Pre-Holiday Marketing Checklist

Every industry has its busy season. For advertisers, it’s the holiday rush that runs from Halloween through New Year’s.

Despite the fact that you can see it coming from a mile away, the inevitable scrambling that takes place always leads to a feel of, “we should have started planning for this earlier.” With that in mind, let this serve as a reminder to get a head start on your competition this year.

As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm, and the early holiday marketer gets the conversion (that is how it goes, right?).  In this article, I’ll lay out the components of your holiday checklist you can get started on today.


Identify Promotions and Start Building Creative

Whether you’re advertising for your own business or in an agency role, the first step is figuring out exactly which holiday promotions you’re going to be running. Start evaluating what has worked in the past, and see if there’s a way to incorporate a strategy that has already proven to be successful.

Once you know what you’re going to be advertising for, start building the creative as soon as you can. If approvals are required, it’s best to get the ball rolling before the chaotic weeks where things like creative changes can get lost in the shuffle.

Don’t be afraid to get outside your creative comfort zone at this point in the process. When there’s plenty of time to make revisions, it’s advisable to take some risks and see what responses you get internally. You might be surprised what you can come up with when you leave yourself some time to brainstorm!

Get Ads Approved (on the platforms)

When the holidays, an election year, and a pandemic come together in one period of time, we all know what that means: hypersensitive ad approval algorithms (you mean that wasn’t what you were thinking?).

All digital marketing platforms have systems in place to make sure ads are free of misinformation, discrimination, and generally adhere to the guidelines of their services. While there’s nothing wrong with making sure everyone is following the rules, there can be some issues when these algorithms get…confused.

As you would assume, there is a massive influx of seasonal advertisers that will place ads during the holiday season. This means that the systems in place can get flooded, and when an actual human is needed to review an ad to make sure it is compliant, things can get backed up and cause long wait times. The solution to this problem is to get ads approved early so that this headache can be avoided entirely.

You don’t necessarily need to have your Christmas ad scheduled in late September, but it is important to consider the potential for a review delay. Simply put, the earlier you can get your ad approved, the better.


Put Together an Email Campaign

Email marketing might seem like an outdated form of digital advertising, but the data would suggest that it’s still extremely effective for driving results. It turns out delivering your message in a personal, more intimate way makes customers feel valued, not intruded upon. Not to mention, when email marketing is done right, it should feel like you’re talking “to” your audience rather than “at” them.

In the weeks (or months, if possible) leading up to the holiday season, start compiling promotions that you can send out as email blasts. They can be a great reminder to users that the season is just around the corner, and getting started with holiday shopping early has huge benefits.

If you don’t have an email list at your disposal, consider using social media to help you establish one. Running a contest with an email opt-in, for example, can have a major impact on the effectiveness of your email campaign. Offering something as simple as a $100 Amazon gift card and promoting your contest for $50 ($150 total cost to you) could result in hundreds of email addresses. If you’re able to gain a conservative 200 addresses for your $150, that’s going to result in a massive return on your investment.


Use Themed Landing Pages

One of the most underrated parts of any digital marketing campaign is the landing page. While it’s great to get people to click on your ads, it’s more important to have them take action once they arrive at the destination.

During whichever Fall or Winter holiday season you’re in, there’s a good chance your ads are going to reflect it. Shouldn’t your landing page do the same?

You don’t need to go making major redesigns to pages that have already proven to be effective, but it doesn’t hurt to dress them up – put some lights and garland on it if you will. Though its impact will be hard to quantify, it’s been shown that the closer a landing page matches the ad itself, the better the results.



During the holidays, people are searching for gifts online more than any other time throughout the year. Use this increased traffic to your advantage by making remarketing campaigns a priority.

Creating a targeted ad audience based on users who have already interacted with your brand in some way is money well spent, even if it has a slightly higher CPM than other audiences. These people have already entered the “top of the funnel” and now it’s on you to drive them to convert.

Regardless of whether you’re focused on social media or Google advertising (or a combination of both), you can use create and use remarketing lists effectively and cost-efficiently with some planning.


Wrapping Up

If you’re not getting ahead of the holiday rush, you’re falling behind. Keep this checklist handy to make sure you’re on top of all the necessary steps that are required to run a successful holiday campaign.

If your business needs help setting up or executing a holiday marketing campaign, get in touch today and we’ll help you start planning.