Memorial Day has been an official holiday since 1971, but it’s been recognized since the late 1860s as a way to honor those who lost their lives in service.
Memorial Day is a great day to honor these people, and it’s also started to serve as the unofficial start of summer. Pools are opening up, schools are letting out, and people are ready to enjoy warmer weather and cooler beverages.
A search for “Memorial Day pool party” yielded over 75 million search results.
So how can your business get in on the fun while still honoring the spirit of the holiday? We’ve got you covered with 15 ideas and examples from real businesses to give you some inspiration broken down into:
- Memorial Day marketing ideas to boost your business.
- Memorial Day promotion ideas.
- Memorial Day sales to try.
For ideas for the whole year, download our free full marketing calendar.
Memorial Day marketing ideas
Try these Memorial Day marketing ideas to give your business a boost.
1. Confirm your holiday hours for your business listings
Are you closed on Memorial Day or will you have different hours? Make sure to take a minute to confirm your hours on your business listings like Google Business Profile and Yelp. The last thing you want to do is have someone visit your business on their day and see that you’re off too when your listings said you were open!
PS: If you don’t update your Google Business Profile hours, Google might do it for you! Find out how to protect your Google Business Profile from inaccurate updates.
2. Add any promotions or events to your website
Memorial Day is a big day for sales and events, so if your business is planning any (which we have plenty of ideas for below!), then you’ll want to make sure those are reflected on your website. If you have a promotions or coupons tab, you can add upcoming sales there. If not, a banner on your homepage or a slider callout will help spread the word and get people excited.
Home Depot links to their foundation page that details how they’re helping veterans in honor of Memorial Day.
3. Create Memorial Day-specific content
Does your business have some helpful tips, special insights, or other related information that customers and potential customers might be searching for around Memorial Day? If so, you should create Memorial Day-specific content in the form of a blog post, an FAQ page on your website, or social media posts.
For example, a healthcare business could share heart-healthy Memorial Day recipes, a home goods retailer could share how to style a Memorial Day tablescape, and a vet could share how to keep your pets safe during fireworks or what foods to avoid.
This cleaning business shared Memorial Day cleaning tips.
4. Run a Memorial Day display ad campaign
Another way to get in front of new customers this Memorial Day is to run a Memorial Day display ad campaign promoting your upcoming sales or events—or just reminding people to check out your business. Display ads are relatively quick to get off the ground—making them a perfect last-minute Memorial Day marketing idea.
5. Get active on social media
Just like any holiday, Memorial Day is a great opportunity to connect with your audience. There are many Memorial Day social media ideas you can use to pay homage to the day and keep people informed about your sales, events, and promotions. We share 15 Memorial Day social media posts with customizable templates here.
Get the templates: [Instagram] [Facebook] [Twitter]
6. Offer freebies or discounts for Military
In honor of Memorial Day, you might consider offering freebies or discounts to those who are currently serving or who have served. While Memorial Day is for remembering those lost while serving, it’s still a nice gesture that also shows how you’re thinking about the true meaning of this day. You could offer a free gift with purchase, a free service, or a special discount.
7. Host a Memorial Day fundraiser or donation drive
Another thoughtful Memorial Day marketing idea is to partner with a local organization or a veterans’ organization and host a fundraiser or donation drive. This is a great way to give back to the local community in honor of Memorial Day. Make sure to spread the word by posting about your fundraiser or drive on social media!
Memorial Day promotions to try
Take a look at these Memorial Day promotions for inspiration.
8. Promote your summer must-haves
If you have patriotic products, not only can you promote them for Memorial Day, but you can also encourage your customers to gear up for summer celebrations (and to get prepared for July 4th!).
If your products aren’t super red, white, and blue, you can still promote summer must-haves that your customers are (or should be!) looking for this upcoming season.
Don’t forget, people don’t just celebrate with clothing. They decorate their homes and gardens too.
9. Create Memorial Day packages and treats
For caterers and restaurants, Memorial Day is a great time to promote your business. Give your audience the nudge they need to forego the labor for their barbeque this year and let you do the cooking for them! You can create catering packages or other seasonal specials that will have people salivating over this promotion.
If you don’t have catering packages but do have Memorial Day-themed treats, make sure to share those! (Who doesn’t want to look at pictures of cookies!?)
10. Run patriotic specials
If you have decorative chalkboards or signs that list your specials, use them to your advantage for Memorial Day. Give them a nice patriotic makeover and post pictures of them on social media. You can even further reinforce the items you’re promoting by turning them into hashtags like 997 Cafe does below:
11. Create renewal promos
If your business runs on a subscription or contract model, run a special such as renewing during Memorial Day weekend gets them a discount or special gift.
Memorial Day sales ideas
Looking to run a Memorial Day sale? Try one (or more!) of these ideas.
12. Give discounts on red, white, and blue products
Try giving discounts on patriotic colors and sharing them as part of your Memorial Day social media plan. In the example below, Pepe Osaka’s Fishtaco Tequila Bar & Grill offers 50% all red, white, and blue margaritas (yes, please!), while including the day and time of the sale in the caption with appropriate hashtags (#memorialday and #memorialdaydeals).
You could also offer a bonus product or gift with the purchase of a red, white, or blue item.
13. Try a buy one get one free Memorial Day sale
A buy one get one free sale (or, BOGO it’s often called) is a great way to promote some complementary products or services this Memorial Day. You could bundle seasonal items together or include a new product along with a tried-and-true. Think about what would make your customers excited and willing to make a purchase.
What we like about this Memorial Day Sale is the social media graphic. You get a complete visual of the buy-one-get-one deal…plus, cute pom poms!
14. Use a Memorial Day promo code
If you have an online store, create a promo code for your Memorial Day sales and share it on social media. You could also vary your promo codes so you can see how customers found out about your deal. For instance, #memorialsocial could note that a customer saw your promo code on social while #memorialweb could note that they saw it on your website.
You can find more patriotic quotes like the one above in these Memorial Day Instagram captions from WordStream.
15. Offer free shipping
Offer free shipping during Memorial Day weekend for deals over a certain amount or just in general. Nine out of 10 people say free shipping is the top incentive that can get them to buy online! This might be just the promotion a potential customer needs to try out your business.
Make your Memorial Day marketing memorable
Using these Memorial Day marketing, sales, and promotion ideas, you can get in front of your audience, promote your business, and honor the troops on this special day.