The way to Create a Holiday Marketing Campaign: A Step-by-Step Guide

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The malls are usually decked with holly, your inbox is filling up with holiday-themed promotions, and get deemed it socially appropriate to start listening to your favorite holiday playlist on Spotify… or maybe that’s just me.  

Either way, the holiday season is here now, and marketers are gearing up to finish off the year solid.   But just like looking for gifts, planning your vacation campaign is something a person want to shove off until the last minute.

There’s going to become a lot of spending going in on the next month or so, which is why you have to have a plan for reaching your clients and prospects before your competition do.

Haven’t started planning your campaign yet? Avoid panic.

We’ve mapped out there a comprehensive guide with everything you need to launch a holiday advertising campaign this season. From offer layouts to free holiday-themed stock photos, we’ve peppered this step-by-step guide with assets designed to  get your advertising campaign up and running right away.

1 . Decide on a campaign theme.

While creating content has become ingrained in the day-to-day lives of most inbound marketers, launching a campaign is a little different. In contrast to a  tweet or a good infographic, campaigns require you to straighten up all of your marketing channels around one specific goal or message.

Holiday campaigns — like all campaigns — typically run for a concentrated period of time. Depending on your business, they can start as early as Oct and often spill over straight into January.

Now that you know what you in for, let’s not waste any more time. Below we will kick off this process by walking you through establishing your own campaign and offer.

2 . Select your campaign goals.

Before you begin creating an offer, you need to figure out what it is that you’re looking to achieve.   What is  the ideal outcome of this campaign?  

Once you define your focus, you can begin to create goals that will be used to benchmark your campaign’s performance once it’s wrapped. Your goals should be particular, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals, designed for short). Here’s an example of how to structure this type of goal:

Generate [number] leads focused on [topic/product] by [date]

Depending on what you want to obtain out of your campaign, your goals might look something like this:

  • Generate 1, 000 leads who are thinking about our annual holiday sale by December 5, 2015.
  • Produce five, 000 sign-ups for our holiday shopping app by November 30, 2015.  
  • Collect $50, 000 in contributions for charity XYZ by December 20, 2015 .

To help you better align your  marketing efforts with INTELLIGENT goals, check out this totally free goal setting template. You can use this template to summarize your objectives, calculate your greatest advertising need, and set  deadlines.

3. Define your target audience.

With goals in place, the next phase is to define your customers. The more information you can collect about the people you’re endeavoring to reach, the better. Where could they be hanging out on social media? Do they prefer to consume information on their desktop or cellular? This will help you make smarter marketing decisions when it comes time for you to create content and plan promotions.

If you already have several buyer personas in place for your marketing efforts, you’ll want to start by narrowing your focus. Does your campaign pertain to all segments of your audience? If not, you will have to immediately weed out the people who  you don’t want to consist of.

If you don’t already have buyer gentes or would like  to create campaign-specific personas,   we all recommend  you check out our  free buyer persona themes. These templates will make it easy for you to build away and organize your persona data.

4. Create an offer.

The offer that you produce will serve as the center stage for all of your campaign endeavours. Typically offers take shape in the form of ebooks, whitepapers, themes, online courses, videos, equipment, etc . While there are a lot of options to choose from, we advise you to run with an approach that makes the most sense for your intended audience.  

Think about it: If you know people you’re trying to reach are generally strapped for time — especially during the holidays — you  might want to create a set of easy-to-use templates instead of  an extensive ebook, right?

If you decide to take the ebook route, we can help —  you can download  our  free, customizable ebook themes. We’ve already taken care of the look element, so all you have to do is focus on writing the information.   And if you’re in search of some compelling visuals to utilize throughout your offer, download our  250 free vacation stock photos here.  

5. Create a landing page.

Once your offer is created, you should provide a place for it to reside. This is where the landing page comes in.  

Considering your landing page is the page that you’ll be traveling traffic to, it needs to be convincing. Here’s  a list of some of the essential elements you should include:

  • Convincing headline. This is the way you’re going to capture the attention of potential visitors. For tips on how to craft the perfect headline, use this guide.
  • Interesting pictures. Your squeeze page shouldn’t just be a jumble of text. Think about ways to provide visual context for  your offer.
  • The advantages of your offer. This typically takes shape in a bulleted list. The objective here is to drive home what the visitor can expect to get with this offer, and why this matters.
  • A form. This is how you’ll collect information in exchange for the offer. Keep in mind that there’s no magic amount for form fields. In fact ,   the amount  of information you need to ask for on a type will vary from business to business. That said, if you don’t really need a piece of information, have a tendency ask for it.

If you need some more guidance as to what goes into a great landing page, check out this roundup associated with 15 brilliant landing page designs.  

6. Design a campaign plan.

“If you construct it, they will come, ” said no marketer ever. Now that your content has been made, it’s time to figure out how to have the word out. Here are some from the promotion tactics you should be implementing per channel:  

Email Marketing

If you already have a list of people you know will be interested in your offer, that’s great. In order to slice and dice your database to go after a further group, you should take care of that segmentation first. For HubSpot customers, it’s easy to segment your database using  a smart checklist in  the Lists App. (Here’s a resource to obtain started. )

During the holiday season, we’d argue that segmenting your own list is more important than ever before. Due to the increased number of incoming promotions and the limited period of time busy shoppers have, well-targeted emails will often take priority over mass messages.  

Once you’ve squared away your recipients, you  can kick off the actual email creation process. Here are some noteworthy elements to keep in mind while crafting your email:

  • Subject line. Concentrate on what the offer  solves. Check out this helpful post meant for tips on improving your subject ranges.
  • Body copy.   The body of your email should be short and special, much like the copy on your landing page. This is also a great opportunity to incorporate personalization using personalization tokens. Here are some great examples to get you thinking about personalization possibilities.  
  • Sharing Options.   Don’t forget to add buttons  to your emails that allow recipients to rapidly pass your offer together to their network.  

Check out HubSpot’s Template Marketplace to find a message template that fits your needs.  


Once you’ve sent an email to get your offer on the adnger zone of your intended audience, it might be time to build out your achieve even further. Blog posts serve as a highly effective campaign element for bringing in people to your offer, and can be approached in a few different ways.  

One way to occurs blog to promote your provide is to create a simple “promo post” — that’s what we should call them, anyway. This awesome article is typically a very focused item offering a quick introduction to the offer, advice on how to implement it, and a compelling CTA to drive people to the landing page.

example of a holiday promo post

According to  the 6-month analysis  of HubSpot’s Marketing Blog run  by my colleague, Ginny Soskey, promo posts proved to be the most effective lead generators out of the seven post types we typically publish. While this may vary depending on your industry and target audience, it’s certainly a type we would encourage you to explore by yourself.

Promo posts aside, it’s also a great idea to add a CTA for your offer to a publish that aligns with its subject material. You can create an entirely new post and revisit older, related posts to swap out their  CTAs. In this way, if people who  achieve the end of your post are searching for more information or a deeper dive into the subject, they can click on through to the offer.

Social  Media

Now that you have some concrete promotional material in place, you can begin promoting it through your social media channels. Whether you reveal the related blog post or a link to the landing page, make sure that you’re switching up the messages so you’re not repeating the same tweet or Facebook blog post over, and over, and over…

You’ll also want to tailor the post to the system you’re posting it upon. For example , maybe you create a teaser video for your offer to promote it on Instagram then use a colorful visual if you serve it up on Tweets:

The holidays provide an interesting opportunity for businesses looking to explore systems they wouldn’t typically test. With busy consumers looking for holiday help and inspiration in all corners of the internet and social media, you may find it’s far worth promoting your campaign on a wider variety of platforms.  

Wherever you’re discussing your content, you’ll need a place to manage and plan your submission strategy. For that, check out this particular free social media content work schedule.  


Paid advertising can be a great tool to boost some  of your inbound efforts — especially around the busy holiday season.

If your budget allows and you know there’s search requirement for your offer, you may want to experiment with putting a little money behind some of your campaign property to promote them on social media. For advice on how to create successful paid advertising campaigns over the three main social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — check out this guide.

7. Create lead growing paths.

What will happen to your own leads once you’ve generated all of them? And once the holidays have come and gone, what will they mean to your company?

Before you launch your strategy, it’s best to design a plan regarding qualifying and developing your leads once they’ve filled out your form.

Email Segmentation

With marketing automation software, you can use email nurturing  to help keep leads engaged with your business and move them nearer to a sale.  

Before you can begin creating emails plus workflows, you need to take another look at your list to find out if there are opportunities designed for segmentation. Dividing  your listing of leads will make it simpler for you to deliver more contextual follow-up emails, which will help you  separate  yourself from holiday inbox chaos, and eventually help recipients see the value in your relationship.

Email Nurturing

Next,   determine what content material you’ll use to nurture  your leads. You can narrow your focus by honing in on what your goals are for this nurturing  process.   Do you want them turn these people in sales? Subscribers? Are you looking in order to direct them to a particular page?  

For your campaign, it may make sense to re-engage these leads with helpful, related resources.

And to track your progress, make sure you set an objective for your workflow. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can do so in  HubSpot’s Workflow Application, which makes it easy for you to gauge the performance of your email sequence.  

8. Take the campaign live.

Now that one has everything in place — provide, landing page, blog promotion, growing workflows, etc . — it’s time to take your campaign reside.  

We recommend  providing a “soft launch” before you decide to initiate any promotion, as this will provide you with an opportunity to run through all the steps yourself to ensure that everything is functioning as it needs to be. If you can get a few colleagues to fill out the form and run through the stages as well, it’ll be much easier for you to place any glitches or missed marks.  

Once you know almost everything is sailing smoothly, it’s time to kick up advertising and start driving traffic to your own landing page.  

9. Measure and report.

This is the final — and arguably the most important — step in the process. As soon as your campaign has had a while to gain traction, you’ll want to dive into its performance and see what you can learn from this.  

Remember those objectives we set all the way back in step one? Now is the time to determine if you actually hit them — and if you didn’t, identify what might have prevented a person from doing so. Analyzing where people dropped off in your workflows, blog posts that flopped, or areas of your provide that fell a little even might reveal what held your campaign back from reaching those numbers. Be aware of these details, and use them to tell your next campaign strategy.

If you need some help defining exactly what numbers you should actually be regarding yourself with, check out this particular introductory guide to inbound advertising analytics. This resource will walk you through the right way to effectively analyze the following: your site and landing pages, search engine optimization, paid search, blogging, social media, email marketing, and lead nurturing  and automation.

Editor’s note: This post was initially published in November 2015 and has been updated regarding comprehensiveness.

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