Make the Promotional Leap on Leap Day

Feb 17, 2020
Written by Sandrine Thompson

Did you know that 2020 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.

Here are 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, 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 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 beauty brands that I spent literally hundreds of dollars with last holiday season) I will 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 potential to be a gifting event because let’s face it, 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 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, home stays, and car rentals are especially tempting when paired with a discount. In fact, the travel programs have been doing this successfully with Leap Day promotions for quite some years and that success suggests that Leap Day could be a provide favorable results for industries that benefit when people travel. Apparel, luggage, accessories, and electronics could all be on someone’s shopping list prior to a trip. For example, a discounted travel backpack could look really appealing to someone who has just booked that trip to Patagonia they’ve been thinking about.

Strong Mobile Play

Since February 29 falls on a Saturday, marketers should expect that at least 30 percent of their Leap Day sales will complete on a smartphone. For example, offers released and promoted on Friday may start on a desktop, but CJ network data shows us that shoppers who started browsing on one device will likely make their weekend purchases on their smartphones. Thus, for a strong Leap Day outcome, your mobile game has to be strong both when it comes to promoting the offers (publishers) and converting the offer (advertisers). I expect email, social, and in-app offers to have the greatest reach on a weekend day and recommend this engagement when promoting on Leap Day itself.

Smartphone buyers are more likely to check out when an advertiser’s mobile site operates smoothly and quickly. However, a critical piece of conversion for mobile users are payment options. Mobile checkout processes can be frustrating, so be sure to clearly state early on what methods are accepted to create a positive experience...even if it means they have to go to the next room to grab their credit card.

Take the Leap

One last thing: 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. 

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