The Top Holiday Campaign Ideas For 2022

It’s that time again to get into the holiday spirit and start thinking about holiday shopping, plans with friends, and traveling to see family. 

But wait, it’s only September! What happened to all the holidays in October and November?

Don’t worry, they’re still ahead of us, but if you’re going to put together a worthwhile holiday campaign this year, you need to start early. In fact, the earlier the better, since it’ll give you time to plan and prep exactly what you want to do and execute it without any problems.

And don’t worry, we (usually) don’t start seeing December holiday marketing campaigns until after Halloween, when commercials, emails, and social media posts are unleashed on the public.

But you’re not here to just throw out your holiday campaign ideas and see what sticks, you’re looking for ideas to make the most of your marketing this year, and that’s what we’re here to help with.

In this article, we’ll give you the bottom line on what to expect this holiday season, give you some tips on getting the most of your holiday sales, help you avoid the mistakes many businesses make, and even show you examples of some of our favorite holiday campaigns.

Table of Contents

holiday season marketing strategy
Get ready for the holiday season!

What to expect during the holiday season in 2022

Before we get into our holiday marketing tips and examples, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into when planning a holiday campaign, especially in this post-COVID environment.

It’s probably not surprising that online shopping has hit record breaking numbers in the past few years, but did you know that in 2021 it was estimated that 57% of shopping was done online? This is up 7% over 2018 and 15% over 2015. That means that your online holiday campaigns mean even more now than ever.

Will this trend continue into 2022? Well, the answer is yes and no. While online shopping is expected to continue dominating, many people are excited to do their shopping at least partially in person

This means that omnichannel marketing will be more important than ever during the 2022 festive seasons, whether you’re online only or have a physical location for your business. You’ll want to make sure you’re not only where your customers are, but keep branding consistent across the different channels. 

Here’s a bonus tip for you: One of the best ways to keep your customers informed about everything you’re doing is through email marketing, and there’s no better time to get started building your email list than right now. Get a free 14-day trial of ActiveCampaign to get started.

how to create a holiday campaign strategy
Steps to take in creating a holiday campaign strategy

How to create your holiday campaign strategy

There’s something absolutely magical about the winter holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Thanksgiving (both Canadian and American!), or even the Winter Solstice. 

To get the most out of your holiday marketing ideas, make sure to bring some of that magic into your holiday marketing strategy. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Review and analyze your past holiday campaigns

No matter what type of holiday marketing campaign you’re planning, this is the best place to start. Go back and see what worked the previous years and what didn’t. Review any data you collected and double down on those that worked.

Pay special attention to those things that might have gotten some traction, but didn’t perform as well as you think they should have and try to figure out why. With a few tweaks, these might become this year’s big wins.

Know your target audiences

Speaking of data, don’t forget to look to your customers for their input, as well! You can dive into your customer data, but also consider sending out a survey to ask them not only what they’d like to see, but also what type of offers might make them convert.

This step is especially important if you introduced a new product or service to your business in the past year, or if you saw substantial growth. 

Don’t forget your competitors

Another crucial step in knowing your audience is knowing your potential audience, which is also your competitor’s audience! While you don’t want to take ideas from competitors just because they appeared to work, it can give you a good starting point.

It’s important to look at competitors who have been doing campaigns for longer than you have, or at least doing them differently. Scour their social networks, look at their past blog posts, and even see if you can dig up some old email campaigns to use as data points in your planning.

Create a calendar

This might sound simple, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses skip this step. While having a schedule for all your marketing campaigns is important, it’s even more important when you’re dealing with time-sensitive campaigns, such as in planning your holiday campaign ideas.

When creating your calendar, make notes of not only when to publish your social posts, emails, and blog post, but also things such as when they should be finalized by, and who is going to do what.

Trust us, if you spend the time and effort in planning your holiday marketing schedule, the customer will benefit, and, in turn, so will you. 

Want even more strategies? Get out our 2022 Holiday Marketing Toolkit for free!

Holiday campaign ideas and promotions
Reward your customers during the holiday season

Holiday campaign ideas and promotions to consider

We’ve put together a rapid-fire list of holiday campaign ideas and promotions to help you fill in your marketing calendar this year.

  • Discounts, discounts, discounts: Let’s start with the 1 that is pretty much a no-brainer, but no list of holiday campaign ideas would be complete without. If you’re able to offer special discounts for buying during the holiday season, it will help both your customers and you. This can be anything from offering free shipping to BOGO deals.
  • Free upgrades: Tis the season for wrapping and gift-giving, so why not offer free wrapping, shipping, or even a special gift just for ordering?
  • Referral incentive: If you already have a referral program, consider giving a bit extra during this time of year. And, if you don’t have one, consider adding one, even if it’s seasonal.
  • Team up and thrive: Is there another local business your customers frequent that you might be able to team up with? Or maybe an online shop that sells accessories that go well with your clothing? Consider doing some cross-promotions and deals to help benefit everyone involved. This can range from offering coupons to co-marketing efforts such as providing gift ideas they can find exclusively at your partner’s store.
  • Give thanks: The holiday season isn’t the only time of the year we should give thanks, but it’s a good time! Make your customers feel appreciated by sending them thanks, whether that’s via social channels, email, or with special packaging. There’s even a special day dedicated to this on November 29th called GivingTuesday!
  • Don’t forget giveaways: No matter your industry or your customers, everyone loves giveaways. And, there’s no better time to do giveaways than the holiday season! If you have the budget, make sure to include at least 1 big-ticket item to entice your customers to join in.
  • Gift guides for all: There’s something magical about gift guides. Whether it’s Toys ‘r’ Us big book of toys (ah, the memories!) or Amazon’s more recent holiday catalog, guides can help you push products you sell, or just help your customers find that perfect gift.
  • Holiday tutorials: This might come in the form of live events, pre-recorded videos, or even blog posts. Create content that helps your holiday shoppers thrive during the holiday season by providing tutorials on how to use your product (in a unique, holiday way), decorating, cooking, or anything else you can think of.
  • In-person events: Whether a gift-wrapping party, VIP events for your most valuable customers, or just special themed days, your customers will appreciate spending time with like-minded people in a magical atmosphere. These events can also provide some great content and visuals for your social channels.
  • Special offers for next year: Last but not least, think of what you can offer for the future. That’s right, it may be the holiday shopping season, but next year is right around the corner. Offer incentives to book appointments or buy tickets to events for the following year. This is especially valuable if your business often sees an off-season in the winter.
Mistakes to watch for in your holiday marketing
Don’t make these holiday marketing mistakes

Mistakes to watch out for in your holiday marketing

Now that you have a good idea of how to plan your holiday campaign ideas and even some promotions to consider, make sure you’re avoiding these common holiday marketing mistakes.

Spreading yourself too far, or not far enough

While this is different for every business, spreading yourself too thin can kill an otherwise good holiday marketing campaign. You need to make sure you stay consistent across all your channels and deliver the same experience everywhere you promote your holiday campaign ideas.

Likewise, not embracing omnichannel marketing can also have a devastating effect on your campaign. If you rely solely on in-person marketing, social media, or email marketing to reach both current and potential customers, you’re missing out on most of your audience.

The key here is balance. Pick the social channels where you already have a presence and go all in on those. Now isn’t the best time to start building a presence on a new channel, unless you have the bandwidth to do so.

Not understanding your audience

We touched on this above, but understanding your audience is paramount for a successful holiday marketing campaign. Dig into your customer data, send them surveys, and listen on social media. They’ll tell you what they want to see!

The results if you don’t listen to your audience? Wasted time, wasted money, and potentially losing the trust of your most valuable customers.

Using too few promotions, or too many

You don’t want to confuse or annoy your customers, so be aware of how many emails, social media posts, or in-person marketing tactics might be too many. A good rule of thumb is if you send 1 email a week, it’s okay to send an extra 1 every week or 2, but more than that and you’ll start to see your unsubscribe rate grow. 


On the other side of this, don’t be afraid to push a bit more during the holiday season. If you’re only promoting your holiday campaign ideas on your social media platforms once every few weeks, you’ll miss out on a lot of interactions and people will be less likely to click through.

Just like which social platforms you use, what you send is also a delicate balance.

Not using a holiday campaign calendar

When you plan out your holiday campaign, you’ll have a lot of different content for many different channels. One of the biggest mistakes is not putting them in a calendar so you know exactly when they should go out.

After all, a “happy first day of Hanukkah” post that goes out on December 21st or a New Year’s email that gets sent before Christmas could very well push some customers to think you don’t actually care.

examples of holiday marketing campaigns
Study your competitors to see how they do holiday marketing right

Examples of holiday campaign ideas done right

Now that we’ve gone over the do’s and don’ts of holiday campaigns, let’s take a look at some examples

Social media: Painting with a Twist

Painting with a Twist has a great social media strategy overall, but when it comes to the holiday season, they step it up and produce some of our favorite posts.

Their holiday campaign 2021 started in October with posts for Halloween, showcasing customer art and encouraging their followers to create their own.

Then, without skipping a beat, they move into American Thanksgiving and Christmas in early November while maintaining their specific style of bright colors, art, and showcasing their customers.

Throughout the month of November, they continue to publish content that pops, keeping their followers thinking about them for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then, with perfect timing, they publish an art roundup on Thanksgiving day, closing out the holiday and pushing into December.

Their December posts focus mostly on Christmas, but they also include a “Happy Hanukkah” post, and even 1 dedicated to “Friendsmas,” encouraging their followers to get together with friends and family alike.

With such well-rounded holiday campaign ideas, Painting with a Twist is a great example of doing Instagram right. 

Email marketing: Puma, Jeni’s, and Tock 

Email marketing has a large range of uses. While the bottom line is to increase your subscribers, leads, and customers, most of your emails should focus on providing value and increasing trust and loyalty.

This is especially important during the holiday season as people are buying gifts, spending time with friends and family, and looking towards the new year.

Puma

Our first holiday email marketing campaign comes from Puma and offers their subscribers last-minute Christmas deals making sure they have everything they need, even for that unexpected person on their list.

This type of promotion is great if you can offer last-minute guaranteed shipping. However, for many small and medium-sized businesses, this isn’t possible, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can offer. 

Jeni’s

Sending a perfectly timed email with downloadable or sendable gifts is another great way to offer value to your subscribers, such as with Jeni’s last-minute gift card email.

This email offers 2 last minute gift ideas: an e-gift card and a downloadable “Jeni’s Cards.” The Jeni’s card specifically is a great idea, giving the buyer something to gift letting their loved one know they have ice cream on the way!

Tock

Our last holiday email marketing campaign is from Tock. Tock is a location-based service out of Chicago, IL that lets customers make reservations at restaurants, bars, wineries, and other venues. 

For their New Year’s email campaign, they sent out restaurant recommendations with spots still open for New Year’s Eve.

While very simple, this helps the subscriber looking for somewhere to eat for New Year’s, while also keeping Tock in their minds going into the new year. This means both Tock and the subscriber gain value from this email, as do the local restaurants.

When planning your holiday email campaigns, make sure to keep your customers in mind, not just profit. To learn more about email marketing for your holiday strategy, check out our free Holiday Marketing Toolkit.

In-person: Chicago Food Tours

Chicago Food Tours offers experiences to customers in Chicago and has events for just about every holiday, which makes sense. After all, their whole mission is to bring together people around food, as seen here in this Thanksgiving event.

They also offer services that help your company create the perfect in-person holiday experience, whether that’s in the office, an outing, or just taking a tour as a team.

With the events of the past few years, it’s more important than ever to connect with those around us, and there’s no better time of the year than the holidays, and no better way than with some good food and drinks!

Omnichannel example: Code Camp

Our last holiday campaign ideas example focuses not on a single channel, but how to cohesively use all the channels available to you. 

Code Camp is an Australian business that offers camps for children ages 5-13. Their programs consist of both in-person and virtual camps and utilize Instagram, Facebook, and their blog to promote events.

Their approach is to attract both kids and parents with colorful and informative posts, including offering discounts and access to special events.

codecamp facebook post holiday

Their end-of-year promotions focus mostly on Boxing Day and New Year, but they have school holiday camps and promotions all year round. One of their more recent blog posts is aimed at helping parents and kids decide what to do during school holidays and does a great job of showcasing what they have to offer.

This omnichannel approach is always good to keep in mind, as it helps you get in front of your potential customers where they spend their time, rather than forcing them to come to you.

Don’t forget to spread that holiday cheer

As a business, you should embrace the magic this holiday season to turn leads into customers and customers into loyal customers. It’s the perfect time to show them you care while increasing your online presence. Use email, in-person, and social media campaigns to give back to your customers and help build that oh-so-important loyalty.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your holiday marketing campaign ideas, check out our holiday toolkit below.

holiday season marketing toolkit

Never miss an update

Comment section