Carmella Marketing

Holiday Marketing Guide 2023

holiday marketing strategy

The sound of jingling bells, the scent of pine trees, and the promise of joyful celebrations are just around the corner. Yes, you guessed it, the holiday season is fast approaching! As business owners, this means it’s time to dive into the exhilarating world of Holiday marketing strategies.


Join Carmella Marketing as we unwrap the secrets to holiday marketing success, exploring what to focus on each month to create a memorable and profitable festive season for your brand. From crafting captivating social media holiday campaigns to wowing your customers with unique branding for the holiday season, together, we’ll make 2023 your best holiday marketing success yet. Let’s dive into the world of Holiday marketing strategies and turn your visions of sugarplums into reality!



As you prepare your holiday marketing strategies for the remainder of the year, there are several key steps to consider. Set the framework for your holiday marketing calendar. This entails planning for unexpected holiday marketing campaigns, confirming shipping deadlines with your procurement team, and aligning your holiday marketing strategies.
Simultaneously, it’s essential to implement transactional messaging. To do this effectively, collect opt-ins for transactional messaging during the checkout process and initiate order, shipping, and delivery confirmations via both text and email. This not only enhances customer awareness of your holiday marketing strategies but also strengthens customer engagement. Consider increasing your creative holiday promotions frequency. Aim for two full-list sends a week and supplement these with additional holiday promotions using activity-based segmentation. This multifaceted approach will help you optimize your holiday marketing strategies for the times ahead.


It is crucial to lay the groundwork for your holiday marketing strategies. Start by establishing a robust framework for your holiday marketing calendar, which includes planning for unexpected or “oops” messages, coordinating shipping deadlines with your procurement team, and mapping out your holiday marketing calendar. Simultaneously, consider the implementation of holiday marketing strategies as a means to enhance customer engagement and channel awareness. You can achieve this by collecting opt-ins during the checkout process and initiating order, shipping, and delivery confirmations through text and email. To further bolster your holiday marketing strategies, think about incorporating a pre-check option for holiday promotions within the existing email subscription opt-in box found in the webstore checkout flow. To maintain a consistent and engaging presence, gradually increase the frequency of your holiday promotions. Target sending two full-list holiday marketing strategies per week and complement these with additional holiday promotions utilizing activity-based segmentation. This comprehensive approach will help you streamline your holiday marketing messaging efforts and ensure a successful remainder of the year.

conversational messaging

To gain valuable insights into subscriber inquiries and concerns, start by actively monitoring inbound messages within the two-way SMS conversation console. This practice will allow you to better understand the specific types of questions and issues that subscribers are raising. These insights can inform your future plans and enable effective coordination with other teams within your organization.


It is crucial to stay ahead of the curve by continuing your testing and program audits. To enhance the user experience and customer engagement, consider adjusting the frequency of pop-ups for visitors who haven’t initially shared their email addresses or phone numbers. Don’t forget to fine-tune your frequency caps to accommodate an increased sending cadence, even during weekends, all the while keeping a close eye on your list health and unsubscribe rates to ensure your holiday marketing strategies hit the right note.


As you prepare for the highly-anticipated Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping bonanzas, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your promotions and holiday marketing strategies. Here are some actionable steps to get you ready for the holiday rush: 

  • Create product recommendations and merch block recipes customized for holiday-specific categories or gift guides
  • Start promoting these guides to cater to a diverse array of customer interests
  • Refresh message navigation and headers to infuse a festive spirit
  • Review your SEO keywords across any key holiday marketing strategies
  • Use of urgency in your holiday marketing strategies
  • Personalize content based on customers’ past purchases or browsing history
  • Fine-tune post-purchase and transactional messages to align with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy (add or remove incentives, incorporate vital shipping updates, and build your SMS list)

Create specialized segments for holiday-specific audiences, capitalizing on past holiday purchasers over the last three years and focus on retargeting

holiday marketing


To maximize the impact of your 2023 holiday marketing strategies, focus on targeting full-list holiday promotions whenever possible. Time your messages strategically, aiming for the start of the hour or half-hour to capture attention effectively. Consider sending segmented extensions or last-chance holiday promotion messages for added urgency. Be mindful not to send text messages during regulated “quiet hours” to ensure compliance and maintain engagement.


For a cohesive approach to holiday promotions, coordinate your efforts across all marketing channels, including mobile, email, and social. This alignment will reinforce your messaging and extend your reach, creating a more comprehensive and memorable customer experience.


It’s always wise to have ‘oops’ messages prepped and at the ready for various scenarios such as major sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday/Week, Super Saturday, shipping deadlines, or website errors. Being prepared to address these situations promptly can save the day and maintain customer trust.


Consider promoting exclusive SMS-only or app-only sales in your email holiday marketing campaigns, encouraging sign-ups for additional channels to enhance customer engagement. Lastly, take advantage of the holiday traffic surge by promoting your loyalty program. Consider running special offers for those who join during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and even make it a recurring weekly campaign to attract new subscribers who haven’t yet signed up.


Maintain the marketing momentum that you have created. Continue sending holiday marketing campaigns even beyond peak shopping days, targeting at least two full-list sends a week, and don’t hesitate to send daily if warranted. Keep highlighting shipping dates and deadlines while promoting gift cards as a versatile last-minute gift option, even after shipping cutoffs have passed.


Ensure that you prominently feature store information, including store locators, extended holiday hours, and options like buy online, pick up in-store to accommodate last-minute holiday shoppers.


As the year comes to a close, consider wrapping up 2023 with a year-in-review campaign, which tends to engage consumers effectively. Highlight your top products, most popular content, and environmental impact. Dynamically pull in personalized stats for consumers to make it more engaging, and celebrate any notable changes to your brand, such as new stores or product lines.


Looking ahead to 2024, plan updates, such as creating new coupon pools for evergreen incentives and refreshing the creative elements of annual campaigns like Birthday, Loyalty, Anniversary, and Post Purchase. These steps will help you conclude the year on a high note and set the stage for a successful year ahead.


As the holiday season winds down, you want to transition smoothly into the post-holiday phase. Start by updating evergreen campaigns that previously incorporated holiday marketing strategies, removing shipping banners and holiday-related content to ensure a seamless user experience. Review automated campaigns that were adjusted for the holidays, checking for any shortened wait steps or coupon distribution changes that need to be reverted to their previous format.


After the holiday rush, export campaign performance data and conduct a thorough postseason audit. This analysis will unveil opportunities for post-holiday optimization and help you prepare for the next holiday season.


Focus on fostering relationships with customers who made purchases during the holidays by promoting easy return policies, delivering predictive content like product use guides, and encouraging and promoting product reviews. Encourage customers to stay engaged through social media channels and tag their purchases for user-generated content.

Build out post-holiday campaigns designed to engage post-holiday buyers. Send enticing discounts to holiday abandoners, leverage the user-generated content collected during the season, offer BOGO promotions to clear excess inventory, and promote gift card redemption while reminding customers of their gift card balances. These strategies will help you maintain momentum and customer engagement beyond the holiday season. 

We hope this Holiday Marketing Guide for 2023 equips you with a comprehensive roadmap to navigate the festive marketing landscape. From early preparations in September to the post-holiday strategies in January, this guide focuses on every crucial aspect of holiday marketing. Crafting captivating campaigns, engaging conversational messaging, strategizing promotions for the peak season, and seamlessly transitioning into the post-holiday phase — all elements have been meticulously addressed. As you embark on this journey, remember that a successful holiday marketing season is not just about driving sales but fostering lasting relationships with your customers. 

Don’t forget; if this all seems like too much to add on to your already overflowing plate during the festive season (we see that gravy drippin’!) the Carmella Crew is here to help you launch your festive campaign with success!

Marketing tips without all the “fluff”.

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