21 festive emails to inspire your holiday marketing strategy

‘Tis the season to send email! 

Peak sales coincide with major holidays from Thanksgiving through the New Year, boosting revenue for everyone, but particularly retailers, who see 20% of their yearly sales happen in that sweet spot between November through the beginning of January.

And everyone has a chance at a big profit since 73% of shoppers will check out someone new online or in a brick-and-mortar.

Even more exciting is the fact that mobile sales are growing by leaps and bounds—this also means your emails and websites need to be optimized to be viewed on any device. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at all the incredible options for you to send holiday emails that hit the mark and help boost holiday revenues even higher.

To make it easy, we’ve curated a whole slew of holiday emails that will give you inspiration for the upcoming season. 

Email ideas to drive revenue with your holiday marketing

Holiday emails give businesses a chance to be fun, festive, and full of imagination while still doing all the things that great marketing emails do. They capture attention, encourage engagement, increase revenue, and position your business for holiday success.

We’ll begin with the holiday that starts the season off: Thanksgiving.

1. Tuck into Thanksgiving profits with these stunning emails.

Now that Thanksgiving Day is a bonafide shopping day, customers are ready to open their wallets and start spending even before dinner is served.

According to Statista, 40% of shoppers consider themselves likely to shop online on Thanksgiving Day, so businesses need to prepare for this. 

Using holiday emails to generate even more traffic is a great way to encourage those holdouts to take the plunge.

Look at how mattress-seller Casper turned the sleep-inducing turkey dinner to their advantage through this relatable email:

Image: Pinterest

And retailer J. Crew offers up a novel way to share some sweetness with their customers with this clever coupon-oriented email:

Image: Pinterest

Simple images that combine holiday motifs with super savings is a great recipe for Thanksgiving promotion success.

Now, let’s move on to the big one: Black Friday.

2. Black Friday emails to get you out of the red

Black Friday is THE day to shop—the mother lode of holiday shopping if you will. Approximately 164 million people brave the traffic and crowds to start off their holiday shopping frenzy on this day.

And online shopping on this day is trending upward as well, with a 16.9% increase in dollars spent last year over the previous year. 

In total sales, Americans spent a record-breaking $5 billion online in the 24 hours that make up the Black Friday shopping experience.

So, what can you do to tempt these happy spenders into visiting your online or brick-and-mortar store? Send them an email, of course! 

Check out the email below that gives everyone a reason to spend a little cash—a free gift wrapped with clever wording.

Image: Shopify

Or, you can opt for a humorous post-Thanksgiving slant, like this one from Chubbies:

Image: Shopify

Other retailers might want to capitalize on the fact that almost everyone out there on Black Friday is feeling the scarcity vibe. Encourage your customers to make those purchases quickly, because time—and stock—is running out!

This email does an excellent job of conveying scarcity:

Image: Greats.com 

A little humor and a lot of urgency make for a great holiday email.

Okay, moving on to Cyber Monday. If you’re running an e-commerce business or a business with an e-commerce element, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic opportunity for revenue.

In fact, 81 million people took advantage of Cyber Monday last year to check off must-buy items on their Christmas lists.

3. Cyber Monday emails that command attention

Lots of emails flow around Cyber Monday, which is only natural since we’re talking about shopping online. 

To make a real impression, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd in a big way, using design, animation, or interactivity to make a splash.

This email from J. Crew harnesses color, cuteness, and an interactive store-finding map to create the perfect trifecta for their Cyber Monday email:

Image: Emails on Acid

And who doesn’t love an interactive scratch-off? Simple, visually engaging, and fun, this scratch-off reveal will have customers racing to find out how much they’ve saved!

Image: Emails on Acid

And of course, there’s the ever-present Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) that’s presented in this countdown email:

The quickly rotating clock hands give a sense of urgency and the bleakly stated, “Time is not on your side,” is all many customers need to prompt them into quick action.

Once you’re finished with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, we begin the journey toward the peak of the holiday shopping season. 

While all holidays are important for businesses, the single most impactful days for e-commerce remain December 22 and 23.

So, how can you organize your holiday emails around these days for the biggest impact?

4. Deck your halls with holiday emails to keep ‘em shopping.

It can get stressful for shoppers as Christmas draws near and they’re still not done shopping. Help soothe those nerves with a nice dose of holiday email humor, like this example.

Image: TabithaNaylor.com

Or, you can take the pressure off by offering one-stop shopping for the whole family and a promise your gifts will arrive on time.

Image: Really Good Emails

And, if you’ve got a product or service that lends itself to being self-gifted, encourage a little stress-relief by suggesting some self-pampering.

Image: Really Good Emails

Nest has a clever way of encouraging shoppers to consider adding home security to their Christmas list—plus, they provide the gift of free shipping along with your choice of items.

Image: Really Good Emails

Amazon emailed customers a few days before Christmas with the email, below, to remind them there were still deals to be had—and there was time left for delivery, too:

Image: Digital Commerce 360

In addition, many businesses begin to offer curbside pickup from December 16-24, free delivery on orders placed until Christmas Eve, and even 10% off online orders that were picked up in stores to encourage people to keep shopping.

This dives into a strategy that makes it easy as possible for customers to choose your business for their Christmas shopping needs.

You can even put together a gift-giving guide to make shopping as easy and stress-free as possible:

Image: Practical Ecommerce

And in the example, below, L.L. Bean has provided a sale countdown of sorts, with a different deal counting down from the 6-21 of December to encourage customers to shop earlier and avoid the rush.

Image: Pinterest

Here’s another twist on that motif, with a different discounted item for each day of the countdown:

Image: Pinterest

You can also encourage higher spending by offering bigger discounts for larger orders, like this example from Origins.

Image: Pinterest

Are you weary of Christmas yet? Then let’s move on to the most fun part of the season—the after-Christmas savings and sales!

5. Ring in the New Year with revenue.

The holidays are winding down and consumers are checking for sales and looking for ways to get their New Year’s resolutions off the ground. 

For those businesses that can take advantage of those resolutions, now’s the time to act.

Image: Five Stars

This email is simple and to the point. Notice how they’ve moved away from holiday colors to add prominence to the idea of a “clean slate.”

Kate Spade plays with the theme of New Year’s resolutions with this punchy email:

Image: Pinterest

And Legacy Box focuses on the celebration side of New Year’s with a coupon coded “TOAST.”

Image: Pinterest

Notice how the sparkles play up the important parts of this email and bring a little bling to the party. And speaking of parties—here’s an email that centers around all the gala events happening at this time of year:

 Image: Pinterest

If your products or services lend themselves to party-going, a party-themed email might be the right choice to bring them front-and-center for your customers.

Wrap up

With the holidays coming up soon, it’s time to get your email marketing strategy in order. 

Remember, holiday emails start rolling out before Thanksgiving, so be sure to hit all of the seasonal milestones with your campaign. These include Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and the New Year.

It’s easy to craft stunning, clever, and effective holiday emails using our examples as inspiration. Use one or more in your campaign to get your customers excited about what you have to offer this holiday season.


About the Author

Grace Miller is a content writer with a passion for grammar and the public library. When she isn't writing for Emma, she's probably writing fiction, reading another thriller, or listening to a true crime podcast.

More Content by Grace Miller

Want to engage your audience and grow your brand? Try Emma's robust easy-to-use product today.