Your Guide to Successful Holiday Email Campaigns

Over the holidays, companies are pushing their marketing budgets to get some of the ready-to-spend customers to purchase. As competition is growing, it is very likely that the costs for your ads will grow, too. If you run an eCommerce business, your CPMs, CPCs, and CPAs will start showing big numbers as the holidays are coming closer, and this will affect your marketing ROI.
Therefore, making email marketing a big part of your holiday marketing strategy is an easy and effective way to keep your ROI positive.
Here are our strategies and examples for creating a holiday email marketing campaign that will make your emails stand out.

Hit the Right Timing

Timing is crucial in email marketing, especially when it comes to holiday sales. If you are a B2B company, it is good to start your Christmas email marketing campaign even in October, but if you are a B2C company, starting the campaign this early will run the risk of customers failing to ”see” your ads and promotions. Your messages might irritate your customers and it is very likely they will be ignored.
Timing your campaigns for late November/early December will bring more customers during December and January. The predictions for the future are that Christmas sales will start even earlier, so don’t forget to start your email marketing campaign earlier, way before next Christmas.
When it comes to planning, it is always good to have a sequence of emails you will send. The first email sent should be a warm-up email that will inform your customers what to expect from your upcoming holiday sales. Next, an email to remind them that the sales are just around the corner. Another one – when the sale starts, and the last one to follow up with relevant information for New Year’s and the gold ”last-minute” sales email.

Fun Subject Lines and Body Texts

It is holiday time and it should be time for having fun! Send emails that will make your readers have fun while reading them. Try adding some silly phrase and read it over. If it makes you smile – you are on the right path!
This works for your email subject lines, too! If they are engaging enough, this will make people open them straight away! It is always a good idea to A/B test a few different ones, save the test results, and use them for your future campaigns.

Highlight the Best Part of the Holiday Email

Your competitors will be sending out those holiday emails, too. Make sure you differentiate your offer and stand out with your email designs, and be the one to grab the customers. If you have last-minute sales or special gifts page – make sure your receivers know about it. If you offer additional discounts, coupon codes, or whatever makes your company unique, make sure it is highlighted and nobody can miss it.

Keep Track of Your Customers’ Holidays

If you are selling internationally (if not, you should start), there is much more to be considered than just translating your emails into different languages. Different countries have different holidays, and they even celebrate the same ones on different days.
For example, in the western countries, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th and 26th, but Orthodox Christmas falls on January 7th, whereas Armenians celebrate it on the 6th. If you are selling on the Dutch market, then consider starting your promotions earlier, as Sinterklaas – the day for giving gifts – falls on December 6th.

Take People to the Right Landing Page

Getting people to open the emails you send is hard enough. The second hardest thing is to get them to click on your call-to-action (CTA) buttons. If you manage to get those two clicks from them – you are on the right path. The last thing you want to happen is to send them to a page that doesn’t show the information you want them to see.
If you have earned those subscribers’ attention, make sure you guide them to the right place that matches the content and style of the email. To earn their trust, make sure the reader has a smooth and clear journey after the first click. For example, if you are presenting your gifts page in the email they open, make sure they land on the gifts page directly, and not to your homepage.
This way you will improve the customer’s journey and increase conversions, and it will give you an opportunity to track the success of your email campaigns more conveniently. Having the data from the campaigns and landing pages you track can tell you what works and what doesn’t. Knowing this, you can constantly improve and deliver better-optimized campaigns in the future.

Target the Right People with Segmentation

No matter how good your products and your holiday offers are, the chance that only one single email will do a great job to the entire audience is almost zero. Just like you will create different Google ads or different social media campaigns, you should take the same approach when it comes to your email marketing strategy. Divide your email list into segments based on what you know about your customers – their buying habits, gender, location, familiarity with your company, and professional background – and then send to each segment of people, based on personalized information.
If you are B2C eCommerce business, this means that you will have different emails for different audiences. It is either men or women, adults or teenagers – they all want different things, so personalizing your promotions is the best thing you can do. If you are planning to promote your gifts page, assume that men will buy gifts for women and vice versa, then make sure that the email content is for gifts.
If you are a B2B company, this means that your promotional emails will be completely different from the ones for B2C companies, but the idea and the concepts stay the same – send out different emails to each of your target groups.
Find the perfect timing for each campaign and send it in just the right way. Neither too early nor too late! With the right design for the right occasion, make your products or services not just visible, but stand out from your competitors. Double-check the landing page you are sending the readers to, and make sure the content and design match the email. And before it all, pick a subject line that will make people click!
Do you need help organizing your email marketing calendar? Quickly book a meeting and we will make the most of the biggest holidays your customers celebrate.

Finally Fix Your Flows
With our Flow Launch service we fix your flows. We'll create and update the top 10 highest performing flow sequences, roughly 25 emails in 30 days. Guaranteeing that you make your money back and ensuring you finally have your flows fixed.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to the Essence of Email Weekly.

  • Heath Weaver

    Managing Director, Principal

    Heath Weaver has almost two decades of eCommerce digital marketing experience. He has run multiple agencies, headed up Search Engine Marketing for the consumer electronics division of Sony, and served as a Vice President at Trilogy Software. He enjoys working day-to-day with clients to level up their retention marketing game.

  • Xiaohui "X" Wang

    Founder, Principal

    Xiaohui "X" Wang is a veteran of the email marketing industry. In the last decade, he has led the strategic and tactic retention marketing efforts for over 300 ecommerce brands ranging from small mom & pops to IR500 retailers. He's passionate about all things eCommerce, email, and SMS.