A whole new year.
And it’s time to decide what you’re going to do with it.
Starting with New Year’s Day (Jan. 1st), people start talking about the New Year’s resolutions they’ve made, and marketers everywhere will be talking about planning an entire year’s worth of marketing now. And I’m no exception.
Yes, marketing takes time and effort. And, you’ll have a greater chance of success if you use an online marketing calendar to plan your marketing strategy in advance. But it doesn’t have to be difficult.
The most important thing to remember is that your marketing plan is a living document. Right now, it needs to be a basic roadmap for where you want to go and how you plan to get there.
There’s no need to sit down and plan the details of each and every campaign right now — unless you’re feeling industrious or have a team of marketers at your disposal. Instead, look at the big picture of where you are now and where you want to be. Then, pencil in some holidays, local events, and any “annual” activities that align with your brand. This gives you an outline dotted with focal points for your marketing efforts.
Creating a marketing plan outline for the year now will make it easier to make adjustments if and when you find them necessary.
Once you have the outline completed, you have your marketing plan for the year all mapped out. And when it comes to creating and executing those campaigns, break them down into small, manageable bites. Whether that’s a month at a time, a week at a time, or even a day at a time.
Trello calls this process of breaking things down into the smallest possible tasks microproductivity. I call it amazing because even the largest elephant isn’t that big if you only look at one square inch at a time.
So, now that you’ve got your 2024 marketing calendar roughly marked out with a plan that’s going to help you crush your goals for the year, it’s time to get to the next task . . . creating the first campaign on your calendar.
To get started, take a look at these January holidays, newsletter ideas, and fun subject lines and see where your imagination takes you.
January holidays — 2024
- January 1st-30th – National Hobby Month, National Blood Donor Month, Poverty Awareness Month. Take the energy from the new year to turn that hobby into a side hustle and make sure you continue to give what you can to support your community.
- January 1st – National Copyright Day, New Year’s Day and Commitment Day. Celebrate previous achievements, possibilities for the new year, and your continued commitment to providing excellent products and services for your customers.
- January 8th – Show and Tell at Work Day. Invite your employees and coworkers to share what they’ve been working on.
- January 9th – National Clean Your Desk Day – A clean workspace is a productive workspace.
- January 13th – Korean American Day – Celebrate Korean-owned businesses in your community!
- January 18th – National Thesaurus Day. Take a look at the big book (this one is conveniently online) and spice up your email marketing.
- January 20th – Take a Walk Outdoors Day. Maybe make that afternoon meeting a walk and talk.
- January 21st – National Use Your Gift Card Day. Encourage your readers to use the gift cards they received during the holidays.
- January 22nd – Chinese New Year. Celebrate the Year of the Dragon.
- January 27th-Feb. 4th – National Storytelling Week – Keep your customers coming back by building your brand story.
January newsletter ideas
While a lot of new entrepreneurs may think marketing campaigns are all about selling, that’s not true.
The biggest advantage small businesses have over the big guys is the relationships they build.
Nothing can replace the feel of a small town or being on a first-name basis with your butcher. And those relationships are built by talking with your customers, not at them.
Start by using days like Get to Know Your Customers Day (Jan. 19th) to send out a survey. The new year is the perfect time to ask about goals and resolutions.
January newsletter ideas for helping your readers reach their goals
When you take time to get to know your audience, you stand a better chance of knowing what they want and need, and how you can help and support them.
Here’s how you can support your readers this month:
- Be an inspiration. Share stories about how you, your employees, or other locals are overcoming obstacles to be a success. Take it from your newsletter to social media by asking followers to share their definition of success.
- Be a resource. Think about the different resolutions your readers may have made, and take a look at how your business or organization can help them achieve those goals. Then, reach out to your readers with how you can help, including providing a list of additional resources they could use. Better yet, ask them to share their resolutions on social media, then create a list of resources based on the answers you received.
- Be an ally. Think about sponsoring a mentor program or a support group, or offer up your location for after-hours meetings for those who already have support groups started in your community. If it’s not appropriate for you to host guests at your place of business, take a poll of your readers and followers to see if they’d be interested in joining a Facebook group or meeting at a local coffee shop or public library.
January newsletter ideas for making your readers feel good
- Be a partner. Partner up to raise funds for a local nonprofit. Whether you hold a “cuddly kitten” picture contest on social media to raise funds for a local shelter, partner with a local gym and sponsor a community beginners Yoga class, or get with a local counselor to create a free video on meditation or mindfulness, there are a lot of things you can do in partnership with your fellow business owners and nonprofits to benefit your community.
- Build relationships and trust. If you’re already doing something great for your community, share what you’re doing with your readers and let them know how they can contribute.
- Be a resource. Share tips on mental, physical, and emotional health. Depending on your brand, you can share funny stories about how you relieve stress — personally, I make bread — or you can supply professional tips of your own or curate content from a trusted source.
Whatever holiday you highlight in your newsletter this month, whether you issue a challenge, offer advice, or ask your readers to share, include a branded hashtag and a custom hashtag — along with a corresponding post on social media — so you can easily find and like what they post!
January newsletter subject lines
- “We’re committed to providing excellence” – Commitment Day (Jan. 1st) – Let your readers know your intentions.
- “Let’s talk about it” – Day of Dialogue (Jan. 5th) – Great for starting a conversation with your readers, asking for feedback or sharing important updates about your business that are open for commentary.
- “Have we got a story to tell you!” – National Storytelling Week (Jan. 29th – Feb. 5th) – Perfect for sharing any type of story that relates to your business or community.
- “Here’s how we’re kicking off 2024”
- “These are our top picks for 2024”
- “Join us as we celebrate 2024”
- “Gift card burning a hole in your wallet?”
- “The holidays might be over, but the sale’s still happening”
- “We’re giving back in 2024 and we want your help!”
- “Jumpstart your resolution with us!”
For more January holidays and ideas on what you can do to share them with your customers, download the graphic below. Or, start the new year right by planning out your marketing strategy now with our 2024 Online Marketing Calendar. Complete with a free template and a list of holidays you can use to plan a successful year.