Festive Email Marketing: Some Yays and Some Nays

santa checking his emails

As I sit in my home office, writing my contribution to the Embryo blog, it is sleeting outside (which is almost as good as snow, right?) and I have four tabs open with assorted “Mulled Wine Recipes”, which means the festive season is truly upon us! That means lots of companies, aside from mourning the loss of the work Christmas do, will be doing some form of email marketing in the run up to the 25th! Christmas is a funny time of year for everything marketing since there’s just so much going on! With that in mind, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind when you’re composing those all-important email templates.

Don’t Send Christmas Greetings Just for the Hell of it

Could I sound any more Scroogey if I tried? As a self-confessed Christmas fiend, it kind of breaks my heart to say this, but the honest truth is that sending “Merry Christmas from Company X” is probably a bit of a pointless endeavour in a lot of instances. In this great season of love, family, togetherness and excessive consumption in the name of celebration, everyone is getting promotion upon deal upon discount code upon free gift falling into their personal inboxes. That means unless you have something important to say, or something that will be beneficial to your recipients – you’re wasting your time! Particularly in the days leading up to, and over, the 25th itself, anything you send needs to have a purpose, or people will be far to busy eating, drinking and being merry to give you the time of day!

Even season’s greetings sent in the name of branding are likely to see poor open rates due to the sheer amount of emails from companies popping up in December. If you really want to spread some festive cheer and corporate goodwill, why not try the old fashioned Christmas card? Not only is it far more likely to actually get picked up and read, but a Christmas card indicates a lot more festive care and effort than simply whipping up an email template with a Santa GIF on it.

With my Scrooge piece said, smaller businesses with a closer connection to their client base are more likely to be able to get away with festive email messaging without any ulterior motive, so really have a think about what you want to send, why you want to send it, and when you want to send it. 

woman checking her emails with christmas decorations

Know your Christmas Period

The “Holiday Season” used to just refer to the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US, but today it’s an international bonanza of deals, sales and offers that runs from as early as Halloween, well into the New Year and includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Bonfire Night and a whole lot more. 

With this ongoing stream of celebrations, you need to identify when is the right time to send out your Christmas messages. Is November too early to be prompting a Christmas wishlist? 

Christmas 2020 in particular, is a bit of a funnily timed one this year, so knowing when your festive messages are going out is super-important.

B2B Businesses Need to be Quick on their Feet

Because of the way Christmas and New Year’s fall this year (probably the only good thing to come out of 2020) work inboxes will probably start shuttering quite early – from around the 18th in some cases. That means if you have festive offers, messages or greetings to send, send them in plenty of time to catch your target audience, or risk being met with 400 Out of Office messages. New Year’s Day this year also falls on a Friday, which means that most people on a standard 9-5 office schedule won’t be back in until the 4th of January 2021. 

Of course, not all of this advice is applicable to everyone. Like everything email marketing, if it works for your audience, it works, and you can (and should) just ignore “best practices”! Know your audience and do a bit of thinking ahead, and you’ll probably be just fine. And with that, a merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!