Deck Your Digital Halls (Holiday Marketing, Part 3)

Everywhere you look on the interwebs, you can’t escape that ’tis the season for sprucing things up.

You probably don’t have the marketing budget or a complete design team to go all out like iconic brands Coke or Target, but you can make simple changes like Home Depot, who simply changed their signature brown to red and added holiday images:

home depot

We recommend that you add a holiday touch to your:

social media

Social media is critical for holiday marketing success. One simple idea is to be creative with coupon codes (CyberMondayCountdown) and hashtags (#BestChristmasEver). For example, Target named their 2013 holiday theme “My Kind of Holiday,” along with #MyKindOfHoliday. The hashtag encouraged guests to join the conversation online with their own unique traditions. Target planned other fun social engagement activities, like weekly Instagram challenges, how-to photos and videos to inspire creative gift-giving, and last-minute shopping tips on Twitter. Try these platforms:

  • INSTAGRAM – Instead of 25 days of Christmas, run a 25 Days of Camp campaign
  • YOU TUBE – Create a holiday commercial with videos from past events and a special message from your staff
  • TWITTER – Have a #MyFavoriteCampMemory campaign. Have your staff tweet out favorite memories or photos of camp. Encourage campers to add theirs.

The conversations you start don’t have to be about your product. It’s enough that they happen on your platforms.

What kind of holiday conversations could you start?

email marketing

By the time you’ve thought through all the buying motivations, themes and important shopping dates we’ve been covering in our Holiday Marketing series, your email strategy will practically be in place! Swap out headers and footers–like we’ve done here–to get the festive look going.

When you send your emails, used themed subject lines. You can borrow–ok, steal!–holiday phrases and make them your own–like these:

  • Baby, it’s cold outside! Stay warm with this hot deal
  • Frightful weather? Delightful idea.
  • The Christmas gift with the longest shelf life
  • Give summer fun for Christmas
  • Summer classes cost less at Christmastime
  • Black Friday Blowout!
  • Our gift to you this season: 3-year loyalty discount!
  • Free shipping for this online gift


We really like this Black Friday email  promotional from Fitzwilliam Institute:

Subject Line: Black Friday Survival Guide 2014


1. Stay Home and Check Out Our Website

This year, there’s no need to camp-out and battle the crowds for the perfect discount. You can purchase our spectacular Black Friday offers from the comfort of your own home… on your cosy couch… in your comfortable pyjamas… For A Whole Week…We won’t judge!


Get an amazing $x OFF on ALL ___ and $x off on ALL ______!



Don’t forget your website! Spruce it up with the look of the season and easy-to-see holiday offers. You can do that by changing colors, replacing registration buttons with holiday-themed buttons, or adding a funny Jib Jab card with a greeting from your staff that visitors see first thing.

Final tips:

  • Use early bird specials and email and Facebook campaigns to show customers they’re getting a true deal by signing up for your programs early
  • Someone’s going to ask for this, so create a special certificate you can mail to early registrants or–for last minute shoppers–a downloadable, printable version. Make it very kid friendly!
  • When crafting your messages, think about the things we’ve talked about in this Holiday Marketing series, like your prospects’ holiday spending motives, consumer behavior, and the big shopping dates–especially the Black Friday period right after Thanksgiving.

Decorating for the holidays is fun! Don’t neglect your digital storefront.

TOMORROW: The finale in our Holiday Marketing series:  3 Gifts for YOU, including a link to hear a recording of the entire Leveraging the Holiday Season to Engage Participants and Drive Registrations webinar.




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About Gina Calvert

Gina Calvert is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, camps, schools and endurance events, for more than six years.