It’s no “Secret Santa” that the holidays are the most influential time of the year for business marketing. With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other traditional celebrations, customers are more willing than ever to check out new brands and products in search of the perfect gift.

However, as explained inHoliday Email Marketing Essentials, holiday shopping is changing. Email marketing is becoming the most successful tool for bringing in holiday sales.

Now that you’ve already learned about the basics for strong holiday email content, it’s time to focus on email types in order to adapt your campaign strategy to best fit this tradition in holiday email marketing.

Make sure you have at least one of each of the following email types in your sleigh for a holiday email marketing campaign that will take flight.

Announcement Emails

Any holiday email marketing strategy that starts with a strong announcement email will plow the snow away for the rest of your campaign.

Position yourself in the minds of your customers as the top priority for all of their holiday shopping. The format can be subjective — holiday gift guides, to-do lists, etc. — but all these traits should be on your “nice” list:

  • Personalization: Personalized subject lines are the perfect hook to get your customers to open your emails. Campaign Monitor claims that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
  • Urgency: Be clear that NOW is the time to act on these deals.
  • Brand Recognition: There should be no confusion as to who this email is from. Try something like a simple, high-resolution logo placed at the email’s top. 
  • Engagement: Invite customers who open your emails to engage with the brand. Placing product recommendations with a ‘continue shopping’ button at the email’s bottom redirecting to your store is one idea. 
  • Incentive: Offer customers something they can’t resist in return for engaging with your site. Coupon codes and exclusive offers are good examples.

Welcome Emails

If you have a new customer who has made a purchase for the first time, you MUST send them a welcome email immediately.

Welcome emails are the most influential by far. According to Omnisend, welcome emails have a 52% conversion rate, a 20% clickthrough rate, and a 32% open rate.

Personalize your emails by doing the following: 

  • Send the email immediately after their purchase, thanking them for shopping with you.
  • Ask subscribers to take the next steps in their journey: creating an account, completing a download, etc.
  • Build engagement. Use some of the tips from the announcement email section here.
  • If you promise new subscribers a discount in exchange for their email, be sure your follow-up email makes the promised offer easy to find and to use. Be clear if it expires and when.

Abandoned Cart Reminder Emails

Shoppers often navigate away from their carts, especially on mobile. However, if you can get these almost-customers to come back, they are very likely to complete the purchase. After welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders are the most influential. Omnisend reports that abandoned cart emails have a 30% open rate, a 20% click-through rate, and a 42% conversion rate.

It is essential that you trigger automatic and instant abandoned cart emails that address customers’ needs. The first step is to figure out why they left. Common reasons and solutions are:

  • Shipping costs: During the holiday season, 85% of shoppers prioritize free shipping over 15% who want fast shipping (Deloitte). If you can’t offer free shipping, try offering it after a certain spending amount or some sort of deal to offset the cost. 
  • Better deal elsewhere: Counter with an even better sale or promo, or try a price-match program. Also, customers may be willing to pay more for something if you can convince them it has greater value or emotional appeal.
  • Out-of-stock: Apologize to your customers and then offer them something else — maybe link to similar products, or offer an email waitlist so you can notify them when the product is restocked. 

Referral and Review Emails

As a result of the pandemic, trying on items in-store or seeing them in person has been limited. More shoppers are turning to reviews than everbefore. As of 2019, 92% of shoppers read at least one review before buying (Bizrateinsights).

Nothing can boost a stronger customer base than loyal customers; they are your best marketers. In fact, Annex Cloud claims that 84% of shoppers trust referrals from family members, friends, and colleagues. Shoppers love seeing hundreds of five-star reviews.

When you send a welcome or thank you email to a buyer for their purchase, let them know how much you value them. Highlight the importance of leaving a review or referring a friend, and offer an incentive for leaving a review or referral, such as a discount or an entry into a product giveaway. Your “elves” will gladly evangelize your brand for any chance to save money on items they already love.

Follow up and Mid-Season Emails

Think With Google reported that the average holiday shopper in the U.S. has 53% of their shopping still remaining in December. If you time it right, you can stuff your Santa sack with some meaningful profit after Cyber Week up to Christmas Day.

The urgency crunch is heightened during December. Try subject lines with the words “final call,” “last chance,” and “Haven’t gotten that gift yet?” 

Deloitte reports that 85% of shoppers prioritize free shipping over 15% who want fast shipping in the days leading up to Christmas. Customers are keen to know if their packages will arrive in time for the holidays. Offer estimated shipping times or, better yet, tracked shipping and real-time shipping updates are major incentives.

Post-Holiday Emails

Santa still has a few gifts to deliver even after Christmas or even New Year’s Day! This audience is the unsatisfied returners: those who didn’t get what they wanted and are looking to exchange their gifts. Remind them with a personalized subject line that they deserve the same love and satisfaction they gave their family when considering returning their gifts.  

In the new normal, customers may feel less motivated to physically return to a store or box up their items to ship them back. Tempt them to make the exchange by offering prepaid shipping labels, free returns, hassle-free enhances, and even last, LAST minute deals. 

Final Thoughts

With these magical email templates sprinkled with some urgency and personalization, you have everything you need to create a strong holiday email marketing campaign ready to take on the changing landscape of the digital marketing and ecommerce industry. 

If your Christmas wish is to learn how to write a holiday email or strengthen your current email campaigns, 829 Studios is ready and willing to help. Our integrated agency is your one-stop-shop for everything marketing related, from paid social media advertising to creating engagement-driving emails. 

It’s never too early to start planning for next year’s holiday season! Contact us today to get a head start on your own holiday email marketing campaign. 


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