Christmas, Marketing

A quick guide to using emails for your Christmas marketing

Brands wait the whole year for Christmas to culminate their marketing efforts, email being in the forefront. In this blog post, we highlight the many strategies you can use for your Christmas email marketing efforts.

If you want your holiday sales season to be merry and bright, you’ll need a solid email marketing plan. Email gives brands the opportunity to connect personally with fans and charm new buyers with special promotions and deals.

Now is the right time to get started with Christmas marketing because the earlier you promote your holiday season sales, the greater your chances of attracting buyers who shop early.

And since the global retail sector has undergone a major digital transformation, there is no doubt that your online marketing tactics, like email, will play an essential role in your business’s profitability this year. 

Last year, most American buyers shopped for Christmas presents before December or at the very start of it. They found inspiration from online sources like social media. 

Email isn’t too far behind, as it is responsible for 20% of all site visits during the holiday shopping season. 

After all, your customers are looking for presents for their friends and family, while also stocking their wardrobe with holiday collections. Use the right email marketing tactics to deliver products and suggestions straight to their inbox.

While brands are competing with one another to stand out and market effectively to customers, there’s no better way to outshine than through a strategic email marketing campaign. Emails allow brands to connect personally with their customers and also tap into a new market segment. 

2019 has already seen a boom in the e-commerce industry. Research has shown that businesses have seen 10 years’ worth of growth in their revenue and profits in three months. And with this interest in e-commerce and online shopping expected to rise in 2020, it is time to kick-start your holiday revenue stream!

We have compiled a few email marketing strategies that will set you apart from your competitors and make this Christmas your most profitable yet!

Christmas teaser email 

It is never too early for the first teaser email! The best thing about Christmas marketing is that it follows right after the major holiday season sale (Black Friday and Cyber Monday). So while your customers are still excited about that, turn their vigor into your sales! 

For example, in your Black Friday email, excite your customers by telling them something new and exciting is coming to top off their holiday season. Make this the first time you mention Christmas in your email marketing. 

Ideally, you should send Christmas teaser emails a day before the Black Friday sale ends so customers are prepared to save up some money for your Christmas sale too!

Apple’s teaser email is short and straightforward, creating enough anticipation among customers to make them save the date of their product launch. 

Source: YTC Studios
Source: YTC Studios

Christmas sale announcement email 

After creating enough excitement and anticipation amongst your customers about an upcoming Christmas sale, make sure to follow it up immediately with the actual announcement sale. Even if you’re not sending a teaser email, you should have sent out all Christmas announcement sales a week well before December 25th. 

Festival sales are hard to resist, so at this point, sending your customers a small discount voucher or making your email design aesthetic enough will be enough to convert shoppers into buyers. Look at this excellent email design from Rifle & Co.

Source: Smartrmail
Source: Smartrmail

Telling customers before-hand keeps them prepared and gives them enough time to plan what they would want to shop from your store.

Create personalized gift guides

Personalized gift guides are a great way to become your customer’s favorite. Most people wait until the very last minute to choose a gift for their loved one. In 2016, after facing a drop in sales in early November, brick-and-mortar stores made their way up towards December, increasing sales to over 6.5%

The reason for last-minute shopping usually attributes to buyer’s confusion over a wide availability of products. So if a little inspiration is what your customers need, give them some ideas by creating gift guides that cater to different categories. 

Here are a few categories that you can use: 

Gender-based:  Here’s an example from Piperlime that makes it easy for their female customers to buy gifts for the men in their lives. 


Shared hobbies or interests: You can curate a definitive gift guide for bookworms or a holiday guide for all music-lovers. You can showcase your products that cater to people with these interests in your handbook. 

Price-based: An affordable gift can help your prospects select gifts under $10 or $20. It narrows down their budget and shows them various products that they can shop in the store. Here’s an example from Bed, Bath & Beyond. 

Age-based: A guide that categorizes all the products in your store according to age. It is hard to keep up with millennial trends so curate a handbook that makes it easy for aunts, uncles, siblings, and parents to choose a gift for their loved one. In this example, Target makes it easier to buy toys for children of all ages through their age-based gift guide. 

Include a summary telling your customers who the list is perfect for. Also, use an appropriate title design to catch your customer’s attention at first glance. Kate Spade’s 2020 gift guide uses the title “Everyone Is Invited!” and includes it into their trademark feminine and eye-catching designs to attract prospective buyers. And that’s why people love browsing through their gift guides even if they don’t intend to buy anything. Personalized gift guides like this are a great way to convert shoppers into buyers! And you can make one for yourself with our ready-to-customize gift guide templates.  

Send out a Christmas themed calendar

Festival season is the perfect time for you to show your brand’s creative side. And the best way to do that is to loosen up on social media! Share a Christmas-themed calendar with your customers that posts fun updates, a Christmas-specific playlist, Hallmark movies, and everything that could get your customers in a festive spirit. 

You can also give hints about your upcoming Christmas sales in your calendar and encourage your customers to use hash-tags tailored to Christmas items at your store. Not only will interactive ideas like these render your brand a creative exposure, but will also spark your audience’s interest with every email you send.  

If you’re looking for an example, our Christmas-themed calendar for the 2020 holiday season contains some holiday trivia, marketing tips and surprises!

Use the Holiday season to inspire loyalty among your best customers

When sending out marketing emails to your customers, take some time and segment your email list into groups of new and old customers. 

At the time of holiday sales, brands use marketing strategies like “limited time offer” to provoke customers into impulse buying. However, it doesn’t take long for them to realize that those deals are still available after a particular time. 

So how do you combat this skepticism about sales among your customers? 


Offer value-added, loyalty deals for cold customers! Send out an email to your group of loyal customers extending the holiday sale for them throughout the season (make sure you tell them this offer is especially for them!).

If you have a subscription loyalty program, layer in additional benefits like discounts on new arrivals offered only to premium loyalty members. 

And suppose you don’t have time to spend on curating emails. In that case, you can even send your loyal customers automatically generated store recommendations, or an early sneak peek into the sale, just like in this email from Fossil. 

Source: Smartrmail
Source: Smartrmail

Post-Christmas sales campaign ideas

Many of your customers may have missed out on purchasing from you in all of the festive commotion surrounding the Christmas sales. This is your opportunity to hone in on these customers and engage them with yet another deal! 

Boxing Day sales

Traditionally, Boxing Day comes right after Christmas and is a major sales holiday in many countries. It is also a chance for businesses to clear out any excess Christmas stock that did not sell. So make sure that your extended sale campaign is catchy enough for customers to come shopping at your store once again.

Check out this design from J.Crew’s Boxing Day sale campaign. It is short, bold, and visually catchy!

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

So don’t hesitate in setting up your boxing day ad campaigns along with your Christmas ad campaigns.

Winter clearance sale

You can also top off the holiday season sale with an extended sale that offers a higher discount on selected products or disguise it as a winter clearance sale. Everyone loves clearance sales! 

You can offer discount codes, free shipping, or a flash sale that can create urgency among your customers, making them feel like they’re missing out. Just make sure to promote your offer clearly that makes customers want to open their emails. 

See how Vinomofo uses GIFS and a creative subject line that conveys their idea of a flash sale at first glance. 

Source: SleekNote
Source: SleekNote

Don’t forget the ‘Free Shipping Day’ sales 

Some businesses also offer a free shipping day to promote holiday deals and allow customers to take advantage of Christmas sales if they were unable to order in time. 

This is important because most people stop shopping online after the first week of December in fear that their orders won’t be delivered on time or brands would charge extra shipping. So assure them that they’ll get their orders and they’ll love to shop with you.

Offering an online presence that guarantees free shipping and in-time arrival of products is a great way to keep your customers on their toes. 

In conclusion

While your sales campaign holds great value to customers, the way you design and market it can make or break the shopping season for you. If you still haven’t planned out your holiday sales season, we hope our guide has inspired you with some exciting new marketing and design ideas to take your branding to the next level. 

Let’s build a strong email campaign to ensure that you land all the right customers in time! Creating a Christmas email campaign has been simplified with our Email Maker tool, allowing you to create fun and engaging themed-calendars, sales announcement posters, and email newsletters in no time. 

Ready to give emails a shot?