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Christmas email marketing ideas and examples from various experts

Read our easy but effective ways to bring Christmas cheer to your customers and tailor your email marketing campaigns to the holiday period.

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    By James

    James has seven years' experience as a Content Marketer, bylines on Left Foot Forward, Submittable, and INOMICS, and a Master's in History. In his free time he likes to read, play guitar, and write for his personal blog.

    The holiday season is here! It's nearly time to deck the halls, decorate the tree, wrap the presents, and eat far, far too much. But just before you do all that, consider this: it's your last chance to get some Christmas email marketing done.

    According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), holiday spending in 2023 is expected to reach record levels, growing between 3% and 4% over 2022 to total between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. One notable shift in consumer behavior has been the rise in online shopping, a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2023, online and other non-store sales are anticipated to increase between 7% and 9%, amounting to between $273.7 billion and $278.8 billion, up from $255.8 billion the previous year.

    In a nutshell: Christmas is a great time to market some products!

    There are plenty of ways you can market at Christmas, but one of the best is dedicated Christmas/holiday-themed email marketing.

    Seeing as email marketing is such a massive - well - market, it would be silly to miss out.

    So, we've collected the advice of a bunch of the smartest experts who have some ideas on how you can use this Christmas in the best way possible.

    So let's hear from our selected experts.

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    Host events that are centered around a particular theme 

     A great example of this could be the 12 Days of Christmas challenge, which gradually increases in difficulty with each passing day for gym goers. 

     In addition, our team recommends beginning the new year with workshops on healthy living, such as New Year's goal setting, nutrition and instilling fitness habits.

    To market the Christmas challenge, we suggest implementing an inbound and outbound marketing strategy.

    The former is sent to existing members, aiming to cement relationships and inform them of what the gym has to offer and to persuade them into joining the challenge.

    On the other hand, the outbound campaign is designed to draw interest from prospective members by enticing them with an exclusive offer to join the campaign for free and offering reduced memberships for the next year if they participate.

    Each email should have the intention of eventually transforming passive prospects into active participants of the Christmas challenge. 

    Eran Galperin, Founder & CEO, Gymdesk

    Eran Galperin, Founder & CEO, Gymdesk

    Creating a wish list

    There are many ways to approach email marketing for the holiday season, but one of the most useful is creating a wish list that allows recipients to choose what they want.

    You can also send out email blasts with personalized gift suggestions or coupons.

    People love free stuff, so you can ask them to share their contact information or include a link to sign up for more information.

    If you want to give something more tangible, you can use a coupon code at checkout to make sure recipients get what they want.

    If you want something specific and unique, you can also consider creating your special offer.

    You can do this by offering to give away a prize or referral discount the day after Christmas if recipients purchase certain items by a specific date. 

    Stuart Crawford, Creative Director, Inkbot Design

    Stuart Crawford, Creative Director, Inkbot Design

    Christmas-themed shopping cart

    My favorite example is a campaign we ran for one of our clients last year. The campaign was centered around a simple concept: creating a Christmas-themed shopping cart.

    We used catchy visuals and holiday-related copy to make the email stand out from competitors’ emails, which made it memorable for customers.

    We also included product recommendations based on previous purchases, so customers could find something special for their loved ones without spending too much time searching.

    Here is an example of an email we sent out: 

    Hi (first name)

    Merry Christmas! This season, we’ve made your holiday shopping easier. We've put together a special selection of products that are sure to make your loved ones smile.

    Check out our curated list of gifts and save big this Christmas: ____

    Happy shopping



    PS: Don't forget to enter the code “XMAS” at checkout for an extra 10% off. 

    This email was a great success because it made customers feel special with personalized product recommendations and incentivized them with discounts.

    People loved the creative visuals and appreciated the convenience of having a curated collection right in their inboxes. 

    Jaden Oh, Chief Marketing Officer, TRAFFV

    Jaden Oh, Chief Marketing Officer, TRAFFV

    Christmas email teaser 

    Given that two of the largest online shopping days (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) occur around one month before Christmas, I would conclude that they serve as a useful benchmark.

    In your Black Friday email marketing, you can unquestionably remind recipients how advantageous the sales weekend is for finishing off their holiday shopping.

    This may be the first time Christmas is mentioned in your marketing. As for your Christmas sale, a week or two after Black Friday makes for a fantastic time to start sending out emails. 

    Matthew Magnante, Content Writer & Strategist, FitnessVolt

    Matthew Magnante, Content Writer & Strategist, FitnessVolt

    Target previous Xmas purchasers and user-tiered rewards 

    It still strikes me as odd how many businesses don't segment and deliver targeted emails to subscribers who were active consumers during past Christmas months.

    Ensure that you differentiate your treatment of these segments, since they are among your most lucrative subscribers.

    Parallel to this targeting, if you are promoting any end-of-year prizes, it is advised that you tailor your rewards based on subscriber loyalty and subscriber worth.

    Add personalization to messaging to demonstrate to committed consumers that they are appreciated as people. This is essential to keep consumer loyalty high and foster customer connections. 

    Mark Valderrama, CEO & Founder, Aquarium Store Depot

    Mark Valderrama, CEO & Founder, Aquarium Store Depot

    Christmas shipping deadline reminder 

    I would say that sending out a few follow-up emails to remind people about your deal is something you should do once you've launched your sale and as December 25th approaches.

    Sending a reminder to your clients to complete their purchases by a certain date in order to guarantee delivery before Christmas is one method you could use to accomplish this goal without just restating the information that has already been presented. 

    Adam Wood, Co-Founder of RevenueGeeks

    Adam Wood, Co-Founder of RevenueGeeks

    Christmas email marketing testing

    Start by considering what has previously worked and what has not. A review of prior campaigns will undoubtedly provide some insight.

    You can gain inspiration from your mistakes in addition to learning from them. Where one campaign fails, there is a chance for it to be fixed and succeed.

    Quality, not quantity, is what makes up a good email list. So, do some research before launching your campaigns.

    Some of your subscribers might have stopped receiving your emails or may have completely forgotten about you.

    Send them a friendly email to see whether they still want to receive your emails or if they want to unsubscribe.

    Unsubscribe rates often hover around 0.1%. Ultimately, sending a test email beforehand will only increase your email open rates. 

    Richard Dixon, Founder, Team Emergency Plumber

    Give a Christmas present

    Gifts for Christmas go together, right? Why not extend a Christmas present to your consumers as well during this festive season?

    A unique discount or gift is a tiny action that, like any Christmas gift, has a big impact. Your consumers will love the show of appreciation - it's always a pleasant surprise to receive something like that.

    They will be more likely to support your company long after the holiday season has passed thanks to this. 

    Shad Elia, CEO,  New England Home Buyers 

    Shad Elia, CEO,  New England Home Buyers 

    Focus on a different theme each day

    I like the idea of enticing and engaging your email recipients with different Christmas themes for each newsletter.

    Businesses are increasingly launching their Christmas campaigns earlier each successive year.

    However, that can get monotonous if they all look and feel the same way, especially considering that consumers have multiple offers gunning for their attention and don't respond well to lack of imagination.

    As a result, I prefer an early campaign featuring different ideas each day not only to market products and services but also share tips on the right decorations and activities for the day.    

    Ronald Ander, CEO, SEOAnt

    Marks & Spencer's Little Christmas Story 

    My favorite Christmas email marketing example is Marks & Spencer's Little Christmas Story.

    This email has everything: the perfect balance of imagery and text, a clear call to action, and a very clear point of view. (Marks & Spencer is a British retailer that sells clothing, food, and household goods.)

    I love how they've chosen to take such a simple approach with this email.

    The images are adorable, but it's not distracting from the message or its goal - to get you to buy their products. And when you click on those products, you're taken directly to the site so you can purchase them with ease.

    It's just a great example of how to do holiday email marketing well. 

    Chris Muller, Vice President for Brand, Money Under 30 

    Chris Muller, Vice President for Brand, Money Under 30 

    "12 Days of Christmas" 

    One of the best Christmas email marketing examples is the "12 Days of Christmas" email campaign.

    This email features 12 different Christmas-themed emails related to gifts, recipes, traditions, and more.

    It's a great way to personalize your email messages and show your readers that you truly care about their holiday season.

    Jeroen van Gils, CEO, LiFi

    Jeroen van Gils, CEO, LiFi

    Ensure that the messaging is consistent across all channels

    Planning your Christmas-oriented communication in advance can be hugely beneficial, as it helps you to avoid a lot of stress and confusion in the long run. When marketing through both emails and social media, you simply need to ensure that the messaging is consistent across both channels.

    Whoever gets your email, has to associate it with your social media posts – and vice versa. This will help create trust and establish a stronger relationship with your potential customers, and that’s what you want, right?

    Having a well-thought-out plan also allows you to track reactions more effectively and make timely amendments if necessary – and this will also make a huge difference if you manage multiple Instagram accounts, as planning things in advance can save you a lot of time you can now spend on other pre-Christmas chores.

    Kasia Słonawska, Marketing Executive, NapoleonCat

    Kasia Słonawska, Marketing Executive, NapoleonCat

    If you're looking for a creative way to show your Christmas spirit, try out one of these email campaigns. They're sure to make everyone happy (and maybe even sleepy during December!)

    Christmas Email Marketing Ideas


    spotify 2022 wrapped

    Why do we like it?

    Spotify's end-of-year Wrapped is a great way to keep people coming back to their service.

    It shows that they've been keeping track of all your listening throughout the year, and it's totally personalized to you - everyone's Wrapped will be totally different.

    Sharing is made easy, too, so you can compare with your friends and family, and look forward to seeing how your music tastes have changed from one year to the next.


    starbucks christmas email

    Why do we like it?

    Starbucks offers a beautifully designed email newsletter that uses traditional Christmas colors to get you in the mood for the holiday season. It's simple, to the point, and offers its customers a tangible reward while being cute and having humor.


    Gift Well From SchoolHouse christmas email

    Why do we like it?

    Schoolhouse's simplistic email campaign reminds you that small, high-quality gifts are sometimes the best.

    It tries to convince you to personalize your giving over the Christmas period and manages to get its message across with a tiny amount of text.


    So there you have it - a bunch of easy but effective ways to bring Christmas cheer to your customers and tailor your email marketing campaigns to the holiday period.

    So what are you waiting for? Before you start preparing Christmas dinner and opening up your presents, go out and use these techniques in your marketing campaigns!

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