How to nail Hallmark holidays
The holiday season is fast-approaching but what does that really mean? The holidays don’t start at Black Friday and end at the New Year, after all. There are holidays dispersed throughout the year that are opportunities to engage customers and drive sales. As Hallmark holidays have become more celebrated, there are opportunities for you to create something special, all year round.
Hallmark holidays are named after the American brand, Hallmark Cards, who specialize in greetings cards and gifts. A Hallmark holiday is a celebration that exists primarily for commercial reasons, and is often marked by sending a greetings card, and buying gifts.
These holidays are great sales opportunities, so brands have jumped onto these occasions, making them sales days of their own, and celebrating them with curated email marketing campaigns. Let’s explore some examples.
In 2022 52% of people said they would celebrate the day by gift-giving, compared to just 33% saying they’d send a card. This makes it a perfect opportunity for brands to tap into the gift-giving nature of the holiday, and have some fun with design too.
This email from Rebecca Taylor is a great use of design to jump on the theme of the day. The brand has designed the email to look like a love letter, using a textured background to look like beautiful quality card or paper.
The campaign starts off by offering a free gift with purchases over $250, this is a sales technique of increasing order value, and also feels like a Valentine’s Day gift from your favorite brand. The campaign also includes quotes about love and life from the brand’s creative community. This adds something different to the campaign, and is displayed really well, keeping the campaign from feeling cluttered, whilst including a lot of copy.
The campaign also encourages readers to share their own quotes on social media, thereby encouraging user generated content (UGC) and encouraging subscribers to engage with other channels.
Mother’s Day is celebrated in different ways across the world, but in the west it is synonymous with gift-giving. 2022 saw a spend of $31.7 billion in the US alone, with a steady increase year-on-year for the past decade.
It makes sense that brands have jumped on the band wagon and capitalized on this holiday. It’s not all hard-sell though, we’ve seen some great, emotive campaigns.
Frank & Eileen
This campaign from sustainable fashion brand Frank & Eileen is super simple, and sophisticated. The brand utilize imagery of mothers and their children to set the tone and acknowledge the occasion. Next up is a bold message of love and warmth to its subscribers. The copy also reminds readers that the brand is both women-owned and women-led, this is a great way of sharing those brand values, on a day where female empowerment reigns supreme.
With just one CTA, which is to find out more about its sustainability journey – another shout out for its brand values – the campaign feels incredibly genuine and paints the picture of a brand that cares. Campaigns like this are important for brands to include in their overall strategy, as email is a great channel for ROI, but it is also first and foremost a communication channel, so use it to speak to your customers on a human to human level from time to time.
Father’s Day wasn’t recognized until 58 years after Mother’s Day was an established holiday in the United States.
In 2022 Father’s Day saw a total spend of $20 billion in the US. Father’s Day is catching up with Mother’s Day, with a steady rise year on year for most of the last decade.
Biscuiteers emails always look the part, and Father’s Day is no exception. The header and footer design of its emails always stands out as something different to your usual color block styles. The brand also use iced biscuits for its social icons in the footer – a stunning example of showcasing your product in everything you do.
Onto the Father’s Day element. Biscuiteers have used product imagery to create the feature image for the campaign, it both sets the tone and makes you want to order a delicious iced biscuit or two. To further encourage a purchase the brand are offering a Father’s Day discount on its curated Father’s Day collection.
This makes it super easy for the customer, they open the campaign and see a visually pleasing, and instantly recognizable brand campaign, see the product looking glorious, get a discount code, and a curated collection of options ready-picked out as suitable for Father’s Day. It’s a perfect customer journey that is both visually appealing, and easy to navigate for the customer.
Friendship day is certainly a newer Hallmark holiday, but not to miss a trick, brands are starting to acknowledge it as a sales day worthy of a thought-out campaign.
Brands need to strike the balance between the essence of the day, and the tactics needed to get a sale.
Fashion brand Mint Velvet has gone all out in its Friendship Day campaign, this one definitely took some planning. The brand has partnered up with fashion designer and influencer duo Belle and Bunty, and got the pair to pick out outfits for each other for a selection of occasions that friends traditionally do together.
The result is a campaign full of real-life imagery, color, and product inspiration. Partnering with influencers gives the email a UGC feel and the inclusion of quotes also works as product reviews different to your usual style. The campaign also offers a CTA to the curated collection, making it super easy for inspired subscribers to click-through and make a purchase.
The campaign also shares a competition the brand is running on Instagram, asking readers to head to its Reel and tag a friend. This is simple for the subscribers to do, offers a good prize, and will grow Mint Velvet’s engagement across channels – it’s win-win.
Celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day each year, Grandparent’s Day is exactly what it sounds like. Just like Mother’s and Father’s Day, it’s an occasion to let your family members know how much you love and appreciate them. Brands have naturally tapped into this, and now create curated campaigns which focus on this emotional connection and gift-giving occasion to get a sale.
FTD florists hit the nail on the head. A gorgeous image evoking emotions of joy sets the tone for the campaign. Ever heard the phrase sell the sizzle, not the sausage? This is all about selling the result of the product, not the product itself to the customer – and this image does just that. This is paired with emotive copy to encourage subscribers to purchase the perfect gift for their grandparents.
The campaign goes on to display a product recommendation block. FTD have quick links in both the header and footer of the campaign meaning it can keep the focus of the email on Grandparent’s Day, and know that all its core CTAs are still present for anyone not interested in the occasion.
April Fools’ Day has become a day for brands to have a bit of fun and connect with customers. It’s a great opportunity to have fun with your customers, but don’t do anything too intense as you could receive backlash from unrealizing fools/customers.
Fashion brand NYDJ utilize its subject line to pique interest in this April Fool’s Day campaign. The subject line is: “Introducing Denim Swimwear” – that’s going to get anyone clicking open to find out more. The email then has a gif which reveals the brand is just “April foolin’”. This is a great way to be playful in your campaigns and capture the essence of a hallmark holiday.
NYDJ then move onto sharing some of its hottest products ahead of warm weather. The layout and styling of these outfits looks super appealing on the page thanks to the use of white space, colored borders, and text labelling to make the campaign look more editorial than sales. The section is finished off with a bright and clear CTA for customers to click through and purchase the products they’ve been inspired by.
The final section is a great show of brand values. NYDJ have a not-for-profit campaign running, donating ten percent of every sale to a Covid-19 Community Relief Fund. This is a great example of a brand having values that will resonate with the customers, and truly living this by donating themselves. Initiatives where a percentage of a sale are donated work great for brands and consumers alike, for the brand it means it’s supporting its values, and it does great things for public image, whilst for the consumer, any brand making it easy for you to do good whilst shopping is a winner.
Hallmark Holidays are an opportunity to make an occasion of your campaigns and send out something special. It doesn’t always need to be a sales campaign, well considered, curated content works great too and gives subscribers something different in their inbox.
As well as generating sales, Hallmark holidays are a great opportunity to share your brand values and let your subscribers know you care.