Table of Contents
- Who Needs Campaign Ideas?
- What Kind of Campaigns Are We Talking About?
- Marketing Campaign Tips for the Holidays
- What to Prepare For
- Avoid These Holiday Marketing Mistakes
- What's Next?
Holiday campaigns are different from year-round campaigns because they have a sense of urgency and are specific to a certain audience shopping for gifts.
In ecommerce, the holiday season is the busiest. But this doesn’t mean you have to target only individuals who specifically celebrate a holiday this time of year. Aside from Black Friday, most leads seek deals during the fall and winter because they have an expectation of deals.
So, are you a business that offers products or services that can be used either year-round or during the holiday season? If you answered yes, then you can benefit from a solid marketing campaign.
Now is the time to start rolling out email campaigns to advertise deals, collect contact information, generate and convert leads, and plan for campaigns in the next year as well. Let’s go over the types of campaigns you can work on.
We’ll discuss what to include in email campaigns, landing pages, blog posts, and social media campaigns while also giving examples of each. Hopefully, you will find inspiration for your own campaigns.
It may be better to include more channels and avenues to create holiday campaigns for, but it is not necessary. Every business is different. Perhaps you’re a business who relies on email contacts to communicate deals because you notice no one follows most of your social media channels.
Feel free to pick and choose which type of campaign fits your business best. As long as you focus on one of the following.
There are a few different types of email campaigns you can adopt, depending on your business.
Have a brick and mortar store? Your email campaign may go out to a small amount of contacts, but you should still advertise deals, such as curbside freebies, free delivery until Jan. 1, and last minute gift sales, for example.
For independent contractors or services (online or in-person services), advertise deals like hourly discounts for services or include coupons like 10% or 20% off any service for those in your contact list. Promotional codes are huge with physical and software products as well.
Stores and corporations with an online store can offer time-sensitive deals with email blasts that are reminders that the deals are only for a day, a few hours left, etc. With online stores, it’s always a great idea to showcase images of the products on sale, especially the most popular or hottest sellers.
Examples of Holiday Email Campaigns:
Below is a great example of a company with a few local stores and an online shop. They do a great job of showcasing their products to entice customers to see what deals they have on different items.
The second example shows a good strategy for trying to welcome back old customers who either have unsubscribed or not purchased anything in a while.
You should understand that landing pages, unlike homepages, have a singular goal, such as getting a lead’s contact information. Sometimes, during the holidays, businesses have a different goal in mind since they are banking on visitors buying products, which will eventually require them to enter personal information like email address and even shipping address.
Landing pages may look a lot like an email campaign design, but there are a few differences to note.
Countdown timers are popular among landing pages that have certain categories of products on sale. Oftentimes, these countdown timers are put in place for the week to let site visitors know how much time they have left to get in on “the best deal all year”.
Separate categories and sale sections are common and look like menu items even though they may take visitors to “women’s tops on sale” versus “men’s pajamas on sale”. These categories only include items the business has on sale for the holidays.
Sometimes, you will see sales partitioned into “70% off, 50% off, 25% off”. Check out these examples below and see if you’ve ever come upon any of these types of landing pages before.
Examples of Holiday Landing Pages:
Below is a great example of a landing page, taking advantage of a countdown to raise excitement and urgency in shoppers.
Best Buy, a reputable and popular store for electronics and home appliances, has a wide range of item categories for sale and made it easy for shoppers to choose which type of products they want to see.
Businesses can roll out blog articles about what products work as gifts for every person on a shopper’s list, but let’s list the few things that should be included in a blog. Mostly bloggers benefit the most from holiday-oriented blog posts, but just as an idea you can:
Add links to your sales and landing pages. You can also add links to specific deals tailored to certain groups of contacts. Remember they should always be relevant to your blogs.
Time blog posts according to your website’s highest traffic times. This may require you to do a bit of work to find out what kind of traffic your website is getting. Once you know, advertise your newest blog post around every week or even the days leading up to a certain holiday celebration.
Advertise other free content in your articles. Create any documents or free software for your business? You can write an article entirely about this new product (and include why it’s a great gift to give digitally) or simply link out to this content in your blog post.
Example of a Holiday Blog:
Notice that this blogger has a banner of her social media channels where you can follow her listed above her blog article. There is also sprinkled throughout the blog a few subscription options where you can enter your email address.
Again, how you approach your social media campaigns depend on the type of business you have. It will also depend on how many channels you have.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok rely on either images, videos, or gifs to grab the attention of shoppers. Others rely on the written word to advertise a deal, which is commonly seen on LinkedIn as individual contractors tend to showcase their service deals.
Don’t underestimate the power of holiday images. Don’t have a business that necessarily can show prospective customers physical products like jewelry, homegoods, or toys? Don’t worry. Simply plan on designing a banner with holiday-themed items like hot-cocoa, beautiful wintry scenes, or beautifully wrapped packages to get the point across that your business has a limited-time sale going on.
State details of your sales in the images. You can have a background of snow but don’t forget to add text like “70% off” or “limited stock of coats half off” in these images.
Want to do videos? Gifs capture the attention of the eye very well. You don’t have to produce a full-length video to get leads interested in your holiday sales. Small motions like a kid opening a gift emits the same message as images but hits audiences differently. Perhaps it even reminds you of when you had yoru kids open Christmas gifts.
Don’t forget to include details. No need to get into the nitty gritty of how much each item is (unless you have many necklaces on sale for $30 or 80% the original price). Let social media followers know what is on sale in small specific groups, such as computer games or Hasbro dolls. Let them know either the percentage off or the price range of items, like $3-$15.
Run a series of giveaways. Everything on social media happens right now. People want to see live feeds and what is relevant for the present time. That’s why it’s great to post about events that will get followers free items if they interact in some. For example, your business can offer free makeup or gift basket for the best stories surrounding your products.Or ask for reviews in return for a percentage off already discounted items.
Announce new products around the holidays. Waiting to release a product or service for sale? You can announce the arrival or availability of something new with or without attaching a deal to it. Remember now is the time more leads will be shopping on your site.
Example of a Holiday Social Media Post:
Sephora does a great job with their instagram images as they showcase their products among holiday-themed backgrounds, like Christmas cookies. They didn’t even need to advertise a deal on this item since it was the announcement of a new product duo.
Now we will dive into the tips that can be applied to each type of campaign that we just discussed. This means you should keep these steps in mind when creating a Facebook advertisement, blog article, or series of email blasts.
If it is your first holiday season as a brand, it’s best to keep your holiday campaign simple. This is because businesses need to do thorough research and testing year after year to establish their plan of action when it comes to campaigns.
Once you have a team that can handle more bandwidth, feel free to do some experimenting, perhaps with videos or gifs, after doing some A/B testing. Until then, using popular hashtags in your social media channels is a simple and useful approach.
Holiday shoppers have seen the same type of marketing around the season and will get bored or ignore your campaign if it isn’t driven by the content.
Your content should always come first in a campaign. Examples of content could be discount codes or in-store coupons. You may have even opened a marketing email personalizing a gift guide, or a suggestion of items, for you to buy. This is usually based on your previous shopping habits on their site if you had visited the site before.
No matter the type of content you create, always keep in mind how the SEO (search engine optimization) can work in your favor to boost visitors to your website.
Nearly all companies use social media marketing during the holidays. This means your business could benefit greatly by partnering with an influencer who either loves your product and/or matches their message or brand with your product.
Got a blog? Perhaps you sell cooking tools you’ve invented and use in recipes that you share on your blog. Try to include input from a guest blogger with a similar brand who can contribute to your article. Or have them write an entire article on your site.
Either way, the click-throughs from the influencer’s website to your site will only help build your brand if not get more leads and customers.
Clearly incentivise shoppers to buy your product or service. This will work if the sale is only going for a short time or a product will sell out.
However, there is a fine line between giving competitive deals and letting customers think your products are cheap. Think about your discounts carefully. Do not haphazardly discount random items, especially if they are more expensive.
By doing this, you will value your business and customers will see that you have quality products and services.
Don’t forget about your current customers. You can categorize your contact list into leads and past customers.
You can personalize email messages for past and present customers by showing them what they left in their cart, greeting them by their first name in an email blast, or reminding past customers that you’re offering a discount especially for them if they return to your online store and make a purchase.
The bottom line is that email marketing will look different and have different messages for prospective and past customers.
Have you partnered with nonprofits? You can choose to show shoppers that your business does good by offering to give a percentage of every product sold towards a nonprofit of your choice.
Some customers will appreciate buying from a seller who gives back to a cause they themselves also care about. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to limit your business to one nonprofit. Why not give back to a few causes?
Businesses have a tendency of playing it too safe with their campaigns out of fear of going overboard. We’ll discuss common holiday marketing mistakes, but you won’t have to worry about planning your campaigns if you know what to expect ahead of time.
Each year, more businesses, small and big, pop up with new campaign ideas for the holidays. This means you not only have businesses advertising new products or services, but you have businesses that have been preparing for their campaigns possibly longer than you have.
Stay on top of your campaigns by doing your research and studying yoru audience well in advance to create beautiful campaigns with clear messaging.
Perhaps your blog isn’t doing as well as you’d hope. Ever think about breaking up your blog into social media posts?
Maybe your blog offers different dessert ideas. This would give you the opportunity to advertise your recipes (and any products you’re selling) into scheduled twitter posts or instagram posts with mouth-watering images.
Problems with Facebook ads or email messages not sending correctly could happen in the blink of an eye, so make sure your team is monitoring those channels to fix any issues that arise.
Now let’s go over things to avoid when doing any digital marketing over the holidays. If you are guilty of one of these, don’t worry. There’s always next year. Just make sure you aren’t making too many of these mistakes, especially if it’s your first time marketing your business online.
Avoid designing, writing copy for, and sending out campaigns because you are in a rush to take advantage of the holiday season. Sending out a few emails and posting a few things on social media may work for your business, but companies tend to be sloppy when they rush the work it takes to craft a truly capturing piece of marketing.
This goes along with planning last minute. You do not want to plan your campaigns if you haven’t done your research on who your target audience is.
Your audience can be large, including everything from millenials, children, and grandparents. But if your business focuses on gaming gear, such as headphones and electronics, young children and possibly even grandparents won’t be your main target.
Do research on what your target audience then wants or expects out of holiday deals. You will want to match the deals your audience has taken advantage of in the past. You can make similar enticing copy you find your demographic responds to, like “works with all consoles, PC and with quality sound.”
Have you ever received so many emails about the same deal in the same week only to unsubscribe from receiving the business’s marketing emails? Yeah, you don’t want that.
Though you want a series of emails to hype leads into shopping on your site, an email a day is too many. If a timed deal is ending soon, you can send a reminder email to your contacts, but do your research and find a software that allows you to view the statistics of how many contacts are actually opening your emails.
Why not check out our Messaging app to see how we can help you avoid hard-bounces and get you more opens and click-throughs.
One marketing tactic is not enough nowadays. As mentioned before, you want to go down multiple avenues to reach a good amount of shoppers who are part of your target audience.
The beautiful thing about this is that you can repurpose content to fit your Twitter, Facebook, email blasts, and even landing page copy. Casting a wide net is key here.
You can plan for deals right after the holidays end. What about those family members you couldn’t see until after the New Year? They deserve gifts too!
Try repurposing your Black Friday campaigns to work for your after-holiday campaigns. You may not have as big of sales going on as you did after Thanksgiving, but the details can easily be changed whereas the message will be similar if not the same.
You should now know how to go about planning and creating a solid holiday marketing campaign. Want to prepare for next year? Check out our article on Black Friday marketing srategies.
See how our entire suite can help you in your holiday goals. Have fun exploring ways to make a creative campaign for your holiday specials and announcements. You can utilize our landing page app, email messaging app, or even chatbots to make them holiday-themed and relevant to your audience’s needs.
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