How to use SMS

12 Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas to Sell More in 2024

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These Thanksgiving marketing ideas will help you sell more in 2024.

Whether you want to create a special offer, run a contest, or send a thank-you email, we’ll show you how to do it right.

Plus, we’ll give you smart tips on adding humour and personality to your campaigns. Of course, without being offensive.

Ready to rake in some profits this Thanksgiving? Let’s get started.

We organised these marketing ideas according to different industries. You can use the table of contents to navigate to what interests you.

E-commerce Thanksgiving marketing ideas

If you run an e-commerce business, here are two juicy Thanksgiving marketing ideas you can use this year.

Thanksgiving idea #1. Create a Thanksgiving-themed social media campaign

Thanksgiving marketing Idea #1. Create a Thanksgiving-themed social media campaign

During Thanksgiving, one way to engage your audience and showcase your brand personality is to create a Thanksgiving-themed social media campaign.

This can be a contest, a giveaway, a quiz, a poll, or anything else that encourages interaction and participation during Thanksgiving.

A Thanksgiving-themed social media campaign can help you:

  • Increase your reach
  • Grow your following, and
  • Drive traffic to your website.

To make the process even faster, you can use SMS to inform your existing customers about the contest and how to participate.

Thanksgiving idea #2. Create a scavenger hunt

e-commerce Thanksgiving marketing ideas

A scavenger hunt is a fun and smart way to get customers to explore your store and new products.

As Business Advisor Patty Azzarello says

“In my business career, I recognised the potential of the scavenger hunt approach. It helped to enhance the teaching and delivery of new information. This approach can transform learning into an engaging and immersive experience.”

For a scavenger hunt, you can hide clues or items throughout your store. And reward the participants who find them with prizes or discounts.

You can use SMS, WhatsApp messaging and social media to promote your scavenger hunt for more involvement.

For example, a clothing store in New York created a scavenger hunt where customers had to find and try different outfits based on clues on Instagram.

The customers who completed the hunt received a 20% off coupon and a chance to win a gift card.

Brick-and-mortar retail Thanksgiving marketing ideas

Do you own a brick-and-mortar retail store?

You can attract more customers this festive season.

Here is a creative Thanksgiving marketing idea for brick-and-mortar retailers.

Thanksgiving idea #3. Host a turkey giveaway

Brick-and-mortar retail Thanksgiving marketing ideas

Nothing says Thanksgiving like a juicy turkey on the table.

Why not offer your customers a chance to win when they shop at your store?

You can either raffle off a few turkeys or give one to every customer who spends a certain amount.

This will create a sense of urgency and excitement among your shoppers and encourage them to buy more from you.

A grocery store in Texas called H-E-B hosted a turkey giveaway in 2019 where customers who bought ham got a free turkey.

The promotion was so popular that the store quickly ran out of turkeys.

Of course, you’ll have winners. And it’ll boost your customer base.  But what happens to those who lose the giveaway? You can retarget them via SMS.

Hotel Thanksgiving marketing ideas

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for hotels to attract more guests and increase revenue.

Here are three hotel Thanksgiving marketing ideas that you can use to boost your bookings and delight your customers.

Thanksgiving idea #4: Offer a Thanksgiving package

Thanksgiving marketing idea #3. Host a Thanksgiving event

A Thanksgiving package for your hotel can include services and amenities.

For example, you can include the following in your guests’ normal services:

  • Complimentary turkey dinner
  • Bottle of wine
  • Spa treatment, or
  • Late check-out.

This will provide more value to your guests, making them feel special.

A good example of a Thanksgiving package is the one offered by The Ritz-Carlton, Denver. It included a four-course dinner, valet parking, and a $50 hotel credit.

Thanksgiving idea #5. Host a Thanksgiving event

Thanksgiving marketing idea #4. Host a Thanksgiving event

A Thanksgiving event is a fun and festive way to engage with your guests.

You can host a Thanksgiving event in your hotel lobby, restaurant, or ballroom.

You can then invite your guests (you can use an SMS notification for this) to join you for some entertainment, food, and drinks.

For example, you can host a

  • Live music show
  • Trivia night
  • Cooking class, or
  • Wine tasting event.

A good example of a Thanksgiving event is the one hosted by The Westin New York at Times Square.

It featured a live broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on a giant screen, along with breakfast and cocktails.

“Some people prefer to create a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch. Others prefer to order a fully catered meal. Still, some customers want a combination of both approaches.”Azure Collier, Content Marketer.

Thanksgiving idea #6. Launch a Thanksgiving campaign

You can use a Thanksgiving campaign to promote your hotel and generate more bookings during the holiday.

You can launch a Thanksgiving campaign on your website, social media, email, or other channels and use creative and catchy messages, images, and videos to capture the attention of your target audience.

For example, you can offer a discount code, a free upgrade, a loyalty reward, or a gift card to entice potential guests to book with you.

Ibotta’s Thanksgiving campaign leveraged the theme of gratitude to significant effect. 

Users could earn a $50 bonus by referring the app to five new friends.

The header created a sense of urgency. It informed readers that they had just one day to claim the incentive.

Restaurant Thanksgiving marketing ideas

You can attract more patrons to your restaurant during Thanksgiving. 

Here are three restaurant Thanksgiving marketing ideas to boost your sales and reputation.

Thanksgiving idea #7. Offer a free dessert for online orders

Restaurant Thanksgiving marketing ideas

One way to encourage online orders is to offer a free dessert for customers who order through your website or app.

This can increase your average order value and customer loyalty.

For example, Boston Market offered a free apple pie in 2019 for customer who ordered a family meal. Though Boston Market’s discount campaign was for the new year, you can use it for the Thanksgiving period.

Thanksgiving idea #8. Create a Thanksgiving-themed menu

Restaurant Thanksgiving marketing ideas

You can create a special menu that features Thanksgiving-themed dishes.

Use seasonal ingredients, traditional recipes, or creative twists on classic favourites.

Cracker Barrel got creative with this Thanksgiving idea. They created a “Heat n’ Serve” menu.

The menu included turkey, dressing, cranberry relish, and pumpkin pie.

This might seem too easy to bother about. It might even feel like an uphill task.

However, planning early will get you the best results.

Like Brian Bournemann, co-owner of Crudo e Nudo says

“Creating a Thanksgiving-themed menu is a great way to showcase your culinary skills and appeal to customers. However, Thanksgiving dinner is a culinary marathon, not a quick dash. Planning your menus in advance will ensure your guests can savour the special moment.”

Thanksgiving idea #9. Host a social media contest

Restaurant Thanksgiving marketing ideas

To get started, Alana Sandel, a Forbes Council Member, shares some tips.

“We follow three steps. First, we choose prizes that people will really want. Second, we team up with influencers who are a good fit for our brand and audience. Third, we create exciting campaigns. Using photos, stories, reels, and videos to build buzz. We then ask the winners to tell their friends about our brand.”

Your contest can be asking your customers and followers to share Thanksgiving pictures and videos with their friends and family.

You can also send a promotional SMS with a link (you can use SMSCountry for this), inviting customers to share their Thanksgiving stories, photos, or videos.

You can offer prizes such as gift cards, coupons, or free meals.

For example, Denny’s hosted a “Show Your Thanks” contest that asked customers to post a video of themselves thanking someone who made their year better.

Small business Thanksgiving marketing ideas

Want to attract customers to your small business during Thanksgiving?

Here are three ideas for you.

Thanksgiving idea #10. Create a Thanksgiving-themed window display

Small business Thanksgiving marketing ideas

A window display is the first thing that catches the eye of potential customers.

According to the Senior Visual Merchandise executive at Beechtree, Murad Ramzan,

Eye-catching window displays entice customers to enter stores. They should, therefore, be visually appealing.”

So, make it stand out with a Thanksgiving theme.

Use props like pumpkins, cornucopias, turkeys, and fall leaves to create a cosy and inviting scene.

For example, a clothing store can showcase their autumn collection with mannequins dressed in warm colours and accessories.

A bakery can display their pies and cakes with festive decorations and labels.

Thanksgiving idea #11. Host a turkey giveaway

Small business Thanksgiving marketing ideas

Nothing says Thanksgiving like a juicy turkey on the table.

Why not offer your customers a chance to win when they shop at your store?

You can set up a raffle or a contest where every purchase earns an entry.

This will encourage repeat visits and increase customer loyalty.

For example, Weiss gives shoppers a free turkey during Thanksgiving. This giveaway boosted their sales and created a lot of buzz in the community.

How best to include millennials in such an old tradition? Get creative.

Graeme McVie, Precima’s Vice President of business development advises

“Don’t rely solely on giveaways; spice it up to entice them. Show millennials how to prepare creative meals for Thanksgiving. Especially if they’re first-time hosts. It’ll win them over for life.

Thanksgiving idea #12. Host a Thanksgiving webinar or workshop

Small business Thanksgiving marketing ideas

During Thanksgiving, you can educate your audience and showcase your expertise with a live workshop or a webinar.

This can be a live or recorded session where you share valuable tips, insights, or best practices related to your industry or niche.

For example, Karla and Kenneth Dennis’ “Online Tax Saving Program” webinar series. This move was a success, raking in over $100k in 2018.

A Thanksgiving webinar or workshop establishes your authority.

And Tyler Basu, Content Strategist at Lean Labs, shares the same opinion.

Webinars let you share valuable content with potential customers. It helps you build trust as you prepare them for the main deal.”

We mentioned using SMS a lot in this guide. Let’s show you some SMS templates you can use during Thanksgiving.

6 holiday SMS templates

Need some catchy SMS for the festive season? Look no further.

Here are 6 templates you can use or tweak for your Thanksgiving SMS promotions.

  • E-commerce Thanksgiving marketing. “Hi {Name}, save big on our online deals! Shop now and get 50% off everything. Hurry, the offer ends on Turkey Day!”
  • Brick-and-mortar retail Thanksgiving marketing. “Dear {Name}, come and join us for a feast of savings! We have the best prices in town. Don’t miss our Thanksgiving special: buy one, get one free!”
  • Hotel Thanksgiving marketing. “Treat yourself to a cosy getaway this Thanksgiving, {Name}. Book a room and enjoy a complimentary dinner and breakfast. Limited availability, reserve now!”
  • Restaurant Thanksgiving marketing. “No time to cook? No problem, {Name}. We have you covered with our delicious Thanksgiving menu. Order online or call us and get a free dessert with your meal.”
  • Physical event Thanksgiving marketing. “{Name}, celebrate Thanksgiving with us at the {event name}. It’s going to be a blast! Live music, games, prizes and more. Get your tickets today and save 20%.”
  • Small business Thanksgiving marketing. “{Name}, as a token of our appreciation this year, we’re offering you a special discount on our products and services. Just use the code THANKS at checkout.”

Simply pick and tweak to suit your sales needs and audience.

Want more ideas? Check out these amazing SMS templates to reach your customers in no time.

Boost Thanksgiving marketing with SMSCountry and Telebu Social

You’ve just learned 12 Thanksgiving marketing ideas to sell more in 2024.

So, now it’s time to create a festive marketing campaign, offer a special discount, or host a giveaway.

To help you, use SMSCountry to send personalised text messages to your leads and customers and automate your WhatsApp conversations with a powerful tool.

These are great ways to stay in touch, build trust, and increase conversions.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Thanksgiving marketing strategy today, and get ready to gobble up some profits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 12 Days of Thanksgiving marketing strategy?

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving marketing strategy is a campaign that offers customers special deals and discounts on different products or services each day for 12 days leading up to Thanksgiving.

What are the objectives of Thanksgiving marketing?

The objectives of Thanksgiving marketing are to increase sales, customer loyalty, and brand awareness during the holiday season. Thanksgiving marketing also aims to create a positive association between the brand and the festive spirit of gratitude and generosity.

Nisha Parikh

Nisha is the VP of Marketing at Telebu. With a love for anything product or marketing, she has successfully driven growth for Telebu by steering partnerships across the Middle East and South East Asia - establishing offices and commencing operations in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and UAE. Outside of the office, Nisha enjoys spending time with her nephews and doing a lot of extensive reading.

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