Holiday Email Campaigns: 5 Ideas That You Could Use This Holiday Season

October 5, 2018 Mark Adams

Do you already have your holiday marketing strategies in place for this year? If not, you better get a move on because online spending predictions are the highest they’ve ever been, with Black Friday alone expecting a 15.31% increase in sales from just last year.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach and engage your target market this holiday shopping season. Below, we’ve put together a list of our favorite holiday email campaigns that you can learn from when developing your own email marketing this holiday season:

Holiday Email Campaign Idea #1 - Tap Into the Spirit of Thanksgiving.

Holiday email campaigns are always more successful when they can tap into the audience’s emotions. The holidays tend to be a more sentimental time as people focus more on family and look to find ways to show their loved ones they care. Ad campaigns that focus on this sentimentality tend to be more emotionally appealing to consumers, which can go a long way in winning their trust and building long-term customer relationships.

Since Thanksgiving revolves around gratitude, you can leverage this holiday as an opportunity to give thanks to your customers while also announcing any new developments or promotions.

Hinge, an online dating app, did just that when they sent an email to their subscribers announcing what they were thankful for:

Holiday Email Campaigns

The messaging in this email campaign allowed Hinge to harness the spirit of the holidays while bringing attention back to their app, which helps people find meaningful relationships. They used Thanksgiving as an opportunity to thank those that have made their community successful while presenting some important statistics about the success of their app.

No matter what industry your business is in, you can learn from Hinge’s approach. Develop a Thanksgiving email campaign that thanks your customers for their loyalty and expresses gratitude for all they’ve helped you accomplish. To drive more traffic to your site, you might do something similar to Hinge by presenting eye-catching statistics or go one step further and provide a special promotion for those who have made your business a success.

Holiday Email Campaign Idea #2 - Build Excitement For Black Friday.

We all know Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But we also know that nearly every brand out there is sending out Black Friday emails to their customers and subscribers. So how do you stand out in the sea of other Black Friday emails? There are a few different approaches that you can take to building the excitement for Black Friday through your email marketing.

Lots of consumers start their holiday shopping before Black Friday. Don’t be afraid to send out an email that builds anticipation for the sale event. You may even want to provide a special discount for those that start shopping early. Here’s an example from Zagg, who uses both a countdown clock and a pre-sale promotional offer to capture their audience’s attention:

Holiday Email Campaigns - Build excitement for Black Friday

If you want to build excitement for Black Friday and make sure that your brand is at the top of consumers’ shopping lists, you need to be clear about what you are offering. Include what the promotional offers are, including when and how consumers can take advantage of them like in this example from River Island:

Holiday Email Campaigns - Build excitement for Black Friday

Bold colors and images are a great way to grab the attention of your audience. You may even want to experiment with animations. This Black Friday email from Quirky is the perfect example of email marketing content that’s on brand and eye-catching. Consumers don’t often get animated content in their inboxes, so this is a great way to grab attention.

Holiday Email Campaigns - Build excitement for Black Friday

Holiday Email Campaign Idea # 3 - Make Your Cyber Monday Promotions Pop.

Just as with Black Friday, Cyber Monday is another important shopping event for retailers, especially e-commerce brands. You want to create an email message that clearly communicates the promotions you are offering for Cyber Monday and how they can take advantage of these deals while also making it easy for consumers to start shopping.

Here’s a fun example of a simple, smart, eye-catching Cyber Monday email from J. Crew:

Holiday Email Campaigns - Cyber Monday promotions

The email graphics are fun, seasonally appropriate, and eye-catching. The parameters of the sale are clearly laid out, and it’s easy for consumers to see how they can take advantage of these deals. The contrasting CTA button takes consumers straight to the site where they can get started shopping.

Sometimes simple is the best approach to getting your audience’s attention with your Cyber Monday promotions. Here’s another simple, eye-catching example of a Cyber Monday email promotion that’s subtle yet effective:

Holiday Email Campaigns - Cyber Monday promotions

Another way that you can get more out of your Cyber Monday holiday email campaigns is by extending the promotions beyond Monday. Online shoppers are busy on Cyber Monday, so extending these deals is a great way to capture additional traffic, including consumers that may have not had time to shop your deals on Monday. When all your competitors are ending their promotions on Monday, an extended sale is a great way to stick out in the customer’s inbox.

Here’s an example of a Cyber Tuesday email promotion for Julep:

Holiday Email Campaigns - Cyber Monday promotions

By extending their Cyber Monday sale for an additional day, Julep is able to capture even more traffic after their competitors have already ended their promotions. Not only is this a great offer, but it’s most likely not one that their customers expected. Given the urgency of most Cyber Monday emails that provide clear deadlines for promotions, it’s a welcome surprise for many consumers to see a sale extended past the deadline.

Holiday Email Campaign Idea #4 - Help Your Customers Find The Perfect Gift.

Sometimes all it takes to influence a sale is some helpful content. When developing your holiday email campaigns, consider putting together a gift guide to help your customers choose the perfect gift. Depending on your target market, there are a few different approaches that you can take to creating holiday gift guide email content.

One approach to the holiday gift guide is to create one email that you send to your whole subscriber list. That’s what Uncommon Goods did in this example:

Holiday Email Campaigns - perfect gift

Notice that even though this is a general gift guide with gifts for everyone, it still separates the guide into different categories. This makes it easy for shoppers to find the best recommendations for everyone on their list without sifting through any irrelevant content.

Here’s another great example of a general gift guide from Bed Bath & Beyond:

Holiday Email Campaigns - perfect gift

Notice that this guide is broken down by price. If pricing is most important to your target audience, then you might consider modeling your own gift guide after this one.

In addition to sending general gift guides to your whole list, you might also consider segmenting your email list and sending more tailored messages with specific, targeted content. For instance, if you know that some of your subscribers are parents, you might send a guide focused on gifts for kids, like this one from Target:

Holiday Email Campaigns - perfect gift

Here’s another great example of a targeted gift guide that Piperlime sent to a segmented list of female consumers:

Holiday Email Campaigns - perfect gift

Whether you send a more specific guide to a targeted list of consumers or just a general gift guide, this type of holiday email campaign is a great way to provide helpful content for consumers while encouraging them to check out some of your most popular items.

Holiday Email Campaign Idea #5 - Keep The Holiday Spirit Going After Christmas.

Though the majority of holiday sales are made before Christmas, the holiday shopping season tends to extend into early January. Many consumers want to take advantage of post-holiday deals while others just want to get some gifts for themselves. When developing your holiday email campaigns, consider including email promotions that go beyond the Christmas season.

The New Year is a great opportunity to appeal to the consumer’s desire to start fresh and be a better version of themselves. For luxury or lifestyle brands, this is your chance to engage your leads and customers and encourage them to finally make a purchase for themselves. Here’s an example from Daniel Wellington:

Holiday Email Campaigns - holiday spirit going after Christmas

The language speaks to the spirit of the New Year by mentioning a time for new beginnings (and a new watch, of course!) The design is simple and elegant, staying on brand while appealing to the consumer’s need for luxury.

The New Year is also the perfect time for another promotional opportunity. Consumers are still feeling good from the holiday season and may be more inclined to shop more if they can take advantage of a good sale. Here’s a simple example of a New Year’s holiday promotion from Madewell:

Holiday Email Campaigns - holiday spirit going after Christmas

Final Takeaways For Your Holiday Email Campaign 2018

The holiday email campaigns we’ve touched on above are just a few of the examples of how you can take advantage of the excitement around the holidays to drive more traffic to your site. Remember, it’s not just about the promotions that you offer but how you present them to your customers and subscribers.

Need help getting started with your holiday email campaigns? Contact us to get started today.

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