Around December 1st, most companies will start planning their annual holiday email marketing campaign. For many, it’s going to just be a digital card that gets pushed on December 25th. What’s even more sad about this dismal effort to expose your brand during the most busiest time of the year is the total lack of effort most companies are willing to make. Fact: more time gets spent planning and fussing over the holiday party than it does over a vital part of your marketing efforts.

Marketing during the holidays is ultimately about three things. First, it’s about capturing the spirit of the season. Your goal is to direct the warm, fuzzy feelings people have during that time of year to your business and brand. Second, it’s about using those warm, fuzzy feelings to stay in someone’s head as they connect and talk with hundreds of people over the next month. They’re going to need something to talk about – so why not have that something be you? And finally, it’s about using all that to prime yourself for success in the coming year. This way come January 1st, you’re not having to say “Hey, remember us?” Instead, you can smoothly transition into increased engagement.

Now that I’ve captured your attention, the next thing you need to know is this: running a series is one of the best ways to create a holiday marketing strategy.

A one-off campaign is possible, but it also relies on the fantasy that people are paying attention. Those warm and fuzzy holiday sentiments mean that a lot of people are distracted during this time of year. The one-off campaign is better than a last minute, and quite frankly cheap, holiday card, but it’s not as impactful as the series.

Here are a few quick ideas:

Get Inspired By the 12 Days of Christmas

Run your own themed campaign that starts after Thanksgiving and runs about twice a week. It can be on just about anything you want, but it should hit 12 cycles that are uniquely but consistently designed.

Run a Heart-Led Cyber Monday

Have a Cyber Monday coupon people can use, but infuse a way to give back or invoke generosity where a portion of each Cyber Monday spend gets routed to a charity in need. Make a big deal about that charity in the campaign by profiling it in a different aspect each time. This allows people to treat themselves while also giving back. Keep in mind earlier Cyber Monday runs will likely be gifts for others, and latter runs will be presents to oneself.

Run a Giving Series

If you’re a heart-led company, you can run a profile series on charities or campaigns your company is passionate about. If this is the route you take, make sure you’re weaving in your brand messaging and values in with the profile and giving people an option to act along with visuals and talking points to share with others.

Everyone’s looking for something cool to talk about during the holidays with the spike in socializing. Believe it or not, this creates a lot of anxiety and tension. But your campaigns can cater to that, especially if your industry is philanthropy or education.