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Creating Winning Holiday Email Campaigns with 10 Actionable Tips

The holiday season offers you a golden opportunity to win over your customers and make more money.

However, with that opportunity comes cutthroat competition. Every business is in a race to drive maximum conversions and stay ahead of their competitors.

Email marketing is no exception. Subscribers are inundated with hundreds of emails in their inboxes throughout the year. But inboxes are even more inundated right before and during the holidays. 

That’s why we’ve put together some actionable tips to help you create high-converting holiday email campaigns that cut through the inbox noise. 

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Plan early

I can’t emphasize this point enough. You must start planning in early fall. Take time to conceptualize your email campaigns and come up with something that will grab your subscribers’ attention.

Also, re-evaluate your ESP (email service provider) and its features. Having the right ESP partner can make a huge difference in how your campaigns perform during the festive season. 

Review your segmentation criteria

Shoppers behave differently during the holiday season. They are buying a range of gifts for their loved ones rather than themselves.

Therefore, it is wise to review your segmentation criteria. If needed, you can even pause some of your current segmentation strategies. This will help in targeting the users with more relevant content in accordance with the holiday season. 

Create unique subject lines

This one goes without saying. Your subject lines should be unique, engaging, and aligned with the holiday mood.

However, remember that your readers are bored of seeing the same old Holiday puns like spooktacular and trick or treat. So, make sure you serve them something unique that compels them to open the email. 

Take a look at these Thanksgiving email subject lines for inspiration.

Use rich media elements in holiday emails

Holidays are all about spreading joy. So, make your holiday emails fun by including attractive visuals. You can include animations and even videos to increase subscriber engagement.

Some brands also take the route of interactivity and gamification in the holiday season. With TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram gaining more popularity, your subscribers expect visual richness in their email inbox too. 

Here’s how Email Uplers uses the power of gamification to make their holiday emails fun for readers. 

uplers

You can experience the live email here

Write short yet engaging copy

Your subscribers are extremely occupied during the holiday season. Don’t make them work harder by writing long email copy. Make it as crisp and succint as possible. 

Let me share an interesting email with you by Postable. 

It requests the users to update their addresses for the holidays. The short and sweet copy instantly informs the readers what it is about. 

postable

Talk about the customer’s pain points through the content. For instance: If you are in the eCommerce industry, highlight free shipping, easy returns, and gift-wrapping features in your emails.

On the other hand, travel agencies can call attention to free cancellation offers to increase conversions. 

Make your emails accessible for all

Accessibility is of paramount importance if you want your emails to reach everyone. Follow these email accessibility best practices below:

  1. Avoid using animations flashing between 2 to 55 Hz. 
  2. Add suitable alt-text with every visual you add. 
  3. Choose the right color contrast according to WCAG guidelines.
  4. Design dark mode compatible emails.

Another important aspect to remember is inclusiveness. Make sure you consider that different cultures have different religious beliefs.

For example Hanukkah and Christmas fall at the same time. So, you must segment your subscribers and send relevant emails accordingly. 

Use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology to stand out

If you want to take a step ahead from interactivity, AMP technology is for you. It allows users to complete an action from the email itself.

For example: You can use AMP in your cart recovery emails. It allows users to checkout and complete their purchase without going to the landing page.  

Here’s an example of an AMP email by Booking.com that allows users to view the rooms and book deals directly in the email. 

Image Source

Revamp your email automation strategy

Your subscribers are already receiving too many emails during the holiday season. So, you must keep close tabs on your automation emails.

Ensure that users do not receive any redundant communications or too many emails. You can pause your automated emails if needed.

Refrain from resending emails automatically to the non-openers. The reason being that Apple’s MPP does not allow accurate recording of the open rate. This puts you at risk of sending repetitive emails to people who have already opened your emails.  

In addition, revamp the existing automation workflows. Include an exclusive sign-up offer for the people who join your list during the holidays.

The holiday season presents a great chance to re-engage dormant subscribers. Try to win them back with an attractive holiday offer they can’t say no to. In case they still remain inactive, remove them from the list. This is good for your data hygiene and email deliverability. 

Invest in an exclusive subdomain for the holidays

ESPs and ISPs get extra vigilant during the holidays because of the huge email volume. To avoid triggering the spam filters, you can set up a special subdomain for the holiday season.

Just remember not to start using it without proper IP warming and whitelisting. Create sufficient sending history before employing a full-fledged holiday email marketing strategy. 

Monitor the performance of your emails

Monitor the previous year’s holiday emails and see what worked, then make necessary changes and optimize the emails for this season.

Feel free to try something new and see whether it resonates with your subscribers. And even though you already have a calendar in place, be open to modifying your strategy in accordance with the email analytics. Lastly, testing and trial-and-error methods will help your business win in the holiday season. 

Guest Author: Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

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