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Effective Holiday Email Marketing in 2020


The holiday season 2020 is a great opportunity to increase sales, maximize revenue, and also establish a long-lasting connection with your customers. 

It’s never too early or too late to get ready for your Holiday marketing campaigns. And there is no other perfect way to start capturing your customers’ attention than Holiday Email Marketing

Email Marketing helps you in reaching out to your most engaged audience — customers and subscribers you already have. Not just that. You can also create campaigns to reach out to leads. Showing your audiences the value that your store offers especially during the holiday period will be your key to maximum conversions. 

To kickstart your holiday emails, we have some incredible tips to draft interesting subject lines that your customers cannot ignore. It’s not over yet. We have included some real holiday email examples from Ecommerce brands that will inspire you to create interesting emails almost instantly. Let’s get started!

Exclusive Tips to Create Holiday Subject Lines Your Customers Can’t Resist

1) Leverage the use of power words

Words can be a very powerful tool. Especially, certain words can be more attention-grabbing. When you craft subject lines, include these power words to grab your customers attention,

  • When your objective is Sales-driven: Use Hot deal, promotion, discount, savings, free shipping
  • When your objective is Timeliness: Use Order now, limited-time, today-only, last minute, Open now, Exclusive
  • When your objective is to spread the Holiday Vibe: Use Good cheer, 12 Deals of Christmas, Season’s Greetings
  • When your objective is to show gratitude: Use Thank you, appreciation, your support

2) Personalize your subject line

Data reveals emails crafted with personalized subject lines are more likely to be opened. Numbers never lie! So, it’s totally worth taking some time out to add the customer’s first name to the subject line this holiday season. Also, constantly explore more ways in which you can personalize your campaigns. This will help you to deliver the right kind of holiday experience that your customers are eagerly expecting from you. You can find heaps of personalization ideas for moving towards a successful holiday email marketing campaign.

3) Have you tried emojis? ⛄????????????

Emojis offer a fun way to express your holiday vibe to the customers. There are a number of emojis that you can use to bring that extra cheer this Holiday season. You can add a holiday snowman, stars, or a tree to your subject line to grab attention. Ecommerce brands have seen a 45% increase in their unique open rates using emoji in their subject lines. It’s a great catchy option to add some holiday flair to your holiday emails. And here’s an interesting fact: Snowman emoji drives the highest open rates! ⛄

4) Consider asking a question

Questions are great for subject lines as they offer an immediate way of customer engagement. You can include questions like “Are you looking for some gift ideas?” or “Do you need your gifts wrapped?”. Next time when you draft subject lines for your holiday emails,  try modifying the content inside your email into a question and see the change in open rates for yourself.

5) Place your offer front and center

Customers are going to be bombarded with holiday emails from so many Ecommerce brands. In such a tricky situation, you cannot make your customers hunt for your offer in their overflowing inboxes. Try to feature your offer prominently in your subject line to capture their attention. This will motivate them to open and read the rest of your email. For a good start, offer free shipping as 74% of customers have acknowledged that free shipping is one of the most important features when they purchase online, according to a report by UPS.

Holiday email examples to inspire and get you going!

We have a variety of holidays to celebrate throughout the year and similarly, there are more creative and interesting email examples out there to help guide your email drafting process.  Have a look at the real examples from the industry and get inspired in no time!

1) Don’t miss out to promote your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale 

Real-time data from RJ Metrics reveals that the days from Black Friday to Christmas, especially holidays like Cyber Monday, generate 50–100% more revenue than any other shopping days throughout the rest of the year. Check out this email sent by Birchbox to its customers to communicate a Black Friday offer a day early. This has turned out to be the current trend where offers seem to go out earlier and earlier each year.

Black Friday Email Template

2) Send a holiday gift guide

You won’t believe how many shoppers wait until the last minute to do their shopping. According to RetailNext’s research in 2016, sales dropped 3% in November but surged as December came to an end. Every year, last-minute shopping witnesses a 6% year-over-year growth.

The most important reason for this is your shoppers are not sure of what to purchase for family and friends. They want to give the best gifts and hence keep postponing the decision making. Leverage this opportunity and offer the inspiration that your customers need. Create a beautiful gift guide that offers customers some unique gift ideas. 

Check out this example of a gift guide from Rip Curl that offers inspiration for finding gifts for girls and guys:

Holiday Gift Guide Email Template

If you want to be the top of the mind Ecommerce brand for your customers this Holiday season, try sending more than one gift guide throughout the season and break them into categories for easy reference. 

For example, you can send a guide that offers ideas on gifts under $10 or gifts for kids or moms. We have listed down a few categories that can be very useful for your gift guides:

  • Price point
  • Title (Mom, Dad, Boss, Teacher, etc)
  • Hobbies or interests
  • Age group (Gifts for teens, seniors, etc.)
  • Stocking stuffers
  • Color
  • Product type (Electronics, clothes)

3) Offer a gift for referring a friend

The holiday season is also the best time to grow your customer base by encouraging referrals. Offer your current customers a deal or discount or coupon as a gift if they refer a friend or pay for a subscription. You can refer to Birchbox’s deluxe samples that they offer to customers when they buy a friend a one-year subscription.

Holiday Referral Email Template

4) Include a popular reference in your email

Popular culture is everywhere and your customers are breathing and living by every pop culture that they see and enjoy. Your Ecommerce brand can leverage this behavior to your advantage. You can send an email that connects one of your products to a holiday song or something in popular culture.

If you still think it might sound weird, check out how La Mer promotes its product through a unique connection to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Christmas Email Template

5) Surprise with last-minute deals

As we already discussed, there are always last-minute shoppers and they are in majority. In 2015, the National Retail Federation revealed that the average shopper had only completed 53% of their shopping list two weeks before Christmas. To remind and help customers with last-minute shopping, De Beers sent subscribers this email to market to last-minute shoppers.

Last minute deals Email Template

6) Don’t forget to send post-holiday emails

Okay, the holiday is over and you can lay back a little. No! Don’t ever think that way. If the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean you should stop sending emails. You can send a few “post-holiday” deals to your customers to nab a few more sales. Or you can get those shoppers who received gift cards to start using them. Or it can also be about how they enjoyed the holiday deals from you – feedback of sorts to maintain the connection that you had established. Check out this email from Sephora sent customers in early January:

Post Holiday Email Template

Bottom Line

Email marketing is very important and continues to be one of the high-converting traffic channels for your business, especially during the holiday season.

Take the time to:

Draft subject lines that make your customers instantly cheerful just with a glance

Constantly think about ways to reach out to customers and offer guidance for the holiday shopping

Research and explore real-time examples from different Ecommerce brands derive inspiration

We can see your excitement amping up! Start working on your holiday email marketing strategy and constantly tweak it to get the results you want. To get more exciting holiday email marketing ideas, check out our Email Marketing blogs, and get your holiday sales running!

Picture of Keerthana Selvakumar

Keerthana Selvakumar

Keerthana Selvakumar is a Content Writer at TargetBay, an Ecommerce Marketing Cloud used by thousands of online stores across the globe. When she is not working, Keerthana spends most of her time reading, cooking, catching her favorite Netflix shows, and fantasizing about becoming a good storyteller. An admitted Anime fanatic, she feeds her addiction to Japanese Manga and Anime by binge-watching episodes on Sunday afternoons until her eyes pop out.

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