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Christmas Email Campaigns Best Practices

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This Christmas learn why building useful content for email marketing fares better than brainstorming on clickbait. Explore our Christmas Marketing Special below.

If you haven’t thought yet about what to offer to your clients before Christmas, then it’s time to start doing this and develop a mailing strategy for the pre-holiday period. By mid-December, it’s time to be fully ready for this.

Source: Unsplash

The December email campaign should be created as part of a single concept. Otherwise, your subscribers won’t be interested in reading them. And there are both good and bad pieces of news for everyone who decides to send mails in December. 

The bad thing is that by Christmas, all companies become active, even those that use email marketing rarely or irregularly the rest of the time. Your emails will have to withstand fierce competition for the attention of subscribers. Along with your holiday emails, they will receive a whole series of similar messages from other organizations. 

But the good news is that holidays are pleasant to everyone, so subscribers perceive the pre-holiday mail loyally.

General Concepts of Christmas Emails

Before we start talking about ideas, it is worth clarifying the very direction which we should keep in mind during the process of preparing a campaign. But before that, you need to somehow please and help your potential client.

This means that first of all,

You must support, and even create an atmosphere of a Christmas fairy tale for the one who reads your emails.

Try to help a user solve urgent problems. For example, you can give advice on what to present to loved ones. And only then, you should try to sell him or her your product or service.

Direct offers to buy something is not the best solution for a holiday advertising campaign. But remember, to prepare any idea, you need to know your target audience.

Email Subject Line

The first thing the recipient sees is the subject line. The fate of your message depends on whether you are able to catch the recipient’s curiosity. Many experts claim that composing a subject line for holiday newsletters is much more important than the design that everyone devotes so much time to.

So what are the perfect subject words for your Christmas newsletter? Here are some life hacks for creating a good line. They are the following:

  • Make a joke. A smile on the recipient’s face is half the way to success. But you need to use this technique very carefully, given the specifics of the audience.
  • Create some intrigue. This is the most popular marketing technique. For example, you can say, “Seems like you have forgotten to take your gift.
  • Provoke. Here you may need to be even more careful than with jokes.
  • Sometimes you will have to be straightforward. Not everyone may understand your hints and metaphors. Try to be a little simpler.
  • Start the dialogue from the first line or use questions.

If you are not sure if it is good, you can use a subject line tester. It is a fully automated algorithm, which analyses your subject line and gives it a score, as well as recommendations for its improvement.

The Best Ideas for Christmas Campaigns

On the one hand, Christmas is soon approaching and it might seem like writing an email is pretty easy. On the other hand, you need to carefully consider the idea of the email because if you just congratulate someone and attach a link to the site, it will not give you many results. 

Below, I will discuss the top classic ideas for a Christmas mailing campaign. 

Give Indirect Christmas Gifts Hints

In the case of composing such a guide, it is necessary to take into account the interests, age, and marital status of the audience. It is also worth paying attention to the history of their purchases. This will make you more likely to please the person.

Source: Terrain

Recommend options for gifts from your products for children, parents, friends, and family, or, as it’s shown on the example below, segment such hints by gender. 

Source: Pinterest

Such emails can be sent from the end of November when people are just starting to think about New Year’s and Christmas shopping.

Promotions and Sales 

As I said at the beginning, direct sales are not the best idea for the holiday season. So you need to show the person that you want to help. For example, say that there is the opportunity to save money, and then talk about your discounts, promotions, free shipping, and other goodies. 

For those who like to buy everything at the last moment, you can arrange an email in the form of a reminder of gift options.


Source: Campaign Monitor

Holiday Greetings from the Whole Team

I think this does not require any additional clarification. If you want to come up with a series of emails, then it should be one of the firsts to build some more brand loyalty. Just take a nice photo of your team and add some simple congratulations.

Source: Buyagift

This is also a good and fun move to improve team communication and team work.

Add Game Elements

If you do this, the message will become more interesting. In the language of modern business, this is called gamification. 

Invite subscribers to share photos with different Christmas things or any product from your company, collect points, likes, or reward them with something for effective actions. Below you can see a good example made by Starbucks.

Source: Starbucks

Tell Clients About the Success of Your Brand

The achievements over the past year will show clients that they are doing business with a thriving company. Such information will help to achieve the reactivation of some users who managed to forget about you.

Source: Really Good Emails

Compose Several Emails

One email may not be noticed in the general mass of messages. But if there is a whole series of newsletters, then they will certainly achieve their goal. It is desirable that each next email is associated with the previous one. Then the subscriber will have an incentive to read all your messages.

Engage Interactivity

Interactivity in emails is something that is now being actively discussed at conferences dedicated to digital commerce and email marketing.

Christmas is the best time to send interactive emails, as their main purpose is to surprise and entertain recipients.

But to get an interactive email, common tools are not enough. You may need to use responsive email templates and HTML editors. This will allow you:

  • incorporate dynamic content
  • use interactive elements (quizzes, infographics, etc)
  • make visually appealing email content
  • improve rendering on various devices
  • edit the design at any moment.

Create Useful Content

Consider experimenting with such messages in the copy:

  • tell your clients about the company’s work schedule during the holidays 
  • use the countdown of days until this most anticipated event
  • inform them about the sales period 
  • the time left until the next collection

All this will create a feeling that you are helping your clients but not just getting rid of stock before a new year.

Source: Shipping Easy


Preparing an email campaign for Christmas requires a lot of effort and knowledge. In all the variety of options, the main thing is not to forget to consider the interests and characteristics of your target audience. 

Your emails should be as useful as possible. I hope my selection of tips and examples will help you get inspired and make your emails better, more creative, and more effective.

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Dmytro Zaichenko, Marketing Specialist at Mailtrap
Dmytro Zaichenko is a Marketing Specialist at Mailtrap, a product helping to test emails at the developmental stages. He has more than 5 years of experience in content making.
Apart from writing and networking, he’s a passionate NBA fan.

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