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Mastering your 2024 holiday email templates for business success

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Many ecommerce merchants believe that optimized templates require too much time and effort to create. With demanding holiday campaigns calling, they tell themselves they don’t have time for extensive holiday template updates.  

The truth is, you can easily adapt an optimized, happy holidays email template using simple tweaks and techniques. For example, you can use dynamic content to personalize your emails based on subscriber data.

This can make all the difference in subscriber engagement. It can be the decisive factor in whether a subscriber engages with your content or swiftly moves on. 

Truly optimized holiday email templates incorporate appealing seasonal imagery, personalized touches, and compelling holiday-specific content. 

By easily adapting email design templates, you can realize a worthwhile payoff in audience engagement.

Here’s why and how to optimize your holiday email template for business success, and some examples to inspire you.

Why should you use holiday email templates?

Want to send an effective happy holiday email? Here’s why purpose-built holiday email templates are fit for the task:

  • Enhance user experience: Holiday email templates streamline the content and layout. This ensures a visually pleasing and easy-to-navigate design for a seamless user experience.
  • Boost productivity: Templates eliminate the need to create each email from scratch. This saves time and effort.
  • Reduce the margin for error: Templates have predefined structures and elements. This minimizes the risk of mistakes, providing consistency and accuracy.
  • Efficient automation: Templates make it effortless to segment audiences and automate sending timely offers. They can be based on preferences and behavior.
  • Strengthen brand identity: Templates offer a platform to infuse your brand’s identity—the logo, colors, and typography—into every holiday email. This enhances brand consistency, recognition, and reputation.

3 tips to enhance your holiday email templates

Optimizing your Happy Holidays email templates is crucial to making a lasting impact on your subscribers and boosting sales. Here are three tips to help enhance holiday emails to your recipients:

1. Show off your value-adds

People choose to shop with a company for a variety of reasons, but during the holiday season, these can either be lost in the noise or shifted to an even playing field with your competitors. While it is essential to focus on your key competitive differentiators year-round, it’s imperative to reinforce these in every message during the holiday season.

When it comes to your newsletter template, you’ll want to use it to your competitive advantage. First, identify the value-adds that matter to shoppers, such as:

  • Free shipping/returns
  • Extended return policies
  • Price matching
  • Satisfaction guarantees
  • Buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) or curbside pickup
  • Same-day pickup
  • Free gift wrapping or another concierge-type service

Once you’ve identified what you want to promote, look for areas in your emails to include these callouts. Consider adding a banner or graphic section to the top or bottom of each email highlighting these benefits. You can build callouts directly into your header, as static text in your navigation bar, and in your preheader text. No matter where you place them, just use them.

Also, compelling holiday email subject lines that highlight your unique value-adds can really make your emails stand out.

Start Omnisend for free and supercharge your next holiday email campaign!

This first example from PACT shows how they include their value-add of free shipping and free returns directly below the header in their email—ensuring anyone who opens the email this value-add.

Pact offering free shipping and free returns

Eloquii reinforces their value-adds in the recovery section at the bottom of the email. With the use of the word “promise,” they reinforce trustworthiness. They continue by focusing on their quality (calling themselves fanatics), reminding consumers to keep checking back (new styles added daily), and on their customer convenience (free exchanges).

Ecommerce store promising free exchanges, new styles added daily and fit & quality fanatics

This final example, from Lulus, can also be found at the end of the email and contains two things worth mentioning. First, the shaded box highlights what consumers, especially during the holidays, find valuable—free shipping without delays and returns. Second, they focus on “superior” customer service—something every customer wants. They also provide a chat option, which many consumers are increasingly finding useful when shopping.

Ecommerce store promising free shipping and returns

Navigation bars are highly-clicked inside of emails, so be sure to update these for the holiday season. Subscribers often look to these links to help direct their shopping journey. Adding specific links targeted toward gifting can provide them an easy path to purchase.

Common types of links to include to the navigation bar include:

  • Holiday gift guides
  • Gifts for him/her
  • Stocking stuffers
  • Gift cards
  • Gifts by price point (e.g., gifts under $25)

Having enough room in your navigation bar can become an issue. If you don’t have enough room to add an additional link consider one of the following options:

  • Replace the primary navigation bar with a custom holiday-focused one—you can move your regular navigation bar to the recovery section at the bottom of the email
  • Add a second line to your navigation bar, space permitting
  • Replace lesser-clicked links with holiday-specific links

To provide some inspiration, here are examples of how other retailers have changed their navigation bars for the holidays. In the Aveda example, you can see they include a stylized “gifts” link, complete with a picture of a present and red font.

Aveda suggesting GIFTS in their website navigation

Perpetual Kid made a unique navigation bar for the season, highlighting Black Friday sales, stocking stuffers, and a gift guide. This is a great example of focusing on what shoppers want from the season.

Perpetual Kid suggesting unique navigation bar for the season, highlighting Black Friday sales

3. Include product recommendations to your holiday email templates

Product recommendations can be a great addition to any holiday email, as it not only helps the subscriber identify products of interest, but it also rounds out an email by providing more content in each one. What makes them even better is that by having an ecommerce platform integrated with your email marketing provider inserting these into an email is a snap—which is great for time-pressed marketers.

Product recommendations come in two forms—standard and personalized. Standard recommendations are ones such as “top products,” “best sellers,” and “top-rated.” These can be especially useful as they cast a wider net as far as the types of products they include, and serve as a type of social proof for products.

Personalized recommendations are based more on an individuals’ purchase history and other similar shoppers. These can be useful to give a personalized feel to an email that is most likely centered around someone else.

One common question heard during these times is whether including personalized recommendations makes sense due to the gift-buying nature of the season. The answer is yes! As the shopping season has expanded over the years so too has self-gifting. Last year, 78% of consumers planned on purchasing gifts for themselves.

Don’t miss this opportunity to easily put more products in front of your customers’ eyes. Here’s a little inspiration for you. In the first example from OGIO, you can see they not only showcased their All-Elements collection but also included multiple “top-selling” products across multiple categories.

 All-Elements collection included multiple “top-selling’

This second example, from The Company Store, uses a more traditional layout for product recommendations by including them at the bottom of the emails. Look at your own products and email design and test what type of format might work best for your brand.

Start Omnisend today and supercharge your next holiday email campaign!

The Company Store email newsletter with recommended products

5 happy holidays email templates for your business

Getting your holiday email templates right is all about timing. As we dive into these free holiday email templates, consider a look at your email marketing holiday calendar for even more seasonal inspiration. 

Template #1: Holiday gift guide

Subject: ‘Tis the season to find the perfect gifts!

[Name], stuck on what to get everyone on your list this year? We’ve got you covered. 

Browse our curated gift guide to find perfect presents for him, for her, for kids, and for everyone else. Whether you’re looking for something cozy, practical, fun, or unique, we have something for everyone. 

Discover gifts under $50, stocking stuffers, and last-minute gift ideas. 

And for a limited time, enjoy 20% off your entire order so you can gift everyone on your list without the stress. 

Plus, if you order by December 15th, you’ll get free shipping and a complimentary gift wrap.

Happy holidays!

[Your Name]

[Brand]

Template #2: Holiday customer appreciation email

Subject: Thank you! 31% OFF for being an awesome customer

Dear [Name],

As the year draws to a close, we want to express our sincere gratitude for your support and loyalty. It’s customers like you that make our business so rewarding. 

So, from all of us at [Brand], warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season!

To show our appreciation, enjoy 31% off your next purchase with the code THANKYOU31. 

This offer is valid until December 31st, so don’t miss this opportunity to treat yourself or someone else to something special.

May your holidays be filled with light, joy, laughter, and special moments together. 

Thank you for being a part of our [Brand] family. We look forward to serving you in the new year and beyond.

Happy holidays!

[Your Name]

[Brand]

Template #3: Exclusive discount and promotions

Subject: Unwrap your exclusive 50% discount

Hello [Name],

The holidays are here and we want to shower our VIP customers with exclusive deals! 

Take 20% off your entire order with code HOLIDAY20 and enjoy free 2-day shipping on purchases over $50. 

But that’s not all! Flash sales up to 50% off will pop up daily, and loyalty members like you get early access. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to treat yourself or your loved ones to some quality products at great prices.

Visit our website now and unwrap the magic of exclusive holiday discounts. 

Happy shopping, and may your holidays be merry and bright!

[Your Name]

[Brand]

Template #4: Last-minute shopping reminder 

Subject: Last call for Christmas orders!

[Name], 

Are your holiday gifts ready to make it under the tree?

Time’s running out to get them delivered on time, but you’ve still got a chance! 

Our elves are working tirelessly to ensure your orders are wrapped, packed, and shipped promptly. To guarantee your gifts arrive in time for the festivities, order by:

  • December 19 for standard shipping
  • December 21 for 2-day shipping
  • December 23 for overnight shipping

Don’t let the clock tick away your holiday cheer. Place your last-minute orders already to ensure holiday delivery. 

Can’t quite finish your list? Grab an eGift Card for instant delivery. We’ve extended our return policy to January 15, 2024 for any gift returns.

We’ve got you covered, but you’ve got to act fast. 

[Your Name]

[Brand]

Template #5: Holiday contest or giveaway

Subject: Enter to win our holiday giveaway!

Hello [Name],

The season of giving is here! We’re celebrating the holidays by giving away $200 gift cards to 5 lucky winners.

There are also three 30% off coupons for your next purchase up for grabs!

Enter our holiday giveaway now through December 31st for your chance to win. To enter:

  • Make any purchase
  • Follow us and share this giveaway on Facebook/Instagram
  • Email giveaway@[company].com with your order number

Share the joy with friends and family, and who knows, you might be the lucky winner. Don’t miss this opportunity to add some extra sparkle to your holidays. 

May luck and happiness be on your side.

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

[Your Name]

[Brand]

Holiday email examples 

Holiday email design is easier when you have great examples to model. Check out these holiday email examples to get some inspiring, creative holiday newsletter ideas.

1. SNOWE

Holiday Email Example by Snowe

Experience the magic of family dining with SNOWE’s Family Style email. Subtitled “All the table’s a stage, here’s how to set it,” this email is a visual feast for the senses. Here’s why it wins.

  • The CTA “Gobble it up” adds a seasonal touch for Thanksgiving
  • It features an enticing grid of elegant dinnerware, flatware, glassware, and serving pieces
  • It inspires readers to create a beautiful family-style table setting for holiday dining and entertaining using SNOWE’s products

2. Bellroy

Holiday Email Example by Bellroy

Bellroy’s “Holiday gifting made easy” email makes shopping for loved ones effortless. Here’s why it makes finding the perfect gift a breeze. It: 

  • Has a clean, uncluttered design that lets products shine
  • Has an “Explore the gift guide” CTA that drives action
  • Features quality images of bags and accessories
  • Focuses on curated gifts for him to appeal to male recipients

3. Lego

Holiday Email Example by Lego

LEGO gives a festive showcase of their holiday toy selection in their “Bring the joy” email. Complete with a “Shop now” CTA, it invites you to explore a gridlock display of playful and imaginative toys. Here’s why it stands out:

  • A free LEGO Creator Reindeer as a gift with purchases over $35 adds an exciting incentive
  • Holiday exclusives, stocking stuffers, and trending items create a sense of discovery for shoppers
  • LEGO’s signature creativity shines through, even in the links to support, and deliveries and returns

4. Diesel

Holiday Email Example by Diesel

Diesel gives classic holiday styles a bold twist in their “We are understated. We are Glam Rock” email. Here’s how: 

  • The gothic black and white theme sets the stage for fashion-forward choices
  • CTAs like “Glam Rock for him” and “Glam Rock for her” guide through the distinct style available
  • The vintage rocker chic vibe encourages personal expression and owning your style for a statement-making holiday

5. She Simply Shops

Holiday Email Example by She Simply Shops

She Simply Shops keeps their “Merry Christmas” email refreshingly clean and minimalistic. Here’s why it stands out. 

For starters, the minimal copy “Thanks for a great year #ootd” expresses gratitude simply. There are also images of beautifully wrapped gifts and a contented woman in a cozy sweater. These encapsulate the spirit of simplicity, warmth, and appreciation for the year gone by.

The focus stays on appreciation and connection with customers. A simple and heartwarming message to spread holiday cheer.

Ready, set, go

When it comes to maximizing your sales this season, don’t leave any stone unturned. Focus on delivering your email subscribers with messages that are both engaging and useful. 

By designing holiday email templates that meet their expectations, overcome conversion obstacles, and showcase competitive differentiators, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your holiday email marketing goals.

Don’t forget to also leverage holiday SMS promotions to connect with customers across channels while further boosting your holiday sales.

Start using Omnisend today and supercharge your next holiday email campaign!
Greg Zakowicz
Article by
Greg Zakowicz

Greg Zakowicz is an ecommerce marketing expert with more than 15 years of experience in email, mobile, and social media marketing. He has consulted numerous IR top 1000 clients on their email and SMS marketing programs and is a frequent speaker and writer in the ecommerce and marketing industry.


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