Labor Day Email Examples and Strategy

Turn this three-day weekend into a shopping extravaganza with emails that appeal to back-to-school bargain-hunters, summer lovers, and cold-weather fans who are ready for a change.

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Without the built-in rituals of Memorial Day and Independence Day to give you an angle for your email content, Labor Day makes you work harder to come up with something creative. So, appeal to what your customers might be doing or thinking about – quick getaways, getting ready for class, or one last long weekend of relaxation before resuming the routines of school and work.

Labor Day isn’t one of the National Retail Federation’s major retail holidays. But, it does coincide with two of the NRF’s top spending events (back to college at No. 1 and back to school at No. 3). With $82.8 billion at stake just in the United States, there’s still plenty to go around.

Email Examples and Subject Lines for Labor Day

Capture the college zeitgeist

You might think this email belongs on our Back to School holiday marketing page, but here’s the logic for focusing a Labor Day email on dorm furnishings: picking up lost, forgotten or FOMO items (something cool that you spotted in a friend’s dorm room and MUST HAVE). This email captures the college zeitgeist, right down to the hero images of products that won’t strain the school budget.

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Traveling & shopping

We picked this email because it combines two popular Labor Day weekend activities: traveling and shopping. You have to have music for the road trip, right? Ippolita gives its customers three sets of tunes and jewelry to match each choice. Clever and unique!

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Beat 'em to the punch

Hipmunk beats every other travel company we track for sending Labor Day emails. This one was sent 10 weeks ahead and is the first of three holiday-related emails Hipmunk sent over 10 days. (The follow-ups were an editorial-focused email and a discount-led email.) This email uses helpful marketing copy to prompt recipients to use that information to start searching.

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Never white after Labor Day

Lots of emails spin the old fashion rule, “Never wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.” But few do it as cleverly as this brand. We love the elegant design, simple but meaningful copy and the intriguing “White after Labor Day” slogan – something you expect from a fashion retailer, not a home-goods store.

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Focus on your USP on LDW

A wise brand understands its customers and their frustrations. Carvana’s email plays on the slogfest that used-car shopping on a holiday can be and presents its subscribers with a relaxing solution. The copy supports Carvana’s USP: no haggling, no tramping from lot to lot, just lounging on the sofa in your most comfortable clothes. Irresistible!

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Closed on Labor Day?

Closed on Labor Day? Let your customers know! You don’t have to come up something fancy. And, it’s not just a helpful service. It’s another chance to appear in your customers’ inbox without having to come up with a discount or promotion.

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Labor Day Email Marketing Strategy

Grab a share of the back-to-college market.

Everybody talks back-to-school, but the college market is bigger. The average college-shopping household will drop almost $1,000 on average (compared to around $700 for K-12 households), and roughly 1 of every 10 shoppers still have items on their lists just before or after they head back to Dormland. (Stats via National Retail Federation)

Sales for back-to-school.

If you don’t sell back-to-college products, there’s also the opportunity to reach the back-to-school market.

Even though it’s Labor Day weekend, the average family has only completed about half of their back-to-school shopping. If you sell anything related to back-to-school, this is a great opportunity for you. It’s worth noting that over 40% of back-to-school shoppers said that half their purchases were influenced by sales, coupons and promotions.

Studies have shown that 35% of people will decide whether to open an email or not based on its subject line, which is why The RTA Store opted for a short, and to the point, subject line. On a related note, Experian determined that a staggering 85% of emails sent during Labor Day mentioned a sale or special offer in the subject line. Make sure your subject line includes your offer!

Celebrate the long weekend.

Shoppers might be relaxing on Labor Day itself, but when they aren’t flipping burgers on the grill or watching baseball on TV, they’ll probably be scrolling through their inboxes.

And, what will be in those inboxes? Dozens – maybe hundreds – of emails competing with yours for their attention.

You have three days to capture your readers’ interest, so change up your message. One message can highlight your end-of-season deals that draw savvy bargain-hunters. With another, experiment a little. The email gallery at the top of this page includes an email from Ippolita, which ties a jewelry assortment to a road-trip playlist. Check it out to see why we think it’s worth copying.

Kick off the fall season with an editorial guide.

Although Autumn doesn’t occur until the third week of September, many of your customers are looking forward to cooler days and fall/winter activities and holidays. Spotlight notable pieces in your fall line, but package them into an editorial guide that tells your customers how to buy, use or wear the products instead of simply selling to them.

Send a Labor Day status update.

Labor Day is all about out-of-office, but not everyone gets the day off. Tell subscribers what they need to know, both to avoid unhappy surprises or offer a little serendipity if you’re keeping the lights on.

Things to consider: Can they still reach customer service or support even though your office is closed? Send an email with all of the details (plus, where appropriate, a little nudge to persuade them to shop). If you’re staying open, post your hours and link to your “find a store” page to help out-of-towners find your nearest outlet.

Celebrate your employees.

Labor Day was created to recognize the achievements of America’s working class and labor unions, but today it’s more about the long weekend than the people who gave us the 40-hour workweek and child-labor laws.

Why not use this occasion to recognize your employees? Customers love to see the faces behind your brand. Instead of sending another promotional email, use Labor Day to humanize your brand with photos of the people who help deliver a good customer experience time after time.

When to send your Labor Day email campaigns.

As with all email marketing, it’s a good idea to start sending out emails early. Depending on your industry, this timeframe can vary significantly.

For example, companies focusing on tourism, accommodation, or holiday packages should begin their campaign between July and August in order to ensure their services are in the front of subscribers mind when planning a weekend getaway. Secret Escapes began sending Labor Day emails on July 24th, asking subscribers if they had “Labor Day plans yet?” (that’s the subject line they used). When you start sending your Labor Day campaign early you’re also able to send multiple emails promoting your offers over a longer period of time.

For those of you in the online retail space, here’s a recommended Labor Day email plan:

Email 1: A week before Labor Day
Email 2: A few days before Labor Day
Email 3: On Labor Day
Email 4: A day or two after Labor Day

You’d be interested in knowing that 8.5% of Labor Day emails are actually sent after the actual holiday.