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Email Best Practices

The most creative ideas for New Year’s email campaigns

Emotions are high following the turn of the year and your subscriber base is filled with hopes and dreams. Capture some of this optimism with these short, sharp, and well-wishing New Year’s email campaigns.

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The winter holiday season is over on December 26, right? Well, not quite. Don’t forget about the New Year's optimistic energy! ! Check out these cool email marketing campaign ideas to get your Year of Email off to an excellent start.

Not sure what to do? There’s no need to panic – we’ve got you covered. Check these email marketing ideas out, and send the best New Year’s email campaign.

New Year’s email campaign ideas

Here are eight tried-and-tested New Year’s email campaign ideas with examples to inspire you:

Idea #1: Re-engage your customers after the holiday season

The best way to capitalize on a New Year’s email campaign strategy is to start just where you left off. The post-holiday season is a great time for sales, and a reactivation campaign is perfect for getting in on the action. Send a New Year’s email campaign to encourage your subscribers to revisit your store or website.

In January, the sales that started after Christmas are likely to still be on. Leverage this to attract customers to your products and remind them why they subscribed to your brand in the first place. This is a great way to reduce post-holiday unsubscribes.

You can also segment your list to appeal to different customer demographics and show items they may be more interested in based on previous purchasing behavior. Continue to engage your subscribers to avoid being ignored after the holiday hype calms down.

Example: Nasty Gal

This Nasty Gal campaign plays with the new resolutions that usually emerge at the beginning of the year. By offering up to 60% discount, it encourages customers to shop even after the holiday season.

A short, colorful re-engagement campaign.

Idea #2: Make the most of a not-as-popular holiday

Think about it: Your customers’ inboxes are flooded during popular sales periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about holidays that aren’t traditional shopping days? Take advantage of the email lull and send your subscribers a special sale when they’re not expecting it. This will capture your subscribers’ attention and incite curiosity.

Using a campaign comparison tool, like the one Mailjet offers, will allow you to test various holiday campaigns throughout the year. That way, you’ll know which holidays cut through the inbox clutter and bring you the most engagement from your customers.

Example: Mardi Gras

This Mardi Gras email takes advantage of the excitement surrounding a holiday that’s not typically known for shopping and encourages customers to indulge in shopping and savings (and feasting).

Mardi Gras campaign with a large 30% off heading.

Idea #3: Welcome your readers to the New Year

A New Year’s email campaign is your chance to reveal what’s important to your company. A “Happy New Year” email celebrating a fresh start helps your brand relate to its readers. Add a professional email signature in the footer for a personal and informative touch. You could be launching a new product line or simply saying, “Welcome – we’re glad you’re here!” This is an opportunity for your clients to subscribe to your newsletter and add some new reading material to their repertoire for the New Year.

Remember that not everyone celebrates the holidays, nor is it a happy time for all. Send an opt-out email a week before your campaign starts to show that you’re mindful that some won’t be celebrating.

Example: Mutual of Omaha

A simple sentiment conveys everything you want to express for the season. This example employs an appealing design, and the background resembles fireworks, appropriate for the season. Keeping it simple is often the best route when it comes to seasonal email campaigns.

A small campaign with a large “Happy New Year!” header.

Idea #4: Share your appreciation with a thank you email

Everyone’s emotions run high toward the end of the year and the start of a new one. People reminisce about the milestones that transpired over the past year, and formulate what they could improve moving into the next one. This is a perfect opportunity to show appreciation for your client’s loyalty to wrap up the year and get your new one off to a good start.

It doesn’t take much to create a simple, heartfelt thank you, and it shows that your company cares. Adding a personal touch shows your new and returning customers that you think about them, and that you wouldn’t be where you are without them. (Like Mailjet wouldn’t be where we are today without you!)

Example: Peet’s Coffee

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of love? Depending on your email campaign, you could wish a Happy New Year while thanking your clients, like in this email example, or you could send two separate emails – it’s up to how festive you’re feeling.

A simple campaign featuring holiday graphics and year.

Idea #5: Encourage New Year’s resolutions

Everybody loves a little support for their New Year’s resolutions. It’s a time of excitement and change, and showing your involvement gives your email clients a boost in embracing a fresh start. A New Year’s resolution email should be positive and encouraging, keeping your readers on the path they want to follow. Connection with your target audience is vital when it comes to any email marketing campaign.

Example: Ulysses News

This example from Ulysses News is simple, positive, and supportive. The company shares its own New Year’s resolution while encouraging its clients to achieve their goals. It’s hopeful, friendly, and cheery, which are three appealing qualities to find in your inbox.

A newsletter featuring a New Year’s resolution.

Idea #6: Give a sneak peek

Secrets are exciting, and people like feeling included. A hint of your new product line, an upcoming promotion, or an industry prediction helps your customers feel like they are in the know. You’re the professional, so you have an inside look at the marketing trends and are trusted with unique information. Your customers will thank you for the alert. 

Example: The Lip Bar

If you listen to your customers, you’ll know what they want and provide them with new products, services, or deals. A new catalog, product, or industry standard is enough to pique your client’s interest.

A short sneak-peek campaign featuring makeup imagery.

Idea #7: Offer a promotional code or a discount

Who doesn’t love a discount? Research the products that people were looking at around the holidays and offer a New Year’s sale or discount during a slow season. Tie your discount to a survey to know more about your clients, or feature it in a “last chance before the end of the year” email. A countdown ticker, flash sale, or a call-to-action (CTA) will remind subscribers that the offer has a limited time.

Free shipping and a good return policy incentivize your readers to shop. Even if they don’t buy anything, your discount code still drives traffic toward your site. Make your customers feel special, which ensures their loyalty, especially when many think of unsubscribing because of email marketing overload.

Example: Postable

What better way to say Happy New Year than through a card? This example is sweet, simple, and succinct. Sending cards is a time-honored holiday tradition, and a discount is an incentive for those late in the card sending game.

Brand colored campaign featuring large postcard and envelope.

Idea #8: Recap the last year

The glad tidings, figgy pudding, and champagne are gone, right? The festivities may be over, but most people cherish the memories for much longer. What better way to remind them of the year they had? Engage your audience with what mattered most to them last year. Spotify, YouTube, and Facebook have used this tactic for years, so nothing is stopping you from getting into the game. This type of email does take more time and resources because of its personal nature but is well worth the engagement you’ll gain.

Example: YouTube

Focusing on clients is always a smart option, but you might not have enough data to support a client-based recap. An email encompassing all your triumphs of the last year keeps your clientele engaged and gives them insight into what matters to your company. At Mailjet, we’ve got a Year In Review email template to help you do just that.

A colorful “year in review” campaign with personalized stats.

What to avoid with New Year’s email campaigns

Now you have a few marketing ideas, but plenty of companies write New Year’s emails, and you want to make sure yours stands out. While you can follow our ideas to garner attention, there are a few mistakes you want to avoid when launching your New Year’s email campaign.

Mistake #1: Adding too many images

A good New Year’s email campaign is minimalist, clean, and creative. A few images and a witty copy are enough to grab the reader’s attention without overloading them. A well-placed GIF can be humorous, but be careful with what you use. Too many images will draw your audience away from the message, which is the intention of your email. Good email design uses a balance of white space, images, and text.

Mistake #2: Sending at the wrong time

Many events happen during the holidays, and it’s easy for your email campaign to get lost in other marketing campaigns. Bombarding your email clients with constant correspondence will likely annoy them and make them unwilling to open your emails. Time your campaign carefully to increase your open rate.

Mistake #3: Writing poor email subject lines

Part of any email marketing strategy is the subject line. The subject is the first line a recipient will read, so it must be catchy and intriguing. You don’t want to sound pushy, but you also don’t want to seem vague. Email inboxes typically display 60 characters and mobile screens only show 30, so keep the title short. Never use filler words and keep your most important information at the beginning.

Remember: Don’t mix your New Year’s email campaign with your post-Christmas campaign. That lack of care and attention will annoy clients and make them less inclined to open future emails. (But if it does happen, refer to Idea #3!)

You can see exactly how a subject line will display on most popular devices and inboxes with Email on Acid’s Inbox Display feature.

Mistake #4: Making it too simple or too formal

At Mailjet, we appreciate the simple things in life, but we also enjoy having a little fun. Although minimalist designs appeal to the human eye, there is such a thing as too simple. You want to seem polished, fun, and approachable rather than cold, distant, and empty. People appreciate playfulness, so include a bit of fun in your email marketing campaign with your brand’s colors, fonts, or a cute tagline.

Mistake #5: Offering the wrong item

Your audience comprises many distinct wants and needs. Everyone is different – some people might desire a new marketing calendar, while others want a flashy watch. Segment your clients appropriately, so your valuable content reaches the correct people. A broad sweep may work for a thank you email but research, segment, and test your targeted content when you send more specific campaigns.

Wrapping up

Testing new campaign ideas is a great way to capitalize on slower seasons. With whatever you decide to send, make sure to follow your statistics to track the effects your campaigns have. Once you’ve tested your new creations, you’ll be ready to implement the best ideas into your emails for the busier seasons.

Are you ready to make this year the best email year yet? Don’t let us stop you – start building those new campaigns with Mailjet now.

Send stunning emails with Mailjet

What’s better than an email campaign to keep your brand on top of people’s minds? With Mailjet, you can create beautiful emails and send them directly to the inbox to start the New Year off right.

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