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Julie Jordan Scott November 24, 2000 11:00 PM

Business During the Holiday Season
Hi Sowpub People!

I am planning for December...well, its an ongoing thing, and I am trying to think how to have the most effective month even with the holidays looming on the horizon.

I noticed in one of my teleclasses last Monday (right before Thanksgiving in the US when a lot of folks were thinking Turkey instead of learning) that attendance was WAY down, (these folks had PAID to be in the class, so I made my fees anyway)...and it got me to thinking this may be a trend until January.

This is my first year in business at this time, so any thoughts any of you have to create this time powerfully would be most helpful.

What have you done in the past? What are you doing now? What have the outcomes been?

Any input would be fantastic!

With Purpose and Passion,


Dare to Discover Your Passion, Decide to Live Your Destiny!

Dien Rice November 24, 2000 11:57 PM

Re: Business During the Holiday Season
Hi Julie!

That's an interesting observation....

I've read that in mail order businesses, the months leading up to Christmas are slow.... Maybe because people prefer to buy their presents in retail stores?

And everyone has Christmas presents on their mind....

Maybe it's the same effect online?

But I know that in mail order businesses, sales start to pick up again in January....

Can anyone provide more info on this effect?

Dien Rice

Dien Rice November 25, 2000 03:10 PM

Here's what affects direct response rates....
Hi Julie,

Here's more information I've dug up which might be relevant to your observations....

I thought that Joe Sugarman (a very successful direct response marketer) mentioned this sort of thing in his book, "Marketing Secrets of a Mail Order Maverick".... So I spent some time trying to find it in the book, and finally found where I read it.... :)

Here's what Joe Sugarman says....

I have found that direct response rates are lowest in the months of April, September and December -- in that order, with April having the lowest rate.

["Marketing Secrets of a Mail Order Maverick" by Joseph Sugarman, p. 251.]

Joe Sugarman goes on to say that he doesn't *really* know why those months had the lowest direct response rates, but he gives a theory....

His theory is that these months are the biggest retail months, and people are distracted....

April for Easter, summer, vacation, and the garden.... everyone's outside enjoying the warmer weather, rather than being inside watching TV, reading magazines, or surfing the 'net....

In September, the kids are going back to school and many people are focusing on buying all that you need to start the school year again.

And December because of Christmas, though Joe Sugarman says that direct response marketers with quick response times still see reasonable sales in December.

Joe Sugarman goes through many other factors which can affect direct response rates.... including economic factors (recessions versus boom times), the effect of major events and even the actions of the President in times of crisis! It's a great chapter of his book....

My feeling (based on what I've read various places) is that in general, if people are being distracted by other things, then they're less likely to be reading the magazines, or maybe even generally surfing the internet, to be motivated by direct response....

Some distractions are the big retail months, big events, and even big tragedies (like the shooting of John F. Kennedy, which according to Sugarman saw some of the worst direct response rates ever)

I hope that helps Julie with your observations.... Perhaps fewer people are online due to distractions?

Dien Rice

Dien Rice November 25, 2000 09:20 PM

Hmmm.... Just found this article which says
some e-tailers are seeing a *burst* in business.... So not everything necessarily works the same as with other types of direct-response!

Though some of the extra business may simply be due to more people being online compared to this time last year....

See the article below....

Dien Rice

E-tailers see a burst of business....

Julie Jordan Scott November 26, 2000 05:59 PM

Re: Hmmm.... Just found this article which says
Hi Dien and Everyone!

So, the question is what to do with our businesses if and when:

#1) There are seasonal slowdowns

a) should we plan for the speed up which we know is forthcoming

b) should we hold a contest?

c) should we make special offers during the slow time?

d) should we hold some focus groupd/test headlines?

e) should we take a vacation to Tahiti?

f) should we do all of the above? :-)

So my question is actually what are y'all doing when seasonal slowdowns occur?

With Purpose and Passion,


Dare to Discover Your Passion, Decide to Live Your Destiny!

Dien Rice November 27, 2000 07:20 PM

Times of change.... good or bad? And what does the President have to do with this?
Hi Julie! :)

I remember reading a true story about this.... I wish I could remember more details, so I could look it up and post about it more specifically....

Anyhow, it goes something like this.... It was during one of the various recessions the country goes through....

Well, during one of these recession times, business was slowing down.... One of the sales people was lamenting how now, there wasn't enough work to do....

But the boss said something different.... The boss said, no, now there's MORE work to do! We have to make even MORE effort to get out there and get customers! While everyone else is winding down, we have to push harder!

Apparently this company went on to be VERY successful.... If I remember more details (they've slipped my mind right now), I'll post them.... :)

This could also be a good attitude for the slow times...

Competitions and other promotional methods could be a good way to do this....

I just got the book, "101 Ways to Promote Yourself" by Raleigh Pinskey.... She goes through HEAPS of promotional things you can do... I can tell that this will be one of my standard reference works in the future, for my future activities.... :)

I've read that there are two ways of viewing change....

Some view change as a terrible thing. "Now, what do we do? Everything is changing...."

But others realize that times of change are in reality, times of great OPPORTUNITY.... Those who grab the opportunity are those who do really well.... :)

Of course, it's easier said than done, but at least by being aware of this I think you can give yourself a head start....

I have to add as a caveat that I'm reasonably new to this too.... So my advice should be taken with that caveat....

Well.... Those are my views.... Any others? :)


P.S. I think we'll find confidence returning in many places now that it looks like we'll know who's going to be President... Joe Sugarman's theory is that the President is like a father figure.... When the father figure is flawed or weak, it weakens our confidence too.... And when we don't even know who it is, it must be worse!

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