Presidents Day Email Strategy

Sandwiched between Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day, Presidents Day gives retailers a hook to hang their February campaigns on.

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Sandwiched between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, Presidents Day gives retailers a hook to hang their February campaigns on. Email helps retailers get the message out, but the challenge for retailers is to change up their messages to stand out in the inbox.

Here’s the great news: many of the motifs that work for Presidents Day can be repurposed for Memorial Day and July Fourth promotions.

Popular motifs include a red-white-blue theme, stars, realistic and stylized flag graphics, and portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and occasionally other people. We’re also beginning to see more use of emojis like flags, stars and dollar bills in subject lines along with inventive animations in the message.

Email Examples

Someone's got a case of the Mondays

We like this email because of the President/Presidente riff and the spectacular hero image of a freshly poured margarita. Even if you don’t get the day off, a drink like that could certainly cure a serious case of the Mondays.

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Who doesn't love Mount Rushmore?

We couldn’t resist the hero image in this email. Also, notice how our little Boston terrier buddy in the shades is looking right at the call to action (“Shop Now”). That directs the reader’s eye toward the offer (whether you realize it or not). Doing everything you can to focus attention on what you want your reader to do will pay off in more positive action.

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Mix-in more than one holiday

The run-up to Presidents Day competes with Valentine’s Day, which is a major retail holiday and a driver of a lot of emails. This email shows how to mix your messages effectively, with the lead position given to the timeliest offers (Valentine’s Day), and the President’s Day campaign right below it.

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Presidents Day Content Strategy

Segment and suppress

Presidents Day is a uniquely American holiday. If you have a significant audience beyond the United States, your US-centric content probably won’t mean much to these customers.

If you have reasonably accurate segmentation data, consider sending a default version of your campaign to your subscribers outside the U.S.

For your Canadian subscribers, you could customize the message for Family Day, which five provinces, recognize (although not all on the same day) including Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Get a little edgy

Thank Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hamilton for re-igniting interest in long-dead white men wearing wigs and creating countries. Capitalize on that interest, especially with cartoons or stylized artwork that would appeal to a younger audience. Presidents Day doesn’t have the historical or emotional attachment that goes along with named days like Washington’s or Lincoln’s birthdays. Take a few design risks to make your content stand out and drive greater interest in your offers.

One design tip: Red type on a blue background without a white outline is hard to read on both desktop and mobile. We saw a lot of that in President’s Day emails. Please, don’t.

And a subject-line tip: As with other holidays, retailers fall back on clichés for subject lines. The only problem is that every other email is using the same old tried-and-true “Presidents Day sale starts now!” Consider A/B testing a standard-issue subject line for something more eye-catching.

Experiment with tactics to make your email stand out

As we noted earlier, we are seeing more brands experimenting with emojis and animations including countdown timers. Presidents Day could be a good laboratory to try out these attention-getters.

Another clever idea is incorporating Presidents Day concepts into your offer codes. Some we found: 4Pres, MrPresident, PRES10, America and HBDAYPREZ.

Focus on enjoying the long weekend or day off

Presidents Day is a federal holiday observed on a Monday, which gives government workers, some state employees and companies that follow the government holiday schedule a long weekend with time to shop.

Instead of a standard offer, consider lounging-friendly long-form content such as a product showcase, consumer reviews and recommendations, a how-to-buy guide or top FAQs.