Articles, Email Content, Email Marketing, Tips and Tricks

12 Holiday Email Marketing Tips to Boost Sales This Season

As the holiday season begins to dawn on us, the panic starts to set in as we brace ourselves for one of the busiest times of the year. Sitting in an overcrowded inbox, we face some intense competition. But what can we do that will set us apart and preferably above our competitors? Here’s our top holiday email marketing ideas to help you win the battle of the inbox this festive season!

1. Adding value without offering a discount

Just because it’s the holiday season it doesn’t mean you need to slash all your prices to stay competitive. If you’re in a race against a handful of your competitors, start flaunting your best assets so your potential customers will have no other option but to turn to you. 

Here are a few incentives worth mentioning in your next holiday email sends:

  • Your flawless checkout process with alternative payment methods, allowing customers to gift now and pay later.
  • Free Shipping! Because there’s nothing worse than finally arriving at the checkout to see an extra $15 added to your transaction.
  • Show-off your superior customer service by offering free gift wrapping with purchase. 
  • If you’re known as a speed demon when processing your orders let your customers know. For example, “Order before 2 pm and have your package shipped the same day!”
  • Create the pressing need to click-through now by sending out regular reminders for your flash sales, special offers or promo codes.
  • Offering exclusive or early access to the latest drops or releases
  • Run a competition and offer X amount of extra entries with a purchase
  • You can also offer helpful how-to guides, gift ideas or helpful holiday shopping tips to relieve some of  the craziness around this season

2. Make sure your templates are mobile-friendly

The holiday season means everyone is on the go which means mobile shopping is more prominent than ever. While all our templates are optimised for mobile we recommend keeping these tips in mind when crafting your next email:

  • Keep your subject lines within the 25-30 character limit. If you’re going to use more characters, make sure your subject line still makes sense before the cut-off.
  • Don’t insert too many images or embed large files as it will delay the mobile load time.
  • Make sure your buttons are big enough to click on mobile. Anywhere between 45-50 pixels is generally considered a healthy size. 
  • Keep your emails one to two columns, so content is neatly stacked and you’re not forcing your readers to horizontally scroll.
  • Use responsive template designs, so you can put your best foot forward no matter where it’s being read.

If you’re pushed for time and still need to design your holiday email templates from scratch, there’s no need to stress, because we’ve got you covered! Your Vision6 account has a whole folder of pre-built email templates dedicated to the holiday season. These templates were professionally designed to make it easy to edit and tailor to your brand so you’ll have no trouble getting your subscribers opening, scrolling and clicking.

3. Focus on your subject lines

This time of year it’s more important than ever to focus efforts on your subject lines – your subscribers are inundated with hundreds of sales emails every day so you might want to consider crafting a subject line that is a little more unique. Here’s a couple of subject line elements you can draw some inspiration from:  

  • Personalisation – use a subscriber’s name or share something personal anecdote, which implies familiarity and friendship.
  • Urgency – use time-sensitive language like ‘limited time offer’, ‘last chance’ or you could even add in a countdown timer. Establishing hard deadlines like this drives your subscribers to act now before missing out.
  • Humour – using witty subject lines may require a bit more thought and creativity but worth it in the long run, if it suits your tone of voice and audience. 
  • Curiosity – try using cliffhangers and dropping open-ended questions in your subject lines that leave your subscribers wanting to know more.

4. Decorate your holiday emails

Don’t be a grinch and bore your subscribers with the same old branded emails. Break-away from tradition and start embracing the holiday spirit. Here’s a few ideas to help you spice up your email campaigns these holidays:

  • Instantly grab the attention of your subscribers by experimenting with festive emojis in your subject lines 🎅🎄🎁 
  • Spruce up your colour theme! But don’t go crazy by reinventing yourself with an entirely different look. Remember you still want to remain on-brand. For Halloween, you may want to consider creating your emails in dark mode to give it a more eery feel. 
  • Keep your email copy short and snappy by adopting a less formal and conversational tone of voice. No one wants to be bombarded with emails that contain a rambling of text. 
  • ake a cue from email monks and surprise your subscribers with interactive content. Try using video, animated GIFs or create fun interactive experiences like quizzes. 
  • If you’re a seasoned decorator when it comes to the holiday season, why not get creative and ornament your logo? Like these examples below.

5. Take advantage of your abandoned cart emails

With an inbox that’s packed to the brim over the holiday season, subscribers can often suffer from promo overload. And with the competition being so fierce it’s no surprise your customers have started building multiple tabs of lonely abandoned cart items. So if you’re suffering from abandonment issues, don’t just sit there waiting and wondering whether you’ll ever be chosen. Start building an abandoned cart sequence into your holiday email marketing strategy.

Your holiday promotions and special one-time offers are the perfect hook to reel your customers back in. Here’s an example of Columbia Sportswear using their Black Friday Sales as a strong incentive for customers to jump back in and purchase their discounted goods. The call-to-action also creates the pressing need for customers to click-through and find out the price reduction on their abandoned item. 

6. Leverage the Power of SMS

Your subscribers’ inbox is a hot piece of real estate, especially over the holiday period when the promo emails start to pour in. Every email is screaming “Pick me” “Pick me” which makes it hard to break through all the noise. So it’s time to start thinking outside the inbox by supercharging your holiday campaigns with SMS Marketing. SMS puts your messaging right where your subscribers are always looking. And with Vision6 you can easily create highly personalised messaging from the same platform as your emails.

Here are some SMS examples to help you hijack your way to the forefront of your customer’s mind:

Promotional Offer Example

Example of Holiday SMS Marketing

Order Update Example

SMS Message Example

Holiday Greetings Example

Example of Holiday SMS Marketing

Still not convinced SMS is right for you? Check out the cool infographic below with 6 reasons why SMS is a real game-changer.

The Benefits of Bulk SMS Marketing

7. Send Your Holiday Emails to the Right People

Sounds so easy right? But sometimes it’s hard to suss out whether your leads are genuinely interested in your offering. By leveraging your customer behavioural data, you can start developing highly personalised and targeted campaigns that will earn your subscribers’ attention. 

Here are some data-backed trends to set your holiday email marketing game on fire: 

  • Maximise your holiday reach by running a re-engagement campaign to include last year’s holiday purchasers. 
  • Expect your shoppers to start browsing early. Start setting up your trigger-based emails to guide your interested customers to the checkout line.  
  • Target your late-night shoppers who look forward to their midnight scrolling. Consider scheduling your email sends later in the night to capture those “night owls”.
  • Towards the end of your holiday promotional period begin sending emails to all your subscribers who were active over the holiday season but didn’t make a purchase.
  • Take advantage of integrations with Google Ads and Facebook. By targeting an audience that is already interested or aware of your brand, you increase your chances of boosting click-throughs and conversions.

8. Take Your Email Automations to the Next Level

As frantic shoppers start to engage in last-minute impulse buys over the holidays, so comes the rise of transactional emails. You know your run-of-the-mill order confirmation, password reset or invoice notification emails that are more likely thrown into the hands of IT or accounts departments. Well it’s time for your marketing team to grab those keys back and unlock the untapped potential of your trigger-based emails.

Believe it or not, these bland emails (below) tend to receive 8x higher open rates than your regular promo emails. Why not trade in your outdated transactional templates for a newer, sexier model. Breathe some life back into your trigger-based emails so your subscribers can get a feel for your brand and what you’re all about.

In this example below, The Dollar Shave Club has used their subscription confirmation email to create an upsell campaign. The highly targeted and personalised nature of this email avoids any suspicion that it’s an automation.

9. Tis’ the Season to be Prepared

We’ve all experienced the overwhelming buzz in the lead up to the holiday season. And as a result, we tend to skip over minor details which can lead to errors being made. Remember we’re all human, mistakes are inevitable. That’s why you need to start your house-keeping early by planning a series of “oops” emails that will be ready to launch if necessary. If the situation is handled swiftly, your customers are more likely to forgive and forget your little hiccup. We know it’s a busy time of the year but don’t knock this task back on your to-do list, it’s better to plan for the worst than hope for the best.

If you want to be ahead of the game, here are a few of apology email templates which are available to edit in your Vision6 account:

Whoops – Template Example

Example of an Apology Email

Uh oh – Template Example

Apology Email Template

Sorry – Template Example

Example of an Apology Email

10. Make the most of your email signature

Need to promote a new feature, service, event, special offer or sale? Your email signature offers prime realestate for you to run your ads for free. There’s a high chance your emailing potential prospects every day so including your latest event, sale, product or service in your email signature is a great way to promote your brand without coming across as too aggressive. 

11. Post-holiday campaigns

If you’re looking to boost your sales in the new quarter then we recommend you start planning your post-holiday campaign to get a head start over your competition. Your holiday customers are primed to become active and loyal customers. Keep them in the know by showing off your loyalty programs, special sales, new products or releases. But remember it’s important to take a more relaxed approach in our post-holiday campaigns. Many of your subscribers will have developed general fatigue to the aggressive sales tactics. 

12. Check the metrics that matter

It’s important to stay on top of the latest email marketing bechnmarks so you can determine what time of the week you should launch your campaign to get the best possible outcome. We recommend checking out our email marketing metrics report, so you can see which days bring in the highest amount of opens and clickthrough rates. 

At the moment Friday takes the top spot as the best day to send with the highest average open and click-through rate. It’s also one of the least competitive days to send an email when compared to the send count on Wednesdays and Thursdays. But as always we recommend checking your metrics across different send days and times to see when your audience is most active.

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