Unless you own a bar, St. Patrick’s Day promotions might not seem like a natural fit. But think about it this way: What’s better than a holiday that’s all about going out and having a good time? And the fact that there aren’t a bunch of strict traditions to adhere to means that you can get creative with your promotions.
Get started with some of these sure-to-be-lucky ideas.
1. Pour a different kind of green drink.
Bars shouldn’t be the only drinking establishments to draw St. Patrick’s Day crowds. If you own an organically minded cafe or juice shop, get in on the action with promotions on healthy green menu items like wheatgrass shots, green juices, and smoothies.
Since St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a well-known shopping holiday in the vein of Christmas and Valentine’s Day (or even Presidents Day), you should reach out to your customers with an email marketing campaign.
Write a cheeky subject line like “How lucky will you get? Open to get your exclusive discount.” Adding this element of chance should increase open rates and, if the discount is generous enough, draw shoppers into the store. Make the pot even sweeter by offering entry into a larger giveaway for those who come in and shop between certain dates.
3. Host an Irish whiskey and stout food-pairing event.
The subtleties of fine Irish whiskeys and stouts aren’t appreciated on St. Patrick’s Day, when the focus is often on quantity (ahem) instead of quality. Give these fine beverages their due by hosting a private tasting event where you pair Irish whiskeys and stouts with various cheeses, chocolates, and appetizers.
This type of event isn’t just limited to bar and restaurant owners, either — it’s also a great option for bookstores, clothing boutiques, and more. Start out by emailing invitations to your loyal, regular (21 and over) customers to offer them a spot at a special price, then, depending on response, reach out to less frequent customers as the event nears.
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4. Offer St. Patrick’s Day–themed manis and pedis.
If you own a salon or spa, have fun with the holiday by offering special “lucky” looks, like four-leaf clover, rainbow, and pot of gold nail art and manis and pedis with green polish. Promote your St. Patrick’s Day looks on Snapchat and Instagram and provide a discount when followers share, regram, or tag a friend in your story or post.
5. Go authentically Irish.
At many cafes and bakeries, it seems like any attempt at creating St. Patrick’s Day pastries and desserts begins and ends with a bottle of green food coloring. Set your business apart from the imitators by offering a special selection of untinted Irish sweets, like scones, soda bread, whiskey cake, and sticky toffee pudding. Get the word out by posting delectable, drool-worthy photos of your limited-time-only Emerald Isle treats on Instagram and Facebook.
6. Honor Ireland’s top exports.
Some of the country’s finest exports (and we do mean fine) do not fall into the category of alcoholic beverages. No, we’re talking actors like Jamie Dornan, Saorise Ronan, Colin Farrell, Ruth Negga, Michael Fassbender, Liam Neeson — shall we go on?
For a week, post about a different Irish star on Instagram every day, and have the one with the most comments win. As a bonus, choose one commenter at random to win a gift card to your business.
7. Plan a post-holiday hangover brunch.
St. Patrick’s Day is on a Saturday this year, so if you own a restaurant, Sunday is perfect for a massive post-holiday brunch. Create a special menu or add a few themed items to the day’s menu, like an extra-filling “top o’ the late-morning” breakfast sandwich.
Photo credit: St Patrick’s Day Rainbow by Sonny Abesamis, Flickr, CC by 2.0