A Short List of November Contest Ideas That Will Embrace This Month’s True Meaning

In November, brands can engage with their audience through contests and giveaways that align with the spirit of gratitude and giving. There are various occasions and themes to choose from, such as Thanksgiving, World Kindness Day, and Movember. Brands can also leverage shorter occasions like World Vegan Day and Veteran's Day. Additionally, November is synonymous with sales, making it a great time to run contests that lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, it's important to remember the true meaning of November and show empathy towards customers.

By Will Blunt ・5 min read
Campaign & Contest Ideas

As we enter November, many brands and businesses are preparing for a peak season of sales.Despite social distancing and the global pandemic, consumers are spending money online like never before.Contests and giveaways are a popular way to engage with your audience, capture leads, and convert sales at this time of year.But what campaigns can you run that are unique to November?In the United States, November is a month that is associated with caring, giving, and thinking about others. The sheer fact that it is rounded out by Thanksgiving on the 26th seems to have had an effect on the rest of the events in the month.From food drives to raising awareness for important causes, there is a thoughtful occasion for every type of customer and brand personality in November.Let’s take a look at some November contest ideas that you can make the most of this year.

Get in the spirit

As I mentioned above, November is a month for being thoughtful. It’s even called “National Gratitude Month” by many people. This is underpinned with a range of mini-events and occasions that will work perfectly for your brand’s next contest.Here are just a few of the key dates in November you could leverage to get in the spirit of gratitude:

  • Thanksgiving, of course! On the 26th of November, Americans give thanks and appreciation to their loved ones. What better time to run a charitable contest, food drive, or turkey feast giveaway. You could use one of ShortStack’s templates to create a Thanksgiving recipe submission contest, for example:

ShortStack Recipe Contest TemplateView and Create Your Own

  • World Kindness Day falls on the 13th of November each year and the week surrounding that date is considered a time to spread the good feeling. Give back to your customers or choose an appropriate organization to support with a giveaway prize.
  • November also hosts National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, International Drug Users Day, and National Others Week - all occasions for you and your brand to show support for society and give something back.

This November, show your customers that you care. Choose a cause that is close to their heart and run a themed contest on one of the occasions already established in November. It’s initiatives like this that humanize brands and build lasting relationships with your customers.

Make it a whole month

If you’re really in the spirit of giving and gratitude this November, why not run a month-long campaign, instead? You can create a theme from one of the many associations paired with November.For example, it’s National Healthy Skin Month, Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month, Novel Writing Month, and November. If you have a skincare brand, you could work a healthy skin angle. If you sell books, consider the novel writing path. Or, just about any male consumer brand could run a contest for November.Movember is a month-long celebration of the mustache that is focused on raising awareness and funds for men’s mental health and prostate cancer. The concept is simple, start growing a mustache on the first day of November and shave it off at the end of the month. In between, raise funds for a great cause.You could run a before and after photo contest that has your customers submit a photo of themselves without a mustache and then one with their new facial hair. It’s a bit of fun, leverages a well-known and supported charitable cause, and will engage with your audience on a personal level.The ShortStack multi-upload photo contest template is perfect for this:

ShortStack Photo Contest TemplateView and Create Your Own

Focus on something shorter

Don’t want to manage a contest for an entire month? No worries, there are numerous occasions in November that last a day or a week that you could make the most of.Here are some examples:

  • The 1st of November is World Vegan Day. Would it resonate with your audience to run a vegan-themed contest? This may be well suited to vegan supplement brands, ethical clothing brands, or any other range of businesses that have even a minor segment of vegans in their community.
  • What about on the 11th of November for Veteran’s Day? How could you show your support for the Veterans of the United States and connect with your audience in the same campaign? You could, for example, run a nomination contest that asks your customers to put forward their favorite Veterans for the chance to win. ShortStack’s Story Contest Template will help you build this kind of campaign in minutes:

ShortStack Story Contest TemplateView and Create Your Own

  • If you feel like you’re leaving the women in your audience out by supporting Movember, you can get behind Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on the 19th with a nomination contest or just a cool prize for female business owners!
  • Another occasion in November that is perfect for priming your customers for a big Christmas shopping period is the Dear Santa Letter Week from the 7th to the 13th of the month. Think about how you can collect user-generated content in the form of Santa letters, have customers choose their Christmas wishlist, or any other number of interactive experiences that will prime customers for holiday spending.

As you can see, the November theme of gratitude and appreciation continues with many of these contest ideas. Get creative, give back to your audience, support a cause, and reap the rewards of strong brand recognition.

Work with consumer psychology

While this month is largely about caring and giving, there is one other thing November is synonymous with…Sales!!With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday closing out the month, your customers are waiting with baited breath to jump on discounts, product bundles, and once-in-a-lifetime deals.How will this influence your contest marketing strategy?Well, you could use the first half of November to run themed contests like the ones discussed in this article. Collecting leads in preparation for a monster Black Friday bonanza sale.Or, you could launch a giveaway in the heat of these sales. Instant-win contests are particularly good at this time of year, where users can enter their contact details and reveal a prize in real-time. You may, for example, give away Black Friday coupon codes, free products, or other high-value prizes to increase excitement and website activity during the spending spree.This “Unique Coupon Code” campaign is an interesting example:

ShortStack's Unique Coupon Codes templateView and Create Your Own


It’s easy to forget about the true meaning of November and put all of your energy into the end-of-month sales.With the year we’ve had there has never been a more important time to show empathy to your customers and embrace the month of gratitude.Sure, you can still make a killing on Black Friday, but don’t jeopardize the human element of your customer relationships to do so.What type of contest will you run in November? Will it be a charity drive, a Veteran’s nomination contest, a before and after mustache contest, or something else?Get creative and have some fun, but don’t forget to give back, too.

About the author

By Will Blunt ・5 min read

Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital by Will Blunt - B2B Marketing Expert - Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing.

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