5 Festive Tips to Boost Your Christmas Email Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Philip Storey on 05/12/18 15:58
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Philip Storey

Christmas presents email marketing campaign tips

It goes without saying, that Christmas is a crucial time of year for retailers to drive revenue. Preparing campaigns way in advance is key. Marketing departments are already thinking about Christmas as soon as (or before) the summer is even over. Some even start planning the next year’s activity in January!

If you’re seeking to seriously boost your email marketing performance this holiday season, look no further. Here is Enchant's 5 festive tips to boost your Christmas email marketing campaigns:

Ramp up your frequency and broaden your segmentation

Email marketing is a hugely important channel to all retailers, and this only amplifies at Christmas. Email’s capability to drive revenue makes it one of the most important channels available to marketers. Econsultancy's 2016 Email Marketing Industry Census showed email marketing was ahead of all other channels for ROI:

econsultancy email marketing ROI infographic

econsultancy email email marketing comparison chart for ROI

Be bold. Prepare to ramp up the frequency of your emails in December, as much 5 times your usual frequency. Inboxes are crowded and you need to cut through. Broaden your segments to take advantage of the customer mindset, where subscribers will be more receptive to a higher frequency – just keep a close eye on unsubscribe rates and ensure that engagement rates don’t drop.

Use persuasion tactics to increase Christmas conversions

There are numerous Christmas persuasion tactics email marketers can employ to encourage opens and click-throughs. Xmas campaigns are the perfect opportunity to step up these techniques, with subject lines and calls to action.

Remember, subscribers are in buying mode over Christmas and are more receptive to enticement from marketers. A key persuasion tactic is fear of missing out (FOMO), nudging subscribers to engage a little quicker. See the following email subject line example from Gap, using persuasive copywriting:

Gap email subject line persuasion tactics

Other persuasion tactics that work well are magic questions, teasers, loss aversion, the direct approach and personalisation. If you are interested in learning more about online persuasion techniques, we recommend Webs of Influence by Nathalie Naha.

Webs of influence book cover nathalie nahai

Time-specific offers – especially using live countdown timers – and seasonal discount codes are also examples of how you can build urgency, significantly increasing engagement and conversions. See  Europcar email countdown timer example below:

Countdown clock example europcar

Use Christmas emojis and wordplay in subject lines

Be creative with your Christmas email marketing subject lines these seasonal triggers help to to stand out of the inbox. Whether it’s adding some appropriate festive puns, keywords or witty wordplay, these fun touches can help you cut through the noise and trigger engagement.

If you want a quick-win tactic to stand out from the inbox, a great Christmas campaign idea is to add a few festive emojis. This is an easy way to grab the attention of subscribers. Some brands are still cautious about emojis, but they can really help to enhance email open rates. A 2016 study by Mailjet, testing the impact of emojis in email marketing subject lines, showed: 63% of UK-based subscribers were more likely to open emails with an emoji in the subject line.

See thse following examples of Christmas emojis in subject lines from ASOSWe Got Tickets and Photobox

Asos emoji in email subject line example christmas

Asos emoji in email subject line example 20 percent

Asos Asos emoji in email subject line example 30 percent off

Asos emoji in email subject line example 50 percent off

We got tickets emoji in email subject line example

Photobox emoji in email subject line example.png

Get more inspiration for Christmas Email Marketing Subject Lines and boost your conversions this holiday season!

Target previous Xmas purchasers and user tiered rewards

We mentioned earlier about broadening segments during Christmas campaigns, however it’s a no-brainer to segment and send targeted emails to subscribers who have been active customers during previous Christmas months – it still surprises me the number of companies that don’t do this. These segments are some of the most lucrative subscribers that you have, so make sure you treat them differently.

In parallel to this targeting, if you're pushing any end-of-year rewards, then tiering your rewards according to the level of loyalty and subscriber value is recommended. Add personalisation to messages to make it clear that loyal customers are valued individuals. Retaining loyalty and nurturing customer relationships is crucial.

Offer seasonal giveaways and Christmas competitions to entice customers

Giveaways and competitions are an effective way to encourage engagement and trigger email opens during the festive period. Christmas is an ideal time for promotions, as the prospect of winning a prize or receiving a free gift during a busy and expensive time is a strong incentive for subscribers to engage with your emails.

Be mindful of the huge festive footfall in December. Grasp the opportunity to promote your competitions and giveaways in-store, if you're a retail brand, and capture email addresses to link up offline activities with your email marketing campaigns.

Wrapping up

These Christmas campaign ideas and email marketing tips for holiday season should give you plenty of festive food for thought to inspire your Christmas marketing campaigns. Keep an eye on what other brands are doing and look for innovative ideas, visuals and savvy messaging that might help to give your own email campaigns that extra lift at this time of year.

Talking of giving your campaigns a timely boost. We've created a free gift for email marketers: 12 Christmas Email Marketing Growth Hacks for Retailers!

Get 12 Xmas Email Marketing Growth Hacks

Enchant Agency is leading UK digital marketing agency, specialising in email marketing and automation. We help brands to improve their marketing performance with customer lifecycle strategies. Get in touch with our email marketing consultants and see how we can supercharge your campaigns!


Topics: campaigns, Christmas, Email at christmas, Email Marketing, Email marketing at christmas, Email marketing campaigns, Seasonal content, Seasonal marketing, Seasonal triggers, xmas

Philip Storey

Written by Philip Storey

Philip Storey is the Founder and CEO at Enchant Agency. Philip is an email marketing specialist in London, UK. He has enabled hundreds of brands to improve their email marketing. Beyond marketing, Philip is a business coach, personal and professional development coach and mentor to business leaders and senior marketers.

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