We all know how important email marketing is for marketing during Christmas.
BUT most eCommerce brands fail to deliver the right note.
Some emails are either too generic while others just lack a personal touch.
Let’s change that for good. In this post, we’re talking about:
23 Amazing Christmas Email Ideas for eCommerce
Check out these 20 examples below and develop a fresh perspective for your eCommerce marketing emails during Christmas.
With a little creativity, you can make your emails stand out in a crowded inbox.
1. Open with a compelling line
Instead of a traditional holiday greeting, talk about why buying a specific product will benefit the shopper.
Francis Lofts & Bunks, in the above example, highlights how some last-minute Christmas shopping can solve the real-time need for extra room.
Pro Tip: To sell better, make your CTAs sharper—while “Shop Now” might work better rest of the year, “Shop Christmas Favorites” is likely to improve click-throughs & conversions.
2. Appeal to last-minute shoppers
Don’t ignore your last-minute shoppers. 1 in 3 last-minute shoppers decide where to get their gifts from based on how soon they can get them.
In the above example, knowing this, Nasty Gal features three different dates to make fast & free shipping possible for late buyers.
Pro Tip: Use a countdown timer to call out the last day for shipping and free shipping if that’s on the cards. Send regular emails and enable the option for them to add this to their Google calendar.
3. Leverage wishlists for gifting
Got a business that works with a lot of gifting? Encourage customers to add to their wishlist and then drop “hints” to their friends and family about what to get them for Christmas.
Pro Tip: Ensure your shoppers can add other people to their wish lists and create Secret Santa compatibility. This can come in handy with gift registries for the season.
4. Improve brand recall
Christmas is the time of year when transactions and brand recall need to move in tandem.
This is why Starbucks chooses to bring in their brand mascot Juniper to drive home loyalty rewards for members.
Other ways to create brand recall through Christmas emails? Offer “unwrapping” of discounts, feature a mystery gift, serve up a guide that doesn’t just promote products but creates an experience.
Pro Tip: Leverage the brand mascot by showing off products you’d like to promote more aggressively.
5. Create anticipation, be “eventful”
Integrate your brand with a classic Christmas ritual: the advent calendar. Offer one idea for each of the days that you’re counting down and be sure to include a special discount on those items.
Pro Tip: Create affinities between these products so customers are also interested in buying multiple at the same time. Offer better discounts for upsell and cross-sell chances.
Planning your holiday marketing sales? Watch top brand examples to inspire your Christmas campaign!
6. Send bold reminders
Include a personalized message (consider using their name within the email body) and make sure the email does not take too long to load.
Ensure your subject line leaves something to the imagination so that the recipient feels like opening the email.
Pro Tip: Consider using a “drap, drop and design” tool to create more eye catching designs within a specified time.
7. Drive attention to the discount
Everyone loves a good deal, so be sure to promote any discounts you are offering in your email marketing campaign.
Qualifying discounts typically improve conversions—for example, while 30% off might not mean much, 30% off storewide will instantly capture attention as will 30% off on never-to-be-back winter styles!
Pro Tip: Enable cross promotions so customers feel encouraged to buy gifts for the entire family from your store.
8. Offer value-adds
Many eCommerce businesses shy away from creating value-add content for Christmas, not realizing such content can actually drive higher purchases.
To increase the perceived value, explicitly ask email recipients to share with family and friends but make the guide gated—this can also help you grow your email list.
Pro Tip: Include one product per category as part of the guide. You can then follow this up with a gated downloadable for more complex routines, interventions or recipes.
9. Create a sense of community
Your customers want to feel like they are part of a larger community, not a faceless mass.
Personalize your email content—make sure to include the recipient’s name in the subject line and in the body of the email.
Pro Tip — Don’t just include the customers’ names. Also include yours. This can especially be impactful for SMBs who can afford to have that personal connection with their audience.
10. Make gifting easy
Sure, we’re referencing pets with the email example here.
Help your immediate customers think about their kids, cousins, pets, and the rest of the family that make this occasion so inviting.
Pro Tip: What better than a gift that keeps on giving? Create different subscription boxes for pets/kids that are more likely to need repetitive purchases like snacks, skincare and health supplements.
11. Use mood-setting visuals
Emails with visuals enjoy 27% more open rate than emails with none. Now, your Christmas email marketing has to be precise about visuals—some questions to ask before you choose: What emotion are you trying to evoke? What kind of action do you want them to take? Which products do you want more attention on?
Pro Tip: Animations are great for capturing attention but can be damaging when it comes to speed. In such a case, it’s best to limit it to 2 - 3 visual changes or one solid one running at a lower resolution.
12. Promote last-minute gifting
Like we’ve discussed earlier, a whole bunch of customers keep their shopping till the last minute. We love how Anthropologie has planned for them with last-chance gift shipping.
What’s even better: they offer a number of choices to gifters including choosing from eGift cards and finding a nearby store.
Pro Tip: Create special eGift Cards that customers can share with their family & friends even if they purchase them on the same day.
13. Connect with smart copy
Christmas is sweet, memorable, and jolly—have a brand that’s a bit different? Have fun with it.
Ways to do this? Do a quick recap of the year (use a timeline). Talk about the impact you created as a brand. Drop hints about what’s coming up.
Pro Tip: Use a thematic but relatable subject line and opening headline for maximum effect.
14. Collab with another brand
Tap into two different audiences with a joint collaboration that benefits both—just like Starbucks and Uber Eats do here.
Pro Tip: Run exclusive offers under the collaboration that you wouldn’t replicate elsewhere—use your newsletter to build this up for a few weeks.
15. Build urgency
Go beyond last-minute deals, which can seem gimmicky after a while, to calling out delivery timelines—just like Ben Sherman does here.
Pro Tip: To amp up the personal appeal, include a special video recorded by your team wishing Christmas early!
16. Take your messaging beyond Christmas
Hanukkah, Yule, Soyal, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, New Year. There’s a LOT going on during this season.
So wishing your audiences through a single email may actually be the kinder thing to do—just like the example above does (don’t miss reading the microcopy!)
Pro Tip: Set up a transactional email with similar messaging and call it “The Last Sale of the Year.”
17. Harness sale extensions
Whether you announce a pre Christmas sale or a Christmas day sale, consider sending out an email if you decide to extend the sale.
Consider promoting some of your slow-moving products at this time because shoppers are already in the mode of spending.
Pro Tip: Such an email becomes impactful when you bring in the end date and exact hour—this also creates urgency in a subtle way.
18. Inspire action
If you want your Christmas emails to convert, you’ll have to take a stand that other brands aren’t taking.
In the example above, Birchbox talks about wishlisting but not without stating that the brand has done its job stocking up—they also highlight “easy” making shoppers want to consider building a wishlist of their own.
Pro Tip: Outline in steps what they need to do to, let’s say, get a reward for being a loyalist.
19. Make it relevant
One way to get your subscribers to consider your Christmas emails seriously is to bring in a people angle.
But how you do it is what will decide how fun & relatable audiences will find it—Anthropologie brings in relatable fictional voices from the segments they cater to and throws in some buying nudges.
Pro Tip: Bring up 3 to 5 of the most important people in your customers’ lives and offer only 1 recommendation per person.
20. Include trust icons
They’re always a good idea! This is even more important when customers are shopping impulsively and want to be assured you’re a brand they can rely on.
Pro Tip: Make sure to include trust badges around payment, returns, and shipping. The more hassle-free your business looks, the far more likely customers will finish shopping with you.
21. Talk winter
Most shoppers won’t even bat an eye when you send Christmas discounts their way, it’s that common.
However, when you anchor the season’s greetings in something more relatable like the weather or having people over, something more resonates.
This email from Boden highlights the need to keep warm at this time and announces a related discount.
Pro Tip: To improve conversions on such discounts, make them “email only.” Call that out clearly so that subscribers know they have to act and act quickly.
22. Promote bundles
It’s one thing to promote bundles around the year, and quite another to pin it down to Christmas specifics.
This can especially be effective for shoppers who’re willing to spend only a certain amount of time looking for deals AND gifts.
The good thing about this is that you can replicate this across product types, whether you sell clothes, makeup, snacks, coffee or even travel gear.
Pro Tip: Make it easy for shoppers to edit the suggestions you offer them—this can be done on the product pages whereas alternatives you can consider featuring other items that can be added instead.
23. Expedite delivery
Delivery speed is important throughout the year and more so during the peak of Christmas shopping—97% say that same day delivery is what they would consider as “fast.”
So, see what you can do to offer this choice to your customers—if you’re a small business consider bringing in multiple delivery speed options and charging extra for them based on how fast it is.
Pro Tip: Leverage speedier local deliveries or tie up with physical stores in select locations to make this happen.
25 Inspiring Christmas Email Subject Lines to Boost Conversions
The first step to getting your Christmas emails to convert is to make people open them—which is why here’s a list of amazing subject lines we’ve A/B tested for clients and found to work:
1. Look inside: it isn’t your usual Christmas gift!
2. Just for you! A comprehensive gift guide for the whole family!
3. 40% off for the rest of the crowd—a higher mystery discount for you inside
4. From our family to yours—a special video!
5. 5 hand-picked gift bundles you’ll love!
6. This is our BIGGEST sale of the year—and you’re FIRST to know!
7. 5 days to Christmas—THIS DEAL is selling out…
8. Ready to shop? Our final shipping date is drawing near…
9. It’s EARLY for Christmas BUT the discount % is LARGER
10. Don’t be late to the party! 50% off only for 2 more days!
11. The only time is NOW! 70% OFF on never-to-be-back styles
12. Last-minute Christmas delivery—ends TONIGHT!
13. ALL your favorites through the year—NOW at 70% off
14 Santa told us you’d LOVE this mystery discount
15. Meet your gifting goals—BUY 1 GET 1 free on *select items
16. Largest Merry Discount ever—Don’t Miss It!
17. 80% off for 10 more hours only!
18. STOP! Here’s a present for you…
19. <Insert product name> is RESTOCKED! Shop our 60% sale!
20. This offer is flying out fast like Santa
21. ONE HOUR left for Christmas 70% sale to begin
22. Christmas prep with FREE SHIPPING—TODAY only!
23. Christmas is Early-50% off storewide for 24 hours only
24. Find extra joy with this exclusive 70% discount
25. Here’s your Christmas list of favorites—@60% off!
The Winning Christmas Email Sequence
Wondering what emails to send so that your customers will feel primed to buy from you in and around Christmas? Here’s a sequence we’ve seen to work:
1. Pre-Christmas preference email:
You might feel like you already know your customer segments well, but there’s no harm in reconfiguring their preferences to the Christmas context.
Ask what kind of products they’d like to see more of, which categories they’re excited about and what kind of value-add content they’d want to receive.
2. Pre-christmas savings announcement:
This is the email you will absolutely need to send if you’re harping on “The Biggest Sale of the Year” or “Final Sale at 80% off storewide.”
This will help set expectations for shoppers when you throw in some recommendations or best selling categories. Make sure to specify the sale start date.
3. Last minute pre-christmas email:
A last minute email acts as a great reminder especially when recipients are bogged down with communication from multiple brands.
4. Christmas email:
What this should feature will completely depend on what kind of emails you’ve sent earlier.
Let’s say you’ve already sent out one or two transactional emails—in this case, the Christmas email should be a simple greeting from your brand.
However, if you just announced Christmas savings with an earlier mail before, the Christmas email can greet and also call out the saving angle.
Something like this could work:
5. Post-Christmas sale extension email:
The last email can be about extending the original last sale date by a day or two.
You could even announce a SURPRISE SALE and build engagement.
Best idea though? Run a sale on your most expensive items and position it as “Never coming back again!”
Transform Email Marketing Into A Revenue Machine
Most eCommerce store owners don’t see email as a serious revenue stream.
Ask them about the importance of email marketing, and you'll hear: “we don’t really have a major strategy,” “we mostly use generic templates,” or “we just send emails to people on our list.”
BUT AT THE SAME TIME:
There are stores out there that drive 30%+ of their revenue from email marketing.
Engage can help you do the same - Book a free demo.
We’ll show you:
- workflows we can create for your store,
- proven ways to drive 30% or more $$ from email alone, and
- successful templates and strategies from your industry (and others).