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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for retail stores and small businesses. During the holidays, consumers are ready to buy and look for the best deals to help them spend their money wisely. This is also when your competition will step up their game to win over your local market niche. You must do the same if you hope to reap the benefits of the holiday shopping frenzy this year and in years to come.

Whether you’re promoting a significant sale or holiday event for your customers, you need to make the most of your marketing resources to stand out. Businesses within and outside your industry are targeting the same customers, so you’ll have to compete with their prices, promotions, and more. However, you can make the biggest splash if you plan ahead and proactively engage your customers during the holidays. Here’s how:

Rethink your target market. The holidays turn your target market around because people buy for others rather than themselves. For example, a hardware store may normally target blue-collar, middle-aged men but must now market to women (especially wives) of the same age instead. If you can successfully reinvent your marketing to appeal to another customer profile, you’ll have more success than your competitors.

Turn products or services into gifts. Research shows that customers spend an average of $400 or more on gifts during the holidays. This means that your product must be seen as a cute gift for someone other than the customer rather than a practical product. Portray your product’s sentimental, aesthetic or problem-solving appeal so that the customer is confident the product’s final recipient will be satisfied as well.

Revisit your email list. While social media is at the forefront of modern marketing, research shows email marketing is still the most effective method for digital marketing for sales and promotional events. Spend some time crafting promotional emails with coupons or other discounts that prompt the customer to visit your store or website. It is critical to give your customer an explicit action to respond to the email. Sending that gift or special discount via email may be all the motivation they need to take the following steps to purchase.

Send direct mail. During most of the year, direct mail is overlooked by consumers and often thrown in the trash, But during the holiday season, consumers are expecting sales and are looking for the best local deals and savings. A simple ad or flyer sent in the mail is most effective during the holiday season and should be used if you’re planning a big sale. This gives the customer a tangible reminder of your deal and an incentive to follow through.

Push online sales. E-commerce sales skyrocket during the holidays. Many people don’t have time to go out and shop and may prefer to have all of their holiday gifts mailed directly. If you are currently selling online, make sure to provide extra incentives, sales, or holiday gifts that will entice customers to buy now. If you don’t use your website as a point of purchase, make sure you use your homepage space to promote holiday events.

With these ideas in mind, you should have no problem making a statement this holiday season.