Columbus Day is coming up in a few days, which means that I’m waking up this morning to a Promotions box that’s starting to fill with Columbus Day Sale announcements.
As every email marketer knows, the biggest challenge with email is simply coming up with a topic to discuss on a regular (or for most companies, daily) basis. This month alone, we should expect to see mentions of things like “National Pasta Day” (Oct. 17) and “National Nut Day” (Oct. 22) as they provide fun and easy topics to email about. Columbus Day however, that one is a bit trickier.
Columbus Day is something that we all celebrated when I was a kid, but it has become seriously out of vogue to celebrate it, with numerous cities and states now replacing it in favor of “Indigenous Peoples Day”. To date, Minnesota, Alaska, Vermont, Oregon, New Mexico, and Maine are all among the states that have moved away from Columbus. So what is a marketer to do?
Ultimately, it depends on your audience. Personally, I tend to avoid using controversy to sell products, but for some companies it works quite well. Some audiences see the move away from Columbus Day is an agenda being pushed by the “social justice warriors” and they use this as a reason TO celebrate the day. I suppose if your audience is that much of a niche, it makes sense, but for my $0.02, moving a little extra product isn’t worth the potential bad press (not to mention angering some current and potential customers, as no customer base is 100% homogeneous). There’s always something you can email about that isn’t going to create anger directed at your brand.
With that in mind, this Oct 14th I’ll just celebrate Be Bald and Free Day instead. It certainly speaks to me and my follically challenged head.