How to Make Your Emails Stand Out This Holiday Season

With all of the hard work you put into making the merriest holiday email campaigns, you want nothing more than to see them succeed.

But with all of the other holiday promotions flooding subscribers’ inboxes, it could become discouraging to see lack of engagement due to low open rates.

So how could you make sure your emails stand out from the rest?

We took a look at what makes some emails more effective than others and added them to this checklist below. To make sure you have a merry and successful holiday season, here’re some best practices to keep in mind.

Offer exclusive holiday promotions

To keep up with the competition, you will want to make sure you are sending holiday emails with content your subscribers want this time of the year, like great deals on your products. People expect to spend money this time of year – but they hope to save some along the way.

Do not have a physical product to offer? This is the perfect time to support discounts on intangible gifts like online courses, checklists,ebooks, templates and more.

Be specific in your subject line

According to the report pulled by our team of data analysts, the top 100 words that generated the highest email open rates related to the content of the email.

If a professional photographer combined the word “photographs” in their subject line, for instance, that would have a higher open rate than a subject line that combined more generic terms.

While being descriptive & specific can up your open rates, you will also need a unique angle to make emails stand out from the rest.

For instance, if you plan on featuring a 50% discount on an online course, make sure you mention the course in your subject line. Just including “50% off!” might not convince your audiences that your email is worth opening if they find an offer on anything else they want.

By sharing more specific details around the promotion, but you give your readers more of a reason to open your email.

By referencing “Thanksgiving” & the discount, Sur La Table describes the content of the email as well as the advantages of the deal.

Create a sense of urgency by referencing dates and times

The more you could emphasize the urgency or importance of buying now, the more you could influence subscribers to take action.

So how can you get your audiences to feel this way?

By referencing dates, times, or season.

In this report mentioned above, our data analysts found that the top 100 pairs of words with the highest open rates were related to time. So by referencing the idea that either the holidays are quickly approaching/a specific sale is ending, you could motivate your subscribers to take action.

Crafting retailer, Michaels, sent out an email promoting an early Black Friday sale, which combined the following subject line:

“1-Day Online – 70% Off Pre-Black Friday Deals”

By including the deadline for the sale, buyers knew they had a short amount of time to get the discount – which then motivated them to take benefit of it.

Get festive with your email design

To pump up the holiday energy in your message, consider using a holiday email template or including design elements that convey a festive vibe.

Check out this merry message from the clothing company Talbots:


By bringing in holiday-themed colors & images, Talbots is able to add a festive flair that accompanies content.

The best part of all? They do so in a way that does not feel like a complete departure from their brand – both the header & footer in the email maintain the standard Talbots look & feel.

To replicate this for your own emails, consider using color schemes, templates, and images that convey a seasonal spirit.

Be consistent

During the holidays, there’re a variety of types of consumers: early shoppers, last-minute shoppers, Black Friday shoppers & so on. As a result, you want to ensure you have an email promotion for everyone.

This will help keep your brand top of mind, which is more necessary than ever during such a competitive time of year.

Create a holiday email calendar

Keeping track of all the holidayscould quickly become overwhelming. Creating an email editorial calendar could really help organize the mayhem.

If you already have a calendar, make sure it is up to date on your holiday campaigns. You will be sending a lot of emails this time of year, so planning everything out in advance can help you meet your deadlines & create content your subscribers will love.

A calendar can help you accommodate the rest of your team’s time, which comes in handy if they are helping with tasks like design, writing/scheduling the message.


Leave a Reply