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Should You Run Holiday Ads During the Holidays?

Patrick Holmes

Senior Digital Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday generate almost half of all holiday shopping traffic, so does it make sense to run holiday ads during the remaining several holiday weeks? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Most holiday shopping happens before the actual holiday while people rush to buy Christmas gifts and beat the shipping cutoff, but people still want to buy stuff on Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s. Think of all the gift cards!

Don’t underestimate the late shoppers: Whether someone didn’t receive the top item on a wish list, or a forgetful shopper needs to scoop up last-minute presents, it’s crucial to promote to every eager shopper during the holiday months. 

The Last-Minute (and Different Holiday) Shoppers

Remember that more than one holiday exists during the retail rush. For instance, Hanukkah lands on the busiest shopping day of the year, the Saturday before Christmas. Children often receive gifts during the eight days and nights of Hanukkah, that’s a lot of separate purchases. Running ads during Hanukkah will help you earn revenue from multiple festivities.

Curing the Post-Holiday Blues

Christmas Day can provide an excellent boost to bottom lines. In fact, peak mobile shopping happens on Christmas Day. Shoppers may wait for a price drop to treat themselves to a little something extra while other shoppers make purchases to make up for disappointing gifts from that weird uncle. 

Retargeting pays dividends in this scenario. Picture this: With the presents opened, your ideal customer lounges on the couch with a smartphone using social media to numb their gift disappointments. They’ve looked at a few products on your site previously, so now they stumble upon those same products in their social media feeds. A well-placed retargeting ad may encourage customers to pull the trigger on a purchase for another dose of holiday cheer. 

Post-Holiday Campaigns

If you missed out on running holiday ads, you can still run ads on Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s to finish the year off strong. Running ads for post-holiday sales is the easiest way to build on the holiday shopping momentum. You can clear out inventory and entice customers with excellent deals.

Here are some ideas for post-holiday promotions: 

Take advantage of Boxing Day. Believe it or not, Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) is one of the most popular days to shop during the holidays. While it’s more prominent in Canada and the UK, it’s still worth looking into. Use your Christmas campaign traffic to hype people up with messaging that emphasizes how the holidays may be over, but the sales aren’t.

Think about New Year’s resolutions. While they’re curled up on the couch after dinner and feeling warm and fuzzy from eggnog, entice customers with an ad encouraging them to get a jump on their New Year’s resolutions by buying a specific product. Whether they want to work out more, eat healthier, or revamp their wardrobe, think of possible resolutions in relation to your products and go from there. 

Build anticipation for the New Year. West Elm once ran a “24 Days of Deals” campaign with daily deals and freebies for email subscribers. Consider incorporating this idea into your New Year’s marketing strategy to mirror New York City’s ball drop countdown. For example, you can run ads featuring a contest, sale, or giveaway during the ten days leading up to the New Year to build excitement. 

Look back at the past year’s events. There’s no better time than the end of the year to reflect on the highlights of the previous year. Consider creating a sales campaign promoting a roundup of your best-selling products. 

Run a post-New Year promotion. You can run a post-New Year promotion throughout January. Rather than the traditional holiday gift guide, you can create a New Year Gift Guide. For example,  take a page out of Rifle Paper Company’s book. They sent out an email the day after New Year’s with the following message: “There’s no better time to plan for the New Year! Your gift guide offers tons of ideas to help you stay organized, be prepared or simply treat yourself. From now through January 4th, you can save 15% on all items in our New Year Gift Guide.”

Make the Most of It

For brands that want to go the extra mile – and get that extra bit of revenue before the end of the year – it makes perfect sense to run holiday ads during the holidays. Even if customers aren't actively shopping, a well-placed and targeted ad can lure them to your site in between dinner and dessert. All it takes is a bit of creativity and planning! 

Now that you've got a hold of holiday ads and campaigns, are you SEO-ready for the upcoming months? Check out these tips and tricks to get started on your SEO journey.

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