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Christmas in July: Get Ahead of Holiday Advertising with Programmatic Direct Mail

The kids are barely out of school in some regions of the country, and we’re already discussing holiday shopping and how to appeal to consumers with holiday advertising. That’s because there is a general trend in which consumers are shopping earlier and earlier for major retail holidays, like Christmas and Back to School. The thinking is that shoppers can nab better deals and get coveted gifts earlier than if they wait until the holiday shopping season really picks up in November.

Retailers have always needed to plan far in advance to market to holiday shoppers effectively. And with retail spending expected to rise 4.5% to $1.328 trillion for the 2023 holiday season, consumers will be shopping. However, given the uncertain nature of the US economy, 67% of retailers surveyed in CNBC’s Supply Chain Survey think consumers will hunt for bargains this holiday season. This is somewhat backed up by holiday 2023 research from Salesforce indicating that 37% of shoppers make fewer purchases than six months ago.

This means your marketing might have to work harder to get shoppers to buy from you this holiday season. Salesforce data shows that 82% of shoppers search for coupon codes before making purchases, and 66% expect companies to meet their needs and expectations, suggesting consumers will prioritize pricing and value, plus personalized experiences. 

To create targeted offers for holiday 2023 shoppers, make Programmatic Direct Mail guide your sleigh ahead of the holiday season. Not only does holiday postcard advertising help you engage people at home, where most consumers plan to shop this year, in a personalized way, but it uses real-time intent signals to tune optimization algorithms that boost performance based on your goals. And when it comes to measuring that performance, the right partners for retailers’ Programmatic Direct Mail will provide visibility into real-time program insights, such as spend and conversion rate. PDM transactions are also measurable across both online and offline points of sale.

Check out some of our retail holiday best practices and creative showcases for direct mail below.

  1. Make your brand value—and values—stand out

Two significant trends are happening in retail right now. 

The first is that customers are super price-conscious, making them less likely to remain brand loyal this holiday season. Instead, they’re seeking deep discounts and value. But there is also a growing sentiment, especially among younger shoppers, that the brands they buy from should stand for something beyond profit. And they’re putting their massive purchasing power where their values are. Sixty-eight percent of Gen Z and millennials view their purchases as key to understanding who they are and what matters to them, compared to just 43% of Baby Boomers.

Uncommon Goods strikes a sound balance across these factors in its holiday postcard advertising. The front of the postcard piques the reader’s interest with a colorful assortment of unique gifts and a snappy headline. On the back, the company shares its gifts’ personal, original nature, plus its support of independent artists and small businesses—something sure to grab the attention of younger, more socially-conscious shoppers.

Tower of gifts for home
Text about hand picked gifts with offer


  1. Make it easy 

Holiday shopping produces a lot of stress for people—64% of Americans were worried about their finances last season. Brands that can offer good value while making the transaction easy as possible can capture more of the dollars consumers are holding onto so tightly right now. 

Rad Power Bikes™ conveys this message simply and stylishly on the front of its Programmatic Direct Mail piece. It includes messaging about the bikes’ distinctive and distinguished features but really seals the deal with a deal: free shipping, a 14-day trial, and a one-year warranty. Even better, there’s no offer code necessary because all of the brand’s bikes get the same deal. 

Bike with holiday gifts for programmatic direct mail advertisement
Text with offer for award winning bike
  1. Make it last

Considering all we’ve said above, brands should market gifts they can wrap in messaging of longevity and durability. We’ve all made the mistake of giving gifts someone uses once and then never touches again (or, worse, regifts—oh, the horror!). It’s not much of a leap to assume that shoppers prioritizing price, value, and personalization want a gift that stands the test of time. 

That is precisely what the jewelry brand Brilliant Earth illuminates in its Programmatic Direct Mail piece. The postcard mentions that the brand offers classic and more unexpected styles the recipient will “wear  on repeat.” It sweetens the deal with free two-day shipping, a free lifetime warranty, and 30-day returns.

Image of woman with holiday jewelry
Engagement rings on programmatic direct mail advertising

And to make your advertising last, creating fridge-worthy creatives will outlast any digital ad impression. With the IAB standard for a “viewable” digital ad impression being at least 50% visible for at least one second, Programmatic Direct Mail’s impression can outlast digital ads living on average on someone’s counter or fridge for up to 17 days. 

Want to learn more about how PDM can help you maximize revenue from your upcoming holiday advertising? Check out some of PebblePost’s core solutions here:

Free Guide: PebblePost's Guide to Programmatic Direct Mail

Download our short guide and learn the who, what, why, and how of Programmatic Direct Mail.

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