Holidays and observances in every season are a fantastic way for retailers to keep their brands top-of-mind and spark sales. With a new year just around the corner, we’ve put together a calendar of 2016 U.S. holidays to help you plan your marketing initiatives for the coming year and make it the most successful year yet!
January 18 – Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Jr was an inspirational leader who gave one of the most memorable speeches in world history. We take this day to celebrate his life and accomplishments. MLK day provides a great opportunity to share your thoughts across social networks, tie in some of Dr. King’s famous quotes and share how he has inspired you.
February 2 – Groundhog Day
Ever feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over again like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day? Break the cycle by keeping an organized, up-to-date content calendar. This will help you balance your content across key marketing topics and ensure fresh marketing ideas.
Groundhog Day can also provide a fun opportunity to repeat high-performing sales offers or run “déjà vu” deals a few days in a row.
February 7 – Super Bowl Sunday
Sports fanatic or not, the Super Bowl is one of the most watched sporting events across the country. Advertisers spend close to $4 million for a 30 second advertisement spot! But TV ads aren’t the only way to market during this big game day. For Super Bowl XLIX, Twitter brought in more than 28.4 million tweets that contained terms related to the game.
Consider creating marketing campaigns with a football theme or offering promotions related to the game.
February 14 – Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is all about love and romance. People exchange greeting cards, flowers, chocolates and jewelry with their special someones. Tie in your ad creative with the warm and fuzzy feelings that V-Day brings. You could even show your customers some love by creating special online-only promotions and rewards using a Valentine’s Day promo code (e.g. LOVE20 for a 20% off deal).
February 15 – President’s Day
What better way to honor past and present commanders in chief than with patriotic price cuts for President’s Day?! Since it’s the third Monday in February, this holiday provides a good opportunity to to kick off the beginning of the year with sales on holiday items and cold-weather gear.
March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
From leprechauns to rainbows with a pot of gold, this Irish celebration is all about keeping your messaging light and fun! Add a little luck to your online shoppers’ day but discounting select items (e.g. all things green).
March 27 – Easter
Easter is a hopping holiday for celebrating winter’s wrap-up and the start of spring! Don’t make consumers have to hunt too hard for deals on your site. An egg-cellent way to celebrate Easter is to offer sweet savings — especially on items for kids and products that will help online shoppers prepare for warmer weather). In addition, consider updating your ad creative with spring-like themes and pastel colors..
April 1 – April Fools’ Day
April Fools’ can be a time to inject some humor into your messaging. Create fun, playful social posts that keep customers engaged and laughing! And if you offer special deals on this day, let shoppers know that you’re not foolin’!
April 22 – Earth Day
Show your support for Mother Earth and the environment by donating a percentage of profits to earth-friendly causes. You could also offer special deals on sustainable and eco-friendly products. This is also a great time to remind your readers that they are also reducing their consumer footprint by shopping online as opposed to driving to a store.
May 8 – Mother’s Day
Help make moms happy by promoting products and services just for her and offering percentage off discounts using a Mom’s Day promo code (e.g. MOM15). Next to Christmas, Mother’s Day provides one of the biggest holiday shopping opportunities.
May 30 – Memorial Day
Barbeques, warm weather, relaxation and … shopping! Memorial Day offers it all and brings friends and family together to celebrate the unofficial kick-off of summer. Heat up your summer marketing campaigns with seasonal promotions that will help drive your online sales halfway through the year.
June 19 – Father’s Day
Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day has become a huge revenue generator for e-commerce companies. To find that perfect gift for Dad, customers often first look online for the perfect gift. This presents a great opportunity for retailers to offer special promotions using dad-specific promo codes (e.g. DAD10) and get a revenue boost during this slower shopping season.
July 4 – Independence Day
In addition to thinking about BBQs, fireworks, and red, white, and blue, consumers have come to expect explosive sales during this patriotic holiday. Light-up your marketing by offering special promotions, putting red, white, and blue products on sale, and offering deals, such as “buy three, get the 4th item free.”
Back to School
Back to School is one of the most important times of the year for retail businesses – second only to the holiday shopping season. For some parts of the country, back to school starts as early as August. Spend the months leading up to the new school year by reminding parents and students what they need for a successful start. Because competition is high during this time, special promo deals and free shipping is always a smart strategy.
September 5 – Labor Day
For many, Labor Day signals the end of summer and the start of studying. This is a last-call for your Back to School marketing and summer clearance sales. Marketers should take advantage of the seasonal change and leverage promotions and sales to advertise new fall merchandise.
October 31 – Halloween
October means cooler weather, falling leaves, and … Halloween! Consider offering incentives or Halloween-themed products to help get your customers ready for this spirited holiday.
November 11 – Veteran’s Day
Veteran’s Day is a day where we honor military veterans who have served in the US Armed Forces. Show your appreciation of vets by offering them special promotions and discounts.
November 24 – Thanksgiving Day
Being grateful, spending time with family and overindulging on food is what Thanksgiving is all about. But let’s not forget shopping! Thanksgiving marks the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season. Provide value by promoting and sharing exclusive online offers and shopping events.
November 25 – Black Friday
Shoppers eagerly anticipate huge discounts both online and in-store on Black Friday as they focus on their holiday gift-giving. Highlight limited-time sales, promotions, complimentary products, or special events to help boost sales.
November 28 – Cyber Monday
By far one of the biggest online shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday is a perfect time to offer flash sales, daily deals, discounts, promotions, contest, and special offers. And DON’T forget about mobile! Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and that you’re taking full advantage of social media in your marketing strategies. Lastly, give your audience all the information well ahead of time and remember that Cyber Monday shoppers are still very much relying on email marketing to learn about your great deals. Since we all get swamped by emails during this time of year, timing is key.
December 25 – Christmas
It’s all about the warm, cheerful holiday spirit. Combine holiday-themed ads with a strong call-to-action because people are primed for shopping.
December 31 – New Year’s Eve
Close out the year with resolutions, new opportunities, and end-of-year sales! It is also a fantastic time roll out new promotions, products, and offers for the new year ahead.