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The ultimate email marketing automation Christmas list

Have you ever wondered what a perfect holiday marketing campaign looks like? Wonder no more. we've got the answer for you.

There’s no denying that Christmas and the holiday season are opportunities like no other. Whether you’re operating in the world of online retail or a B2B service provider, the end of the year marks a unique opportunity to connect with your audience.  

But, that being said, there are almost too many days and too many opportunities. How do you ensure you’re maximizing every opportunity without working all the hours in a day?  

The answer is simple: marketing automation.  

Holiday marketing automation 

The weeks from the end of October to the beginning of January are jammed packed. Not only are you trying to organize reunions and celebrations with friends and family, but marketers also have to make time and resources stretch even further.  

Email marketing is a demanding job for marketers, even during the quiet months. When the holiday marketing opportunities begin, email marketers are under pressure to turn every moment into a conversion. Marketing automation provides much-needed relief during this time.  

How? Because it gives you the ability to pre-build your email marketing for the period.  

The best thing about the holiday season is that the dates are set and unchanging. No matter what Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November; Black Friday follows immediately. Christmas Day will always be on the 25th and the new year always begins on the 1st of January.  

Holiday email marketing calendar  

These are just a few of the key days in the holiday season with immovable dates. You will know from the beginning of the year when these days will fall. As a result, you should be able to plan, build and schedule your email marketing around these dates well in advance.  

  • Thanksgiving  
  • Black Friday  
  • Cyber Monday  
  • Giving Tuesday  
  • Small business Saturday 
  • Free Shipping Day 
  • Start of Hanukkah 
  • Christmas Eve  
  • Christmas Day 
  • Boxing Day (UK) 
  • End of Hanukkah 
  • New Year’s Eve 
  • New Year’s Day 

Our ultimate email marketing automation list  

The beauty of email marketing automation is the time it saves. You can build these emails to match your business needs well in advance of the day. No longer do you have to be fretting down to the last minute, or feel sender anxiety before you hit the send button.  

Even better is the fact that you can apply rules throughout your program to improve and personalize the customer experience. For example, if a contact has opened and clicked on your ‘last shipping date’ email but has not made a purchase you can prompt them with a new action to buy a gift card.  

Below is our ultimate list of emails brands should be adding to their holiday email automation programs. 

1. Black Friday  

Nowadays, Black Friday is a campaign in itself. But if your brand is still sticking to days gone by when Black Friday really was just Friday, there’s no better place to kick-start your holiday marketing campaign. 

Angara email example Black Friday

2. Cyber Monday 

A close rival to the biggest sale event of the year, Cyber Monday is a must-have addition, especially for ecommerce brands looking to boost sales.  

Cyber Monday email example

3. Giving Tuesday 

This newcomer has been making waves in holiday marketing strategies for the past couple of years. At a time when corporate social responsibility (CSR) is being taken increasingly seriously by consumers, brands need to be thinking about Giving Tuesday (falling the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) as part of their holiday marketing campaigns.  

Dolce Vita Giving Tuesday email

4. First of December 

The December first is when you can really kick things off. By the time this rolls around shoppers have seen all the Christmas adverts and received endless Black Friday emails. Why not kick it off with something light-hearted and fun to get people in the festive spirit?  

Fortnum and Mason email example - let the countdown begin

5. Gift guides

Gift guides are invaluable to the consumer during the holiday season. There’s nothing harder than spending hours trying to find the perfect gift for your impossible-to-buy-for loved one. Gift guides can help alleviate the pressure. Even better, when you categorize your email by product or price, you’re making it even easier for the shopper to convert.  

CRate&Barrel Gift guide under $50

6. Free Shipping Day 

Another newbie you might not have considered before, Free Shipping Day generally falls in mid-December and offers free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.  

Philosophy free shipping day email

7. Happy Hanukkah 

This one is less about Hanukkah and more about inclusivity. Never forget that not all your customers will be celebrating Christmas. Hanukkah and Kwanza both fall around the same time of the year too. To ensure you’re never marginalizing your audience, add these celebrations to your holiday email marketing plans.  

Happy Hanukkah email example by Mixology

8. Last shipping date 

Gone are the days when Arnold Schwarzenegger has to run all over the city on Christmas Eve to find the perfect present for his kid. With a ‘last shipping date’ email in your campaign, even last-minute shoppers should be able to get organized.  

Last shipping date email example by Hydrant

9. Gift cards 

And for those that don’t gift cards are always an option. Of course, some people won’t be able to see and exchange gifts with their loved ones, for gift cards CTAs should be included in all your holiday marketing, but after your last shipping date, it’s time to push them and help those un-savvy shoppers who have left it too late.  

Gift card email example

10. Christmas Eve  

Depending on your brand and your brand message, Christmas Eve campaigns can look very different. For some it might be a simple season’s greeting; for others, it might be the start of yet another sale as you look to get ahead of the competition in the January sales.  

Christmas Eve email example

11. Merry Christmas 

Keep this one simple. Chances are people won’t get the time to read their emails on Christmas Day, so keep it short and sweet. Thank you and festive messages of goodwill always go down a treat.  

Happy Christmas email from Oliver Bonas

12. New Year’s Day 

And so, the new year begins. It’s likely that January sales have already kicked off, despite it only being the first of January. This is a good time to reconnect with customers after a long and busy sales period. Set out your goals and ambitions for the year and make customers feel a part of the journey. This is the key to long-term customer loyalty. 

New years goal setting email from Modern Citizen
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