Your Small Business Saturday & Giving Tuesday Email Gameplan

Big chain stores have Black Friday. Online stores have Cyber Monday. But there’s two more holiday shopping days you might want to pay attention to this year when planning your emails – Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday.

Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  And just a few days later, Giving Tuesday takes place. 

Both Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday are all about doing good within our own communities. And by raising awareness of the holidays among your audience, you’re promoting more than your own business — you’re also doing right by others. 

Why participate in Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday?

Often overshadowed by their larger siblings Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday have a lot to offer those who know to pay attention.

Small Business Saturday is meant to encourage consumers to shop at their local, neighborhood stores. And shopping locally makes a big impact not only on the shop-owner, but on the entire community.

For every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community

Meanwhile, Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a way to encourage people to give generously and donate to nonprofits and causes. In fact, people donated more than $511 million and mentioned #GivingTuesday on social media more than 20 billion times in 2019. 

It’s about more than donating money, though. Giving Tuesday can mean volunteering at local organizations, doing a small act of kindness, raising awareness of causes or issues you care about through your voice, or giving your own time and resources if you have a special skill to offer someone. 

Plus, Giving Tuesday is a great time for nonprofits to capitalize on seasonal giving. With email marketing, nonprofits can segment their audiences based on donation level or involvement with the organization. In fact, one nonprofit was able to grow its subscriber list 500% with AWeber’s targeting and segmentation tools. 

And, Giving Tuesday is a great way to kick off a time of year where giving back to the community and helping those in need is at the forefront of our minds. 

So what can you do to raise awareness and get your audience to participate?

How to educate your subscribers about Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday

Create an email marketing campaign

Email is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audience this time of year. To make sure your subscribers don’t miss a thing you’re doing this holiday season, we recommend sending a 5-email campaign:

Email #1: Give your subscribers a heads up as soon as you can, letting them know about your special offers on Small Business Saturday and how you’ll be participating in Giving Tuesday.

Email #2: Send a reminder email about a week before the holiday shopping weekend. Make sure to include the date, your specific offer, and everything they need to know about your sale. 

Email #3: Send an email on Small Business Saturday. Let your subscribers know about your promotion and how much you value their support on Small Business Saturday.  

Email #4: Send an email on Giving Tuesday. Let your audience know about a cause you care about and encourage them to donate or volunteer. 

Or, you could even lead a volunteer group and let your audience know your store will be closed so you can spend time giving back to your community. Consumers want to support brands who give to others and do their part to make their community a better place. 

Email #5: Say thank you. Segment your list and say thank you to those subscribers who supported you during Small Business Saturday or Giving Tuesday. 

Your last email is also a good opportunity to follow up with an exclusive offer. Focus on ways to provide ongoing value to your customers through discount codes, guides, courses or other types of content that will help them. 

Need some email inspiration? AWeber’s team of design professionals created Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday email templates

Social media 

The holiday shopping season is a busy time of year. Save yourself time later by writing your content and scheduling your social media posts on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook ahead of time.

Pro tip: Be sure to use the hashtags #ShopSmall and #GivingTuesday to increase your chances that your posts get seen.

Content Marketing 

If you have a blog, now’s a great time to ramp up your blog content. Sharing your brand story is a great way to incentivize people to shop this Small Business Saturday or donate to a cause you care about on Giving Tuesday. 

You could even run a contest for charity. Encourage your audience to give back to a cause they care about, post it on social media, and tag your business for a chance to win something special. Or, you could offer to match donations or give a certain amount if you reach a fundraising goal. 


While many shoppers are more likely than ever to take their shopping online due to COVID-19, it’s possible your store may still see some foot traffic. 

Make sure to promote your offers with store signage to encourage shoppers and passersby to take advantage of your special discounts (but be sure to remind them about social distancing guidelines and indoor patron limits). 

You can also run a donation drive on Giving Tuesday. Collect non-perishable food or home goods to bring to a nonprofit’s collection. And be sure to take lots of photos along the way so your customers can see how big of a collective impact they helped you make.  

Ready to get started? 

We already created Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday email templates for you. If you’re an AWeber customer, you get them for free — and they’re already in your account. Sign up for AWeber Free to get the templates