Inspiration for your Christmas email campaigns

Searching for inspiration for your Christmas email campaigns? We’ve rounded up tips and examples to drive sales in the most lucrative time of the retail calendar…

Black Friday has been and gone. Or is it Cyber Monday, Black Week or even Cyber Tuesday, who knows? Now it’s time for being asked ‘are you ready yet?’ repeatedly by strangers even though you haven’t started any Christmas shopping. Time to spend more in one month than you normally do in a year, panic buy for people you haven’t seen in ages and gain 10lbs in one week because, as the ‘Very’ Christmas advert says, it’s the best excuse of the year!

But if you’re in business, it’s no excuse not to be nailing delivery of your email marketing strategy. That’s because compared to other digital marketing channels, it not only brings a higher return on investment, but it’s also an opt-in channel. Your audience is choosing to receive your marketing, straight to their inbox – and you can’t afford to miss out on that at Christmas.

7 content tips to inspire your Christmas emails

“But Lisa,” I hear you say, “it’s the middle of December. Isn’t it a bit late to be getting inspiration for Christmas email campaigns now?” The answer is not at all. It doesn’t matter if your Christmas email marketing campaign has only just hit your radar, or even if it’s midswing already but not reaping the results you’d hoped for, it’s not too late to change tack.

Take a look at our 7 content tips to give your Christmas emails some inspiration.

  1. Content. The key to email marketing success lies in your email content. Give them an incentive to buy, give them Christmas gift ideas and spread a little Christmas joy by helping people out with amazing present ideas as we all have that member of the family who is extremely difficult to buy for. 
  2. Make sure there is a sense of urgency to act now. At its most basic, adding a ‘Buy now’ call to action means you’re helping that person get ready for Christmas sooner. But you can also take it to the next level easily. For example, you could use a branded countdown timer – such as one provided by Nifty Images – to let customers how many shopping days there are left until your cut off date for delivery before Christmas.
  3. Reach customers with the right message. It’s easily done by filtering your data based on interests, demographics or purchasing behaviour. From there, create individual campaigns that cater to each element of your audience. After all, there’s no point promoting turkey with all the trimmings deals to vegans – that’s a sure fire way to end up alienating your audience and lead them straight to the unsubscribe button.
  4. Promotions take priority. If you have a Christmas promotion on, get it out there front and centre! Are you offering a free mulled wine with every purchase? How about gift card options, wrapping services? Let people know by making it the central message of your email.
  5. Even if you’re not in retail, think about changing your automated or transactional emails – such as welcome emails, nuture sequences or even invoice emails – to have a festive theme or message throughout the season. It will make sure your email stands out in the inbox and create a neat surprise about your brand.
  6. Regardless of what sector you’re in, be sure to give your recipients something to engage with in your emails. Advent calendar, clickthrough to a landing page, or even just a link to a blog or your website. This will boost the performance rating of your campaign (meaning other email clients will be less likely to mark your email as spam – more on that in our free guide to email marketing) even if you’re not anticipating massive conversions on your Christmas email.
  7. Finally, even if you think your business has no significant festive content to offer your audience at Christmas time, if you send out Christmas cards, you should still consider email marketing. In the spirit of environmental consciousousness, isn’t it a great idea to ditch posted Christmas cards in favour of emails? Sending your Christmas cheer digitally will reduce the carbon impact of your festive messages by up to two thirds compared to sending physical Christmas cards.

Christmas email design inspiration

Puma – inspiration for that ‘last chance to shop’ Christmas email

Puma - Christmas email inspiration
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Puma is a brand that needs no explanation of who they are and their Christmas email plays into that. This is one for the last minute shoppers, and it offers all the inspiration a Christmas email for last minute shoppers should have. It wastes no time or header space on product images – instead, we’re straight in with the message ‘free overnight shipping’. But then there’s the urgency, too – don’t wait until you get home, do it in your lunch hour as it ends today at 2pm. 

There are healthily sized calls to action for gift cards (for your brother who you have no idea what to buy but you know he loves sportswear), gift guide (if you’re one of those who doesn’t ‘do’ gift cards but don’t know what specifically to get for your brother) and a Holiday FAQ to give you some inspiration and help obliterate any purchase dithering. It’s a smorgasbord board of engagement, relevant information, helpfulness and extremely inviting CTA’s. Not to mention a massive 50% off just for the holidays. 

All in all, it’s an inspirationally simple Christmas email, one that can be put together quickly, but in it Puma shows itself to be a brand that understands and caterers for its audience incredibly well.


LOOKFANTASTIC – inspiration for your ‘seasonal upsell opportunities’ Christmas email

LOOKFANTASTIC Christmas email inspiration
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I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of evil temptress email that I eagerly open with all the good intentions of buying presents for relatives but end up filling my basket with goodies for myself. Or is that just me?

LOOKFANTASTIC have done a ‘FANTASTIC’ job of getting urgency in the shopper’s mind as soon as the email is opened. Even the discount code they’ve chosen to use for the email campaign is HURRY20 – a very clever move. It’s simple enough to remember the code while also making sure the word ‘hurry’ is embedded into your shopping experience after you click through to the website from the email. You’re drawn into thinking you only have a limited time left to get the deal so get a move on – fill your basket!

Then we roll into more must-haves for the festive period, all discounted but without any specific prices in the artwork. No, you’ll have to go to the website to find out that, so how can you afford not to click through right now and have a good browse? The artwork itself has bold colours – gold for the header and purple for the copy background. It’s suitably festive, but also highlights the premium feel of the brands on offer through the royal associations of those colours.

It’s a piece of Christmas marketing genius and we love it.


resin8 – inspiration for ‘celebrate the whole season’ Christmas emails

resin8 Christmas email inspiration
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In this Christmas email campaign series, resin8 – an independent UK resin and craft supply store with a substantial online presence and a physical shop – prove that you don’t need to be a global brand to deliver a carefully crafted (see what I did there?) festive email campaign.

We all know a craft-enthusiast who loves to go into full creative-mode in the run up to Christmas, either making personalised gifts for friends and family or whizzing up a grotto of homemade decorations. resin8 has fully complemented that type of crafter’s excitement for the season by delivering a complete digital advent calendar of offers in their Christmas email campaign.

While many larger brands these days are creating, marketing and selling actual advent calendars of branded goodies, cleverly, resin8 taps into that idea without actually giving anything away. Every day, their audience gets a snazzy gif of the advent calendar door opening to reveal the free gift for the day – but you’ll only receive it if you make a purchase that day with their special advent calendar voucher code. It’s a superb way to share the seasonal spirit with your whole audience while enticing customers to make a purchase that day they might not otherwise make. The most enthusiastic crafters may even make multiple purchases across the month.

Sure, this type of Christmas email campaign takes more planning than others, but it’s hugely adaptable and cost effective for a wide range of businesses – even if you’re not in retail – and one to definitely consider for next year.


Feeling inspired yet?

So there we have it: 7 top tips and 3 examples of how to wow your audience and deliver your Christmas messages on brand, regardless of what type of business and budget you have. Clearly some Christmas campaigns have more resource and planning requirements than others, but hopefully we’ve shown you the value of getting a message out there (even if it’s last minute), and how a little creativity can take you a long way.

Despite all that inspiration, if you’re up against it and still stuck for getting your Christmas email out before the January sales kick in, get in touch with us at mmunic. We offer a whole range of email marketing services, including one-off campaign help, and we can make sure your Christmas messages shine in your audiences’ inboxes. Just email hello@mmunic.co.uk, or use our get in touch form to let us know how we can help.

Written by

Lisa Winter

Lisa Winter

Graphic Designer, Digital Designer and Email Marketing Specialist at mmunic. Get in touch to find out how to pronounce our company name.

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