December Email Marketing Calendar

Bonus Content

We’ve got more! In this download, you’ll find 100 seasonal subject lines to get your creative juices flowing. Also, check out some other lesser-known holidays to promote in December.

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This is it — the final promotional push of the year. Stay ahead of the holiday haze with this convenient calendar of December’s main events. With carefully staged email campaigns, you can scoop up business from all the shoppers who waited until the last minute to purchase gifts. Studies show at least 90% of consumers fall into that category, so extended hours and extra staff may be called for. They need to refuel while they’re pounding the pavement, so this is a great month to run restaurant specials and promotions too.

December 12 - Green Monday

Green Monday might not yet have the name recognition of Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but ever since eBay launched this December event in 2008, it’s taken on life as a second chance at Black Friday-style prices and promotions.

In 2015, Walmart treated Green Monday like an instant replay of Black Friday. By advertising “Black Friday Prices,” the retail giant stirred up buzz and renewed interest in limited-time deals. They launched a series of landing pages, light on text but heavy on images and discounted prices, and invited customers to check out extraordinary finds that would vanish as soon as Tuesday rolled around.  

For a business looking to make holiday waves but concerned about being lost in the chaos of Black Friday, Green Monday is an attractive option.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Landing page(s) for the promotion
  • Email campaign that promotes and also serves to introduce customers who may be unaware of Green Monday
  • Social media campaign to create awareness
  • Budget for advertising to drive traffic

December 16 - Free Shipping Day

Free Shipping Day, another recent holiday tradition, is usually on December 18. Because that’s a Sunday this year, some retailers are celebrating it on December 16 instead. True to its name, Free Shipping Day marks either one short day of free shipping, or the last date a customer can ship a gift for free in time for it to arrive by Christmas — it depends on the retailer’s regular shipping policies.

Free Shipping Day is one of the easiest promotions for your business to pull off.

Here’s what you need:

  • Email campaign advertising Free Shipping Day
  • Social campaign to remind customers, using #FreeShippingDay

December 24 - Super Saturday

Super Saturday has a more descriptive name in the UK: “Panic Saturday.” It’s the absolute last Saturday before Christmas, and in the past few years it’s raked in more cash for retailers than Black Friday. This year, however, the last Saturday before Christmas is also Christmas Eve, and the marriage of these two historically hectic shopping days promises to be extremely chaotic.

Best Buy cuts through the Super Saturday clutter by positioning itself as a resource for last-minute shoppers. Its Super Saturday landing page, meant to serve customers throughout the final week before Christmas, details the benefits of shopping with Best Buy in those last precious moments before Santa’s supposed to arrive.

Your business can also be a resource to harried, panicked shoppers at this time of year. Create a landing page similar to Best Buy’s, full of useful information and links to last-minute deals. This is also a great time to advertise a discount on gift cards.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Landing page highlighting any remaining holiday hours, information on returns, and links to last-minute gift ideas or promotions
  • Email campaign reminding late shoppers that your business stands ready to help them
  • Social media posts to create buzz

December 24 / 25 - First Night of Hanukkah / Christmas

Apple used to run an annual 12 Days of Christmas event (“12 Days of Gifts” in the U.S.) that prompted users to download a special app that would allow them to unlock other free apps as gifts, one a day for a dozen days in a row. It was an ingenious way to bring users to its own app repeatedly, and to entice them to engage with other apps that Apple had partnerships with.

Countdown promotions like this aren’t difficult to implement, and they lend themselves to the eight days of Hanukkah or the 12 days of Christmas. The hardest part is deciding what to offer your customers eight or 12 days in a row that will keep them coming back

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Promotions, prizes, giveaways, coupons, or deals your business can sustain for multiple days without repeating yourself
  • A mobile app or event calendar on your site for customers to unlock each day’s special
  • Email campaign announcing the event, and follow-up reminders to nudge readers each day
  • Social media campaign to create buzz and awareness
  • Budget for advertising

December 31 - New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is the time to party! Everyone knows that. What’s left to decide, however, is where to party, where to stay, how to get there, or what to do on the last night of the year.

Nashville Guru, an online guide to the best things to do, see, and eat in the Music City, tackled this problem in 2015 by creating a New Year’s Eve microsite. Because of its partnerships with local hotels, businesses, and restaurants (and no doubt because many of them pay to advertise on the site), Nashville Guru was able to provide listings, availability, and in some cases discounts for parties, hotels, restaurants, and transit options on the big night. Not only did the microsite drive traffic to NashvilleGuru.com, but it also drove traffic to their partners — a win-win for all.

Although your business may not be a resource for your entire community, there’s no reason you can’t create a New Year’s Eve guide for your readers. Likewise, if you’re in the restaurant or hospitality industry, make sure your audience knows about the festivities happening at your location on New Year’s Eve.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Partner with other local businesses you have good relationships with, so you can cross-promote one another’s goods and services in the run-up to New Year’s Eve
  • Start an email campaign announcing the New Year’s Eve happenings at your business, with follow-up reminders to nudge readers to RSVP or make a reservation, if applicable
  • Use social media and email to inform customers about transportation options

Bonus Content

We’ve added more to this article to make your marketing a success. In this download, you’ll find:

  • 100 seasonal subject lines to inspire your email marketing campaigns
  • Unusual holidays you could promote to stand out from the traditional noise
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