May is the end of the school year, the beginning of summer, and prime time to kick your marketing campaigns into high gear to avoid the dreaded summer slump so many brands experience. Use these examples to inspire your summer marketing campaigns in May to take advantage of the sales opportunities next month.

May Calendar

  • May 4: National Star Wars Day
  • May 5: Cinco de Mayo
  • May 7: Kentucky Derby
  • May 8: Mothers Day
  • May 14: National Dog Mom Day
  • May 23: Victoria Day (Canada)
  • May 30: Memorial Day
  • National Barbecue Month

May starts off with National Star Wars Day on May 4th with the common phrase “May the Fourth Be With You” being used in campaigns. You can leverage this for a one-off email or SMS campaign to connect with followers, create a limited edition product line, or simply create a social media campaign for customers to have fun with. This can be for any industry— it just needs to align with your particular audience’s interests for it to be successful!

Dr Swuatch Star Wars

Next up is Cinco de Mayo on May 5th—while it’s the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French, Cinco de Mayo has risen to notoriety in marketing. Beer sales on this day are on par with those on Super Bowl Sunday as the day is spent celebrating Mexican culture and cuisine. Create a themed promotion on your site to run a discount, push party supplies or use as an opportunity to send out branding campaigns vs. conversion-focused ones (recipes, styling, etc.) Log in today to get started with our pre-built templates for holidays like Cinco de Mayo (and many more!)

The first Saturday in May brings us to the Kentucky Derby which falls on May 7th this year. Whether or not you’re a Kentucky-based company you can still get in on the action with a variety of different campaigns. For example, create a bracket-style winners prediction for customers to fill out and give the winner an exclusive discount or giveaway bundle. If you’re a kitchen retailer—send out tips for making the ultimate mint julep (the official Kentucky Derby drink) or drive loyalty program sign-ups by inviting customers to be a part of the “winners circle” after the race. This can be a great opportunity to leverage your influencer marketing program—send out Derby party packs to them to share with their followers alongside fun facts or tips. 

Kentucky Derby Instagram

Then the first Sunday in May is Mother’s Day (in the US)–which is a key promotional date for brands. It’s a day where most of us celebrate the amazing women in our lives and spend time with loved ones. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. For some, Mother’s Day is a reminder of loss and a source of grief, making the day daunting. We highly encourage offering your subscribers/customers the option to opt out of receiving emails ahead of time who may not see this day positively. Communicating with empathy will ultimately build trust and loyalty by respecting their circumstances. Once you’ve done this, you can create your onsite and offsite campaigns. We recommend creating a segment in your ESP/SMS platform of those who purchased for this holiday previously and set up an automation reminding them to order again (make sure to pay attention to shipping deadlines). Other options include gift guides broken down by segment “Gifts for Moms who cook, Gifts for the Gardener, etc.”–this will make it easier for them to find the right gift and help strategically drive traffic to the products most likely to convert.

mothers day

A week later, we have National Dog Mom Day on May 14—a chance to celebrate our four-legged friends and their moms. Use UGC from your customers or EGC from your own team for a behind the scenes look at your cutest support staff. If you’re in the animal/pet care industry, segment out your female dog owners to send them an email/SMS campaign celebrating them. Offer a discount or special offer if you’d like to drive some immediate conversions. 

Dog Pictures + Marketing = 10/10 

Dog Mom instagram

Towards the end of the month, Canada celebrates Victoria Day, which is informally considered the beginning of the summer season. As a long weekend for Canadians, it’s a great time to run geo-targeted sales for your Northern friends and encourage them to get a head start on their summer fun needs. Vacation/travel-related goods or summer sports, or even camping supplies, are great to promote with the beginning of the summer season.

Finally, rounding out May is Memorial Day on May 30th in the US—for those who sell themed or patriotic goods, this is a natural holiday for promotion.  Beyond that, most shoppers are used to seeing sales on holidays and the long weekend means that summer promotions are great to run in the weeks running up to it—swimsuits, SPF, water toys, camping, etc. but keep in mind the original intent of the holiday—to honor those who died serving in the US military. Make the choice for how and if you approach the holiday making it respectful and applicable. Another option would be to run a charitable donation campaign, donating sales from that weekend to a veterans charity, or use your campaign to amplify the cause.

Chive Charities

The entire month of May is national barbecue month—which as the unofficial start to summer is no surprise. If you’re an outdoors or grilling company make sure to take full advantage by running your best sales or new deals during this time. Other ways to leverage this could be a weekly email featuring a new recipe to try, a themed spin-to-win for lead capture. These can make a strong first impression, increase engagement & opt-ins from new visitors – plus, who doesn’t like to win sometimes! Spin-to-wins average a 13% opt-in rate making them the ideal choice for maximizing your May list-building efforts.

These are just some of the many sales and marketing opportunities you can find leverage in May. Use non-traditional holidays to create one-off campaigns to showcase more personality and use fun creative to make the most of the start of the summer

Check out our handy 2022 marketing calendar to stay on top of seasonal trends and keep your onsite marketing in tip-top shape!