Christmas spending is shifting earlier, as Black Friday and Cyber Week dominate holiday sales.
To capture shoppers’ limited attention in the lead-up to Christmas, marketing emails need to be timely, engaging, and helpful. A well-thought-out holiday email campaign has the potential to drive sales, boost loyalty, and spread a little festive cheer.
Below you’ll find some of our favorite Christmas email tactics, along with inspiring examples that landed in our inbox.
1. Build excitement with daily deals
Daily deals are a great way to build anticipation and get shoppers looking out for your emails in their inbox.
Monica Vinader used this tactic to good effect in its latest Christmas campaign. Emails functioned as a kind of advent calendar, with a new deal revealed each day in the run-up to Christmas.
The daily deals format gives customers something to look forward to, as they wait for their favorite brand or category to drop in price. By focusing on a different category each day, marketers can avoid overloading the customer with choice.
2. Give a heads up with countdown timers
Christmas shopping can be a stressful time for consumers, with many shoppers rushing to buy multiple gifts at the last minute.
Today’s customer is used to the convenience of same- or next-day delivery. But over the Christmas period, it’s not always possible to meet these expectations.
Countdown timers are a useful way to alert customers as the deadline for Christmas delivery approaches.
We loved this email from Cotswold Outdoor, which used a dynamic countdown timer to grab shoppers’ attention and build urgency as the cut-off time approached.
For optimal engagement, it's possible to add an animated countdown timer as a GIF generated at the point of open. The animation makes the email more compelling, and customers have a good idea how much time is left.
3. Give other options if delivery isn't available
Inevitably, some consumers will run out of time to get their gifts delivered before Christmas.
It’s a good idea to remind shoppers that there are other ways to bag the perfect gift in time for the big day.
This email from Timberland gives customers the option to find a nearby store, or order an instant gift card for their loved one.
Marketers can take the idea a step further by using geotargeting to insert the customer’s nearest store location into the email. This contextual information may provide an extra nudge for shoppers to make the journey to your brick-and-mortar locations.
4. Join up channels with a 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 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.
To provide even more seasonal inspiration, consider adding a real-time Instagram feed to emails. Customer photos are often more engaging than professional product images. And by encouraging social follows, you give your business more options to stay on a shopper’s radar.
5. Drive sales on Boxing Day and beyond
Black Friday, Cyber week and Christmas are golden opportunities to acquire new customers. The next step is to keep these shoppers coming back for more.
Personalized content helps your emails stand out in inboxes once festivities are over.
In this January sales email, Wayfair cleverly used the customer’s previously browsed product category - in this case, bean bags - to capture the recipient’s attention.
Boxing Day sales are traditionally an in-store experience, and many shoppers look forward to hitting the sales with newly-received gift cards.
Retailers with brick-and-mortar stores can harness emails to drive footfall to physical locations.
This Christmas email from Molton Brown encourages customers to head in-store on Boxing Day. The copy emphasizes that shopping is a fun activity, more than just an opportunity to spend money.
Keep email and web content fresh all year round
If you’d like more seasonal marketing inspiration, look no further than The Ultimate eCommerce Marketing Calendar.
Structured around 84 different days and events, the calendar contains 250+ fabulous marketing examples from top brands.
Inside, you’ll find a monthly spotlight on an important days and best practices. Plus, a variety of practical web, email and social ideas to increase eCommerce revenue all year round.