We’re barely past (an insufferably hot) summer here in Texas, but now people are talking about the holiday season being just around the corner. To be cliched, most of us wonder where the year has gone. But if you’re a marketing professional, you’re probably thinking just as much about what’s left to do before 2023 comes to a close.

Because of the massive potential for sales and engagement that comes with the most wonderful time of the year, marketers should already be planning how to ensure their brand continues to engage audiences throughout this special time. Below, we’ve compiled our list of nine digital marketing suggestions to consider for your holiday season strategy.

The Importance of Good Holiday Marketing

The commercial holiday season, which will run from approximately Nov. 1 - Dec. 31, 2023, is without question one of the greatest supports of the U.S. consumer economy. Indeed, businesses far beyond the retail industry can now offer the perks, savings and advantages endemic to this time of year.

As a result, marketers across industries should think about the best ways to engage with their audiences and broader communities throughout the holidays and until the end of the year. Doing so correctly may make the difference between keeping users engaged or seeing many of them shift their loyalties to other brands.

Our 9 Holiday Marketing Tips

The holiday season is about being close to those you love. As a result, personalization, connection and compassion should be the benchmarks for setting your strategy. Through practices driven by these mindsets, you’ll be better able to entice customers to take the actions you want at the correct times. Consider the following nine recommendations to add to your marketing plan.

1. Countdown Timers

Use countdown timers on your website and within your marketing emails when planning key dates. These dates may include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, guaranteed shipping by Christmas Eve, or other special events. The timer can help you build anticipation and audience engagement.

2. Personalized Recommendations

Implement recommendation engines or personalized product suggestions throughout your website, social media and marketing emails. These recommendations can reflect each visitor’s unique browsing or purchase history. Showing your audience items you think they will like can increase your cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

3. Gift Guides

Develop gift guides for various categories or recipient types (e.g., "Gifts for Him," "Gifts for Foodies"). These guides can help shoppers find the perfect gifts and drive sales. Furthermore, link these gift guides to the personalized recommendations you are developing. The recipient may be more likely to purchase if they receive a gift guide of things your data tells you they’ll want.

4. Limited-Time Offers

Many brands offer limited-time discounts or promotions beyond those of Black Friday or Cyber Monday. For these exclusive offers, emphasize that they are only available during the holiday season, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging immediate action.

5. Email Advent Calendar

Consider running an email advent calendar campaign that can serve as a countdown to Christmas. You can use this avenue to inform recipients about exclusive offers, tips on the trade, or even fun holiday content.

6. User-Generated Content

An excellent personal touch to add to your holiday campaigns is the inclusion of user-generated content. For example, a restaurant customer may be able to provide a story about how it’s their tradition to have their holiday party at your establishment. Or, a jewelry store patron might give a testimonial about how they chose the perfect present for their spouse. Feature user-generated content on your website, emails and social channels to build trust and authenticity, and don’t forget to include a unique hashtag to raise awareness.

7. Festive Landing Pages

Design festive landing pages that showcase your holiday promotions and products. You can also use this page to feature holiday gift lists, customer testimonials and announcements of special events. Use holiday imagery, banners, and clear calls to action to guide visitors toward making a purchase.

8. Abandoned Cart Remarketing 

Sometimes, clients add items to their online shopping cart and forget to purchase. Implement remarketing campaigns to target shoppers who abandon their carts with personalized reminders and incentives to complete their purchases.

9. Charitable Initiatives

Philanthropic and socially responsible brands are much more likely to resonate with their customers. Consider running a holiday-themed charity or social responsibility campaign, and donate a portion of your sales to a charitable cause. You could also encourage clients to donate money or goods to a specific charity. Furthermore, the holiday season is a great time to showcase any volunteer work your company engages in, as doing so can raise awareness about a cause that is dear to you.

These holiday-specific tips can help you create a results-oriented digital marketing strategy tailored to this particular time of year. Do not forget to keep your activities aligned across your website, social media, paid media and email strategies throughout your efforts—the more consistent your efforts, the better your likelihood of generating results. Furthermore, keep your audience in mind when developing your holiday messaging. The more you can send a message that plays to audiences’ positive emotions, the more likely they are to take action.

About The Old State

The Old State is a Dallas-based full-service digital solutions agency focusing on web design and optimization, paid media and inbound marketing. We believe in helping clients create digital strategies that lead to real success through listening, research, and adaptability. Our process ensures that we offer solutions that align with clients' visions and business goals. For more information, contact info@theoldstate.com.