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Easter is right around the corner. As a small business owner, you'll want to promote your business around the holiday. Although you might not sell chocolate or other typical "Easter products", you can still have an Easter sale! After all, Easter is the unofficial start of the Spring. So, remind your target group that spring is in the air, the birds are singing, and that summer is just over the horizon.
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Chances are that you don't have a very large marketing budget that you can spend on such an Easter promotion, like the big players have. That's why we've listed 5 affordable and fun marketing ideas for you.
Easter is celebrated in most European countries, even by non-Christians. They simply celebrate the changing of the seasons and enjoy some of the traditions: chocolate (more on that below)! Before we get into the tips, let's look at a couple stats:
In this first chart, we can see the total retail spending on Easter in the UK (2022). In 2020, spending broke the £1 billion mark. Last year (2022), spending reached £1.3 billion.
As you probably know, a lot of chocolate is sold during holidays, especially Easter. In fact, a lot of new chocolate products are “invented” for this holiday. Of all seasonal chocolate products launched in the year (worldwide), 41% are launched during Easter.
According to Mintel, the countries that come up with the most new chocolate products for Easter are:
In Europe, you’ll see the following activities for Easter in almost every country:
In Germany, a Chrismon survey shows that 79% of respondents spend time with family/friends, 33%-34% hunt and/or paint eggs, and 20% go on holiday. 9% also indicate that they give gifts to each other.
For this market, it is definitely worth promoting gifts on your site and things to do with family/friends, such as board games. Statista confirms this in their own research into how Easter is celebrated in Germany.
As you read earlier, the United Kingdom is very active when it comes to chocolate innovations for Easter. That's not surprising because in the UK, it's traditional to give a loved one a big chocolate Easter egg.
Spending goes up in anticipation of the holiday. As we mentioned above, the UK spent more than £1.3 billion in 2022 for Easter.
Not from the UK? Did you know that on Good Friday, it’s traditional to eat a hot cross bun.
In Italy, Easter is the biggest holiday after Christmas. Select Italy explains that children receive a large Easter egg with a surprise inside. Of course, eggs are also dyed, as in many countries.
Furthermore, as with all holidays, food is an important part of the festivities. In every part of Italy, there is a different delicacy that is given at Easter, but it always has to do with baking bread or cake.
In Spain, Easter still has great religious significance, so you will find fewer Easter eggs and Easter bunnies there. In Spain, Easter is not complete without parades, but of course also food. For example, the Mona de Pascua, a kind of pastry with a whole egg in it, is traditionally made. The whole family gets together on Easter to enjoy all the delicacies.
In France, parents give their children presents during Easter. Statista indicates that these are the most popular gifts:
There are also 'Chasse aux Oeufs': treasure hunts for Easter eggs. According to Alpine French School, the Easter bunny is not traditionally part of France, but it is becoming increasingly popular. More popular are chocolate eggs and bells.
Spring cleaning is traditionally held in the week before Easter. The perfect time to sell cleaning products!
Across Europe, you can see Easter egg painting as a tradition, but in Poland and Eastern Europe, they take it a step further. See the photo below: Pisanki are beautifully painted eggs with lots of details. You can buy a kit to do this at home.
As in many cultures, eating different delicacies such as baked goods and an extensive breakfast is common here.
In the Netherlands, there is a tradition in which children walk a parade with a decorated cross. The Palm Easter stick traditionally has a sandwich in the shape of a rooster on top and is often decorated (by the children themselves) with colourful paper garlands, but also peanuts or dried fruit on a chain. Unfortunately, due to copyrights, we can't share a photo, but you can just search Google Images for “”.
Furthermore, in the Netherlands it is also about being with family and an Easter breakfast or brunch is often held. Of course, Easter egg hunts and painting are also popular.
Please note: if you pass through the Netherlands (or Germany) during Easter, you may encounter Easter fires. These are large campfires that are sometimes meters high.
In Belgium, pupils and students have two weeks off around Easter, so it is customary to go on holiday. Furthermore, they spend their time eating together, visiting church and looking for Easter eggs.
Also, an Easter walk is quite common, where families walk together through nature. For these people, good walking shoes are a popular purchase in this day and age.
Let's now look at some ways you can prepare your Easter marketing campaigns...
If you send out emails/newsletters somewhat regularly, this is a great opportunity to promote your products. Make sure your email design is an instant reminder of the upcoming holidays. This alone could be the inspiration they need to start shopping (with you!).
In the example below from American clothing retailer, Old Navy, the chocolate bunnies are an instant reminder that Easter is coming up. The font style and sizes also highlight the biggest element of the sale: the discounts.
The American clothing brand, Old Navy, gives their customers plenty of chances to save money with their sales, but they also add some urgency. (Source: Old Navy)
Depending on the software you use to manage your email campaigns, you can find plug-ins at the provider’s website or go to third-party developers. Many third-party developers, such as Magento, offer creative options at an acceptable price.
The same concept can work for your website as well. During any big holiday, your service provider will most likely offer some plug-ins for your website. Adding a little extra flair can really put your customers in a shopping mood.
Something as simple as adding some Easter-themed photos or a header image can really make a difference and inspire your customers to shop, especially with the extra incentive of a limited-time discount.
Taking it a step further, you could even create an Easter egg hunt on your website.
Finding all the eggs leads to a discount as a reward! But, discounts are easy, right? Why bother creating a whole Easter Egg hunt just to give out a discount?
The genius lies in the fact that that customers will have to scan through your website to find them. This inspires them to check out certain pages that they might not have visited otherwise.
Once they find the eggs, they’ll be redirected to a page providing a discount code.
Combined with your Easter-themed newsletter, your traffic (and conversions) are sure to increase. Simple plug-ins on e-commerce platforms are generally inexpensive and usually fairly easy to integrate. Just search for terms like “gift hunt” or “discount hunt”.
Bonus tip: It’s always important for your online shop to have elements of trust, so your customer knows that they can shop safely with you. Think of a trustmark and customer reviews. Above all, show how well your online shop is rated and make sure that these reviews can be seen on multiple platforms.
Well, now it’s starting to look a proper campaign! And what’s a good campaign without social media?
Simply put, try to synchronise your social media pages and posts to fit the look and feel of your website and newsletter.
If the Easter egg hunt isn’t easy to integrate onto your website, an easier option would be to place them in your social media posts.
Don’t forget to regularly remind your followers of the contest and encourage them to follow your account. This will get them to regularly check your posts. Alternatively, you can provide daily hints in your social media posts about where they can find the eggs on the website. This will boost engagement on your platforms and traffic on your website.
You could also post some nice photos (with people, if possible) of the products that you want to promote. Use your hashtags, mention any sales, coupon codes, or anything else that you think is relevant. A great social media campaign has some personality to it, so don’t be afraid to be creative and have a bit of fun!
There are lots of ideas out there that can get your audience engaged with your brand. You can even try to encourage your audience to take part by getting them to do something as simple as wearing bunny ears and holding your product to qualify for a discount.
Although it's much easier said than done, you could try to create something that goes viral(ish).
In the video by Co-operative Group below, they made a heart-warming video campaign looking for "good eggs". The budget was most likely very low, but it was a great idea for getting into the spirit of the holiday.
Social media is special because it really is the only way that your customers (and potential customers) can interact with the company directly and publicly. That is why running a contest could be a great way to inspire action from your target group.
Best Western Hotels and Resorts was giving away travel cards for the Easter holiday.
Whether it’s an Easter egg hunt, a selfie contest, or a “write a caption to this photo” competition, this can really build a connection between the company and the public. Just don’t forget to promote this contest in all of the above-mentioned mediums. This might even get you some new followers.
To go along with social media, you might want to consider running some paid ads, which could work really well. You can target the consumers precisely while also focusing on a campaign themes (like Easter!).
Create the ad, set your budget, and check out how they perform regularly. You should even consider running multiple ads at the same time to test which ones are getting the most clicks (known as "A/B tests"). Do certain images or texts work better than others? This information will be valuable for other holidays, but also for next year's Easter.
If you collect reviews from Trusted Shops, you can use the Google Integration tool to display your star ratings in your Google Ads. This will make your ads stand out more and you can even reduce your costs. Click here to read more about Google integration.
There are a lot of ways that you, as a small business owner, can promote your online shop during the busy shopping seasons. It’s important to plan ahead and start promotions and “holiday awareness” campaigns a few weeks in advance.
A couple of small tweaks to your site, combined with a good social media campaign, and a bit of fun can get your shop the extra attention that you want without too much money or effort.