With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, your business has an opportunity to capitalize on some festive holiday marketing. Seasonal holidays provide good opportunities for promotion. While some of those are fairly obvious (Halloween, Christmas, St. Valentine’s Day, or Super Bowl), others may get not that much of attention, and St. Patrick’s Day is the one.
First, why should you care about St. Patrick’s Day? It’s not just about green beer and shamrocks.
According to the National Retail Federation’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey, 56% of Americans plan on celebrating this year, and that jumps to 73% in the 18-34 year old demographic. If that age group is part of your target audience, don’t skip this holiday. It paves the way for your business to make this day lucrative.
Planning Your St. Patrick’s Day Promotions
If you want to hit the jackpot with your St. Patrick’s Day promotions, allow yourself adequate time for planning and execution. You may need to allow extra time to have marketing collateral printed, especially if you’re planning something unique like scratch-off tickets for your “Feeling Lucky” offers.
The ideal time to start your promotions is early March. In 2022, St. Patrick’s day falls on Thursday, March 17th. It means that people will start going out to celebrate starting Friday, and all through the weekend. How can your business take advantage of these three days? If you’re hosting an event or special in-store sale, start letting customers know earlier in the month so they make plans to attend (and bring their friends or family along). Share your event with your email list and on social media.
Give your customers (and yourself!) time to put away the red hearts and pink confetti from Valentine’s Day before you start transitioning to the spring green of St. Patrick’s Day.
If you’re selling a product that is for use on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll need to start your promotions even earlier. Calculate your shipping deadlines to ensure products arrive on time.
St Patrick’s Day Quick Facts
- 82%* of St. Patrick’s Day customers are going to wear green apparel for celebration.
- The highest average spending category among the holiday participants is 25 to 34-year-olds. They are planning to spend $42* to participate in spending patterns.
- St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by 149 million people.
- The most popular products that consumers will spend on are food (50%), beverages (41%), apparel items to wear for St. Patty’s (31%), decorations (26%), candy purchases (16%)*.
- 73%* of buyers aged 18-24 are more likely to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, choosing to go out for fun.
- It is observed a 137% increase in consumer spending on this holiday in the last 10 years in the US.
- 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day Marketing Ideas
Show your St. Patrick’s Day spirit through your window and in-store displays
The best way to show people your St. Patrick’s Day spirit is to decorate your store for the occasion.
See to it that passers-by know that you’re celebrating the hallowed Irish holiday by decorating your window displays with the right props and merchandise. If you’re selling green or themed products, make sure they’re front and center.
Think about the items people are likely to buy, such as:
- Party supplies
- Clothing and costumes
- Themed jewelry
- Greeting cards
- Stuffed animals
Set Up a Dedicated Section in Your Store
Make it easy for people to find your collections or promotions by having them all in a dedicated place in your store. Regardless of what you sell, group together green items to create a fun display/promotion for your customers! If applicable, you could even offer a special discount on any green items in your store!
Dress Up Your Website
Consider adding some green elements to your website to get into the spirit. You can accomplish this by temporarily updating your color scheme or adding some St. Paddy’s-centric images to your site. If you’re an online shop, add some green elements to your branding or header images.
As green is the main color of St. Patrick’s Day, you can sparingly use it to create a certain atmosphere on your website staying true to your company’s brand. With the help of holiday-themed images and banners with St. Patty’s phrases like ‘Lucky’, ‘Leprechaun’, or others you can also stay festive. Otherwise, you can add some falling effects or imagery as gold pots, shamrocks, etc. One more way to add some St. Patrick’s Day spirit to your store is to make temporary edits to your logo, just like Google does it.
If you have an eCommerce site, this means you should set up a “St. Patrick’s” category or page, and then promote it on your homepage with a special banner.
In the modern world, it’s crucial to be social. Only then you’ll be able to attract more followers and subscribers and, as a result, extend the number of potential customers. Nothing boosts brand awareness like people engaging with your content.
The best way to do it on St. Patty’s is to create fun content and share it on your site and social media. It can be a list of creative ideas for the best slogans or designs for their holiday apparel. Otherwise, it can be some funny video of your staff celebrating this day or dancing to Irish music. The funnier your content, the more chances for it to be shareable on social media and become noticed by potential buyers.
A good way to encourage social traffic is to invite your followers to take part in St. Patrick’s Day social media contests. And you don’t have to offer the winner a trip to Ireland…one of your products will do just fine as a prize. Just remember: to motivate your followers to participate, the prize should be worth it and the content should be easy and fun to create.
There are a great number of ideas for the holiday-themed contests. One of them is for the best St. Patrick’s Day outfit. Participants are offered to share their photos with the tag of your brand. Otherwise, it can be a tag-to-win contest according to which customers should leave a comment or tag a friend under your special post to have a chance to win. ‘Like the post’ contest is also a simple way to select a random winner. To increase your social media following, you can hold a ‘Hashtag’ contest.
Join in City-Wide Celebrations
If you have a local business, get involved in city-wide promotions.
St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday for the whole family, with many cities hosting parades or 5K runs. Your business can get involved as a sponsor, or you can simply participate by attending with branded attire for your own business.
Even if you’re in a B2B industry, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to expand your visibility by participating in family-friendly celebrations.
Partner (and Party!) With a Local Business
When most people think of St. Patrick’s Day, they think of whiskey and green beer. But even if your restaurant, bakery, or café doesn’t serve alcohol, you can still participate in the revelry by partnering with a bar or restaurant that does! Try to partner with a business that serves a different clientele (and/or is in a different industry) for maximum exposure!
St. Patrick’s Day is not just a possibility to attract more guests and have a lot of attractive social media posts. You can use the day as an opportunity for business collaboration.
Run a St. Patrick’s Day Promotion
If it makes sense for your business, consider running a deal or promotion for St. Patrick’s Day. Look at what you have in stock and identify products that you need to move. Then, come up with a St. Patrick’s Day themed promotion.
You can, for example…
- Tack a 17% discount on select products. St. Patrick’s is celebrated on or around March 17, so this is a good way to stay relevant.
- Attach a shamrock to the products you want to move, and include a discount.
- Offer a promotion to people who come into the store wearing something green. Thank everyone who comes in your store by handing out free costume necklaces or shamrock cookies to anyone who makes a minimum purchase.
- Put your green merchandise on sale. This is bound to be a popular one. According to NRF’s St. Patrick’s Day survey, 79% of respondents plan to celebrate by wearing green.
Hold a “Luck of the Draw” Promotion
Reach out to your loyal customer base with a mystery discount promotion. Mystery discounts are another way to host a sale without cutting deep into your profits. Create a tiered system with three or four levels, such as 10, 20 and 30 percent. You can even throw in a 50 percent “pot of gold” discount for one or two lucky winners.
The goal is to get customers to take a specific action. People won’t know the size of their discount until they click an email link or scratch a card.
No matter how you structure your promotion, everybody wins something. And the best part is, this idea works for in-store and digital promotions. You can use scratch cards, wafer-sealed mailers, QR codes, or basic emails for the big reveal.
Help Your Customers Save Some Green
Saving money feels good. Saving the planet feels better. Help your customers do one, or both, this March.
Even if your products aren’t Irish or green, your customers will still love the opportunity to save some of their own green! Offer exclusive discounts for the day or the weekend. Consider doing special packaging in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day sale to spark joy in the customer when they receive their orders.
Encourage your customers to start “thinking green” as a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Consider offering to donate a certain percentage of your profits that day to a “green-friendly” organization, like The Nature Conservancy, or run a promotion on environmentally friendly items, like reusable straws and bags.
In doing so, you’re keeping to a green theme that’s in line with St. Patrick’s Day, and giving your customers a reason to feel good about themselves and the impact they’re making on the environment (and their pocketbook.)
Motivate Customers with St. Patrick’s Day Freebies and FOMO
Provide your consumers with some freebies to motivate them to shop in your store on St. Patty’s. According to Inc, 80% of buyers make purchases even from an unknown brand if they are offered a discount. Thus, giving your consumers a St. Patrick’s Day discount, you increase your chances for more sales this day. As a holiday idea, you can give a discount only for green merch.
Using time-sensitive offers is also an effective St. Patrick’s marketing idea. For instance, you can use incentives like ‘Shop March 17th before 5 PM to get 25% off, after 5 PM to receive 20%’. Fear of missing out is a great stimulus for buyers to make purchases.
You can also provide St. Patrick’s Day customers with some small gifts or free shipping just this day.
Raffle Off a St. Patrick’s Day Basket
Put together a St. Patrick’s Day basket packed with themed goodies. Toss in classic Irish foods, green baked goods, or holiday costume items, such as a leprechaun hat and bowtie. And include appealing novelty items, such as green schnapps or liqueur, peppermint popcorn, and green tea fudge.
Create a Themed Food or Beverage
Own a restaurant? The smartest way to get in on the fun is to go green with your menu. Yes, everyone is doing it, but sometimes, an obvious marketing strategy makes the most sense. Customers are on the lookout for exciting limited edition products during holidays. Don’t miss out on a chance to sell a short-term product in high volume.
Social media is a powerful St Patrick’s Day promotions tool for restaurant owners. A lot of people post and browse pictures of food inspiration every day. On Saint Patrick’s Day, your guests might want to take a picture of a special or a glass of green beer. This way you’ll be generating free buzz about the place and getting new patrons.
Pot-of-Gold Scavenger Hunts
Hide clues around your brick-and-mortar store or online shop that lead to extra discounts or bonuses on future orders. Some examples include a free dessert or appetizer, BOGO offers, and percentage-off discounts.
Make the Most of Email Marketing
Make the St. Patrick’s day theme immediately apparent in your customer’s inbox by paying attention to your subject line. Your subject lines should be short and to the point, like “Save some green this St. Patrick’s Day ☘️” or “Feeling lucky? Today’s your day to save. 🌈☘️” Using emojis is a great way to attract attention, but as with everything, don’t overdo it.
Your themed email can include special offers, links to St. Patrick’s day goods for sale, recipes, trivia, and more. Make it worth your reader’s while, but be mindful not to overwhelm them with content. You can include “Read More” links back to your website from your email, thereby bringing them back to your site where they can transact.
Traditional Irish Games
What kind of party would St. Patrick’s Day be if there were no games? Bring an unforgettable atmosphere to the place by offering special games and activities for the holiday. We did some legwork on the subject and collected a few worthwhile St Patrick’s Day bar party ideas and games to play on St. Patrick’s Day.
1. Gold Hunt
Bring a couple of dozen chocolate coins and hide them all over the place. Divide the restaurant guests into two teams and have them look for this “gold” for two minutes. The winning team gets a present – a free special dish.
2. Gold Coin Toss
For this game, you can use the same coins you bought for the previous one. Sure, you’ll need to get a few leprechaun pots as well – luckily, dollar stores might help out here. Divide the group of guests into two teams and have them throw coins into a pot. For every successful toss, a player gets a point. The team with the most points gets a special prize.
3. Irish Dancing
Throw an Irish dancing workshop at your restaurant. You might even hire an instructor to teach your guests some basic moves. That way, you’ll be able to offer the visitors some free entertainment.
4. Man vs Clock
For this game, challenge your guests to ‘beat the clock’. Have a jar of Lucky Charms ready, and challenge every guest to take as many Lucky Charms out of the jar as possible within 30 seconds or a minute. Every participant gets to keep their marshmallows.
5. Hot Potato Drinking Game
Ask your guests to stand in a circle. Give a potato to a person in the center of the circle. Start playing some Irish music and have the participants pass a potato to each other. Whoever has the potato when the music stops, has to step out of the circle and have a shot of whiskey. The winner can be awarded a St. Patrick’s Day special.
St. Patrick’s Day Puns and One-Liners
Use these fun puns and phrases to spice up your marketing for St. Paddy’s day:
- Keep calm and leprechaun.
- Take a pitcher. It’ll last longer.
- Perfect for a shamrockin’ night
- The leprechauns made me do it.
- You’re my lucky charm.
- Irish you a happy St. Patrick’s day!
- Don’t worry, beer happy.
- Irish today, hungover tomorrow.
- I kissed a leprechaun and I liked it.
- Can’t think of a better way to March into Spring.
- World’s tallest leprechaun.
- Cutest clover in the patch.
- Irish I had another beer.
- The paddy don’t start till I walk in.
- I’m not Irish, but my coffee is.
- I lepre-can’t even right now.
- It ain’t over ’till it’s clover.
- I’m going green, if you know what I mean.
- Bad puns on St. Patrick’s Day don’t just shame you, they Seamus all.
Keep It Classy
Silly jokes don’t go well with your brand image? Over the last few years, many apparel stores have run successful St. Patrick’s promotions without entering pun territory.
Roll out the green carpet to your email subscribers with a well designed, eye-catching email campaign.