The festive season is upon us. And while it’s quite possibly the jolliest month of the year, the run up to Christmas is notoriously hectic. In the bid to find perfect presents for our loved ones, we shoppers enter into a festive frenzy, traipsing through shopping malls and trawling through eCommerce stores until we’ve secured those all important gifts.
So to stand out from the crowd and capture shoppers’ attention during this busy season, retailers and brands should ensure their marketing emails are timely, engaging and helpful (not to mention full of festive cheer). A well thought out holiday email campaign has the potential to drive sales and boost loyalty, so email marketers - it’s time to shine.
Read on for some of our favorite Christmas email tactics, along with inspiring examples that landed in our inbox.
1. Dynamic hero banner
Fill your shoppers with festive cheer as soon as they open your email with a Christmas-themed hero banner, and delight them further by adding personalization.
Animed used a dynamic hero banner for their Christmas launch email, pulling in the name of the customer’s pet to make the email extra memorable and attention grabbing.
Source: Animed Direct email
2. Dynamic pricing
Christmas sales and discounts mean prices are often more fluid than normal during the festive season. So it’s important to deliver the most up-to-date pricing to your shoppers to avoid frustration and lost sales.
FFX uses dynamic pricing in their email marketing, serving customers live pricing at the time of opening the email.
Source: FFX email
3. Countdown timers
Countdown timers are a great way to create urgency and build excitement around festive sales, and they’re proven to increase voucher redemption by up to 15%.
Buyagift includes a countdown timer in their marketing emails to highlight their one day sale.
Source: Buyagfit email
Countdown timers aren’t limited to sales. Thorntons uses a countdown timer to make their customers aware of the Christmas delivery cut off date - a valuable piece of information during the festive season.
Source: Thorntons email
Take your engagement to the next level by adding an animated countdown timer as a GIF generated at the point of open. That way, customers can see the seconds, minutes and hours pass by and have an accurate idea of how much time is left.
4. Product recommendations
When it comes to Christmas shopping, the choice paralysis is real. With so many options and so little time, shoppers can be left feeling overwhelmed and unsure about their festive purchases.
That’s where product recommendations come in. By including personalized recommendations and gift guides in your email marketing, you’ll save your shoppers time and help them pick out the perfect gifts to put under the tree.
Viovet uses conversion-boosting social proof cues in their marketing emails to recommend their popular products. By displaying popularity messaging and star ratings, they signal to customers that these are trustworthy products worth adding to their Christmas shopping lists.
Source: Viovet email
Not all shoppers have the same spending power, and shoppers might be less inclined to click through to your website if they see products outside of their price range. By adding clear price ranges to their marketing emails, Karen Millen gives their shoppers options that suit their budget.
Source: Karen Millen email
This tactic is effective when used on your website too. For returning customers, use behavioral data to suggest products within the shopper’s most browsed and purchased price range. For new visitors, use a tool such as our Price Affinity Predictor to recommend products in the price level most likely to convert that individual shopper.
5. Use real people
In marketing, authenticity goes a long way. Using real people in your campaigns builds trust, resonates with shoppers and reduces return rates.
Killstar adds user generated content to their Christmas marketing emails to show shoppers what their products look like in real life. One in three shoppers prefer to see a product as it is worn or used by real people as opposed to professional product images, so it pays to use this social proof tactic.
Source: Killstar email
6. Social call to action
When Christmas Day comes around, customers aren’t necessarily in the mood for shopping. So why not provide alternative ways to interact with your business?
Email is a powerful tool to provide inspiration and turn customers into brand advocates.
This message from Karen Millen invites customers to share their festive snaps of the brand’s clothing. This not only helps generate social proof content, but also encourages shoppers to follow the company on Instagram.
Source: Karen Millen email
7. Fulfilment options
When asked about their festive shopping top priorities, 41% of consumers said free shipping was the most important factor for them, while 35% said fast delivery and 24% said clear and simple returns policies. So if you have attractive fulfilment options, make sure you shout them from the rooftop in your marketing emails.
Shoe Zone dedicates a whole email to highlighting their free next day delivery option.
Source: Shoe Zone email
Homebase makes their click and collect options clear in their marketing emails, so their customers know exactly how to take advantage of this alternative to home delivery. The click-and-collect market in the UK is forecast to reach £9.6 billion in 2022, accounting for 13.9% of online sales. So if you offer this option, make sure your customers know about it.
Source: Homebase email
Marketers can take the idea a step further by using geotargeting to insert the customer’s nearest click and collect location into the email. This contextual information makes life easier for shoppers and might be the helpful nudge they need to make a purchase.
Keep email and web content fresh all year round
Looking for more seasonal marketing inspiration? Look no further than The Ultimate eCommerce Marketing Calendar.
Structured around 80 different days and events, the calendar contains 250+ marketing examples from top brands. You’ll also find a monthly spotlight on important days and best practices. Plus, a variety of practical web, email and social ideas to increase eCommerce revenue all year round.