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The best holiday email marketing: Content

This is it... here’s the final installment of this month’s “the best holiday email marketing" series.

For this post, I thought I’d go out with a bang and focus on something a little bit heftier than stats, subject lines, or flashy design elements: email content. Here’s some of the best, most strategic content I’ve seen in holiday email both this year and last. Use these ideas to help inspire you these next few months, and good luck out there.

Happy holidays!


1. Punchbowl

Want to get on the holiday action early, but don’t want your emails to come across as too eager (or worse, completely irrelevant)? Take a note from the smart folks at Punchbowl. With a little creative framing – “Don’t you want to get on your friends' calendars first?” – they were able to market their holiday invitations a full two months early, but it still felt timely.


2. Joss & Main

This is an email marketing move I love to see: Use (a slightly tweaked version of) what you already have. Joss & Main sends out emails like this all the time, but by adding a couple of festive design elements and reframing the email as a “checklist,” they managed to create a seasonally appropriate campaign with minimal effort on their part. 


3. Domino

Another take on the holiday gift guide, this works especially well if you have access to a bunch of high-quality product photos. Make the inbox experience feel more like an in-store shopping excursion by laying out your best offerings in an attractive, scrollable email format. It’s a great way to draw people in and let your products speak for themselves.


4. Artifact Uprising

Yes, yes… this is a very pretty email. But it shows off a pretty smart strategy, too. That big, bold headline – “They’re can’t-get-it-to-the-fridge-fast-enough good” – brings to mind memories of a fridge covered in photos of the people you love. That sort of warm-and-fuzzy sentiment works wonders in marketing in general, but during the holidays? It’s a no-brainer to weave into your campaigns. 


5. Base London

If you run an online store and aren’t sending this email, you’re seriously missing out. Not only is it helpful to let subscribers know when they need to order to get their gifts in time, it’s exactly the incentive many shoppers need to actually complete a purchase.


6. Loft

Let your audience imagine how your brand can fit into their most treasured holiday traditions (like in this email from Loft) to inspire emotion-driven purchases.


7. Warby Parker

Turn past purchasers into repeat buyers by reminding them of products they picked out for themselves in months past. If they liked them, there’s a good chance they’ll pass them along to their friends and family as holiday gifts.


8. Nashville Predators

Not every holiday email needs to be sales-focused. One of my favorite festive sends last year was this one from the Nashville Predators. It doesn’t ask people to purchase season passes or check out merchandise; instead, the team simply sent out a nice video wishing their fans happy holidays. It was a great way to build loyalty, and it stood out so much that I’m still remembering it now, a year later!


I absolutely love seeing what brands are doing for the holidays, so if you’ve seen anything especially smart or eye-catching, please share away in the comments!