Sending Off Summer: Preparing for Labor Day Marketing

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As summer starts to wind down, we begin preparing for the long weekend of Labor Day and the approaching fall season. But as kids go back to school and life goes back to normal, how can you get your business ready for what comes next? Julie Landry Laviolette of Groupon Merchant Blog has some ideas.

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Summer may be coming to a close with Labor Day on September 2nd, but smart business owners know that the right Labor Day marketing ideas can make this their time to shine. In fact, more than half of Americans make Labor Day purchases, spending an average of $58 per shopper.

So, how do you stand out among all the sales? Here are a few ideas for Labor Day promotions that you can use to grow your business.

Embrace Seasonal Themes

The beginning of fall lends itself to lots of themes, so inject a little fun into your Labor Day marketing ideas. Think “Back to School,” “Football Frenzy,” and “Fall Fun.” Draw out the celebratory vibe of the holiday, rather than have a sale that could just as easily happen any other time of the year.

Offer students a deal on back-to-school haircuts, or give teachers a discount on anti-stress massages. Have a drawing for a backpack, football team sweatshirt, or game tickets. Pump up your decor with streamers in your local team’s colors. Decorate with silk flowers in autumn hues.

Showcase Your Specials

Create a window display to draw attention to your Labor Day promotions. Again, you can use themes to group together items that are on sale.

The top items Americans plan to spend on include school supplies, clothes, electronics, and furniture. You can group together items for returning teachers or college students, items for the family cookout, items for the kickoff of football season, or whatever other theme best fits your business.

Offer a “Picnic-To-Go”

Memorial Day may be the biggest grilling day of the year, but Labor Day competes closely with Independence Day for second place. A whopping 40% of Americans plan to barbeque on Labor Day.

You can get in on the action by offering a gourmet picnic-to-go that can be pre-ordered in advance. Provide an in-house cookout with all the Labor Day meal fun, but none of the fuss. Alternatively, try a special on a picnic-friendly dish for take-out orders. Who doesn’t love a good potato salad with their barbeque?

Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

A lot of neighboring businesses will probably be looking for ways to cash in on Labor Day weekend, too. Why not join forces? Collaborating on some Labor Day marketing ideas with your neighbors will help keep all of your cash registers ringing.

Try a “savings passport” that a customer gets marked at each business to be entered into a prize drawing. Give out coupon sheets with discounts from several nearby businesses. Create buzz on your social media and offer a secret code that will give customers an extra discount or a freebie if they come in.

Bring Your Labor Day Marketing Ideas Online

Last year, Americans spent a record $2 billion online on Labor Day, up 23% from the year before. This means that more Americans are looking to online platforms for their Labor Day shopping. If you’re not marketing your Labor Day promotions online, you’re leaving cash on the table.

Enlist local businesses to use a shared hashtag to promote your Labor Day specials. Build buzz by playing to the strengths of multiple online platforms. Do a “sale of the hour” on Twitter. Use Facebook Live or Periscope to advance upcoming specials or broadcast your event. Share enticing photos of artfully-crafted dishes on Pinterest. Run ads for Labor Day deals on Google and Facebook.

Host An Event

With warm weather on the way out, people are desperate to go on as many outings as they can while it’s still nice enough to leave home. You can help fill that need by hosting an event for your community.

Hire a musician, balloon animal artist, or magician to entertain kids while the adults shop. Host a competition like a photo contest, fun run, or water balloon fight. Give out cookies or lemonade to shoppers. Get a local food truck to come by and cross-promote each other on social media.

Bid Summer Goodbye

A lot of Labor Day marketing ideas are really just end-of-summer marketing ideas in disguise. So, why not just openly make your Labor Day promotion all about a last hurrah for summer?

Create a giveaway or discount that offers customers one last taste of summer, like a tropical spa treatment, drink special, plate lunch, or beach tote. Offer a Groupon to get new customers to come try out these “last call” specials.

Have a Sidewalk Sale

You won’t be able to have very many sidewalk sales come winter. That’s why Labor Day weekend is a great time to have one. You can even make it a clearance sale to move your summer inventory out the door.

Promote your sidewalk sale on your Facebook page with a countdown to sale day. Give away cards or fliers leading up to the sale. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce if there’s a joint promotion with other local businesses you can tap into.

Say Hello to Fall

In contrast, instead of focusing on summer leaving, you could instead choose to focus on fall arriving. Although Labor Day may seem a bit early for pumpkin spice to some of us, you’ll almost certainly have customers who’ve been waiting for it all year. Use your Labor Day promo to introduce your new fall line-up, like a seasonal menu, an autumn-inspired cocktail, or just-in apparel. Use a Groupon campaign to introduce your new items.


Don’t sit back and hope customers find you over the long weekend. Promote your business with one of these Labor Day marketing ideas and take advantage of the opportunity to get new shoppers coming through your doors.