Christmas Email Marketing Campaigns: What NOT to DO + 3 Tips

You know the drill. It’s that time of the year again, Christmas just round the corner and there’s only one thing on your mind. “I need to get my season’s greetings out the door!” Fair enough. Who will you be sending them to? “Everyone.” Everyone? “Everyone!”. OK, let me put this as nicely as I can.

Don’t bloody do it! Stop!

Snap out of it (or get someone to water-splash you into reason :)! Yeah, we know it sounds really, really tempting to email all your clients a “Happy holidays” card. The problem is twofold:

Problem #1

By “all clients” you probably mean everyone who ever did business with you. But ask your sales staff to provide you with a list of “all clients” and they’ll gladly pull all contacts from your CRM, which includes everyone and their mother (prospecting is their job after all), even if those people haven’t heard of you in years.

So what happens when these age-old contacts get an email from you out of the blue? If you’re lucky, they’ll just bin it. The most likely outcome though is getting a truckload of undeliverables and spam complaints, which will kill your deliverability! “But this is season’s greetings we’re talking about”, we hear you say. “Everyone enjoys them. I must do it”. Well, that segues nicely into…

Problem #2

Do you know who’s also churning out season’s greetings in the coming days? Everyone! Absolutely anyone and everyone will happy-holyday their customer list into submission.

The result? Your lovely “Here’s wishing…” email won’t have a snowball’s chance in Mt Doom to stand out from the crowd. This in turn will lead your email not to be opened (people tend to tune out the annual Xmas bludgeoning), which lowers your ISP engagement and, again, ruins your deliverability!

So how should you go about it then?

It’s all about engagement, so make sure to:

  • #1 Never blast a bog-standard Xmas postcard to your whole list! Turn your mailing into something relevant, targeted and treasured. For example, how about treating your most valuable customers to a special gift?
  • Simply segment your top shoppers and offer them something unique which builds a close relationship with your brand. And if you really must send them a “Happy new year” email as well, then…
  • #2 Tell a story! People love stories (that’s what makes civilisations tick ;), so do feel free to engage with your audience with what you’ve been up to this year. The more personal you get, the more you’ll pique your clients’ attention, but try to make it about them instead of you. Oh, and all the better if you make it funny 🙂
  • #3 Do nothing if you’re better off doing nothing! Yep, that’s right. If you really don’t have a gift to offer your best customers or no way to target them (come on, seriously?), save yourself the trouble and stress of getting a run-of-the-mill Xmas card out the door. People will be so swamped with a never-ending flood of season’s greetings they won’t even remember to think less of you for not mailing them.
  • Want proof? How many season’s greetings from businesses did you receive last year? A bazillion, right? How many of those businesses can you name? Exactly.


‘Tis the season. Make it worth it for your audience or don’t at all. Never half-bake it! 🙂

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