For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.

Holiday emails: Am I too late?!?!

Tips for delivering a stylish holiday campaign that doesn't look last-minute at all

You know you should have started planning in October, but here it is the week before Christmas, and there’s nary a gift under the tree for your dad, daughter or weird Uncle Toby.

That means that you certainly haven’t considered what present your email audience will receive in their inbox, wrapped up in a bow. But if you’ve left it for the last minute, I have some tips.

Tip #1: The last thing they want is another pair of knitted socks.


Don’t forget about mobile.

Sometimes it can feel as though mobile devices are the Kevin McAllisters of email thoughtlessness, doomed to be left behind.

I’m reading 50% of my emails this holiday season while out and about, and if an email’s too wide, linked buttons aren’t obviously clickable or the tiny font makes me cross-eyed, I’m moving on.

Pay as much attention to your plaintext as you do your HTML, and don’t stretch your email campaign wider than 600 pixels.

+ Email formatting tips for mobile devices
+ Maintain your brand on other platforms, such as Instagram


KISS: Keep it simple, silly.

Yes, the phrase is meant to be “keep it simple, stupid,” but a little-known fact about Santa: He has Wi-Fi on that sleigh of his, and I really need to be on the nice list this year.

I’ll confess that I’m not a fan of “happy holidays” email campaigns. I’d rather my favorite bookstore include a 10% off coupon than a sweet greeting for the season.

That’s why I’ve been digging the latest emails from J.Crew: Their sale details are in a large typeface with no scrolling necessary, making it easy to know just how much time I have to snag some sweaters for myself everyone else on my list.

+ The art of the short holiday email


Avoid ugly Christmas campaigns like ugly Christmas sweaters.

‘Tis the season for luxurious reds, forest greens and wintry whites. So why are you still pairing 1960s orange and brown in your email?

Your audience is made up of visual folks – who are pretty smart, too – and they can tell from your email’s from address, subject line and brand logo who’s sending the campaign.

But can they detect from the color theme that this email is about something different, something seasonal, something that might include a sale on cashmere?

+ Emma customers have access to free winter holiday templates


Make your email count.

There’s no sense in paying to send to contacts who stopped opening your emails in 2011. They’re no more likely to read your holiday message now than before, so clean up your distribution list by removing those who haven’t opened an email from you in the last six months.

Personalize the subject line with the recipient’s name or city, and consider running a split test to find your most successful subject line.

Finally, take your customers’ holiday engagement as an opportunity to glean information from them by offering a coupon for the completion of a survey asking what kind of information they’d like to receive in emails from you in 2013.

+ Check this list twice for delivery tips


Happy holidays from all of us at Emma, and be sure to share your last-minute holiday campaign with us on Facebook and Twitter.  


Need an email marketing provider? Try Emma free