Holiday Email Marketing Guide for 2024 [22 Ideas + Examples]

Summra Ahmad
Summra Ahmad

Last updated on

May 14, 2024

Holiday sales are the best time of the year when you can shop all you want. The upward tick in the online sales increases during the holiday season. Holidays like Christmas means people go crazy with shopping but also want to keep the budget in check. Email marketers can opt for email marketing techniques to increase their annual sales. 

To make the most of the holiday season, you need to position yourself firmly to the target audience and attract higher than usual traffic. 

Therefore, nothing beats a good holiday marketing campaign. With this holiday email marketing guide, you will be on your merry way to create and send emails that resonate with your email subscribers and boost sales.  

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Why email marketing is the best holiday marketing tool 

Each marketing channel has its benefits. But when you talk about business opportunities during the holiday season, think about sending emails. It’s no secret that the holiday shopping season gets you some of the hottest sales of the year, which is why holiday emails are perfect ways to engage consumers for multiple reasons like:  

1. Emails promote mobile shopping 

Online sales skyrocketed in 2020, but many people still felt uneasy about it. An incredible 50% increase was predicted by TechCrunch for mobile shopping last year. With the pandemic still lingering into this fall, the trend towards mobile shopping is likely to increase. 

Emails are opened more on mobile devices than desktops. Emails should be mobile-optimized for consumers who shop via their smartphones. So email marketers can take advantage of holiday sales with custom holiday email templates

2. Offers instant buying options

Forbes reported a solid holiday shopping habit in 2020 — buying based on the discounts. Customers love to take advantage of last-minute deals. Holiday shopping is more fun when it's on sale, which triggers an instant buying decision. 

Emails are the perfect choice for the “instant buy option” as retailers can include “buy now” or “countdown timer” buttons that not only increase the open rates but also boosts the conversion rate. 

3. Email Personalization increases engagement 

Unlike social media and other advertising channels, emails offer ample opportunities for personalization, improving the click-through rate 8x higher

Ecommerce store owners can take advantage of the holiday season and create various types of emails with engaging email templates for Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. 

4. Attracts more traffic 

Holiday email marketing campaigns bring in more traffic than any other time of the year. High conversion rates mean a reduced cart abandonment too. Why? It's a given that holiday shoppers want to have as many options and alternatives to buy their favorite items as possible. 

When given a limited-time offer, they cannot say no to it - consumers click on the button to take their online cart to make the final purchase. 

Types of Email you can send for Holiday Campaign

Gone are the days when emails were considered a deadbeat. To ensure that holiday email marketing campaigns are successful, first, you need to consider your target audience, goals, and the expected ROI. 

For the latest holiday email marketing strategy, you need to identify the hottest emails with the highest open rates during holidays. Take your time to create custom email templates for the following emails. 

1. Welcome emails 

With the highest open rates, welcome emails are a MUST for email marketing campaigns. For starters, these emails impact the customer lifetime value (CLV). Coax your customers into coming back to your eCommerce store with welcome back emails, product updates, special offers, and other recommendations. 

Optimized welcome emails can help increase the conversion rate like; 

  • Keep the email simple but with a high-resolution logo at the top
  • Give appealing incentives to customers like coupon codes
  • Offer giveaways and bonuses for shipping, offer tracked shipping updates, and so on. 

2. Promotional emails 

That’s right; promotional emails set the expectations at the highest level for the consumer. The holiday sale is incomplete without the promotional emails so include a few things for your email subscribers like: 

  • Updated shipping information 
  • Gift card offers 
  • Customer service contact details etc. 

3. Abandoned cart emails 

The least favorite email of all but the most necessary one, too, an abandoned cart email means something went wrong with the shopping experience. 

It's important to send abandoned cart emails whenever a customer doesn't complete their checkout and buy from you. But first, we have identified three reasons why customers abandon their carts. 

  • The shipping cost - Too high will make them drop the product. 
  • Better options - Customers are tempted with more valuable items or flashy sales. 
  • Out-of-stock - Most items listed on the website are sold out in holiday sales. 

Once you have figured out these issues, send instant abandoned cart emails that address the customers’ needs and get them to buy from you. 

What is the best time to start your holiday email marketing campaign? 

This question will vary based on the industry and your target goals. There are three major factors according to which you can build your holiday email schedule. 

  • Focus on your buying cycle 

Ecommerce stores create an email list based on the customer’s buying behavior. This way, you can have a unique mailing list based on a variety of factors. So for a holiday, you can send emails based on the average time a user takes to purchase a product. Then relax for at least a week (or maybe more). For instance, the buying cycle is usually 1-2 weeks. So start sending emails between 4th and 11th December to target the Christmas holiday shoppers. 

  • Evaluate buyer’s shopping behavior 

Shoppers navigate their way through the purchase funnel carefully during holiday sales. Focus on building campaigns that target every stage of the purchase funnel. Create product awareness campaigns, focus on product features and their benefits for customers, and finally offer a promotion they cannot refuse! 

  • Create a post-purchase email campaign 

After all, the final purchase is significant, don’t forget to follow up with the customers. A post-purchase email campaign is equally effective in planting future orders’ seeds. Holiday sales are the perfect time of the year to do so.

For instance, you can prepare a last-minute sales deal rush as an incentive for the customers. 

7 Quick hacks for holiday email marketing campaign  

Sending a holiday email marketing campaign is a must for every business. Sometimes you can get a little late to the party for many reasons. This is why these quick hacks will become your savior big time. 

Holiday email marketing campaign tips 

1. Use attention-grabbing words 

Email subject lines are essential as it’s the first thing a subscriber notices about the email. Apart from the subject lines, the CTA button also matters. Using attention-grabbing words may influence the customer to click on that button like; 

  • Order now 
  • Last-minute offer 
  • Tick tock 

2. Festive puns are favored 

The best thing about writing an email is personalizing it according to the occasion. Holiday festivities demand festive puns within the email content too. You can slide some clever holiday season puns to make your email more punderful! 

For instance, you can incorporate reindeer jokes or Santa jokes at Christmas time. Or, for social media, you can ask customers to post their cute elfie and tag your company to win the reward. Light-hearted puns in the holiday marketing campaign are most successful. 

3. Seasonal emojis are fun 

Using an emoji within the email is somewhat tricky. Fortunately, holiday emails give the necessary edge to insert emojis with the text. Emojis help to express quickly what the email is talking about. 

For instance, incorporating emojis in the subject line increases the open rate of the email. The unexpected emoji in the inbox is sure to catch the recipient’s eye. For holidays you can use festive emojis like - pumpkin 🎃, turkey 🍗, snowman ☃️, etc.

4. Ask a question 

Start by asking a simple question. Help the customer to resonate with the email they received. People are most likely to fret about holiday shopping and online sales during the holiday season. So you can begin the email with questions like “Are you looking for some gift ideas?”

“Did you miss the latest items on sale?” or “Christmas presents panic? We got you”, etc. 

5. Say no to large image files

What are you drawn to when you first open an email? Is it the text, colors, or images? If you are in the majority, most notice the visuals first. So, using the right images matters. Make sure to personalize the holiday email templates accordingly. However, using an image too large is not a good idea. Remember that images 600 pixels wide have the maximum visibility on a desktop. 

6. CTA buttons are better instead of long links 

A good CTA is imperative in an email. The call to action should be clear and concise. Avoid vague words like “click here” or “try now.” Say something more specific like “try our email template library” or “ redeem your points now.” Also, don’t forget to direct the links to the desired landing page. Adding the link to the CTA better handles the customer where you expect them to go. 

7. Use holiday themed email templates 

Of course, the email design should be anything but simple for the holiday season. The time of festivities calls for fun action. For instance, for Halloween, use a relevant email template, similarly for Christmas, use a Christmas email template. And guess what? You can pick some fantastic email designs offered by Mailmunch too! 

23 Tips to boost your holiday email marketing campaign (with examples) 

Holiday sales increase with each passing year. Despite the pandemic conditions, the rate of online sales doubled!. But how? Email marketers, it’s time you take notes from the successful fun tips to boost your holiday email marketing campaign. Here we go!

1. Segment your targeted holiday email list 

Segmenting the email list is the first step of the email marketing technique. It is practical to tailor the messages according to the unique mailing list keeping the customer’s specific interests and buying patterns in mind. 

Some of the effective ways to segment your email list are; 

  • Interest - Keep the subscribers into different groups based on their former purchase categories or sections they browsed on your eCommerce website. 
  • Year-round vs. seasonal shoppers - always consider the motivations of a shopper when they visit the website so you can customize the frequency, content, and timing of the emails. 
  • Coupons - Identify the customers who only purchase when offered coupon codes. 

Take a look at the example below. 

Example of segmented email 

2. Use of marketing automation for successful emails 

Reaching the target audience at the right time with the right message is the most effective way to increase the open email rate. And guess what? Marketing automation is your secret cookie for a holiday email marketing campaign. 

Marketing automation strategies for holiday emails can be as follows. 

  • Set up workflows for abandoned cart automation - Holiday season is competitive, meaning abandoned cart emails are more vital than ever. 
  • Use lead scoring - Build a strong consumer profile by leveraging customer engagement details. This way, you can figure out which customers are most likely to engage with your holiday email content. 
  • Use welcome emails - The holiday season brings in more subscribers too. To maximize the number of new subscribers, create welcome emails to persuade customers to purchase. 

3. Plan your smart holiday campaign schedule 

It’s always good to start planning your holiday email campaign in advance, leaving you with enough time to prepare for all required elements. 

But remember sending too many emails before the holiday season can become the cause of email fatigue - something you should avoid. It’s risky to send emails too early as customers ignore it. 

Smart holiday campaign for holiday season 

4. Create irresistible email subject lines 

The first element that a subscriber notices about the emails are the subject lines. Using attention-grabbing phrases in subject lines has proved fruitful in the past. A compelling subject line removes the barrier of doubt. If you want to boost your holiday sales through email marketing campaigns, choose optimized subject lines for more open rates. 

For instance, one strategy is to focus on “power words” that trigger instant actions during the holiday season. 

Use of words like a hot deal, promotion, discount, free shipping, open now, limited-time offer, appreciation, thank you for your support, etc., are proven strategies to improve the open rate. 

5. Use of festive email designs 

Just because you want to evoke holiday vibes within the email design doesn’t mean you need to abandon your brand. It’s time to play around with the standard format but improvise with the festive email designs to attract subscribers’ attention. 

Come up with engaging festive email templates that you feel will help subscribers click on the CTA while keeping the brand image intact. Below is a clear example of a lively email design. 

Festive email design template for Christmas

6. Benefit from weekend sales 

Cyber Monday and Black Friday are the two most popular weekend sales that you must target in your holiday email marketing campaign. Cyber Monday is the largest shopping day for eCommerce, with Black Friday in second place. 

Brands can start writing emails as early as possible to alert their subscribers and new customers. It gives them ample time to prepare to shop. What used to be once a single day sale is now extended into multiple days or even weeks. These sales tend to attract first-time shoppers big time. Email marketers should consider these weekend sales a part of their email marketing promotions. 

Weekend sale offer by Kate Spade

7. Share a holiday gift guide 

Have gift anxiety already? Relax! Holiday gift anxiety is a real phenomenon, and most people experience it. This anxiety occurs not knowing what you want to give to your loved ones. Brands can offer the perfect solution by sharing gift guides to their email list. 

Holiday gift guides can include; 

  • Price points (gifts under $30)
  • Relationships (gifts for siblings, friends, boss, colleagues, etc.)
  • Interests (gifts for people who love to camp, bake, paint, etc.)
  • Age groups ( gift for teenagers to adults)
  • Product types (e.g., electronics, toys, clothes, etc.)

Take a look at the gift guide offered by Photojojo for phone fans below. 

Gift guide offer by Photojojo 

8. Offer last-minute deals 

What’s holiday shopping without the last-minute deals? More than often, it happens that 70% of shoppers leave their gift shopping to the last two weeks before the Christmas holidays; while 64% of last-minute shoppers intend to shop in person because they worry the online gift wouldn’t arrive at the destination on time. 

So brands should keep promoting the holiday sales right until the holiday arrives. This is the best time to prompt the last-minute shoppers to make their final purchase. 

Last-minute deal offer by Birch Box 

9. Create a landing page for the email campaign 

The landing page is the dedicated purchase page you want your customers to visit. Instead of spending time crafting a new email marketing strategy, focus on sending the click-through traffic to your website’s landing page. 

People can navigate the website to find the right product for a gift or the sale mentioned within the email. 

Landing page example to lure customers

10. Send follow-up emails (post-holiday) 

There are two major reasons to send follow-up holiday emails: 

  • To engage with new subscribers who joined your mailing list during the online sales. It’s time to nurture them to become long-term customers. 
  • To return to normalcy for the new subscribers who now will look forward to receiving regular non-holiday emails. 

Customers are 9x more likely to convert with post-holiday emails than first-time visitors. So you can boost sales in a short time. 

11. Create an early bird offer 

They say the early bird gets the worm - and email marketers agree. 

Early shoppers should get promotional discounts to encourage their shopping habits. You can create an entire segment just for early shoppers. Add those customers keen to take advantage of the early bird offer. 

For instance, you can offer gift card bonuses for consumers. These are great incentives for customers who are all about saving money for holiday sales. 

Take a look at the early bird offer below. 

Early bird offer by Tokyo Laundry 

12. Offer free shipping 

Nothing makes a customer happier than saving bucks on shipping costs. You can offer free shipping for the customers purchasing in bulk for the Cyber Monday or Black Friday sales. Free shipping is a huge deal for shoppers. People want to squeeze their holiday budget, especially when holidays are just around the corner. 

So if a customer reaches a specific price point, offering them free shipping is more likely to encourage them to spend a little extra - just to meet the free shipping threshold. Here’s an example of a free shipping offer. 

Free shipping offer with limited time 

13. Include countdown timers

Countdown timer emails are the best way of tapping on the customer’s tendency of FOMO, i.e., fear of missing out. Thus, when the holiday season is near, start sending a series of countdown emails to your subscriber list and make them impulsive.

From free shipping to a specific date to an offer that expires soon, you can send a variety of countdown emails to drive sales and make the most out of your holiday email campaign. It will boost your ROI and give you an edge over competitors. See how Chop Chop makes use of a countdown timer in a creative way.

Countdown timer example by Chop Chop 

14. Offer a special holiday giveaway 

Each holiday is memorable, so why not make your email subscribers feel special and help create the sense of a loved community? Show the visitor who was not around for last year’s holiday email marketing campaign how you can help them find the perfect gift. 

Offer a free promotional product, or buy one get one free offer for a first-time purchase. Another unique holiday giveaway can also include flash sales for insiders. Make heavily discounted products available for a limited time. For this purpose, look at your click-through data to do trigger-based marketing. 

Giveaway offer for holiday season 

15. Encourage shopping by promo videos 

A holiday season is incomplete without a holiday video. Brands can target their audience with the help of promo videos in advance. For instance, Mailmunch created a promo video for the holiday season that covers all major aspects to target the potential customers and subscribers in the email list. 

If you are skeptical about creating a promo video, then don’t be. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use various software to create a sophisticated holiday-based video to entice customers to make the right purchase. It’s an effective method to connect with your customers, especially if you have never had the chance to meet them in person. 

16. Show appreciation for loyal customers 

How often do you appreciate your customers for a purchase? The holiday season calls for loyalty rewards for loyal customers. You can begin with the special discount offers for these customers. 

But first segment the list of the loyal customers - those who buy from your store, use your services, or even recommend your store to their friends. The holiday season is all about being thankful so send special “thank you emails” to the loyal customers showing your appreciation. 

Appreciation email for customers

17. Seasons greetings for celebration

Who says email marketing strategy is limited to holidays only? You can still celebrate the seasonal festivities with your customers. 

You do not have to wait till the last minute for the holiday season to wish them holidays. Instead, think out of the box by sending them emails about Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, and so on. Such emails show that you wish your customers to enjoy their holidays and other festivities.  

18. Create appealing abandoned cart incentives

 Cart abandonment emails are a great way of escalating revenues during the high-peak holiday season. Customers who abandon their carts for reasons like complex payment processes, high delivery charges, products getting out of stock, etc. can be motivated to return and make a purchase by giving them strong incentives like free shipping, suggestions for relevant products, etc.

Abandoned cart reminder for customers

It also offers customers the chance to provide last-minute customized deals based on their search history and the type of items in their cart. Sending strategically placed abandoned cart reminders often result in sales. 

19. Create urgency based campaigns 

Urgency-based campaigns are a great way to boost sales and conversions during the holiday season. Usually, these are the time-limited offers that encourage the visitor to take action right away because who’d like to miss out, right? 

Urgency-based campaigns encourage visitors to grab incredible discounts before the sale ends. The best way to make the most out of it is to segment your target audience according to the discount offer so that you can send relevant recommendations in the future as well. 

Urgency based campaigns for holidays

20. Don’t neglect the footer

The footer of the email can be the most neglected part. Avoid making this mistake. For smart holiday email marketing tips, customize the footer of the email to woo your customers and increase sales. 

It’s easy to forget about the footer once the email template is set up. But it’s a great place to promote; 

  • Holiday gift guides 
  • Gift services 
  • Last orders, and final shipping dates, etc. 

Also, the footer can be customized based on the upcoming holiday too. Take a look at the example below. 

Holiday theme footer for email 

21. Make email campaigns mobile-friendly  

Mobile optimized emails are perfect! But if you are not focusing on optimization for mobile, you may lose nearly 85% of your target audience. 

Mobile users drive 60% of the online sales. That’s why it’s important to ensure that holiday email marketing campaigns are mobile-friendly. It means marketers must use: 

  • Responsive templates that can resize according to the screen. 
  • Optimize the images to make them more appealing and help them load quickly. 
  • Write short but catchy subject lines keeping the key information intact at the start. 

22. Test your holiday email marketing campaigns 

Whatever holiday email template you decide to send to your email list, first, you need to test them. 

The good news is that you do not need to wait till the last minute to test your Christmas or New Year emails. Instead, you can send a test email to see how it looks in terms of layout, content, and images of the New Year email template! It helps you to figure out which types of offers, products, and services, or campaigns can get the most response when the holiday season starts.

For instance, you can use a split test for the holiday marketing campaign. It helps to work out which message and CTA work best for the visitors to become subscribers and customers. 

Deliver like Santa for the holiday season
Mailmunch has got your back with holiday email templates, perfect for all types of festivities.
It’s never too late to start!


Congratulations, so you have made it to the bottom of the page! 

It’s great that you learned about creating a holiday email marketing campaign in detail. We bet you are hyped up to make your holiday email marketing campaign now. You should know that any good email marketing campaign is incomplete without Mailmunch.


Wanting to enjoy the festivities but not skipping work-related emails makes sense. Don’t worry; you can outsource email marketing services to Mailmunch! It’s good to know you have expert email marketers on your back who can create, design, and send emails on your behalf, even during holidays. Work rarely stops, neither do we.  

As a complete email marketing software, Mailmunch is a complete package that helps clients boost their email open rate, grow their email list, and a lot more. So why wait?

Author Bio

Summra Ahmad

A bookworm and a pet nerd at heart, Summra works as Content Writer at Mailmunch. She loves to play with keywords, titles, and multiple niches for B2B and B2C markets. With her 3 years of experience in creative writing and content strategy, she fancies creating compelling stories that your customers will love, igniting results for your business.


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