Email Marketing

13 Email Marketing Secrets For The Holidays

Team Pepper
Posted on 4/01/2214 min read
13 Email Marketing Secrets For The Holidays

Table of Contents

  • What Is Email Marketing?
  • Tips on Firing up your Email Newsletters Marketing
  • Why do you need Holiday Email Marketing?
  • 13 Holiday Email Marketing Secrets
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Now is the holiday season, and it is time to have your best email marketing strategy in place. This article will reveal some closely guarded email marketing secrets that some of you may be unaware of. You cannot wait until it is too late, because you will miss the bus and a busload of customers.  The holiday season is profit season for most businesses, and you must follow some of the best email marketing tips given by experts to boost your revenues.

Did you know that holiday season sales notch up 20% of retail sales all over the US? According to market survey company Statista, the holiday sales volume forecast for 2021 was between $843.4 and %859 billion, and every business is aiming for a small slice of the pie.

What is Email Marketing?


Email marketing is a highly profitable marketing channel that lets you reach your customers directly. Did you know that your ROI in email marketing can be an incredible $42 for every $1 you spend? It is no wonder then that email marketing is one of the key pillars in any business strategy. Not planning for a holiday season email marketing is like refusing money within your grasp.

Email marketing is, however, not an easy process, and beginners may easily give up midway. This may be because of the complex technology, tools, techniques, and terminology one has to use to be successful.

Email marketing involves sending business emails to hundreds and thousands of customers who have parted with their details willingly and are ready to receive emails from you.  Email marketing is useful in reaching out to your contacts, increasing sales, and building a loyal following for your brand – and all it takes is a well-crafted newsletter.


Email marketing has been tweaked many times, and refined a lot, and is no longer about one email to the masses. The best email copywriting practices emphasize the need to segment and personalize your marketing emails to add a personal touch. You can promote your company’s special offers via email campaigns, launch new products, and create brand awareness. 

Remember that a promotional email must feature a call to action (CTA), and you can offer discounts, coupons, etc., to customers who take action.

Tips on Firing up your Email Newsletters Marketing

Building up your client list is one of the email marketing secrets you should unveil first. You may already have a large customer base, however, you need to keep adding to it because it is pretty easy to add new customers. All you need is a form on your website to capture new email addresses. Additionally, you can have this feature on your blog, or anywhere else where your target audience hangs out. 

Some businesses use other traditional methods to increase their email list like opening a stall at a conference and inviting visitors for a quick sign-up to your newsletters. It won’t matter even if you don’t do brisk sales at the conference venue,  you are still leaving with an email list you can use gainfully.

1. Interact with your readers

It is crucial to interact with your readers and start a conversation. Inviting them to ask queries, or replying to their questions leads to meaningful conversations that build rapport. Speaking to users directly and leaving a call to action at the end of the email promising a little something makes you stand apart from your competitors. Today you have automated solutions to customize your emails and eliminate the monotony in sending mass emails.

Having a distinctive voice that sounds fun prevents your readers from deleting your emails the moment they open them. Follow this with some valuable information to have them read through the email. Therefore, it is vital to sound human instead of like a robot, which has more emotional impact.

Finally, be sure of your reader demographics and segment your lists accordingly to help you resonate with your target audiences more effectively. You never know, they might get so carried away and start forwarding your emails to friends and family. It all boils down to encouraging your readers to respond to your emails, which is an action by itself. Even if they click on your call to action, it means success.

2. Put your personal touch on it

Giving a personal touch to your emails resonates with most readers because of the emotional impact it produces. You have several email tools that let you use shortcodes for recipients’ names while emailing. Make the subject lines catchier and get as creative as you can. Some emails are directly from the founder, and replies always go to them. You can always have teams reply to every response to make it sound authentic.

3. Prevent your emails from being trashed as spam

Promotional emails are considered spam and end up in spam folders to disappear forever. You must craft your emails carefully to avoid getting flagged as spam. Requesting the recipients to opt for receiving your emails is another way to prevent them from going directly to the spam folder. A spam email urges recipients to act immediately, uses all caps for every letter, and even has too many exclamation points. Remember that your emails have to get past several spam filters to reach the recipient intact.

4. Write crisp, immaculate copy

The trick lies in writing catchy headings to grab the reader’s attention. However, you must follow it along with short, crisp sentences with uncomplicated words. Make sure you use the keywords relevant to your target audience. Use bullet points wherever possible to make your email more scannable. Be wary of including images, lest your email ends up as spam.

5. Call-to-action and promising links


The primary purpose of sending marketing emails is to drive more traffic to your site, more often to a landing page. You cannot get customers if your email lacks a clickable link.  Including attractive call-to-action (CTA) buttons is essential for your email to serve its purpose. Most of the time CTAs urge people to take action immediately, and if the link promises something like an extra discount or coupons, most people click on the link to see what happens.

6. Leave the unsubscribe option open

A user has every right to stop receiving emails from a marketing organization. If you make it an option right from the beginning, people trust your openness and like you being upfront and letting them know that they can exit at any time at the click of a button. Although the unsubscribe button is the last CTA button you want a customer to click, leaving it as an open option helps send the message about how straightforward you are.  It also prevents your emails from being red-flagged as spam.

7. Create mobile-friendly emails


Did you know that according to the latest statistics report over 79% of Smartphone users have purchased products or services online from their mobile phones during the last 6 months? During the holiday season in 2020, 39% of e-commerce purchases were made using a mobile device, and the numbers are steadily increasing. With 66% of email opens happening on mobile devices it is high time you optimize your emails to be viewed on hand-held devices.

8. Test, before you hit, send

Always double-check your emails before you hit the send button. The message you send should look the way you want them to look. You can send test emails to your colleagues and peers and check what the outcome looks like in a rough draft. You may want to give it the ultimate Litmus test to check if everything is okay by looking at the screenshots of your email on various email tools.

9. Monitor your Emails

Keep track of your emails to check if all are going to the correct recipients. Some emails may remain undelivered, in such cases, you must investigate the reason, and if the email addresses are incorrect, you should get the correct ones. You may also use Google Analytics to tag your emails for custom campaign tracking to know how many of your emails generate traffic to your website. You can tweak your holiday email marketing campaigns by tracking your metrics and monitoring them regularly.

Why Do You Need Holiday Email Marketing?

Most businesses gear up their marketing campaigns at the beginning of the holiday season. It happens every year, only that there is increased activity each year. If you want better sales, you should plan by reading top email marketing tips before you start.

Although the Coronavirus is still active and has kept people indoors, it is a blessing in disguise for online marketers and e-commerce companies. People don’t have to budge out of their homes and can start their holiday shopping right from the comfort of their homes using the links in their emails.

Emails – A Personalized Means to Communicate

Did you know that emails offer you a better opportunity to communicate with your customers than social media channels?  You start getting personal right from the start when using a customer’s first name in your subject line. Also, if you spend some time studying their purchase history, you can offer product recommendations that are right down their line. Emails are one of the best ways to generate leads, and adding a personal touch always helps.

According to Dynamic Yield Survey, 71% of shoppers say they have been influenced by the personalized experience offered by emails. It makes sense to list out your customers by grouping them in segments to send them relevant offers and deals. Try using the person’s first name to make the email more personal. You can also recommend products based on their purchase history, and customize offers based on their behavioral data. 

No more cart abandonments


There is no guarantee that all the visitors reaching your checkout page make a purchase. The truth is that more people abandon the cart after filling it because they change their minds at the last minute. In 2020, more than 88% of the online shoppers abandoned their carts as per Statista reports.

However, emails help reduce cart abandonment and help achieve better conversions. A study by Barilliance indicates that email open rates hover around 43%, and conversion rates at 8%. Such rates are promising for online marketers during the holiday marketing season. 

Cart abandonment rates, image source: Barilliance

Email is one of your best promotion tools

It is easy to send promotion-related emails, and it is one of the open email marketing secrets most marketers are not aware of.  You can send your target audiences emails with offers, discounts, coupons, and bonus deals.

Holiday Email promotional methods at a glance:

  •  Include catchy images in vivid colors and themes matching the holiday season mood to attract the attention of buyers
  •  All offers and deals can be highlighted, and gifts can be mentioned in the subject line to increase open rates
  •   Send pre-sale email announcements mentioning limited offers to early birds
  •   Share holiday destination guides with details of local festivities
  •   Mention cash on delivery (COD) and free shipping offers for specific products
  • Advertise the causes dear to you


One of the best holiday email marketing tips you can use is to showcase the causes dear to you as a company with corporate responsibilities. You can mention what you have done for your share for supporting the needy or saving the environment by donating a substantial part of your profits to NGOs. Email copywriting best practices include keeping your customers informed of what is dear to your heart and what you stand for. Sharing such stories increases your brand value and adds a new dimension to it.

13 Holiday Email Marketing Secrets

Given that the holiday season is one of the busiest and most profitable periods of the year, it is essential to get your holiday email marketing plan right.

Here are 13 email marketing secrets:

1. Be aware of the holidays


You cannot plan your email marketing unless you are aware of the main holidays in the country. The holiday season in most countries starts early or mid-November and extends to early January. 

Regardless of your location, one of the best email marketing secrets you must know is to plan your email marketing to coincide with the major holidays on the calendar. Besides the traditional holidays like Thanksgiving Day, you may want to look out for the first day of fall, a lunar or solar eclipse, the winter solstice, and national dog day when people shop frantically.

Image source: iStock

2. Be an early bird

One of the closely guarded email marketing secrets is starting before your competitors can catch up.   It makes sense to start early, preferably by the first week of November, latest before the second week. That’s the time people get holiday marketing emails from many companies. What’s more is, they eagerly open such emails, looking for bargains and discount coupons. The email open rates start dropping by the end of November because the shoppers have probably found what they started looking for earlier on.

To be on the safe side, start at least two months before the holiday season begins. There’s a lot of work to do to get things ready before the launch date. You may have to grow your email list, and plan the marketing activities, so, you’ll need all the time in the world to prepare.  

3. Your email list needs to be segmented

What’s the point in reaching out to the wrong people although the timing is perfect? The smart thing to do is to segment your email list, which enables you to send targeted emails to an audience that matters. You can start the segmenting process as and when users start subscribing and keep adding them to relevant groups of your existing list.

 It makes it easier to send appropriate offers to the right people. When people respond to your offers by clicking your call-to-action button, they will be directed to the appropriate landing page on your website, resulting in faster conversions.

4. Theme your campaigns

Did you notice leading brands changing their themes and colors during the holiday season? It is done to grab the attention of the consumers who are on the lookout for offers from such brands. You too can follow such top email marketing tips to attract the attention of your target audience.

 Moreover, users tend to get bored looking at the same pages with the same colors and want change. Anything looking bright and new kindles the curiosity and interest of people, and it makes sense to capitalize on this trait.

5. Present a holiday gift guide

Most people are confused when selecting gifts for their nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and scores of other family and friends. One of the best holiday email marketing tips you can get is to provide your customers with a handy holiday gift guide matching their interests and needs.

You can either incorporate the gift guide into the email itself or leave a call-to-action button inviting your readers to view a comprehensive gift guide on a dedicated page or blog on your website. The guide can feature different sections catering to various age groups, and specific interests. 

6. Announce special holiday sales

You can wow your customers by announcing a special holiday sale with unbeatable offers for loyal customers. People always expect something for free, and they take advantage of offers as soon as possible.  Moreover, when you make it an exclusive offer only for your existing customers the response is tremendous.

7. Capitalize on the Term ‘Urgent’

Capitalizing on a time-bound offer is a great way to coax people to click the call to action button on your marketing email. Nobody wants to miss out on an exciting offer, and with time ticking away, it urges them to act fast.


The countdown theme works with most people, and a countdown timer on the email creates a sense of urgency and persuades your customers to take action immediately. If not on the email, you can have the countdown timer on the landing page of your website, where you can direct your customer with a call-to-action button at the end of the email.

8. The free shipping offer

Most people go for the free shipping offer, which is one of the top email marketing tips from seasoned marketers. With courier charges skyrocketing and matching the product’s price at times, a free shipping offer is indeed irresistible. Did you know that 82% of US customers prefer free shipping according to RetailMeNot?

You can offer free shipping as a one-time offer and customers understand that it is not a permanent offer. Alternatively, you can offer free shipping only if the purchases add up to a specified amount. This increases the sale volume of a particular order. The offer can be open for a specific purchase, or the day. Making it time-bound urges the customers to make quick decisions.

9. Include promo codes

Promo codes are a great incentive driving people to make purchases at the spur of the moment. You can start including the promo codes well before the holiday season begins, and keep extending, or altering them throughout the season. Limiting promo codes to a specific email helps drive sales. You can also make promo codes a highlight of your holiday email marketing campaign, and offer them for a fixed period.


Unlike cut-out-and-use coupons (which need to be carried to the store), promo codes can be applied instantly on the website. The customers see the promo code is activated, and it appears immediately on the cart during checkout.

10. Announce an online contest

Most people love participating in contests, especially online ones where they no longer have to hunt for pen and paper. Online contests also help grow your email lists and drive more traffic to your website. 


It is also a sure-shot way to increase your social media following to generate more leads. Creating an online contest is a quick and easy task, and announcing an online competition is one of the best holiday email marketing tips you can use to drive sales and revenues.

11. Focus on the subject lines

Your email’s fate hangs on a precious few seconds after your customer gets the email. It may get opened and read, or it may go unread. Your subject line is what the customer sees first on opening your email. Your subject lines should reflect the holiday mood and induce your customers to open their emails. You may want to include an emoji relating to the holiday season. Did you know that research indicates that subject lines with emojis cause 56% more opens?

12. Add footer

Your email’s footer is as crucial as the opening lines. It is a smart idea to pay attention to the footer, making it one of the most valuable and top email marketing tips you can ever get. Your footer plays a crucial role in convincing the customer to take action. You can add a link to your holiday gift guide, or gift cards and the closing shipping dates in the footer before sending the email.

13. Mention shipping times and return policy

A study conducted by TrueShip indicates that 60% of online shoppers go through the returns policy with a magnifying glass before placing their orders. When there is an option to return or exchange goods, the customers get more confidence while placing their online orders. Mentioning your shipping terms and return policy helps acquire customers and retain them.

Key Takeaways

  • A catchy subject line makes all the difference to whether your marketing email will be read or deleted.
  • Highlighting your subject line with an eye-catching phrase makes all the difference. 
  • Timing is of the essence if your email campaign is targeted at holiday shoppers
  •  Starting earlier makes all the difference.


With the pandemic not letting up completely, people still prefer to shop from the comfort and safety of their homes. One of the best ways to reach them is via email. Moreover, with people shopping on mobile devices, especially Smartphones increasing steadily, emails are the best way to engage shoppers on the go.


1. When can I send holiday marketing emails?

November is considered the start of the holiday season. Most companies start holiday email marketing campaigns at the beginning of November, and the activity extends until the end of December. Two email marketing secrets for November revolve around the events Black Friday, and Thanksgiving Day. Cyber Monday also figures in top email marketing tips given by experts.

2. How effective is email marketing in 2021?

Email marketing is very effective in 2021 if done the right way; email marketing is one of the most effective ways of communication connecting businesses with customers. All small and large businesses conduct email marketing campaigns just before the holiday season begins. Email marketing has been effective in 2021 because it still is one of the most affordable ways to reach customers with customized messages. For mass emailing the cost may be as low as a penny per message. Moreover, with people checking their emails several times a day, your message will be read the same day (some within minutes) in most cases.

3. What messages can I convey via holiday marketing emails?

Start by wishing for a Happy Holiday Season and follow it with a Happy and Prosperous New Year message. Some people prefer to wish their customers a Joyful New Year, while others say warm wishes for the New Year. Email marketers are pretty resourceful and include a small gift via a call to action button. Email marketing tips include giving away informative E-books or discount coupons for a New Year sale. Some marketers wish their customers a “wonderful holiday season” and mention “from all of us here” (mentioning the company name) to make the message personal.

4. Why are holiday marketing emails important for businesses?

Holiday season is the best time to cement your relationship with the existing customers, and also to attract new customers. Holiday Marketing emails are a great way to spruce up end-of-the-year sales and help keep your brand fresh in the customers’ minds. Usually, a holiday season is an excuse to splurge on purchases, and businesses must capitalize on this opportunity by sending attractive offers, which is one of the best email marketing secrets that help boost revenues.

5. How should I begin a holiday marketing email?

Start it with a straightforward ‘season’s greetings’ or ‘Happy Hols’ and follow it with a personal message: Thank you for being a loyal customer all through this year, and “We hope the year ahead will be fantastic”. You may want to sign off with a personal “warm regards” as it is business-friendly, and also adds a personal touch.