Make the Promotional Leap on Leap Day

Feb 15, 2024
Written by Sandrine Thompson

Did you know that 2024 is a Leap Year? Thanks to a quirk in the solar calendar, we get an entire extra day in February and that’s worth celebrating! 

I have a hunch that many others are looking to celebrate February 29, and to my marketer’s mind, that translates into an opportunity for incremental sales. If you haven’t given Leap Day promotions much thought, maybe you should. Leap Day marketing is a once in a four-year event not to be missed.

Read on to find some ideas and examples of how affiliate marketers can leap to new heights on Leap Day.


Play up the Extra

The obvious promo play for advertisers on Leap Day is to call attention to the bonus aspect of the day with brand promotions that highlight something extra: extra items with purchase, extra fast shipping, and extra good value. This could work particularly well as a bonus promotion for loyalty program members (especially those with birthdays on Leap Day), subscribers, and high-value shoppers who will see these offers as a special perk of membership and could reinforce the good vibes they have for your brand. If you choose to go the percent off route, the most relevant discount level will be (duh!) 29 percent off.

To give visibility to the offers, publishers should be considering how they can segment and specially promote all the offers that ideally will be coming out in advance of Leap Day. Special homepage banners or emails focused on everything Leap Day will drive home the uniqueness and scarcity of these promotions and should motivate shoppers to buy.


Incentivize Repeat Purchases

Personally, if I don’t see my inbox filling up with promotions in the week leading up to Leap Day (hopefully from the brands that I spent hundreds of dollars with last holiday season) I'll be more than a little disappointed. Leap Day promos for returning customers are an excellent way to reinforce your brand with customers who tried your brand for the first time over the holiday season and are now at a point of needing to replenish or (in the case of apparel) refresh their wardrobes. 


Gifts, Please

Leap Day has the potential to be a gifting event because mid-winter is the perfect time to surprise a friend, sibling, or parent with something that can brighten their day. Just about any category of advertiser can spin their product as a Leap Day gift, but some obvious ones that come to mind are flowers, jewelry, home décor, and accessories. But food and wine could fit the bill too! I know a couple who decided years ago to get married on Leap Day to avoid the anniversary every year...for them, gifts are extra earned this year! Marketers should consider their audience and then identify products that could easily be gifted and fit the Leap Day ethos of having an extra day to celebrate a friendship or relationship. 


Adventures Await

The infrequency of Leap Day seems to encourage the more adventurous among us to do something wild. And what's more adventurous than planning a trip?! Bookings on hotels, vacations, homestays, and car rentals are especially tempting when paired with a discount. In fact, travel programs have been doing this successfully with Leap Day promotions for quite some time and that success suggests that Leap Day could provide favorable results for industries that benefit when people travel. Apparel, luggage, accessories, and electronics could all be on someone’s shopping list before a trip. For example, a discounted travel backpack could look appealing to someone who has just booked that trip to Patagonia they’ve been thinking about.


Take the Leap with Language

If you’re not taking this prime opportunity to make have some "pun" with your promotional copy, you might be missing the boat! Don’t underestimate the power of the pun to delight shoppers. Leap Day is a day on which marketers can be playful with promotions. But no matter how you do it—hop, skip, jump (or leap!)—use this as another chance to inspire and meet customer needs. 


Totally Thinking Ahead

The solar cycles deliver another event this year that many in Mexico, the US, and Canada will observe with special plans. I’m referring to the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. The eclipse’s path covers a large swath of North America as it moves across the sky and many localities are already promoting eclipse-watching parties. Many people will travel to sites of “totality” for the best view, creating a large-scale travel event. For marketers, tuning product offers to shoppers booking travel and preparing for solar eclipse parties could result in a revenue bump in March and early April.


This article was previously published on February 17, 2020. It has been updated for Leap Day 2024.

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