Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas (Better Than Turkey Sandwiches)

The majority of businesses close up shop during the Thanksgiving holiday.

We’re also seeing a trend where the Wednesday and Friday have become part of this time off in recent years (let’s consider it “work creep” since not a whole lot is going on during this week).

Where businesses are taking their lovely time off – you could be leading the charge.

People will be online during Thanksgiving (whether it’s from their computer, tablet, or a mobile device).

They’re still in the buying mood despite slumping into a food coma from too much turkey.

What does this all mean?

It’s simple:

Use this Thanksgiving to gobble up the competition when they’re off their guard.

This post will devise several ideas to make the most of the Thanksgiving holiday.

#1: Dress your website for the holiday

This one’s an easy one: include a load of Thanksgiving themed items on your affiliate website.

These items can include:

  • A seasonal logo
  • Pictures of turkey, cornucopias, pumpkins, and fall colors
  • Web copy that notes the holiday season
  • Animated banners that aim at the holiday

Stock photography websites have a great deal of Thanksgiving themed media that you can purchase; you could always do some of your own design work or hand it off to a designer.

Adding a Thanksgiving theme may not seem like much but it shows that your business adapts to the seasonal changes and may tickle a few community members; this seasonal touch may get visitors to take action on your affiliate promotions simply based on the fact that you’re attuned to the community.

#2: Hold a short sale during Thanksgiving

Contact the producers behind your bestselling affiliate offers and inquire whether they’re willing to do a short, one-time sale for the Thanksgiving holiday (or at least do a large discount on the product/service).

The same can be done if you’re offering your own products or services.

What you’ll do is create a short sale – I’m talking about a very, very small window of time to act.

Give people just one or two hours to make their decision based on an incredible deal for the affiliate promotion or your product; don’t play the usual game of closing the sale and saying “oops, something went wrong so it’s open again” – live by your word.

This short sale should people create that sales spark for those that have been on the edge of making the purchase; they have to act now so it immediately places their mind in an emotional state which is one of the most powerful ways to cultivate a sale.

There will be plenty of businesses running an all-day sale so there’s really no incentive to act immediately; doing this short sale will give you a nice edge.

#3: Give back through bonus offers

Got a few products you own that could be given out as a bonus? Do it!

People will be bombarded with Thanksgiving Day sales promotion so they’re already expecting a huge discount on the price – how do you plan on standing out from the competition.

Well, if you happen to have a set of your own products than you can include that within the affiliate promotion, as a bonus. All you’d need to do is have the individual forward their purchase confirmation email and you send over your stuff as “the icing on the cake”.

You’ve seen this in many online promotions of past, that’s for sure – but go ahead and do it as a one-time thing for Thanksgiving Day too.

Consider this as your way of saying “thank you” to those that frequently purchase affiliate products.

The kicker is that you’re getting your product in the hands of people that may not readily be your customer (for whatever reason or another); it helps build that brand and may get them coming back, in the future, for when you’re doing a new product release or large affiliate promotion.

#4: Build steam for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest days to spur up affiliate sales because people are in a feverous pitch to snag up all the deals floating around offline and online.

Generally, most businesses are closing by Wednesday so people can have the Thanksgiving Day off, completely. But, as an affiliate marketer (whom is most likely doing a one person operation), you’re not limited because you’re choosing your own time.

All of this means that you can begin building steam around Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions and sales events while the competition is relaxing on their day off.

Now would be the perfect time to write a plethora of reviews and shopping guides for the two consumer holidays; likewise, you can prepare your email blasts ahead of time than rushing, at the last moment, when it comes Friday morning.

A few extra hours of work during Thanksgiving (which doesn’t even need to interrupt the big dinner) can be setup and automated to roll out at midnight to capitalize on the Black Friday fever; the campaign can also go out on Cyber Monday.

So, in all, you’ve got promotions going out, you’re operating a live affiliate campaign, and you’re getting an edge on the competition.

#5: Hold an event (physical or online)

Everyone is different; you may find quite a few of your community members staying in, by themselves, this Thanksgiving so why not reach out, be festive, and have an event to gather these incredible individuals?

The event can be online using one of the many conference-type tools (Skype, GoTo Meeting, or even Google+ hangouts) or, if you know enough people in the area, you can do a physical meet up.

Get everyone to bring their favorite dish and hold a potluck.

While you’re at it – everyone could discuss affiliate marketing and online business so this Thanksgiving event becomes a small, profitable conference within itself.

Plus, you could always stream the event to anyone that may not be within the immediate area!

Your competition is probably off getting stuffed on Turkey while you’re still working the angles and developing great relationships with your community members; this goes a long way when you’re promoting products because people trust your judgment because you’ve opened up.

#6: Personalize with a physical thank you or gift

You know what few websites do? Send out physical thank you cards and gifts.

You’re running an affiliate business so 99% of your work is done online and through digital mediums but it doesn’t mean you can’t reach out in the real world.

For a small investment of about $20 – $50, you could hand write thank you cards to your most die-hard community members; alternatively, you could use online print services to create, package, and send your thank you cards.

A different approach is to find small gifts to give to community members such as calendars, pens, mouse pads, flash drives, or any type of item that fits within your community. These items often cost less than a few dollars each but remember that you don’t need to shoot them out to everyone – just go after the individuals that have really grown your brand this year.

You can grab this list of die-hard fans from your social media accounts (just monitor the active followers) or go through your email list analytics; seek out their physical address and you’re all set to start giving.

This tactic is very uncommon but can do a great service to your affiliate business because so few marketers take the time to do something physical.

When’s the last time you received something physical from your favorite website?

#7: Reveal the human side of your marketing

The dead, lifeless promotions that roll out during Thanksgiving are easy to spot; they feel mechanic and robotic, passed down as an order from the higher ups to crank out something forgettable but always there because it’s another holiday to exploit.

How about going the other route?

People are ecstatic during Thanksgiving; they’re spending time with friends and family, they’re enjoying good food, and the little things in life. People are opening up.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to add a human side of your affiliate business (which may have been feeling quite robotic throughout the year).

  • Share a list of things you’re thankful for
  • List your favorite community members
  • Explain how the year in affiliate marketing has changed you

Add that human touch to an email, blog post, or social media update; it will reveal a side of you that may not be present in your daily operations and this opening up may be what convinces people that you’re the “good guy” and give them a proper reason to stick around beyond the content and promotions.

Your competition may just be blasting sales copy – why don’t you reach out with something personal.

It goes a long way.