The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Email Marketing

Email Marketing

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Posted: October 30, 2014 | Email Marketing

It’s finally here! The crisp smell of fall, the crunchy leaves, pumpkin spice everywhere, and it can only mean one thing…it’s officially holiday season! I have to admit; this is my favorite time of year. I am counting down the days until after Thanksgiving so I can blast my Christmas music without shame, anywhere and everywhere.

It’s also that time of the year where marketers plan to send holiday-themed emails with silly subject lines. But do they work? Unfortunately, the answer is often vague, it can depend on many factors, sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts that will help you avoid the traps of unsuccessful holiday emails and ensure you get the results you want:

DO:

  • Set goals. Even holiday-themed emails need goals, whether they are clicks, downloads or purchases. You need to think about the strategy behind each email – just like you would any other email.  This will ensure that you’re not just sending a holiday email just to send one.
  • Get creative! Since there is such an up-tick of emails sent during the holidays – all with a similar theme, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. You can incorporate creativity into your email by thinking of a fun subject line, providing a creative offer or time sensitive discount, or creating a new asset about your product and the holidays.
  • Incorporate social. Your audience may not check their emails during the holidays as much as they normally do. So in order to capture their attention, make your holiday offer available on across all your channels – social, email, blog, etc.

DON’T:

  • Forget about other holidays! There will be tons and tons of emails around Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving – but don’t let the smaller, less celebrated holidays go to waste. Use lesser-known holidays as an opportunity to be creative and make a splash. Did you know that we should all be celebrating ‘Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day’ on August 8th? That could be the next big marketing opportunity….
  • Miss out on sending awesome follow-up! After you have created a super-amazing, thoughtful and entertaining holiday email, your next step is to consider what you will do with the people that converted or showed interest. You can’t forget about creating a follow-up plan because it will take your program to the next level. Well-planned, thoughtful follow-up will help close the sale, open up an opportunity to talk with a sales person, etc.…
  • Overdo it and spam your audience. This is easy to do – especially when we are all drinking way too much egg nog and getting creative with our punny subject lines. Don’t stray from your best practices when emailing your audience, even during the holidays. You wouldn’t want your unsubscribe rate to go up just because you thought the email with the subject line ‘Top Tips for Furtastic Howliday’ was a good idea.

Moral of the story – make sure you put thought around your holiday emails, just like you do with every other email, but also have some fun with it!

What are your holiday marketing tips? Have you seen an amazing holiday email? Share in the comments below!

Lizzy is a Marketing Programs Manager on the Demand Generation team at Marketo. She works on the development, execution, and analysis of email marketing campaigns. She graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder and is an avid college sports fan.

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Pumpkin spice & everything nice... except bad holiday themed emails. Here's how to avoid creating them:

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