Preparing Your Email Marketing Strategy for the Holidays

Start your holiday email preparations early, so you will be all set to send your offers in plenty of time.

Whether you’re planning on percentage off offers, family and friends discounts or flash sales, start thinking about creative holiday campaigns with subject lines and personalized messages that work well.

Understand Your Customers and Their Holiday Celebrations

Do you know which holidays your customers celebrate? Before starting your holiday email campaigns, it’s important to be aware of all the major holidays your target audience celebrates. This means not only knowing when they celebrate the holidays but what each holiday represents.

Plan your email marketing calendar for the holidays applicable to your business. Include US (United States) holidays, as well as worldwide celebrations and global awareness days. Keep your yearly calendars updated because some holidays always fall on the same day, while others change dates yearly.

The following lists a few of the most popular international holidays for ecommerce:

- Valentine’s Day - This holiday to celebrate love (popularly celebrated on February 14) has different names in different parts of the world. In Brazil, Valentine’s Day is called Dia dos Namorados, and it’s celebrated in June,  while in Columbia, this September holiday is Dia del Amor y la Amistad. In Taiwan, two Valentine’s Days take place in February and July.

- Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Although these aren’t holidays, they are huge shopping days. Consumers take advantage of the deals they can get after Thanksgiving both in stores and online. You will definitely want to send emails that attract your subscriber to the deals you’re offering on these days.

black friday

- Diwali – This is the biggest festival celebrated in India during October. It’s also known as the Festival of Lights. In fact, PayPal reported that during the Diwali season, 75% of Indian shoppers avoid the crowds by shopping online at this time.

- Tet Holiday – Also known as the Lunar New Year - this is the most notable Vietnamese celebration. It welcomes in the New Year and says goodbye to the old year. A Happy New Year email would be a personal touch for this holiday.

Tet holiday

These are just a few examples of the holidays for which you can send celebration emails. Of course, don’t forget spooky Halloween emails, Thanksgiving Day and all the winter holidays.

halloween email

There’s too many to mention here but if you put on your thinking cap and apply your analytics, you can send hundreds of celebratory emails throughout the year.

3 Practical Tips before Sending Holiday Emails

Although you want your email holiday content to be creative and upbeat, there are a few practical points to take care of first.

First, make sure all your subscribe links and buttons work on all your landing pages and social media accounts. Gathering more subscribers to your database before the holidays increases your sales. It also attracts new leads you can follow up on after the holidays.

Second, send welcome emails to all your new subscribers, using email designs and content that sets them apart from generic welcoming messages. You can mention that holiday offers will be coming in future emails to help your subscribers with their holiday shopping. You can include information on holiday shipping schedules, how to return items, gift card promotions and customer service hours.

welcome email example

Third, reconnect with any subscribers that have abandoned shopping carts. Sending a reminder email, especially near the holidays, could be the nudge they need to return to their carts and make a purchase.

Make Your Holiday-Themed Emails Stand out

With all the emails sent to consumers during the holiday season, you want your emails to stand out from the crowd. The problem is effectively creating unique emails that engage your customers and relate to them personally. Generic, impersonal holiday emails don’t work with today’s consumers. So, think strategically and creatively when developing your holiday email content.

Dynamic Holiday Email Content

Successful holiday email content has to win your subscribers attention in their overwhelmed inbox messages. The following content ideas can help your message be the first one your subscribers open:

- Holiday video widget – Include a holiday video widget that leads your readers to a video that presents your holiday offers and tells an inspiring story. Always include a call-to-action in your video that inspires purchases from your website. Also, make sure your video is shareable, increasing your leads even more.

You may also consider using professionally designed video email templates with embedded opt-in forms and sharing features. These mobile-optimized templates make your holiday email campaign sending easy and streamlined.

video in email

- Smart messaging – All your holiday emails should include smart messages that you can repurpose as landing pages, Facebook posts or blog content.
- Geo-targeted content – You can increase engagement with your subscribers by sending geo-targeted holiday messages relevant to their location. This personalizes your subscriber's shopping experience by giving them your nearby store locations.
- Create an image library – Dynamic holiday emails always include plenty of graphics related to the celebration. Develop a library of images that you can use for your emails and social media platforms. This saves you time to search for images every time you create an email.
- Location - If you don’t operate a physical store but conduct your entire business online, tailor your holiday emails according to your customer's geographic locations. This way you can personalize the emails with events and holidays taking place in their individual locations.
- Extend your reach – Converge your holiday emails with your social media pages by including links to all your pages. This builds brand value and awareness while attracting new subscribers and customers.
- Segment your subscribers – Create personal emails based on your subscribers’ demographics, shopping behaviors, lifestyles, interests, opinions, values, social classes, and personalities. By taking the time to segment them, your holiday emails will be more effective because your customers will feel that you really know what they need.

email for new year

Final Thoughts

Personalizing your email marketing campaigns this holiday season can deliver increased revenue opportunities for your business. Persuade your subscribers to make purchases by engaging and interacting with them and offering them products tailored to their needs.

Remember, it’s all about creative, short subject lines that get to the point and engaging holiday content that leads back to your website. So, ramp up your email deployment schedule for an end of the year revenue boost. Get started now to create holiday emails that get results.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a guest blog post written by Kevin George from Email Monks

Email Monks authorKevin George - the Head of Marketing at leading email design and coding brand, EmailMonks - specializes in crafting beautiful email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and email templates HTML free. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing.’ He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing tips and best practices at his email marketing blog.

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