In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, SEO My Business is featured as a Top Local SEO Agency in Atlanta. Check out their profile here.

It’s officially the holiday season, and that means the pressure is on. Now is the time to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, utilize your time management skills to make it to every party, and most importantly, not to drop the ball on your holiday email campaign. Holiday shopping is huge. In 2018, it’s estimated that the average American will spend $885 on gifts, which means total spending is expected to come to $720.89 billion over the holidays. 

Now is the time to keep consumers’ minds on your product by keeping yourself in their inbox. But how do you make sure your emails stand out from the dozens of other holiday promotions your consumers are likely being emailed each day? Avoid falling victim to these common holiday mistakes and make this year’s email marketing campaign your best yet.  

Cookie-Cutter Content

Cookie cutters are great for holiday baking, not for email marketing. Be sure your emails are as unique as your business. Don’t be tempted to recycle your greetings from last year (It’s been a whole year. No one will remember, right? Wrong.), and make sure your emails don’t come off as generic. Your email content should reflect your brand, product and your target audience. Be original and create emails that will linger in your consumers’ minds. Here is an example of a successful holiday email design from Puma.

Holiday Email Puma

Themeless Subject Lines

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge an email by its subject line. This is Email Marketing 101: You’ve got to have a great subject line! And during the holidays, why not take advantage of all of the opportunities to use a clever, themed, subject? To make things better, just like Halloween emails, emails with holiday-themed subject lines are five percent more likely to be opened than those without. Think of some great subject lines that merge your business with the holiday spirit. Like Barkbox’s “Dog People Give the Best Gifts,” Bonobos’ “Welcome to the Holidays, People” or jetBlue Airways’ “A Sale to Escape the Winter Weather!” There are plenty of fun ways to engage customers with holiday subject lines, and they are the first step to turning a serious ROI this winter.

Bad Timing / Frequency

Not unlike sneaking downstairs to peak into presents, when it comes to email marketing, timing is everything. If you wait too late to start your email campaign, your consumers may have already bought all of their gifts for the year. The best rule of thumb is to start cranking out your holiday emails a little before Thanksgiving to get your customers excited for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Then, keep them engaged well into December and even through the new year. More and more people are giving and receiving cash and gift cards as presents, so don’t think your marketing work is over on the 25th.

And how many emails should you send? It is important to up your email frequency during the holidays, but sending five emails per day might turn your campaign into an annoyance for your email subscribers. Keep it at a max of one-per-day but be sure your content is staying fresh and interesting for your consumers. Below is a prime example of a successful Black Friday email by Rockport.

Holiday Email Rockport

Religious Designs

Unless your business is religiously affiliated, steering clear of any holy symbols is the best way to promote inclusivity in your holiday emails. We have seen how certain holiday decorations (for example, the famous Starbucks cups) can receive unwanted media backlash, which is why it is best to use neutral decorations and slogans that can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what holidays they are celebrating through December. Stick to snowflakes, wrapped gifts, and stringed lights to make sure your emails are all-inclusive and non-controversial. This J. Crew email, for example, has a generic winter theme, avoiding any potential conflict, and still catches the audience’s attention.

Holiday Email J Crew

Lack of Social Media

Finally, your emails don’t have to be limited only to your subscribers’ inboxes. You’ve created a beautiful email; be sure to share it on your business’ social media pages to increase its reach. While emails can lead to higher sales than social media, it is also true that 64 percent of holiday shoppers seek out gift ideas from their favorite social media sites. Don’t miss out on your products and deals being noticed by all of those potential buyers!

Tis the season to be jolly about skyrocketed ROIs for your business, and the first step is making sure your email marketing is on point. With these tips, you are ready for smooth sledding into the inboxes and hearts of all of your potential buyers.  

Vincent Headshot
Vincent DeCastro
Senior SEO Consultant at SEO My Business |

Vincent DeCastro is an internet marketing and SEO professional with over 20 years of experience teaching and managing Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click Advertising campaigns. He has managed over 100 small and mid-sized business internet marketing campaigns involving a mix of SEO and PPC. He is currently the CEO of SEO My Business, an Atlanta agency that specializes in not only SEO and PPC, but also social media marketing, email marketing, and public relations.