Key Dates for 2019 Christmas Marketing
Time to Think About 2019 Christmas Marketing!
I can hear the groaning among you! Halloween is not even over, and here I am talking about 2019 Christmas marketing. But I am not kidding, folks. If you wait too long to start thinking about your holiday marketing, you might as well forget it. Most small retail businesses need a successful holiday season to survive the year. Therefore, it is essential to carefully plan your 2019 Christmas marketing campaign now!
I may have mentioned this before, but I will say it again: It takes time to develop an effective marketing strategy and campaign. This is especially true for holiday marketing. During the highly competitive holiday season business owners have no time to think about their 2019 Christmas marketing strategy. At the same time consumers are totally overwhelmed with advertising. Your marketing strategy and messaging really has to stand out just to get noticed!
20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year. National Retail Federation
So, what can small business owners do to ensure their 2019 Christmas marketing campaign is effective? I recommend the following: start early, carefully target your audience, and time your marketing for maximum effectiveness. If your head is spinning now, don’t worry. This is much simpler than you think. Simply focus on a few important dates for your 2019 Christmas marketing and fill in the rest depending on your specific circumstances.
Key 2019 Christmas Marketing Dates
November 4 – Facebook Custom Audience
Your 2019 Christmas marketing strategy needs to have at least some budget for paid social advertising. To get the most bang out of your bucks be sure to upload the email addresses of your customers to Facebook and use them to target your ad campaign.
November 11 – Veterans Day
Also known as Early Black Friday, this is a major day for starting the holiday sales cycle. Use this holiday to your advantage and start promoting your holiday sales. It never hurts to beat your competition and get your sales pitch in front of your audience early.
28.8% of U.S. shoppers start their Christmas shopping in November. Fortunly
November 17 – Invite to Social Day
People are busy during this time of the year. It is OK to remind them about contests or holiday promotions that you currently run on your social channels. This is also a good time to check how your social campaigns are doing. End those that are ineffective and promote those that are showing better results.
November 28 – Thanksgiving Day
Some retailers, especially bigger ones, make special Thanksgiving sales part of their 2018 Christmas marketing strategy. This is where Thanksgiving has become Gray Thursday. And for some stores this is quite successful, at a cost. I should note that personally I am not in favor of any business opening on Thanksgiving. Turkey Day should be for overeating with family and friends only. And many other small business owners feel the same way.
In the US, Black Friday online sales reached $6.2bn on Black Friday 2018. SaleCycle
November 29 – Black Friday
Easily the most insane shopping day of the year! This is the day when normally timid people become raging monsters. There is no point in doing any marketing that day if you are a small business owner. Most likely you will be too busy dealing with all the customers in your store.
2018 Small Business Saturday Drives Nearly $18 Billion in Spending NFIB
November 30 – Small Business Saturday
Score! Small businesses get their own day to strut their stuff. So be sure to get in on the fun and use a hashtag like #smallbizsaturday to get more traction on your social channels. Many consumers have become weary of big retailers and prefer to support local small businesses instead. Even better for you, they are even willing to spend more to do so.
The 174 million Americans who shopped between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday spent an average of $335 per person during that five-day period. The Washington Post
December 2 – Cyber Monday
This is Black Friday, online! Cyber Monday is the busiest single day for online shopping. If you are doing e-commerce you definitely want to get your message out on every possible channel. And here is an extra tip for you: make sure your e-commerce site is fully charged and loaded. This is not the day to have any problems.
December 3 – Giving Tuesday
Make Giving Tuesday part of your 2019 Christmas marketing strategy. Simply ask your real and online customers to support your charitable efforts by making a purchase that day. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a local charity. Here is a hint: find out if any local charities with similar fundraising plans and join them. The name recognition will benefit your sales as well.
Since 2011, Green Monday has been a $1 billion+ sales day. BlackFriday
December 9 – Green Monday
This is generally one of the biggest shopping days in December. Be sure to stay on top of your customers minds through targeted social and email campaigns. This is also a good general reminder for folks that Christmas is just two weeks away. It may spur some procrastinators into action!
December 14 – FREE Shipping Day
Many retailers offer free UPS or FedEx shipping for any purchase made on this day. This works out well for many people; procrastinators have until that day to start shopping, and store owners get the extra sales. This could be a deciding factor for some, so be sure to let them know.
December 14 – Ground Shipping Day
This is the last day you can ship packages by ground and have them arrive by Christmas Eve, or sooner. This is a great reminder for your customers, so be sure to let them know ahead of time.
The busiest shopping day is no longer Black Friday but the Saturday before Christmas. MuchNeeded
December 21 – Super Saturday
This is another crazy day, the last Saturday before Christmas. Target any last-minute shoppers with special offers. Email and social marketing are especially effective for your mobile consumers.
Gift card purchases are made by 56% of all shoppers. MuchNeeded
December 23 – e-Gift Card Day
OK, procrastinators, this is your final (boarding) call! Businesses interested in catching the last of the Christmas shoppers can offer e-gift cards. Once payment is processed cards can be emailed to the buyer. If you do send out an email blast to any known stragglers on your list.
December 26 – Coupon Day
The final piece in your 2019 Christmas marketing strategy should be the After-Christmas sale! Not everyone will be happy with their presents. Smart business owners can entice them with coupon codes and other special offers.
January 1 – New Year’s Day
Congratulations, you survived the 2019 Christmas marketing season. If you followed at least some of the above you should have survived tired, but more or less intact, and possibly richer. You may now celebrate with (your choice): an ice bag on your head, a double shot of espresso, any leftovers in the fridge, yoga, or a brisk walk. Enjoy!
Starting Your 2019 Christmas Marketing
Now you have the key dates for the upcoming holiday season. Use them to plan and implement your own 2019 Christmas marketing strategy and campaigns. Your own holiday marketing will depend on your particular business, industry, and location, so feel free to adjust as necessary.
Here are a few things that will help you create an effective 2017 Christmas marketing plan:
- Don’t wait until the last-minute. Get started now!
- Take a look at last year. What worked, and what didn’t?
- Research your competitors and survey your customers.
- Ask your team for input. How can they help?
- Consider bringing in outside help if you need it.
- Create as much content as you can ahead of time.
- Determine a budget and stick to it!
- Be yourself and have fun!
2019 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
A comprehensive calendar of USPS, UPS, and FedEx shipping deadlines for 2019 courtesy of ShipStation.
Download the 2019 UPS Holiday Shipping Schedule here.
More Helpful Christmas Marketing Tools
- Email Service Providers: MailChimp, Constant Contact
- Social Media Tools: SproutSocial, HootSuite, AddThis, Agorapulse
Additional 2019 Christmas Marketing Posts
If you need more help to create your own 2019 Christmas marketing strategy check out these posts on blog:
- 10 Essential Small Business Holiday Website Tips
- E-Commerce Holiday Marketing Tips
- E-Commerce Social Media Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season
- Small Business Holiday Marketing Tips
- Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
- 10 Tips for Writing the Perfect Email Newsletter
- 30 Creative Ideas for Your Holiday Email Marketing
- Creating Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies
- Using Paid Social Advertising for Lead Generation
Of course, some of you just don’t have time to handle your own 2019 Christmas marketing. Many small business owners are simply too busy. If that is the case, I recommend that you hire an outside agency or professional to give you a hand. We are here to help.
What Are You Doing for Your 2019 Christmas Marketing?
Have you started your 2019 Christmas marketing? If so, do you have any Christmas marketing strategies of your own? Are there any other Christmas marketing dates that are important in your business or industry? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our landing page optimization tips with your audience!
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