Planning your promotional calendar

Plan your promotions all year round

When to Plan Your Promotional Calendar: Now 

There is no denying the power of promotions.  

Even in today’s online environment, promotions are key. In fact,4 out of 5 consumers say they feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a brand that is new to them if they find an offer or discount.* And now that gift cards are a mainstay of our retail culture, research shows brands that don’t run gift card promotions miss out on an average of 37% of annual revenue.**

With that kind of power, if you haven’t already planned your promotional calendar for 2021, read the rest of this blog and get started, now. 

Promotion Season Lasts All Year

For some brands and retailers, a promotional calendar starts and stops with Christmas. But there are promotional opportunities all year long, which means these brands and retailers are missing out on dozens of opportunities to increase loyalty, drive sales, find additional revenue, or accomplish almost any other business goal.

The idea is to pre-plan your promotional events for the full year, which helps you in two ways: You’ll get (and stay) ahead of your company’s budgeting cycle, and you can line up redemption windows with your known slow periods.

The Big Opportunities

Depending on your industry, your brand, and your customers, these are typically the big promotional calendar opportunities:

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Back to school
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Christmas

Look at any calendar though, and you’ll find opportunities for your brand throughout the year:

  • Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day
  • National Teachers’ Day
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Easter
  • Remembrance Sunday
  • World Book Day
  • Bonfire Night

You can also find opportunities very specific to your brand or category. Work with animals? April is National Pet Month. Sell coffee? 1st October is National Coffee Day - whatever your business or category, there's likely a bonus promotional day (or two) for you.

Create Your Own Promotional Days

A calendar isn’t your only planning resource. Look to your brand's slow-moving products, slow-selling seasons and specific business goals to plan unique promotions that achieve results you can count on. Use your own promotions to:

  • Drive revenue during typically slow periods
  • Drive traffic at specific times by setting redemption periods on gift card rewards
  • Increase sales of specific products
  • Bring in customers who haven’t recently transacted
  • Remind gift card recipients to redeem
  • Remind those who have gifted your brand before that it still makes a great gift

How Can We Help You?

Yes, your promotional calendar is an important part of your overall marketing plan and can make a huge difference in your annual bottom line. But don’t feel like you have to take on this responsibility alone. Experts at Blackhawk Network are here to offer advice and help.

If you would like to have a conversation, simply fill in the form on your right to get started.


*RetailMeNot Incrementality Study, March 2018 
**CashStar Data Analysis

To start planning your promotions, fill out the form below