With Labor Day around the corner, small business owners have something to think about. And that doesn’t just apply to mattress stores and car dealerships, either—although if you’re in those businesses you may already have a head start on Labor Day marketing. Long story short, any chance for a seasonal promotion can result in some big revenue boosts for your company. Don’t dismiss it—read on to find tips on how to make Labor Day work for your small business.

happy labor day from podium

Tips before we start

Know your market and use data to develop Labor Day advertising ideas

This applies in general to any promotion, but it’s important and can be very beneficial to segment your audience with data that you already have. For instance, you may be able to segment customers based on how long it’s been since they made a large purchase and get them to return. For instance, if you’re selling cars, you can exclude customers who may have made a purchase within the last few months and run special deals for customers on leases or customers who may want to trade in for the new model year.

Use end-of-summer messaging

Hitting at the end of the summer is really effective for some industries. Retail can push new fall merchandise and reduce prices on summer inventory. It’s also an opportunity to help people get in the last activities of the summer before real life sets in. Hospitality, events, and experiences can really benefit from hitting on the good vibes of summer before the new season arrives.

If your business is seasonal by design, this is a good time to start ramping up for the coming season whether it’s the end or the beginning of your operation. Many landscaping services can run promotions around fall cleanup, winterizing sprinklers, and some may even pivot in the winter entirely to hang holiday lights and decorations. Labor Day isn’t too early to think about this stuff—and your customers will appreciate the foresight your business can offer too.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

There are some tried-and-true ideas for running a seasonal promotion like a Labor Day sale or event, but you can try new things too. Something you might consider is using text as a marketing channel. With an SMS marketing campaign, you can get your promotion, sale, or event in front of your most loyal customers at a huge discount compared to traditional marketing channels. Try sending a text and starting a conversation and you’ll like where it can get you.

See what works

Try a few of the below ideas to see what works for your business and market. Some of these might work great for some industries and not great for others; some may work in combination with each other or work well as a non-seasonal campaign as well. You can then adjust that for future marketing campaigns based on what you’ve learned.

Labor Day Marketing Examples 

Here are a few ideas for Labor Day marketing that will get your customers excited:

Tap into the Back to School Market

It’s the end of summer, so families with kids are fully in school mode with Labor Day representing the last big summer bash. Even if your business doesn’t have much to do with school-age activities, it’s a great tie-in and a little creativity can go a long way.

Partner Up

Find a business with complementary services and run a promotion together. Some ideas include a giveaway where one business provides a gift card for an experience and another offers a meal for a free Labor Day barbecue. You get the shared benefit of exposure to your partner’s customers, and more opportunities for growth.

Bring your Labor Day marketing ideas online

Social media is your friend for Labor Day promotions. Take the previous idea, for instance: with a giveaway, you and your partner business can get a huge boost in social media following or marketing opt-ins by making that a stipulation of the promotion. You’ve likely seen this before on Instagram: “Follow these accounts and tag a friend in the comments to enter!” This is a hugely effective and cheap way to get into people’s feeds and boost your exposure.

And if you’re not offering a giveaway, make sure you’re still using your online presence to make your Labor Day event or promotion known. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.

Host an event

This is an idea with so many possible iterations. An event can be anything you want it to be, or anything you have the budget for. Whether it’s a sale for your customers or a party for your employees, having Labor Day in mind is a great opportunity to create community around the season. Spruce up your event by hiring a local musician, a balloon artist or face painter, or hiring a local caterer.

You might consider an open house with giveaways, a barbecue with catered food to get people in the door, or partner up with neighboring businesses for a Labor Day block party. If you do it right, you can host an event that makes your customers feel like they’re being appreciated and also gives you a chance to move inventory and close some deals. 

Offer special shopping hours for loyal customers

This idea works especially well with an SMS marketing campaign. A flash sale for loyal customers can be a great way to create exclusivity and also drive marketing opt-ins. “Sign up for updates and get access to our Labor Day sales an hour early!”

special offer illustration

Have a sidewalk sale

Move some of your inventory outside. Enjoy the weather! It can get people to stop where they may not have stopped before. If you’ve got a service-based business, you can still set up a table and a canopy out on the sidewalk and have a new opportunity to strike up conversations, especially if you’re offering deals and discounts.

Send a simple status update

Remind your customers that you’re offering a deal or hosting an event! Some people may need the last minute reminder. Send a text or post an update to remind people the morning of and invite them down to participate.

Build FOMO With Your Social Media Posts

Like the above tip, this is a reminder—but with a psychological aspect to it as well. Let your followers see what they’re missing out on! With SMS marketing as a tool in your pocket, you can get people to act on their FOMO too. Share a pic of your event, then send an update to their phone—it’s not too late to take advantage of your in-progress Labor Day sale!

Don’t forget a day-after event for weekend workers

Not everybody will be available to come in or check out what you’re offering. You might find success by offering an extra day to your sale, and let your customers know with one more text, email, or post so they can check out what they missed.

Why local retailers should care about marketing over Labor Day weekend

It’s not even just that everybody else is doing it—having a strategy for Labor Day can make your customers excited to participate on a day where they are likely ready to spend money and have a good time, or preparing for the coming winter months. Put together a marketing plan and see what works!

Raechel Duplain
Raechel Duplain Group Manager, Solutions Marketing

Raechel Duplain is an experienced content, marketing, and business professional at Podium, the leader in Interaction Management solutions for local businesses.

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