The holidays are a great time for marketers to step up their game and produce email campaigns that will connect with their audiences.
People are in a gift-giving and festive mood and there are lots of content ideas that are sure to engage them. The spirit of Christmas and New Year (and other holidays this time of the year) primes people to be more open to new products, gift sets, discounts, and sales.
Your brand can also give value by empathizing with the gift procrastinators who shop at the last minute or those who have no idea what presents to buy.
During this season, gift themes can be found in almost every newsletter, but that doesn’t mean you have to box yourself in that single idea.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best email newsletters to send during the holidays. It’s perfect for your swipe file or your next brainstorming session. Read on for the most sparkling ideas!
1. Create a countdown to the holidays
2. Highlight the season of giving with gift-themed newsletters
- Emphasize the power of gifts during the holidays
- Empathize with gift procrastinators while injecting humor
- Encourage them to treat themselves while featuring customer recommendations
- Curate gift sets or stocking stuffers
3. Help them get Christmas-ready
- Feature a holiday-relevant product
- Share useful content that will make their holiday preparations easier
- Make it easy to gift your products and provide a gift guide
4. Announce a big sale with huge discounts
5. Send a holiday message from the team or founders
Create a countdown to the holidays
The first idea might be obvious but it’s nevertheless effective: build anticipation through a good ol’ Christmas countdown. It’s an email newsletter that makes sense since the holidays are a much-awaited season.
The British menswear brand Ben Sherman does a variation of this with their “Christmas Pending” email, announcing their 12 Days of Christmas event. It creates hype because they promise discounts, offers, and “more treats” to the reader, plus they mention the date of the extravaganza.
Throughout the email are simple CTA buttons, clothing categories, and items separated by price.
It’s a good idea to introduce price segmentation for your items because budget-conscious shoppers will be drawn to it. They are most likely looking for value and gift ideas. Separating gift ideas by price shows you care for the shopper’s time and money.
Highlight the season of giving with gift-themed newsletters
One can’t miss the onslaught of gift ideas, gift-giving, and other gift-themed ads and emails during the holidays. Instead of avoiding this, embrace it and find creative ways to integrate it into your own campaigns. Here are some ideas we’ve found that fit this theme.
Emphasize the power of gifts during the holidays
Tap into the emotional aspect of gift-giving by creating a campaign around the value of giving and its relation to holiday values like love or joy.
You can also include your brand’s mission or values statement. Even if your product isn’t particularly holiday-related, expressing your mission could still connect it with the season’s festive mood.
Take PDPAOLA for example. It’s a jewelry brand that prides itself on its values and emotional touch and that is obvious in its ads and email newsletters too.
Here, they use minimal copy and large product pictures. The copy is in small text and emphasizes that Christmas is a season for giving. They also use powerful photos to complement their copy. To end the email, they have a simple CTA button that leads to their Christmas collection.
When integrating this idea, it’s important to stay on-brand and showcase your brand’s commitment or mission in a seasonally relevant way. PDPAOLA pulls this off quite well in their newsletter.
Empathize with gift procrastinators while injecting humor
The holidays are also a time for procrastinating. Many people put off their holiday shopping until the last minute, for many reasons. To solve this problem, why not create an email newsletter that targets holiday procrastinators?
Graza is a brand that has used this strategy for their holiday campaigns. The copy “We’ve all been there” injects empathy while keeping the tone light. They then segue into a deadline for the customer to buy their gifts and they show it in a witty way, too (a calendar). A simple CTA ties it together, enjoining readers to “Gift Graza”.
This email is thoughtful because it’s written to remind the reader to buy a gift while there’s time but it’s effective marketing-wise as well because it gives the reader the chance to browse and buy through the CTA button.
Encourage them to treat themselves while featuring customer recommendations
Holidays are also a time to give yourself some love, so why not encourage your readers to do so?
Weezie, a brand known for its luxury towels, has successfully pulled this off. In its holiday newsletter, it features picks or shopping lists from its brand-loyal customers (also known as Hype Girls). The copy states that everyone deserves luxury, which connects it with the self-care angle of this newsletter.
Under each person’s name and photo are their top three recommendations plus a short quote about the gift. They also have a CTA button that leads to that person’s list on the Weezie website for the reader’s shopping convenience.
Why does this strategy work?
It accomplishes two things in one email. It’s a form of social proof from people who love your products. Secondly, it gives attention to the products featured in their lists, presents them as tried-and-tested, and therefore gives readers more incentive to try them out.
Curate gift sets or stocking stuffers
Reduce the stress that goes with holiday shopping by providing your audience with gift sets. Stance, a socks and underwear brand, is a good example.
They’ve grouped their socks into themed stocking sets with a CTA button for each set that makes purchasing easier for the buyer. They use simple and effective copy to show the benefits of the sets: “the toastiest toes in town” and “gift different this holiday season”.
Try out this idea by curating gift sets or grouping your products into stocking stuffers to appeal to gift buyers.
Help them get Christmas-ready
The holidays are an exciting but also stressful time. Position yourself as a brand that will help smooth out the bumps of the holiday season in order to engage your readers and turn them into customers. Here are some ways to do this.
Feature a holiday-relevant item
If you have a product that can be used for holiday-related events or problems encountered during the Christmas season, show them off! This can be as simple as explaining the benefits of the product and showing how it works.
Take Function Of Beauty as inspiration. In this email, they’re featuring their custom styling primer that they say can be used for creating holiday hairstyles, thus connecting the product with the season’s parties and events. The CTA also says “Get Party Ready”, amplifying the product’s relevance to the holidays.
At the bottom, Function Of Beauty gives instructions about how to customize the primer for each styling goal, fragrance preferences, and preferred amount of hold. They position another CTA button that invites the audience to buy the styling primer, which increases the chances of conversion.
Share useful content that will make their holiday preparations easier
When in doubt, try to be useful and give informative and valuable content to your audience. Make their holiday preparations easier, just as Allplants does in this example.
The newsletter begins by directly addressing the reader and introducing their Mushroom Pancetta Filo Pie and Cranberry + Walnut Loaf right away. They also feature other products that can complement their main offerings.
The email is more direct but nevertheless effective because they’re helping their potential customers to prepare “the ultimate vegan Christmas roast” and to “impress guests”. Through this, they keep the content relevant to the holidays.
They also include a short review from a customer and two CTA buttons inviting the audience to try out the aforementioned products. The small bit of social proof goes a long way to persuade the reader to check out the offerings.
Make it easy to gift your products and provide a gift guide
Some products are easier to send as gifts than others. If your product raises any doubts in your customers about how they can serve as great gifts, show them how!
Leaf Envy, an indoor plant brand, alleviates the complication of giving plants as gifts and makes them a no-brainer gift choice by giving tips about how to gift plants and offering personalized messages, subscriptions, and guaranteed Christmas delivery.
In their gift guide “What you need to know about gifting plants this Christmas”, they also suggest giving plants instead of wine for Christmas gatherings or opting for a gift card instead, which allows the recipient to choose the plant they want.
Leaf Envy also provides different CTA buttons which makes the email engaging. At the end of the email, they offer a discount to make their offer even more appealing.
This strategy is excellent because it removes the friction that comes with planning gifts and gives the reader inspiration for their Christmas gift shopping.
Announce a big sale with huge discounts
Who can resist a good sale? Throw a big holiday sale to lure in customers who are shopping for gifts (for others or for themselves).
Everlane sends out a good example of an end-of-year sale email, introducing it with the catchy copy “Like the holidays, this only happens once a year.” The rest of the email is simple with just a product image, the discount offered (up to 60% off), and CTA buttons to start shopping.
The email communicates urgency, gives a discount, and simplifies the purchase process for the audience, proving that holiday email newsletters need not be complicated for them to work.
Send a holiday message from the team or founders
Lastly, a holiday email newsletter idea you should definitely consider in your marketing plan is sending an end-of-year message, like Supply does here. It’s a short and sweet email from the founders of the brand, thanking the readers for being with them throughout the year and wishing them a merry Christmas.
An email newsletter like this displays the human side of your brand and shows you care about your audience. It also keeps your brand at the top of their minds and may also encourage future purchases from you.
Express gratitude and tell your audience that you appreciate them. A few words go a long way.
Are you feeling the holiday mood yet? We hope this list gives you ideas for your Christmas email marketing campaign ahead of the season and makes your holiday marketing planning less stressful. Check out our other email newsletter ideas if you need more inspiration for your marketing calendar!