Introduction

Creating the ultimate holiday campaign is no longer a challenge, all it takes is a pinch of holiday spirit, a spoonful of creativity, and a seasoning based on your favorite holiday month.

This holiday season we wanted to create a guide, a lookbook, an inspirational insight into how you can take on the three pillars of an ultimate campaign...

  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing

...to wow your customers, increase engagement, increase your ROI, and obviously - to make Kris Kringle proud. Take each campaign and remember it's not about going all out the day of, it's about creating a plan and starting early.

Not only did we prepare a guide for you to get inspired, we also attached a calendar for you to print out and mark when you want to start each campaign, or to click and download ical reminders! There might also be a little fun cut-out project as well!

Thanksgiving November 26

Email

Launch Day

If your products tie into Thanksgiving, you should launch your email campaign about two weeks in advance. Starting your communication on November 12th will give you enough time to run a drip campaign that builds anticipation and drives holiday sales.

Thanksgiving is all about families coming together, traditional food, and giving thanks. Try to grasp this holiday spirit in the campaign you're about to launch.

Don't know how? How about reminding your audience about the upcoming holiday and asking them the following question - is there someone special you'd like to thank this Thanksgiving? If they nod their heads in agreement, they'll be even more so delighted to see the exclusive offer you've prepared just for them.

Or you can choose a different approach. Perhaps they are organizing a Thanksgiving dinner for their family and need to be ready with all the food and decorations before their guests arrive. Why not make it easier for them by showing some amazing products they'll instantly fall in love with?

No matter which approach you choose, remember to convey the holiday spirit in your email templates. Craft them carefully and test how they render in various devices and email clients. At the same time, remember not to lose your brand's identity. Write holiday-inspired copy using your own unique voice.

Not sure what we have in mind? Check out this interesting email by Zagg.

TLaunch Day

Important Elements Of An Email

When designing your Thanksgiving email remember the following elements:

1) Subject Line

The subject line needs to capture attention and instantly generate interest in your audience. You want them to stop what they are doing, read the subject line, and open up your email. To do so, you can say straightaway that Thanksgiving will be the theme of your newsletter. Or you can do the opposite and spark curiosity without fully explaining what the offer is.

Here are some ideas for a creative subject line you may like:

  • Getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner?
  • Staying in or going out? How are you spending Thanksgiving this year?
  • Extra 10% off for early shoppers only!
  • Is there anyone special you're thankful for?

2) Preheader

The preheader will be accompanying your subject line. Use it wisely to improve your chances of getting the email opened. Sum up the main points of the offer or just continue "the story" you've began in the subject line.

Also remember to add the link to an online version of your email. This will mean a great deal to those subscribers who that have images blocked in their email client, yet would still like to learn more about the offer.

3) Header & Content

Opening the email is just the first step. Once your subscribers see its content, you need to continue the conversation you've started in the subject line and the preheader. Make sure that the header catches your users' attention and emphasizes the uniqueness of your offer. You'll only have a few seconds to convince them about its value, so make it count.

The header and content should sum up what you're offering and how it will answer your clients' needs. List your products and provide great copy that will prove that Thanksgiving cannot take place without them.

Think of creative ways to present your offer. Will it be a game where the user needs to break the turkey's wishbone? Or perhaps they'll need to forward the offer to their friends and family first, sharing the "thanks" to receive a discount? Be creative!

Just make sure that the email header points your users towards the most important element, that is the CTA.

4) CTA

Your main call to action will be the element that triggers the sales. Gaining attention and igniting curiosity is great, but most of the time that's not enough. You'll need to make them click, then directing them to your landing page or an online store.

Again, you'll need to be creative when it comes to crafting the perfect CTA.

It should be visible and obvious as to what happens after the user decides to click. Will they already be placing an order or just learning more about the product? The copy you'll use in the CTA may be creative but also must be understandable.

Follow-up Emails

Make sure that communication continues until the big day. Two emails usually won't be enough. Your subscribers may be busy while reading it for the first time, or they simply may not be interested in the offer.

Send them 2-3 more emails reminding about the upcoming holiday, including details such as: deadline for the on-time delivery, best-selling products, survey asking what they wish for this Thanksgiving, etc.

Email On The Exact Day

Once you've reached Thanksgiving all you can (and should) do is to give thanks to your customers and wish their families well. Send a quick note acknowledging the holiday, but whatever you do - don't sell. Thanksgiving is an occasion for people to take the day off and spend time with family.

If they've found your offer valuable and enjoyed your wishes, chances are they'll come back once you send them another email some time after Thanksgiving.

Best Practices

  • If you haven't segmented your lists before now, it's the time to do so
  • Use Thanksgiving/Autumn colors in your email template
  • Provide valuable content about Thanksgiving, traditions, and point out how it ties with your offer
  • Run reactivation campaigns and reengage your audience prior to increasing the frequency of holiday emails

Supporting Materials

  • Guide to Creating a Compelling Email Message [Infographicl
  • 5 Strategies for Capturing the Thanksgiving Market with vour Email Campaigns

Need more inspiration? Check out this Thanksgiving email by Etsy.

Supporting Materials

Social Media

Around Thanksgiving

If you're planning a holiday contest, it's a good idea to launch one during Thanksgiving break so you get ample time to collect entries (e.g. photos) to then choose the winners.

For that purpose, you can either use a Facebook app or ask people to tweet or Instagram their photos with a special #hashtag.

This can also be done for Thanksgiving - ask people to post family selfies or a #TurkeyChallenge, picking the best picture and engaging people around your brand while they're also having a great time with their families and friends.

On Thanksgiving Day

Adjust your cover photos and avatars on Facebook and Twitter for a turkey-themed image - and post Thanksgiving wishes. (Repeat for all the other holidays!)

Supporting Materials

Content Marketing

Thanksgiving is all about giving back. Take this opportunity to write about what you are thankful for, give an insight into how your company is preparing and celebrating this time, or simply do a DIY post on how customers can use your products this time of the year.

A great example is Dunkin' Donuts. This brand created an elaborate series of blog posts dedicated to cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal.

Content Marketin

Most of us think of well... Donuts and coffee when we hear Dunkin' Donuts, however, content marketing gives a brand the ability to go beyond what usually correlates with it. This doesn't mean that you should write about nailpolish colors for the holiday season, when you offer car parts (although this would be an interestingly bold move).

Dunkin' Donuts focused on their products as well. Since they are mainly a coffee company, there was a creative DIY Latte Cup post, and of course -a traditional Gift Idea post - you can never go wrong with this one!

Content Marketin

What if your brand is not exactly creative? Besides traditional sales, gift ideas, and the obvious "Happy Thanksgiving From Us" you can write about what is happening around Thanksgiving. Twitter is a great example. You don't need to be boring, just think outside the box and join the conversations happening all around!

Content Marketin

Your content marketing piece will set the mood for what customers can find during the holidays. If you're planning to write about sales, ways to use your product or service during Thanksgiving, or just simple tips for the season itself-you might want to start at least two weeks before Thanksgiving.

However, not all content marketers will have deals or eBooks to send out during this season. If you're not planning a big campaign, get something together for November 26th! This family holiday is an opportunity for heart warming tips, exclusive deals, or a way for you to say thank you for being our customer. Remember that nothing makes a customer happier than letting them know that you care.

To sum up, take a look at this quick checklist:

  • If you're planning on sales, campaigns, or events during Thanksgiving publish content between November 9th and 12th
  • Don't forget to send reminders the following week and 3 days before Thanksgiving Thursday
  • November 26th is the perfect day to publish a We're thankful for... post, or something that shows that you care

Black Friday

Black Friday

Email

Launch Day

Black Friday marks the beginning of retail's busiest season. You need to be persistent from the get-go, and your deals need to be better than anyone else's. Keep in mind that the majority of your consumers will be starting their holiday shopping sprees today. Be front and center with the absolute best.

Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving, so both the launch date and the overall plan for your promotional campaigns depend strongly on how you've approached turkey day (or tofurkey day, if you prefer).

If you've based your marketing campaigns on Thanksgiving, you probably won't inform your clients about your Black Friday offer until the day before the actual date. This would decrease the effectiveness of your promotions and unnecessarily burn your budget.

However, if Thanksgiving hasn't been part of your promotional plan, you should definitely prepare them for Black Friday in advance. Send them a teaser - an email newsletter (e.g. with a downloadable calendar event) informing them that for 24 hours only great contests and discounts will be taking place.

Important Elements Of An Email

1) Subject Line

Your subject lines will help you build anticipation and excitement before the 27th of November. Once it's Black Friday, you'll want to reveal the secret promotions you've prepared for your audience and let the 24 hours shopping spree begin. Here is some inspiration for your subject lines:

  • You know it's coming...
  • We've got something special for you this season
  • You've never wanted it to be Friday this bad
  • It's finally here!
  • 3,2,1 Go! You've got 24 hours and not a second more

2) Preheader

Are you offering free delivery? Or perhaps you'd like to build up anticipation about the shopping spree even more? Your preheader should inform your audience about it. Just make sure this element will convince subscribers that weren't quite ready to open up the email to do so now. The content, on the other hand, will have to prove to them that the effort was worth their time.

3) Header & Content

Be quick and smooth. Get attention with an animated GIF or a header image with high contrasting elements of black and your own brand colors. The offer you're presenting has to be better than anything else you've prepared in the last few months. After all, the shopping - and high profit - season is about to begin.

4) CTA

Be descriptive, funny, and convincing. Put the CTA in a highly visible place and get your subscribers to make the order now or never! Otherwise they'll lose their only chance to benefit from the Black Friday offers you've prepared.

Follow-up Emails

Again, depending on whether you've skipped Thanksgiving and focused solely on Black Friday, you may want to send your subscribers a reminder. An automatically deployed message letting them know a day or two before this special occasion should give them enough time to get ready for a wild day of shopping.

Email On The Exact Day

So the big day has arrived. Make sure that the offer really stands out from what you've been doing in the last few months. New products, special gifts, discounts and contests should be included in the final email. Perhaps add some animation or a counter that will emphasize that these great deals will only last for the next 24 hours.

Direct the traffic from your email to a landing page that's been designed for this promotion specifically. Make sure that it maintains the same theme and converts your subscribers' interest into actual orders.

Best Practices

  • It's the start of the shopping season. Make it worthwhile. Prepare your list and promotional campaigns way ahead of time to make the most of the holidays
  • If you have subscribers that you haven't been able to reengage, move them to a separate list to which you'll send less frequent newsletters. This way you'll maintain high deliverability and still get the most of sales
  • Make sure that your emails and landing pages are mobile responsive. Mobile orders are becoming more important than ever

Supporting Materials

  • The Importance of Responsive Design in Emails
  • Email Reactivation Strategies That Will Save You Money

For inspiration, check out this Black Friday 2014 email promotion from Miss Selfridge.

Supporting Materials

Social Media

Before Black Friday

Try Pinterest and ask people to create boards with their wish list items from your store, using a hashtag that will later help you search through them - and for other people to see items you offer, leading them directly to your e-store.

See how Topshop ran their #DearTopshop campaign that offered participants a chance to win shopping sprees around the store. They could pin Topshop items on their own boards and share them across other social channels, giving exposure to their favorite items and turning Pinterest into a searchable Topshop gift guide.

Social Mediay

On Black Friday

For quick flash sales try Snapchat. Amazon used it last year for their "Lightning Deals", which earlier also appeared on Facebook and Twitter. Actually, any social platform will work with that type of deal - driving people to your profile at a given time. But Snapchat seems to be created with fast deals in mind.

It's interesting to see how Black Friday is becoming increasingly mobile, with people exploring deals in their smartphones even when they're in brick and mortar stores. Amazon has noticed this, and no wonder, since between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday 2013, their customers ordered more than five toys per second from a mobile device.

On Black Friday

Another idea is to create coupons for your social fans with special discounts they can only get via Facebook or Twitter when they print out the coupon and bring to your store.

Content Marketing

This "holiday" is easily overlooked by content marketers, so stay ahead of your competition and use their lack of knowledge to your advantage!

Black Friday is just one of those days when tents are set up in front of stores at 3 a.m. However, it's a great day for e-commerce businesses as well! Numerous online businesses have the ultimate blow out sales.

Undoubtedly, there are too many sales to just write a blog post or create an ebook on all the great things you have to offer. Which is why this is your moment to shine as a guide.

On Black Friday

If you are not looking to promote deals found elsewhere or if your business may not want to focus on just the sales/deals aspect of Black Friday, you can take the creative route once again.

Think of what other areas of life, shopping habits, or emotions go along with Black Friday. Give your readers a look behind the scenes, give them a freebie -such as the ultimate tackle plan to maximize bargains and minimize spending.

On Black Friday

Get your team together and figure out what tips, hints, and underground rules you can offer to those that read your content. Are there silent sales you can hint towards? Maybe you can offer the ultimate map towards great discount stores? What's more, you can hit up your keyboard and talk about various offers your own customers can find with you!

Here's your quick checklist:

  • Talk about when and where people can find the ultimate sales
  • Start your "roadmap to discount success" at least a week before Black Friday
  • Publish a post the day before Black Friday (Don't collide it with your Thanksgiving post! Publish at least 3 hours apart)
  • A week after Black Friday publish a post with stats, sales facts, and predictions for next year's sales
Cyber Monday

Email

Cyber Monday is a massive retail holiday for brands online. Top themes to embrace are mobile, conversion rate optimization, and social media.

The following 2014 stats roundup from Econsultancy explains why:

  • In the US, Cyber Monday online sales grew 15% compared to 2013, making it the biggest day in US online shopping history
  • For the holiday weekend (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday), ecommerce revenue is up 15.4% since the same weekend in 2013
  • Mobile commerce accounted for over a fifth (21.9%) of online shopping on Cyber Monday 2014, up 15.9% year-on-year
  • Finally, email marketing apparently drove the most sales over the weekend and accounted for more than a fifth (23.9%) of sales on Cyber Monday

This Cyber Monday, your brand should:

  • Outdo your in-store sales by appealing to those who prioritize convenience but still love deals.
  • Connect with your consumers early via email. Introduce deals that make an impact, outperform the competition, and make your brand irresistible.
  • Make your email clear, visually appealing, and easy to read across all devices. Take a look at the following example from Starbucks, they started by sending a holiday email, but mentioned Cyber Monday in an awesome way.

Launch Day

As soon as you've finished your Black Friday promotional campaigns, you should swiftly move onto the Cyber Monday communication plan. Give your audience a day or two to rest and then start a promotion again. If you haven't gone overboard with your communication plan so far, and the unsubscribe rates haven't increased much, then the 29th will be the perfect launch date.

Launch Day

Important Elements Of An Email

1) Subject Line

Drive traffic to your website and generate more sales during the biggest ecommerce day of the year.

  • Like Xmas but better. Cyber Monday is here!
  • Say Hello to Amazing Savings!
  • Sorry, we might have gone a bit overboard
  • Monday only. Your Cyber Monday offer has arrived
  • Cyber Monday? We've got you covered
  • Hello? Is it savings you're looking for?
  • Cyber Monday 24-hour sale starts now!

2) Preheader

Go with something that builds on your subject line. Make it part of the story.

It might be your second chance to make a great impression.

  • Enjoy FREE shipping on all orders just today
  • A Cyber Monday gift is waiting for you inside
  • Don't tell anyone! It's meant just for you
  • You think that's great? Wait till you read this email
  • This might be overdoing it... but what the heck!
  • Join the discount game today

On top of that, remember to add the link to an online version of the email. If you happen to have a shopping app, it might also be a good idea to place a link to it in your preheader section.

3) Header & Content

If you want to benefit from Cyber Monday, you have to be better than everyone else. Be sure to have a plan B prepared, in case your main competitor offers a better deal than you can afford.

Put an eye-catching banner at the top of your email. Follow that with great copy and your very best products. Use a testimonial for social proof. Add social media icons and an incentive for users to share your email with others.

Think of some creative promotions, discounts, and games that your audience may like. Here's what Joyus did for their Cyber Monday 2014 sale.

Launch Day

4) CTA

An interesting CTA is like a cherry on top of the sundae. It can make or break your email design. Craft it carefully.

Some inspiration:

  • Show me what you've got
  • Let's save!
  • Show me the Cyber Monday deals
  • Start saving now

Follow-up Emails

Build up the anticipation by counting down the days until Cyber Monday arrives. Send out an email reminder that will get people ready for this special occasion. And once it's done, you can continue the emails with a Cyber Monday after-sale to make some space for new stock!

Email On The Exact Day

With all elements of your email in place, you'll be able to put them together to create an enticing and action-calling message. Start the 24-hour shopping spree with a bang and get your clients to go crazy. Get ready to retarget the ones who abandoned their cart to maximize the results from your campaign.

Best Practices

  • Make sure that your sign-up forms and automatically sent emails are up-to-date. It's going to be a busy time and you don't want to lose any potential clients.
  • Segment your audience based on the average value of their previous purchases
  • Design your landing pages and newsletters with conversions in mind. Straight to the point and without unnecessary elements that could take attention away from your offer.

Supporting Materials

  • Top Tips for Attracting Cyber Monday Shoppers
  • 8 UX Tips to Boost Landing Page Coversion Rate [Infographic]

Want more inspiration? Take a look a this example of Cyber Monday promotional newsletter by GAP.

Supporting Material

Social Media

While Black Friday still brings people to stores, Cyber Monday is by essence an online - and increasingly mobile - holiday.

On Cyber Monday

For your Cyber Monday deals, try using ads on Facebook and Twitter with images promoting your discounts, targeted at your potential customers. Here's a few tips to keep in mind:

Focus on mobile ads - research shows desktop ads can prove much more costly and less effective at this time

  • Include a clear call to action within the image
  • Use a call to action button (Available in Facebook ads or in Twitter cards)
  • Use retargeting to capture people who already visited your site
  • Use enticing images and copy - try several versions and turn off ads that are more expensive/less effective

Around Cyber Monday

If you haven't started your holiday contest yet, do it now. For inspiration, take a look at one we did in 2014 to promote GetResponse Landing Pages. We asked our Customers to create holiday-themed landing pages and submit them via a Facebook app. We picked the best pages in given categories and also asked our fans to vote - this way not only engaging customers, but their friends as well.

Around Cyber Monday

And since this year Cyber Monday will be closer towards the very end of November, get an Advent Calendar ready, disclosing various deals every day until Christmas, for example on Instagram or Pinterest.

Content Marketing

Cyber Monday is the essence of all that is online. A day when the clicks around the world are heard all the way on Jupiter. This day is focused on e-commerce so much so, that there is no big game plan you can give, unless you have awesome tips on which sites what to visit at what precise time to ensure that you get what you're looking for - hey, that's already a great idea for a guide or blog post!

Around Cyber Monday

This very universal holiday attracts everyone, from Good Housekeeping all the way to USA Today. As you can see by the lead above, it's not just about logging in early, it's about knowing where to click and when.

As a content marketer, you are the privileged hero who knows all the where, when, and how that a potential shopper is looking for. Share your knowledge!

Think of Cyber Monday like it's Black Friday... but better;) Since this is a day spent primarily online, it would be best to publish posts as soon as you finish your Black Friday content marketing campaign.

Similarly, to Black Friday, there are a few things you can focus on, here's your checklist:

  • Insights, hints, special offers, and roadmaps (which stores to best check out first) should be published in a post the minute Black Friday ends on November 28th
  • If you don't plan on a Black Friday post because you're focusing on Cyber Monday - publish three days before Thanksgiving so that people will be able to prepare sooner
  • A week after Cyber Monday publish a post with stats, sales facts, and predictions for the following year
Super Saturday

Email

This is the last shopping Saturday of the holidays. It's also one of the final opportunities for free shipping. This day will be a valuable opportunity for last minute shoppers to get what they need. To be helpful:

  • Introduce last-minute specials
  • Emphasize quick shipping or site-to-store options
  • Alert shoppers as early in the day as possible (because they'll probably be a bit nervous)

For inspiration, check out the following holiday 2014 email campaign from Games Workshop:

Super Saturday - Email

Launch Day

Your subscribers have had some time off since Cyber Monday. But you don't really want them to forget about your brand or even worse, forget about the upcoming sales and recklessly spend money that's supposed to be saved for gifts. That's why you'll want to start informing your audience about your Christmas offer early.

Think of the advent calendar. It's meant to celebrate the anticipation of Christmas. And that's exactly what you'll want to do through your promotional campaigns. Build up the anticipation and excitement, get your subscribers to order early, and buy gifts for themselves and others.

You can start communicating Holiday preparations as soon as on 1st of December. If you think that's a bit too early and your audience is a bit tired or desensitized by previous offers, wait for one more week. Just make sure to start early as shoppers might spend their savings somewhere else really quick so as to avoid traffic or problems with timely delivery.

Important Elements Of An Email

Subject Line

Here are some ideas for your Christmas subject lines:

  • Ready to send your letter to Santa?
  • Someone's feeling very merry today!
  • Something special for the Early Shoppers!
  • We won't sell it to you. But you can get it for free
  • Is it a Xmas miracle on it's way?
  • Someone ate the cookies and left you this...
  • It's the last day of Free Shipping. Use it wisely!

Preheader

  • Order today to ensure that your gifts arrive before Xmas
  • Our Gift Guide to you!
  • Special Winter Lookbook has arrived
  • Inside: Recipes your grandma would love
  • Time to update your holiday checklist

Follow-up Emails

Send Christmas holiday reminders throughout the month up until Super Saturday and even after that. Count down toward the big day, informing at each stage what the subscribers can benefit from: free delivery, pre-sale specials or a last call to have it delivered on time.

Email On The Exact Day

Some say Super Saturday is the last day of the shopping season. Make sure your audience knows about it. Most importantly, make sure they won't want to miss it. Be creative when designing your newsletter, to portray time running out. Animated videos, counting down clock and time-limited discount coupons. Engage your audience and promote the final sale while the stocks last.

Best Practices

  • Since Christmas is a very busy period for most marketers and online businesses, you'll need to watch your deliverability really closely. You don't want to go overboard with the volume of broadcasts. It's better to send fewer messages that are more tailored to your users' needs.
  • Use autoresponders and plan the countdown ahead. You'll have more time to spend on other crucial processes such as analysis of the results. Remember that your competitors will be running their email marketing campaigns, too. You'll want to monitor what they do to always be at the top of your game.

Supporting Materials

  • How to Use Competitive Analysis for an Unfair Advantage
  • Making Your Email Coupons Work Harder
  • Email Marketer's Secret Weapon - Digital Coupons

Feeling inspired? Take a look at this Super Saturday email below by Macy's (source: alternatefashion.blogspot.com)

Super Saturday - Supporting Materials

Social Media

Post your last-minute specials on Twitter and Facebook - again, use ads (check Cyber Monday for details) scheduled for the day so that you capture those last-minute shoppers.

Content Marketing

This is an overlooked holiday, but that's what makes it so perfect. Your competitors will not think about posting content related to it!

Take a page from the LA Times, remind shoppers of what the year before meant for that specific holiday and share what sales you are predicting on your end. This is a call to action in a blog post, just waiting to happen!

Super Saturday - Supporting Materials

This day is especially important in e-commerce, this is the day for final sales and free shipping. As a content marketer you can offer up a few things:

  • Which stores (including yours) are offering the best deals
  • Last-minute specials
  • Shipping tips for people all over the world
  • Last-minute reminder

Get your customers ready for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's Eve by publishing content that will help them make the best of the last day of special sales. Publish on December 9th to get everyone ready. If you'd like to remind people of exclusive sales, republish your post on social media the day before Super Saturday, as a bonus - add special info into your previously published post.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Email

Launch Day

The shopping season will almost be over, but it's still important to wish your audience well. To appeal to the truly last-minute shoppers, give them the option to buy a virtual gift card, or maybe free next-day shipping?

Make Christmas part of your whole Holiday campaign. Start talking about it as soon as you're thinking of Super Saturday. The 1st of December will be a good moment to start promoting the Christmas holiday, making separate dates such as Super Saturday stand out a bit from the rest of the season.

Important Elements Of An Email

While your whole holiday campaign should be focusing on warmth, family and close friends, you can approach each day a bit differently. Super Saturday is about urgency and making the sale now. Otherwise users risk the costs of shipping gifts.

Christmas should be, on the other hand, more about being kind, gift giving, and helping others. In other words, try to motivate your subscribers to do something for others, while there is still time.

Subject Line
  • Share this wonderful news with your loved ones
  • Feeling Xmasy?
  • Here's a gift from us to you
  • Christmas is about sharing
Preheader
  • Best wishes from us to you
  • Time to unwrap!
  • You've waited long enough
  • Ready to be surprised?

Follow-up Emails

As part of your Christmas countdown campaign, make sure that the last two weeks are more focused on Holiday promotions. Organize events, lotteries, gift-giveaways, or food preparation nights. All of these will remind your audience about what special time of the year it is. By doing that, you'll be able to promote your offer without being too salesy.

Email On The Exact Day

Whoever wanted to buy your products or services before Christmas has probably already done that. If they haven't, there is little you can do. Send them wishes, a gift, or a card, and leave it at that.

Best Practices

  • If Boxing Day isn't celebrated in your area continue to promote Christmas sales after a couple of days. Get rid of the old stock and make space for new additions to your offer
  • Just like with any other holidays be sure that you're subtle and polite. You don't want to offend anyone's views or beliefs

Supporting Materials

  • Holiday Email Marketing Plavbook
  • Christmas Email Marketing Recipes
  • Your 12-Point Holiday Email Marketing Checklist

To get inspired take a look at the following two examples. Photojojo created a quirky last Christmas holiday reminder. Whereas Urban Outfitters went outside the box and made the most of newsletter images.

Show subscribers that you care and give them not only discounts but also your attention, wish them a wonderful holiday. Make someone smile, take a funny team picture, add a cheesy greeting, and click send!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Dayy - Supporting Materials
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - Supporting Materials

Social Media

Before Christmas Eve

The holiday season is also the perfect time to do something for others. Take a look at this example from UPS who asked people to tweet their wishes along with the #WishesDelivered hashtag, donating $1 for every wish to one of their three charity partners.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - Social Media

On Christmas Day

Post a Merry Christmas greeting to your audience on Facebook and Twitter, or your blog if you have one. Engage your employees - record a video where you're all doing that as a team. Treat it as an opportunity to let your audience know you better - and also simply wish them a happy holiday, without being salesy.

Content Marketing

For most content marketers this is the time to wish people a wonderful holiday, however, it is also an opportunity to make your knowledge shine. Various blogs publish holiday greetings tied in with the year's conclusions or predictions for the following year.

Start off by publishing holiday themed posts during December. Even if your content is not necessarily about Christmas, once the 1st of December strikes, give your content that holiday spirit. You can do any of the following:

  • Comparing products, tools, or techniques for different holiday-themed ideas
  • Get people in the spirit by republishing your Holiday Ebook (This will work best if it's done within the first week of December)
  • A week before Christmas, publish your results, campaign overlook, and thoughts from a Holiday campaign you ran the year before
  • Don't forget to make December 24th shine. Even if you're planning on a regular post, make sure it has a holiday theme so that you can wish your readers "Happy Holidays!"

So much is going on around the holidays, you can really think outside the box with a plethora of content! Some of the best pieces of content revolve around a few ideas:

Guides, from tips for increasing your holiday sales, to how to create a successful holiday campaign:

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - Content Marketing
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - Content Marketing

Lists of inspiring Christmas ads, ebooks, sales, campaigns:

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - Content Marketing
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - Content Marketing
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Email

The New Year is a new beginning. No matter what business you're in, it's a chance to get a fresh start. Based on your experience, you can do a few things better, or start doing completely new things. You can help your customers make and keep New Year's resolutions, introduce brand new products/services, or run various marketing campaigns to boost sales and develop your business.

Launch Day

Start sending your New Year's emails on December 27th - right after the Christmas holidays. Most people on your email list will be relaxed after holidays and ready to grasp the awaiting opportunities.

Important Elements Of An Email

1) Subject Line

Emphasize the new beginning and focus on future possibilities. Tell your audience that it's a chance to do much better. Make it clear that they can push themselves further and meet goals they didn't quite reach last year.

  • New Year, New Possibilities
  • 5 ideas to ... in 2016
  • New products for the new you
  • Get it right from the start
2) Preheader

As usual, use the preheader to complement the subject line and increase your email's impact.

3) Header & Content

Customize your email template - use some cool New Year's graphics in the header to capture people's interest and make them want to see the whole message.

4) CTA

Choose simplicity and clarity - stick to one main call to action. At this time of the year we all tend to receive loads of emails. The easier it is to follow a call to action, the higher the conversion.

Follow-up Emails

You can celebrate the New Year well into January. You could send reminder emails in December, but it's a great idea to start a drip campaign on January 2nd - show brand new features of your product/service or share best ideas on how to use it in 2016.

Email On The Exact Day

On December 31st you can simply send best wishes to your subscribers. Everyone will be busy preparing for a party so a Happy New Year email will do.

Best practices

  • Use animated content in your email template
  • Start the New Year with a positive and valuable drip campaign

Need more ideas? Check out this email from Z Gallerie.

New Year’s Eve - Email

Social Media

Before New Year's Eve

Use a hashtag (again!) and ask people to tweet/lnstagram their New Year's resolutions - and make a contest out of it. Reward the best/funniest/most original ones. Start the contest about a week before so you get the chance to collect some great responses from people.

And since hashtags are so powerful for contests and social media engagement, remember these few rules when creating yours. Make it:

  • Unique - make sure no one else is using it
  • Short - you don't want your hashtag to take #halfoftheentiretweet!
  • Creative and fun - so people won't feel embarrassed by including it in their own personal tweets
  • Meaningful - like an abbreviation, not something that makes no sense
  • Easy to remember - if you follow the above rules, this one should follow naturally.

On New Year's Eve

Adjust your Facebook and Twitter covers to celebrate the New Year and post New Year's wishes to your audience (an image, or even a funny video will be great for this occasion). And have a great time celebrating, along with your fans and followers!

New Year’s Eve - Email

Content Marketing

A more than obvious list of content ideas pop up into our calendar for this day. From resolutions to predictions, you need to start your New Year's content campaign EARLY. There are various things you can share, like:

  • Social media predictions
  • Content marketing predictions
  • Online marketing tips for the new year
  • Product or service predictions, plans, and resolutions for the new year
  • Year roundups - stats and conclusions from the entire year

To prepare post one prediction, plan, or resolution per week. With less content, you can start with the first week of December, if you have more to post plan ahead and start even in October - if you can.

With each weekly post remind people of what they can expect in the new year, what they should do, how they can plan, and of course - to come back next week for another dose of New Year's knowledge. Plan your posts and spread them out so that come the 31st, you can publish New Year's greetings AND a list of previously published post to inspire people in the new year. You can even turn them into an ebook that you can publish on the 31st.

It's not about posting an article right before (or on the day of) the day you are writing about. Timing is key. Not all your posts should go out right on New Year's Eve. Since this is the time to sum up all that has happened over the year, reserve one or two special posts for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

New Year’s Eve - Email
New Year’s Eve - Email

However, make sure that you talk about what happened over the year (and what you expect business will be like in the following year) not only just around December 31st. Our blog created a series that talked about optimizing your business for 2015. Whereas NewsCred shared important things learned during 2014, but also what one can expect in 2015. The best of both worlds!

New Year’s Eve - Email
New Year’s Eve - Email

Bonus Holidays to Remember

New Year’s Eve - Email

Movember

The Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men's health. Every Movember (November 1st - 30th) the foundation challenges men to grow and women to support a moustache or make a commitment to get active and MOVE, both of which are about real action for health and are done to spark conversation and raise vital funds and awareness. You can join in and support a good cause in a few ways.

Men and women sign up at Movember.com and choose to Grow, Give, or MOVE.

  • Men start Movember 1st clean-shaven and grow only a moustache for the month
  • Men and women can commit to MOVE every day during Movember
  • After signing up, get friends, family, or colleagues to donate to your efforts and change the face of men's health

Launch Day

Think of the best way to contribute. Whether you choose to Grow, Give, or MOVE, start on October 29th - 3 days before November 1st - by sending a cycle of reminder messages to your subscribers. The 3,2,1 countdown will raise awareness and hopefully get others to join the campaign on the first day of Movember.

Important Elements Of An Email

You can customize your email template with the photos and graphics available at the Movember Foundation official website. Use the moustache to reinforce the message.

1) Subject Line

Inform your audience about the start of the campaign, invite people to join in, and raise awareness. You can use Unicode characters to stand out and increase engagement. Take a look at these examples of Movember subject lines:

  • Tomorrow we Mo
  • Begin Movember 1st clean [Unicode scissors]
  • Mo Bros and Mo Sistas unite!
  • Are you a true gentleman?
  • Your body was designed for walking
2) Preheader

Prepare a preheader that is a complement to the subject line. Use this section to clarify the purpose of your email. If you want to share your Movember photos, you can use the preheader to drive traffic by including a direct link to your social media profiles.

3) Header & Content

Make the header and content short and visually attractive. Movember is about spreading the idea, so make your content short, furry, and shareable. Remember that simple ideas go viral more often.

4) CTA

Make your CTA visible and super-simple. Learn from the Movember team and stick to simple call to actions like: Grow, Give, or MOVE.

Follow-up Emails

There are lots of ideas for follow-up campaigns. You can:

  • Send emails showing your team take up the challenge
  • Share inspiring stories of people who take part in the campaign
  • Create conversation and raise fund for men's health (Rule Four)
  • Inform your audience about the progress

Email On The Exact Day

Start off with a bang! Let everyone know you're ready to grow an epic Mo

Best Practices

  • Align your business, product, or service with the cause
  • Decorate your email template with Movember graphics
  • Focus on sharing content and spreading the idea.

Supporting Materials

  • The official Movember Foundation page
  • Movember Campaign: Flow to Grow a Successful Marketing Stache

Want to form closer relationships with your audience? See how MTS Cleansing Services Ltd approached this task using Movember as the center of their email campaign.

New Year’s Eve - Supporting Material

Social Media

In addition to posting Movember content on your blog, make sure your social channels are busy with Movember content throughout the month. Involve your team members (I'm pretty sure someone will love to take up the "no shave" challenge!) and show people your behind-the-scenes photos flaunting the team's progress.

Create a video or a meme that will show your efforts and accompany your brand in November. And here's a tip - don't focus on actually creating a video that goes viral. You never know what will catch on in social media (who knew "that dress" would?) so sometimes it's really hard to tell whether something will become viral or not. But probably the closest you could get would be something like this:

(Not) A Recipe for Creating a Viral Video:

  • Be real. People can tell if you're faking it.
  • Be funny (but real).
  • Keep it simple - don't overdo it. Don't make it too long or overly complicated. Don't make it boring either.
  • Focus on your cause, product, or service and what values you want to get across to your audience.
  • Think of your target audience - speak their language, create something they will actually want to share.
  • Be real.
  • Post on your key social channels (Meaning the ones your target audience is on and the ones that have worked best for you in the past. You know what they are, right?)
  • Keep your fingers crossed!

A ‘stache is an excellent thing to document and share with others. Movember has given people the opportunity to take pictures, hashtag, and spread their growing furry friends. It is unbelievable how many people take to sharing their more or less awkward mustaches! Even the ladies get in on the fun with fake mustaches. It is a humorous global marketing gem.

A few other ideas could include:

  • Use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to post updates - from the very first day on which you announce the challenge through to the last one when you show results: both the facial and financial ones.
  • Involve your audience - encourage them to post their ‘stache selfies with a hashtag on Instagram. Snapchat would also be a great tool for engaging your followers in some Movember fun.
  • Share your fans and followers' stories on your social channels - this will help you develop a special relationship with them and a sense of brand community, worth so much more than any ad you can ever create.

And here's a bonus from the GetResponse Team:

New Year’s Eve - GetResponse Team

Content Marketing

Movember or No Shave November, is not just about funny images and hilarious moustache/beard growing competitions. Movember is genuinely a time and a "holiday" for raising awareness.

You can get involved by actually participating, but you can also help raise awareness by doing sales, bonuses, or any sort of campaign that will get people interested in Movember AND your product or service.

  • Send themed emails
  • Provide funny images on your social media pages
  • Get your content involved with infographics, funny blog posts, Movember campaign tips

Everyone loves a little charity work and Movember is the perfect month to get involved. Not everyone will be able to grow an actual mustache, but you can certainly grow a virtual one!

Start with November 1st, get your team together, take some pictures, set some challenges, talk about how Movember works. Last year we not only talked about what Movember is, but we also described how it works as an online marketing campaign. You can compare your product, content, or service to Movember and draw conclusions.

If your team is part of the "Mo Movement" there are a couple of posts you can publish throughout November:

  • November 1st - What is Movember, how it can relate to what you do.
  • Second week of November - If your team took up the challenge, post a quirky update post with pictures.
  • Third week of November - Post an update, but also focus on what Movember is about, share stories, inspiring thoughts, talk about the cause.
  • Last Day of November - How much money did you raise? How did the Mo's and the ‘Staches change throughout the month? Post pictures, GIFs, maybe even videos!

Hanukkah

Retailers are often fixated on Christmas, but there's much more to this retail story. Remember that many of your customers will be celebrating something else - like Hanukkah, for one.

Research your subscription list and reach the community that celebrates Hanukkah - it's a great marketing opportunity during the hottest buying season.

Launch Day

You can prepare a drip campaign for the 8 days of Hanukkah, sending the first email on December 6th. Each day, you can send an email and slowly build anticipation towards the last day of Hanukkah on December 14th. Bear in mind that Hanukkah is first and foremost a religious festival. Be sensitive and authentic.

Hanukkah is on a completely different schedule from Christmas and it's important to release promotions as well as email and social media campagns around this audience as well. To get started:

  • Create Hanukkah-specific deals rather than one-size-fits-all holiday promos.
  • Allow plenty of prep time and effort for Hanukkah campaigns - especially since competitors may ignore the holiday altogether.

Social Media

By the Jewish calendar, the holiday actually begins at sundown the night before so post greetings to those of your fans and followers who observe it on the day preceding the first day of Hannukah. And since the holiday lasts eight nights and eight days, it's a perfect opportunity to present short deals each day on Twitter or Snapchat, or a series of holiday-themed photos on Instagram.

Ever wondered what happens when Hanukkah meets Thanksgiving? This took place in 2013, when the first night of Hanukkah was the night before Thanksgiving and Manischewitz, US kosher food manufacturer took that opportunity to create "Thanksgivukah" - a campaign across multiple channels including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter, accompanied by a microsite, paid search, emails, videos, a recipe contest and even a free app. The takeaway? It's a good idea to combine many channels for a campaign and sometimes it's even a good idea to combine holidays (mixed with a pinch of salt)!

Content Marketing

This is a great holiday to publish thematic posts on each day of Hanukkah.

For each of the seven days, plan a different post, even a series! If you approach the holiday with a series, you can later on get the posts together and publish an ebook at the beginning of the new year.

New Year’s Eve - Content Marketing

December Solstice

December solstice is the shortest day of the year. It sounds like the perfect occasion to run a limited time sales campaign.

Launch Day

Run an email campaign on December 22nd. Send a few messages with a promo offer reminding that it lasts only until sunset (This year in New York, that means 4:32 p.m.).

Important Elements Of An Email

1) Subject Line

Make it clear that it's about limited time sales. Be straightforward and specific. Here are a few examples of subject lines that fit the occasion:

  • The shortest promo of the year
  • Use your promo code before 4:32!
  • Only 3 hours left

2) Preheader

If you send out promo codes, you can put them right in the preheader section -more people might become interested in the offer and open your email.

3) Header & Content

Focus primarily on sales - prepare a discount or a promo code, and emphasize that the promotion will finish soon.

4) CTA

Use a strong CTA button directing subscribers to a landing page or directly to your ecommerce website.

Follow-up Emails

Tell your audience to hurry up. Remind them the time left till the promo is over. Sometimes it takes more than one email to convince someone to get familiar with an offer.

Email On The Exact Day

The whole campaign should be planned for the exact day. Send the first email informing about the promo offer and remind that it is coming to an end.

Best Practices

  • Use a simple and clear email layout
  • Make subject lines informative
  • Send at least 2 reminder emails

Social Media

While December Solstice isn't an official holiday, we'd just like to remind you that it will be the shortest day of the year. What better excuse for a #flashsale on Twitter or Facebook? You can make it last from sunrise till sunset and let people know in your ad copy, so they're aware of how little time they have (after all, it is the shortest day of the year!)

Content Marketing

Who says you can't enjoy winter? It's the shortest day of the year, a lot of companies will be running email marketing campaigns, sales, social media pictures will be blowing up the internet. Get your content marketing hat on and think about different stats and fun facts you can publish.

Not every company will create posts that are focused on business, marketing, or just regular day to day "work stuff." Which is why you can make this day a -fun post day! Here is your idea check list:

  • Publish a post about short things. It's a short day, maybe there are tiny facts, quirky things about your business, things you can relate to this day?
  • Get your creative idea box and write about how winter is the perfect opportunity to use one of your products
  • This day can also be an opportunity to remind people about upcoming Christmas and New Year's Eve days, write a nice greeting or two!

'Tis the Season

This holiday season create campaigns that will be unforgettable!

Let this guide serve as la ookbook for inspiration, it's not longer just about one holiday, it's about an array of campaigns that spread throughout the entire two-month season.

Remember, each and every medium that you tackle, needs to be intertwined with others. You can focus on just one platform, but nothing beats a triple threat - especially if all your platforms work off of one another.

Your holiday blog post can be full of great images, take these pictures and put them on your social media, then promote the post via email. See how easy that is? And this is just one example of how all three platforms can work together to create the ultimate holiday campaign.

From us to you - Here's a ready to download calendar reminder for all your campaigns. Remember to print your calendar and cut out your Movember mustache. Happy Campaigning!

Ti’s the Season