Make your Holiday Email Marketing easier than ever this year [Holiday Email Marketing 1/3]

5 Tips on preparing Your Holiday Email Marketing Campaign

For those of us who send lots of newsletters, Christmas season is the most important time of the year. In particular, online shops earn a considerable part of their annual income during the festive season and can further increase their sales via email marketing.

Even for non-commercial senders such as associations or NGOs, preparing for the season is equally important. You have the opportunity to thank contacts for their support during the past year, wish season’s greetings, and earn additional donations.

If you want to participate in the Christmas season, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend your holidays buzzing around the office. Preparation is everything – the holiday season finally begins weeks before the big day itself arrives.

Many gifts are ordered in November, the first Christmas markets open early and the season usually comes faster than expected. If you’ve waited until a few days before Christmas, you’ve already waited too long!

By then, goods must already be en route to their destinations and greetings need to be ready for dispatch before your customers head home for the holidays.

In this paper we want to show you why and how to prepare your email marketing so that everything is taken care of before the big day. With our 5 tips you can get through the holiday season for a successful and carefree start in the holidays.


  1. Making a Plan. Define objectives and your key ordering period by about December 15 in order to take full advantage.
  2. Contact cleanup. Send reactivation mailings to inactive contacts again to weed out outdated contacts.
  3. Order Christmas newsletter templates in time. From technical innovations practical application.
  4. Create Creative Content. Avoid sending standard phrases at the last minute.
  5. Arrange products into helpful lists. Offer recipients added value, rather than merely advertising.

1. Set up a plan for your Christmas Email Marketing

It all starts with the planning. Only with a solid target can your holiday email marketing campaign really achieve something. Consider your industry-appropriate objectives and which measures you intend to achieve. This could be, for example, an increase in sales by a certain percentage during the Christmas season.

If you’ve defined the actions for your Christmas email marketing, it’s time for implementation. An early start is recommended for two reasons: First, you have enough time for extensive A / B testing and secondly, you can plan ahead Newsletters for a specific time and finish your work for Christmas well in advance.

user reading christmas catalogue

It’s worthwhile to evaluate the previous year’s performance by this point. Which products were very popular at the time? What kind of campaigns worked particularly well and at what time did you send them by? These findings can then by adjusted in order to optimize this year’s campaigns.

Knowing the right timing for sending newsletters is especially important. Of course, this differs depending on the target of your campaign. If you promote your products heavily, you should take full advantage of the time leading up to the Christmas season. By providing the latest order due dates before Christmas, you can therefore create time pressure.

The peak time of product orders is often earlier than many suspect: Even by 15:12. most gifts are ordered according to experience. By this point, you should have already implemented the majority of your advertising efforts.

2. Contacts Cleanup

To bring your recipient list up to date, fortunately you don’t have to examine each recipient. When you send regularly with Newsletter2Go, your list uses bounce management and recipient synchronization to save you time and effort. Unreachable contacts are automatically highlighted in the list and are unable to receive any more emails from you which significantly improves your deliverability in the long run.

contact list

If you’re not sending mail very often, you should be busy with your recipient list long before the holiday shopping season arrives. It would be a shame if your holiday budget was taken up by writing inactive or outdated contacts in vain. To clear up your list, reactivation mailings are particularly useful. A reactivation mailing can be set up easily and automatically to reach recipients who’ve been out of contact with you.

For example, you can set up a mailing that will be sent to all recipients who’ve been inactive for 3 months. Once established, the system independently checks every day whether or not recipients have met the requirements. If it’s been a long time since you’ve sent mail, the first mailing will likely include a lot of bounces. However, this is quite normal and ensures that your contact list, includes only quality contacts, even if it does happen to shrink a little.

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Inactive recipients will receive a mailing reactivation, perhaps with an attractive offer. If they have any interest and use the service, they’ll be counted within the active customer base.

The holiday season is also a great opportunity to generate additional recipients. Provide your shop customers a special discount within your Newsletter. On the one hand you can increase sales in the shop directly through the discount’s incentive, on the other hand you can use the newsletter as an opportunity to distribute more offers.

3. Order Christmas newsletter templates at the right time

A festively designed newsletter template is a must if one wants to orient the attention of clients and contacts towards the Christmas season. Naturally we’ve taken the trouble of once again providing you with attractive templates which you can customize to your design and fill in with your content.

If you have special demands on the design or functionality of your newsletter template, a customized template can be worthwhile. Let us aesthetically adapt to your shop or your website in order to increase brand recognition. The better your Christmas newsletter fits your other elements, the more confidence your contacts will bring to you.

You should also be sure to take advantage of the latest technological developments. Using special newsletter blocks, content can be tailored to the individual recipients better than ever before. One of the most exciting new features is the recommendation engine within the newsletter. This extracts information from your store’s database based on the shopping habits of the customer. Using this information, product recommendations are displayed in real time within the newsletter.

template examples

This could include related products such as the recently viewed items or products popular with other customers.

Experience has shown that many of our customers like to send individual mailings during the Christmas season. If you need a Premium Template with special functions, it’s best to start thinking early about making your order. With enough time, we can guarantee that you get your template before you want to use it.

4. Create Creative Content

If Christmas greetings are made at the last moment, customers frequently take notice. Therefore it is best not to use standard phrases or even send predefined online greeting cards. Begin as early as possible by brainstorming and thinking about which measures you can use to best reach your goals.

Ideas for Online shops:

  • Advent calendar: A select range of products every day (with an impressive discount), which is valid for a maximum of 24 hours.
  • Advent calendar “backwards”: On December 1, send a mailing with 24 product offerings. Every day one of the offers is ended in order to increase the buying pressure.
  • Santa Claus game: Every 10th order will be given away. The order volume should be increased significantly and will increase sales.

Ideas for service providers:

  • Co-action: Involve your customers by bringing a particular theme into action (“Show how your team celebrates Christmas”, “your favorite Christmas Campaign”).
  • Simple thanks: Thank your customers for their loyalty during the past year with an email and a small gift.

Ideas for NGOs:

  • Christmas gift donations: collect additional donations by offering donation vouchers as an alternative to material Christmas gifts.
  • Specifying a donation goal: By Christmas, aim for a specific donation goal to be achieved by Christmas. Weekly mailings will then update users about the current status.
  • Donation matching: all donations within a certain period will be matched by a sponsor by a certain percentage.

More tips for Christmas Email campaigns can be found in our White Paper: E-mail Marketing Tips for Christmas

5. Arrange products into helpful lists

Your newsletter’s sure to be better recieved by beneficiaries if it offers clearly added value. Rather than simply sending offers, you should think about how you can present your products as particularly useful.

These are example lists of gift ideas for certain groups of people, eg. the most popular gifts for mother, grandpa or the best friend. With targeted lists, you can not only promote your products, but do the recipients a favor: If finding the right gift proves difficult, give them a source of inspiration. If everything goes as planned, they’ll order correctly from you. Beware, however, that you don’t make such lists purely for advertising, but to put the needs of the recipient first.

Aside from gift lists, you can produce other useful content for your recipients as well. For example, print journals customarily include long recipe ideas with tailored products or craft plans. Just make sure that the content for your target audience are truly relevant. In order for the right proposal to reach the right person, you may want to segment your recipients.

With these tips, you should be able to relax while remaining well-prepared to start in the pre-Christmas period. Stay tuned: In two upcoming blog posts, we’ll show you how to maintain your Email marketing even during the festive season, without having to constantly deal with it, and what is important after the holidays.

Über den Autor


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