“On the 12th day of Christmas, my inbox gave to me…
Ten thousand snow puns
A slew of corporate greetings
And an unrelated cartoon Christmas tree.”

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when every company under the sun starts sending festive-themed marketing emails.

To have a hope of standing out, you’ll need to get creative with your Christmas email marketing ideas.

In this article, we’ll cover the following Christmas email marketing ideas:

  1. Giving gifts people want
  2. Using humour
  3. Making it relevant
  4. Using games, quizzes and other distractions
  5. Covering the basics

Here are 5 top Christmas email marketing ideas to help you get inspired.

1. Give Gifts People Want!

We’ve all had that last minute present-buying panic. You know the one, where you realise you haven’t picked up anything for your difficult sister-in-law, you’ve run out of time, and now you’ll have to buy something bland that you don’t really want to pay for and she doesn’t really want, just to save face.

90% of holiday marketing campaigns are like that: uninspired, sent out of obligation, not really benefiting anyone.

The best way to avoid this is to focus on what the customer actually wants. It sounds obvious, but it’s crucial!

People are overloaded right now with Christmas emails, but they’re also stressed about things like travel logistics, getting presents delivered on time, wrapping up work before they go on holiday, etc. Your Christmas email marketing ideas should be focused on what you can do to solve specific problems and make the recipient’s lives easier at this time of year.

2. Use Humour

One of the problems with corporate Christmas email marketing is that it so often sounds insincere. Unless you have a personal connection with someone, a “Merry Christmas” message can ring hollow – especially if they then try to get you to buy something!

One good way to get around this is to aim for laughs instead. For example, take a look at this cheeky campaign from Parts Town, which gets the tone just right. It refers to Christmas without any cliches and cringiness, while at the same time getting the message across that they’re open on Christmas Eve: 

3. Make it Relevant

Think carefully about why you’re sending this particular email now. Is it specific to the Christmas period? Is it specific to Christmas? Or are you just putting some tinsel on something you were going to do anyway and calling it festive?

People have pretty sophisticated bull-dung detectors, so don’t try to mislead them. Think carefully about how to make your messaging or offers genuinely relevant to this time of year.

4. Provide Entertainment!

At the same time, in a lot of offices (particularly in the UK and Europe!), work slows down dramatically in the run-up to Christmas as people slip into a holiday mindset! Bosses, too, seem to be a lot more tolerant of good-humoured and festive slacking.

That makes it the perfect time to send out some lighthearted games, quizzes, animations and other bits of fun to make people smile and to stay top of mind. The more interactive, the better… remember how ElfYourself went viral? That’s a perfect example!

5. Remember the Basics!

You’d be amazed at how many companies let simple things slip in the Christmas countdown. Given the scale of the competition right now, you can’t afford to make silly mistakes.

Proofread your stuff. Check that the right name or company name is in the send field. Make sure the links work. Ensure the tone and style of your email reflect your company persona and values. For a complete checklist, click here.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Force It

The only thing worse than a Grinch is a corporate Christmas bandwaggoner. If it’s simply not relevant or appropriate, don’t feel you have to shoehorn in a Christmas reference! Stick to your usual style or send a simple “Thanks for working with us this year” type email. Festive marketing can be great, but it’s not obligatory!

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