Guide to Christmas Email Marketing

Guide to Christmas Email Marketing

Winter holidays are coming. These days are undoubtedly the most long-awaited annual celebrations. Filled with joy, their unique atmosphere can warm t...

Winter holidays are coming. These days are undoubtedly the most long-awaited annual celebrations. Filled with joy, their unique atmosphere can warm the coldest winter days. Santa, gifts, Christmas tree decorations and, of course, the spirit of miracle and happiness.

However, it’s a perfect opportunity for email marketers to gain amazing profit. According to the annual consumer spending survey, the US citizens plan to spend an average of $1,000 this year on seasonal gifts and decorations. More than 50% of them will be shopping in online stores and that’s where we can take advantage. On the other hand, no one wants to get stuck at the office while everyone is celebrating Christmas surrounded by family and friends.

So how can we reach both commercial success and joy of holidays? Is there any solution? And how to craft not mediocre emails that may be lost in the client’s inbox, but strong and unique campaigns?

There is an answer to all these questions. Let’s talk about it in detail prior to continue with tips and practices of Christmas email perfection. What matters here is time.


When should we start?

It sounds like harsh truth but we already have to start! Don’t think that autumn is too early. Leading experts say that email marketers should start their Christmas and New Year campaigns without delays after Thanksgiving Day or even earlier. It depends on your industry specifics. For instance, online stores should run email campaigns at the beginning of November.

While for travel agencies, hotels, cafes and restaurants, it’s better to start crafting Christmas newsletters in September to give clients more time to make plans for holidays and travels.

In any case, the time has already come to prepare for holidays and craft perfect Christmas campaigns. People buy gifts in advance, not during the holidays. Another argument is that Black Friday is followed by Cyber Monday – days of great sales that preceding Christmas.

This way, truth is quite obvious – start immediately. No more hesitations about the perfect time.

One email or sequence?

Is one single email enough for the winter holidays? If you’re only want to congratulate your subscribers, one single message may be enough. While the best Christmas solution for those who are looking for sales and incomes is a sequence. Why do we need it? We want people to associate us with the holiday mood that convinces them to choose our brand among all others.

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The number and types of emails in the sequence depend on campaign duration and specifics. More than two emails a week is annoying, so don’t overuse.

This is approximately how newsletter sequence may look like:

Message 1. Awake interest with a teaser email

How to make subscribers anticipate the next emails? No matter if you are young or old. As we said above, the atmosphere of winter holidays is about waiting for the miracle. It comes from our childhood. So teaser emails come to help – give a hint, add some intrigue. Videos, GIFs, gamification are useful here but don’t say what is to come. Just hint.

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It will awake clients’ sense of curiosity and make them think. So people will wait for the sequel.

Message 2. Unveil the mystery

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A bit later, let your customers know exactly what they’ll get. Make an accent on it.

Message 3. Add the countdown

About a week or two before the sales start, add this performing item. Based on common human psychology, countdown timers remind that holidays are close and urge people to shop. As we don’t like to lose something or to be late.

Message 4. Announce the beginning

Yes, you’ve already informed your clients that sales will begin on Day X. But people may forget. Don’t think that you’re the only one who sends them email newsletters. So we need to reach them again. When? At the very moment of the sales start.

Message 5. Greet clients on Christmas Eve

Yeah, someone may still buy gifts even on this day. But most people are usually celebrating. So this final message is not about value offers, but expressing gratitude! Congratulate people, let them feel that you care, share your kindness, and warmth!

Christmas newsletter ideas

As for the best time and sequence order, it looks clear. But how to make Christmas emails outstanding and noticed among thousands of competitors’ offers?

The answer isn’t sophisticated. A magic key is not a single action without a smile and a festive spirit! This mood is exactly what makes newsletters performing, heart–touching and really compelling. Clients prefer to buy presents from brands that spread the festive mood.

We want to share our experience and empower it with examples of seasonal emails from our Inboxes. Let’s just get started!

Value offer: profit should be real

For some people, it could be not a favorite holiday, but getting discounts is always a good opportunity to save money even for subscribers that share a totally different culture, traditions and holidays.

That’s why discounts are essential to hook customers up. There are 3 basic types of discounts.

  • personal discounts – it may be anything, from coupons to lifetime discount. The keyword is “personal” – we are aware of emails personalization importance, right?
  • conditional discounts – you want to encourage clients to buy again? Then offer them an annual discount for 2020 for customers who have spent a certain sum until 2019 end. Discount size may vary depending on money spent: 20% off for $200 spent, 30% off for $300, etc.
  • major Christmas discount – we mean additional discount dedicated to holidays. People are looking for many presents, so a bit more discount is good.
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Gifts and presents

Apart from shocking generous discounts, you can give presents. This trick is obvious and simple. However, it drives traffic to websites and makes consumers buy way more often when something comes for free, for instance, a smartphone is good, but smartphone + free cover is even better 🙂

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Moreover, it makes people happier, isn’t it great per se?

Help people to get what they want

Sad but true: regarding gifts, our wishes often differ from reality. And we get not what we want. Of course, we thank for gifts, but…

Why not assist people to get the desired gifts?

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Look at this solution from Chubbies: they asked people to add what they like to their carts. Then, Chubbies “unobtrusively hinted” to friends and families what to present. It was really performing and arranged in an elegant manner. Of course, people shared their reactions on social media 🙂

Make an annual review

The end of the year is a good time to remind clients about the time you’ve spent together. It will show your kind and friendly approach, to remind your help. It shows the complete picture of your success and development.

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This idea mostly fits consulting businesses and legal services. They can stick to regular moderate and formal communication style, however, elements of Christmas design are pretty good.

Share further plans

This tip is kinda continuing the previous one. Share further plans and perspectives for next year! Clients will appreciate this as they like to know what they can expect from you in 2020.

Of course, you must turn your promises into real things 😉

Arrange contests

Competitions are always interesting. Some subscribers participate, others – watch and vote.

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It’s time for fun, so use this mood as an opportunity to engage people to interact. In turn, interactions bring sales!

Free shipping and guaranteed dates

People are ready to spend thousands of dollars to buy presents as it’s time for generosity. Be generous too and give clients a reward – offer them free shipping.

Free and fast! Surely, it’s essential to make presents on a certain date, not later. But delivery services will be literally overloaded. No wonder there may be unpleasant delays and other issues with delivery terms.

So the brand’s duty is to ensure people that orders will arrive on time. Solve problems in advance and mention this punctuality in Christmas emails.

Solve problems!

Sounds pretty obvious, right. Still, clients always appreciate your help with choosing the best present. Just like with the example of Chubbies above. For example, some guys totally fail about ladies’ secrets on how to combine jewelry and wear.

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In turn, not all girls are skilled enough in brutal masculine things like motorbikes or hunting equipment. So how to choose? Your assistance is a divine gesture.

Inform about working hours

You won’t stay online at Christmas weekend? Inform customers. A brief note is enough.

Remind that holidays are at hand

Christmas emotions may even make people forget about the following celebration, we mean New Year. Sounds ridiculous but it really happens. Therefore, it will be kind to push a little reminder. Especially for hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

A note: the situation is opposite when it goes to countries and diasporic communities that belong to Eastern Orthodox churches, f.ex. Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. They celebrate Christmas after New Year, so it’s reasonable to remind them about Christmas, not New Year. It may be pleasant for those who are not religious but still celebrating Christmas as a native traditional holiday. You can even make a special email design with ethnic elements.

Express your gratitude

If you run an email sequence campaign, this message is the final one. It’s meant not to offer and sell, but to express kindness and appreciation. When should you send it? Right, on the very Christmas Eve!

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Thank clients for being together for a long time, or for joining you. Yeah, your business wouldn’t exist and grow without them, so do your best for them. What to add? Nothing but simple “thanks”.

Christmas festive design

And finally, pay attention to Christmas design. For this purpose, we will share the best design ideas based on samples from various brands.

Color schemes and decorative elements

Regarding colors, the proven fact is that cold color schemes work better for wintertime holidays. So we advise choosing colors of blue or violet palette for Christmas newsletters. As for traditional red/green, don’t overuse these colors due to accessibility requirements, otherwise, your content may become illegible for people with color blindness.

Another actual threat here is a risk to damage your brand style with special festive elements like Santa’s hat, deers, snowballs, etc. To avoid this, think everything over well and try different versions to find the perfect solution with matching colors and elements.

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Btw, the usage of decorative elements is determined by your unique business voice and industry specifics. Add Christmas tree balls, animated fireworks, etc. But even for consulting or real estate companies, it would be nice to spice emails up with some festive elements. Clients will know that you’re aware of holidays though the message itself is not about them.

Embedded videos

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How to spread a festive mood? There are different ways. Email video is one of these methods. It’s nice to share the seasonal video. Your team congratulates clients: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Or at least just a dedicated video like this:

Pics of people with presents

Such photos remind people they can be late. They also compel subscribers to leave hesitations behind and buy from you.

Team pics

If your CEO and team won’t talk to clients in video format, a good alternative is team photo. Customers like to get a little closer to the teams behind products/services they’re offered.

Christmas GIFs

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Want to make Christmas newsletters even more energetic and vivid? — add GIFs. They may be of any kind. Snowflakes, Santa and deers, decorated fir tree, etc. But don’t ignore accessibility – it’s recommended to use GIFs with maximum frequency 3 frames per second.

AMP–powered email elements

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AMP emails are multipurpose and one of the functions is to enrich newsletter design. For instance, AMP–powered accordions allow hiding information in convenient sections.

Enjoy winter holidays

You have done enough and even more during this year. Now, this sweet family holiday is coming. It’s time to celebrate, relax and enjoy! And yeah, don’t forget to congratulate your friends.

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Christmas is full of joy, of fresh ideas and inspiration to bring them to eCommerce life. We hope our Christmas ideas will help you to reach success!

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VistaCreate Team

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