We scoured our inboxes for some good marketing emails and then turned them into creative sparks for your own great promotions. Let’s take a look at why we think they’re successful, and why you should gear your email marketing towards them.

  1. Send out a Halloween Sale Announcement.

Who doesn’t like receiving spooky deals? 75% of consumers say they only skim their emails, looking for relevant deals. Offer your customers what they want: a mind-blowing deal wrapped in a witty email they can’t resist. Here’s an idea for a marketing email from Designmodo for Halloween.

Subject: ??? Happy Halloween! Get 30% discount in designmodo store and market.
Email campaign for Halloween from Designmodo.
Why it works

This Halloween email campaign is simple and direct, making it efficient!

Keep it short and be clear with your email campaigns, just like Designmodo did here: Add the discount in the subject line. Your open rate will improve if you display the deal directly. For the email itself, you should reach for simple illustrations that don’t draw attention from the offer.

We also like that there is little text in the email, which makes it easier to read and understand quickly. The main offer is well presented: centered, well structured and straight to the point.

Pro Tip. Instead of offering a percentage discount, offer a value discount. Customers like to know exactly how much they're saving, and according to one study, people prefer value discounts (article in English), even over free shipping. Your next campaign may be: Use the code "Party" for $5 off all t-shirts.
  1. share a referral code as a thank you gift

In the US, people celebrate Thanksgiving every year, a holiday for family to express their gratitude. Americans are so thankful at the time that they spent over $4 billion in online sales for the first time in 2019 (article in English).

We don’t need an extra holiday to say thank you. Especially in difficult times like this year, we should show our gratitude more often. For example, with a referral offer. Here’s an example from Ibotta:
Thanksgiving holiday email campaign by Ibotta
Referral code from ibotta
Why it works

The first thing that catches your eye is the huge „$50“ and you think to yourself, what a great deal this is. The email has your attention, so you read on. The content is crisp and sweet – the right length for a quick read.

We also like that the referral code is clear and stands out in the email. The announcement in the header „ENDS TOMORROW“ creates urgency to act on the offer before it’s too late.

In conclusion, we believe this email campaign came at the perfect time: it was sent out in the US for Thanksgiving. Perfect for a $50 gift card to share with your family, right when you’re heading home anyway. In the right place at the right time!

  1. Introduce an Early Bird Offer

Early Bird offers are perfect for creating hype for your products. You’re giving your customers some extra time to take advantage of the deals in your email campaigns.

Retailers usually focus on marketing activities on the day of the occasion or holiday. So why not send out a standout email campaign ahead of time? It gives your business more time in the spotlight in your customers‘ inboxes. Check out this early bird email campaign from Brooklinen for Black Friday.

Subject: time to hit the road. Black Friday starts now!
Early bird Black Friday holiday email campaign by Brooklinen
Early bird Black Friday holiday email campaign by Brooklinen
Why it works

The best thing about this Early Bird campaign, is the urgency it creates. The GIF is vibrant, as is the campaign message, „GO! GO! GO!“ Automatically, a race is launched to get the best deals.

What’s interesting here is that Brooklinen doesn’t even clarify what kind of deals they are. They just push you to enter the deal. At this point it’s hard to tell if the deal is good or not, you have to open the store and check it out for yourself.

What should be mentioned in conclusion is the tone of the email: casual and friendly. One of your friends could have written this email. How can you resist such a friendly offer?

Our tip? Put your customer at the center of your attention and watch your campaign’s open rate grow.

  1. create a countdown for your offer

Cyber Monday is becoming more and more popular in Europe. Many internet giants are already offering special deals on this special holiday. And why not, in the US, online shoppers spent $9.4 billion in 2019 (article in English).

Check out this fun email campaign from Udemy on Cyber Monday and use these ideas for similar offers with countdowns.

Subject: Only a few hours left until the Cyber Monday sale!
Email campaign for Cyber Monday from Udemy
Why it works

When it comes to getting someone’s attention, yellow is a great choice. The scattered objects perfectly illustrate that there are no limits to learning new skills.

The contrasting color of the CTA button and the offer to start courses for $10 are clever ways to attract customers. Showcasing your cheapest service or product is a great strategy to pique your customer’s interest.

The digital timer at the end of the email creates urgency. Similar to Ibotta’s notification header, the countdown urges action before it’s too late.

If the first part of the email hasn’t convinced you yet, Udemy has added some courses you might be interested in at the end of the message. Likewise, they’ve added the before and after price so you know exactly how much you’re saving, and good customer reviews as an added jolt.

Want more promotional material on Cyber Week? Check out our blog post (in English) on Black Friday & Cyber Monday marketing ideas.
  1. offer free shipping

Free shipping is the most used promo for online stores. No wonder, 93% of customers buy more when shipping is free.

The flip side of the coin: 56% percent of all online shoppers say they’ll abandon a purchase when faced with unexpected charges.

We’ve put together some ideas on how to incorporate free shipping into your Black Friday or holiday campaigns:

With an end date or a specific time
On orders over a certain amount
In exchange for providing your email address
On specific products

Or you can gift your customers with free shipping – no ifs, ands, or buts – and include a promo code with no minimum order quantity or value. This is exactly what ban.do has done:
Free shipping holiday email campaign by ban.do
Free shipping holiday email campaign by ban.do
Why it works

The email is like an explosion of gum and happiness. The color scheme used for the email exudes calm, contentment and optimism.

Both this and a bolder color scheme work great to evoke an emotional response from the customer. The email from ban.do is successful because it is both funny and reassuring. This campaign gives customers two good reasons to shop: free shipping and a free product for orders over $30.

The bright „FREE“ sign works well to attract attention. Who doesn’t like free stuff? In addition, ban.do offers a gift when customers spend more than $30. It’s a good sales tactic to generate even more sales.

At Printful, we offer free shipping on our jewelry - worldwide! Read more about how you can sell personalized jewelry online and make money.
  1. send a Christmas gift guide

To put your customers at ease before the frantic gift-buying phase sets in, put together a Christmas gift guide. This way, your customers get your products on display, can shop and have the stress of Christmas shopping behind them.

There are two types of gift guides: either with product suggestions or without products, just linking to the store.

The guide with product suggestions offers instant browsing of your products. The gift guide without products is more mysterious and can generate more clicks to your store. Check out the gift guide from Vans:

Subject: The Vans Christmas Gift Guide.
Christmas gift guide as an email campaign from Vans.
Why it works

We like this email because it’s funny. Vans has written a little story, wrapped up an upbeat cartoon. A lot happens with the person in the trash can and the bunny on the skateboard, but that’s what makes the email so interesting.

Vans sends you with a „Shop the Gift Guide“ button, which rounds out the message perfectly. A graphic email like this doesn’t need product images, otherwise it might be too much.

Clear focal points, like the CTA button, don’t unnecessarily confuse the customer with too much choice. There are only two choices here: go to the store or close the email.

Pro Tip. Add a „Christmas Gifts“ category to your store with Christmas trends for the upcoming holidays. Ideas for the ultimate Christmas gift is easier to find in your store this way. Additionally, you can add the link to your gift category, to your Christmas gift guide email.

  1. inform your customers about shipping deadlines

Have you been overwhelmed by last-minute Christmas shopping? All of us have had it at one time or another, and it’s not very pleasant. To help your customers buy their gifts on time, you should let them know about the deadlines.

Shipping deadlines for the holiday season are set by the shipping companies. We add in the time it takes us to process the order to determine the printful-order deadlines. (Save this page; we’ll update it as soon as shipping deadlines are set!). The order deadline you specify is the last day to place an order and be sure to receive the goods in time for Christmas.

However, don’t confuse your customer with screenshots of your calendar with the deadlines. Just share the deadlines with your customers. For example, Asos has informed its customers about the Christmas Eve order deadlines:

Subject: Free Christmas shipping ends in two days.
Holiday shipping deadlines email campaign by ASOS
Order deadlines campaign by Asos
Why it works

We love the brevity of the email. Less information means less opportunity to be distracted from the main focus. In this case, the call is to shop now to get the goods in time for Christmas.

Usually, you have only one CTA button that attracts all the attention. The mail from Asos has three CTAs and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The three CTAs are Asos‘ solution to cover different interests: browse sale items, shop for Christmas gifts or get a new party outfit.

  1. Give a special New Year’s discount.

„New year, new luck“ is what many of us think as the new year approaches. So it’s the perfect time to target your customers with relevant shopping suggestions.

Don’t want to get in the middle of your customers‘ New Year’s promises? There are many other ideas you can use in your emails. You can simply send a New Year’s greeting, introduce a new product, or start a New Year’s sale. We thought Rifle Paper Co’s idea was particularly clever. Instead of just offering a discount, they also added a New Year’s gift guide with items like calendars and notebooks.
New Year’s email campaign from Rifle Paper Co.
Why it works

Simply put, we like the idea of a New Year’s style discount, especially when it comes with a handy gift guide that makes it easier to find the perfect gift.

At Printful, we also celebrate gifts that help us better plan and manage our time. The best time to give such a gift is precisely on New Year’s Eve!

There are many ways you can play with New Year’s discounts. This year, you can offer a 21% or €21 discount on certain (or all) products.

If you don’t like discounts, you can offer your customers free shipping until 9pm or for orders over a $21 value. To create urgency you can create an offer that expires after 21 hours. There are no limits to what you can do to celebrate the New Year.

Whichever idea you choose, use the one that best suits you and your store. Focus on the core of your message so your customers clearly understand the content of your message and what you want them to do after they read it.
On the 2020 pre-Christmas marketing plan.

People are stressed in the run-up to Christmas and no one really has time to spend hours looking for the perfect gift.

This is where your email marketing skills come in handy. Use this opportunity to reach out to your customers and pitch your offers.

Use the ideas we’ve compiled in this post and create effective promotional campaigns. Even if your emails go unopened, you’ll have established a connection with your customers.

So get to work and start honing your email marketing campaign strategy. You can get started right away with our free email campaign templates, which you can download below. Happy Holidays!

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