Ideas to Jump-start Your Holiday Marketing

The holidays are right around the corner. Let that sink in for a minute.

It starts with Halloween and then the frenzy begins. The holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier. Last year, the core holiday season began with major Black Friday sales starting the week before Thanksgiving. It’s important to keep in mind that most of the holiday shopping happens online. For the 2017 holiday season, eMarketer expects ecommerce to climb 15.8%.

As a business owner, it is up to you to plan and manage this time effectively to get the most out of your holiday marketing efforts. According the National Retail Federation, majority of people start their holiday shopping in November, but 41% start sooner. So, jump-start your holiday marketing by planning out your social media and email campaigns.

Image: National Retail Federation

Consumers appear to be more receptive to emails as the read rates increased to 20% in 2016, up from 13% in 2015.

Here are five ideas to get the holiday marketing idea ball rolling:

#1 Offer A Christmas Countdown of Deals

Present your customers with a unique daily promotion for a set number of days before Christmas. This is one that you want to build up anticipation for beforehand so your readers know that they will be receiving a daily email, but that it will be worth their time. Feature a deal a day leading up to Christmas.

Holiday Marketing Ideas
Image: Microsoft




#2 Run A Holiday-Themed Contest

Consider creating a holiday contest to engage your audience during the busiest time of the year. It’s an excellent way to boost brand awareness and social engagement with your customers and prospects. You’ve seen success of Starbucks with its #redcupcontest that it hosted on Instagram. Customers took photos with their red Starbucks cup and posted on Instagram with the hashtag #redcupcontest to be entered to win a prize. What’s stopping you from creating a similar contest on social media? Be creative and get customers involved!

#3 Provide a Holiday Gift-Buying Guide

One of the main reasons people procrastinate with their holiday shopping is they don’t know what gift to buy for a particular person on their list. Here’s where you and your company can come to the rescue. Create an online gift-buying guide. You can create a special landing page on your website and a corresponding email campaign. Don’t forget to include categories like “Gifts for Her,” “Gifts for Him,” “Gift for Kids,” and “Gifts Under $40” to make it easy for your audience. 

#4 Grab Attention with Emojis in Your Holiday Email Subject Lines


Research shows 56% of people using emojis in email subject lines had a higher unique open rate. In particular, there’s something attractive about the snowman. According to eConsultancy, the snowman emoji during the holidays increased open rates by 66%. A word of caution: You must know your audience and whether or not they will be receptive to your emoji subject line. Also, not all email solution providers show emojis correctly. Make sure you test it before sending.

#5 Incorporate Hashtag Holidays

In general, social media is riddled with hashtags. There’s a hashtag for everything, it seems. Then there’s the creative, unique, and dare I say “cool” holiday hashtags that can be included in your holiday marketing plan. For example, there’s November 21, which is #NationalEntreprenursDay and December 4 is #NationalCookieDay. If you own bakery, you should definitely maximize that hashtag holiday with a special promotion.

What marketing plans do you have for the holidays? Share in the comments below.