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  • 40+ May Promotion Ideas to Heat Up Your Marketing Calendar

May is summer’s gateway. That means it’s almost time for pool parties, school vacations, travel planning, and plenty of beachy vibes.

It also means it’s time to connect with customers as they think about all these warm-weather activities.

From Mother’s Day deals to Memorial Day discounts, these May promotion ideas will set you up for a successful month of marketing.


40+ May promotion ideas

May is a time of transition. Schools are letting out, days are getting longer, and the weather’s losing its final chill. Now is the perfect time to help your customers prepare for summer fun.

Feature seasonal products

Many people will look to update their outdoor gear, summer fashions, and other seasonal items. Make sure they find what you sell in their search.

Highlight new spring and summer products

That first warm May day will have people thinking about garden parties, bike rides, and long days at the pool. Lean into these ideas by showcasing your best new products in your promos.

May promotional ideas - REI sales promotion

Remember to be aspirational in your ad copy. Help your customers imagine what their summertime life will be like with your products, and they’ll be excited to buy them.

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Partner with an influencer to promote a May sale

Influencer marketing will help you reach your target audiences quickly. Use this tactic to get your seasonal solutions in front of people likely to buy them.

May promotional ideas - influencer Instagram Reel

When considering an influencer’s audience, remember it’s more about quality than quantity. Look at how much engagement their posts get over the total following. Active engagement means people are actually paying attention. A huge follower count won’t help if everyone just scrolls past your influencer’s posts.

Hold clearance sales to move last season’s inventory

You can drum up some quick sales and plenty of buzz by promoting a discount on last season’s inventory.

May promotional ideas - Ad for a clearance sale.

Here’s the cool thing about this promotion idea: you’ll not only clear out products that would collect dust until next year, but you’ll also get a hit of engagement on your social media posts, which is a signal for the social media algorithms to surface your content more often.

Other May product promotional ideas

  • Have a BOGO spring sale: Like the clearance event, it’ll sell more products quickly and generate a lot of awareness for your brand.
  • Use a May-themed giveaway or contest: Giveaways are sure-fire social media marketing gold mines that attract new audiences quickly.
  • Try interactive content: Interactive content, like a “spin-to-win” wheel, gets more engagement than some other content types, so it’s a great tool for May promotions.
  • Add a countdown timer: May promotions are time-sensitive by nature; a countdown timer adds another level of urgency.

Support May causes

May has many worthwhile causes that you can support while promoting your brand. Whether it’s through awareness or financial giving, you can help make a difference this month.

Spread good vibes for Mental Health Month

There are times when there are better moves than a hard sales pitch. Anything promoting Mental Health Month falls into that category. That said, there are ways to support the cause tactfully while getting attention for your business that can eventually turn into sales.

May promotional ideas - Mental Health Awareness post on instagram.

Besides sharing a message of hope like this one, you could also offer to donate a portion of your proceeds to nonprofit organizations. That’s a great way to keep what you sell top-of-mind while giving back at the same time.

Promote ALS Awareness Month

ALS is a terrible disease that affects over 30,000 people in the US alone. One great way to use your brand for good is to help promote a fundraiser for organizations that fight this disease.

May promotional ideas - Instagram post from Untappd.

If you have the means, you can start the movement on your own. But even if you’re not ready for that, search for groups that help fund research or support affected families. Reach out to learn about their fundraising efforts and share their message in ways that align with your mission. It may not directly sell products, but it will promote your brand in a meaningful way.

Co-promote for Small Business Week (April 28-May 4)

Partnering with complementary brands is one of my favorite ways to promote yourself. You can split the promotion workload and get access to a new audience.

Small Business Week is the perfect time to help spread the word about your business while sharing the love for other small businesses.

May promotional ideas - Instagram post for Small Business Week

This one is easy to do. Just tag complementary businesses in your Small Business Week content. If you market a yoga studio, tag a juice bar and an athletic clothing boutique. Their followers will see your post; hopefully, those businesses will give you a tag back, too. Here’s a host of other small business marketing ideas for the month.

Get creative for Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10)

Teachers have one of the most demanding and important jobs on the planet. You can help kids and parents show their appreciation for great educators by offering special products or discounts and cross-promoting them on all your channels.

May promotional ideas - Teacher appreciation post on Instagram.

If you can’t create a new product, maybe you can curate a teacher-specific collection of existing items. For example, you could put together a relaxation box of aromatherapy candles and bath bombs. Or consider offering teachers a discount code for your shop.

Other May causes to consider

We’ve barely scratched the surface of all the important causes that have events in May. Adapt the promotion ideas above to any of these observances and awareness days this month.

  • Brain Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Fitness Day (May 4)
  • National Nurses Day (May 6)
  • National Red Cross and Red Crescent Day (May 8)
  • Armed Forces Day (May 18)
  • River Cleanup Day (May 18)
  • National Rescue Dog Day (May 20)
  • World Hunger Day (May 28)
  • World Multiple Sclerosis Day (May 30)

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Have fun with May Holidays

May offers no shortage of holidays for your customers. With some planning, you can make your brand a partner in their celebrations.

Share a gift guide for Mother’s Day

Moms give us the world and deserve to receive it in return. But sometimes, shopping for the perfect gift can be a challenge. A list of ideal gifts for moms will help stoke your customers’ gift-giving imagination.

May promotional ideas - Mother's Day gift guide from Uncommon Goods

You’ll get bonus points if you organize your gift guide using some themed categories. Maybe that’s “gifts for moms that love the outdoors” or “gifts for working moms.” Anything that helps people quickly find the ideas that’ll make mom happy on her special day.

Get Festive for Cinco de Mayo

For most people, Cinco de Mayo is a day filled with fiestas and fanfare. For an extra dose of fun, try putting your own spin on the festivities.

May promotional ideas - Cinco de Mayo Instagram post.

If you’re a local business, host an event at your site to bring foot traffic through the door. A food truck, music, and other cultural attractions would be great. If your business is virtual, share recipes and cultural facts in your content, and then include a discount to commemorate the day.

Give back on Memorial Day

A Memorial Day discount is a great way to promote your business on this important holiday. But you can go the extra mile and use your sales event to support the people this day is meant to remember.

May promotional ideas - Sale post for Memorial Day,

To do it, partner with a nonprofit that offers services for veterans or families of fallen service members. You could also hold a “local hero” giveaway, asking people to nominate someone they consider a hero and then give a gift to one of the nominees.

Have a Star Wars-themed promotion on May the Fourth

Ever since someone realized that “May the Fourth” sounded a lot like “May the force (be with you),” the day became Star Wars Day.

There are so many ways to join the Jedi fun. But if you can offer a Star Wars-themed version of your product or service, you’ll really get your followers’ attention.

May promotional ideas - Star Wars-themed tattoo sale.

Bakeries, restaurants, artists, and designers can quickly adopt this trend. But even a pediatric dentist’s office could promote its business by giving kids a small Star Wars-themed toy. Get a little creative, and you’ll take your sales into hyperspace (too much?).

Other May holidays for promotions

There’s a holiday just about every month in May. Have a look through these options to see which might resonate best with your audience:

  • National Pet Month
  • National Salsa Month
  • National Space Day (May 3)
  • National Nurses Day (May 6)
  • American Craft Beer Week (May 13-19)
  • National Apple Pie Day (May 13)
  • Bring Flowers to Someone Day (May 15)
  • National Hamburger Day (May 28)

Create seasonal-themed promotions

You always want to promote products and services while people are in the planning phase, not the doing phase. These May marketing ideas are perfectly timed to catch customers as they make summer plans.

Promote travel-related deals

Travel, especially family travel, spikes in the summer as kids get out of school. If you can help them plan their trips, you’ll become one of their favorite businesses.

I like this example from an ecommerce business. Coolers are multi-function products that can be used on a worksite or at a baseball game. In this case, they’re presented as a must-have travel accessory.

May promotional ideas - Ad for travel coolers.

You don’t have to be a travel brand to tap into the love of exploration. Share a local travel guide or tips to prep your home when you’re away. Just look for information people need to get going and gather it for them. Then, share any services you offer that can help in the process.

Hold a garden or lawncare sale

Yards are in full bloom by May. Offer discounts on items that will help people beautify their indoor and outdoor spaces.

May promotional ideas - promotion for hanging plants.

Make the most of this visual promotion with stunning images and eye-catching videos. Capture your products or create how-to content that helps people use them. Add a discount code for the perfect summertime promo pairing.

Tie up wedding season

June, July, and August are the most popular months for weddings. You know what that means? May is when you should pull out all wedding-promotion stops.

May promotional ideas - social media promotion for wedding dresses.

Visual platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube are among the best social media platforms for reaching people planning their weddings. Plus, more people are using social media to discover new products.

Have a schools-out promotion

Once the final bell rings for the semester, parents will look for ways to keep their kids entertained, safe, fed, and active. This May, promote products, discounts, and helpful content that addresses any of these concerns.

May promotional ideas - post promoting kids hand sanitizer.

Cast a broad creative net here. Things like sunscreen and snack packs make sense. But what about a restaurant running a “parents’ night out” promotion to give moms and dads a break during summer? Or a grocery store posting cookie decorating ideas kids can do, adding the ingredient list to make shopping a snap.

Other seasonal-themed promotion ideas

There’s lots to prepare for in May. If the ideas above didn’t fill your promotional calendar, maybe these will help:

  • HVAC and other summer house preparation deals
  • Health and fitness-related promotions included in your May newsletter
  • Outdoor adventure and beach-themed deals
  • Kentucky Derby deals and discounts

Keep audiences engaged with these May promotion ideas

It can be challenging to create new sales and marketing events constantly. Luckily, this list will give you a new May promotion idea for every day of the month.

Remember to think outside of the box when considering these themes. You don’t have to be a travel brand to have an adventure-themed promotion. Then, use these themes in your May promotional emails for even more sales.

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