festive-season-2In my last post, I talked about how you can prepare for your Christmas email marketing campaigns, along with some important things you should think about sending over the festive period. As Christmas is such as important time of year for email marketers, I felt it warrants more than one post! What you include in your Christmas emails can make or break your campaign, so it requires a lot of thought and preparation. Here are some more tips to help you get the most out of your email marketing over the festive season:

Subject Lines

Make It The Focus

The subject line is arguably the most important element of an email campaign, and this is particularly true over Christmas. It’s estimated that only around 10% of people actually open and read an email, so 90% of your subscribers are only seeing your subject line. Take your time coming up with creative and eye-catching subject lines, and A/B test if necessary.

The same rules for subject lines apply at Christmas as they do all year round. Use it to summarise what’s inside your email, and use words and phrases that will attract the attention of your subscribers. At Christmas, as inboxes can get so busy, you can use some other techniques to catch your readers’ eyes. Some companies, like Prezzo and Butterfly Twists, use emoticons in their subject lines to make them stand out in the inbox:

Prezzo Subject

Butterfly Subject

Use Urgency

A great way to get your email noticed is to create a sense of urgency with your subject lines. Let your customers know if you have an offer coming to an end, or when the last date for Christmas delivery is. Some companies choose to emphasise urgency by capitalising words, however this should be used sparingly as it can make your email look ‘spammy’.

Debenhams used urgency in their subject line to highlight their one day sale, only capitalising the most important parts of it:

Debenhams Urgency

L’Occitane used their subject line to warn their customers that Christmas delivery was coming to an end:

L'Occitane Urgency

Email Body

Make It Responsive

This is a must for your email campaigns all year round, not just at Christmas. Nowadays, customers expect the emails they receive to be clear and readable, whatever device they are being viewed on. A failure to do this will make you look unprofessional, and is a sure-fire way to get your email deleted.

The simplest way to make sure that you email is readable on any device is to use responsive design. When you use responsive design, your email will ‘adapt’ to fit perfectly on any sized screen. Take this example from Premier Inn:

  • Desktop

Premier Inn Desktop

  • Mobile

Premier Inn Mobile

These two emails are not radically different; the design and layout has just been altered slightly to make it clearer and easier to read and navigate on the different devices. They have also omitted the animated gif from the mobile version of the email, presumably to make it ‘lighter’ and less distracting on a small screen.

Get Creative

Christmas is the ideal time to use every tool at your disposal in your email campaigns. Certain things, like the animated gif featured in the Premier Inn campaign above, might seem unnecessary or over the top at other times of year. However, at Christmas, it seems more appropriate to use creative elements in your emails, and they could help to get them noticed.

As well as animated gifs, you could also include videos, social media interaction, and other festive design elements; anything to make your email stand out!

M&S showcased videos in their Christmas email, and encouraged their subscribers to use their #FollowTheFairies hashtag on Twitter:

M&S Christmas 2 M&S Christmas 1

Creative gift suggestions also make for good emails over the festive season. In this example from Apple, rather than just list possible gift ideas, they have shown gifts that would be suitable for people with different interests. They have also shown them in a clean, modern way, keeping copy to a minimum but still making it clear what the email is about:

Apple Gifts

The clever thing about this email is that it makes Apple look like the destination for Christmas gifts for everyone, despite them only selling quite a limited range of products.

Although a Christmas email campaign can be hard work and time consuming, it also gives you the opportunity to be much more creative and expressive than at other times of year. A good Christmas campaign can also highlight email techniques and elements that could work for you all year round.