It may not be considered the “holiday season” just yet, but marketers should be taking advantage of holidays year-round as an impactful way to increase sales and bring back more customers! For example, most American consumers will be celebrating the Fourth of July, while your Canadian customers are celebrating Canada Day on July 1st—this is the perfect time to send out timely, targeted campaigns.

When you’re planning out your holiday email marketing, keep the following seven best practices in mind.

1) Choose your subject lines carefully

Holidays tend to result in an influx of emails flooding into inboxes, and subject lines can make or break your open rate (and your campaign success). Be sure to think carefully about how your subject lines will resonate with your customers, highlight the holiday, and entice them to engage or make a purchase.

2) Spend extra time testing and proof-reading

It’s important to thoroughly test how your email appears in multiple email clients across mobile and desktop. You should also be testing any personalization or dynamic content you are using. The more time spent up-front, the less room there is for error. A test list should have multiple emails that go to both desktop and mobile as well as different email clients (Gmail, Outlook, etc.).

3) Plan out your messaging

If you have a sale on a certain day, start by working backwards. When do you want to let people know about it? Will you have a follow-up email as a reminder? Create deadlines for when you want to have the creative content finished, the audiences/segments finalized, and the email or advertisement scheduled—this will help you and your team stay organized and on track.

4) Add extra time for your email to be delivered

With high volumes to process, some internet service providers (ISPs) will throttle the speed at which emails are delivered to your customers’ inboxes. To account for this, be sure to add a couple hours of “padding” from when you hit the send button to when you want it to arrive in the inbox.

5) Use holiday imagery/graphics in your creative

Holiday marketing is not just timely, but also brings about a sense of spirit in the eyes and minds of the customer. Holidays are a time to celebrate, a time to make memories—make sure your campaigns reflect that with relevant messaging and imagery. Don't be afraid to have some fun with your campaigns and promos!

6) Create segments to speak to people where they are

It can be as simple as creating one version of an email for existing customers and a second version for prospects who haven’t purchased yet. If you’re new to segmentation, start small. People are more likely to engage with your messaging if it is more unique than a “one size fits all” or “batch and blast” email.

Sample segment: Past Holiday Purchasers (transactions from previous years during holidays) vs Non-Holiday Purchasers (zero transactions from previous years). Offer greater incentive to non-holiday purchasers to buy now, and standard promos for past holiday purchasers.

7) Remove your unengaged subscribers

Holidays are not the time to try to reengage the unengaged. Limit your audience to active subscribers only for better results. This will also reduce issues with email deliverability and ensure your messages are making it to your audience’s inboxes.


Ready to craft the perfect holiday campaign? Let us show you how to give your customers a truly memorable experience that keeps them coming back, year after year. Reach out to us today to get started! 

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