This time of year, most American marketers are hyper aware of timing their promotions just right. For example, any mailings that don’t involve a Black Friday sale in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving have a high chance of getting lost among the flood of sales promotions.
However, it’s important to be aware of timing all year round. So often, marketing departments set up campaigns based on when a product launches, a budget is approved, or other internal milestones. Those are certainly valid times to send a promotion, but it’s important to know your audience and consult an outside calendar before hitting send.
If you’re sending a promotion to teachers, other government employees, or bankers, keep in mind the additional days that their institution is typically closed, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday in January), Washington’s Birthday / Presidents’ Day (third Monday in February), Columbus Day (second Monday in October), and Veterans Day (November 11th). Just like all other holidays, if the promotion isn’t somehow related to the holiday, it’s likely best to wait until after the holiday passes.
And then there are holidays that are a big deal for people of certain religions (Ramadan, Lent, Yom Kippur, Vesak, Pioneer Day, etc.) that might be overlooked if you’re focused only on internal timing. If you’ve selected an audience based on religion, or if you’re mailing to a profession or region that’s primarily a certain faith, do a little searching to determine if your target date for the promotion is during a time where a large portion of the audience’s attention will be directed elsewhere. Some religious holidays don’t allow for electronics to be used or for businesses to be open, so people will be coming back to a huge inbox after their festivities – all the more reason to let a few days pass after the holiday before sending your email blast.
Of course, just about every day is some sort of holiday to someone, somewhere. They don’t all need to be avoided … and some are just begging to be embraced. (Like today is Pickle Day?! I totally missed my opportunity to devote an entire blog post to pickles … I’ll make up for it next year!)
So when scheduling your next campaign, remember to take a peek at a holiday calendar before setting the deadline in stone to be sure your promotion has an equal chance of being seen by everyone on your list.