Planning Your 2021 Promotions Calendar

Yes… I’m the organised Virgo in the room and I love me a bit of planning.

The new year is the perfect time to map out all of your promotions for 2021.

I recently ran a free training in our free group, Unstoppable eCommerce Entrepreneurs, where I walked through my exact process for making sure you are planned, prepared and proactive for your promotions.

I highly recommend you watch the free training now (no opt-in) so you can literally watch me as I map out the year or promotions.

By planning and preparing now, you will give yourself space to be creative and go with the flow in 2021.

No more last-minute “what are we going to do for Easter?!” thinking.

First, let me explain what I mean by promotions.

What is a promotion:

For this exercise, a promotion is an extraordinary reason for your customers to buy from you. This includes:

  • New product launches
  • Pre-orders
  • Special offers
  • Deals
  • Discounts

Most people think of a promotion as a discount, however, it doesn’t need to be. Launching a new product is as much of a promotion as a sale.

Here is the process I use to plan your promotions for the year:

1. Grab a yearly wall calendar like this one. We will use cloud-based spreadsheets, programs and software on the computer to plan and implement the granular detail but having something tangible to do your high-level planning on is so important, I think.

2. Mark out all and any dates that you think are relevant to your business. This includes:

  • Retail events such as Black Friday, Boxing Day, Valentine’s day etc.
  • Any product launches you have planned
  • Any key dates your influencers or strategic partners have given you (hint: they might not be as organised as you, so ask them if they have any dates you need to be aware of)

Include any and all dates here. Don’t worry about your promotions… yet.

3. Once you’ve listed out all the relevant dates go through and pick out the dates you’ll be running a promotion on. My rule of thumb is to space them out 4-6 apart so you may need to bypass a few of the dates you initially started with. Start with your new product launches, then work out which dates are going to be most relevant to your audience and to your business.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s imperative that you only use retail dates that are relevant to your business. You don’t need to do something for Valentine’s Day just because everyone else is doing it. In fact, that is the exact reason why you shouldn’t link a promotion to a retail date. If the special event is relevant to your audience, absolutely go for it but if it’s not, don’t. Also, don’t be afraid to zig when others zag. Running the Valentine’s Day example, instead of doing the hearts and roses stuff that everyone will be doing, think of how you can interrupt the newsfeed. An “I love being single” promotion would cut through way more than a “Valentine’s Day” sale. My point here is:

  • Get creative
  • Don’t follow the crowd
  • Only link your promotions to dates that are relevant to your audience

4. Take any of the events that you marked on your calendar that are not promotion dates and pop them in your content calendar. If National Hug Day was a date you marked down as relevant, but you’ve decided not to run a promo on that date, you can still create some content around it so pop it in your calendar.

5. Now reverse-engineer all the elements that you’ll need for your promotions. These may include:

  • Photoshoot
  • Landing pages
  • Email marketing
  • Social media posts
  • Discount codes
  • Communication to your influencers and strategic partners
  • Facebook Ads

6. Once you have planned all of your promotions out, slot your social media posts and emails around your promotions and then you will have a skeleton for your content… for an entire year!

Watch the free training replay

Ok… so the best way to get the most out of this advice is to watch the free masterclass in our free group.

No script, no fluff, no opt-in, no sales pitch…

Just 100% practical and actionable information for you to plan your entire 2021 promotions calendar. And, to be honest, the rest of your content slots in around your promotions, so you’ll have your entire 2021 content calendar planned too.

This is the masterclass future-you will high five current-you for watching…

By the end of the masterclass, you will have your 2021 fully planned out so you can hit the ground running. No more last-minute “what should we do for Easter next week” thinking.

I also let you in on a few of my promotion planning secrets, including:

  • how many times a year should you go on sale
  • what’s the ideal time between promotions so you’re customers stay engaged, but don’t become sale-tarts
  • how to make sure you stand out and cut through the noise of all the other promotions competing for your customers’ attention

How to access the free masterclass:

Step 1: make sure you’re in our free group. If you aren’t, click here to join now.

Step 2: click here to get instant access to the replay now (no opt-in needed)

Here’s to a super-organised, stress-free year ahead.


Written by Megan Winter

Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

eCommerce Facebook ad challenge

About Karyn Parkinson

Karyn (“with a Y!”) is an eCommerce marketing specialist with a knack for high-converting Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation. Through her eCommerce marketing agency and on-the-pulse training programs, Karyn’s helped hundreds of eCommerce store owners across the globe boost profits, generate more revenue, and achieve an ad-spend ROI of their dreams.