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The best holiday email marketing: Email design

For the second installment of this month’s holiday marketing series, we’re honing in on one of my absolute favorite topics… email design.

I’ll happily talk testing, subject lines, and general marketing strategy for days, but let’s be real, it’s way more fun to compile a bunch of beautiful emails. And the holiday season in particular? It's like the Super Bowl of email design. So get your hot wings ready, check out some of our favorite campaigns, and get ready to break out your best and brightest this holiday season.

1. West Elm

West Elm knows how to send a beautiful email, but I was particularly impressed by this adorable snowglobe GIF in one of last season’s campaigns. It rests above the fold, so your attention is hooked immediately after opening. Then, you can’t resist waiting to see what product will be revealed.

2. Evernote

Even B2B brands can send sexy holiday emails! In this send, Evernote advertised a Black Friday deal with a stunning product GIF and single, focused CTA.

3. Need Supply Co.

I love this simple, very literal take on a Cyber Monday promotion. The clean black-and-white aesthetic definitely stood out in a sea of ultra-vibrant (and often over-designed) holiday emails.

4. Mario Batali

This email truly does feel like a note straight from your pal Mario. But it’s also gorgeous in general – the ample white space and clean organization of content help you quickly digest everything in the mailing.

5. Trumaker

I'm absolutely infatuated with the depth the designers at Trumaker were able to achieve in this email design. It's such a nice way to show off a bunch of their products without over-cluttering the message.

6. Postmates

That hero image, though. This send from Postmates feels completely different than their typical mailings, which helps reinforce the fact that it’s a special occasion and that subscribers should take note.

7. Jetsetter

Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the fantastic GIF in this header (Note to email marketers: PLEASE include a “View in Browser” link in your campaigns!), but even without the animation, this Black Friday campaign was a super smart way for a non-retail brand to get in on the action.

8. Pottery Barn Kids

Another holiday mailing, another show-stopping GIF. Framing their email with a mantle of stockings (hung with care, naturally) brings back all sorts of nostalgic, warm-and-fuzzy holiday memories. And since consumers are best driven by emotion, it was a strategic way to inspire parents to buy personalized goodies for their kiddos.

9. ClassPass

With subtle animation and an oh-so-festive design, this holiday send from ClassPass gives off just enough seasonal cheer without being too much. Plus, this was a fantastic way to frame a gift that essentially says to the recipient, “Hey, you should probably work out more.”

10. Gilt

Ok, I get it: I feature Kate Spade all the time on the Emma blog. But this email is technically from Gilt, and how can you say no to that New Years GIF? These guys nail it every single time.

Did you save any favorite email examples from last year? Share away in the comments, friends!