It’s the most wonderful time of the year — and one of the most interesting times to be in the marketing industry! I don’t know about you, but I’m always excited to see how companies approach their marketing campaigns during the holiday season. Every year, I’m continually impressed by the creative marketing messages and content my B2B counterparts are generating during the end-of-year rush.
This year, I’ve already seen a number of holiday campaigns hit my inbox. While some have fallen flat and made their way into my spam box, there are a few that have really piqued my interest. From interactive drawing boards to charity donations, here are six B2B holiday campaigns that really hit their mark this year:
1. inContact and the interactive snowman
This is one that I had a lot of fun with. inContact’s holiday campaign began with a simple email and a subject line that read “Happy Holidays from inContact!” Upon clicking into the email, it was immediately apparent that this was no ordinary holiday greeting card. Sure, there was some copy with holiday well wishes, but there was also a CTA button prompting recipients to “draw a snowman!” on the email’s sidebar.
Naturally, I clicked on the button. (Hey, who doesn’t want to draw a snowman?) This led me to a canvas where I could illustrate my own little snowman character!
So, I did. And I watched a magical scene unfold in front of me.
I won’t ruin the surprise, but upon drawing a very realistic and unmistakable key in my snowman’s hand, a secret message was revealed from inside the wrapped box! Talk about a fun interactive way to grab my attention amidst all of the other holiday promotions that have been on my radar over the past month.
2. SDL’s holiday donation program
SDL, a global customer experience company, took a different approach to their holiday campaign. After opening their holiday email, I was prompted to click to learn more about the SDL team. While normally this leads to a quick “mark as read and move on,” this email came with a catch. If I clicked the “learn more” button, $1 would be donated to the SDL Foundation. How could I possibly say no to that? Not only is this a brilliant way to encourage email recipients to visit their website, it’s also making a difference to local communities across the globe.
This campaign doesn’t end with their email. SDL also features a callout on their homepage where visitors can click to donate $1 and learn more about their Foundation program.
3. Splash’s “Holiday Ode” video card
Another noteworthy holiday campaign came from event marketing company Splash. To spread appreciation for event marketers everywhere, the Splash team created a holiday-themed video card (à la “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) to commend event planners for their tireless work and attention to detail. The video is hosted on a landing page, which the Splash team sent out personalized emails to drive traffic to. The campaign is accompanied by a hashtag (#odetoplanners) and includes means for landing page visitors to “spread the cheer” to the event planners in their lives. A cute and well-executed idea, Splash team!
4. Uberflip’s Content Marketing Christmas Carol
As a content marketer, this holiday campaign holds a special place in my heart. From a holiday e-card, I was directed to a video the Uberflip team put together for the holidays, called “A Content Marketing Christmas Carol.”
The video itself is a quirky reading of a familiar tale: Mr. Shmitty, a cynical content marketer, must be shown the past, present, and future of content marketing to discover the true meaning of the profession. Check it out here!
5. Vidyard’s Mind-boggling Holiday Video — Feat. Dynamic Content
Of all of the holiday campaigns I’ve seen this year, I want to give props to Vidyard for a campaign that left a serious impression on me. Yesterday, I received an email from the Vidyard team with a subject line that read “Jenna, your personalized video awaits!” I’ll admit that my interest was piqued, so I opened it.
A video with my name on it?! But how! I had so many questions as I clicked to play the video — and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. At no less than five points throughout the video, the Vidyard team used dynamic content to display my name in one form or another. Here’s a screenshot of one such instance in which my name was displayed on an Etch a Sketch:
Pretty cool, huh? I also want to mention that as a part of this campaign, Vidyard has made it possible for users to submit someone else’s name and have a holiday video created just for that person, which is a great sharing tactic.
I, for one, am looking forward to a case study on how this was done!
6. RedTail’s simple and thoughtful video message
Last but not least, I wanted to call out RedTail Solutions’ holiday message, which just recently landed in my inbox. What I really liked about this one was its simplicity. No crazy HTML messages here — just a short, personalized, plain-text email (which gave the email a more personalized feel) and a holiday video featuring music by Johann Sebastian Bach, beautiful winter images shot from all over the world, and a simple “happy holidays” message at the end. If we’re being honest, I let the music play in the background while I started writing up this post, long after I had finished watching the video.
Other recipients reacted just as positively to the message from RedTail: in the first two hours after the email was sent, the video received more than 13 comments returning the well wishes to the RedTail team and thanking them for the thoughtful video.
Thanks to all of the companies who have sent holiday communications our way this year, and from all of us at Pardot, happy holidays!