The Ultimate Holiday Campaign Guide: 7 Steps for The Perfect Campaign

The Ultimate Holiday Campaign Guide: 7 Steps for The Perfect Campaign

The holidays are crucial for businesses, especially eCommerce and retail businesses. Many companies depend on the holiday season to generate up to 20% of their annual revenue. 

According to the National Retail Federation:

  • In 2020, holiday shopping accounted for 19.5% of total annual retail income
  • U.S. retail sales in November, and December 2020 totaled $789.4 billion

Historic Holiday Spending

Due to the pandemic and the increased number of Americans spending more time at home, the U.S. economy saw an unprecedented bump in holiday shopping. In 2021, total holiday retail sales increased by 8.5%, the largest annual increase in 17 years. E-commerce sales increased by 64.1% compared with 2019. (Deloitte) 

But with economic uncertainty, supply chain issues, and global tensions, the question on every business owner’s mind is, “how will people spend their money this holiday season?”

Although economists report that Americans are giving mixed signals, sources indicate that “people in the United States are more excited for the holidays than they’ve been in years.” (McKinsey & Company) 

So despite citizens’ concerns about inflation, “U.S. shoppers are looking forward to spending for the holidays.” 

Optimistic Outlook for Retailers

According to a recent Consumer Pulse Survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, things are looking up for retailers. Here’s a summary of their findings:

After nearly three years of suppressed behavior resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, people are primed to go all out to celebrate the holidays. In the survey, 55 percent of U.S. respondents say they are excited about holiday shopping, and most people have the savings to spend.

Holiday shopping has already begun. Concerns about inflation and product availability—along with retailers’ early planning this year—have encouraged U.S. consumers to shop earlier than ever. For example, 56% have already started shopping in October instead of waiting until later in the season.

Consumers are looking for value. Given the economic uncertainty, consumers are more strategic about spending. Nearly half of U.S. survey respondents say they would switch stores if they found a better price elsewhere.

American Holiday Shopping Sentiments

Based on the Consumer Pulse Survey of shopper sentiment and attitudes, there’s a general uptick in holiday spirit across all U.S. income and age groups. 

According to the graph below and the McKinsey survey results:

  • Low- and medium-income consumers each saw a 21-percentage-point increase in optimism. 
  • Baby boomers’ rate of optimism has more than doubled since 2021, with nearly half feeling good about holiday shopping this year. 
  • Higher-income and younger consumers are especially excited, with around two-thirds eager or excited for the holidays.

(Graph Source: McKinsey & Company)

So what’s the bottom line here?

Retailers that offer good value will perform the best this holiday season.

If you’re a business owner, retailer, or eCommerce professional, we’ve put together our recommendations for maximizing your holiday campaign planning. Our goal is to have you feeling prepared and ready to conquer this holiday season!

Holiday Campaign Planning:

Step 1: Decide on a Theme

According to HubSpot, campaigns require you to align all of your marketing channels around one specific goal or message.

Holiday campaigns — like all campaigns — typically run for a concentrated period. Depending on your industry, they can start as early as October and often spill over into January.

Campaign Theme Ideas:

  • Giving Tuesday (November 29) – partner with a local charity and give a small percentage of all sales on November 29 to the non-profit of your choice. 
  • Gift Guides – partner with your favorite retail friends and offer discounts in a collaborative gift guide. Team up and thrive!
  • Family Theme – Create a theme, “Just for Mom” or “Best Gifts for Dad.” Alternatively, you could create a “Family” themed package for the whole family. If Moms traditionally do most of the shopping, this would save them time and money!

Step 2: Define Your Goal

The next step in creating a perfect holiday campaign is to define your goal. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want to achieve with my campaign? 
  • Am I looking to increase brand awareness? 
  • Drive traffic to my website? 
  • Generate sales?

Once you know your goal, you can tailor your campaign accordingly.

Need help? Check out these examples by HubSpot:

Campaign Goals:

  • Generate 1,000 leads interested in our annual holiday sale by December 5, 2022.
  • Generate 500 sign-ups for our holiday shopping app by November 30, 2022. 
  • Collect $50,000 in donations for charity XYZ by December 20, 2022.

Step 3: Identify Your Target Audience

In this step, you’ll want to determine the following:

  • Whom am I trying to reach with my campaign? 
  • What are my buyers’ needs and wants? 
  • What are their pain points? 
  • How does my product or service solve their problem?

By understanding your target audience, you can create messaging that resonates with them and speaks directly to their needs. Taking the time to develop buyer personas for your campaign is a critical step to your success.

Step 4: Create an Offer

Once you know your target audience and your goal, it’s time to start brainstorming your offer. Expand on your campaign theme by answering these questions,

  • What unique product or service am I offering?
  • How is it special? 
  • What unique value does it offer your buyers? 

The answers to your questions will help you develop content for messaging that will go in social media, email campaigns, and ads.

Step 5: Create Compelling Messaging

Your promotion might be top-notch, but if your messaging needs to be more compelling, it won’t matter. That’s why creating messaging that speaks directly to your target audience and compels them to take action is essential. When crafting your message, highlight the benefits of taking action and clarify what you want people to do (e.g., click on a link, buy a product, etc.).

Step 6: Develop a Plan & Execute

Like traditional marketing, you want to activate the appropriate channels for your holiday campaign. Based on your existing knowledge, experience, and performance metrics, determine which mix of marketing channels will be most effective:

  • Social Media (Paid and Organic)
  • Email Marketing
  • Print Media 
  • Tactile Marketing
  • PPC

Create a plan for distributing content across channels based on which channels you will use. Choose a budget and timeline and your campaign goals to help you determine your launch time, selling cycle, and end time.

Step 7: Test and Measure Your Campaign’s Performance

Once you’ve launched your campaign, it’s important to test and measure its performance to make necessary adjustments along the way. Track key metrics such as website traffic, conversion rate, and click-through rate so you can see how well your campaign is performing and where there’s room for improvement.


Creating a perfect holiday campaign requires careful planning and execution. By following the steps outlined in this blog post: 

  • Deciding your theme, 
  • Defining your goal, 
  • Identifying your target audience, 
  • Brainstorming offer ideas, 
  • Creating compelling messaging, 
  • Planning and executing your campaign, and
  • Testing & measuring performance

You can create a campaign that resonates with people and drives results for your business. So what are you waiting for? Start planning today! 

If you need help, we’re here to support you! Get in touch with us today!