Lindsey Roberts

5 Quick Wins To Make The Most of Email Marketing Around Christmas

It sort of goes without saying that Christmas is the busiest time of the year for retailers, and for marketers. At Visualsoft, we plan months in advance for the festive sales period and that’s especially true in our Email Marketing team, where in order to get the most out of every send, preparation is everything.

Saying that, we know not everyone is so keen on forward planning, or in some cases, especially in busy eCommerce businesses where things run 100 miles an hour, it’s just not possible, despite best intentions. So, whether your email plan for December is already nailed down, or if you’re more of a last-minute kind of marketer, our tips below can help you make the most of your festive Email Marketing campaigns.

Our resident Queen of Email Marketing, Lindsey Roberts, is here to share her 5 quick wins to help you make the most of Email Marketing this festive period…

A/B test those subject lines

Your subject line is the first thing a recipient will see, so getting it right is crucial.

This is a key element all retailers must consider and, in our opinion, it can be just as (if not more!) important than good design. If only 16% of your subscribers are opening, you need to work on standing out in the inbox, as well as making your subject lines compelling enough for more of them to open.

Ideally, you will have already been carrying out A/B subject line testing throughout the year, so you should have a good idea of what works for your subscribers, and testing in December will simply optimise performance further. However, if not, don’t worry – it’s never too late to start testing!

There are countless ways to test your email campaigns, but for now, why not start with:

  • Using emojis – we LOVE! (Use this to make sure your emojis are compatible across multiple devices, email clients, and browsers.)
  • Using brand names
  • Using product names

Even testing a different tone of voice can be really interesting and may surprise you! For mailing lists over 20,000 subscribers, we’d recommend sending 20% version A, and 20% version B, then sending the winning version to the other 60% of your subscribers. For smaller lists, just split your database 50/50 and then use the results to inform your next test.

Know your audience!

It’s so easy to segment your database with Visualsoft, either on preferences, past purchases, or engagement with your emails. You can then target subscribers with offers that are more relevant to them, which can really boost engagement and ROI.

Every gift recipient is different, and it’s the same for your subscribers. So send them content you know is relevant to their personal preferences. It’s a no brainer, really.

When segmenting, we recommend thinking about:

  • What have they previously purchased? Send them an email with products from their favourite brands.
  • Have they previously purchased? If not, why not offer them a first-purchase incentive?
  • Are they a regular purchaser? Reward their loyalty with exclusive offers.
  • Have they stopped opening emails? Make your subject line snappy and entice them back with a special offer.

If segmentation isn’t an option for you, you’ll need to make your content a little more generic to aim for wider appeal. It can work, but be prepared that it will be less effective than a targeted approach.

Instil urgency  

Once your subscribers have opened your email, it’s your content that will ultimately drive them to purchase.

Creating urgency can be a really good tactic to give subscribers a final push to spend on your site, for example, a great way to achieve this is to include a countdown timer within your email. Use them alongside time-sensitive offers to give subscribers a final push, or countdown to the last order dates to encourage shoppers to buy promptly so they receive their order in time for Christmas.

Re-target subscribers on other channels

Re-targeting subscribers on social media can be a highly effective way to increase revenue during the festive period. You can do this in a number of different ways. For example, re-target those who haven’t opened or purchased on the back of your email, via a paid social ad, or you can get really advanced and even upload specific segments from your email lists to then target them on social channels with specific offers.

Using social media alongside your email campaigns in these ways can really give your conversions a boost during the Christmas period.

Don’t be afraid to up your sending frequency

As we’ve mentioned, you need to stand out in the inbox to grab your subscriber’s attention. People spend more during Christmas, so you need to be making sure that they’re thinking of your brand, and not your competitors (who are likely to be also ramping up their presence in your would-be customers inboxes!).

A super quick way to do that is to simply send more emails. Don’t get us wrong – don’t go click crazy and send for the sake of it – but you can send more frequently if you have new, relevant content. Send more emails, but you must make them more relevant.

You can also try re-mailing, which is re-sending an email to those who didn’t open it the first time, but with a new subject line. This can be really effective in boosting traffic and conversions when used sparingly – don’t go overboard and do it on every email, only key sale messages.

If you feel reluctant about sending more, just remember that email is a crucial channel for relationship building and brand awareness, not just sales. So if you do send more but don’t see a spike in revenue, look at your attribution model in Google Analytics. Experienced email marketers will know that last-click attribution modelling is not the best way to measure the success of email – look at your overall sales during the period. That might include in your bricks and mortar stores.


If you’re in a spin about your Email Marketing campaigns this coming festive period and are in need of a helping hand to lift off, we can help. Contact a member of our team on 01642 988 416 or email [email protected] and we can discuss your business objectives for the Christmas season and beyond, to develop a future-proof Email strategy that achieves targets and improves brand loyalty and awareness.

With almost 20 years of experience in eCommerce and digital, we know what will get your customers clicking this Christmas.


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