The holiday season will soon be upon us.

It’s the time for holiday parties, carols, and of course… shopping.

Holiday shopping creates an opportunity for small businesses to generate lots of sales and new clients. But, the competition is high during this time of year, so in order to capitalize on it, you have to be on top of your reindeer game.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to get in front of prospective clients this season. The tips below will help you to maximize your email campaigns to make sure you’re at the top of your clients’ lists.


1. Send emails that people will actually open.

These days, inboxes are inundated with emails. You can have a great offer and message, but nobody will see it unless your email gets opened. In order to guarantee that your emails are read, you need to make them stand out from the rest. Here are a few ways to do that.


Make the “From” line personal.

If your best friend sends you an email, you’re most likely going to open it. Anytime the address in the From line is someone you have a relationship with it’s much more likely that you’ll open that email before the others in your inbox.

That’s why I suggest sending your emails from a person’s name rather than a general company email. Most people prefer to purchase products and services from a person they trust than from a general company. If you can make someone the face of your company, your subscribers are more likely to form a connection and open your emails.


Use a Subject Line that draws attention.

I like to think of subject lines as the elevator pitch for your email. It needs to be quick and catchy or you’re going to lose interest right from the start.

There are 4 major types of subject lines and all of them are good for different reasons.

  1. Descriptive subject lines: These are great to simply state what’s in the email and are especially helpful if you have an announcement or news about your business. For example, if you’re trying to get the word out about a change in business hours for the holidays, you could use the subject line “Holiday Schedule Change” or “Holiday Hours for XYZ Business”.
  2. Benefit-based subject lines: These emails are focused on answering your prospect’s question, “What’s in it for me?” Keep the subject line focused on the benefit of the message you’re sending out. For example, if you’re sending out an email with a special holiday shopping deal you might use the subject line “Save 20% With This Special Holiday Deal.”
  3. Curiosity-based subject lines: These are similar to benefit-based subject lines, but they add in a bit more mystery to help increase interest. For example, if you’re a bakery owner you could send out an email with subject line “The 6 Desserts You MUST Have this Holiday Season.” Readers will want to know what the 6 desserts are, and are therefore more likely to open the email. It’s important that the content delivers once it’s opened, which will help to build trust and a relationship between you and your subscribers.
  4. Personal subject lines: These subject lines are similar to what you’d send to a friend. The goal is to make them seem conversational so people open them. If you’re using an email system that allows you to personalize the emails going out, you can even include the receiver’s name. For example, if you’re sending an email out about a product someone could use while traveling you could use the subject line “Jodi – are you traveling this holiday season?”


Tie Your Offer to the Holiday

This may seem obvious, but your offer should be specific to the holiday season. Make sure that the offer is valid only during the holiday season. It could even apply to seasonal services or products.

You want to offers something that excites your subscribers so that they want to take advantage of it. This could be a discount or special deal, but it doesn’t have to be.

For example, if you own a high-end restaurant, you could host a special event holiday party that only has 50 spots available. The tickets might be $100 each, which is certainly not inexpensive, but if you market it to the right audience it could be a very attractive offer.


Have a Strong Call-to-Action

Around the holidays, customers are being fed offers left and right. After you create an attractive offer, you want to make sure your prospect takes action right away so that you don’t risk losing them.

This is where your call-to-action (CTA) comes in.

You need to specifically ask your subscribers to take action, and give clear instructions about what they should do next. The CTA is the immediate next step people need to take from within their email inboxes.

If we stick with the holiday party example above, the CTA may be “click here to buy your tickets” and link directly to the ticket purchasing page. Or you may want people to reply to the email or call your office at a specific phone number.

Whatever it is, be very clear and specific about what you want people to do and make it easy for them to figure it out. Put the CTA early in the email, and then repeat it at least one more time.

Want More Holiday Email Marketing Tips?

Check out these related blog articles from our friends at BigCommerce:

62 Tips & Strategies for Successful Holiday Marketing Campaigns

Effective Holiday Email Marketing: Examples, Tips, and Tools for Successful Campaigns