With holiday creep well underway by November and the holiday’s flagship shopping days occurring later in Q4, any prudent marketer is looking to create as many opportunities as possible throughout Q4 to engage their customers. And while, broadly speaking, holiday shopping as a theme should dominate your content strategy, there are advantages to leveraging other holidays and events along the way. Look to the below for inspiration on how to stand out amongst the holiday marketing clutter and create unique reasons to engage your customers.
Halloween celebrations are back up to pre-pandemic levels and Americans spent $10.14 billion on the holiday in 2021 – which Investopedia is reporting is a record high.1 Although it’s 2022, the advent of Netflix’s popular show “Stranger Things” is making the popular burn with nostalgia, so let’s look back at a vintage Halloween commercial that will inspire your 2022 creative.
In 1991, Coors Light used an early version of influencer marketing by hiring Mistress of the Night, Elvira, to name their product as the official beer of Halloween. Watch the commercial below:
This event to raise awareness about men’s health issues lasts the whole month, which means you can create multiple touchpoints vs. a one-and-done campaign. Wellness brand, Headspace, taps into the altruistic element to leverage Movember.
Subject line: We’re giving November to Movember
There are a lot of benefits to connecting with your audience on Daylight Savings. You’re associating your brand with the best day of the year (An extra hour of sleep? Priceless) and your audience should be more receptive being better rested (partially kidding). As Steve Madden demonstrates, the email copy practically writes itself.
Subject line: Tic Toc, 25% Ends Tonight + Steve’s Picks
Still the biggest shopping day in the world, Single’s Day is a celebration of “one”-self (ergo its date, 11.11). Started by Alibaba, its closest equivalent in the U.S. is Amazon’s Prime Day. Its prominence as a Chinese shopping holiday hasn’t stopped global marketers from leveraging the day for themselves. H&M’s email reflects a common approach by retailers by playing with the numbers to offer 11% off.
Subject line: Celebrate Singles Day with 11% off the entire site!
On a holiday dedicated to celebrating the service of all US military veterans, look to Starbucks for inspiration on how a brand can commemorate the day with their customers. This gift-matching promotion involved a significant investment for Starbucks, but the act of good-will represents true brand-building instead of the opposite end of the spectrum, where a sale could potentially creep into tone-deaf territory (X% off for Veteran’s Day).
Subject line: Here’s how you can thank a veteran
While we’re talking about a spectrum of different themes to leverage, there are a variety of ways to have your brand resonate on this most thankful of days. Here, Artifact Uprising dedicates an email to a heartfelt message of gratitude to their audience. The email is on the lengthier side, perhaps recognizing most people celebrating this day aren’t going to be out and about.
Subject line: With Gratitude
Standing in contrast to Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday was started as a response to commercialism during the holiday season. Ride share platform Lyft made giving easy by incorporating a “Round Up & Donate” feature directly into their app – riders only had to tap a button to donate to a charitable cause, and leading with the subject line “Join #GivingTuesday with Lyft.” Charity Water took a more traditional approach with a “give now” call-to-action featured prominently below their mission – to bring clean water to people in need.
Subject line: Today’s the day. Give 100%.
December is a stressful and busy month for many people and finding the right gifts for Aunt Betty and Cousin Tim can add to the pressure – especially in a world with seemingly endless options to choose from.
Marketers can help their audiences find the perfect gift with curated gift guides. Apparel retailer J. Crew not only provided links to shop by recipient (women, men, etc.) but also by types of gifts, using the subject line “Our Gift Guide is here. Shop it with 30% off & spread some serious joy.” Everlane headlined with “Your most requested gifts” and incorporated customer survey results to lend an element of social proof into their curated recommendations.
Knowing that many people are prone to procrastination (ahem!) and find themselves with shopping left to do on December 24th, marketers will send emails on this day – sometimes more than one – promoting options for those last-minute shoppers.
Lands’ End promotes in-store shopping with a “There’s still time to shop in-store for the perfect gift!” subject line and “Find Your Store” call-to-action featured prominently in the email. For those who cannot make it to a store, an e-gift card is an alternative.
Lilly Pulitzer takes a similar approach with a “store first, e-gift card second” approach for those last-minute shoppers.
Subject line: So many ways to shop before tomorrow!
Love it or loathe it, many marketers are now sending promotional emails on Christmas Day. The adoption of mobile has been a primary driver of “couch commerce” on days that are traditionally family-focused like Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, some marketers prefer to take a break from promotions on this day and elect to send an electronic greeting card instead. Tom’s uses a self-gifting angle to entice shoppers to shop their sitewide sale.
Subject line: One last 🎁 | 30% off SITEWIDE
December 31st, New Year’s Eve, Last Day of the Year – whatever you call it, it’s a time for looking back *and* looking forward. Marketers of all types use this day to recap the previous year, promote sales, or preview the year ahead. It’s also a great opportunity for non-profit organizations to connect with their supporters and generate donations.
No-kill shelter Cat Adoption Team sent an email highlighting the rescue story of one the cats they took in and reminded their supporters that it was their last chance to make a contribution before the end of the tax year.
LOFT sent a simple note of thanks to their customers wishing them a Happy New Year.
As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.