It’s that time of year…. Christmas is coming!

9 min read by Lauren Boyton 11 Oct 2021

Christmas will be here sooner than we know it, so have you thought about how you’ll approach your email marketing during the festive season yet? The bad news is that if you haven’t, it’s time to start thinking about it. The good news is that we’ve wrapped up everything you need to think about below – yule love it! 

Christmas look and feel 

The first thing to think about is your Christmas look and feel, how will your Christmas emails look. Usually, brands will follow the same look and feel as their website or store on their emails, whether that be falling snow, the use of red in emails or some Christmas illustrations. A great example here is Starbucks, known for their red cups at Christmas, they turn their emails red for Christmas. 

Christmas gifting

It is the season of giving after all! This is a particular focus point if you’re an eCommerce store, how will you categorise your products for Christmas. A great way of doing this is creating separate landing pages for each of these, for example, a landing page for Stocking Fillers, Gifts for Men, Gifts for Women, Gifts for Children etc. then having a CTA for each in your emails.

Here are some great examples from M&S. The most important thing here is to not leave it too late, for example, this M&S email was sent on October 31st – nearly 2 months before Christmas:

Christmas gift guide or top picks

A great way to promote your products for Christmas is to add them to a gift guide or add your ‘top picks’ into an email, you could even use data to personalise these products to what the user has been viewing onsite. Don’t forget to promote things like advent calendars and decorations in the lead up to Christmas also. Here are some great examples from Fortnum and Mason:

Christmas gamification – advent calendars, 12 days of Christmas

Gamification in email marketing is on the up and it’s easy to see why with the uplift in engagement. Polling, Spin to Win offers are just a few ways you can make your emails interactive and more entertaining for the user. In the lead up to Christmas, you could consider making your emails interactive by running competitions or gifting. For example, you could have an advent calendar email that sends every day to your most engaged customers, every day a new door opens giving users the chance to win something or get a free gift. Once the day has passed you could shut the door and update the email using a tool like Kickdynamic to say ‘sorry, you’re too late, you missed this offer. 

Here is a great example of Costa doing the 12 days of Christmas:

Christmas – the important dates 

Is there anything more annoying than going to buy a Christmas present only to find you’ve missed the last postage date? Use email to inform users about your Christmas opening hours and last postage dates. 


You could use a countdown timer like Barbour have done in this example to show how long is left for Christmas delivery:

Click here to see example of Lakeland email

Launch Christmas Products 

Christmas is a great time to use email to launch a seasonal product, for example, a Christmas flavour or a Christmas edition of your usual product. A great example here is the lush snow fairy range which is only launched every year for the seasonal period. 

Here is also a great example of Chilly’s bottles launching new products for Christmas. 

Don’t forget the last-minute gifters

Not everyone is as organised as you, so don’t forget those last-minute gifters who buy their Christmas presents on Christmas eve. Mr and Mrs Smith do a great email here using the opportunity to promote gift vouchers. 

Here are some of our favourite emails from the festive season:

But wait—there’s myrrh…

…. don’t forget about other key dates in the lead-up and after Christmas:

  • Bonfire Night – 5th November
  • Black Friday – 26th November
  • Cyber Monday – 29th November 
  • Boxing Day Sale – 26th December 
  • January Sales – From 1st January 

Our key takeaways:

  • Plan ahead and give yourself time
    Don’t leave it until the 1st of December to think about what you’re going for your Christmas email strategy, start thinking about it now
  • Test, test, test
    We’re about to enter the busiest period for eCommerce email marketers, there’s a lot of pressure to get emails right with no errors, particularly around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and January Sales. Give yourself time, test and check your emails, getting your team to also check them.
  • Use profiling to make your emails stand out
    Your inbox is about to get a lot busier, your brand needs to stand out from the crowd, if you’re not already start implicitly profiling your contacts with updated preferences and website behaviour so you can send relevant and personalised emails.
  • Deliver relevant, timely communications
    Automated emails are triggered by an event/action made by your customer, i.e. they sign up for your newsletter. In most cases, the first automation they’ll receive from you is a welcome series. Now is the time to review any automations you have set up, are they still relevant? Do you need to make any changes based on new learnings? If you’re using open data you’ll need to update these ahead of the latest iOS 15 updates coming this month. 
  • Drive new sign-ups 
    This is the busiest time of year for shoppers and therefore the best time for you to collect new email sign-ups. Review your data acquisition methods, are you making it easy for users to sign up and are you telling users why they should sign up to your newsletters.
  • Go cross-channel
    The future of email is not just email, it’s integrating multiple channels and drives consistent messaging across the platforms, focusing on the right message, right time, right channel. For example, you use Christmas look and feel in your emails, make sure you’re using this on social also. 

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