Holiday Handy Holiday Marketing Calendar

Published on October 3rd, 2014 | by Alan Harris

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A Handy Holiday Marketing Calendar

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Once again, it’s time to plan your holiday marketing campaigns. To help you get organized and inspired, we’ve created this handy holiday marketing calendar and plan:

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cal_1Before you plan out your holiday marketing campaigns, first decide which products, services, or calls to action (for service-based companies) you plan to highlight, promote or sell during the holiday season. Then, decide how and where you’d like to promote your products, services and sales: Email, social media, postcards, etc.

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Next, determine what images, email templates, landing pages, postcards, or email, blog and social media copy you plan to use in your campaigns. This will give you an idea as to how much time you should set aside for each tactic.

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cal_3Last, schedule all your marketing on a calendar as seen below:

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Planning to send a holiday postcard? Here are some important “send by” dates you’ll want to remember for U.S. delivery:

Postcard Deadline Dates

Halloween…………….. mail by: Oct. 17th
Thanksgiving………… mail by: Nov. 14th
Hanukkah……………… mail by: Dec. 3rd
Christmas…………….. mail by: Dec. 15th
Boxing Day…………… mail by: Dec. 15th
Kwanzaa………………. mail by: Dec. 15th
New Years……………. mail by: Dec. 19th

 

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In October, snag early-bird shoppers and prime your customers for even more holiday emails to come. If you plan to change your mailing frequency over the holidays, now is the time to let your email subscribers know and inform them of what value they’ll get from increased mailing frequency.

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Veterans Day, a federal holiday to honor veterans of the U.S. military, has also become a big retail sale day, and an early start to the holiday shopping frenzy. Celebrate the day by sending special deals, especially for those who may have served.

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11/27: Thanksgiving Day (U.S.) – Thanksgiving, a national holiday and tradition in the United States which began in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1681 by English pilgrims who celebrated an especially good harvest following a terrible winter. Today, Thanksgiving is reminiscent of time with family, thankfulness, and of course, bargains and football. Be sure to send promo emails at least a week prior to this holiday, but also take this day as an opportunity to reach out one last time before Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Or, start a new tradition and send an email or a postcard by thanking your customers for being just that, customers.

11/28: Black Friday – Thanks to deep discounts from retailers, Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, officially kicking off the holiday shopping season. Whether you go the traditional discount route or try alternative promotions, be prepared because the competition for shoppers’ attention will be fierce.

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Small Business Saturday started in 2010 by American Express. This small business focused holiday is all about encouraging people to support small businesses and keep it local during the holiday season. In 2011, 100 million customers decided to “shop small,” so don’t snooze on this great marketing opportunity. Learn more.

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Cyber Monday, which was coined in 2005 by Shop.org is the first Monday after Thanksgiving and is geared towards online sales and shoppers. Last year Cyber Monday had more total sales than Black Friday! Send emails specifically for your online shoppers.

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Green Monday, the second Monday in December, is yet another large shopping date for online retailers. Green Monday represents a fantastic opportunity to remind your customers that the holidays are rapidly approaching. Send emails about sales you’re offering, special deals like free gift-wrapping, or any events you have coming up soon.

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Hannukah, an 8-day observance known as the “Festival of Lights,” honors the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Get your customers in the Hanukkah spirit (and a shopping mood) with eight different gift ideas to their inbox or on your business’ social pages.

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This is a one-day event that allows merchants to offer free shipping with delivery in time for Christmas Eve. The event was started a few years ago and has grown in popularity so that it’s now on par with Cyber Monday for generating sales. You can find more information at FreeShippingDay.com.

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There are plenty of procrastinators out there. Try targeting them with time-sensitive subject lines like “last chance,” “order by x date for December 23 delivery,” or “offer ends in 3 days.”

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Festivus, popularized by the popular sitcom Seinfeld, is a fun alternative holiday tradition protesting the increasing commercialization of Christmas. As an alternative to a promotion, engage customers on your business’ social pages by asking them to share their family holiday traditions.

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Christmas & Boxing Day – Christmas shopping is big – so big that two-thirds of all annual seasonal spending is for this one day.

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While the December 25th may be all about giving and receiving, the day after Christmas is when customers make exchanges and redeem gift cards – a great opportunity to clear your inventory with specials!

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Kwanzaa is a week long festival that celebrates African-American culture and heritage. Like other great festivals, it ends with gifts and a feast! Connect with African-American customers during this time with Kwanzaa-themed promotions and celebratory emails, tweets, pins, and Facebook posts.

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The impending closure of another year is often used to give thanks, self-reflect, and of course, celebrate! Stay engaged with customers and host an early New Year’s Eve celebration and swap resolutions.

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A new year, another opportunity to begin anew. With that in mind, try a little self-reflection on how you’ve communicated with customers up until now. Could your newsletters or marketing promos use a fresh start as well? If so, now’s your chance to try something new in 2015.

 

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Remember to visit our Everything Holiday site for all your email and social media holiday resources!

© 2014, Alan Harris. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Alan Harris

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.



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