Holiday marketing campaigns: from mistakes to proven strategies

Holiday Marketing Campaigns: From Mistakes to Proven Strategies

It’s that time of the year again when everyone excitedly rushes to finish their shopping lists. The holiday season creates a special kind of excitement, and the desire to give and receive gifts is at its peak.

If you’re eager to capitalize on this heightened holiday spirit and transform it into sales, then it’s time for you to explore some ideas for holiday marketing campaigns.  

While there’s no magical solution or a guaranteed formula to skyrocket your holiday sales campaign, there are time-tested techniques that consistently deliver results each year.

So, let’s dive into some straightforward strategies which will help you create successful holiday marketing campaigns and boost your revenue. But before we get into those tips, let’s look at some common mistakes to avoid.

Mistakes Marketers Make During the Holiday Marketing Season

1. Loads of Offers but No Value Addition

People are merry during this time of the year. They won’t mind spending a few (or maybe more) extra bucks. But they are not blind. They still want value.

How about sending a “Here’s how much you’ll spend on holiday gifting this year” calculator or, say, a quiz titled “Which (x product type) will suit your girlfriend’s personality?” These experiences add value. 

They provide people with answers to some of their pressing questions and thus provide instant gratification. What’s more – they are fun! Don’t you think this will engage your prospects more than an average holiday greeting or discount? 

2. Acting Late

Holidays don’t begin with the first day off from work. They start a little earlier, especially for your prospects, thanks to the excitement and cheer they bring along. So, your holiday marketing campaigns during the holiday season should start even before that.

This has many advantages, including beating the competition and staying ahead of them. You can also capture the attention of those already in holiday shopping or planning mode. Moreover, it gives you extra time to engage and nurture your prospects towards a purchase decision.

3. Neglecting Competitors

Another mistake you are making with your holiday marketing campaigns is that you are not considering your competitors. 

Yes, you must focus on your game and develop awesome marketing strategies aligning with the holiday spirit. However, you also need to monitor what your competitors are doing. They are the ones who share the niche space as well as the target audience with you. 

It’s always beneficial to analyze the strategy they’re applying to their paid ads, the kind of posts they’re sending out on social media, their pricing, their offers, etc. In fact, there are a few tools that you can use to see what your competitors are up to. 

On websites like SEMRush, Similarweb, Ahrefs, Rankwatch, and Spyfu, you can check your competitors’ target keywords, the campaigns they have been running, the geographies they’ve been targeting, and more. It’s always beneficial to do a little homework.

4. Overlooking a Diverse Audience 

Failing to consider diverse holidays and celebrations is a common mistake by marketers while creating holiday marketing campaigns. By focusing solely on major holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah, they miss opportunities to connect with different customer segments. 

This lack of sensitivity in messaging can alienate potential customers and limit marketing reach. 

5. No Uniqueness

Every marketer tries to woo his customers during this time. If you don’t do something unique, you will be lost in the crowd, and then none of the above would matter.

Take HotelTonight’s ‘Visit, Don’t Stay’ campaign, for instance. They tried to solve a problem for people who want to visit their families during the holidays but don’t want to stay with them. 

So, they offered to book a hotel room with them online. They ran a social media campaign wherein people had to comment with their best (or worst) family holiday story, the prize being a $500 coupon to their hotel. Now that’s being unique!

Are you guilty of committing any of these mistakes? There’s a fair chance you have been getting average results for your holiday campaigns. Worry not. To simplify things this time, we’ve listed a set of strategies that can facelift your holiday marketing campaigns this year. Let’s review them together.

How to Fix These Mistakes – Go Interactive

A site decorated with graphics, gifs, offers, interesting blog links, and holiday-themed content is wonderful – and BORING! Prospects see that everywhere. Why would they choose to do business with you?

Remember, the idea is to stand out from the crowd. Let’s see how you can do this using interactive marketing. And since e-commerce websites have it relatively easy during the holidays, let’s consider the example of a bank’s website.

Example 1: Bank A’s website has the following elements during this time of the year – deals on its cards, the special interest rate on home loans, a collaborative offer with an e-commerce website, a promotional (primarily emotional) video, and other regular CTAs.

Example 2 (winner): And then there’s Bank B. Its website includes not only regular CTAs, deals, and videos but also a quiz titled “Which credit card is best suited to your needs?” This quiz leads prospects to a page that helps them get a special holiday deal on the credit card they just got in the quiz result. 

Result? More engagement and increased time on site.

What’s more? Since prospects have taken the quiz, the bank knows they’re interested in purchasing a credit card. Isn’t this a better way to qualify leads? Sure, better than boring shoutout tactics.

That’s the power of interactive content. It acts as a differentiator for your holiday marketing campaigns. It involves a two-way conversation with your prospects, which any day trumps sales banter. With interactive marketing, you involve your prospects in your campaigns. We will talk about it more later in the blog. Let’s just begin with some proven festive season marketing methods.  

12 Excellent Holiday Marketing Strategies You Can’t Ignore

Here are some tips to help you run the best holiday marketing campaigns: 

1. Go Special, Go Crazy

We’re not talking about giveaways, offers, coupons, or something you run throughout the holiday season. We are referring to something that is an attention grabber and gets you in talks, like a positive publicity stunt.

Take Coca-Cola’s Sharing Can Initiative, for instance. A few years ago, they installed a vending machine that enabled people in India and Pakistan to communicate!

Coke Initative


In Europe, they have offered people a chance to personalize their Coke bottles. Such marketing campaigns immediately get you in the limelight and help attract more customers.

Pro Tip: Need more inspiration? Find some more cases here.

2. Make Your Kings (and Queens) Happy

Another effective thing you can do while building your holiday marketing campaigns is that you can make your kings and queens happy.

We’re talking about your customers. Do extensive research on your target audience and analyze it. You’ll DEFINITELY find at least one pain point that they have. And what can be a better holiday gift than providing a solution or two to someone’s problems?

How do you do that? Ask them! Create an assessment or a simple survey. Make it fun and make them believe that you care and are willing to put in extra effort for them.

So, say you are a perfume brand. You could have a survey titled – “Which fragrances would you like (your brand’s name) to make?” You know the rest!

3. Cash Those Keywords

A lot of marketers forget to cover this aspect. It’s important to start ranking for the holiday keywords. People search a lot during the holidays – gift ideas, clothes, smartphones, and whatnot! So, it’s best to target relevant holiday keywords and step up your SEO game.

You can go broad with your keyword targeting. Try various versions of the same keywords; think about what your target audience would search for.

4. Customize Your Website for Holidays

Tapping into the festive mood is quintessential for a successful holiday marketing strategy. Your audience will stay longer on your website if they get the look and feel of festivity on each and every page of your site.

All website elements, like header, footer, CTA, pop-ups, etc., should reflect the emotions revolving around the festive season.

Get your site the right holiday vibes to strengthen the connection between your brand and your users. It will also take your holiday marketing campaigns to the next level. 

Holiday your way

5. Customize Your Logo

Another pro tip for your holiday marketing campaigns is to add some holiday-themed elements to your logo. Keep the festive spirit alive. Big brands have been doing it, and you should, too. It gives a nice, warm feeling and doesn’t take too much effort. So, don’t leave any stone unturned.

holiday marketing

6. Holiday Social Media Marketing

The best holiday campaigns are always a mix of clever copy, targeted content, and eye-catching visuals. Utilizing social media platforms to reach a larger audience is also key for any successful holiday marketing strategy. 

People love browsing through social media, and they would do it the most when they have a lot of time in hand, i.e., during the holidays! So, if you post 2 times a day, make it 4. If your stories talk about blogs, include holiday-themed blogs as well.

Here’s what The Body Shop on its Instagram post. Being an online fashion brand, they didn’t refrain from including purely holiday-curated content in their holiday social media marketing strategy.

The body shop campaign

Also, if you can mix media with content marketing, there’s nothing like it. The visual content market will reach US$ 4564.1M by 2026. And there are stats to support that too!

Visual content can be highly effective in your holiday social media marketing strategy. Utilizing images, videos, and other visually appealing formats can help you capture your audience’s attention, drive engagement, and create a memorable brand experience.

  • As per a study, 50.5% of marketers think that visual content is important in your content marketing strategy. 
  • 91% of organizations will use video as their marketing tool in 2023.
  • 41% of marketers publish visual content 2 to 5 times weekly.
  • 96% of marketers identify the importance of video as a vital part of their marketing approach.
  • 65% of companies incorporate infographics in their content marketing method.

 So, your holiday marketing campaigns should capitalize on the visual content.

7. Gift Wrap Your Way to Sales

If you are an e-commerce website, you can send gift-wrapped packages for that extra holiday touch!

Normally, people don’t like to wrap their own gifts because they don’t have the patience and time for it. But, they prefer receiving and giving gifts wrapped in nice paper.

In fact, this is why e-commerce retailers started offering gift-wrapping services in the first place. Remember, solving a pain point for your customers is one of our strategies to consider. Well, this could be it.

And you could come up with quirky and eye-catching (maybe customized, if your budget allows) gift-wrapping material that also advertises your brand in some way, It could be a win-win.

8. Create Your Own Festive Theme 

Include a festive theme in your holiday marketing. Use holiday-themed graphics, colors, and imagery across your website, social media, and emails. 

It’s always good to craft catchy and memorable holiday marketing slogans that convey your commitment to customer satisfaction. 

For example, Disney delighted audiences with a heartwarming Christmas ad in 2022. Titled “The Gift,” the ad centers around a growing family’s journey as they prepare for the holiday season. 

The Gift ad

The storyline primarily revolves around the experiences and emotions of the soon-to-be middle child, capturing the essence of the changing dynamics within the family during this special time of year. 

This Christmas ad cleverly integrated its merchandise into a heartwarming story. Viewers could spot an Elsa dress for ice skating, an Olaf ornament, and a Jasmine doll seamlessly incorporated into the animation. 

The ad’s fantastic animation, attention to detail, and uplifting message captured viewers’ attention, reinforcing Disney’s special place in people’s hearts. It was a sure hit that reminded viewers of the brand’s beloved products.

9. Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly for Optimal User Experience

Providing a mobile-friendly experience for your website is crucial to capitalize on modern consumers’ preferences. 

A study by Statista shows that by 2024, the expenditure on mobile advertising is predicted to reach approximately $399.6 billion.

By ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, you can tap into this significant market segment and enhance your chances of converting visitors into customers.

Not only is mobile-friendliness important for users, but it also plays a role in search engine optimization. Google’s algorithm favors websites that are responsive and adaptable across different devices.

To ensure you don’t miss out on potential holiday traffic, consider implementing the following strategies to make your website mobile-friendly:

  • Use Appropriate Font Sizes: Optimize your font sizes for mobile visitors to enhance readability and usability on smaller screens. Avoid using too small fonts, which can strain users’ eyes, or too large, which can disrupt the overall design.
  • Streamline Your Design: Avoid cluttering your website with unnecessary elements such as sidebars that may overcrowd the limited space on mobile screens. Keep your design clean and focused, emphasizing the most relevant content and minimizing distractions.
  • Trim Excessive Content: Aim for concise and relevant content to ensure a smooth browsing experience on mobile devices. Instead of creating numerous pages with redundant information, focus on delivering valuable, concise content that meets your users’ needs.
  • Responsive Navigation: Utilize a responsive navigation system that adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes. This approach ensures that your website’s menu remains accessible and user-friendly on mobile devices without sacrificing functionality.
  • Choose a Mobile-Friendly CMS: Opt for a content management system (CMS) that is designed to be mobile-friendly, such as WordPress. These CMS platforms offer responsive templates and plugins that make creating and managing a mobile-optimized website easier.
  • Enhance Security and Compliance: Protect your CMS by adding an SSL certificate, which secures it against malware infections. It also ensures compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR. This step demonstrates your commitment to safeguarding user information and builds trust with your audience.

10. Minimize Cart Abandonment with Special Festive Discounts

Cart abandonment is one of the topmost concerns of online retailers. Although every audience segment’s needs are different, when it comes to making a purchase, e-tailers have noticed similar patterns. 

This is probably because all customers encounter similar friction while making a purchase. As per a study, here are some top reasons for abandonments:

Reasons for abandonments during checkout

It is clear from these numbers that you can’t afford to get complacent unless someone has bought from you. How do you make sure a purchase is made?

To begin with, just make sure your shipping costs are transparent while the customer is browsing your products. You must be sensible enough not to force customers to create an account because it makes the buying process longer. 

Instead, offer a guest checkout option. You can also bring back the users who abandoned their carts by sending festive sale offers on the items in their carts. For that, you have to be on your toes to retarget the visitors whenever possible.

The following points will further help you reduce your cart abandonment rates:

  • Strategically place your CTAs
  • Keep the cart visible
  • Make the checkout process as easy as possible
  • Show testimonials and security badges
  • Offer a variety of payment options
  • Offer free shipping

11. Focus on Customer Service

Customer service plays a crucial role in the success of holiday marketing campaigns. 

Providing excellent customer service can help build trust, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases. 

Here are some tips to focus on customer service during your holiday marketing campaigns:

  • Offer multiple support channels.
  • Train your customer service team.
  • Be proactive in assisting.
  • Personalize the customer experience.
  • Handle complaints and returns gracefully.
  • Collect and act on customer feedback.
  • Use automation and self-service options.
  • Follow up after the purchase.

12. Utilize Email Marketing Effectively

Use targeted and personalized email campaigns to engage with your customers during the holiday season. Segment your email list based on customer preferences and purchase history to deliver relevant offers and promotions. 

Create compelling email content, include clear calls to action, and optimize for mobile devices to maximize the impact of your email marketing efforts. This is how a brand makes a lasting impression on its readers’ minds.

christmas offers

How to Use Interactive Content to Pull Off Successful Holiday Marketing Campaigns

You thought that’s all? 

No doubt, the above-mentioned strategies are amazing to integrate into your holiday marketing campaigns. However, It’s always good to use Interactive content in your marketing arsenal.

For example, you can build a quiz that is personalized for your prospects’ needs and promotes your brand simultaneously. And you can make it more attractive during the holiday time. Here’s an example of a quiz we created for St. Patrick’s Day.

outgrow quiz

You can do this for any business.

A fitness center could use a quiz titled – “What Kind of Gym Workout Should You Do? But during the holidays, it could use a quiz titled “What can you do to stay in shape this holiday season, according to your lifestyle?”

A car dealer could use – “Are you Ready to Buy a Car?” However, during this time of the year, he could use a quiz titled “Which car brand will give you the best deal this holiday season?”

An e-commerce website could use – “Which is the best sports watch for you?” And during the holidays, it could create a quiz titled “What is the best gift hamper for your sister?”

When your prospects take such quizzes, they interact with your website, go through a process of believing that they need your product, give their lead info, and land on a page that offers them that product!

Not only this, you can go for some sort of contests and giveaways like “Black Friday Lighting Discount, Enter to Win!” 

outgrow contest

This will surely help you to engage your customers and make your campaign one of the best holiday advertising campaigns. 


The festive season is a great time not only to make quick bucks but also to cash on the opportunity to create a significant customer base as well as retain them.

Today’s online shoppers are smart and careful, and you must make genuine efforts to attract them. Learn your customers’ needs for this holiday and fill up your stock with relevant products. 

As discussed, you can use interactive content like polls, calculators, recommendations, and more to make your holiday marketing campaigns a hit.  

And Outgrow a no-code platform, helps you to do that efficiently. Want to give it a try? Sign up for a 7-day free trial and boost your online sales this festive season.


Often, campaigns fail due to inadequate planning, irrelevant content, or poor targeting, leading to disengagement and missed opportunities.

Analyze metrics like low click-through rates, high bounce rates, and limited conversions to pinpoint areas that need improvement.

A combination of social media marketing, email marketing, and targeted advertising (PPC) tends to be effective for holiday marketing. However, the best approach depends on your specific audience and goals.

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