Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

How to Create a Holiday Email Campaign

How to Create Holiday Email Marketing Strategy 2023

The winter holiday season presents a golden opportunity for businesses to elevate their marketing campaigns and captivate their audience in new and exciting ways. From personalized campaigns to engaging content, we've curated a list of approaches that are sure to make your brand shine this Christmas. As you navigate through the article, discover how our omnichannel Customer Data Platform (CDP) can transform your campaigns into a synchronized symphony of consistent marketing messages resonating across different communication channels.

Website and User Experience

Before discovering actionable holiday email marketing ideas, let’s make sure your website is ready for this winter bliss. Below are some of the not-to-miss tips.

Create a Festive Website Design

As the holiday season approaches, the visual look of your website becomes a powerful tool for creating a festive mood for your users. To start, infuse your site with seasonal colors, evoking warmth and holiday cheer. Integrate festive elements into your banners, headers, and product images. As for more creative and attention-grabbing options, consider using thematic graphics, such as snowflakes or twinkling lights.

Festive website design

Ecommerce brands with strict website design and established brand identity can also create a holiday mood without compromising on visual consistency. In this case, you can opt for color palette adaptation, retaining your brand's primary color scheme while incorporating subtle holiday hues. You may also temporarily modify your font styles or sizes for headers or banners with festive-themed typography. This minor adjustment can convey a sense of celebration without going too far from your brand style.

Use Highly Converting Widgets

In our recent article, we've unveiled widget usage benchmarks, highlighting their remarkable effectiveness in boosting conversion rates and guiding users to the bottom of the sales funnel. The winter sale season is one of the best opportunities to try them in action. What's more, you can experiment with different types of widgets, tailoring them to your campaigns. For example:

  • collect new visitors' contact data with subscription forms in exchange for a discount;

Subscription form

  • drive engagement with the Wheel of Fortune, allowing the user to spin the wheel and win a gift;
  • understand your customers better with surveys and use the results for more personalized offerings;
  • use an informer to keep your audience updated on current and upcoming promotions.

With Yespo CDP, you can create any type of widget and easily redesign them according to your brand style. Our platform also allows for setting widget display rules in a custom way, promising the highest level of engagement and conversion rate for your winter sale campaign.

Create and integrate your first festive widget right now!

Ensure Mobile Optimization

Before and during the holiday season, mobile optimization is not just a best practice — it's a crucial step toward capturing the attention of today's on-the-go shoppers. With mobile shopping steadily on the rise, the holiday season is no exception to this trend. Therefore, make sure to create a seamless and enjoyable mobile experience for your customers.

Start by optimizing your website for mobile devices, paying special attention to its loading speed, intuitive navigation system, and responsive (but still festive) design. Implement a mobile-first mindset in your campaign planning, emphasizing concise and compelling content that resonates on smaller screens.

You can also consider adding mobile-friendly payment options to streamline the checkout process, eliminating any friction that might affect your cart abandonment rate.

Promote Seasonal Products

Fill your campaign with holiday-relevant products and help people find what they’re looking for. Too many options or an extensive product range can slow down decision-making; focusing on one or two specific choices instead can be more effective.

There are a number of products — cozy blankets, clothes, candles, sweets, mugs, decoration, jewelry, and cosmetics, to name a few — that are typically associated with the holiday and rank first among the most popular Christmas gifts. If you produce any category, make it your top campaign priority. If you sell, let’s say, tile or gardening tools that hardly deliver the holiday spirit, focus on Christmas-related colors (red, green, golden, white, blue) and patterns.

Leverage Personalized Product Recommendations

In addition to promoting seasonal products, the strategic deployment of personalized product recommendations can be another highly effective tactic to drive holiday sales and improve customer engagement. What’s more, product recommendations have long become a must-have element on the ecommerce website. According to statistics, 91% of customers expect ecommerce brands to personalize their product offerings, and 72% interact with personalized content exceptionally.

Personalized product recommendations

Fortunately, setting up data-driven recommendation blocks isn’t that difficult with the help of Yespo CDP. Our platform comes with over 180 recommendation algorithms, ensuring that each visitor gets curated selections based on their preferences and historical customer behavior.

Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns

After your website is ready for a winter sale boost, let’s discover some of the holiday newsletter ideas, tips, and tricks.

Come up with a Powerful Christmas Email Subject Line

Creating a great subject line is never easy. And it’s twice as hard during the holiday season when the inbox of your customers will be flooded with numerous Ho-Ho-Ho, Big Christmas Sales, Deal Expires Today, etc. To go beyond 50% OFF All, check our special guidelines on Christmas email subject lines and see some good pieces of seasonal writing to spark the holiday spirit and win hearts.

Based on effective holiday email examples, consider the next tips for creating an attention-grabbing subject line:

  • Create intrigue. Trigger the filling of mystery and curiosity by hinting at surprises. For instance, "Unwrap the Mystery: Our Christmas Surprise Awaits You!"
  • Make a goal-oriented subject line. "New Year, New Style" or "Crush Your Goals in 2024" are some of the holiday newsletter ideas you can get inspired by.
  • Use emoji. Add holiday symbols or icons to your subject lines, such as "🎄 Feel the Magic of Christmas."
  • Keep your subject line short. Not all users will be able to read your subject line in full, especially when opening your letter from a mobile device.

Say “Thank You”

Use your Christmas emails to tell your audience how their support helped you make it through 2023.

Be thankful for your subscribers

What's more, ask what gave them comfort and inspiration to move on. Ask about their plans for the future and what they expect 2024 to bring. To make the feedback process easier and faster, use an AMP form that enables you to write answers straight in the email. In our editor, we have a ready AMP form block, so all you need to do is drag it to the template and fill it with your own questions. Your recipients won't have to upload a site page or Google Form to drop several lines, so you have more chances to get a response.

Later, you can compile the most inspirational answers into a separate campaign, sharing the word of optimism with your whole community.

Offer Gift Guides

More than any other holiday, Christmas is about family reunions, meetings with not-seen-for-a-long-time friends, and Friday parties with colleagues.

And gift giving is typically a key element of any of these events. A heartwarming gift for mom, a memorable present for your college bud, something for Tiffany from the Sales Department — finding the perfect gift can be really challenging and time-consuming. The challenge doubles when people don’t know much about the recipient (for example, a new workmate or a neighbor who just moved in next door) but still want to commit.

So what a smart email marketer needs to be doing is simplify the gift-finding process, and an extensive and well-structured gift guide inside Christmas marketing campaigns is the straight way to success. You may take the standard for him/for her route or opt for a more diverse division:

  • gifts by category;
  • gifts by personality;
  • gifts by popularity;
  • gifts by price, etc.

Product offers are organized by price

Each category can be divided into numerous sub-categories and accustomed to your particular products. For example, craft material sellers can organize gift categories by craft (embroidery, knitting, needle felting, macrame, etc.); sports gear retailers may go for more specified categories (basketball fans, yoga lovers, TRX crew, etc.); perfume brands can split their product range based on the scent (wood, citrus, floral, spicy, etc.). The main condition is that your guide should be easy to navigate and jump to the necessary section.

Gift Ideas for Secret Santa, for loved ones etc.

And in 2024, a gift guide for work-from-homers or study-from-homers will still be rather useful as well.

Run a Time-Sensitive Campaign with a Themed Name

Encapsulate your specific products and offers relevant to the season in a limited time period, and name them correspondingly. 12 Days of Christmas, Two Weeks of Best Deals Only, or Christmas Gift Hunt not only fit thematically but also create a sense of urgency.

12 Days of Christmas Theme

You may also run a holiday-themed contest or challenge. Encourage people to share their best cookie recipes, house decorations, gift ideas, or even Christmas pajama outlooks. Invite their friends to participate as well to spread the word and grow your contact list.

Make Your Campaigns More Dynamic

Spruce up your Christmas email marketing with visually appealing elements to deliver your messages in a more interactive way. Depending on the content and email type, consider using

Funny GIF shows how easy it is to set up an artificial Christmas tree

Apart from making your campaigns more entertaining and fun (which is exactly what you want for Christmas), dynamic blocks serve different practical purposes — showcase products from different angles, simplify instructions, and draw attention to particular parts of the email body (time limit, promo code, price, etc).

Create an Encouraging Call to Action

Send Gift or Bring Joy sounds more appealing and holiday-spirited than Buy Now and Start Shopping. A CTA is a key element of any email, regardless of the type, content, and occasion. It may be hard to come up with something more effective than good old Get Started when it comes to regular newsletters, but holiday campaigns give your imagination opportunities to shine. Free Treats, Claim Your Gift, Santa’s Favorites, Spread Holiday Cheer, Handle That Gift List – original CTA wording will help you have a meaningful advantage over other offers.

CTA button offers to find the perfect gift

​​Drive Urgency with a Countdown Timer

A good old countdown timer that sets a deadline for a lucrative offer or free holiday delivery is one of the best motivators to complete a purchase. And such supporting words as “limited edition”, “exclusive”, “x items left in stock”, or “ends midnight” turn a regular product into a highly relevant and desirable item.

Email with the Countdown

Countdown timers are supported by almost all email clients (except Outlook 7, 10, 13, 17) and are easy to add to a Christmas email template. You don’t need to be a tech guru to remind your customers that your sales won’t be here for too long.

Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Below are also some holiday marketing ideas and tips to drive your customer engagement and support loyalty during and after the winter sale.

Back up Last-Minute Shoppers

You’d be surprised to find out how many people procrastinate and wait till the last day when it comes to buying gifts. But poor self-organization of some buyers may be an opportunity for your business. Help the last-minute shoppers make it through the gift-picking race with relevant and useful holiday campaigns.

Last minute gifts ideas

A good way to do it is to employ geotargeting: offer discounts on in-store purchases, launch shop guide popups, or promote local events (fairs, garage sales, etc.). Ensure people can use your last-minute ideas without facing shipment issues (as much delay can be experienced during the holiday season) or product shortage (Sorry, the item you’ve picked is no longer in stock).

Another way to save the day of holiday procrastinators is to offer electronic gift cards. Yes, it’s less personal, but when time is running out, a well-designed eGift card can be a good replacement for a more traditional present. Moreover, it may be a better solution for people you don’t know much about.

Focus on Gifts for Subscribers

Tell your audience their holiday budget isn’t just for congratulating others. Everyone wants to receive special presents, but the presenters may guess wrong with the gifts, have a bad taste, or even leave you off their holiday list. Which doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself well this December 25.

So, in your Christmas email campaigns, focus on your audience rather than their family and friends. Think of what they may want this holiday season, and make them feel not as gift buyers but as gift receivers.

Gift ideas so your family can give you exactly what you need

Use Inclusive Holiday Greetings

Your audience most probably consists of different people with different cultural backgrounds and beliefs. Not all your subscribers celebrate Christmas and New Year in December, and some don’t. However, it doesn’t mean you should give up on Christmas marketing: consider using neutral greetings like Season’s Greetings, Enjoy This Winter, or Happy Holidays instead of event-oriented Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Don’t be afraid you’re taking away the charm of Christmas. With a seemingly simple inclusive wish, you show your readers your respect for whatever traditions they may follow.

A concise reminder to care for holiday gifts

Add Extra Value to Your Offer

There are many little things that can turn a good deal into a great one. Offering free extra services is probably the easiest way to win people’s hearts and purses. But free shipping, which in December will be offered by 99,9% of companies, isn’t the only incentive to drive results. Based on your service or product, you can come up with more original and relevant incentives to catch people’s attention:

  • fee-free membership;
  • custom loyalty cards;
  • double points for purchases;
  • extended trial period;
  • access to limited collections;
  • holiday packaging;
  • workshops;
  • app or software upgrades or premium versions.

Any extra bonus gives your offer more chances to get into your reader’s holiday shopping plans.

Free Shipping and Gift Wrap offer

Run a Charity

Any business can incorporate donation options in their holiday email campaigns. Christmas is that time of the year when people are more likely to give, so why not use it to make a difference. If your company runs non-profit campaigns on a regular basis, share stories of the people in need who received your help. Actually, seeing how their donations may improve lives is the best drive to commit.

Holiday Charity Campaign

The more ways you’ll provide to get involved, the bigger the response you may get. Apart from small monetary donations, offer other ways of participation relevant to your product and audience type. For example, point donation (mile donation/bonus donation, etc.) is the most universal and clear method: people make a purchase, gain points, and donate to the cause or the organization they’re most attracted to. This is a win-win situation — you sell your products and gain a reputation of a committed brand; your customers feel they’ve contributed to something good; people in need get help.

Supportive Tactics

In addition to holiday email examples and campaign ideas we have described above, consider using some additional tactics that promise to boost the results of your efforts.

Speak to Customers in Their Language

If you know the preferred language of your recipients, take advantage of this knowledge and compose a Christmas campaign in their native language. You don’t necessarily have to translate the whole body; focus on only greeting phrases instead. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays have standard translations that can be easily found for any language and need no adjustment. You can put them as a headline or include them in the subject line to make your email more personalized and engaging. People like it when their preferences are considered and would appreciate the extra effort you took to sound more human-like.

For example, recently, one of our customers created an automated email marketing campaign in 23 languages and targeted it at 500,000 users from different countries, speeding up the time to market by two times.

Get Covered by Social Media

Not all your followers on social media are subscribed to your campaigns. However, many of them also belong to your engaged customers, so don’t forget to reward them as well. Share exclusive deals on social media platforms with digital coupons and codes, giveaways, contests, and key product promotions.

Apart from generating sales, social media can also help boost loyalty. Encourage your community to use product-related seasonal hashtags and share the best user content with the audience, turning your most creative followers into your ambassadors.

How Our Platform Can Help You with Holiday Marketing Campaigns

Now, when you’re ready to put the above tips into practice, it’s time to craft a winning Merry Christmas and Happy New Year marketing campaign. And that’s where our platform steps in to help you do the trick.

Discover how the platform can help with setting up and running Christmas marketing campaigns, and get more details by following the links to the instructions on how to use each of the tools.

  • Create a custom Christmas email template. You can choose any of the free standard templates and upgrade it based on your company style and product. You don’t need to be a tech guru or possess code knowledge to come up with an attractive and appealing design. Our intuitive drag-n-drop editor is easy to use even for those new to layout designing. 
  • Insert a countdown timer. Speed up the decision making and show people how much time they left until the deal is off. Double-check the time setting and make sure you provide actual and relevant information.
  • Add a rollover effect. Demonstrate your product from different angles and show more options. Each picture can be provided with a corresponding link so that people can go straight to the offer they’re most interested in.
  • Insert a GIF. A small animation element will help spread Christmas fever and add some festive vibes to your campaign. You can upload the ready image or insert the code if you’ve built a custom GIF.
  • Add AMP-powered elements (carousel, accordion, form). To send AMP content, you need to be registered with Google. The procedure isn’t complicated, but the approval process may take some time, so it’s better to get the registration done in advance. 
  • Customize CTAs. You may come with any wording and change the text and background color based on your brand image.
  • Create unlimited multilingual copies within one template. Companies with international market presence may consider composing multilanguage campaigns. Unlimited languages are available within one template, so you don’t have to create complex workflows or extra segments. What’s more, there’s one report for multilingual campaigns, where you can switch between copies in one click without opening extra windows or pages.
  • Add a combo of personalized promo codes + product recommendations. First, give people a gift discount, and next, show how they can use it by adding product recommendations based on their previous shopping experience or campaign activity.
  • Segment your contacts. Your contact base isn't homogeneous and consists of various groups (males, females, singles, families, seniors, teenagers, sports fans, glam lovers, etc) that have to be addressed differently. In our system, you can segment your subscribers and customers by age, gender, language, location, profession, preferences, previous purchases, response to previous campaigns, etc.
  • Get omnichannel. During the high season sale, employing omnichannel marketing strategies makes the most sense. In this way, you will be able to reach your customers through various channels, which are most convenient for each of your subscriber segments. This approach becomes particularly valuable during the holiday season, where capturing on-the-go shoppers is especially difficult amidst the festive buzz. For instance, those who may not have the time to check emails can stay engaged with your brand through web or mobile push notifications, SMS, or Viber messages. Our platform extends this capability further, incorporating in-app messages and app inbox notifications, providing a comprehensive solution to meet the diverse communication preferences of your audience.


Summing up, there are several important things to consider when it comes to winter holiday marketing. Get started by making your website ready for a sales boost by ensuring it works well on phones, add some festive decorations, and suggest products based on what your customers like. Be creative but smart with your emails – use catchy titles, interactive things, and run short-time offers. After people buy, keep in touch to make them want to come back.

The best way to do all this easily is to use a customer data platform like Yespo. With its help, you will be able to collect customer data on the website and outside it, build a Single Customer View (SCV), and run omnichannel marketing campaigns that will keep your customers tuned into your offerings — and your marketing budget optimized. Book a demo now to see how Yespo CDP can work for festive marketing success!

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Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

Comments 2

Alex paul 4 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing 20 Best Christmas Marketing Strategies for the holiday season these strategies will help a lot for companies to build marketing campaign for the season. One of my friend suggested me a article that shares important information on 6 best strategies to boost eCommerce sales and I would like to share that - https://www.i95dev.com/marketing-strategies-for-holiday-season-ecommerce-sales/

SEM Updates 4 years ago

Even some marketers use exit intent integrations to retain the audience on the website. But these days holiday campaigns are at risk because the marketers don't take care of certain things like target audience, audience intent, the reason of the season, as per the recent report: https://www.semupdates.com/4-reasons-why-your-holiday-campaign-fail/