Practical Ecommerce

4 Compelling Holiday Email Campaigns, from Retailers

Once Thanksgiving arrives, the volume of emails increases dramatically. Retailers race to get offers out to eager shoppers. Typically companies that send infrequent emails will increase their volume this time of year, hoping the increased orders outweighs the impact of unsubscribes.

I’ve seen some fantastic examples of well-executed email campaigns this holiday shopping season — with tempting offers and unique copy and design. In this article, I’ll share four examples of compelling holiday emails.

Well-timed Delivery: L.L. Bean

The author received this email from L.L. Bean after she abandoned the site. The subject line read "Thanks for stopping by."

The author received this email from L.L. Bean after she abandoned the site. The subject line read “Thanks for stopping by.”

This email I received after browsing L.L. Bean’s website and abandoning before I placed any items in the cart. The email arrived shortly after leaving the site, with a subject line of “Thanks for stopping by.” It’s a good example of a well-executed holiday email because of its timeliness and content.

The category and product I was looking at is displayed in the main body of the email, with other recommended product categories displayed below that, based on the areas I had been browsing. During the holidays, consumers typically visit countless sites and spend a good deal of time researching, browsing, and reading reviews before committing to a purchase. Deploying an email to shoppers that abandon an ecommerce site is an effective way at enticing them to continue with the shopping process, and hopefully converting.

Unbeatable Offers: Eddie Bauer

Giving $5 off with no minimum order amount or other limitations makes it easy to understand, and increases the chances for a sale, as shown in this email from Eddie Bauer.

Giving $5 off with no minimum order amount or other limitations makes it easy to understand, and increases the chances for a sale, as shown in this email from Eddie Bauer.

Giving away free items or coupons during the holiday season will likely attract shoppers. It can also help retailers stand out from the competition. Especially for popular items, such as apparel, a powerful offer can prompt shoppers to decide to purchase with that retailer, instead of another.

The email above from Eddie Bauer is a good example of a powerful offer. Giving $5 off with no minimum order amount or other limitations makes it easy to understand, and increases the chances for a sale. In addition, framing it as a gift makes the consumer feel as if she has received something of value, which increases the chances that she’ll redeem the offer and place future orders as a result of brand loyalty.

Christmas Deadlines: Personal Creations

This email from Personal Creations combined a date-sensitive subject line with a strong "25% off" offer and unique product selection.

This email from Personal Creations combined a date-sensitive subject line with a strong “25% off” offer and unique product selection.

Most ecommerce retailers promote the last dates to purchase items to receive in time for Christmas. This includes deadline-related messaging in retailers’ email promotions. The example above from Personal Creations combines several tactics to make the email even more powerful. The subject line —”10 Days until Christmas! Plenty of Great Gifts Left!” — emphasized the Christmas shipping deadline. But the creative copy and design was also well done because of the strong offer (“25% Off Any Order”), and because of the product selection, which rotates with animation.

Creative Seasonality: Norwegian Cruise Line

This email from Norwegian Cruise Line will likely resonate with recipients after the holiday season.

This email from Norwegian Cruise Line will likely resonate with recipients after the holiday season.

Some retailers and other businesses struggle this time of year because they do not sell traditional holiday gifts. Businesses that sell expensive goods or services may suffer because consumers do not consider the goods this time of year.

The email above from Norwegian Cruise Line is a good example. It showcases how a company can be creative to bring excitement and relevancy to their product or service. This email uses animation to show wipers clearing snow from the windshield of a car to expose a beautiful tropical scene. The headline — “Norwegians Leave The Snow Behind” —urges people to spend the holiday season somewhere sunny.

Using geographical segmentation on a campaign like this is important to ensure the message is relevant, for recipients in cold-weather states. The email’s creative copy and design is an enticing, sunny location. Even if recipients aren’t ready to purchase during the holiday season, the email’s powerful image will likely resonate in January and February.

Carolyn Nye

Carolyn Nye

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