Key Dates for Your 2023 Christmas Marketing
Updated October 2023
Time to Think About 2023 Christmas Marketing!
We can hear the groaning among you! You are still working on your Halloween costumes, and here we are talking about 2023 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 plan your 2023 Christmas marketing campaign carefully!
The holiday shopping season now starts as early as mid-October.Statista
We may have mentioned this before, but we will repeat it: Developing an effective marketing strategy and campaign takes time. This fact is especially applicable to holiday marketing. During the highly competitive holiday season, business owners have no time to consider their 2023 Christmas marketing strategy.
57% of consumers will begin holiday shopping on or before Thanksgiving.Tinuiti
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?
Overall global retail spending will rise 4.5% to $1.3 trillion for the 2023 holiday season.Online Dasher
So, what can small business owners do to ensure their 2023 Christmas marketing campaign is effective? We recommend starting early, carefully targeting your audience, and timing 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 2023 Christmas marketing and fill in the rest, depending on your specific circumstances.
The Busiest Christmas Shopping Days in 2023
According to Sensormatic, the busiest shopping days in the U.S. are:
- Friday, November 24 – Black Friday
- Friday, December 22 – Friday before Christmas
- Monday, December 26 –Boxing Day
- Saturday, December 23 – Super Saturday
- Saturday, November 25 – Saturday after Black Friday / Small Business Saturday
- Saturday, December 9 – Second Saturday in December
- Thursday, December 21 – Thursday before Christmas
- Saturday, December 2 – First Saturday in December
- Sunday, December 24 – Sunday before Christmas
- Wednesday, December 20 – Wednesday before Christmas
Key 2023 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. Reminding them about contests or holiday promotions you currently run on your social channels is OK. 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 23 – Thanksgiving Day
Some retailers, especially bigger ones, make special Thanksgiving sales part of their 2023 Christmas marketing strategy. Thanksgiving has become Gray Thursday. And for some stores, this is quite successful, at a cost.
Thanksgiving store closures return thanks to shifting consumer habits: Increasing online shopping and earlier deal-seeking, plus criticism over opening on Thanksgiving Day, could lead many retailers to forgo the trend for good—Target has already committed to doing so.
We should note that we do not favor any business opening on Thanksgiving individually. Turkey Day should be for overeating with family and friends only. And many other small business owners feel the same way.
November 24 – Black Friday
It’s 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 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.
In 2022, 31% of customers started their Black Friday spree on Thursday, while 15% aimed to begin shopping for gifts between midnight and 5 AM on Friday.Dot Digital
November 25 – 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 supporting local small businesses. Even better for you, they are even willing to spend more to do so.
November 27 – 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 your message on every channel. And here is an extra tip: make sure your e-commerce site is functional and ready to rock. Cyber Monday is not the day to have any problems.
64% of American consumers say they plan on shopping during Cyber MondayExploding Topics
November 28 – Giving Tuesday
Make Giving Tuesday part of your 2023 Christmas marketing strategy. Ask your real and online customers to support your charitable efforts by purchasing that day and donating some of the proceeds to a local charity.
Here is a hint: find out if there are any local charities with similar fundraising plans and join them. The name recognition will benefit your sales as well.
December Marketing Dates
December 11 – Green Monday
Green Monday is generally one of the biggest shopping days in December. Stay on top of your customers’ minds through targeted social and email campaigns. This date is also an excellent general reminder 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 well for many people; procrastinators have until that day to start shopping, and store owners get the extra sales. For some, free shipping could be a deciding factor, so let them know.
December 13 – 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 inform them beforehand.
* As of the date of this post, USPS and UPS still have to announce their 2023 shipping calendars.
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 23 – 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 handy for mobile consumers.
The average Christmas spending per person in the U.S. is expected to reach $950 in 2023, up from $932 in 2022.Porch Group Media
December 26 – Coupon Day
The final piece in your 2023 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 2023 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 2023 Christmas Marketing
Now, you have the key dates for the upcoming holiday season. Use them to plan and implement your 2023 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 2023 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!
2023 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
USPS 2023 Christmas shipping deadlines
- December 17: First-class mail service (this includes greeting cards)
- December 17: First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- December 18: Priority Mail service
- December 23: Priority Mail Express service
Next up is UPS. One of the “big two” shipping companies, along with FedEx and 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 2023 Christmas shipping deadlines
- December 21: UPS 3 Day Select
- December 22: UPS 2nd Day Air services
- December 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, prepare your package by December 13. They will deliver later, but it’ll cost you more. Shipping early will save you money.
FedEx 2023 Christmas shipping deadlines
- December 9: FedEx Ground Economy
- December 15: FedEx Ground
- December 15: FedEx Home Delivery
- December 21: Express Saver
- Dec. 22: 2Day & 2Day AM
- December 23: Overnight services
- December 24: FedEx Same Day
More Helpful Christmas Marketing Tools
- Email Service Providers: MailChimp, Constant Contact
- Social Media Tools: SproutSocial, HootSuite, Agorapulse
Of course, some of you don’t have time to handle your own 2023 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 2023 Christmas Marketing?
Have you started your 2023 Christmas marketing? If so, do you have any Christmas marketing strategies of your own? Is any other Christmas marketing dates vital 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!
For more content relevant to your business or product brand holiday marketing – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, offering SEO tips to boost e-commerce traffic during the holidays, is an excellent place to start!)
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