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3 Holiday Email Campaign Ideas

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

The holidays are on us and you and your inbox are about to get STUFFED. (Get it!? Like a turkey!) Sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself.

Instead of begging the Google gods for inspiration, I thought I’d throw you some ideas on how to celebrate the season in your customers’ inbox.

I’ve seen RESULTS with these campaigns during the email cluttered season of SHOPPING, EATING and GIVING.

You’ve already designed, written and schedule all your holiday campaigns, right!?

HAHAHAHA

If you’re like most lean companies, you probably have a rough outline but haven’t quite gotten to building those emails.

Don’t worry about it. You have PLENTY of time.

And with these ideas, you’ll have a fresh new twist to add to your copy or design.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Holiday Email Campaign Idea 1:
Show Some Gratitude on Thanksgiving

What are people doing on Thanksgiving day outside of the 30 minutes they spend at the dinner table mashing green bean casserole into their faces while trying to ignore Uncle Mike’s one billionth rant about KIDS THESE DAYS?

(Also, let’s face it. The sides of any Thanksgiving meal are usually the best. Give me green bean casserole, stuffing and mashed potatoes any day over turkey. CONTROVERSIAL!)

As maddening as it is, you are gonna be on your phone trying to avoid eye contact with Aunt Cheryl who’s already had one too many glasses of wine and LOVES to ask you questions about what it is you actually do while pretending to know what digital marketing means.

You are not alone.

It’s AWKWARD. And people will be doing everything they can to alleviate that stress.

What are they going to be doing on their phones?

Checking the social media and guess what else? THEIR EMAILS!

You are GOING to have their attention on Thanksgiving.

Use this time to show your email subscribers some gratitude.

  • Tell them what their support has meant for your business this year or the people/customers you serve.
  • Tell a story about something that was a big win for a customer or client of yours.
  • Tell them a story about a big win for your business this year.
  • Tell them that THEY are part of your success.
  • Tell them why they should care about your business.

Don’t expect them to remember every detail of your brand story. Give them a reason to remember you. Make sure they know how important they are to your business.

Holiday Email Campaign Idea 2:
Make Black Friday/Cyber Monday Your Own

Every offer over the weekend after Thanksgiving is going to be about Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Do you know what OTHER BUSINESSES are going to be emailing about?

BLACK FRIDAY!

CYBER MONDAY!

DEALS! DEALS! DEALS!

They’re doing it because people are looking for deals. But when you start using the same language as everyone else, they’re going to start comparing your deal or offer to everyone else’s.

How do you make it different?

Brand it or Skip it.

Tell people why you’re skipping out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday if you’re not doing anything around it.

OR

Name it your own thing.

How can you riff on it?

Any fun puns that go along with your brand?

Is there another color that aligns with your brand other than black? Or is black a core brand identity for you?

Play with it. People will see you stand out among EVERY subject line that will read “Black Friday”.

Holiday Email Campaign Idea 3:
Giving Tuesday

The nonprofit world lives off of Giving Tuesday. (The day after Cyber Monday).

It’s a day that nonprofits can make an explicit call for donations.

Does a part of your annual sales go to giving back to your community or a cause your business supports?

Shout it out!

Is Giving Tuesday an opportunity to donate a percentage of your sales from THAT DAY ONLY to a cause that aligns with your brand and customers?

Use it as an opportunity to boost brand loyalty by showing that you care about something beautiful in this world.

Best Alternatives to Mailchimp

It’s not secret that I dislike Mailchimp. Talk to me for 5 minutes and I’ll tell you why.

We don’t have five minutes, so I’ll go ahead and jump right in.

1. The templates ARE NOT flexible.
You are at the mercy of their templates every time you design an email.

Want to have a row of 3 images instead of 2? Oh, no big deal, then you’re gonna need to redesign that email in a totally different template.

Yes, seriously.

I have been here and HATED it.

 

2. The automations aren’t super great either.
Want an email automation that actually DOES what you want it to? Prepare yourself for hours of hacking your way through alternative routes to get it done.

(and don’t get me started on their segments)

 

3. Only ONE form per list.
If you have multiple forms that you want to custom tag your audience so that they all go on the same list, forget about it. You only get one FORM.

Many other email service providers provide you with limitless forms that all can go to one list.

BEST ALTERNATIVES TO MAILCHIMP:

TOP RECOMMENDATION:
Plain and simple, ActiveCampaign will get you the biggest bang for your buck.

You can segment your audience very easily.
The automations are in an actual visual map instead of a confusing list (*cough* Mailchimp *cough*).

Their email template builder is SUPER flexible.

AND you can track website behavior of your contacts to see what they’re browsing before they buy.

They do not have a free version, but if you’re serious about email marketing for your business, I HIGHLY recommend investing in a tool like ActiveCampaign.

I use it for my own business and have migrated several clients over to it who also love it.

BONUS: They have a tiered package that offers a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) that can help you keep track of your sales pipeline if you’re a service-based business.

BEST FREE VERSION:

Mailerlite

Mailerlite offers visual automation flows and beatuiful, flexible templates.

Their segmentation is robust enough to create personalized experiences for your email subscribers.

AND their automation is a beautiful visual flow that is incredibly user friendly and gives you options for creating truly optimized automation strategies.

BEST FOR ECOMMERCE:

Klaviyo

If you’re selling products online, Klaviyo is incredible!

I’ve worked in top dollar Email Service Providers that can’t do what Klaviyo does.

It harvests your customers’ purchasing data and can predict when they will order next. It’s so cool!

It integrates with most retail and e-commerce platforms.

For real, if you’re planning to sell products online (or at a brick-and-mortar store) check it out.

***full disclosure: I am an affiliate for all of these services. I receive a small commission for anyone who signs up for these services through the links above.