link back to your calendar ordering page.
Offer a Promotion
One way to create interest in your calendar and to give you something to post about is to offer a limited promotion. For example, you could offer a sale price just for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. (If Yearbox is handling your online calendar sales, we can easily set up a time-limited sale price for you.)
Don’t Neglect the “Other” Media
Newspapers and magazines are a great source of free publicity. A story in the local paper can drive sales online and also raise awareness. Write up a press release describing your project: how it came together, how funds will be spent, how people can purchase the calendar, and how the media can get more information. If possible, include a sample calendar when you send the release to media organizations.
Promoting your calendar doesn’t have to be hugely time-comsuming. If you spend a few minutes each day for two weeks trying out some of these strategies, it’s bound to have an impact on your calendar sales. What strategies have you had success with? Let us know in the comments below!