Why Is a Promotional Calendar Important?

A promotional calendar is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a plan that covers your marketing activities for the entire year as well as what promotions you’re planning to include based on seasonal events. Sitting down and planning out every sale and promotion is advisable so you can plan for the year ahead, saving you time and money.

Outline Your Strategy

Before diving into the fun parts of planning your promotional calendar, you have to decide on an overall marketing strategy

For starters, what is your estimated marketing budget? How frequently will you promote your company? When is your peak demand? What types of media will you target? Who is your audience? What resources do you have on hand? 

Create a Calendar 

The first step of creating your calendar is to find a calendar software. Both Google and Microsoft have online calendar tools that are integrated with e-mail and other productivity software. They allow you to set recurring events and automate reminders. 

The next step is to determine which holidays or seasonal events you want to incorporate into your marketing calendar. Don’t know where to start? Check out these popular seasonal events and holidays that you can use to elevate your marketing campaigns.blue planner laying on top of a flat paper calendar

Ecommerce Holidays and Dates in Q1


New Year’s Day, January 1

Target Audience: Everyone

New Year’s day represents fresh starts. Focus your campaigns around New Year’s resolutions, bucket lists, and 30-day challenges.

3 mock ups of potential new years eve sales designs



Black History Month, throughout February

Target Audience: Everyone

Be sure to use your company's voice to show support and recognition for influential black Americans and the waves they’ve made. Maybe focus on a lesser-known black trailblazer within your industry.

5 women of color on a whit background that says black history month


Groundhog Day, February 2

Target Audience: People in the US and Canada

Groundhog day is a great holiday to offer conditional deals or promotions. For example, if the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow run an early spring swimwear sale. 


Galentine’s Day, February 13

Target Audience: Singles and female friend groups

Originally canonized by Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, Galentine's day is celebrated the day before Valentine’s day where women celebrate each other and their friendships. Take this time to hype up your female users by offering a Galentine's sale.


Valentine’s Day, February 14

Target Audience: Everyone

It’s time to celebrate love. Use this holiday to create promotions surrounding love, activities, and products meant for two. It might be a good idea to release a “gift guide” or a separate product tab for Valentines Day gift recommendations. 



International Women’s Day, March 8

Target Audience: Everyone

Women control 85% of consumer spending. Celebrate those who make up most of your customer base. This would be another holiday where it would be a good idea to donate part of your profits to a relevant cause. 


St. Patrick’s Day, March 17

Target Audience: Everyone

St. Patrick’s day is a popular holiday internationally. Try to play into the theme by offering special, only green products, or pot of gold sweepstakes.

all green ad for 70% off st patricks day sale.


Ecommerce Holidays and Dates in Q2


April Fools’ Day, April 1

Target Audience: Everyone

April Fools' Day can be an excellent opportunity to show your personality as a small business owner. Share a joke on social media or a fun gif to get into the prankster spirit.


National Pet Day, April 11

Target Audience: Animal Lovers

 Everyone loves their pet. Have fun on social media with a “cutest pet” photo contest or a special discount on furry friend related services or merchandise. 


Earth Day, April 22

Target Audience: Everyone

Give mother Earth the recognition she deserves.  Use this holiday as an opportunity to vocalize some planet-friendly choices your company makes or maybe use your platform to support eco-friendly causes.

teal globe that says happy earth day

World Book Day, April 23

Target Audience: Book Lovers

World Book Day is a great opportunity for you to spotlight any literature-based products on your site. Maybe even just interact with your users and ask what their favorite book is.



Cinco de Mayo, May 5

Target Audience: People of Mexican Descent 

Take the time to show support and celebrate the Hispanic voice in your community.  Let your customers know you care.



Pride Month, throughout June

Target Audience: LGBTQ+ community and allies

Pride month is a great time to show your company’s values and shower your consumers of every type with love and acceptance. Consider donating to relevant charities.web connecting a bunch  of faces and a sign that says LGBTQIA+ pride month



Juneteenth, June 19

Target Audience: Americans

Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day) celebrates the freedom of the last enslaved people in the US. Be conscious of this important holiday when planning your marketing campaign.


Ecommerce Holidays and Dates in Q3


Independence Day, July 4

Target Audience: Americans

Market your best patriotic and red, white, and blue merchandise. July 4th sales often inhabit the entire week leading up to the holiday.



Back to School

Target Audience: Students, teachers, and parents

Back to school is a great time to offer special promotions or discounts at certain times of the day. Highlight your most scholastic products or offer discounts for people who show their student id for the first week.

green background with a backpack that says "special offer back to school sale limited time"


National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15–October 15

Target Audience: Hispanic Americans

Take the time to acknowledge the members of your community of Hispanic descent and show some appreciation.

red, blue, black, orange patterned background with a sign that says "Hispanic national heritage month"


Ecommerce Holidays and Dates in Q4


Halloween, October 31

Target Audience: Everyone

Get in the Halloween spirit by hosting a costume contest through social media and giving out prizes (discounts or free swag) to the winners.



Thanksgiving, November, Fourth Thursday

Target Audience: Americans

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season. Start hyping your audience up with some teasers of the door-busters to come!


Black Friday, November, Friday After Thanksgiving

Target Audience: Bargain hunters, holiday shoppers

This is one of the most important dates on the eCommerce marketing calendar. Pull all the stops and show out with some killer deals

black background with gold letters that say "Black Friday super sale save up to 70% shop now use code blckfrdy29"



Christmas Eve and Day, December 24–25

Target Audience: Countries where Christmas Day is celebrated

It is the most wonderful time of the year. Let your customers know that you're in the Christmas spirit with fun promotions and sales. Try doing 12 days of deals leading to Christmas with mystery discounts associated with specific discount codes.

Reflect on Your Results

Check your results. Which promotions were fan favorites? Add those to next year's calendar. Which ones were total flops? Nix them from the calendar and try a different approach. Remember, your marketing calendar's success depends on your ability to measure your promotional success. Don't waste money on something that isn't bringing in the leads you want. Don't get discouraged if a promotion doesn't go your way. There is always next year. 

Nervous about starting your calendar from scratch? Check out his downloadable promotional calendar.

Mckenzie Barkdull-Pugmire

Mckenzie Barkdull-Pugmire