No matter how great your offer is, the average person can only scroll, click, open, and read so many emails and offers on a given day. They can only do so much shopping. When you combine this with less-specific messaging (e.g. every marketer under the sun pushing “10% – 15% off” sales), it’s natural to expect slightly lower open and click-through rates during the holidays. The effect of this, combined with limited inventory and higher ad costs, can play havoc with your numbers. How do you minimize it? By thinking outside the box, and creating campaigns that shock, delight and stand out from everything else out there! Here’s 7 outside-the-box campaign ideas that are worth exploring:

1. Thank Your Customers!

A large percentage of your holiday sales can (AND SHOULD) come from existing customers. Make sure to create campaigns that sell to them this holiday season, but before you do, make sure to thank them!
  • Send out a thank you card
  • Publish a blog post
  • Send them a gift
  • Let them know to keep an eye out for the amazing deals you have coming
Just make sure they know you appreciate them.

2. Involve A Cause

We understand that as marketers, the focus always has to be on ROI to some degree, but there is life beyond it to consider. We all have beliefs, movements, and causes that are important to us. Not just as individuals, but also as brands. The holidays are a great time to make an impact in your community, and for the causes you brand believes in. Making this clear in your marketing shows the passionate, human side of your brand, and can also boost sales at the same time among the percentage of your audience that shares these values! Pro tip: work with your ads team to determine if audience segmentation and behavior data is available to assist in specifically targeting your customers by cause affiliation.

3. The Often-Overlooked Gift Card

Not everyone is an amazing shopper. Some people look at the screen and have no clue what to get for uncle Frank, let alone their own kids! For this reason, gift cards are a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s also why you should probably start selling them, if you don’t yet. Gift cards are an easy “slippery sale” compared to other holiday offers that involve multiple sizes, colors, and customizable variables. All you really need prospects to do in the gift card decision-making process is pick between 3-5 different price-points! Promote your gift cards heavily, especially in retargeting campaigns aimed at prospects who have visited multiple purchase-focused pages, but not added anything to their cart.

4. Don’t Forget Email

Just like existing customers, you want your email subscribers to feel special. They’ve given you the privilege of popping up in their inbox every once in a while, but if your messaging falls flat or becomes boring and repetitive, they’ll be gone before the sun comes up on Christmas morning. One idea to keep them happy: reward your customers and email subscribers with early bird deals before the holiday rush. They’ll feel special and may also have more to spend in your store earlier in the season. Exclusive content and offers for email subscribers are also incredibly effective. Finally, smart segment customers who regularly buy certain items during the holidays, and send them to a custom landing page – filled with personalized deals on items that complement what they’ve already bought!

5. Bundle It Up

Holiday baskets, bundles, and product combos are a win-win for both you and your customers. They can increase your AOV (average order value) which can boost revenues during a time when ad spend usually skyrockets.

6. Urgency!

From one perspective, ads that highlight the urgency of the approaching holidays, countdown reminders that sales are ending, or notifications of limited stock can all feel overbearing and unethical. Another perspective is that some of us are really busy (especially during the holidays), and we keep postponing or forgetting to do our shopping. For the latter, these reminders are incredibly helpful! You can also create urgency in smaller, more focused “quick hit” campaigns like 24 hour flash sales, and limited-time raffles and giveaway contests. These campaigns are great opportunities to keep promotions lively and fresh and they keep customers paying attention and coming back to satisfy their curiosity. Amazon has perfected this strategy with the “Lightning Deals” they offer as a part of Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals Week.

7. Add A Bow On Top

To make the customer experience even more magical, consider adding a small gift to their purchases during the holiday season. You can also offer free shipping, or free holiday gift-wrapping. Be sure to highlight a holiday gift guide that promotes your holiday campaigns. Not only will things like this delight your customers and make them feel special, but it can also boost your conversion rates, and help you stand out from the flood of other offers! Once you have your messaging dialed in, and have worked through some ideas for how to apply your messaging to inventive campaigns, you can start to get into some of the specifics of creating creative assets. We start at the top in the next section of the guide, by discussing ads, which often comprise that critical first touch. Download the complete guide, continue on to “Ad Creatives,” or browse through the chapters:


The AIMCLEAR Guide to Holiday Promotions Cover of The AIMCLEAR Guide to Holiday Creative