The Top 11 Creative Holiday Email Marketing Tips for 2023

The Top 11 Creative Holiday Email Marketing Tips for 2023

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the busiest online shopping days of the year, draw nearer, launching a holiday email marketing campaign can significantly boost your sales.

This article explores email marketing, looks at the data regarding holiday shopping, and gives the best holiday email marketing tips that are essential for a profitable campaign.

Holiday Email Marketing: Why and When?

An email campaign is a great way to boost sales. Many businesses consider it the best holiday marketing tool.

Why Should You Launch an Email Campaign?

  • Profitable. Industry experts estimate that revenue from email marketing in 2023 will be more than $10 billion, proving that it’s an effective way to reach your target audience and promote your holiday sales.
  • Personal. Engage with potential customers directly and entice them to purchase a product – 99% of people who use email check their inbox daily.
  • Cost-effective. With a return on investment of 4400%, roughly $44 for every $1 spent, email marketing campaigns are effective and affordable.

As the season of joyful commercial excess approaches, holiday emails are an easy way to inform people about your promotional deals, flash sales, and other special offers.

When Is the Best Time to Start a Holiday Email Marketing Campaign?

In the United States, the holiday shopping season traditionally begins on the day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday.

In 2023, Black Friday falls on November 24, but Cyber Monday is on November 27. Typically, that’s when people start searching for Christmas presents. However, businesses begin to promote their sales as early as the beginning of November, which is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Of course, you can start even earlier with a Halloween email marketing campaign, offering customers various products and Halloween gifts for their family, friends, and colleagues.

Industry’s data: Last year, holiday online retail sales reached nearly $240 billion, with people spending $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday and almost $9 billion on Black Friday. These numbers confirm that online shopping is as popular as ever.

Make It Happen Today!

11 Holiday Email Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Holiday Sales

The holiday season is profitable for businesses of all shapes and sizes. With some preparation and planning, anyone can create a holiday email marketing campaign that resonates with their audience.

1. Plan the Holiday Email Marketing Strategy Early

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Shoppers begin searching for holiday gifts right after Thanksgiving, so don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your campaign.

Ideally, send multiple holiday emails to customers a few weeks before the big day. They’re great for building excitement without being overbearing.

By starting early, you have enough time to fine-tune the details based on the preferences of your target audience. This way, you can increase click-through traffic and encourage customers to purchase a product.

Quick Tip

Follow the ebb and flow of seasons when creating holiday email marketing campaigns. With our Marketing Calendar, you’ll always know when to start preparing and when your products will sell best.

2. Choose the Right Email Type

When preparing a holiday email marketing campaign, consider drafting all three of these. Each type has specific goals and requires a different approach, so how you write them matters.

  • Welcome emails. A great way to leave a professional first impression and connect with your target audience. They’re delivered after a customer purchases a product or signs up for a newsletter.
  • Promotional emails. No campaign can succeed without email marketing promotions that inform customers about sales, online gift offers, and limited-time deals.
  • Abandoned cart emails. Consider creating an abandoned cart email flow. By doing so and making these emails festive, you can lure customers back with discounts.

Try Mailchimp or Mailerlite to automate the process. With this software, you can create these easily and focus on other aspects of your holiday campaign.

However, don’t go overboard. Send too many, and you’ll quickly end up on the unsubscribe list. A good rule is to wait a few days between emails, but this can vary from one business to another.

3. Make the Campaign Mobile-Friendly

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The holiday email campaigns should be mobile-friendly. After all, 41% of emails are read on mobile devices.

Here are some simple yet essential tips that anyone can use to make their holiday emails more appealing to mobile users:

  • Watch the subject line length. A typical inbox displays 60 characters, while mobile – 25-30.
  • Keep content concise. The holiday email must be short, scannable, and concise so the customer understands your offer easily.
  • Pay attention to images. Not all mobile devices show images by default, so make sure the email still makes sense if the images don’t show. 
  • Position call to action strategically. Your email should get to the point quickly. Place your call-to-action button near the top.
  • Leave enough white space. Avoid clutter. Give enough white space around your call-to-action buttons so they’re easy to click on.

As mobile shopping sales grow, already reaching $2.2 trillion in 2023, adjust your holiday email marketing campaign for smartphones so you don’t miss out on potential customers.

Quick Tip

Test your holiday emails on multiple devices to check if you’re happy with the final result.

4. Try Email Marketing Tools and Ready-Made Templates

Design emails in a way that reflects the holiday at hand, matches the seasonal color palette, and resonates with your audience.

Not all of us have the design skills to create beautiful templates that deliver the desired results. Today, there are various services anyone can use to make holiday email templates.

  • Omnisend. An easy-to-use platform that offers ready-made templates and a free plan that’s enough to support small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Campaigner. A multi-channel marketing automation platform that offers more than 900 email templates. Although not free, they give a free trial, enabling entrepreneurs to test before subscribing.

When choosing software for a holiday email campaign, there are plenty of options. Which one is the best? That depends on the size of your business and individual needs.

5. Structure the Email

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As you plan your holiday email marketing campaign, don’t forget you’re competing with thousands of other offers. A well-crafted email will build trust, attract customers, and stand out in the sea of holiday sales promotions.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when writing an email friendly to all devices:

  • Subject line. Keep subject lines short (four to seven words), be direct, limit punctuation (no more than three punctuation marks), and use emojis carefully (one or two).
  • Preheader text. The preheader, also called email preview text, is an extension of your subject line. In short, email clients draw this text from the first few words of your holiday email.

Typically, limiting yourself to around 35 characters is best, ensuring that the preheader gets fully shown on most mobile devices.

  • Email body. The goal is to make your audience understand what you’re offering in the simplest way possible.

Try to keep the text concise and compelling. Explain how the customer will benefit, and let them know what to do next.

  • Images. Images have a vital role in any holiday email marketing campaign. They make it more memorable.

Make sure that images display correctly and look presentable.

  • Call to action. The call to action is the part of the email that guides customers on their next steps after they read the message.

Avoid vague phrases and describe the action you want them to take. For example, “Check Out Our Christmas Gifts”, “Buy the Perfect Gift Today”, or “Explore Our Holiday Gift Guides”. If possible, provide instant buying options, too.

Whenever writing an email, use power words in subject lines, seasonal phrases in the body of the text, and add a bit of your own creativity throughout the whole message.

When everything is ready, test your subject lines, preheader, and the email itself on multiple email clients.

6. Use Segmentation, Make Emails Personal

If you want to improve open and click-through rates, segmenting your contact list is essential. Email segmentation involves categorizing your contacts into different groups based on certain criteria. 

For holiday campaigns, you can segment customers into three categories:

  • Seasonal shoppers
  • Year-round customers
  • Last-minute shoppers

Approach each of these groups differently. Offer loyalty programs for your regular customers, special offers for seasonal shoppers, and create a sense of urgency for last-minute shoppers.

Additionally, by personalizing your holiday email campaigns, such as addressing customers by name or sending relevant content based on their specific interests, you can create long-lasting relationships that will result in improved sales.

Make This the Best Holiday Season Yet!

7. Clearly Define the Deadlines

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When preparing a holiday email campaign, set clear expectations and define deadlines. Boost sales by making customers feel at ease ordering from you.

Provide as much detail as possible: average production time, estimated shipping times, and real-time shipping updates.

Include final delivery dates. For example, let customers know that if they order something by November 20th, it’ll arrive at their doorstep on November 24th.

Quick Tip

If you offer free shipping, you can encourage holiday shoppers to spend more – 68.2% of consumers worldwide were more likely to buy a product when offered such an option.

8. Create Engaging Holiday Content

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Without a doubt, creating meaningful content is a great way to provide value for your customers, gain their trust, and establish credibility.

Here are just a few ideas you can include in your holiday emails:

  • Holiday gift guides. With a well-made holiday gift guide, you can easily attract customers looking for last-minute gift ideas and encourage them to make a purchase.
  • Holiday blog posts. Tailor the content to your target audience and their specific interests, writing about topics important to them.
  • Launch a hashtag challenge. Invite your email subscribers to post content using a specific hashtag: #HolidaySale, #BlackFridayDeals, or #CyberMonday. In return, enter them into a prize raffle.

9. Offer Deals, Discounts, and Coupon Codes

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As inflation continues to rise, people search for ways to save money. When their holiday budget is tight, any little bit of savings can make a big difference in your customers’ lives.

If you’re searching for a bulletproof way to boost sales during the holiday season, offer:

  • Buy one, get one free deals
  • Student discounts
  • Free delivery
  • Gift cards
  • Coupons

Whichever you choose, create a dedicated landing page, welcoming customers and nudging them to take action. Additionally, after the holiday season has passed, send out post-holiday emails to extend the positive results of your campaign.

10. Create a Sense of Urgency

If you want customers to act quickly, creating a sense of urgency is a surefire way to motivate them.

  • Add a countdown timer to your landing page. A simple way to visualize how much time customers have before they miss out.
  • Today-only deals. Drive impulse purchases and sell more.
  • Limited-quantity deals. By offering these, you say two things: the product might sell out soon, and it’s in high demand.

Urgency is a powerful tool to draw customers’ attention, boost sales, and make more money.

11. Combine Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns With Other Strategies

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Don’t neglect other marketing forms when preparing for the upcoming holiday season. Whether you’re a small business or a large brand, combining various online marketing efforts can help you achieve better results.

Here are a few other ways you can advertise a campaign:

  • Social media marketing. In our ever-digital world, social presence is everything. With it, gaining new customers and growing your business is easier than ever.
  • Influencer marketing. By teaming up with influencers who promote your products, you can gain better exposure and earn your audience’s trust quickly.
  • Content marketing. By consistently publishing useful content, articles, or product reviews, you’ll build trust with your audience and authority in your niche.

Learn more from our Holiday Marketing Guide, which offers various marketing ideas and practical tips on how to sell on the most popular eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.

Make This the Best Holiday Season Yet!

Inspiring Holiday Email Examples

If you’re looking for a fresh perspective for your email campaigns, explore how successful businesses create theirs. Here are a few holiday email ideas to draw inspiration from.

Black Friday

As is customary with Google, their holiday emails stand out with a simple, clear, and elegant design, showcasing several products and emphasizing the savings holiday shoppers get.

Their subject line, “Black Friday deals are almost over,” creates a sense of urgency, indicating that it’s time to make a purchase if the customer doesn’t want to miss out.

Cyber Monday

This holiday email campaign immediately gets to the point with an offer in the subject line. In addition, it offers a holiday gift guide for those still undecided.

By offering a discount code at the beginning, customers get what was promised. Afterward, they can continue their gift shopping by choosing between three categories, leading to a dedicated purchase page of the company’s Cyber Monday sales.


Of all the holiday email designs, this one’s truly great. In addition to providing value and promising to make their customers’ lives easier, it features a background with fitting seasonal colors, radiating calm and festivity.

With the subject line “Flying to the feast? ✈️”, this is a great Thanksgiving email marketing example, showing how a brand can put itself in its customers’ shoes and identify a problem they can solve.

Uber understands that people spend a lot of time traveling during the holiday season and offers to book them a ride to the airport early.

Frequently Asked Questions

Engage subscribers by writing a catchy subject line that gets them excited. For example, “Halloween Is Here – Spooky-Good Sales!” If it’s for mobile users, try to shorten the message.

Then, in the email body, greet the customer, express your enthusiasm about the upcoming holiday, provide details about special offers, add beautiful images and a call-to-action button, clearly indicating the action you want them to take.

You should launch your holiday email marketing campaign at the beginning of November. While the holiday shopping season begins on Black Friday (November 24), many start shopping for Christmas Day before that.

However, you can start even earlier, in the middle of October, with Halloween sale email campaigns. Explore the best Halloween marketing ideas to drive customers to your business.

When writing a sales email for major holidays, start with a clear subject line that grabs the reader’s attention, describe your offer concisely, add appealing images and a call-to-action button telling your email subscribers what they gain by clicking the link.

If you’re an online retailer, the Christmas holiday shopping season, which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday, results in the highest transaction rate for email marketing, with people spending nearly $240 billion in 2022.

Ready to Launch Your Holiday Email Campaign?

Launching a holiday email marketing campaign is an easy and cost-effective way to spread the word about your holiday sales.

If you want to create a truly great campaign that drives sales, keep this in mind:

  • Plan your holiday campaign early
  • Choose the right holiday email type
  • Make the campaign mobile-friendly
  • Invest in an email marketing tool
  • Structure the holiday emails well
  • Segment your customers and make emails personal
  • Clearly define deadlines, keep your promises
  • Create valuable, engaging content
  • Offer deals, discounts, and coupon codes
  • Create a sense of urgency, add a countdown timer to your landing page
  • Try various marketing strategies to maximize your reach

With a well-thought-out holiday email marketing strategy, the right message, and timing, anyone can take advantage of the holiday season to increase their profits and build long-term relationships with their customers.

Make This the Most Profitable Holiday Season Yet!

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  1. Tracy
    September 23

    Thank you, Leon, for your concise and informative post. The steps were clearly laid out, and it will help me with my upcoming selling season. ? ?

    1. Martha Simmons
      September 26

      Hey Tracy,
      Thank you for your feedback! We are happy to hear you enjoyed it.


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