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Christmas emails: How to personalize your holiday campaign

Christmas Emails
Topics
3 ways to add a personal touch to your Christmas emails
3Craft an enticing Christmas email subject line
Final thoughts

The holiday season is the perfect time of the year to capitalize on a jolly atmosphere and, conversely, the sense of urgency present shopping can create. It’s also a great time to increase your email campaign open rates.

Data suggests that email marketing campaigns are very successful during the holidays. We also know that customers are looking for more personalization from brands.

This year, help your Christmas emails stand out with a personal touch. In this article, we offer some ideas on how to make every subscriber feel special.


3 ways to add a personal touch to your Christmas emails

Any business can send a “Merry Christmas” email. To make your email campaigns worthwhile, aim for real connection with your subscribers.

Connection starts with understanding your customers and how their needs may have changed during the holidays.

For example, they may be tightening grips on wallets or have more of a focus on purchases for others than for themselves.

Knowing how your customers are feeling in the holidays can help take your emails beyond “Happy Holidays” and land in just the right way.

Let’s take a look at three ways to get more personal with your email list this year.

1. Say thank you

Christmas email marketing campaigns are not only about making ecommerce and service sales. It’s also an opportunity to express your gratitude for the year that’s wrapping up.

Readdle demonstrates how you can show gratitude in a personal way in this Christmas email example:


If you have the ability, put your data to good use. Tell customers how successful your year has been, or even how successful their year has been.


You can even offer subscribers a special discount, early access to your big Christmas sale or a sneak peek of the new collection.

Email marketers sometimes save the gratitude for their post-Christmas email, but you can get started early by sending it along with your Christmas deals.

To know the best offer for your subscribers, try to understand what they need right now. Send out a survey or conduct market research to learn what will demonstrate the most gratitude right now.

Emotions and gratitude add a human touch to your business, increase customer loyalty and strengthen emotional ties with your company or organization.2. Take a load off their plate

Another way to personalize your Christmas emails is to make their life easier during the busy Christmas preparation period. Craft helpful tips and advice and share them with your subscribers. Here are a few examples:

  • Gift ideas. Make gift suggestions based on your subscribers’ interests or wishlists that they created on your website. Gift guides are a great solution for busy Christmas shoppers and can be tailored to a customer’s gender, age, family status or other available information.

  • Ways to save money. Baymard Institute reports that 69.82% of customers leave their virtual shopping carts due to high final costs (e.g., after delivery, taxes and administration fees are added). Consider offering discounted or free delivery to get more sales over the line pre-Christmas.

  • Practical advice. Inspire your subscribers. Send recipes, gift wrapping advice, Christmas song lyrics, Christmas shopping tips, costume ideas for holiday theme parties, etc. or include elements that connect to your business, such as self-made decorations with some components that can be purchased at your store.

  • Create wish lists. Add a personalized wish list to your Christmas newsletter. Base wish lists on what your customers were searching for on your website and send targeted email campaigns as a reminder.

  • Last-minute offers. Provide comfort to those subscribers who leave holiday shopping for loved ones to the last minute. Send subscribers last-minute gift ideas from your business that are easy to buy in a short time. You can even send out “countdown to Christmas day” reminders for those who didn’t click on your earlier calls to action (CTA) or take you up on Black Friday deals.

Low-alcohol company Mary reminds its subscribers about its product and easy gifting at Christmas:


They also include a quick and simple recipe in their email design to sweeten the Christmas deal.


Mary knows that its subscribers are looking for thoughtful gifts and may be wondering how to participate in this festive season without overindulging. The brand delivers on its personalized Christmas email marketing strategy by answering those needs with a gift tip and a mocktail suggestion.

Consider adding helpful content to your Christmas email template or holiday email newsletter and over-deliver on value.

Get creative with your offer

Before Christmas, your customers’ inboxes will be crowded. Sending a traditional discount is unlikely to help your offer stand out from the others.

Why not use a unique and compelling way to showcase your special offer, such as sending it with:

  • A Christmas quiz

  • A shareable countdown timer

  • A virtual carol singing event on social media

  • A prize-draw competition for gift cards

  • A teaser or mystery

You can even set up a holiday event to meet your subscribers face to face and share holiday cheer. Events like this offer an attractive way to engage your subscribers and help you find out valuable information about your target audience.

G2 sent out their $10 off offer along with a Christmas poem:


With so many creative possibilities, it can be difficult to know which is best for your business.

Email marketing success often comes from experimenting with new approaches and learning from your mistakes. Test, learn and create increasingly better email campaigns using A/B testing tools for email subject line, email body and sending time.

3. Craft an enticing Christmas email subject line

During such a busy time of year, your subject line will need to be as attention-grabbing as ever to get noticed and clicked.

Your email body content may be incredibly beautiful and valuable, but many recipients will not actually see it unless they feel compelled to open your email.

There’s no recipe for crafting the perfect subject line. Following best practices and testing will help you optimize your results.

Here are some tips for creating appealing subject lines that generate more opens:

Add icons or emojis

Highlighting your subject line with a festive symbol (e.g. Christmas tree, snowflake or star) can make your emails more eye-catching. The more unusual the symbol, the higher its potential to attract attention.

Emojis can add a splash of color and fun to your email content and subject line. However, there is a danger of overusing emojis and annoying your subscribers or getting sent to spam, so use them wisely.

For example, you could send your subscribers subject lines like the following:

  • We wish you lots of ♥

  • What will you put under the 🎄?

  • Holiday greetings (and special offers!) 🧑‍🎄

Use names or personal information

Personalize your emails by including some of the subscriber data you’re holding onto. Most email builders, like Campaigns by Pipedrive, will allow you to include merge tags (e.g. %firstname%). You can also segment your subscriber base by geographics and send location-based emails.

For example, you can send a Christmas email subject line such as:

  • Judy, see delicious and simple Christmas recipes!

  • Rob, here are our top requested holiday gifts for men this year

  • List of best Christmas events in Calgary

Engage your subscribers by asking a question in the subject line

People naturally want to answer questions, so including one in your subject line is a great way to encourage opens.

For example:

  • Frank, have you found all the Christmas gifts?

  • Still doing your holiday shopping?

  • What’s the best way to share the Christmas spirit?

  • What Christmas Eve traditions are you cooking up this year?

Let your imagination fly and create a curious subject line

A puzzling question, a pun or a mysterious reference can tempt people to open the email.

For example:

  • It all ends on December 24…

  • We’ve figured out the final piece of the puzzle

  • Susan, you don’t want to miss this

  • This year we’re not sending Christmas cards


Final thoughts

Inboxes and calendars are busier than ever during the Christmas season. That’s no reason to hold back on your holiday campaigns.

Stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes with a more personal touch this year than a simple “Season’s Greetings”. Test your campaigns against different groups and then continually optimize toward better conversions.

Most of all, focus on helping your customers during this time and they’ll show appreciation with brand loyalty in the new year.

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