The holiday season is officially upon us and while some marketers may not exactly consider it the ripest time of the year to launch a full-blown B2B lead generation campaign, some believe it unwise slowing down your online marketing momentum – just because everything else is.

B2B marketers can actually take advantage of last-minute holiday lead generation opportunities in preparation for the coming year. It is not uncommon for businesses to make a decision on what to do with some budget leftovers as year-end approaches, and you can use this knowledge to capitalize on potentially huge sales as the year comes to a close.

Not everyone is “on vacation.” Client meetings and business trips are not really priorities when the holiday season strikes. For this reason, decision-makers spend more time in the office during the holidays. You might want to grab the opportunity to connect with them when you are more likely to be given their full attention.

There is far less competition. Why not take advantage of a marketing lull and go right ahead and launch a holiday B2B marketing campaign? Because there is less “noise,” your emails have better chances of being opened (don’t forget to insert a catchy subject line! Hint: a little humor couldn’t hurt) and you have the opportunity to stay ahead of competition.

Converting leads takes months. Think of holiday lead generation as an early investment for the coming year. According to Marketing Sherpa, businesses take at least three months to convert leads two-thirds of the time. All your efforts will not be for nothing. B2B marketing during the holidays can have some impact on your Q1 sales.

Talk to your customers. The holiday season could be vital to customer retention. Use it to provide a nice recap about major milestones, product changes, and achievements your business has seen in the past year, as well as to remind customers about plans to further improve your products and services and why your business is essential to their success. Use whatever is at your disposal – social media, signs and fliers, online and offline ads to get the word out.

Divide and conquer. It is true that the holiday season may be hectic for your sales team but it does not necessarily mean that you should ignore introductory appointments in December. A couple of hours for an online or offline meeting are not likely to interrupt your ongoing sales activities.

Get in the holiday spirit. Offer gifts that resonate with your customers – decision-makers like you. Some B2B companies take the opportunity to send out gift certificates redeemable for discounts or special offers on their services. Others take the time to connect with businesses in their own communities by organizing open-houses or mini-parties as a way to establish connections and spread word about their business. Or you could follow some classic marketing strategies like giving out coupons and branded corporate gifts. Get in the holiday spirit — and get your business name out there.

Doing a last-minute B2B holiday campaign is  more about establishing and maintaining relationships with your target customers, more than generating instant sales.  There is no reason to postpone your lead generation efforts for until the coming year. Although the holidays may seem like an inopportune time for lead generation, you don’t know for sure that your efforts will not pay off and you just might be surprised with the results.

Got more ideas on effective B2B lead generation for the holidays? We’d like to hear them. Feel free to drop a comment below.

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