How many of you sent out special promotions on St. Patrick’s Day? Based on the volume in my inbox, I’d say there were quite a few retailers with promotions, so good for you for leveraging the holiday to do some marketing.
How many of you who did were scrambling to get those promotions designed and built last week? Again, based on some of the quality of the creatives, I’d wager that there was a lot of last minute scrambling and more than a few Microsoft Clip art selections to round out the emails.
Here’s the funny part about this: it’s not like the holiday was a surprise, announced at the last minute. Holiday schedules are published months or even years in advance. Barring a Mayan calendar apocalypse, you could plan out your entire holiday email campaign schedule right now and have your graphic designers working months in advance to come up with some great templates.
Take a look at what’s coming in the following months and think about how to plan your campaigns:
April Fool’s Day April 01, 2012
Passover April 6-14, 2012
Tax Return Due, Tax Day April 17, 2012
Earth Day, April 22
Administrative Professionals Day April 25, 2012
Cinco de Mayo May 05, 2012
Mother’s Day May 13, 2012
Armed Forces Day May 19, 2012
Memorial Day May 28, 2012
Flag Day June 14, 2012
Father’s Day June 17, 2012
Independence Day July 04, 2012
Ramadan July 20, 2012 (through Eid al Fitr)
Parents’ Day July 22, 2012
Eid Al Fitr August 19, 2012
Labor Day September 03, 2012
Rosh Hashonah September 16, 2012
Yom Kippur September 25, 2012
Columbus Day October 08, 2012
Boss’s Day October 16, 2012
Halloween October 31, 2012
Election Day 2012 November 06, 2012
Veterans Day November 11, 2012
Hijra November 15, 2012
Thanksgiving Day November 22, 2012
Chanukah / Hanukkah December 08, 2012
Christmas Eve December 24, 2012
Christmas Day December 25, 2012
Kwanzaa December 26, 2012
New Year’s Eve December 31, 2012
If you have demographic data on your subscribers, be sure to leverage that as well. For example, if you have a mailing list that is predominantly Jewish, you should know that Passover will negatively impact your list performance. If you have a list that is predominantly Muslim, you should know that the work week during Ramadan for many Muslims is compressed – some countries, like the UAE, restrict work to a 36 hour week due to fasting.
The WhatCounts platforms (Professional and Publicaster) both have built-in calendars, so you can design, deploy, and schedule campaigns for holidays far in advance. Combine them with a blogging plugin like the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin, and you’ll have all of your content marketing lined up for special days well in advance while your competitors struggle to meet preventable crunches.
Christopher S. Penn