The holiday season is looming, and with it the need to craft a compelling Christmas email newsletter. And what a challenge it is! It should help you meet your yearly sales goals—but it mustn’t be too salesy or obtrusive. On the contrary, it should instill feelings of warmth and sincerity, and put a smile on a client’s face. No pressure, right?
If this is your first Christmas newsletter, you might feel overwhelmed. And even if you’re a seasoned marketer, it can be a challenge to come up with yet another creative idea for the holiday season. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of holiday email marketing ideas, examples, and tips. There are some tried-and-true as well as unconventional options—in other words, something for everyone. Please, enjoy!
Engaging Holiday Marketing Ideas and Examples
#1 A Christmas Newsletter with a Gift or a Product Discount
An obvious, but nevertheless good option. First of all, when opening your holiday emails, people will expect some kind of reward. They are used to brands competing for their loyalty and time, and feel like it is their right to choose the most generous one. So you are probably in for some tough competition!
Here are a few Christmas email marketing ideas to help you stand out from the crowd:
- Introduce a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency. Knowing there’s only three days to claim a gift or buy at a special price will move your offer higher up your customers’ priority list.
Source: Pure 360
- Customize gifts depending on your mail list segments. People aren’t really happy when they’re tracked, but if you put the data you’ve gathered to good use, they might cut you some slack. So, if you can customize the gift selection based on the demographics, location, or purchase history of your subscribers, do it! Alternatively, you can offer a few options to choose from and let the customers decide.
- Start your Christmas marketing campaign early. Apart from the fact you’ll need time to process and ship all the orders, the closer to December 25, the more crowded your customers’ inboxes get. You can send your holiday email newsletter as early as 40-50 days before the holiday. For B2B companies, you can start as early as mid-October. For B2C, the first and second week of November are considered to be perfect times to send pre-Christmas newsletters. This way, you can expect the highest open rates, and will have plenty of time to deliver gifts and prepare a follow-up campaign.
- Offer free wrapping or shipping. Saving people time and money is a surefire way to win their hearts. While it may not be cost-effective to offer free shipping for every little order, putting it as a bonus for purchases over a specific threshold will encourage people to buy more to get the best value.
#2 Put a Christmas Gift Guide into Your Holiday Newsletter
Picking perfect gifts for your loved ones can be fun, but it can also be stressful. So the easier you can make this process for your customers, the more grateful they will be. Don’t forget to include the categories based on people’s interests, and add some affordable options as well as more fancy ones. Or you can follow Arm & Hammer’s example and make a guide of homemade gifts using your products:
Arm & Hammer Holiday Gift Guide
#3 Offer a Downloadable Product as a Holiday Gift
Offering a product discount or a physical present isn’t for every business. But it doesn’t mean you have nothing to give to your customers. Some tips, fun activities, or useful content make wonderful presents and help strengthen relationships with your customers. Here are some free gift ideas for your Christmas newsletter:
- An ebook with valuable content from you or your partners
- A holiday guide
- A printable advent calendar
- A printable game
- A collection of your team’s favorite holiday activities
Take a look at a Christmas email campaign example from 1973 Ltd. Simple and heartwarming!
Source: Really Good Emails
#4 Put Your Team Front and Center of Your Christmas Email Newsletter
For marketers, Christmas is the time of a frantic race for customers’ attention and money. And as much as we try to coat it with creativity and humor, the bottom line is always the same: we want people to shop with us and not with our competitor. People feel it and even accept it, but wouldn’t it be nice to break the pattern?
If you are looking for a way to show a more human side of your company and reach out to your customers’ hearts, a Christmas email newsletter is the perfect opportunity to do so. Show your clients a bit of behind-the-scenes of your office, include personal greetings from the team, record a short and fun video with thanks and good wishes. And if you can find a clever and not too salesy way to promote your products at the same time—good for you! But for these types of holiday marketing campaigns it’s not the point.
Here’s an example of a Christmas newsletter we sent out a couple of years ago. It’s full of recipes and tips from the FlippingBook team with short personal greetings in the video format:
FlippingBook's Christmas Recipes
#5 Make a ‘Year in Review’ Holiday Email Newsletter
This is a great idea for a business Christmas newsletter. Firstly, it lets you boast how much your company has achieved in 12 months. Then, you can use it to remind customers of fond and exciting moments you’ve experienced together, and create some hype for the next year. Here’s what you can include:
- Growth data
- Fun stats and facts
- Photos from meetings and events
- Milestones and achievements: products launched, offices opened, people hired
- Account-specific stats: remind the customer what they’ve achieved with your brand
Don’t hesitate to include some personal milestones as well. Has anyone from your team moved to a new city or welcomed a baby into the family? Has anything funny happened at the office? Show the human side of your brand to create a connection between you and your clients—now is the best time to do it.
Here’s an inspiring example of a ‘Year-in-Review’ holiday newsletter from AllTrails:
Source: Really Good Emails
#6 Make Your Holiday Email Newsletter Interactive with a Quiz or a Game
People love games! Getting a discount or a gift just because it’s Christmas is one thing, but being rewarded for completing tasks or answering questions gives a pleasant sense of achievement. Plus, creating a fun and shareable online activity is a great way to reach people beyond your usual scope. While customers sometimes share special deals and offers, they are more likely to send a cute mini-game to their loved ones and friends.
Here’s an example of an interactive Christmas newsletter from Taco Bell:
Source: Really Good Emails
#7 Promote a Social Giveaway in Your Holiday Email Campaign
Email is a fantastic promotional channel, but it shouldn’t be your only one. You can use your holiday newsletter as a way to engage clients somewhere else. For example, you can hold a giveaway or a contest on Instagram and use the email to promote it among your subscribers.
#8 Send a Christmas Newsletter with a Last-Minute Reminder
In the hussle of the holiday season people tend to lose track of time. A gentle reminder about the last chance to get the order delivered in time for Christmas will be very welcome, so don’t miss this opportunity to connect and get a couple of extra sales.
We love this holiday newsletter example from Moment—while it does nudge the clients to order now, the copy is friendly and reassuring. Masterfully done!
Source: Really Good Emails
#9 Strengthen Ties with Your Customers with a ‘Thank you’ Holiday Bewsletter
Maybe you don’t want to be a part of the holiday race this year, or maybe it’s an off-season for you, so your marketing efforts are better spent on something else. It’s okay not to go overboard with your holiday marketing campaign and keep things simple.
Sending a Christmas card with seasonal greetings and thanks is more than enough—it will let people know you care about them and value their support.
The key to a good ‘Thank you’ newsletter is to make it personal and fun. Only when your clients can feel the people behind the brand will your message be effective. We tried something like that a couple of years ago at FlippingBook, and here’s what we came up with:
Happy Holidays from FlippingBook
Tips for a Smashing Christmas Marketing Campaign
No matter what holiday newsletter idea you choose for this year, there are a few things worth remembering when you sit down to prepare it.
- Keep your subject line short and catchy. Remember, these 50 characters have the power to make or break your entire email campaign. So, be bold, be concise, and put the most important info as close to the beginning as possible. Here’s a nice list of Christmas newsletter subject lines for inspiration.
- Personalize your holiday email newsletters. Include the customer’s name, cater the content based on their demographics, interests, and shopping history. Personalizing email content takes a lot of effort, but it pays off in higher open and click rates, and lower unsubscribes.
- Add interactivity. GIFs and videos can work wonders in boosting the conversion of your email campaign, as interactive email content increases the click-to-open rate by 73% if mentioned in the subject line.
- Optimize for mobile devices first. We’re glued to our screens, but more importantly—to our phones. Make sure your holiday newsletter looks as good on mobile devices as it does on desktops.
- Send a post-Christmas holiday newsletter. People are more relaxed after the holidays, and their inboxes are much quieter. Which means it’s a great time to connect. Extend the Christmas cheer by running a post-holiday contest or send a couple of relatable memes to promote your sale in a fun (if a bit cheeky) way.
And there you go! We hope our holiday newsletter ideas helped you find inspiration, and you are ready to create an irresistible Christmas marketing campaign of your own.