Holiday Email Marketing Strategies: What and When

Holiday Email Marketing Strategies
Valeriia Dziubenko Valeriia Dziubenko 29 november 2022, 09:53 539
For beginners

A major holiday season is coming, and it’s a time when people expect to receive lots of holiday-themed emails. Holiday shopping represents an enormous market. For instance, holiday season sales are expected to top $1.3 trillion this year in the US alone.

You can take advantage of this season to boost sales for your brand by sending relevant marketing emails at the best times. Do not forget that you’ll need an email service provider, like UniOne, to enable you to manage your email campaigns with ease.

What Type of Holiday Emails Can You Send?

The first thing to understand is that email is the marketing channel that's best suited for promoting holiday sales. Emails are well suited for a mobile world, and people can easily read and reply to emails on the go from their smartphones. This situation presents an opportunity for brands to promote their products for mobile shopping, which already accounts for over 40% of online retail activity.

You can send different types of holiday emails to promote your products and win sales. A typical example is sending a gift guide during a period when people usually exchange gifts or offering last-minute deals for customers to grab gift items at discounted prices. You can also send emails after the holidays to remain engaged with the subscribers you got during that period.

1. Holiday Gift Guide

It’s a tradition to exchange gifts during the holidays, however there’s a major challenge people face: deciding on what gifts to buy for their peers or family members. Why don’t you swoop in to help?

You can curate different items from your online store into gift guides and send them to your subscribers. This type of email will take away the burden that comes with deciding the best gift items to buy, and some of your subscribers will likely purchase one or more products from the guide.

A gift guide is one of the most anticipated holiday emails, so make sure your subscribers don’t miss out on the opportunity. Below is a good example of a holiday gift guide email:


2. Last-Minute Deals

A lot of people postpone their gift shopping to just before major holidays. This means that it's advisable to promote your products up until the eve of the holidays to get the attention of last-minute shoppers. People don’t like passing up on good deals, so you can include significant discounts in your holiday emails to entice recipients to purchase your products.

Many last-minute shoppers decide to shop in person because they're worried that items purchased online won't arrive at their doorsteps on time. Hence, there's a lucrative opportunity for brands with physical stores to promote last-minute deals for holiday shoppers.


3. Post-Holiday Emails

Holidays are a perfect time to promote your products and earn higher-than-usual sales, but remember that the holiday season is temporary. Don’t stop engaging with customers that purchase your products during the holidays. Send regular marketing emails to keep them in the loop and make them repeat customers. For example, you can send emails to specific subscribers promoting items similar to what they purchased during the festive periods.

Repeat customers are 9 times more likely to buy products you suggest than first-time visitors, so make sure you keep in touch after sending the original holiday emails. Below is a fitting example of a skincare brand using post-holiday emails to promote its products:


When Do You Send Holiday Emails?

The best time to send holiday emails that will get the highest open rates depends on the particular holiday. Research shows that for holidays that do not involve exchanging gifts (e.g., Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, etc.) the emails with the highest open rates come right before the event or on it.

The holidays that involve exchanging gifts (like Christmas) are often anticipated long before they come, so you can get a good email open rate if you send messages some weeks or even a couple of months before the event. For instance, Christmas-themed emails tend to get higher open rates in October and November than in December.

Sending Emails at the Ideal Time for a Recipient

The best time of day to send holiday emails also depends on the audience you’re targeting. Different demographics and customer profiles have respective times when they’re more likely to respond to marketing emails:

  • If your target audience is the young, tech-savvy crowd, you can send emails in the evening or at night because many of them are glued to their screens at that point. This is generally inadvisable in email marketing but we think the young crowd is an exception.
  • Friday is a good time to send emails if you're advertising holiday-themed activities that people usually perform on the weekend.


An email advertising a holiday-themed activity – perfect to send on a Friday.

  • For all audiences, it’s better to send emails on weekdays than on weekends because people tend to use the weekends to catch up with errands and connect with friends and families, so they don’t pay attention to emails as much as they do on weekdays.
  • Consider your target audience's time zone. You can customize email delivery times depending on the time zone of your respective subscribers.


Holidays are a season most of us look forward to. It brings a lot of fun for people around the globe as they connect with acquaintances, friends, and family members. Holiday periods come with increased retail activity, so it’s an ideal time for your brand to lure customers and grab its share of the temporarily-upsized market. You can do that by sending holiday emails promoting your products and including some freebies like discounts and vouchers to entice recipients.

There are different ideal times to send holiday emails depending on the particular festivity and your target audience. Follow the tips we provided, and you’ll likely see increased sales during the holidays. Note that you’ll need a reliable email service provider, e.g., UniOne, to deliver messages to customers with ease and speed.

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