Email Marketing for the Holidays

As we jump into the holiday season, we also jump into the biggest shopping season of the year. Now is the perfect time to contact your customers and let them know all the great deals and promotions your business has to offer. One of the best ways to do that is through email marketing. And during the holiday season, you want to make sure your email marketing campaigns are at their best. 

Start Early

As with all your holiday marketing, it’s best to get an early start. Optin Monster suggests starting your email campaigns on November 1st and says open rates drop off after November 15th. Starting early also gives your customers ample time to plan their Christmas shopping to include your products or services.  


Email marketing is an excellent way to remarket your current customers. Your go-to audience for any email marketing campaign is an up to date customer email list. This way you’re communicating all your awesome deals and promotions with already loyal customers. Not only will this increase the likelihood the recipient will open the email, but also the likelihood they will make a purchase. 


The most important part of any email marketing campaign is the email, of course. You’ll want to use a hierarchy of information, putting the most important parts at the beginning. 

To start, you’ll need an enticing subject line to get the recipient interested. Use “power words” like “Discounts,” “Limited Time,” or “Sale.” You should also keep it seasonal and use words like “Gifts” or “Happy Holidays.” A strong subject line might look something like this: “SEASONS GREETINGS: 20% off all online purchases!”

Once they open the email, they should see a strong call to action. You want your customer to “Shop now!” or “Book Your Appointment Today!” Make it clear what you want the recipient to do with the rest of the information in the email. 

Next comes the promotion. Are you telling them about a sale? Event? Exclusive discount? Now is your chance to give them all the details. Show off some new products you think will be perfect for them or a new service you know they need. Don’t forget to throw in a discount or unique offer. This is your reason for sending the email and their reason for opening it. 

Last, the email should end with any relevant policies that come with the promotion. This could be who is eligible to get the discount, how long the promotion is running, and any other limits the customer might come across. 


The email should be fun and functional. Use holiday themes like pumpkins for fall or snowflakes for winter. Or you could use gift boxes to remind your recipient about all the great gifts they can get from your business. Just make sure to keep it relevant to whatever holiday your promotion is celebrating. 

However, it’s even more important to make sure your email is readable. Don’t overload the email with gifs and images that aren’t related to your business. This can be distracting and can affect how your email loads. Limit yourself to no more than three fonts and stick to relevant imagery, like featured products and holiday themes. 

Track your Data

Data-driven marketing is successful marketing. Make sure you check in on how your emails are doing after you hit send. Look for the open rate of your audience. According to Mailchimp, the average open rate for marketing emails is 21.33%. However, this can vary by industry. You’ll also want to look at the time the emails are opened. This way, you can adjust your sending time for your next email campaign. Last, you’ll want to check your click rate. Mailchimp says the average click rate is 2.62%, but this also varies by industry. Hobby-based businesses tend to see the highest click rates. By following the recommendations we’ve discussed here, you can optimize for a higher open rate.

Since most holiday shopping will be done online in 2020, you’ll need to use online platforms to communicate with your customers. Email marketing is the best way to contact an already interested audience about all the holiday promotions they can take advantage of. And if you apply these best practices, they’ll be more likely to open your emails, click the links, and make purchases. 

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