2015 Holiday Marketing Calendar with Sales Promotion Ideas and Resources

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wrapped Christmas gifts

The Holiday season is here and as an online retailer, you’ve got a lot on your mind. Last year, holiday shopping accounted for $102 billion in revenue. This was 23.4% of total annual e-commerce revenue! Clearly, the holiday season is a huge opportunity to drive some serious sales and we’re here to help you.

To simplify your holiday marketing strategy, we’ve created a holiday marketing calendar that shows you when and where to focus your efforts. We’ve pinpointed key marketing opportunities and sale days with specific advice for each date.

We’ve also provided some additional resources to help you with your on-site marketing and conversion rate optimization strategy.

2018 UPDATE: Grab the 2018 Sales and Marketing Calendar here!

2015 Marketing Calendar for the Holidays

Download the Calendar Here


November 11 – Veteran’s Day

A federal holiday in the U.S. to honor our military veterans. This holiday has become a big sale day for retailers and the start of the busy holiday shopping season.

What to Do:

This is an opportunity to announce your upcoming holiday promotions and generate early traffic to your site. Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion start now! Send out email blasts and implement an on-site promotion to collect emails and drive early sales.


November 26 – Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great time for friends, family, football, and most importantly food! It also marks the beginning of the most hectic time for online retailers.

thanksgiving gif

What to Do:

This is a great time to send out last-minute Black Friday and Cyber Monday reminders with a holiday theme. Enjoy this holiday and use it as a purpose to reach out.


November 27 – Black Friday

The biggest day of sales for retailers! Black Friday means increased traffic, motivated shoppers, and giant sales.

What to Do:

Email your list regularly during the couple weeks leading up to Black Friday with details on how they can save. Engage your visitors with enticing on-site promotions featuring discounts and free shipping options. 


November 28 – Small Business Saturday

This shopping holiday is about encouraging people to support local and small businesses. Whether you’re a small local business or a savvy e-commerce brand, encourage your shoppers to support your brand and its vision.

What to Do:

At the very least, this is a great way to drive some traffic to your site through email and social. You may just close some holiday sales!


November 30 – Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday Marketing Pop-up

The largest sales day for e-commerce. This shopping holiday was created back in 2005 and has quickly grown into a big draw for retailers and shoppers. Last year, Cyber Monday accounted for more online sales than Black Friday so you need to get your promotions together!

What to Do:

Drive traffic to your site via email campaigns, content, and paid ads. Convert that traffic with specific Cyber Monday promotions on your site.


December 1 – Giving Tuesday

Donate a portion of your revenue to a charitable cause this holiday season. This is a marketable sales day and you’ll be spreading the holiday cheer!

What to Do:

Consider running a promotion based on donating a portion of revenue to a charity. This allows you to engage holiday shoppers via email, drive sales during Giving Tuesday, and help those who are less fortunate during the holidays.


December 6th – Hanukkah Begins

The eight-day festival begins on the 6th and runs through the 14th. Be sure to send out Hanukkah themed emails to drive traffic to your site.

What to Do:

Content like “8 Gifts Ideas for Hanukkah” or “Free Shipping in time for Hanukkah” is engaging and will get shoppers on your site. Be sure to have an on-site promotion to help drive these shoppers to purchase.


December 7 – Green Monday

Green Monday is the largest online sales day in December, especially since there are still plenty of motivated shoppers looking to cross items off their lists.

What to Do:

Run sales promotions on your site with a holiday-themed overlay. Strongly consider offering free shipping because as the big holidays approach, shipping will be a strong deciding factor.


December 14 – Stamp and Ship Day

This is the last day to order Christmas gifts with standard shipping.

What to Do:

Remind shoppers that they should order by December 14th to receive gifts on time. This reminder could also be paired with a free shipping promotion.


December 18 – Free Shipping Day

A day in which retailers are encouraged to offer free shipping with delivery in time for Christmas Eve. The event has grown in popularity and is an excellent driver of sales from businesses that participate.

What to Do:

Offer free shipping on orders if it makes sense with your margins. You can also use free shipping thresholds to increase your order sizes. For example, if my average cart size is $50, then I would offer free shipping on orders of $75 or more. This increases cart sizes and makes free shipping more accessible for your business.


December 19 – Super Saturday

A day for the procrastinators and last minute shoppers.

What to Do:

Target these shoppers with “last chance” sales to create urgency. This is a great way to close out the holiday season with some sales and clear out some inventory.


December 23 – Festivus, Gift Card Day

Frank Costanza would be proud to see his self-made holiday on this list. The faux holiday made famous by Seinfeld continues to gain popularity since the holiday episode aired back in 1997. Use Festivus as a fun way to engage shoppers on-site, with emails, and on social media. For those of you who have not been enlightened by Festivus, here’s the scoop:

What to Do:

If you’re a Seinfeld fan, have some fun with this whole Festivus thing. Consider themed emails and promotions featuring classic Festivus moments.

For those looking for a more traditional approach on December 23rd, run a gift card promotion. Holiday shoppers this late into the season are looking for easy gifts for people on their list. Offer your shopper’s a $120 gift card for $100. Shoppers think they’re receiving 20% off but they are actually receiving a 16.6% discount.


 December 25 – Christmas

Time to sit back and relax by the fire. Take Christmas off for a much needed day of rest from the busy holiday season. Don’t rest too long though. There’s plenty of revenue to get rid of with clearance sales starting on the 26th.

Elf gif


December 26 – Boxing Day, Coupon Code Day

The day after Christmas is a day for returns and exchanges which means you’ll be dealing with an increase in traffic and customer service requests. Be sure to handle these requests as best as possible. These interactions are critical in keeping customers happy and getting them to come back in the future.

What to Do:

Use this time to push clearance items and specials to appeal to shoppers who are still in the gift buying mode.


January 1 – New Year’s Day

It’s a new year!

What to Do:

Time to start fresh by clearing out all of your excess inventory.


The holiday calendar and resources provided above will help you craft a more efficient and complete holiday marketing strategy. This will result in a more engaged customer base and increased revenue.

Get all of the info you need to run effective seasonal promotions with this year’s holiday calendar!

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