We all love holidays, the times when we can go home to our families and go out with our friends without any worries. But, as an online shop owner, you sure must love them for a different reason – holiday shopping. With a good holiday marketing campaign, you can capture the attention of shoppers around the globe.
New Year’s Eve, Easter, Halloween, if you can name the holiday, you can name a fantastic business opportunity. In addition to being able to work independently, with the sky-high profit you can gain, every day can be a holiday for you. Consumerism does make dreams come true, doesn’t it?
In this article, we will walk you through up to 11 successful holiday marketing campaigns that you can emulate. Inspiration comes from anywhere, but for now, we will gain it from the great! But before we get to that, let’s revise the must-dos of a good modern marketing campaign.
I. 4 Must-Dos For A Winning Holiday Marketing Campaign
Operating an online store consists mostly of marketing on all sorts of platforms. And so, it is crucial that you have many holiday marketing ideas for all the big days consumers are spending off work. There are many things you need to prepare in advance and many things you need to learn by heart in order to make your campaigns work. Being careful really does pay!
1.1. Always define your goals and metrics
Even though holidays do make dreams come true, your dreams shouldn’t be too far-fetched. Business requires goals that are attainable and derived from valuable insights. In case you don’t remember, setting goals needs to be S.M.A.R.T:
- Specific: How many percent of the increase in sales are you looking for?
- Measurable: How will you measure the changes?
- Attainable: The goals need to be realistic.
- Relevant: Your goals need to make sense in your niche market, and can improve your results in some way.
- Time-based: Well, it’s for the holidays, but how long will your campaign run for? And when is the deadline for your goal?
Having visualized your goal, you will need a way to track the progress. If you are a Shopify user, there’s no need to worry. As we have mentioned countless times in countless articles, Shopify offers a huge library of free add-ons and tools to help your marketing work much easier and streamlined. So thanks to the help of technologies and many helpful developers, this will be a cinch.
1.2. Join in on the festive spirit
Holiday marketing campaigns are not one-size-fits-all. Each festival requires a different voice and a different tactic. And when you slide into your customers’ emails, you must not sound robotic or industrial, but rather, shower them with positive emotions of the long-awaited day off.
Come up with new taglines for every holiday season. It’s only natural that consumers want to see something new and better to convince them to pull out their credit cards.
Be sincere and creative. Holidays are for having fun and doing things that work doesn’t give you time to. So remember that you are not selling items and products only, you are selling experience! From the start to the finish of your marketing campaign, every detail must be perfect.
1.3. Remember who your customers are
In this day and age where data and information are more readily accessible than ever, it’s a terrible move to not use them to your advantage. While no customer is similar to one another, there are ways you can group them and personalize your ads and emails to appeal to their individualism and personal tastes.
Big corporates have devised genius and almost villainous ways of tracking their customers’ behavior to personalize their purchase experience. While you don’t have millions to spare to copy them, you can at least learn from them. Track your customers’ decision-making processes, maybe their online social circles if you can, and from then customize your ads and emails before sending them.
Everyone appreciates being remembered and cared about, even if it’s the product of an ingenious tracking tool.
1.4. Shift your marketing to mobiles
There are now more than 6 billion smartphone users in the world, which is more than 70% of the entire population. Smartphones are readily put in pants pockets and pulled out in a jiff, so most people use theirs as their main Internet-browsing device.
So while it has been repeated infinite times before, please, please, please take your holiday marketing game to smartphones. While most landing pages and email templates do look better on a computer screen, it’s time we diverge from the beaten path and start making smartphones the default platform design ads for.
II. 11 Best Ecommerce Holiday Marketing Campaign Examples You Can Learn From
Now that we have gone through the basic lesson, it is time for the main dish – 11 successful examples. There is an obvious caveat: you can’t just outright copy from these campaigns, and not all of them are applicable to your online store. You have to take into account your niche and audience in order to create the most profitable campaign.
2.1. Etsy’s Holiday gift guides
Etsy has come up with a perfect way to funnel customers straight to the products they want to buy as presents and thus drive extra sales. Essentially, Etsy creates useful content called “Gift Guides” for holiday shoppers, guiding them to find the perfect presents based on categories and styles.
Even when it’s not a holiday, Etsy also provides similar guides such as the “Gifts under $30” section. As long as people want gift choosing to be easy, Etsy will have many loyal customers coming back for every holiday season. If you want to build long-term relationships with your customers, this is the way!
2.2. Starbucks: A new cup design for every holiday season
Love it or hate it, we all know Starbucks and its incredibly popular coffee cups. The brand’s success can be attributed to many things, but we will focus on their cup design for now.
Despite being a chameleon, the classic Starbucks logo always pops and captures the attention of all the trendy people. And as long as it’s on a cup, no one can mistake the brand.
Their most notable cup design is their yearly Christmas edition. Red, white, and greed, simple but captivating. And if you look carefully, you can see Starbucks definitely broke the Internet in 2015 with the most “boring” and plain design ever, basically slapping the logo on a red cup. Oh, Twitter certainly got interesting for a month.
Source: Shopify Plus
Changing your product design or even brand design every now and then can do you wonders. It is a fresh breeze, and if you are willing to take the risk, you can even start a controversy to drive brand awareness.
2.3. Google’s Santa Tracker
16 years ago, Google launched the Santa Tracker to combine a child’s belief in Santa with technology. The site has evolved tremendously ever since. It now offers countless features and minigames such as “Santa Selfie”, “Wrap Battle”, and “Build and Bolt”. What better way is there to teach your kids about technology in a fun way?
Every year during the warmest holiday of the year, people from all around the Earth can join in to take a peek at the North Pole to check in on what Santa’s elves are doing, as well as search on Google Maps to find out where Santa is.
Google even shared the code with developers and released other tools as open-source elements to encourage them to create their own magical experience for everyone.
Although Google is by no means an eCommerce store or even a platform, the Google Santa Tracker is still a good example of what you could do to make a name for yourself during the holiday season. Creating a fun website is especially effective if you are targeting parents and kids, or if you manage to get creative with it, you can even target a more obscure audience.
2.4. Google’s Home alone again ft. Macaulay Culkin
Who doesn’t love Home alone? Many of us grew up watching the trilogy while many watched it with their kids. So in 2018, Google invited Macaulay Culkin, the actor who played Kevin, to film a short promotion for Google Assistant.
The virtual assistant first reminded Kevin that he had the whole house to himself, and carried out many of the tasks for him, including “Operation Kevin” – the thief proofing the house while Kevin enjoys his dinner. While we all love how convenient Google Assistant makes life for us, we should be glad it wasn’t around in 1990 when the first Home Alone movie aired. If it were a thing back then, we wouldn’t have such a fascinating movie to enjoy with our family, would we?
2.5. Fanjoy’s Jake Paul Halloween Mask
While we are on the topic of cooperating with popular figures, let’s talk about Fanjoy’s Halloween campaign – the Jake Paul Halloween Mask.
Love him or hate him, we can all agree Jake Paul is a well-known celebrity with a very polarizing presence on social media, or in other words, his collaboration is a cash generator.
Fanjoy, being THE platform where influencers like Jake can sell their merch, did not miss out an opportunity to feature him on their homepage. If you log on to Fanjoy, you can find the Jake Paul Halloween mask along with many other influencer-led products released for that year’s spooky holiday as well as just about any normal day.
Jake Paul Halloween Mask – Source: Shopify Plus
The mask gained close to 1000 wishlist adds in just a few days, along with many five-star reviews. Although the mask is probably just a one-hit-wonder product whose price depreciated from $10 to $1 now, you can bet it reeled in a ton of user-generated content.
2.6. Macy’s – “Believe”
Macy has adapted greatly to the giving spirit of Christmas and has since made many dreams come true. Not only is this campaign a great way to show that Macy cares, but it also encourages customers to engage directly with the brand. Many other brands have also launched similar campaigns to give back to the less fortunate.
This holiday campaign will only be beneficial to your brand image, as it engraves into your customers’ heads that your store bears only goodwill, and you are willing to give back. And if you cannot afford to give as much as big brands, you can give a lower cut of your profit to the charity foundation of your choice, just $1 or even $0.5 will do.
2.7. Fortnite’s Fortnitemares
Epic Games went all out with their Fortnitemares event for Halloween last year. The event is an after-party that gamers all around the world can participate in from the comfort of their own home.
This is such an ingenious way of engaging the customers during the pandemic. The brand invited J Balvin, a Colombian singer to host an incredible virtual event, entertaining millions of players.
Events like this can bring you a ton of user-generated content to push your brand’s presence. That said, hosting an event, even a virtual one, can be difficult. There is just so much to worry about, and you must make sure with your life that the event isn’t a flop, or else that is all your customers will remember about you.
2.8. Perdue’s ThanksNuggets
For Thanksgiving last year, Perdue released limited edition nuggets that are shaped like turkeys, called ThanksNuggets. They are easy to make, which is a huge bonus point for them since everyone was staying at home for the giving season.
We SOLD OUT of #ThanksNuggets in less than 3 minutes! Maybe we should make more…What flavors would you want? Stay tuned for how you might still be able to get a bag! Also get 10% off chicken nuggets today only at https://t.co/UrNHB4wqFr w/ code NUGGETS #PerdueChicken #LazyGiving pic.twitter.com/9vvdkE8vgi
— Perdue Chicken (@PerdueChicken) November 13, 2020
The limited product wasn’t intended to be a profit maker, as evidently sold out in 3 minutes. They might have made more, but the moral of the story here is it shows that the brand understands its customers.
And limited edition items always gain user-generated content, so Perdue’s holiday campaign proved to be incredibly successful.
This is a brilliant example of spicing up your products just a bit to gain a lot more attention. If your product is already customizable, why not offer an exclusive variation for the holiday?
2.9. Office Depot’s “Elf Yourself”
This has to be the simplest and most cost-effective holiday marketing campaign to engage millions of customers. Office Depot launched the website elfyourself.com that functions similarly to a Snapchat filter, you create an elf version of yourself.
The site was created in 2006, and as of now, close to 2 billion elves have been created. That is roughly a quarter of the population!
If you are just starting out with your eCommerce venture, this is a great way to engage customers without spending a ridiculous amount of money on advertising. Let the Internet do the work for you. And it’s a holiday, people won’t be fussy, they just want something simple and fun that they can share with friends.
2.10. LEGO’s Holi-play
LEGO launched the Holi-play campaign that not only revived the debted brand but also inspired millions of people to bring the toys to life. The brand encouraged customers to build simple LEGO sets and submit pictures of them with real-life objects and people, creating what they called “Brickmented Reality”.
The photo submission is, of course, user-generated content. LEGO then used the photos to write a fairy tale and made a short film of the images they received. The holiday campaign reached over 100 countries.
This holiday marketing campaign brought back everyone’s love of LEGOs and reminded everyone that no one is ever too old to enjoy toys and games. By creating an emotional bond, the campaign was extremely successful and managed to resurrect the brand.
2.11. reMarkable’s Keep your goals for the New Year
reMarkable isn’t a household name (yet), and you might not have heard of it, as the target audience is very narrow and niched. The brand specializes in one product only – the reMarkable – an e-ink notebook that can transcript everything you write.
The company sent out emails to many shoppers with a $50 discount voucher and encouraged them to splurge and get themselves a reMarkable to keep track of their goals for the next year.
This is by all means just a simple email marketing campaign, but it had impeccable timing and a good premise.
In a nutshell
Did any of the mentioned holiday marketing campaigns catch your eye? Were you inspired by any of them? These are just 11 campaigns that we are impressed by, and there are countless more being done every day with the creativity of online store owners and advertising agencies.
If you feel like you can take away something valuable from this article, feel free to check out more from our blog. There will be many more articles like this as well as tips to make your online store succeed!