August 9, 2023

Holiday Marketing Guide: Examples & Ideas to Stand Out This Season

Reading time about 17 min

The holiday shopping season is a great time to connect with customers, drive sales, and raise brand awareness. With many companies vying for holiday shoppers’ attention, it’s important to stand out. Rise above the noise with these holiday marketing tips, ideas, and strategies. 

Read on to find out more.

What are the benefits of holiday marketing?

The holiday shopping season is the perfect time to connect with customers. Come up with a holiday marketing strategy to delight your customers and develop lasting relationships.

Here’s why holiday marketing matters:

  • Higher demand: People shop more during the holiday season than the rest of the year.
  • Increased urgency: Holidays come once a year. Limited-time holiday promotions carry a sense of urgency, making customers more likely to buy. 
  • Holiday spirit: From Thanksgiving to Christmas, this time of the year is full of positivity. Capitalize on these festive feelings in your holiday marketing campaigns.

What should you expect during the 2023 holiday season?

Here are a few trends to keep in mind when planning your holiday marketing goals:

  • Rise of ecommerce: Ecommerce sales are expected to grow 9.3%, reaching $1.137 trillion in 2023.
  • Focus on omnichannel marketing: With the shift to ecommerce, balancing online and in-store holiday shopping experiences is important.
  • More social media communication: More brands use social media to communicate directly with customers and answer FAQs.

Further reading: What is ecommerce marketing? 10 strategies to get started

How do you begin marketing for the holidays?

To create a holiday marketing strategy that gets results, follow these essential steps when planning your holiday marketing advertising. 

Plan your holiday marketing campaigns ahead of time. Plan your strategy and timeline in advance to reap the best results.

Decide which holidays to focus on. Here are a few key dates to keep in mind for the 2023 holiday season:

Pick a campaign theme. To run a successful holiday marketing campaign, you’ll need a central theme. Decide on a message that makes sense for your campaign goals and brand identity.

Define your target audience. Decide on the audience you want to reach with your holiday campaign. Your target audience will shape your marketing channels and holiday offer.

Choose your marketing channels. This will depend on your campaign goals and target audience. Are they on social media? Do they prefer desktop or mobile devices? Often, you’ll need a strong omnichannel strategy to reach your full audience. 

Further reading: Black Friday marketing strategies to beat the competition

Best holiday marketing ideas and tips

Promote irresistible holiday offers

Your holiday marketing strategy should focus on an irresistible holiday offer. Run holiday sales with unbeatable savings. You’ll catch the eye of holiday shoppers and entice customers to come back again and again. 

Holiday marketing ideas for Black Friday. This idea shows an email with 40% off glasses.


Your holiday offers don’t always need to be as extravagant as a Black Friday offer. Encourage customers with methods that don’t slash your prices.

  1. Offer free holiday shipping and returns 
  2. Run a limited-time sale
  3. Include a free gift with a purchase over your average cart price
  4. Give customers store credit for every $10 spent, only redeemable through the holidays


Personalize your holiday marketing campaigns

Target customers by interest or past purchases. With customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can keep track of what your customers look at or purchase on your website. Send them offers or news they’ll appreciate and increase your perceived value. 

Grab their attention by putting first names in your subject line. Email personalization is a great way to catch your customers’ eye. 

Make sure your sender name is also personalized. Use your real first name and your company name so recipients know who your emails are coming from. 

Get creative with content marketing

This year, go beyond the usual holiday ads. Instead, use holiday marketing as a chance to provide value. Stand out from the crowd with a Christmas newsletter customers will love. 

Why not send a holiday gift guide? This is the perfect way to showcase your products and Christmas season promotions. And your customers will thank you for helping them find the perfect gift.

Check out this holiday marketing campaign example from Materia Rica for inspiration:

A holiday marketing email with ideas for the perfect gift, in this case silk scarves.

Created with Brevo

Use the marketing channels with the most impact

Optimize your holiday marketing efforts this year. Focus on the marketing channels that make the most sense for your business. 

Study your target audience’s preferences and behavior. Analyze data from previous campaigns to come up with a holiday email marketing strategy. If your audience loved a special drink last year, send them an email or make a post to let them know it’s back this year. 

Create social media posts

Raise brand awareness with holiday-themed social media posts. Entice customers to participate by running social media contests and giveaways. And don’t forget to use hashtags and reels to broaden your reach.

Starbucks’ iconic red cups are a popular holiday marketing example:

This holiday marketing social media post by Starbucks shows three red coffee cups with Christmas colors.


This festive advertising by Starbucks is also a great example of using digital marketing to generate foot traffic. 

Pro tip: Take short videos of your holiday decorations and products in action and upload them to your Instagram Stories. This will help customers visualize what you have to offer and build up excitement for the holidays. 

Make in-store shopping festive

Make a special experience for the in-person holiday shoppers. Host an event or run a contest to engage local communities as well. 

It can also do something as easy as giving out free samples, decorating your store, or offering cake and coffee during a holiday sale.

Work with influencers

Partner with social media influencers in your holiday marketing campaigns. Influencers often have engaged and well-established communities. With their help, you can raise brand awareness and reach potential customers.

It’s no secret that influencer marketing is good for business. Influencer marketing is expected to reach $17.4 billion in 2023.

The holidays are a great time to partner with influencers. Work with them to share seasonal promotions and holiday sales.

This holiday marketing campaign from Dr. Vranjes Firenze is a perfect example:

This social media post shows an influencer promoting a brand's candles in bed and is an example of holiday marketing.


Use gamification

Gamification is an interactive way to spread holiday cheer. It’s fun, engages your audience, and creates loyal customers.

Google’s Santa Tracker is a well-known example. The Santa Tracker is more than a Christmas countdown. It includes whimsical Santa Claus animations and Christmas-themed games.

Gamification has made Google’s Santa Tracker popular among families. Check it out to get ideas for your holiday marketing campaigns.

Holiday marketing ideas: gamification. This is an image of the menu for an online holiday game made to promote a product.


Send a heartfelt holiday message

This season, get in the holiday spirit. Send customers a simple “Happy holidays” greeting. Or run a heartfelt holiday marketing campaign.

Evoke Christmas nostalgia and engage customers on an emotional level.

Look at this Christmas ad from Apple for inspiration:

Your holiday message can also be about celebrating this year’s achievements and looking forward to the new year.

Holiday marketing idea by Hitch that shows an email with end-of-year achievements from their subscribers.


Partner with a good cause

The holidays are a time of gift-giving and generosity. Why not use your holiday marketing to spread some good? This year, partner with an organization or cause that’s important for your business.

Macy’s Believe partnership with Make-A-Wish is one of the most beloved holiday campaigns.

Festive advertising ideas by Macy's. This shows a social media post by Macy's with a mailbox to Santa in a snowy forest asking for charity donations.


Go green

Wasteful holiday consumerism is a growing topic of interest. Americans throw out 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period.

More people have started paying attention to their environmental impact during the holiday season, with 82% of shoppers willing to pay more for zero-carbon shipping. Go green in your holiday marketing campaign to appeal to these eco-friendly shoppers.

This holiday marketing email from Graham and Green is a good example:

Environmentally friendly holiday marketing by Graham and Green showing a holiday lamp made from recycled and sustainable materials.


Other environmentally friendly holiday marketing ideas include:

  • Offsetting CO2 emissions from holiday shipping 
  • Using biodegradable packaging
  • Partnering with a local environmental non-profit for a joint holiday marketing effort

Go mobile

Holiday shoppers are increasingly buying on their phones. Mobile ecommerce sales hit a whopping $387 billion in 2022.

The last thing you want is to miss out on online sales. Be sure to optimize your website for mobile. That way, customers have a great experience wherever they do their shopping.

Send holiday email marketing campaigns

Holiday email marketing is the perfect way to reach your audience directly. Send email campaigns to promote holiday sales. Grab attention with beautiful holiday email templates, and send email-only exclusive offers, guides, or recipes.

Need inspiration? Check out this holiday marketing email example from Deep Steep:

Created with Brevo


Christmas Email Marketing: Examples & Ideas to Captivate Customers

How to Cook Up the Perfect Thanksgiving Email Campaign

Halloween Email Marketing: How to Make Monster Sales This Fall

Create a holiday advent calendar

Get your customers involved with a daily advent calendar full of offers, surprises, ideas, and more. 

Alternatively, you can run a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway campaign. Amp up your holiday marketing with daily prizes like this holiday marketing giveaway by Fracture. 

Holiday marketing email marketing campaign that shows a girl holding a puppy and 12 circles that represent 12 days of prizes.


Plan for post-holiday marketing campaigns

Holiday marketing campaigns help build brand awareness and boost sales. That doesn’t mean they should stop as soon as the holiday season ends though.

Send follow-up emails after the holidays. Run post-holiday offers and promote them across your marketing channels. Your goal? Turn holiday shoppers into loyal customers. 

Run holiday marketing campaigns year-round

Most holiday marketing campaigns take place toward the end of the year. But why not find a way to run holiday marketing campaigns all year round?

Consider lesser-known holidays for your holiday marketing strategy. This could be anything from Groundhog Day (February 2) to National Beer Day (April 7).

Launch campaigns and special offers on these holidays. Unique holiday marketing will help your brand stand out from the competition. This poll by Cracker Barrel is a great way of creating an interactive email that builds brand personality.

Holiday marketing campaign by Cracker Barrel that shows a holiday drink and a poll for people's favorite drink.


Improve customer experience with multiple channels

You’re putting in effort to make your holiday marketing special, so make sure you’re prepared for the traffic it’ll bring in!

Customers are looking for the perfect gift and will have questions about your products and promotions. Make sure they can find you and contact you whenever, wherever. 

Get on WhatsApp

WhatsApp is an increasingly popular option for business as it’s affordable, direct, and, well, everybody’s already on WhatsApp. Create a WhatsApp Business account and put your number on your website to provide a direct service and communication channel. 

A few key features of a WhatsApp Business account are:

Larger businesses can connect to the WhatsApp API through a Meta partner (usually a CRM). This has serious marketing potential as it allows companies to send marketing messages to their WhatsApp contacts. With an open rate of 99%, WhatsApp is a powerful marketing choice to consider. 

Set up live chat on your website 

Make it easy for customers to get the answers they need with live chat. 73% of Customers today like using live chat to communicate with businesses. Use a recommended live chat widget and start connecting with your customers. 

Enjoying these tips? Get more ideas and keep track of important dates with our 2024 holiday marketing calendar download.

Manage Instagram and Facebook inquiries 

As of June 2022, Facebook and Instagram were the most popular social media platforms for shoppers. 

Brevo lets you manage incoming messages from both social media platforms in one place. If you want to create a seamless customer experience and streamline communication, here’s how to connect Brevo to:

Optimize your online listings

Update your Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and other online profiles with all the information customers need to have a successful shopping experience with you. 

  • Add pictures of your storefront and products or services
  • Make sure your address and contact information are current 
  • Update your store’s holiday hours
  • List your products

Optimize your website

Make your website festive and promote your holiday deals and events with a banner. Share a special holiday FAQ with all things related to holiday shopping, shipping, and offers. 

Create a landing page for your most important offers. Don’t forget to include a subscription form to keep growing your contact list! 

3 holiday marketing pitfalls to avoid

Holiday marketing campaigns often fail because they fall into common traps. To avoid making these mistakes, follow these holiday marketing tips.

1. Using only one holiday marketing channel

You shouldn’t rely on one channel alone for your holiday marketing strategy. For example, run email marketing campaigns and social media posts to promote your holiday sales.

This way, you’ll reach more customers during the holiday season.

2. Sending too many holiday marketing emails

The last thing you want to do during the busy holiday season is bombard your customers. With emails, it’s easy to get carried away.

Sending too many emails comes off as spammy. You also risk losing subscribers and turning off potential customers.

Ramp up your holiday emails, but don’t overwhelm your audience. Launch your campaigns early enough to build anticipation. Send emails to raise brand awareness and promote holiday offers. 

Like with all of your marketing campaigns, it’s important to strike the right balance.

3. Planning holiday marketing campaigns last minute

A good holiday marketing strategy takes careful planning. If you leave your holiday campaigns to the last minute, you’re less likely to see the results you want.

Don’t wait until the day before the holiday to create your campaigns. Instead, come up with a holiday marketing plan ahead of time. This will help ensure your campaigns’ success.

Marketing tools make it easy to plan and automate your campaigns across channels. This includes emails, SMS, paid advertising, and WhatsApp marketingWith Brevo, launch all your holiday marketing campaigns from a single platform.

Read on to find out more.

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