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Incorporating Singles’ Day Into Your Email Content Calendar

Every B2C marketer has Black Friday and Cyber Monday circled on their calendar. But before those comes a lesser-known holiday – called Singles' Day – that you may want to consider adding to your holiday strategy.


What is Singles’ Day?

Singles’ Day is a holiday that was founded by a group of students a Nanjing University in China in the 1990’s. The day November 11th was chosen due to the visual of 11/11 where each one represents a single person. The day was originally called Bachelor’s Day by four single students who wanted to celebrate being single and serve as an “Anti-Valentine’s Day”

The holiday grew in popularity and became a very popular shopping holiday in China. In 2009, China’s largest ecommerce website, Alibaba, saw an opportunity to create a sale event along the lines of Black Friday in the United States. The messaging for these promotions were centered around treating yourself to something you’d like before the holidays. According to Investopedia, in 2020, Alibaba earned over $84.5 billion in sales on Singles’ Day which is four times the total sales of its American inspiration. In 2019, Adobe Analytics found that 24% of retailers in the U.S. were planning to run a Singles’ Day promotion.


Singles’ Day Messaging Strategies

Messaging strategies for end-of-the-year holidays often center around gathering with friends, family, and loved ones. When considering adding in a Singles’ Day promotion, the strategy should be the opposite. Focus on celebrating single people in terms of relationships, but also encouraging your customers to celebrate themselves.

Promotions could look like 11% off one item or $11 off to play into the single theme. Messaging around “treating yourself” and being very individualized will stay in line with the holiday’s history. Since this holiday is still relatively new in the United States, planning a promotion or message around Singles’ Day is a great way to stand out in inboxes heading into a busy holiday season. Singles’ Day can be a quick win for the marketing team, messaging only on the day with a lower promotion of 11% off. Also, what better way to grow a 1-1 relationship with your customers than using a 1-1 marketing channel?


Singles’ Day Examples

While not Merkle clients, here are some examples of incorporating Singles’ Day into your email marketing calendar.


1. Stila Cosmetics

Stila Singles Day

Stila Cosmetics discounted a product down to $11 for its 2021 Singles’ Day promotion. Adding in messaging around “finding your match” to promote the virtual try-on tool sticks with the theme of the message but also ensure the customer is happy with their purchase.


2. Sony

Sony Singles

Sony acknowledges the history of the holiday but is sure to include those who are in relationships with the copy of this promotion. The promotion does not include 11 but rather focuses on buying a gift for yourself.


3. Mejuri

Mejuri Singles Day

Jewelry retailer Mejuri messages “you don’t need a reason to treat yourself” along with the promotion for free shipping and a free gift. There is also a sense of urgency created by reminding customers of the possibility of products selling out.


4. Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh Singles Day

Hello Fresh, the meal kit delivery service, highlighted Singles’ Day with a one-day sale. The copy also speaks to the holiday and its origin of treating yourself on this day and beyond. The email then shows how the service fits in to the lives of busy singles.


As inflation is on the minds of Americans heading into the holidays, shopping will start earlier and earlier. Shoppers are looking for any sales to ease the financial impact of the holidays. Try starting with a smaller promotion for Singles’ Day to ease shoppers into the buying season. Singles’ Day is an up-and-coming shopping holiday that can guide your content calendar to connect with your audience whether they plan on treating themselves or getting some early shopping done.