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Marketing

How-to Guide for Holiday Email Campaigns

Casey Shull
Snowflakes surround a festive card that wishes the receiver a happy holiday.

Social media may seem like the ideal spot for any promotions or special offers you run during the holidays, but as a small business, you may not realize the impact of an effective email campaign.

To put it in layman’s terms, an email marketing campaign is a set of emails you send out to promote a special offer, new products, or timed deals in celebration of an upcoming holiday. Be it Black Friday, the 4th of July, or a week of Hanukkah, your business can get in the spirit of things to launch a highly effective campaign to spark sales from current or new customers.

How to Get Started

Before you can start writing your email campaign, you need to outline what you’re promoting. If you're a service-based company, it could be a promotion to make an appointment before a certain time and receive a discount. Or a referral program where each customer who refers someone receives something in return.

If you’re a product-based company, perhaps you’re launching a product just in time for the holiday and you want people to know about it. Or you’re offering a holiday-themed deal that is only offered on that day.

Whatever it is you want your audience to know, make sure you’ve narrowed down what the subject is, how many emails you want to send in the series (sometimes just one will do), their launch dates, and how you want your customers to react—whether it’s placing an order, calling your company, or signing up for a service.

Email automation service is a marketing tool that comes in handy when you’re sending multiple emails. You can create the emails, set the send-out time, and let the automation do the rest. The marketing automation software will also keep track of responses, click-thru rate, and any action the customer may take in response to your offer. A few email marketing service providers include:

  • Mailchimp

  • Scorpion

  • Constant Contact

 A picture of the corner of a laptop opened up someone’s Gmail account.

Engaging with your audience is the goal of an email campaign.

Careful with Your Character Count

After you’ve determined your subject and whether or not your campaign will consist of one or more emails, it’s time to start writing. The most important thing to remember when constructing an email is you don’t have a lot of real estate. Best practices for emails are short and sweet. Users rarely act on emails that are too loud and messy and should be reserved for your neighbor’s holiday decoration ideas.

Remember your real estate is limited with emails so your copy needs to target the message as soon as possible and include SEO keywords. You don’t have a lot of attention to work with so you need to make every word count. Make use of holiday language when you can and complement it with festive images or colors in design.

Use Your Call to Action Wisely

Your call to action (CTA) will be the bridge between a successful email and one that falls flat. Your CTA is essentially what you want your customer to do with that email and it’s important to use the right type of language otherwise you risk landing on the naughty or nice list.

If your email is in a series, remember each email should have a higher sense of urgency attached. For example, if you were launching a countdown to Christmas campaign and customers had a week to make their purchases using a holiday code, you would want to convey that urgency. The first email CTA should be a suggestion, the next one should be a reminder, and the next one should be more urgent, and so on.

The point is not to push the audience into doing something, but you do want to convey the message that something is coming to a close.

If you have a single email going out, the CTA should convey what you want that person to do. If you want them to call your business for a consultation, the messaging should support that and include a CTA with specific instructions, such as “Call us today.”

Make sure your CTA is positioned high up in the copy block or else you risk customers with a short attention span missing it altogether.

Creating a Subject Line that Gets Clicks

The first obstacle you will face with email marketing is getting the receiver to open your email in the first place. That’s where a well-written subject line comes into play.

The most impactful subject lines create a sense of curiosity for the reader. Does that mean you leave them guessing? Not quite. You want them to be intrigued, but the subject line also needs to be straightforward. It can be a balancing act, but with trial and error and the help of email marketing tools, you can figure out which ones are successful and which ones aren’t.

Finally, you might be tempted to use negatives in your subject line to create a sense of urgency, but best practice shows it’s the opposite effect. Negative subject lines include phrases such as ‘Don’t be’ or ‘You will miss out’. Much like a well-wrapped gift, the best subject lines are interesting, impactful and give a glimpse of the messaging inside.

Holiday emails can be a fun way to engage with your audience, promote your brand, and raise awareness of the services or products you offer. Our teams at Scorpion provide expert insight on how to launch successful email marketing campaigns, along with full-funnel marketing efforts that will have you celebrating in no time.