The 10 Best Ideas to Inspire Your Holiday Marketing Campaigns

By Bluecore Marketing

If you’re like most retail marketers, in the month or two leading up to the holiday shopping season, you’re heads down getting ready for the busiest — and most profitable — time of the year.

From planning to executing your holiday marketing campaigns, there’s a lot that needs to get done in order to make the most of a season when consumers are primed to make purchases. So what can you do along the way to optimize the performance of your email marketing and beyond this holiday season?

Let’s take a look at ten of the best holiday marketing strategies you need to know!

1) Personalize your website with holiday campaigns 

Personalizing your website for holiday marketing campaigns like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Labor Day results in a high level of engagement on your site. This leads to the most promising user experience, helping your company become that much more memorable. There are plenty of new elements that can be incorporated into your website to keep things fun and exciting. Consider playing around with CTA banners, use festive colors and graphics.

We know it might seem like personalizing your website at scale for the holiday season is a daunting task, but doing so will propel your marketing strategy in the right direction. 

Plus, creating exceptional holiday campaigns will set you apart from your competition and present new opportunities for your business to connect with shoppers in new ways. 

2) Tease upcoming promotions

Nearly every retailer runs holiday marketing promotions, so how can you make sure yours stands out and catches the attention of your target audience? Try teasing it out with emails (and even messages across channels like Facebook) that let customers know something is coming.

For example, you might use fun, mysterious subject lines and send emails that tell customers to keep an eye out for something special in their inbox tomorrow.

This type of teaser builds anticipation, primes customers to look for another email from you and makes customers feel special since you’re “letting them in on a secret.”

3) Highlight your social responsibility

What better time to highlight your brand’s social responsibility than during the season of giving? Instead of just touting different holiday promotions, try mixing in some charity opportunities too.

This social responsibility will go a long way with Millennials, in particular, who are willing to spend more on products from socially responsible companies and have been known to switch brand loyalties to those with a cause.

You can even combine this social responsibility with other offers and/or in-store promotions. For example, CB2 recently ran one such campaign by asking customers to bring at least five canned goods into their local store for the opportunity to receive 20% off. Other ideas include donating a percentage of all profits from a certain timeframe to charity or even running a charity-only campaign — no discounts or sales attached.

4) Push loyalty for seasonal shoppers

First-time buyers typically count for anywhere from 50-80% of holiday shoppers, meaning most retailers have a new — and newly captive — audience during this time of year. In general, even shoppers who aren’t new tend to pay more attention to marketing campaigns from retailers during the holiday season since they’re primed to look for deals and make purchases.

As a result, you should capitalize on that heightened attention by encouraging those new and seasonal shoppers to sign up for emails or join your loyalty program (or by pushing any other initiatives that are important to your marketing goals). The earlier in the season you can make this push, the more you can tout the need to sign up in order to get special holiday deals and be the first to know about promotions. Ideally, this effort should create a stickiness with customers that lasts beyond the holiday season.

5) Give early access to VIP customers

We know how important it is to create and sustain loyal customers. This holiday season, reward your VIP customers. Give them early access to deals, and discounts on certain products, or offer them a coupon or free shipping on their holiday orders.

Partnering with a technology that keeps track of the shoppers who purchased during the holiday season last year can be a good way to share similar products they might be interested in purchasing again this season. 

Combining customer data with product data and purchase data from last year’s holiday season will give you insights into what worked and what needs tweaking this year. Having a holiday strategy will go a long way with your VIP and new customers so make sure you are ready.

6) Share gift guides and collaborate with complementary brands

It might be the season of giving, but most people don’t actually know what gifts they want to buy. That’s where you come in.

According to Experian, searches for gift guides and related terms experience a spike in November and December, indicating that many consumers look for inspiration when trying to find the perfect gifts for friends and family. And what better way to make the shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible for your customers than by creating a gift guide of your own.

While you certainly want to include your own products in the guide, it pays to include products from complementary brands as well. Doing so can help you avoid the appearance of bias that comes from pushing only your products and get you in front of new audiences if the other brands include sharing the guide with their customers too.

7) Amplify mobile marketing

It is no secret that the amount of time people spend on their phones has drastically increased within the past era, and marketers are making sure to take advantage of this. 93% of surveyed retailers mentioned that they are investing in mobile marketing for online sales growth. 

Now, you can take mobile marketing to a new level and include personalization in your text messages to give your shoppers the attention they deserve.

Send out holiday announcements, discounts, or links to your latest deal. The power of mobile marketing is enormous and can help you get ready for the best retail holiday season yet!

8) Get creative with content marketing 

Get creative with your content marketing and diversify your content. Don’t just stick to just pictures and banners. Make sure to set yourself apart from the competition. 

Try planning for the extended retail holiday season with video campaigns. Video content is easily spread across the web and is especially useful in email marketing campaigns. Think about how great video content is for communicating a holiday message! 

You can play with the tone of your video by shifting the lighting, including a familiar holiday tune, and invoking feelings with facial expressions. Including videos on your website can help your brand tell its story and will give you the opportunity to create new themes and fresh holiday content. 

9) Keep your brand top of mind with email marketing campaigns

Your holiday marketing email campaigns can be one of your best weapons, and there is no such thing as planning too early when it comes to this. 

Email marketing has plenty of benefits, and the holiday season might just be the best time to reap the benefits. Triggered emails, personalization, cart abandonment reminders, and holiday giveaways are just a few of the ways you can use holiday email marketing in your favor. All brands experience a high level of demand during the holiday season – with a killer email campaign, you can stay at the top of your old and new customers list. 

Remember, holiday email marketing techniques are also useful post holidays! Here is an example of how Sephora engages customers after the holidays. 

10) Expand your story by going beyond your products

Marketers now have permission to expand the story. In other words, it doesn’t always have to be about your brand.

Instead of featuring products in every email, try sharing a few emails with relevant and timely content that your customers care about — even if it isn’t directly tied to what you sell. Thought leadership content marketing is also extremely helpful in developing trust with your customers. If you continue to be relevant to your customers and share content they appreciate, you’ll get their attention and build a trusting relationship with them that will ultimately pay off in sales.

For instance, retailers like Earth Brands have done this around the holiday season by sending customers emails featuring seasonal recipes.

Even More Holiday Marketing Inspiration

You’ve got some great campaign tips, now it’s time to put them into action. Lucky for you, we’ve covered all the bases.

Check out Bluecore’s Ultimate 2022 Retail Holiday Playbook to get 13 holiday campaign strategies that will boost your brand’s connection with old and new shoppers.

Bluecore Marketing