Key Dates for Your 2021 Christmas Marketing
Time to Think About 2021 Christmas Marketing!
We can hear the groaning among you! You are still working on your Halloween costumes, and here we are talking about 2021 Christmas marketing. But we are not kidding, folks. If you wait too long to start thinking about your holiday marketing, you might as well forget it. Most small retail businesses need a successful holiday season to survive the year. Therefore, it is essential to carefully plan your 2021 Christmas marketing campaign now!
The holiday shopping season now starts as early as mid-October.Statista
We may have mentioned this before, but we will repeat it: It takes time to develop an effective marketing strategy and campaign. This fact is especially applicable to holiday marketing. During the highly competitive holiday, season business owners have no time to think about their 2021 Christmas marketing strategy.
83% of 2021 holiday shoppers indicate they’ll get started before Thanksgiving and 30% say they’re starting even earlier than they did last year.Wral.com
At the same time, consumers are overwhelmed with advertising. Your marketing strategy and messaging have to stand out just to get noticed! Why not get started with a few creative email marketing ideas?
Total holiday retail sales in 2020 reached $789.4 billion despite the pandemic.National Retail Federation 2020
So, what can small business owners do to ensure their 2021 Christmas marketing campaign is effective? We recommend the following: start early, carefully target your audience, and time your marketing for maximum effectiveness.
If your head is spinning now, don’t worry. Christmas marketing is much simpler than you think. Focus on a few important dates for your 2021 Christmas marketing and fill in the rest, depending on your specific circumstances.
The Busiest Christmas Shopping Days in 2021
According to Sensormatic, the busiest shopping days in the U.S. are:
- Friday, November 26 – Black Friday
- Saturday, December 18 – Super Saturday
- Thursday, December 23 – Thursday before Christmas
- Saturday, December 11 – 2nd Saturday in December
- Sunday, December 26 – Day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day”
- Wednesday, December 22 – Wednesday before Christmas
- Saturday, November 27 – Saturday after Thanksgiving
- Saturday, December 4 – first Saturday in December
- Tuesday, December 21 – Tuesday before Christmas
- Sunday, December 19 – Sunday before Christmas
Key 2021 Christmas Marketing Dates
November Marketing Dates
November 11 – Veterans Day
Also known as Early Black Friday, this is an essential day for starting the holiday sales cycle. Use this holiday to your advantage and start promoting your holiday sales. It never hurts to beat your competition and get your sales pitch in front of your audience early.
November 17 – Invite to Social Day
People are busy during this time of the year. It is OK to remind them about contests or holiday promotions you currently run on your social channels. This date is also an excellent time to check how your social campaigns are doing. End those that are ineffective and promote those that are showing better results.
November 25 – Thanksgiving Day
Some retailers, especially bigger ones, make special Thanksgiving sales part of their 2021 Christmas marketing strategy. Thanksgiving has become Gray Thursday. And for some stores, this is quite successful, at a cost. We should note that individually, we are not in favor of any business opening on Thanksgiving. Turkey Day should be for overeating with family and friends only. And many other small business owners feel the same way.
Online U.S. sales on Thanksgiving Day 2020 rose 21.5 percent year-over-year to $5.1 billion, hitting a new record.Adobe
November 26 – Black Friday
Easily the most insane shopping day of the year! Black Friday is the day when ordinarily timid people become raging monsters. There is no point in doing any marketing that day if you are a small business owner. Most likely, you will be too busy dealing with all the customers in your store.
Black Friday 2020 online shopping surges 22% to record $9 billion.Adobe
November 27 – Small Business Saturday
Score! Small businesses get their day to strut their stuff. So be sure to get in on the fun and use a hashtag like #smallbizsaturday to get more traction on your social channels. Many consumers have become wary of big retailers and prefer to support local small businesses instead. Even better for you, they are even willing to spend more to do so.
November 29 – Cyber Monday
This day is Black Friday, online! Cyber Monday is the busiest single day for online shopping. If you are doing e-commerce, you want to get your message out on every possible channel. And here is an extra tip for you: make sure your e-commerce site is functional and ready to rock. Cyber Monday is not the day to have any problems.
Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales in the US amounted to $39 billion in 2020.Digital in the Round
November 30 – Giving Tuesday
Make Giving Tuesday part of your 2021 Christmas marketing strategy. Ask your real and online customers to support your charitable efforts by making a purchase that day and donating a portion of the proceeds to a local charity. Here is a hint: find out if any local charities with similar fundraising plans and join them. The name recognition will benefit your sales as well.
December Marketing Dates
December 13 – Green Monday
Green Monday is generally one of the biggest shopping days in December. Be sure to stay on top of your customers’ minds through targeted social and email campaigns. This date is also an excellent general reminder for folks that Christmas is just two weeks away. It may spur some procrastinators into action!
Since 2011, Green Monday has been a $1 billion+ sales day.BlackFriday
December 14 – FREE Shipping Day
Many retailers offer free UPS or FedEx shipping for any purchase made on this day. Free shipping works out well for many people; procrastinators have until that day to start their shopping, and store owners get the extra sales. Free shipping could be a deciding factor for some, so be sure to let them know.
December 15 – Ground Shipping Day
Ground shipping day is the last day you can ship packages by ground and have them arrive by Christmas Eve or sooner. This date is an excellent reminder for your customers, so be sure to let them know ahead of time.
December 23 – e-Gift Card Day
OK, procrastinators, this is your final (boarding) call! Businesses interested in catching the last of the Christmas shoppers can offer e-gift cards. Once payment is processed, cards can be emailed to the buyer. If you do send out an email blast to any known stragglers on your list.
December 24 – Super Saturday
Super Saturday is another crazy day, the last Saturday before Christmas. Target any last-minute shoppers with special offers. Email and social marketing are especially useful for mobile consumers.
52% of 2021 holiday shoppers indicated that they were shopping online more and 32% responded that they were shopping on mobile more.Wral.com
December 26 – Coupon Day
The final piece in your 2021 Christmas marketing strategy should be the After-Christmas sale! Not everyone will be happy with their presents. Smart business owners can entice them with coupon codes and other special offers.
January 1 – New Year’s Day
Congratulations, you survived the 2021 Christmas marketing season. If you followed at least some of the above, you should have survived tired, but more or less intact, and possibly richer. You may now celebrate with (your choice): an ice bag on your head, a double shot of espresso, any leftovers in the fridge, yoga, or a brisk walk. Enjoy!
Starting Your 2021 Christmas Marketing
Now you have the key dates for the upcoming holiday season. Use them to plan and implement your own 2021 Christmas marketing strategy and campaigns. Your holiday marketing will depend on your business, industry, and location, so feel free to adjust as necessary.
Here are a few things that will help you create an effective 2021 Christmas marketing plan:
- Don’t wait until the last minute. Get started now!
- Take a look at last year. What worked, and what didn’t?
- Research your competitors and survey your customers.
- Ask your team for input. How can they help?
- Consider bringing in outside help if you need it.
- Create as much content as you can ahead of time.
- Determine a budget and stick to it!
- Be yourself and have fun!
2021 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
USPS 2021 Christmas shipping deadlines
- Dec. 17: First-class mail service (this includes greeting cards)
- Dec. 17: First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Dec. 18: Priority Mail service
- Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express service
Next up is UPS. One of the “big two” shipping companies along with FedEx, UPS is giving customers right up until the last minute, if they’re willing to take that risk or pay the premium for expedited shipping.
UPS 2021 Christmas shipping deadlines
- Dec. 21: UPS 3 Day Select
- Dec. 22: UPS 2nd Day Air services
- Dec. 23: UPS Next Day Air services
- UPS ground shipping: Check the UPS website calculator for recommended shipping dates
Finally, there’s FedEx. If you want to use FedEx, you’ll need to get your package ready by Dec. 15. Now, they will deliver later than that, but it’ll cost you more. Shipping early will save you money.
FedEx 2021 Christmas shipping deadlines
- Dec. 9: FedEx Ground Economy
- Dec. 15: FedEx Ground
- Dec. 15: FedEx Home Delivery
- Dec. 21: Express Saver
- Dec. 22: 2Day & 2Day AM
- Dec. 23: Overnight services
- Dec. 24: FedEx Same Day
More Helpful Christmas Marketing Tools
- Email Service Providers: MailChimp, Constant Contact
- Social Media Tools: SproutSocial, HootSuite, AddThis, Agorapulse
Of course, some of you don’t have time to handle your own 2021 Christmas marketing. Many small business owners are too busy. If that is the case, we recommend hiring an outside agency or professional to give you a hand. We are here to help.
What Are You Doing for Your 2021 Christmas Marketing?
Have you started your 2021 Christmas marketing? If so, do you have any Christmas marketing strategies of your own? Are there any other Christmas marketing dates that are important in your business or industry? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our landing page optimization tips with your audience!
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