I wrote a “Happy Holidays” message for a client’s newsletter this week. “Feel free to mention Christmas,” he told me, pointing out that his demographic is largely Catholic.
It made us think about how we’re handling Christmas for clients’ websites, and you might be thinking about that, too. If you’re a CPG company, of course, or you offer any goods or services that could conceivably be a gift (brake pads can be a gift, right?), you’ve had twinkly lights and shiny packages on your website since about October, and you’re certainly not having any qualms about Ho-Ho-Ho-ing it up in your ecommerce section.
If you’re not selling anything connected with the holidays and you have a diverse clientele, however, you might be wondering whether it makes sense to offer holiday greetings or to finesse the season. After all, Diwali, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Noj Peb Caug, and Hanukkah don’t really get covered by “Happy Holidays!” and a picture of a snowflake, especially at a time of year when the moveable feasts may or may not be on the calendar. And even those who observe Christmas may have different ideas about how to do so; we know people who are offended by the playing of Christmas carols during Advent and people who are offended by religious elements in Christmas decorations, so it’s hard to predict how people will respond.
Ways to include Christmas at your website
- Make a holiday connection with content. There may not be an obvious connection, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with one. People whose minds are on Christmas will stop and read, and they may get the message and store it in their minds for the future, when they’re less focused on getting their holiday shopping done. Christmas is a national holiday, but including it on your blog is different from letting it take over your home page.
- Send holiday good wishes. If you celebrate Christmas, you can sincerely wish everyone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holidays. If you want to avoid Christmas, “Happy New Year” sounds good to everyone. Even if they’re celebrating it at a different time of year, it’s a friendly greeting. This is a good option if you’re closing for the holiday. People who visit your website will get that message in a cheerful form.
Alternatively, ignore the holidays
If it just isn’t relevant to your company, your product, and your clients, there is nothing wrong with ignoring the holidays. This is particularly true if your business doesn’t close for Christmas.
What this question really comes down to is this: know your customers. Do they want a cheery holiday greeting? Or are they conducting business as usual on the day in question? If you don’t know, then you have a good starting point for next year’s marketing plan– find out!