Back to main menu

Email Best Practices

Kick off your holiday email strategy with these 5 ideas

We're getting into the holiday spirit here at Mailjet. We'll discuss email strategies during these busy winter months and the best practices to get to the top of the inbox as businesses vie for wallet share. Content, design, deliverability, and analytics, we'll cover it all!

Two gods decorate a Christmas tree in front of some more decorations



Holidays are just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited. Over the upcoming winter months, we plan to discuss email strategies and the best practices to get to the top of the inbox as businesses vie for wallet share. Content, design, deliverability, analytics, and more – we got it!

But first, what’s your strategy when coming up with Christmas present ideas? Do you shop around to see what's in fashion? Recycle an old gift from last year? Or find out what other people are getting?

When strategizing your holiday email marketing, try a mix of these. Get the team together for a few hours around the whiteboard before jumping into your campaigns. Pulling up your list of goals for the holiday season, think about current topics your customers are talking about, their needs, and their pain points. Consider what's worked well for you, your competitors, and, of course, industry trends. Drawing all these points together will help you and your team develop words or themes to focus on your campaign.

Why use email marketing on the holidays

The holidays are all about celebration and gift-giving, which poses an ideal opportunity to promote your brand and increase sales. The season features unique events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where consumers look to score big on special deals. An optimized holiday email marketing strategy can help your company increase conversions, gain new customers, and reach (or maybe exceed) annual sales goals.

The key is to focus on your audience's wants and needs and cater to them accordingly. Track popular industry trends, and add them to your digital marketing strategy. Or research particular hashtags on social media that can help you identify customers’ pain points, giving you a unique chance to offer a solution.

You can also try different messaging and templates, automation to save time, and various visual themes to find which resonates best with your audience. Then, when you put it all together, your brand can achieve its sales goals and more by New Year's Day.

Our top 5 ideas for your holiday email strategy

With every brand trying to lure customers to their stores, catching your audience’s attention is a must, especially during the holiday season. Check out our five ideas that can help you develop or strengthen your holiday email strategy:

1. The data of Christmas past

This Christmas, be a Scrooge. We're not saying that you should be horrible. Instead, use insights from your past to change the way you act. As an email marketer, you're probably already aware of the importance of reviewing past campaigns to fine-tune your content going forward.

A tool like Mailjet's Campaign Comparison allows you to easily compile data and analyze trends over time, helping you create the best email marketing strategy. You can also group past email campaigns and average metrics to set benchmarks, which give a standard to measure the success of your future campaigns.

Ultimately, benchmarks will help you answer those important questions: Which subject lines best captured your subscriber's attention? Was there a particular piece of holiday content that generated more click-throughs, e.g., a funny video or a link to a festive blog post? Or how did you phrase those winning calls-to-action (CTAs)?

2. C is for customer behavior, competitor research, and current trends

Customer behavior changes over time. You have to be flexible, adapting to their needs while staying one step ahead, predicting what they may want or need next. Revamping your past content with some fresh new ideas will keep your relationship with your customers strong.

The first step to refreshing your holiday content is researching industry trends to ensure you're relevant. Are there any trends going viral that you can incorporate into your campaigns? What are your competitors up to this holiday season? What content channels are most successful for them (social, blog, or advertising)? What content pieces are the most popular?

They might be running a special promotion this holiday season or have introduced a new interactive element on their website, e.g., an interactive advent calendar. Remember, their existing customers are your potential ones. Keep an eye on which themes appeal to this demographic and how you can integrate these into your marketing while retaining your unique selling point (USP).

There are some valuable tools to help you stay in the know. For instance, Buzzsumo can help you discover trending content topics in your industry. You can filter by type and time period to find out the most relevant to your strategy.

Use social listening tools, such as Mention, to find out what interests your subscribers, what they need, and what their pain points are. Which hashtags are currently popular among your customer base? Find out how your customers interact with your brand, and use social media platforms to experiment with new ideas. For example, running a “caption this photo” competition.

Walmart social media cat caption post

Walmart shows how it's done

3. What’s on your holiday wish list?

Once you've developed a list of themes based on current trends and past insights, combine these with your specific year-end goals.

For instance, you might be an ecommerce shop looking to drive more sales during the holiday season. Your past campaigns suggest this is a great time to do so. In fact, according to Forbes, the ecommerce industry is estimated to account for 20% of global retail sales in 2022. In contrast, saving money may be a popular theme among your customer base and your competitors. Your subscribers might respond well to engaging visual content. So, how can you combine these?

One idea could be to run a mystery promotion campaign, where subscribers are given various promotions randomly after clicking on a festive image in the email. Only a small percentage of your subscribers will receive promotional code-containing emails, but the prospect of doing so adds excitement and intrigue and drives engagement.

Kickstarting your holiday email strategy doesn't have to be complicated. Sit down with your team to consider all these elements and combine them to come up with some great ideas. It'll get you in the festive mood and make your holiday marketing more efficient and even more exciting!

4. Clean your list

Email deliverability is essential to any marketing campaign. With the holiday season's importance, you want to ensure your messages reach the inbox. If not, existing and potential customers may miss out on unique products and promotions, and consequently, your company may lose significant sales. You can improve deliverability in several ways. 

Suppose you have a segment of subscribers who don't typically receive your emails, but you want to contact them more during the holidays. In that case, an email verification tool like Email on Acid ensures you send only deliverable messages.

5. Work on your timing

When sending marketing emails during the holidays, topics like products and promotions may seem like a safe bet. However, for a thorough understanding of your audience, knowing their preferred email delivery time can improve your conversions even more. That can mean a particular week, day, or even hour they're more likely to click through, giving you the chance to make the most of your opportunities.

Maybe a particular segment of your subscribers prefers to get their shopping done early, before December 1, and are more likely to respond to emails sent before that date. Or, early bird shoppers may be looking for deals on Cyber Monday, giving your company the chance to strike while the iron's hot. In contrast, last-minute gift buyers may search for free-shipping promotions to stick to a budget.

We hope these ideas help your company increase sales and build stronger customer relationships by helping them find what they need and when. At Mailjet, we’re all about creating the best email marketing campaigns and content. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates and the latest trends in the industry.


The ultimate guide to holiday email marketing

For the email marketer, the holiday season is here. It’s time to get ready to make the most of it. Check out our Holiday email marketing tips and examples!

Popular posts

Hermes rides a firework next to a Goddess in front of a night sky with more fireworks

Top email marketing trends for 2022

To the outsiders, it can sometimes feel like email hasn't changed that much since it was created. Maybe this is why some are so persistent in...

Read more

Hermes on a moped delivering mail to a mailbox

Reducing email’s carbon footprint

When it comes to protecting our planet, every step toward cleaner practices – small and big – counts. So, what if we told you that emailing, as clean and green as it seems...

Read more

Mother's day gift for Hera

Marketing calendar 2024: Dates you shouldn’t miss this year

We finally got through 2023 (phew!) and Q1 is just around the corner. It’s time for you to start scribbling down your New Year’s Resolutions to make sure we start the year with a bang. If you’ve found your way here, we’re guessing that’s because creating a winning...

Read more

It's never been easier to build connected experiences. Start sending with Mailjet today.Get started on your path
CTA icon