The Christmas Season Starts in January
No, my headline doesn’t refer to the date when retailers start pushing the next holiday sales, although I can understand why you might think so. Remember, merchants have to squeeze in Halloween promotions in March before the Christmas shopping push can truly begin.
I was being nostalgic yesterday when the memory of the old Packers National Bank Christmas Club came to mind. If you don’t know, a Christmas Club encourages people to put away a pre-determined savings amount on a regular weekly or so basis so they can withdraw the money for year-end holiday shopping.
When I was a kid and tagged along with my mom during her weekly trip downtown to make banking transactions, pay utility bills and shop, I remember her using a Christmas Club booklet at the bank.
I can still visualize it. The booklet had off-white cardstock pages, about 3 x 5 inches, decorated with pastel green and pastel red ink, probably with a holiday wreath graphic. The stubs were held together by two staples and there was a perforation to remove each deposit ticket. (Considering how long ago it was, that’s a pretty detailed description.)
Packers National Bank is long gone, and so, apparently, are Christmas Clubs. I scanned the websites of some financial institutions I’m familiar with, and I’ve worked with plenty of other banking clients over the years, but only two or three have offered or now offer Christmas Club accounts.
And really, there’s nothing special about a Christmas Club account. It’s basically a savings account, but that coupon booklet focuses the customer’s attention on making regular deposits.
Seems to me, this is a good time to freshen up and bring back the idea for two reasons.
1. You hear the same stories I do…people are back in the savings habit. Savings percentages are the highest they’ve been since Santa was invented. (Just joking, kids. Santa is real.)
2. There’s something about the year-end holiday season that brings out the generosity in people and they want to give to others.
Combines these two thoughts and a Christmas Club account promotion in January might just bring in some new customers and encourage your current customers to open new accounts. Since we’re in the twenty-first century, you can make it easy by offering automatic transfers from a checking account.
Now is the time to start planning if you want to be ready with your bright new Christmas Club promotion in January.