The holiday season is just around the corner. The most magical time of year for kids and retailers is about to start. While there are definitely some great ecommerce ideas to make the most of it, there is no doubt that a special email campaign should be an inherent part of every holiday marketing plan.

However, when it’s time to build our campaigns, we freeze and panic without knowing where to start.

I want to dispel fears and encourage you to build beautifully themed campaigns this season. These are my holiday newsletter ideas that will help you build customer relationships, increase engagement, and boost sales.

1. Focus on Gifts

What you definitely can do before the holiday season is to create a “best Christmas gifts” category in your store. Put the products that were the most popular during last year’s holiday season there, also, all the products that could work as a gift for Christmas. Such categories in online stores save a lot of time for the vast majority of shoppers. People visit those categories a lot because they help shop quicker.

So once you have this category, prepare a newsletter based on it.

a.) Build your holiday newsletter with the main call-to-action linking to your holiday collection. Along with your Christmas collection, you may also highlight the products that were bestsellers last Christmas or those that are trending right now.

b.) Highlight the different categories of recipients of your gifts: moms, dads, teenage girls, young hipsters, etc. Link them directly to these categories in your store. Look how Gifts.com has done it in their store.
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2. Focus On Discounts

Holiday competition among retailers is enormous, so discounts and special offers are strong incentives for customers to complete a purchase. Consider free and fast shipping (before Christmas), and noticeable cuts in percentage or dollar amounts. An outstanding financial offer will compete effectively against even better gift ideas offered by a competitor during this rush.

What’s getting more popular among the DTC brands and boost their sales is making bundle promotions. It’s when you offer a discount for buying more products at a time. For example, ThirdLove customers now get $15 off if they buy two bras, $25 off for buying three bras, and $40 off for buying four bras.

Look at another great example of Pierre Buy below:

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With this example, we see the time-sensitive offer and a bundle discount offer: the more products you buy, the more significant a discount you get.

3. Create An Extraordinary Reader Experience

Interactive elements like a video or a gift box are powerful instruments that can help you get more attention and boost email engagement. Sometimes, you may even expect a 20-60% increase.

3.1. Video

By using video, you can achieve a lot: introduce your brand, educate, highlight the social proof, etc. Video content helps to convey your brand values and what you stand for.

Take a look at the latest Apple video “Share your gifts”:

Very popular are unboxing videos and reviews. People find them extremely useful. Plus, such content makes a bigger emotional impact on customers to shop products.

Take a look at another example below, where a young lady Camille unboxes the Glossier package. This video makes all the ladies want to receive this package and have the same great experience.

If you have video reviews about your products, use them in your email communication. They will boost your click-through rate as well as actively promote your products.By the way, not forget to mention “video” in your subject line, it can increase your open rates by 19%.

3.2. Gif images

Animated images will make your campaign more dynamic and show more at the same time. For example, in the product content block, instead of one product image, include the animated .gif with changing products, as we did for one of our clients. Now instead of one product, customers see two of them.

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I find big fashion brands using this technique quite often. Look at the example from Asos.com:

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3.3. Timer

Another example is again from Asos.com. This brand uses time-sensitive offers a lot. This tactic will be extremely competent during holiday sales.

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I see that on myself, it works!

You can create this kind of timer with tools like Motionmailapp.com and insert it into your email.

Plus, if you do it in your emails, you may also include it on your site to get a stronger effect.

3.4. Scratch Card

Put a Scratch card at the core of your campaign.

By using this email element, you can award a few lucky customers while everybody has an entertaining lottery experience.

You may also give away discounts or free shipping to all customers – it depends on you. That will be a real holiday surprise and will increase your click rate significantly!

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3.5. Gift Box

The alternative to the Scratch card is another unique interactive element – Gift Box.

Check out this simple email sent by Lawn Products. It has generated a 20.4% click rate. How often do you get such high engagement with your campaign?

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4. Provide Real Value

Create a “holiday guide” for your customers based on your items, e.g. “Gift ideas for her”, “Gifts under $20”, etc. Promote it exclusively via email – it will add value to your newsletter campaign, boost click rates as well as sales.

If you have such a downloadable guide, don’t forget to mention it in your signup forms as extra value for becoming your subscriber. Use this guide not only to enrich your newsletter but also to generate leads and build your contact list.

If a holiday guide isn’t something that fits your brand, you can always go with some educational things about the products you sell.

I’m a big fan of Alastin Skincare newsletters. They often provide some skin care tips that are worth knowing even if you don’t use their exact products. Look at the example below:

alastin-skin-care-newsletter-holiday-tips

5. Build Relationships

Send a “Celebrate the season” email – pick a cute photo/ postcard and invite your customers to celebrate together on social media.

Express your gratitude for the loyalty.

In this case, there is only a small chance that you will sell something that day, but you will re-engage with your customers and expand the number of followers. This is an excellent investment for future campaigns.

Final Tips For Holiday Email Campaign

  • Even if it’s Christmas time, don’t betray your solid brand design. Fonts, button design or some other details should go in line with your brand and website design. Don’t do too much so your subscribers wouldn’t be able to recognize your email because of too festive modifications.
  • People convert better when they see good quality, nice images of products. Design puzzles of your product images; include a key message inside and use it as a central figure of your email. According to current trends, you may even skip the prices of the products – just play with visuals.

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3. Take advantage of Preheader. Your email performance starts from the view in the list of new emails in the subscriber’s inbox. The subject line is undoubtedly essential. But what about the preheader? Do you always add this?

Without saying any more, take a look at these examples.

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I would also say that emojis in subject lines and preheaders help your email stand out from the crowd. Consider using them as well.

  • Test before sending it. You do not want to screw up by sending a newsletter with wrong links or forgetting to add them at all.

Email OCCASIONS for December:

2 Cyber Monday
6 St. Nicholas Day
9 Green Monday
14 Free Shipping Day
21 Panic Saturday
22 1st Day of Winter
22-30 Hanukkah
25-26 Christmas
26-1(Jan) Kwanzaa
31 New Year’s Eve

Download The Ultimate Retail Holiday Calendar for 2019-2020!

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