The idea to marketing on Thanksgiving week is actually not something a lot of brands are familiar with – especially enterprise level retailers. They’ll have been focusing all year on a holiday email marketing calendar, instead of gearing up for the holidays. But the Thanksgiving holiday sale is a great warm up for two things. First, exposing or reminding consumers of your brand presence. And second, it’s a good test run that is the gauntlet of the winter holiday shopping season.

The question some of you might be having is how to go about a Thanksgiving-oriented email campaign. We’re here to help you with that, pulling from the best of the web.

Short Stack, a marketing company that does everything short of your email marketing, rounded up some stellar common themes around Thanksgiving campaign ideas. They included ideas that are focused on giving to others, games including “count the turkeys” or “find the turkeys”, nominating a charity to donate to or support, and of course the obligatory Thanksgiving fitness challenge. The best way forward for you is to decide which of these speaks to your company culture most resoundingly. What I particularly loved about the round up here is that all the campaigns were crisp and clean, clearly focused on a theme of Thanksgiving. There was no need to do a lot of guesswork to figure out the core message and call to action. This is really important.

As the holidays draw closer – especially a super short Thanksgiving week of just 2.5 work days if even that for some people – you’re going to need to be very clear in your email communications. In order words, within seconds your campaign should identify answers to key questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. Why do I care?
  3. What’s my call to action?

If you can’t figure this out in a couple of seconds from a quick scan, you’ve lost your reader. I’ve seen companies stuff their holiday email campaign like it’s a newsletter. This is a huge mistake. No one has time to read your long email campaign, especially during the holidays. People want to be dazzled and they want you to be quick about it. This means visuals are actually maybe even more important than content here. In the planning stage of your campaign, that means allowing more time for your designer and marketing planner – and less time for your content writer. Content is the lowest priority here in terms of word length. Remember, less is more.

I also particularly loved the emphasis on utilizing social media to ping the campaign off of. If you’re short on time or don’t have access to a designer, social media is your best bet. You can always work in reverse and plug your social media campaign – along with the images – back into your email campaign. Both ways work. It just depends on your unique idea and what you have the time and resources for giving the quickly upcoming holiday.