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Holiday Marketing Ideas for 2020: Clever Campaigns to Help You Stand Out

Shivkumar M 20+ yrs shaping technology Product & GTM strategy. Fintech, healthcare & retail industry expertise. Leads product launches, adoption & GTM as Director, Product Marketing.
Holiday Marketing Ideas for 2020: Clever Campaigns to Help You Stand Out

Bah humbug. 
That just about sums up 2020. And this holiday season, social distancing means avoiding bustling shopping malls, skipping out on parties, and foregoing the traditional trip home. 
But that doesn’t mean consumers are feeling grinchy about the holidays. In fact, many are spending even more time decorating their homes, baking cookies, playing festive games… and adding a few extra presents under the tree.
In spite of the pandemic’s effect on the economy, Deloitte projects holiday retail sales will rise 1-1.5% this year to hit $1.14 – $1.15 trillion.* Which is welcome news for companies hoping to capture some needed revenue over the next few months. 
But smart brands know the holidays aren’t just about sales — they’re about making connections with customers. 
After a difficult year, people are looking for joy, warmth, and hope for brighter times ahead. If your marketing campaigns deliver some genuine holiday cheer, you can boost your revenue and build connections with your customers that last far beyond the New Year. 

10 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Your 2020 Campaigns

1. Grow your subscriber list

Build your subscriber or loyalty program list by offering exclusive or early access to sales, products, and content with a sign up or opt-in. You can also boost app engagement by creating mobile-only promotions, price drop alerts, and back-in-stock notifications via push notification.

2. Send smart abandoned cart reminders

75% of consumers are checking their inbox and Notification Center for deals and coupon codes. Discounts are so expected — especially at this time of the year — that an abandoned cart reminder without a discount attached is more likely to create disappointment in your recipient than prompt a sale. 

3. Embrace interactive elements

Boost engagement and improve the customer experience with simple interactive campaigns. An in-app notification prompt with a question like: “What’s a better holiday gift for your mom, A or B?” Can help you offer tailored recommendations or present opportunities to upsell.

4. Send geo-specific campaigns

Personalize your campaigns by geography. Use geofencing to attract local customers with timely offers as they pass by your brick-and-mortar locations. You can also tailor messages to the user’s location by referencing local customs like St. Nicholas Day or weather like a heavy snowfall. Shoppers are looking for ways to support local businesses this year especially, so make it easier for them to find you. 

5. Show last-minute shoppers some love

There are a lot of procrastinators out there who live for the rush of eleventh-hour shopping. Reach out to users the week of Christmas with expedited shipping offers or last-minute deals. Send reminders when “Arrives before Christmas” shipping deadlines are approaching, and help shoppers find products at local stores by keeping inventories up to date. 
Holidays like Boxing Day can also present opportunities to entice people who received gift cards or are looking to treat themselves to wishlist items they didn’t get over the holiday.  
Find more ideas to entice last-minute holiday shoppers in our article: 5 Last-Minute Holiday Campaign Ideas to Boost User Engagement. 

6. Express your appreciation

Your users will be inundated with messages pushing sales and gift guides, so a simple note thanking them for their support and wishing them a happy holiday season can be a great way to stand out and deepen your relationship with customers. 77% of customers say they appreciate it when companies express gratitude* — and they respond with deeper engagement. 

7. Spread joy

Even if you don’t make a sale, how can you deliver a positive brand experience that your customers will remember? How can you show them that you care about them? 
Tuck a free sample into their order, add a handwritten thank you note, offer personal shopper or stylist services, create fun branded videos to share on social media. One example: conferencing app Zoom is removing its 40-minute time limit on free video calls so that families can enjoy virtual Thanksgivings together.*

8. Get creative with content 

How can you recreate some of the holiday cheer or excitement that you might deliver in a brick-and-mortar store within your app? Immersive digital catalogs, Santa trackers, holiday photo filters, staff-picked recipes or playlists — it’s about finding ways to make emotional connections. That’s what consumers have been missing and what they want this year. 

9. Bring the holiday spirit to your in-app experience

Successful holiday marketing campaigns aren’t just about the right copy and creative. What will happen immediately after users tap on your push notification or open a deep link in your email? Create a holiday-specific app experience by making some updates to your UI to reflect the holiday season. 
Consider adding menu buttons for gift guides, limited-time sales, holiday movies and playlists, or festive recipes. Or simply alter a color scheme and add some festive design elements or microinteractions. CleverTap’s product experiences feature makes it super easy to implement changes like this without having to spend time coding or submitting changes to app stores. 

10. Mind the details 

On a highly personal channel like mobile, every detail matters. 
Avoid over-messaging by setting frequency limits and do not disturb hours. Refresh campaign content frequently to ensure users aren’t seeing the same messages and promotions over and over. 
Also, be hypervigilant for any bugs in your payment and transaction system. The last thing you want is to lose out on sales or frustrate potential customers with a buggy app or checkout experience. Now is a great time to re-examine your transaction process to deliver the perfect mobile checkout flow

The Key Ingredient for a Successful Holiday Campaign  

The challenges of this year have stripped away so many layers of formality and ceremony in our daily lives. Co-workers are taking meetings with kids or pets on their laps, people are offering to deliver groceries for elderly or at-risk neighbors, friends are sharing their struggles with physical or mental health. We’re all letting our humanity show a little more. 
Whatever your holiday marketing strategies 2020 shape up into this holiday season, showcasing that humanity will be the most effective way to make an impression on prospective, new, and returning customers. 
Get more strategies and tactics for a successful holiday season, plus a detailed checklist to ensure it all runs smoothly, in our free Ecommerce Holiday Playbook

Ecommerce Holiday Campaign Playbook

The Ecommerce Holiday Campaign Playbook

Get key strategies and tactics for a successful holiday season, along with an in-depth checklist so you can replicate success year after year.

Download Ebook Now

Last updated on March 27, 2024