What Does a Holiday Marketing Strategy Look Like


Published: November 30, 2020 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
What Does a Holiday Marketing Strategy Look Like

For most business owners, the holidays are not only a time for celebration; they are also a time when capturing the attention of customers is more important than ever. For some industries, the holidays make up about 25 percent of their annual sales! For shoppers, this means over $1,000 spent on everything from holiday gifts and goodies to travel and decorations. If you want your business to claim a piece of the holiday pie this year, you’ll need a holiday marketing strategy that works.

Holiday Marketing Strategy

Separate From Your Long-Term Goals

Before digging into the details of your holiday marketing campaign, it’s important to consider separating these tactics from your long-term goals. This is important for two reasons. First, the timing, intensity, and goals of your holiday strategy are going to look a bit different from your main tactics and seasonal fluctuations.

During the end-of-the-year festivities, the driving need for your business is going to be sales. Holiday campaigns are less focused on other important goals, such as building relationships, delivering information, and establishing trust. Now is the time to capitalize on your previous work in these areas and go for the hard sell. While this is usually the wrong move to make, most people are not only tolerant of slightly more pushy sales during this time, many even expect it and start looking for deals, coupons, and offers.

The other reason is that you will have segments of your customers who do not celebrate the holidays and will not want to be part of your campaigns but will still want to be engaged with your company. By keeping your Christmas, Hanukkah, and other special events separate, there will still be room (and content) for everyone else. Plus, you’ll always have audience segments who are not ready to buy yet, and that group will need to remain in your nurturing campaigns.

Seasonal Marketing Campaign Components

To get the most from your holiday marketing strategy, you’ll want to incorporate three components: email, social media, your website. There is one more critical component to consider: your plan. Building momentum and maintaining that energy through the end of the season will be necessary, and accomplishing this means starting with a schedule of important dates you want to include.

Not every business will be able to make use of every event, but the typical list includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. You may also want to consider targeting last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve as well as those hoping to score big on clearance events following the major holidays.

Then it’s time to think about how early and how often to engage with your audiences when it comes to holiday promotions. There is no perfect schedule as it will vary considerably depending on your industry and the price point of your products and services. For example, big-ticket items are carefully considered purchases that may need a few steady nudges along with an incentive to convert a customer. On the other hand, a retail store can work to get several purchases from a customer throughout the season by featuring different products and events across several weeks.

Content Integration: Putting the Pieces Together

Even though the main goal will be to drive sales, each of your strategy components will all have a slightly different focus:


Like any other online marketing campaign, your website should still be the hub of all your marketing activities. That way, your customers don’t have to rely on clicking links to landing pages, and new arrivals can get right into the holiday action.


As always, email marketing should be for those who have opted-in to receive your messages; however, your holiday email list should be narrowed down a bit to only include those who are ready to buy and previous customers to generate some repeat business. Everyone else should remain in a segment that remains focused on educating and building trust, with only a few special offers relating to the holidays.

Extra tips and best practices for your holiday email marketing:

Social Media

Your social media accounts will be where all the fun happens. Your holiday content should be geared toward creating some excitement and building momentum as your target dates approach. While a few promotional announcements will be helpful, keep most of your social media content focused on keeping people engaged with your brand.

While each asset will have its own job to do, they will all be working together to keep your name at the top of customers’ minds during the many weeks of the holiday season.

Seasonal Marketing Campaign Components

Content Tips

When it comes time to craft the content of your holiday marketing strategy, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember that although people will be shopping more than during other times of the year, they are also busier. They’ll have limited time and energy for you, so make sure your materials are simple and to the point. Make it easy for people to see what you’re offering, why they need it, and how to get it quickly.

Next, while a general offer to the masses such as free shipping may be helpful, you’ll want to focus a lot of your attention on loyal, repeat customers--especially in your email content. This group has been happily supporting you all year long and they deserve your very best offers. When you keep them contained in an email and have less-attractive offers available to the public (perhaps on your social feeds, for example), your VIPs will feel very important, indeed.

Lastly, make sure your content is both relatable and useful. Remember: people have only so much energy to devote to your promotional content, so make each one count. Think about which emotion you’re trying to stir and make sure your content gets the job done.

Let’s Get Merry

Creating a holiday marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be when you have the right support. We’ll help you plan and execute a strategy designed to get your audiences excited and your best customers pulling out their wallets. To learn more or to get started, contact us today.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
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