Mark the start of summer with Memorial Day email campaigns: 5 content strategies + 12 examples

Email marketing
March 22, 2024
In sage capital letters on a cotton brown background with the Klaviyo flag cut out in a lighter shade, image reads, "Memorial Day email campaigns." In smaller black font to the right of the Klaviyo flag, copy reads, "5 content strategies + 12 examples."

Memorial Day: it’s officially a day to remember fallen soldiers, while unofficially marking the beginning of summer.

Families and friends gather, enjoy each other’s company, throw parties, and maybe travel—all opportunities for your brand to help people make the most of the weekend.

If your brand sells sporting goods or outdoor equipment, this is your time to shine. If you sell food and beverages or CPG products, even better. In 2023, 75% of consumers said they were planning on celebrating Memorial Day in some way—and 92% of those people said they were planning to purchase something as part of that celebration.

To help you figure out whether Memorial Day is a good fit for your brand, we’ve scoured Klaviyo’s massive email database to come up with 5 of the most common—and effective—email content strategy approaches for the holiday, in addition to 12 examples that showcase those strategies in action.

5 content strategy ideas for Memorial Day email campaigns

Reach out to travel-lovers.

If your target audience is interested in travel, Memorial Day weekend is a good holiday for your brand to act on. Send out a quiz to ask people where they’re going this Memorial Day weekend—the zero-party data will empower you to personalize your emails once Memorial Day weekend rolls around.

Hype up the arrival of summer.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer for most Americans. Craft messages that emphasize everything people love about summer: warm weather, ice cream, chilled beer, sundresses, baseball games, etc. Show your audience how your products can help them get the most out of the summer season.

Design for patriotism.

If patriotism is an important and authentic part of your brand, design emails that play with patriotic colors, symbols, and imagery.

Help people plan a party.

Show people how your product can elevate their Memorial Day celebrations. Whether that means dressing for the occasion, having the best lawn party furniture, or putting together the fanciest hot dog, focus on the specifics of your differentiating qualities.

Focus on family—and that extra day off.

Encourage gifting by sending people emails like, “How about surprising your [mom/dad/sister] this Memorial Day?” with a link to your sale. Add a personal, funny family story to build a genuine connection to your customer base. Ask them to share theirs, too.

12 strategic Memorial Day campaign examples

Here are 12 examples of real-world Memorial Day campaigns that put those 5 principles into practice:

1. White Elm positions their bag as a getaway must-have

In this example, White Elm positions their all-weekend getaway bag as the must-have vacation bag, regardless of the destination. Their focus on one product eliminates choice overload, directing audience attention to a specific product and call to action (CTA).

Image shows a Memorial Day email campaign from bag brand White Elm. Over a photo of a model wearing a mustard yellow sleeveless shirt with a large tote bag slung over their shoulder, the email headline reads, “The only bag you need this weekend.” A CTA button over the photo reads, “Shop now.” Beneath the photo, the email copy introduces the reader to the bag in question—the Arrows Weekender—with a list of product details and another CTA, “shop all weekender totes.”
Source: White Elm

The narrow product focus also frees up the body copy to drill down on all those memorable features and benefits that sell the bag. It’s a straightforward, simple approach that’s easy to measure after the weekend is over, too.

2. Perlier pairs travel essentials with urgency

In this email campaign, Perlier presents their bath and body products as travel essentials, specifically targeting people who are shopping in preparation for a trip. The “1 Day Only” email tag instills a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to act fast.

Image shows a travel-focused email campaign from Perlier, headlined, “take your glow on the go.” The email pairs a photo of VW Bug on the beach with a couple of product shots and the copy, “Whether you’re haded to the beach, road tripping, or just getting back to your regular commute…we’ve got you covered with 60% travel essentials!”
Source: Perlier

While this email isn’t specifically from a Memorial Day campaign, we wanted to include it because it hits all the right notes for last-minute travel marketing: context, exclusivity, and urgency.

Pair all of the above with a flash sale and position your campaign as an assist for some whimsical weekend spontaneity, and you hit on some key essentials for a lucrative Memorial Day campaign.

3. Native announces the start to summer with warmth

Subject line: Dive into Memorial Day Savings ☀️


In this Memorial Day email from deodorant brand Native, the subject line’s nod to swimming and the photo’s vibrant colors cue the onset of summer. Extra points for sneaking “savings” into the subject line and mentioning “20% off” in the preview text.

Image shows a Memorial Day email campaign from deodorant brand Native, featuring a close-up photo of the surface of a pool with two bright yellow innertubes floating on top. Underneath the brand’s logo, the email headline, overlaid on the photo, reads, “Memorial Day sale starts now.” The biggest text in the email is the “20% off $30 or more!” in white, followed by “use code memorial20” and a bright yellow CTA button that reads, simply, “shop.” After the pool photo and copy comes a close-up product shot of a stick of Native deodorant, followed by email copy in black on a white background: “The kick-off to summer is officially here! Crank up the grill, pour the lemonade, and stock up on your favorite Native products to keep you smelling great all summer long.” The email ends with another CTA, this time in blue, that reads, again, “shop.”
Source: Native

With a lively reference to barbecues and lemonade in the body copy, this email is the embodiment of a summer weekend. Native finishes off well on-brand by tying in their signature deodorant with a shopper goal: “smelling great all summer long.”

4. Ultimate Direction knows their audience is dying to go outside

Subject line: Our Memorial Day sale is here! Save 20% sitewide

Preview text: Free shipping on orders over $49

Ultimate Direction, an outdoor apparel and accessories brand, achieved a high click rate with this Memorial Day email, which offers a discount and free shipping.

But free shipping is just the icing on the cake. The brand knows their audience and speaks directly to them with beautiful images that evoke summer—sunny landscapes, athletes enjoying warm weather, and the gear that gets an outdoorsy person excited to bust out their compass and start their summer adventures.

mage shows a Memorial Day email campaign from outdoors brand Ultimate Direction, which begins with a dreamy landscape photo of a mountain range at sunset. Over the photo, a bold white headline reads, “20% off sitewide: our Memorial Day sale is here!” Beneath the photo, black email copy on a white background reads, “Kick off the summer with 20% off hydration packs, running belts, apparel and more with code MEMORIAL2021. Full-priced products only. Bonus: free shipping on orders over $49!” Under a blue CTA button that reads “shop now,” the email continues with large, colorful photos of people exploring nature in the brand’s products. Each photo is labeled with the product category it links to: hydration vests, handhelds, and running tops, which also includes two CTAs for men’s and women’s products.
Source: Klaviyo Showcase

“Kick off the summer with 20% off hydration packs, running belts, apparel and more”—if readers aren’t already chomping at the bit to get outside come Memorial Day, getting the right gear may put them in the mood.

5. Mori Leaf evokes a fresh summer day

Subject line: 20% Off All Our Teas for Memorial Day 🌿!

Preview text: Sale ends 5/31

Tea brand Mori Leaf pumps up their subscribers for summer with a warm yellow background, images of summer fruits and herbs, and copy that promises to quench their thirst.

Image shows a Memorial Day marketing campaign from tea brand Mori Leaf. Under their logo at the top of the email, the email body contains photo of one of the brand’s bottled teas against a bright orange background, next to fruits and plants arranged artfully: two whole peaches, a couple of orange slices, and a few sliced peaches, with sprigs of eucalyptus scattered around. Over the top of the orange background, above the drink and fruits, the email headline reads, “Memorial Day sale.” Beneath the photo, black text on a white background reads, “20% off entire site Shop our Memorial Weekend Sale and get ready for summer by stocking up on our refreshing and nutritious teas!” The email ends with a bright green CTA button: “Shop now.”
Source: Klaviyo Showcase

This email is a classic example of “show, don’t tell”: after a winter of hot tea, soups, and stews, Mori Leaf asks their subscribers to officially start their summer by “stocking up” on teas that are “refreshing” and decidedly not cozy. The email is a summer event in and of itself.

6. Lala Daisy opts for patriotic lite to honor Memorial Day

Subject line: Huge Memorial Day Savings

Preview text: Memorial Day Sale – 2 Day Sale – Sun 5/30 through Monday 5/31

This email from cosmetics brand Lala Daisy uses plenty of tools from the patriotism toolbox—red, white, and blue images and copy; stars; and a discount code that nods to the meaning of the holiday: SALUTE2021.

Image shows a Memorial Day email campaign from cosmetics brand Lala Daisy, featuring red and blue text on a white background sprinkled with a confetti of red, silver, and blue stars. The email headline reads “Two day Memorial Day flash sale” in red, with “15% off” and “code: salute2021” in blue. Beneath the art, black copy on a white background reads, “take 15% off our already ridiculously low prices on your favorite luxury beauty products—PLUS free shipping!” The email ends with a pink CTA button that reads “shop now.”
Source: Klaviyo Showcase

If you want to acknowledge the deeper meaning of Memorial Day without delving into its real and complex political intricacies, design flourishes like the ones Lala Daisy uses here could be a solid option for your brand.

7. ALX Rods leans into audience-appropriate patriotism

Subject line: Memorial Day Sale!

Preview text: Use code MD2021 for select items!

Whereas Lala Daisy’s audience may respond well to “patriotic lite” messaging, fishing gear brand ALX Rods’ audience may want more of an acknowledgment of Memorial Day’s original meaning.

Image shows a Memorial Day campaign from fishing gear brand ALX Rods, with a red, white, and blue banner at the top that says, “Memorial Day: remember & honor.” Underneath that, a line of simple, unadorned email copy reads, “We pause and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedom,” before the email transitions into the holiday sale announcement and discount code, MD2021. Here, the email promises 10% off shirts, hats, decals, and any gear with the code, and lists 3 products subscribers might be interested in, each with their own gold CTA button that reads, “buy now.”
Source: ALX Rods

With a note of sobriety to honor fallen soldiers, the brand creates an emotional connection with their core audience. Then they go further with a sale on military-themed products, showing how they add value to the experience of the holiday.

8. BlendJet helps people plan a party

Subject Line: BBQ Madness

Preview text: Up the Memorial Day Heat

This creatively designed email from blender brand BlendJet is patriotic, party-like, and poised for summer—targeting 3 of our 5 campaign ideas.

Image shows a Memorial Day email from BlendJet, featuring a photo of their product in red against an illustrated backdrop of red and blue ribbon, barbeque tongs, and a spatula. The headline of the email reads “Raise your BBQ IQ” and the copy, underneath the illustration, reads, “Blend up a blast! Gear up for BBQs, picnics, and pool parties, and start making cocktails, desserts, and dips on demand.”
Source: BlendJet

The brand showcases its blenders in the colors of the American flag (low-key targeting the American spirit), while actively addressing the holiday’s focus on barbecues, picnics, and pool parties.

The short and sweet email copy, meanwhile, communicates 3 party uses for a Blendjet—making the email not just creative, but also informative.

9. Teakoe gives shoppers everything they need to know

Subject line: Memorial Day Refreshment

Preview text: UP TO 25% OFF Fizzy Tea

This email from beverage brand Teakoe incorporates several great elements to round out a Memorial Day theme:

  • The brand’s remix of the popular “Netflix and chill” to “Teakoe and Grill” makes it catchy and memorable.
  • Teakoe urges readers to visualize the summer barbecue scene with yard games, tunes, and ice coolers.
  • The email tells subscribers the order deadline to receive their drinks by the holiday, making party planning easier.
  • It positions 4 cases as a better deal by offering a 15% discount along with free shipping, as opposed to 2 cases with just free shipping.
Image shows a Memorial Day email campaign from beverage brand Teakoe, which begins with a close-up photo of a hand removing one of the brand’s canned beverages from a cooler filled with ice. In the upper right corner of the photo is a red circle with white font that reads, “ditch the netflix & chill, it’s time to teakoe & grill.” Beneath the photo, the email copy reads, “Break out the yad games, put on some tunes, and ice down the cooler. Save up to 25% on fizzy tea stocking up for your memorial day hootenanny, it’s about time we all get fizzy with it!” The red CTA reads “shop now” followed by small print about the deadline readers must order by to get their drinks delivered in time for the holiday. The email continues with product shots of the brand’s “fizzy party pack,” including a list of flavors and a “stock up” CTA button, and more copy at the bottom: “buy 4 cases: instant 15% off”; “buy 2 cases: always free shipping.”
Source: Teakoe

10. Tommy Bahamas offers a reward for loyal customers

This Memorial Day SMS from Tommy Bahamas announces a VIP offer, making customers feel special.

Image shows a Memorial Day text message from Tommy Bahamas, which reads, “Prep for Memorial Day! 40% off all Polos & Tees + 20% off $100+ or 15% off entire! Ends 5/28.”
Source: Tommy Bahamas

It also offers a deal on the unofficial barbecue uniform—polos and tee—right on cue for a barbecue-themed holiday. For SMS subscribers who aren’t interested in polos or tees, the SMS offers a tempting 15% site-wide discount.

That’s quite a lot of ground for a short text! We’re impressed.

11. Freebird creates an emotional connection with gift ideas

This email from Freebird, previously known as Freedom Grooming, honors veterans by creating a gift guide for them. They position their products as tokens of gratitude, all discounted in honor of the holiday.

Image shows a Memorial Day campaign from grooming brand Freebird, featuring a banner that reads “Memorial Day sale” at the top followed by copy that encourages readers to “thank a vet, dad, or both.” A gold CTA button reads “browse the sale,” but the email continues with 3 gift ideas: the best buzz kit, the clean cut kit, and the pro shave kit, each complete with a photo of what comes in the kit, a discounted price tag, and a “shop now” CTA button.
Source: Freebird

12. CityLocs looks ahead to Father’s Day

This smart email from headwear brand CityLocs combines two occasions in one, using Memorial Day to drive revenue for another celebration that’s likely more lucrative for the brand: Father’s Day.

Image shows a Memorial Day marketing campaign from headwear brand CityLocs. In a stylized banner across the top, the email first wishes readers a happy Memorial Day in blue letters on a white background with red stars. The email copy then reads, “the long weekend may be over but there’s still time to shop for Father’s Day gifts.” Here the email transitions from a white background to a red one, and in white letters, another headline reads, “shop for Father’s Day.” The copy in this section, positioned over a product shot of one of the brand’s hats, reads, “the last day to order for Father’s Day delivery is Wednesday, June 9th. Customize and place your orders now to ensure you get it in time.”
Source: CityLocs

Thinking a few weeks ahead, CityLocs creates a sense of urgency by reminding people that now is the perfect time to purchase Father’s Day gifts so they’re customized and delivered on time.

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Bani Kaur
Bani Kaur
Bani Kaur is a freelance writer and a part of the SaaS Nordic CEO and Executive Masterminds. She uses design thinking to write value-driven and deeply-researched long-form blogs, ebooks, and white papers for SaaS and technology brands.
Tiffany Regaudie
Tiffany Regaudie
Tiffany is a writer and content consultant who specializes in marketing, health, and the attention economy. Before devoting herself to freelance writing full-time, she led content teams at various startups and nonprofits in Toronto, Canada.