Need some help getting your 2015 holiday marketing organized? You've come to the right place! Everything Holiday covers, well, everything you need to think about this season when it comes to planning marketing campaigns.
Last yearwe provided useful tips and inspiration for connecting with customers through email and social media. This year, we've expanded resources to include, making your brand holiday-friendly, ensuring holiday shoppers find you online, as well as inspiring customers to make a purchase. To get started, we’ve created this handy holiday marketing calendar and plan:
First choose which products, services, or calls to action (for service-based companies) you want to promote or sell during the holiday season. Then, decide how and where you'd like to promote your products, services and sales: Website, email, social media, postcards, etc.
Next, determine what holiday-themed design elements you need for your campaign. Do you want your logo wrapped in a bow? Should the buttons on your website be decorated? What seasonal assets will you want for email campaigns, landing pages, postcards, or social media pages? Along with images, think about the messaging you want to use. Writing copy can take time to perfect so give yourself enough space to consider for each holiday theme. Once you plan for design and copy, you'll have an idea as to how much time you should set aside for each tactic.
Last, schedule all your marketing on a calendar as seen below:
Planning to send a holiday card? 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. 12th
Hannukah................ mail by: Nov. 23rd
Christmas............... mail by: Dec. 11th
Boxing Day.............. mail by: Dec. 12th
Kwanzaa................. mail by: Dec. 12th
New Years............... mail by: Dec. 18th
Each Holiday is an opportunity to connect with the people who frequent your business. Use the calendars below to help you identify the best promos, events and greetings to share with your customers.
Columbus Day, Oct. 12th
Halloween, Oct. 31st
In October, finalize seasonal branding and holiday campaigns. Snag early-bird shoppers, make tweaks to your website, clean your email subscriber list and prime customers for the holiday emails to come. If you plan to change your mailing frequency over the holidays, now is the time to let your subscribers know and inform them of what value they'll get from increased mailing frequency.
Veterans Day, Nov. 11th
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.
Thanksgiving, Nov. 26th
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 card by thanking your customers for being just that, customers.
Black Friday, Nov. 27th
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.
Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28th
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.
Cyber Monday, Nov. 30th
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.
Green Monday, Dec. 7th
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.
Hannukah, Dec. 14th
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 Hannukah spirit (and a shopping mood) with eight different gift ideas to their inbox or on your business’ social pages.
Free Shipping Day, Dec. 18th
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.
Super Saturday, Dec. 19th
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.”
Festivus, Dec. 23rd
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.
Christmas, Dec. 25th
Christmas & Boxing Day – Christmas shopping is big – so big that two-thirds of all annual seasonal spending is for this one day.
Boxing Day, Dec. 26th
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!
Kwanzaa, Dec. 26th
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.
New Year's Eve, Dec 31st
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.
New Year's Day, Jan 1st
Be sure to check out our holiday checklist and other great resources on getting your business ready for the busiest season of the year!
Looking for even more holiday marketing inspiration? Check out the rest of our Everything Holiday Marketing Resource Center!