As the holidays approach, professional and personal to-do lists get longer, and time seems to get shorter. To help keep you organized as we head into this busiest time of the year, we compiled a list of key holiday dates and shipping deadlines.
It’s important to keep these dates (scroll to the bottom of this post) in mind as you create your strategy for a successful holiday. However, simply having an offer on these key dates isn’t enough. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:
Develop your Own Calendar
Determine what and when offers will be available during Q4 and think through some key questions: will the offers be similar to previous years? What were the strongest performers last Q4? Are you able to offer the same thing or an even richer offer? If you have notes on competitors’ offers from last year, are your offers competitive to their Q4 2018 offers, or better?
Customers are looking for the best deals during this time frame, so make sure you’re giving the best offers you can provide to position your brand for success.
Communication is Key
Communicate as early and as often as you can. Publishers receive a lot of newsletters and hot offers during this time, so make sure yours stand out. Send email campaigns to all your Publishers as early as you can to them know about your promotions when they will be running. We recommend you let Publishers know about your offer—at a minimum—a week in advance, with a reminder the day before and the day it goes live. Many Publishers create their content far in advance of these popular shopping days, so the sooner they have your offer, the better your chances are to have it featured.
Pro Tip: Take it one step further and create a calendar for your Publishers with popular holidays and include your brands offers for a quick reference guide.
Make it Personal
Reach out directly to the top partners in your program and to those with whom you’ve established relationships. Your direct contact may miss a newsletter, so make sure to send them a personal note with upcoming offers so it doesn’t get missed.
Spread the Love
The holidays highlighted below are key dates and the highest performing days, so it’s very important to promote during these key time frames. But, don’t plan to provide offers ONLY on these days, or you’ll miss out! According to CJ’s 2019 Holiday Intelligence Report, “this year, the buying season will be shortened since Thanksgiving falls on November 28, reducing the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas to 27 days. Marketers should anticipate heavier shopping in November and early December. ”
Pro-Tip: Consider offering a Deal of the Day to get affiliates to feature your site frequently and up traffic and conversions to your site. Make the deal richer on days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day and Green Monday.
Take a Note from History
Use Insights to run performance reports on past Q4 periods to identify trends. Run performance by day and by Publisher to identify your brand's key performing days and partners. Reach out to those top performers to make sure they feature your offers and reserve budget when possible to secure placements with them.
Don't forget to read our 2019 Holiday Intelligence Reportthat draws upon the CJ network’s 2018 holiday retail sales and outlines the top global holiday shopping dates and trends that will impact affiliate holiday sales this year.
Q4 is the busiest shopping time of the year and the time to make your brand shine. Develop offers on these key holidays, and throughout Q4, to bring in new shoppers and create loyal brand shoppers for years to come!
11: Singles Day
29: Black Friday
30: Small Business Saturday
30: Cyber Weekend
1: Cyber Weekend (cont'd.)
2: Cyber Monday
3: Giving Tuesday
9: Green Monday
14: Free Shipping Day
21: Super Saturday
24: Christmas Eve
25: Christmas Day
26: Boxing Day
31: New Year's Eve
FedEx US Shipping Deadlines:
Dec 9: SmartPost (certain exceptions apply)
Dec 16: Home Delivery and Ground Shipments
Dec 19: Express Saver Shipments
Dec 20: 2-Day and 2-Day AM Shipments
Dec 23: Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight, First Overnight Shipments
Dec 25: SameDay Shipments
UPS Shipping Deadlines:
Dec 13: Ground (Delivery by Dec 24)
Dec 19: 3 Day Select (Delivery by Dec 24)
Dec 20: 2nd Day Air Shipments (Delivery by Dec 24)
Dec 23: Next Day Air Shipments (Delivery by Dec 24)
USPS Shipping Deadlines:
Dec 14: Retail Ground
Dec 20: First Class mail & packages (up to 15.99 oz)