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04 November 2020

Guide to Christmas Email Marketing with Ideas and Examples for 2020-2021

Stripo / Blog / Guide to Christmas Email Marketing with Ideas and Examples for 2020-2021

Christmas is the best time of the year. People are full of expectations and hopes for miracles and happiness to come or stay. And marketers are full of hopes to break their selling record ;) 

Christmas Email Design Ideas_Congratulating Customers on Christmas

(Source: Email template by Stripo)

How can you make your Christmas marketing emails stand out among thousands of offers provided by other brands?

It’s not that difficult. The key to success in Christmas email marketing is simple — do not sell your products, put a smile on your customers’ faces, and spread the Christmas mood! This makes your newsletters effective as recipients are more likely to buy from those who spread the holiday vibe.

(Source: Email template by Stripo)

In this post, we will cover:

  • Christmas email marketing ideas;

  • Christmas email marketing examples;

  • Christmas email subject lines;

  • the best time to start your Christmas email marketing campaigns.

Christmas email marketing ideas

Our ideas for Christmas newsletters are there to help you out!

1. Entertain customers with interactivity and gamification

During the holiday season, we tend to relax, have some fun, be entertained.

Use gamification to spice up your Christmas newsletters a little.

In our post "Mazes and Puzzles for Emails", we show how to build a similar puzzle in under 30 minutes.

2. Provide free shipping

91% of customers are only going to shop with brands that provide free shipping. 91%! You see, it matters!

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Free Shipping

(Source: Email from Ameri Mark)

According to NRF, customers are ready to spend an impressive $997.79 on Christmas this year, $650.00 of that amount is meant for gifts. This is huge. So, offering free shipping is like giving customers a little reward for being so kind and generous to their friends.

3. Specify the delivery dates 

People buy presents for a special day. Hence, it is crucial to have those orders delivered by this certain date. 

However, we all know that the post offices and delivery services are quite busy this time, especially in 2020. And delivering orders can take longer than it usually does. You don’t want to disappoint your customers during this magic season.

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Specifying Delivery Dates

(Source: Email from Adidas)

It should be on brands and marketers to let people know how soon their orders can arrive. 

Timers could be of great use here. With their help, you can let customers know how many days left they have to order items that would arrive in time for Christmas.

Add timers to your emails for customers' convenience

4. Help customers get what they really want 

You wanted a fishing spinner, but your friends bought you a pair of socks? You wanted a pair of jeans, but your family bought another pair of socks? This happens quite often. I don’t mind socks. But they are definitely not a fishing spinner.

Dropping Hints_Christmas Email Marketing Ideas

(Source: Email from Victoria’s Secret)

Why not help your subscribers get what they really want?

Here’s what Victoria’s Secret did last year: They let their customers add favorite items to cart. And then they gave “hints” to friends and relatives of their subscribers regarding what items this particular user added to his or her cart.

5. Give presents/personal discounts to your valued customers

You can give presents to your subscribers to thank them for being this whole time with you. There are two ways to give presents away: Giving small presents to everyone, or giving impressive presents to the lucky ones. Like Monica Vinader did last year:

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Running Contests

(Source: Email from Monica Vinader)

This simple “trick” will:

  • drive traffic to your website;

  • make subscribers strive for your products — many will buy if they don’t win;

  • will make at least one person — the winner — happy. Isn’t it great?

6. Use real-time content

Promoting a limited edition? What should you do if you run out of a product item that you have already promoted in your Christmas email to customers to prevent users from getting disappointed with you?

Christmas Email Campaign Ideas_Real-Time Content in Emails

(Source: Email from Vermont Teddy Bear)

There’s a way out: Use real-time content in emails. How? Connect your emails to Google Spreadsheets. And once you run out of a certain item, you will be able to notify users about it in the same email by simply making changes in Google Sheets.

New users who just open this email, will see updated info: Something like, “SOLD OUT”.

Use real-time data in emails to keep users updated 

7. Promote gift cards

To make 50% of Americans happy.

Did you know that 50% of all respondents whom NRF managed to survey this year, said they would love to get a gift card for Christmas in 2020-2021?

Christmas Email Examples_Nice Way to Promote Vouchers

(Source: Email from Tom Raffield)

Selling gift cards is a pretty old Christmas email marketing strategy. But its popularity isn’t fading away.

8. Run contests

Running a competition could be a good Christmas email marketing idea. First, competitions always win our interest. Second, winning a competition will make someone happy. And making people happy, especially during the Holiday season, is something we all strive for.

Christmas Email Marketing_Running Contests

(Source: Email-Competitors)

Be sure to announce a winner before Christmas ;)

9. Make a review of the year/Share your plans for the next year

Remind your clients what you’ve been through together. First of all, they will know you track their success, second of all, you might remind them how helpful and supportive you’ve been all year.

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Reviewing Users' Achievements

(Source: Email from Stripo)

This is one of the TOP Christmas newsletter ideas for businesses that provide consulting and legal services, and for SaaS products. 

Important to note:

Your users might want to share this info with their friends. Be sure to add the “Share” button to your Christmas newsletters.

You may also brag about your brand’s achievements so that customers know they deal with an ambitious company. 

As for sharing your plans for the next year, it is reasonable to do it if your plans are huge. People will love to know what you are up to and what to expect from you in 2021.

Christmas Email Marketing Idea_Sharing Plans for the Next Year

(Source: Email from Stripo)

Of course, in this case, you will need to implement them ;)

10. Spread the holiday vibe

There are plenty of ways to do it: From paying close attention to Christmas email design, to sharing funny or heartwarming stories with your clients, or sharing your holiday playlists. 

Christmas Newlsetter Ideas_Sharing Playlists

(Source: Really Good Emails)

Madonna said, “Music makes the people come together”... Psychologists believe she is right.

Share the Christmas music you listen to with your colleagues and your customers and see what happens. 

11. Make shopping easier

We’re always in a hurry. So, searching for Christmas items on your site or in your emails can take a while. 

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Making Shopping Easier

(Source: Email-Competitors)

Using additional menu tabs can significantly help your customers save their time as such menu tabs take users directly where they need.

12. Set your working hours

No matter if you run an online or an offline business, users need to know when they can catch you.

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Work Hours

(Source: Email from Kittery Trading Post)

This is not optional, this is a must-do. Especially, if you are not going to working through the holidays.

13. Remind customers New Year is coming

If you work in the HoReCa industry, it will be nice to remind customers that New Year is close. Being emotional about Christmas, people may totally forget about this holiday.

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Reminding Users about New Year

(Source: Email from Prezzo)

Probably, this year restaurants cannot invite guests to come over. But they can offer special delivery. 

It would be reasonable to send this email on December 26. Schedule this campaign if you do not plan on coming to the office this day :)

14. Offer big sales

There’s nothing new in this piece of advice, but still is worth mentioning: We need to cut prices big on Christmas as customers expect us to do it.

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Christmas Email Templates

(Pick this template)

Let your users know how generous your sales are.

15. Show your gratitude/Congratulate customers on Christmas

Thank all your customers for having been with you for quite a long time or for just joining your company. Would your business exist without them? Right, it wouldn’t. That is why the coming holidays are a good reason to thank people, to mention that you care about them. 

Christmas Newsletter Ideas_Show Your Gratitude to Customers

(Source: Email from French Connection)

Emphasize that they are not only your customers but also friends and maybe even a big family of yours.

There’s a brilliant Christmas newsletter idea to make this email even more emotional and sincere: Add a photo/video of your entire team or your CEO saying, “Merry Christmas”.

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Sending Greetings from CEO

(Source: Email-Competitors)

Send this email on Christmas Eve, or early morning on December 24th, as people are not likely to read your emails on Christmas — this is family time.

Christmas email marketing examples

In this section, we want to share some design ideas for Christmas newsletters that will, we hope, inspire you to build atmospheric emails.

Example 1. Cheerful Christmas email by Stripo

Subject: Christmas Presents

It’s hard to find a person who wouldn’t smile when he or she sees Santa Clause dancing with his deer.

Christmas Email Design Ideas_Cheerful Santa

Save time on building your Christmas email campaigns with our dedicated templates

This festive banner could be a great addition to any Christmas email. And once you add it, your email won’t require any other festive email design elements.

Example 2. Sophisticated Christmas email by Ross-Simons

Subject: Get it by Christmas ? Order by 2pm ET today 

First, this sample looks classy, I’d even say, “Luxurious” as it has nothing superfluous in it. Second, this email is a great example of how to combine colors. Of how to stick to Christmas traditional colors, but at the same time to avoid using green and red in one email. Coz that is too trivial. Not to mention green and red do not go well along together according to email accessibility best practices.

Design Ideas for Christmas Newsletters_Luxury Style

(Source: Email-Competitors)

Example 3. Emotional Christmas email by Sun & Ski Sports

Subject: ? Merry Christmas from Sun & Ski Sports ?  

A Harvard Business School Professor states that 95% of all purchases are done under emotions.

Thus, we need to appeal to consumers’ emotions to convince them to buy from us or just to help them catch the Holiday Spirit.

Christmas Email Ideas_Appealing to Emotions

(Source: Email-competitors)

And Sun and Ski Sports succeeded in it. Every time I look at this picture, I long for snow, I wanna go skiing.

Choose bright colorful photos for your newsletters that present your product best.

Example 4. Cozy Christmas email by Barnham Broom

Subject: A Cosy Christmas

For those who don’t feel like skiing, but rather would have a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, you may add photos of happy people at home/resorts to make them feel cozy.

Christmas Email Design Ideas_Cozy Photos

(Source: Email from Barnham Broom)

Pastel colors would go best for such emails.

Example 5. Stylish Christmas email by Stripo

Subject: Сhristmas Email Template “Christmas Style” for the eCommerce industry

You need to promote a bunch of product items for Christmas? Decorate product cards with the fir tree branches. 

Looks stylish, festive, spreads the holiday vibes, yet does not distract customers from the items you are promoting. Also, adding festive backgrounds could be a good design solution for business Christmas emails, when adding snowflakes and cute Santas are not appropriate.

Christmas Templates_Decorated Backgrounds_Stripo

Choose this template for your promo emails

Apart from its design, this template also has an AMP element — accordion. When users click on the “View all” button, they will see more product items loaded directly in the email. 

Example 6. Interactive Christmas email by 1973

Subject: Here’s a gift just for you… 

Christmas is the time when we can finally relax and have some fun. Our users do hope to relax too — give them this opportunity.

(Source: Really Good Emails)

If you use games like this one, they work best in Greeting emails. But you may also use games for “Giving out” coupons and discounts, like the image carousel that we provided in the “Entertain customers with interactivity and gamification” section. In this case, you should add them to promo emails. 

Example 7. Touching Christmas email by Cabela's Inc.

Subject: Hope and faith: A story of Christmas joy. 

They say you should never boast about the good deeds you do. But if this encourages others to do the same, then you are, probably, obligated to tell the world about those good deeds.

Email Best Practices_Adding Video Greetings in Christmas Emails

(Source: Email-Competitors)

Please be advised that currently there are two ways to add photos to emails with Stripo: adding links to videos in emails and embedding videos.

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How to Add Video in Email with Stripo Read on

Example 8. Gift cards by Brighton

Subject: Want Your Gifts by 12/24?

While some companies leave just a small spot for gift cards in their emails, which makes it hard to notice a gift card in an email, Brighton dedicated an entire section to their cards. In fact, the Gift card section was even placed on the first screen as a banner. 

Christmas Emails_Gifts Cards Design

(Source: Email from Brighton)

Brilliant design solution, especially for the last-minute promos.

Example 9. “Personal” Christmas email by Beau Ties

Subject: Merry Christmas

Previously we said that it would be just great if a team or a CEO on behalf of the entire company greeted your customers. But sharing a team photo will be also lovely and will have the same effect — users will feel a little bit closer to you.

Christmas Email Design Ideas_Getting Personal by Adding Photos of Teams

(Source: Email-Competitors)

But taking photos takes much less effort than taking a video.

Example 10. CSS-Animated email by Stripo

Subject: Snowflakes.

CSS-animation is one of the hottest trends in 2020. It’s not heavy, renders across major email clients, yet it entertains customers.

Spice up your Christmas email to clients with CSS-animation

When using this Christmas HTML email template, you can replace our text with yours, work on the button’s design, and change the background color.

Christmas email subject lines

Brands send out hundreds of Christmas emails to clients a day. This is why you should “fight” for clients' attention and do your best to get emails opened.

This is why we're going to show the most interesting and the most unusual subject lines, in our opinion. 

  1. Do not open until 25th December… — KE Adventure.

  2. A Christmas Miracle — Nice Laundry Underwear.

  3. Still shopping? We can email you a gift experience voucher ? — Whittlebury Hall.

  4. Last-minute gifts + special holiday shipping — Guitar Center.

  5. All I Want for Christmas is Growth ?? — GrowthHackers.

  6. ‘tis the season to be marvelous and mischievous — THE BRITISH LIBRARY.

  7. Need it by Christmas? 50% OFF 2-day shipping — Cosentino Winery Napa Valley.

  8. ? Christmas... Better Together — Prezzo.

  9. Need a last-minute Christmas present? — Historic Sussex Hotels.

  10. Hope and faith: A story of Christmas joy. — Cabela's Inc.

  11. ? 24% Off | Spread A Little Christmas Magic —

  12. Thanksgiving & Christmas are coming up fast! Save 35% Off Spode Woodland 50 to 75% on Spode Christmas Tree + Free Gifts with purchase +Free Shipping — Char Crews.

  13. Thinkin’ About Christmas Gifts? ? — JD.

  14. Order in time for pre-Christmas delivery — Tom Raffield.

  15. 10 breathtaking hotel Christmas trees — Forbes Travel Guide.

  16. Can I start my Christmas tree now? ? — RONA.

  17. Last-minute gifts to save Christmas — WIRED Gadget Lab.

  18. ? Sporty Christmas Gifting Ideas — Decathlon.

  19. Can You Guess What These Christmas Carol Words Mean? —

  20. ? Give the Gift of Sport this Christmas ? — Decathlon.

  21. A Cosy Christmas — Barnham Broom.

  22. Get set for the festive season (2020 moves fast) — The Plum Guide.

  23. 16 Cozy One-Pot Recipes Just Like Grandma Used to Make — EatingWell.

  24. The quiz that reveals your partner's perfect gift — Beaverbrooks the Jewellers.


  26. Continue the Christmas spirit — Esprit Family Ski.

  27. Happy Christmas Eve! Open for a present — Yours Clothing.

  28. ? Christmas Calendar - Today's daily prize! — Triumph Online Shop.

  29. ? Christmas may be over, but now it's time to get a gift for yourself!! Our Holiday Sale ends on New Year's! ? — SonicElectronix.

  30. ? Wishing you Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! ? — ShopHQ.

Use all your rich imagination when working on Christmas subject lines — no limits here, express your feelings, preferably in a funny or engaging way.

Consider using emojis as they make your emails more festive and are capable of increasing OR by up to 3.29%.

Please remember that you can set subject lines and preheaders/preview texts in Stripo.

Christmas Email Subject Lines_Setting Subject Lines and Preheaders in Stripo

Set your subject lines prior to pushing emails to ESP

The best time to start your Christmas email marketing campaigns

Today is the right time to start preparations for the holiday season and reach out to our clients with Merry Christmas emails.

Why now exactly? — Because, per research conducted by Statista, 45% of gifts for this magic holiday are bought in November — 23% before Thanksgiving, and 22% on Thanksgiving weekend. And only 15% will be bought in December.

Christmas Email Marketing Ideas_Starting Campaigns 2 Months Earlier

(Source: Email from Tom Raffield)

Final thoughts

This year you have done enough. Christmas is the family holiday when you can rest and enjoy some time off! 

Stripo has prepared a wide variety of Christmas and New Year email templates for your convenience. Choose the one that you like best, in no time customize it down in accordance with your brand book. And your email is ready to go.

Use our Christmas email templates to build Holiday emails faster
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