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7 Effective Holiday Email Marketing Ideas to Boost Sales for Small Businesses

holiday marketing ideas to super-charge your sales

Email is the most profitable marketing channel according to a new report. Here are 7 effective holiday email marketing ideas to boost sales for your small business.

A huge mistake you would be making as a small business owner is to ignore holiday marketing.

Related: How to prepare your store for the holiday season

Of course, the reason is not far-fetched.

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According to data from the National Retail Federation, holiday sales account for 20% – 40% of all retail sales and in November and December of 2018 alone, holiday sales generated $707.5 billion in sales.

The previous year, retail e-commerce sales were predicted to increase by 15.8% during the holiday season while mobile commerce sales by 35%.

While different studies show that 55% of consumers plan to visit stores on shopping days like black Fridays, cyber Monday and 38% are likely to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

Another study shows that one-third of shoppers’ report holiday weekend purchases were driven by promotions.

Shoppers’ report holiday weekend purchases were driven by promotions.

This means that shoppers will likely have omnichannel expectations from brands.

And luckily, studies have revealed that email marketing is one of the most effective channels. A study by Salecycle shows that over 59% of marketer admitted that email marketing is their biggest source of R.O.I.

In this post, I will walk you through simple holiday email marketing ideas to boost sales for your small business.

Related: 15+ Incredibly Effective Email List Building Ideas

If you find it useful which I am sure you would kindly use any of the social media buttons to share to friends. Thanks in Advance!

So, let get started.

Why email marketing works

holiday email marketing ideas to boost sales for your small business - gmail
Gmail Inbox

A study by Experian found that email is the top holiday marketing channel for 55% of brands.

Email is the top marketing channel for 55% of brands a new report found.

If you are wondering why: take a look at the next stat.

According to one study, email marketing generates about $38 for every $1 spent.

For those that are not too strong in split-seconds calculations, this means that email marketing has a staggering 3,800% R.O.I.

Of course, this is massive.

The thing is email marketing is an effective marketing channel to retain, nurture and influence customers to make purchasing decisions.

A different study shows that 80% of professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention while in another study, 59% of respondents say that marketing emails influence their purchasing decisions.

All these statistics point to how effective leveraging email marketing could be for your business, especially for your holiday marketing.

Fortunately, I’ve listed out 7 effective holiday email marketing ideas to get you started.

7 super effective holiday email marketing ideas to boost sales

messaging icons - holiday email marketing ideas to boost sales 2019
Messaging icons

Before we dive, keep this in mind:

This list is not exhaustive of all the ways you can leverage your subscriber list to boost sales.

Related: 7 Holiday Marketing Ideas to Boost Ecommerce Sales

Start early

A lot of people will agree with me that building the email list is the hardest part of email marketing.

Of course, developing the copies, designing the template and automating the series is quite difficult, but the truth is none comes close to building an email list organically.

It takes a lot of effort, time and even resources to build a reasonable one.

So, this means that you need to start your holiday marketing planning as early as possible.

While you build your list, also use the period to work out your strategies, prepare your materials and get ready the designs you will be needing for the campaign.

And of course, starting early will ensure that your team won’t work under pressure.

Offer a discount

Ignore this at your peril.

Discount is what makes holiday shopping season to grind and the truth is it is the biggest single driver of holiday shopping. 

Before you dismiss this, let’s take a look at these statistics compiled from Convince and Convert.

  • You can sale up to 73% more if you offer a bonus pack.
  • 7 out of 10 people reported using an emailed discount in the previous week.
  • 75% of consumers report scouring their inboxes in search of relevant discounts.
  • 55% of consumers receptive to email marketing prefer money-off deals.

So, plan a special offer for your holiday marketing and promote it to your email list.

Use urgency

In the marketing circle, this practice is known is as F.O.M.O marketing; fear of missing out.

From experience we know that time-sensitive offers encourage people to take action immediately. Of course, the truth is nobody wants to miss out on a great deal.

So, leverage this strategically in your holiday marketing to drive holiday sales.

In case nobody has ever told you this before, 60% of millennials make reactive purchases because of FOMO.

They buy something just because they feel they might miss out.

Channel this fear into positive energies for your business

Clean up your list

Of course, it doesn’t make sense marketing to people who are least likely to purchase from you.

It is a waste of resources and it is also going to damn your statistics.

And the only way to avoid this is to clean up your email list and target your campaign to only the people that are most likely to make an impact.

To get started, just dive into your email lists and filter out subscribers with unacceptable open and click-through-rates.

Thank me later after doing this.

Segment your audience

After cleaning up your list, the next right move is to segment your audience and personalize the experience for each audience group.

Of course, it doesn’t also make sense to target the same campaign to all the people in your list.

Segmenting your list will enable you to target the right offers to each audience group and this means better sales.

According to Hubspot, marketers who do this note as much as 760% increase in revenue.

Don’t ignore A/B test

If you are not A/B testing your content, you are leaving money on the table (Source)

If you are wondering why then continue.

According to Campaign Monitor, A/B testing their email content and design got them a 127% increase in click-through-rate.

Of course, this result is not unexpected, A/B testing is the most effective way of creating email copies that convert to buyers.

Over the years, smart marketers have leveraged it to improve their content engagement, reduce bounce rate, increase open rate and drive higher sales values.

Luckily, you can leverage it to achieve the same thing.

Theme your subject line

Whether people are going to open your email or not, will, of course, depend on the subject line and one amazing way to drive email opens is to theme the subject line around the holiday.

The good thing with this is that it will help you to tap into the holiday feeling.

But before sending the campaign, ensure you A/B test the subject lines to drive the best possible conversion.

Of course, this shouldn’t be limited to the emails alone, also ensure that the landing pages reflect the spirit of the holiday.

You can start by changing the colours and themes to signal the holiday season.

Wrapping up

Holiday email marketing is a great way to drive sales from holiday shoppers.

And thankfully, this post has compiled 7 simple ways to do this without going insane and in addition to the 7, here are other 3 you might also consider.

  • Use remarketing to re-engage those who take certain actions but didn’t convert.
  • Offer free shipping to drive in more sales
  • And, make sure you track your performance and have a plan B ready.

If you find this post helpful, kindly share to your friends on social media and I will be grateful.


  • Chinasa Ferderick

    Ferderick is a highly skilled marketing expert with a passion for helping small businesses thrive in today's competitive landscape. With his comprehensive knowledge of the industry and expertise in marketing and SEO strategies, he has successfully assisted numerous businesses in achieving their goals.

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