We’re facing the dawn of a new year and people are talking about ‘New Year’s resolutions’ but I don’t want to talk about resolutions. I imagine that most people have abandoned them by the time  Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day (Jan. 17th) comes around anyway. 

Don’t worry, I’m still going to give you a bunch of January holidays, newsletter ideas, and subject lines but instead of talking about resolutions, I want to talk about opportunities.

I don’t care about what you may have left unfinished or even what you did last year — except perhaps how it’s going to shape this year. What I care about is how you feel.

Are you excited? Scared? Apathetic? A mix of all three? Yeah, that’s usually me. 

Although, this year, I feel more resolute, or rather steadfast, than ever before. What I mean by that is that I’m not focused so much on what I want to do as what I am doing and what I’m going to do more of and hopefully get better at. This year, I encourage you to do the same.

Maybe you’ve been working on a hobby that’s starting to become a real business and it’s time to dig in and make it happen. Or you have a business that’s growing into a bright future and you need to take advantage of functionality you didn’t need in the past. Or maybe, just maybe that future is now it’s time to optimize and make better use of your data and your time.

Wherever you’re at with your business or nonprofit, it’s not something that you just decided on because it’s a new year. It’s something that’s been a part of you for a while. So, instead of worrying about ‘promising to do something new’ this year, build upon what you have.

Take a look at what you did last year and see how you can do it better.

If your hobby is looking like a business, maybe it’s time to start taking your marketing to the next level. And, if you’ve been marketing, think about if it’s time for you to do more marketing, better marketing, or more automated marketing.

Take a good look at where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you want to be. Then, don’t make a big resolution to do more or do better. Instead, take a small step.

Plan a full month’s worth of marketing in advance, schedule time for planning your work and, of course, schedule time to work your plan. Once you’ve got one month’s marketing planned, start the next and see how far you can plan ahead. 

After all, everything is easier with a plan, and, as the saying goes, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. So, don’t make a resolution to eat an elephant, instead, be resolute, determined, steadfast and make a plan of small bites. So by the time the end of 2022 arrives, there’s nothing left but the plate. (Tweet this!)

January holidays — 2022

January is a month full of days to celebrate and observances to, well, observe! So, grab a cuppa in observance of National Hot Tea Month and let’s get started. 

January newsletter ideas

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a day for that. But let’s start out with what I think is the most important holiday for small businesses this month:

Get to Know Your Customer Day (Jan. 20th)

This is the perfect day to send out surveys to your customers. Ask them all the questions you want to know about them. The information provided will allow you to create a better customer avatar and segment your email lists to better serve your customers in the future.

January newsletter ideas for the nerd and geek in all of us

While not my normal category for ideas, I couldn’t pass these up.

J.R.R. Tolkien Day (Jan. 3rd)

If you weren’t familiar with Tolkien’s work prior to 2001, the Lord of the Rings movie series changed all that. Besides being considered the father of modern high-fantasy, Tolkien was a scholar, an artist, a linguist, and a devout Roman Catholic. This makes this day great for a variety of things to share.

  • If you’re in education, linguistics, library science, or just part of the “nerd/geek” culture, teach your readers how to say something in Quenya or Sindarin and create a challenge on Facebook to write a story in one of the languages. Start with writing the first line, then challenge followers to like, share and tag someone who will then need to write the next line of the story and so on.
  • Tie into National Trivia Day (Jan. 4th) and start some Tolkien trivia on your social pages and then share the answers in your newsletter.
  • Hold a Lord of the Rings movie night and ask for donations as an admittance fee.

Macintosh Computer Day (Jan. 24th)

For all the Apple enthusiasts out there.

  • Challenge your readers to some Apple trivia today by asking a question in your newsletter and answering it in a post on social media  —  take it further by posting trivia questions on one social media platform and posting the answers on another
  • Write a blog post sharing a bit of Apple history and tie it into your own ‘getting started’ story, then share a snippet of the article (with a link back to the post) in your newsletter
  • Create a contest by placing an image of Macintosh apples in your newsletter and inviting your readers to guess what day it is. Have them submit their answers by posting images of Macintosh apples and stating what day it is on their social media pages  —  be sure to tell them that they have to tag your business in the image and use your custom hashtags in order to be eligible for the prize

January newsletter ideas for feeling good

There’s nothing like reading a newsletter that makes you feel good, so use the following holidays to share some ‘good feels’ with your readers.

International Mind-Body Wellness Day (Jan 3rd)

Taking care of oneself is universal so use this day to:

  • Share tips on mental and emotional health
  • Create a meditation video and share it in your newsletter and on social media
  • Share articles and information about how healthy emotions and a healthy mind lead to a healthy body

National Cuddle Up Day (Jan. 6th)

Who doesn’t like a good cuddle?

  • Give your readers a virtual cuddle with a cute picture of a cuddly kitten while asking for donations to your local shelter
  • Take the cuddles to social media by posting pictures of cuddly baby animals, cuddly blankets, or even cuddly stuffed animals
  • Provide your readers with suggestions for cuddling up against the cold   —  think; a warm blanket, a good book, a loved one, or pair it with National Hot Chocolate Day (Jan. 31st) and share your favorite hot cocoa recipe (that one is mine)

National Compliment Day (Jan. 24th)

Compliments make everyone feel better so use this holiday to:

  • Highlight, compliment, and congratulate a team member who’s done an outstanding job this year
  • Share articles about how compliments (both giving and receiving) can boost both confidence and happiness  —  you can even tie this in with International Mind-Body Wellness Day
  • Ask for reviews – while this isn’t always easy, ask your readers that if they like your business, service, or product to please share their ‘compliments’ on your preferred review site, you can also share a particularly good ‘compliment/review’ in your newsletter
  • Encourage your readers to be lavish with their compliments today and do the same with everyone you encounter throughout the day

TIP: Whatever holiday you highlight in your newsletter this month, whether you issue a challenge, offer advice, or ask your readers to share, include a branded hashtag and a custom hashtag — along with a corresponding post on social media — so you can easily find and like what they post!

January newsletter subject lines

  • “An Apple a day… – Apple Gift Giving Day (Jan. 1st), Apple Tree Day (Jan. 6th), and Mcintosh Computer Day (Jan. 24th)  —  It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, dentist, computer repair shop, or grocery store, this subject line starter is a healthy choice
  • “Happy Mew Year” – Happy Mew Year for Cats Day (Jan. 2nd)
  • “Excuse me…” – National Pass Gas Day (Jan. 7th). You can’t tell me that doesn’t make you laugh.
  • “Uh, one for the money…” – Elvis Presley’s Birthday (Jan. 8th)
  • “This may shock you” – National Static Electricity Day (Jan. 9th)
  • “Feeling ducky?” – National Rubber Ducky Day (Jan. 13th)
  • “We have a dream” – Martin Luther King’s Birthday (Jan. 15th) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Jan. 17th)
  • “What you’re dreaming of” – MLK’s Birthday (Jan. 15th) and MLK Day (Jan. 17th)
  • “Like it hot?” – International Hot and Spicy Food Day  (Jan 16th)
  • “We’re spicing things up” – International Hot and Spicy Food Day (Jan. 16th) – when changing things up from your normal newsletter, services, or products
  • “These aren’t just hot, they’re spicy!” – International Hot and Spicy Food Day (Jan. 16th) – for introducing new products or hot deals
  • “These are the cheesiest”  —  National Cheese Lover’s Day (Jan. 20th)  —  you don’t have to be a cheesemonger to have cheesy sales
  • “Saucy!”  —  National Hot Sauce Day (Jan. 22nd)
  • “Puzzle me this” – National Puzzle Day (Jan. 29th)

The suggestions above may not exactly fit your brand, but hopefully they can help you relax and get those creative juices flowing. Use them to trigger a creative brainstorm of potential email subject lines for your own newsletter.

And, as you brainstorm, jot down whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t matter how silly, crazy, or far out there the ideas might seem. Write them all down. After that, it’s just a matter of picking one of the good email subject lines that 1st: gives a hint as to what’s in the newsletter, and 2nd: will hopefully make readers curious as to what’s inside.

As you narrow down your possible subject lines, you’ll see that creating the right subject lines for your newsletters is not only fairly easy but it can be fun as well.

Be ready for the new year

I have to admit, I never feel ready for a new year to start. There always seems like there are things left undone from the previous year. 

This year, don’t let your marketing plan be one of them. Start the New Year off right by planning your full year with our Online Marketing Calendar, complete with a free template and a full list of holidays you can use to plan a successful year.

For more January holidays and ideas on what you can do to share them with your customers, download the graphic below.

January 2022 holiday and marketing planning infographic

January 2022 Marketing and Holiday planning infographic
Click the image to download.