8 Columbus Day Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses in 2023


Columbus Day, a historical landmark celebrating Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas in 1492, is not just a federal holiday; it’s also an excellent opportunity for small businesses to boost sales and engage with their audience. As we approach Columbus Day in 2023, let’s explore these captivating Columbus Day marketing ideas for small businesses. 

Significantly, this day also serves as a seasonal turning point for retailers. It signifies the shift from summer to winter inventory, prompting businesses to focus on driving sales and preparing for the upcoming season. 

Brief History of Columbus Day 

Before diving into these Columbus Day marketing ideas for small businesses, let’s take a moment to appreciate the historical significance of Columbus Day. This day marks a pivotal moment when the Old World met the New World, changing the course of history forever. For centuries, it has been celebrated on October 10th (originally October 12th) and became a federal holiday in 1934. 

The phrase “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” is deeply ingrained in our educational history, symbolizing Christopher Columbus’s voyage to what he believed to be India but was, in fact, the Americas. He mistakenly referred to the indigenous people he encountered as Native Indians, who are now recognized as Native Americans.


8 Columbus Day Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses 

Make the most of this special day in October with some of these great Columbus Day Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses. 

1. Columbus Day Sale 

What better way to honor Columbus’s legacy than with a Columbus Day sale? Offer special discounts, exclusive offers, and irresistible deals to entice customers. Highlight products or services that align with the spirit of exploration and discovery.  

Maximize the potential of this unique October day with these fantastic ideas: 

  • Host a Columbus Day sale that offers fantastic discounts and exclusive special offers on selected products or services.
  • Forge partnerships with local businesses and organize a neighborhood-wide sale! This collaborative effort will not only attract more people but also strengthen the sense of community in your area. 
  • Build anticipation among your customers by creating captivating “Discover New Deals” promotional content in the days leading up to Columbus Day.


2. Columbus Day-Themed Merchandise 

Get into the spirit of Columbus Day by creating themed merchandise. Design T-shirts, mugs, or accessories that pay homage to the explorer and the era he lived in. These items can serve as unique collectibles for your customers and a source of extra revenue. 

For example, you can collaborate with local artists or designers to craft unique T-shirt designs inspired by Christopher Columbus and the era of exploration. These designs could feature intricate maps, vintage nautical compasses, and artistic renderings of Columbus’s voyages. 

3. Themed Decor 

Transform your physical store or website with Columbus Day-themed decor. An inviting atmosphere can make shopping a memorable adventure. 

Incorporate elements like maps, globes, compasses, and nautical motifs to create an immersive experience for your customers.  

Invite your customers to get involved and have some fun by hosting a “Best Decorated Storefront” contest. Ask them to vote for their favourite display and help make your store the most creative spot around! 

4. Columbus Day Giveaways 

Engage your audience by hosting Columbus Day giveaways. Encourage participation through social media or in-store activities. Offer enticing prizes related to exploration, history, or travel. This not only fosters customer loyalty but also generates buzz around your business. 

For example, if you run a bookstore. For your Columbus Day giveaway, you could create a social media post like this: 

“Set Sail to Win Big! Enter Our Columbus Day Giveaway for a Chance to Explore Prizes. Share your favourite historical book in the comments below, and you could win a bundle of captivating historical novels and a gift card for a historical tour in your city! Get ready to embark on a literary adventure! 

5. Columbus Day Email Campaign 

Craft a compelling Columbus Day email campaign to reach your customers directly. Share the historical significance of the day, along with exclusive offers and promotions. Use eye-catching visuals and storytelling to make your emails stand out in crowded inboxes. 

Keep these tips in mind when strategizing your Columbus Day campaigns: 

  • Incorporate short-term discounts into your campaign. This straightforward approach not only aligns your email with the occasion but also motivates subscribers to take immediate action. 
  • Craft engaging subject lines that capture attention. However, ensure that your subscribers can easily discern which holiday you’re referring to even before opening the email.


6. Collaborate with Local Businesses 

Strengthen your community ties by collaborating with local businesses for Columbus Day promotions. Partner with a nearby restaurant for a ‘Columbus Combo’ or a historical museum for a joint ticket offer. These collaborations can expand your reach and create a sense of unity within your community. 

7. Columbus Day Social Media Challenges 

Harness the power of social media by hosting Columbus Day challenges. Encourage your followers to share their historical discoveries, DIY projects, or creative interpretations of Columbus’s journey. Create a unique hashtag for your campaign and reward participants with prizes or discounts. 

8. Interactive Columbus Day Online Quizes 

Educate and entertain your audience with interactive online quizzes related to Columbus and his voyages. Craft fun and informative quizzes that tie into your products or services. Offer incentives like discounts or freebies to participants. 

For example, you can entice the participants like this. “Test Your Explorer IQ! Take Our Columbus Day Quiz and Unlock Exclusive Savings. 


Columbus Day presents a remarkable opportunity for small businesses to connect with customers, celebrate history, and boost sales. By incorporating these creative marketing ideas, you can make your mark this Columbus Day in 2023.

Whether through themed merchandise, engaging social media challenges, or collaborative efforts with local businesses, let Columbus Day become a voyage of success for your small business. Embrace the spirit of exploration and discovery, and your customers will follow suit, making this Columbus Day a memorable one for all. 

Remember, the key to a successful Columbus Day marketing campaign lies in understanding your audience and offering them a unique experience that reflects the essence of this historic occasion. Set your sails high and may your business journey be as adventurous as Columbus’s exploration! 

Get Small Biz Insights

Get monthly expert insights with our newsletter, tailored to provide you with valuable strategies and the latest trends.

Get Small Biz Insights

Get monthly expert insights with our newsletter, tailored to provide you with valuable strategies and the latest trends.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get Monthly Business News and Updates