Five Labor Day Marketing Tips

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In the United States, Labor Day was born out of Canadian labor disputes in 1892 and deemed a federal holiday in 1894 as part of the country's response to railroad and union disputes that led to the infamous ]]>Pullman Strike]]>. Held on the first Monday of every September, Labor Day is designated for workers' leisure - though many companies stay open regardless. As these five Labor Day marketing tips demonstrate, they're on to something.

1. Don't close up shop

Sure, restaurants and retailers are open on Labor Day and promoting sales all week long, but service companies should also stay open. When you get a free day off, apart from the hustle and bustle of the weekends, you're more apt to tackle projects that have been put on hold. But when you call the HVAC guy, he's off for Labor Day. Think he just missed a sale?

2. Host an event

Labor Day sales are an obvious choice for some companies, but others might have a hard time coming up with a Labor Day event that will draw people in. The trick is in knowing your target audience and getting creative. One local insurance guy I know hosts a motorcycle cruise-in on Labor Day, complete with a band, free burgers and hot dogs, T-shirts (bearing his message), and door prizes. Every biker in attendance goes home with a branded coolie cup and a brochure that touts the agent's great motorcycle insurance rates.

3. Market early and often

Send a catalog or brochure to your target audience a few days before your big sale or event. You want to send it early enough - before your customers make other plans. Mention that they should be looking for a coupon postcard the day before and make sure it arrives on time. Craft an outstanding limited-time offer!

4. Take advantage of seasonal change

Kids are going back to school, homeowners are preparing for the winter, and Halloween is right around the corner: There are so many things going on this time of year, you're bound to find a great angle to promote your company with.

5. Invite friends and family

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On Labor Day, friends and family often gather for cookouts, fun - and shopping. If you can create a fun environment for family and friends, you're more apt to get "buddy shoppers" who will encourage one another to splurge on that perfect dress or beef up their workshop with that monstrous power tool. Again, creativity is key. You might want to partner with another business to pull this off. A hardware store, for example, might partner with a jeweler and/or a toy store to create a special family sale day in which a purchase is made at all three stores and a hefty discount or other valuable offer is presented. If the sale can be held in one location - such as the interior of a mall or a section-off portion of a parking lot - all the better!