How to Make Your Email Newsletter Successful and Not Just Cheesy During the Holidays

Sometimes being cheesy works. You open up with a line from a movie or make a comparison that leaves people rolling their eyes yet still opening the message. However, cheesy doesn’t always work during the holiday season because every company is doing it. Making cheesy holiday references is just too easy—Rudolph has a red nose for crying out loud: how can you not make a red sparkling, easy to see reference out of that?


All cheesiness aside, it’s important that your company isn’t just another company trying to force the holidays onto customers in the hopes of extra clicks. People might still open your messages, but it’s probably not going to be because you’re the only one with a clever holiday reference. You still have to be smart during the holidays, and fortunately there are many ways to do that.

How to Set Your Emails Apart During the Holiday Season

The reason that email marketing during the holidays is such a slippery slope is because there is so much competition. Every company wants to mention Cyber Monday or Black Friday or the 25 days of Christmas, so you have to set yourself apart. Below are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to email marketing and the holidays:

  1. Be Brief. You don’t want to continually send out holiday messages because people will get annoyed. Referencing the holidays now and again is OK, but every single week from Halloween to Christmas is overkill. Even though some holiday openers might be more effective than nothing at all, it will surly lose its luster after a week or two.
  2. Gives Dates. Tell people that certain deals are only available until a certain date. This will prevent you from receiving tons of responses all at once, which could cause your website to move slower. Some people might not get it together in time, but you can have another deal announced later during the holiday season so that no one misses out.
  3.  Subject Line. Put your deal right in the subject line. If you want to be cheesy in your content then OK, but the subject line is the place where people make that “yes” or “no” decision to click. As much as you may wish it weren’t true, people are more likely to click on “50 percent off all shoes” as opposed to “Santa comes through with new shoes!”
  4. Shipping Messages. Many companies will be sending messages to let a customer know that his/her order has been shipped. This is a message that someone is going to open, so this is a great time to throw in a little bit of email marketing. Tell them about a sale and how long it will last just after you explain that the item has shipped. This won’t be annoying and is usually incredibly effective.
  5. Holiday Series. Consider setting up a holiday series of email marketing campaigns and let your customers and clients know. This gives people enough warning that you’re not being annoying because they can opt out if they’d like.

Some companies actually avoid email marketing entirely during the holidays. It’s important that you continue to test your campaigns and see if marketing during this time is worth it for you in the long run. If your customers are simply too preoccupied to open emails during the busy holiday rush, it might be in your best interest to slow down your messages altogether. In either case, it’s important to test out different strategies first and decide what’s best.

Do you know a great way to help your email marketing efforts stand out like Rudolph’s nose during the holiday season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at, a leading SEO for Franchises.

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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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