15 Labor Day email and SMS marketing examples to capture your customers’ attention

Profile photo of author Emily Riedy
Emily Riedy
18min read
Email marketing
January 9, 2023
Image shows a cookout

Celebrated annually on the first Monday of September, Labor Day coincides with a transition of seasons and consumer priorities.

That makes it the perfect time to connect with your customers.

Total retail spending went up in 2022, including for holiday and party spending. If your brand sells anything folks might use for a party, travel, or even just leisure time, make sure you’ve got a good Labor Day marketing strategy planned.

Recent Klaviyo data shows Labor Day email campaigns performing stronger than 4th of July, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and even Valentine’s Day. Top performing Klaviyo customers attributed an average of nearly $600k to Labor Day email campaigns and an average of over $35k to SMS campaigns.

Image shows a chart indicating top performing Klaviyo customers on Labor Day email campaigns
Source: Klaviyo
Image shows a chart indicating top performing Klaviyo customers on Labor Day SMS campaigns
Source: Klaviyo

Labor Day email marketing campaigns are great opportunities to:

  • Build brand awareness and loyalty
  • Launch new products
  • Highlight all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into your business. Educate and inspire your community about how to best use your products
  • Do whatever else feels right for your brand

Many brands run standalone flash-sale campaigns either to get rid of spring and summer inventory or launch fall product lines. But Labor Day marketing campaigns hold so much more potential than mere one-and-done promotions.

Here’s how.

15 Labor Day marketing and sales ideas to try

You’re probably already familiar with the standard Labor Day marketing emails (think one-day sales or get-it-before-it’s-gone promotions).

But if you want your Labor Day emails to go above and beyond, check out these 15 creative Labor Day email and SMS marketing ideas.

1. Share customer tips that relate to your products

Sharing informational content can help you build brand awareness while simultaneously increasing sales.

Labor Day is a holiday weekend in the US and Canada, which means shoppers have their wallets ready for things that catch their attention. If you know your target audience is ready to spend or scoop up must-have items, how can you creatively entice them to spend their dollars with you?

The answer: By educating them.

Brand focus: Briogeo uses this Labor Day email to distribute trendy hair styling tips to their readers. Their brand storytelling content first aims to inspire readers to “achieve their best hair ever,” then showcases how their industry knowledge and brand products can help customers reach their #hairgoals.

Image shows an MMS marketing message from Briogeo
Image source: Briogeo

Labor Day marketing tip: Put your customers and their needs first in your Labor Day marketing campaigns. You’ll not only make a lasting impression on your audience, but also bring them back time and time again.

2. Keep customers informed about store holiday hours

What better way to demonstrate your values than by communicating that the actual people who work tirelessly behind the scenes of your business require some time to recharge and regroup?

If your business is closing for Labor Day, share that information with your subscribers in your Labor Day email.

Brand focus: Carewell’s Labor Day email is transparent and shares the empathetic side of their brand. It shows that the relationships they’ve built with their customers are no different from the ones they create with family and friends—they’re the strongest when they’re supported by genuine care and thoughtfulness for one another.

Image shows a Labor Day marketing email from Carewell
Source: Carewell

Labor Day marketing tip: As the practice of conscious consumerism continues to rise, shoppers are increasingly considering a brand’s values and ethics before deciding whether they want to buy from them. Appeal to this mindset by keeping your brand values front and center in your marketing.

3. Promote freebies to build brand loyalty over Labor Day weekend

You can use your Labor Day marketing campaign to further promote your business and products through the orders your subscribers make.

The more familiar your subscribers are with your products, the more likely you might be to persuade them to buy from you over and over again. But it’s hard for first-time customers to have that familiarity right out of the gate.

Brand focus: Clayton & Crume’s Labor Day email is a model example of this tactic.

Image shows an MMS marketing message from Clayton & Crume
Image source: Clayton & Crume

Regardless of what a reader buys, Clayton & Crume offers to waive shipping and include 3 free products in their order. This special promotion not only removes potential buying obstacles for customers (I’m looking at you, costly shipping fees), but also helps buyers learn more about the Clayton & Crume product catalog and the quality of their materials.

Labor Day marketing tip: Who doesn’t love free goodies? It’s a win-win Labor Day retention marketing idea for your audience and for building your own brand loyalty.

4. Earn more customers with a Labor Day product giveaway

Giveaways are an exciting way to engage your subscribers. They’re enticing because they open the door for your subscribers to potentially win items they may not have bought otherwise.

Giveaways can also help you build up your customer base or social media following, which can increase brand awareness.

Brand focus: Davines launches a seasonal giveaway in this Labor Day email. Readers are automatically entered in the contest in one of two ways: by placing an order of $100, or by following the brand on social media.

Providing options like this is a smart way to encourage a larger portion of your audience to take part in an event.

Image shows an MMS marketing message from Davines
Image source: Davines

Labor Day marketing tip: Like free samples, giveaways can help your audience get more familiar with your range of products.

Imagine you sell jam and honey: If a customer has only bought honey from you, but then discovers your jam through a giveaway, they might broaden their purchasing behavior in the future. Combined with audience segmentation, it’s a strategic way to increase average order value (AOV) and build stronger customer-brand bonds.

5. Explain how to use your products

A Labor Day marketing campaign can inspire your subscribers to use your products in an imaginative way.

Brand focus: Take it from skin care brand SkinTē, which sells a collagen sparkling-tea beverage to help people bring out their inner glow.

Image shows an MMS marketing message from SkinTe
Image source: SkinTe

SkinTē’s Labor Day campaign highlights how readers can use their products in their celebrations to brighten up their beverages (and skin!). The brand’s chef concocted the recipes, which means they’re probably better than anything all of us regular folk could whip up.

Labor Day marketing tip: Set the stage for the versatility of your products. Here, SkinTē shows how their beverages can serve as mixers for not only Labor Day parties, but future celebrations, too. I’d toast to a New Year with glowing skin, wouldn’t you?

6. Put your best foot forward on SMS

Most consumers subscribe to only 2-3 brands via SMS. That means if you’ve got someone’s number, you’re special.

Make sure you keep it. It’s precious real estate, right next to their podcast app and that text from their mom.

Brand focus: Fabuluxe, a boutique that sells women’s apparel, makes the most of the limited space in this MMS, which earned the brand a high click rate. Here are a few things that are working well in this example:

  • It features a high-quality, slick product shot.
  • The headline and copy on the image tell the subscriber all they need to know.
  • The copy below the image is short, informative, and to the point.
  • The call to action (CTA) is clear and easy to find.
Image shows an MMS marketing message from Fabuluxe
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip: Read up on and follow SMS best practices as much as you can. Doing this can help you grow your list, reduce churn, and increase your click rate.

7. Get a head start on Halloween

Unless you sell patriotic gear or merchandise related to cookouts, you have a lot of room for creativity in terms of how you strategize your Labor Day marketing.

If you sell apparel of any kind, why not look ahead? Seasons are changing and Halloween is right around the corner.

Brand focus: Crooked Coyote, a luxury pet brand, combines the two holidays with a (big) Labor Day discount and Halloween-themed merchandise. It’s a smart move that earned them a high click rate.

Image shows an MMS marketing message from Crooked Coyote
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip: Consider whether it makes sense for your Labor Day marketing to look ahead to Halloween, Thanksgiving, or even the winter holidays. If someone’s subscribed to your brand via SMS, they’re probably pretty big fans. They may be willing to get some of their holiday shopping done early if the discount is motivating enough.

8. Send out an exclusive invite

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll repeat how valuable your SMS subscribers are to your brand: Consumers are picky about who they give their phone numbers to. You’re special! Make sure you show your appreciation in how you communicate with your SMS subscribers.

One great way to make your SMS subscribers feel special is to send them an exclusive invite via the channel.

Brand focus: Duluth Pack, an outdoor clothing and equipment brand, earned a high click rate with this MMS. It communicates a 40% off sale in honor of the holiday, but the real appeal is that SMS subscribers get first crack at the discount.

Image shows an MMS marketing message from Duluth Pack
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip: Share exclusive, early offers with your SMS subscribers—and track your results.

9. Inspire your subscribers to act on their purchases

Depending on what your brand actually sells, you may get a higher click rate or sell more merchandise if you demonstrate how to style it. This is true not only with apparel and accessories, but also with home furnishings.

Brand focus: Furniture brand Edloe Finch earned a high click rate with this email. We see a few reasons why:

  • All the information the reader needs is above the fold, including the discount code, how much they’ll save, how long they have to shop, and the CTA button.
  • The email features no less than 9 high-quality product shots, all showcasing best-selling products in thoughtful, appealing ways. The subscriber doesn’t have to click through to the website in order to imagine how good a sofa or dining room table might look in their space. They can see it right as they’re scrolling through the email.
  • There are 5 separate CTA buttons, each thoughtfully and specifically placed near the product shots it refers to. This makes it easy for even a distracted shopper to get through the funnel to the product pages they’re most interested in.
  • Important nuts-and-bolts type information is in the footer, including what a shopper needs to know about shipping, returns, financing, and customer service.
Image shows an email marketing message from Edloe Finch
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip: Invest in the creative work necessary to showcase your most popular products, including styling. It just may inspire your audience to buy something they might not otherwise be able to imagine on their own.

10. Promise delivery by Labor Day weekend

Certain products simply won’t be of value to your customers if they haven’t arrived by Labor Day.

Brand focus: Best Swimwear highlights their promise to get shoppers their swimsuits by Labor Day weekend. They sent this email the Tuesday before Labor Day with the subject line “Free 2 Day Shipping on Order $50+.”

The preview text—what subscribers see just below the subject line if they’re reading on their phones—is even more direct: “Get your bikini by Labor Day Weekend.” A line like this can inspire a sense of urgency.

The result? A high open rate.

The email itself reiterates the free shipping and the fact that the subscriber will get their suit by the weekend. It also includes more details—like what time and what date they have to order by to get their package on time.

Image shows a marketing email from Best Swimwear
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip:If you can deliver on a promise (pun intended), make it loud and clear. It just might get you that open rate you’ve been hoping for.

11. Help your audience plan ahead

If your merchandise is less of a choice and more of a need, consider how valuable your content is to your audience. Sharing information that’s related to what you sell could be of great benefit to your subscribers.

Brand focus: Oxygen Concentrator Store, a medical supply company focused on portable oxygen, helps their subscribers prepare for the long weekend by creating a checklist for folks who are traveling and on oxygen.

Their subject line—“Checklist: Traveling with COPD! 🌴”—generated a high open rate.

Image shows a marketing email from the Oxygen Concentrator Store
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip: Create useful, valuable content directed at your audience. Then, use your email marketing to promote that content.

12. Include social proof

Social proof—quotes from actual customers—is one of the best ways to promote your products. If you’re already collecting reviews, put them to good use.

Include quotes from happy customers in your social feeds, on your website, and, yep, you guessed it—use reviews in your marketing emails.

Brand focus: Tail, an activewear brand, includes 6 blocks of content in this Labor Day marketing email, and the first block provides all the information the reader needs to understand the benefits of clicking through.

The next 2 blocks feature not only high-quality product shots and snappy copy in the descriptions of the apparel, but also review quotes from actual customers.

The reader can see exactly how much someone who has bought the product loves it—”I got three of these in different colors. I get lots of compliments…” “Highly recommend and will get another…”

These types of quotes can really only come from actual customers.

Image shows a marketing email from ecommerce brand Tail, including quotes from social media posts
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip: Make sure you’re collecting reviews, and making the most of them in your email marketing.

Learn how to create a product review flow in Klaviyo.

13. Brag (but just a little)

Listen—if you’ve won an award, don’t be shy. Let your audience know. And if you haven’t won an award, but a trusted third party described you with a superlative, don’t be shy about that, either.

Brand focus: Jewelry brand Five and Two certainly isn’t shy in their preview text.

It reads “Voted best sale to hit your inbox this year🏅.”While the brand doesn’t tell us who voted them as the best sale, it doesn’t really matter. The preview text plus the subject line, which is pretty direct—“Shop our Labor Day Sale – NOW LIVE!”—earned them a high open rate.

Image shows a marketing email from Five and Two
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip:Talk your brand up. And if others have been talking you up, don’t be afraid to repurpose what they’ve said about you. Especially if you don’t go overboard, it can only instill more confidence in your subscribers about your brand.

14. Offer a really big discount

Of course, sales always make sense around holidays. But if you really want to get your audience’s attention—especially as their inboxes are being bombarded with holiday marketing emails—a blowout sale may do the trick.

Brand focus: Wellness company Brandless offers a 71% off sale in honor of Labor Day. They make the huge discount clear not only in the headline and body copy of the email, but also in the subject line, which earned them a high open rate.

The email also showcases bold, patriotic colors and images and plenty of product shots with accompanying CTA buttons.

Image shows a marketing email from Brandless
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip:If you are in a position to offer a really big discount, try to line it up with your Labor Day marketing efforts. Announce it in the subject line and the headline of the email, and include plenty of product shots and information.

15. Think internationally

The US isn’t the only country that celebrates Labor Day. In fact, more than 160 countries celebrate May Day,which is similar. Some countries call it International Workers’ Day,and the actual dates vary in a lot of English-speaking countries.

If you’re a vendor based in the US but you’re authorized to sell in Canada (or vice versa), our countries celebrate the same holiday on the same day.

So, if you’ve got your customers segmented out by country, make sure you’re sending Labor Day email marketing to both segments.

Brand focus: Olsa Tools Canada doesn’t miss this opportunity, sending an MMS to their US subscribers. Interestingly, the brand doesn’t change spelling to American versions, nor do they play to any American themes in their design.

They stay true to their roots by featuring the iconic Canadian maple leaf.

The move worked out—the brand reported not only a high open rate, but also a high click rate.

Image shows an MMS marketing message from Olsa Tools Canada
Image source: Klaviyo Showcase

Labor Day marketing tip:Make sure you’re segmenting your customers by the country they’re in, and research which holidays and seasons make the most sense for which marketing emails.

Learn more about segmenting your audience in our help center.

Labor Day emails and texts can help you gear up for the holidays

You have a variety of tools available to help you have a successful holiday shopping season. While September may feel like a ways away from Cyber Weekend and the end-of-year holidays, it’s never too early to start your preparations.

Labor Day is a retail event where shoppers all across the country buy products, so why not encourage them to buy from you? With a relevant and broadly applicable Labor Day marketing strategy, you can grow your customer base, build brand loyalty, and forge customer relationships that will carry you through back-to-school marketing and on to the busy and exhilarating months ahead.

Get tips and tricks for your holiday marketing all year long.
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Emily Riedy
Emily Riedy
Content marketing manager
Emily Riedy is a content marketing manager at Klaviyo where she works to publish content to educate and inspire online businesses owners and email marketers. Owned marketing channels are a means to building a substantial customer base for the long-term, and the content Emily is most passionate about helps business operators create strong business foundations in owned marketing principles. Before Klaviyo, Emily worked at a paid ads agency helping businesses transform their approach to digital advertising. When she's not strategizing marketing content, she is running around the streets of Boston training for whatever race is next up on the docket. She lives in the South End with her 2 year-old basenji Fig and frequents (probably too regularly) the local Spanish tapas spot.