Holiday Marketing: Emails, Content, And Strategies

There’s no reason to reach out more perfect than the holidays.

Because it’s the ideal time for special offers, discounts, and promos, most companies have a schedule of marketing campaign-worthy occasions and holidays. And, of course, sales generated during the holiday season are more important than your regular ones because positive holiday order experiences stay in your customers’ memory longer.

That’s why you need to make sure you add these 10 major holidays to your schedule and try our 8 email marketing strategies to maximize your results.


10 holidays you should always use

November 22-28 (floating Thursday)

This national holiday, mostly celebrated in the United States and Canada, opens the holiday season. Use Thanksgiving Day as a chance to say thank you to your users and clients, and offer them a generous discount in preparation for Black Friday.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving Day

Though Black Friday & Cyber Monday are not national holidays, these are some of, if not the biggest sales drivers for most businesses. The main distinction between these and other occasions is huge discounts: usually, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals entail at least a 50% discount, with 75-90% discounts the norm for both products and services.

Cyber Monday is the digital version of Black Friday, with millions of digital service providers dropping prices in hopes of luring loyal clients with huge discounts and LTDs.

December 25th

Christmas is the biggest holiday in most countries. The best marketing technique for Christmas is to offer your products as a gift idea. If your service or product doesn’t exactly scream “perfect Christmas present”, don’t be discouraged – Christmas discounts are broadly used by various businesses, not just in tech and beauty industries.

New Year (and New Year’s Eve)
December 31st

While Christmas is the main holiday in countries like the U.S., Britain, and Canada, in countries like Russia and its post-soviet neighbors New Year is the reigning holiday. New Year discounts and special offers are widely used by almost all companies on the market. Same as with Christmas, New Year offers are promoted prior to New Year’s Eve, and products are offered as gift ideas.

Valentine’s Day
February 14th

Obviously, the holiday season is everyone’s priority, but there’s more to holiday marketing than winter holidays. Valentine’s Day is the first occasion after the holiday season. Statistically, the most active buyers on Valentine’s Day are people under 35. This holiday is a great chance to promote anything related to beauty, travel, sports, and food. In case you do not belong to one of these niches, you can always use a “Let us show you our love” explanation to keep your offer relevant on Valentine’s Day.

March 22 – April 25 (floating Sunday)

Easter, especially in the U.S., is a family-oriented holiday, and strategically it should be approached more like Thanksgiving. Make sure to promote products and services that are family-related. If you don’t have those, don’t worry, just put an Easter bunny on your promo banner and get a piece of that holiday-sales-cake!

Mother’s Day
May 8-14 (floating Sunday)

Mother’s Day is celebrated in the U.S. and most European countries, and it’s a great chance to offer something to the women among your clients. Mother’s Day should be approached similarly to Valentine’s Day, so the best products and services to promote are the ones related to beauty, travel, food, and pets.

Father’s Day
June 15-21 (floating Sunday)

Reach your male customers with special offers and discounts. The best products and services to promote on Father’s Day are usually related to cars, sports equipment, and memberships, specialized apparel, fishing, and hunting equipment, etc.

Independence Day
4th of July (U.S.-only)

Independence Day is a major occasion for citizens of any country, but the U.S. celebrates it like no one else. Almost any products and services can be promoted for Independence Day, so the only limit is your imagination.

October 31st

Halloween is not that popular among enterprise-level companies, so most of the special offers and discounts for Halloween are promoted by businesses that target consumers or smaller businesses. Halloween is the holiday that is celebrated just a few weeks before the main holiday season, which is why many companies plan their holiday marketing campaigns for a period from Halloween to New Year.

How to adjust your email campaigns

Take the time to adjust your email campaigns to align with holiday marketing trends. As always, your imagination and creativity are the limit, but don’t forget the five essential steps:

Adjust your email visually

The appearance of your email is the first thing the recipients will notice. This includes the header image, fonts, banners, videos, and the template itself. Make sure your visuals correlate with the holiday and avoid stock images at all costs. Splash on a custom template from a graphic designer, nothing looks as uninspired as a premade template.

Use an appropriate tone of voice

Even if you use the same and proven tone of voice for all email messages within your company, it’s a good idea to adjust your tone of voice according to the upcoming holiday. Most holidays have a certain style, including specific phrases, wording and more. Set the right mood for your readers and don’t be afraid to sound awkward or cheesy! Holidays are all about fun.

Make your email short and clear

People are not just busy in preparation for holidays, they also receive a lot of specialized holiday offers from other companies. Make sure your email is short, and your message is clear. Get straight to business — what you’re offering and why your offer is one-of-a-kind. The discount and/or specials must be the first thing that catches the recipient’s attention, meaning it should pop. Gifs are a great idea for such emails.

Add a special touch to your email

Holiday campaigns are not your regular mailing, and the recipients will expect something besides the special offer or a discount. It can be something sweet, funny, or small but useful — downloadable content, an invitation to a special event, a greeting card, your team photo, a pic of a dog in a Santa costume, or anything else that will make your recipient smile.

a santa claus

See? Adorable.

Invite the readers to share
Holidays are a magical time, so people tend to be more kind and generous. Remind them that sharing is caring, and invite them to share your special offer or the content you’ve sent them. If your offer is good enough, and the personal touch you add really moves them, they will share anything you ask them to! For you, it’s a great chance to get viral traffic.

As you can see, it doesn’t take any special manipulations to prepare your email campaign for the holidays. To summarize the five tips above, remember one rule — make your emails look and sound in tune with the holiday cheer. And never miss a chance to ask your audience to spread the word about your offer or promo.

8 holiday strategies for email marketers

Every business has different needs.

Sometimes you have just enough sales, but there’s a lack of brand awareness. Or maybe the holidays are your last chance to close the quarter with a profit. All businesses are different, and so are the holiday marketing needs, which is why you should try to modify these strategies to fit your business needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment and build your own.

Strategy #1: Special offers

Special offers are the most used holiday marketing strategy. There is nothing wrong with using this technique, even if everyone else is using it. Just make your discount big enough to grab attention – the minimum discount worth promoting is 30% off. For major occasions like Black Friday or Christmas, half-price works best.

It’s worth mentioning that overusing this strategy can sometimes backfire. If you use special offers too often, your audience will make sure to wait for a discount until the next holiday and stop buying at full price.

Strategy #2: Last-minute deals

Last-minute deals are similar to special offers, but they should be promoted for a very short period of time to make them look special, urgent and worth buying. It’s a good practice to promote your last-minute deals for 24 hours or less.

Strategy #3: Viral and shareworthy offers

People tend to be kinder during the holidays, so there’s a higher chance your recipients are in the mood to share. Use this chance to spread downloadable content, a freebie or any other piece of valuable content. This will get you that elusive viral traffic which can sometimes get huge! Virality is unpredictable, but the holidays are a good occasion to launch your next viral experiment.

Strategy #4: Contests

I know we’re being obvious here, but people love contests. They remind them of that sweet gambling feeling. Try both offline and online contests; you can start with a simple one — ask your recipients to join your social media channels and leave a comment for a chance to win free stuff. This way you can increase your social media audience and even get some viral traffic those channels. Just remember that your contest is not a lottery — people should act to participate, not just sit and wait for a prize.

Strategy #5: Community growth

If you want to increase your number of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram followers, holidays are a great time to send a campaign aimed at driving people to your social media channels. Offer your recipients a freebie or a sweet something if they join you on social media. It will cost you nothing, but at the same time, you will get an audience that’s loyal and can be reached through both email and social media.

Strategy #6: Holiday freebies

There’s only one thing people love more than contests, and that’s freebies. If you have anything valuable you can afford to give away, be it a product, a service, or a piece of content — do it! You can call it a giveaway, a freebie, or a gift — it doesn’t really matter, just make sure you ask the recipients for an action to get one. It could be a sharing, inviting a friend, leaving a review or anything else that would be valuable for your business.

Strategy #7: Family offers

For family holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, you can prepare special family offers. These are common in the forms of a 2+1 offer, “free for children”, family discounts, and anything else that the whole family can benefit from. People care about their families, and such offers won’t just grab their attention but will also make you look more reliable and loyal as a company, which is always good for a brand.

Strategy #8: Holiday-related content

If you don’t need more sales on holidays (though, why wouldn’t you), don’t need any viral attention, and everything is good with your brand awareness, yet you still want to make your presence known, holiday-related content is the savior. Create an article, a short blog-post or any holiday-related content to include in your mailing and cheer up your readers. Even a small piece of content can make a difference and remind your clients of your existence. You can be a Grinch, but you don’t have to miss your chance to benefit from Christmas!

Happy holidays, and good luck!

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