Another year, another holiday season is upon us. It’s nearly November and we’ve already been inundated with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and December holiday emails. But what makes a holiday email stand out from the rest? Sometimes it’s a particularly good subject line to pique our interest, a clever design, or a unique offering. We’ll be sharing some out-of-the-box ideas in this round-up of holiday emails we love.
GIFs are a great way to grab your readers’ attention and entice a click through. You can choose to use a GIF in place of a static hero image, or you can animate just a small aspect of your email.
Mark and Graham
We love this announcement email from Mark & Graham not only for its use of a GIF but for the omni-channel approach of inviting you to peek at the online holiday catalog. They easily could have showcased a few new product offerings and linked to the holiday category page. Instead, they used a GIF to “flip” through a few of the pages of the online catalog as a sneak peek.
They had us at dancing skeletons! Okay, we also like this email because the header and call-to-action (CTA) are clear, on-brand, and above the fold. Paper Source uses the space under the GIF to highlight product offerings, but adds the CTA front and center to make it easy for anyone interested in the entire category.
Two heads are better than one, right? It may be too late for this season, but start thinking about partnership opportunities you can take advantage of next holiday season. The two examples we have below are for-profit organizations, but you can try to find a local or national non-profit organization to team up with.
Paper Source and Paperless post announced they will be teaming up in partnership (not just for the holiday season). Paperless Post’s paper products will be solely provided by Paper Source and will be sold online and in select Paper Source stores. Additionally, Paperless Post will now offer Paper Source digital invites and cards on their website.
Karson Butler Events
Karson Butler Events is a bi-coastal wedding and event planning business with offices in Washington, DC and San Luis Obispo, CA. As wedding planners, they are no strangers to consulting, stuffing, sealing, and sending wedding invites for their clients. By teaming up with Minted, they are offering a similar service for customizing and sending holiday cards for their customers.
Influencer’s Gift Picks
Lifestyle experts hold a lot of weight to determine what’s cool and what’s not. Why not collaborate with a popular social media star or blogger to highlight their gift picks from your product offering?
Brandi Milloy, lifestyle expert and blogger, shows off her favorite gift options for the holiday season – a mix of classic games and trendy home items. The email highlights a handful of the items and the hero links to a specific landing page for all of Brandi’s picks.
Society6 is a site for artists and photographers to sell their work globally. Differently from the World Market email, this one doesn’t show any products and has two call to actions “Read More” and “Shop the Collection.” Clicking “Read More” takes you to a landing page with an interview transcript and “Shop the Collection” takes you to a landing page of Brook’s holiday gift favorites.
Let’s not forget about mobile. So far, this holiday season, we’ve seen two companies offer unique services using mobile technology.
Warby Parker is a retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses that offers an in-home, try-on service. They also think they’re pretty clever, so this Halloween they offered a Costume Council to help you find your perfect get-up. Start by texting BOO to 68848, answer three questions using a single emoji, and voila – a custom costume idea!
If you’re wondering how this works, we tried it out for you:
1) What reaction do you want your costume to evoke? (Nerdy Face)
2) What’s the last emoji you used? (Chocolate Chip Cookie)
3) You’re assigned to write a sonnet about an emoji – which do you choose? (Desktop Computer)
Result? A Smart Cookie.
Don’t have the time to scroll through Minted’s holiday card offerings to find the perfect one? Minted is offering a limited-time service to find the best holiday card to fit your needs. Text your photo to the number in the email, fill out a quick online form, then Minted texts you 5 holiday card design options based on your preferences. We like how this service expands on their current customer service and ties in an omni-channel approach to the holidays.
While this holiday season is fast approaching and some of these ideas need a longer planning cycle, think of ways you can jazz up your designs with a GIF or clever subject line. Don’t think these ideas apply to you because your company sells services, not products? Think again. Is there a service you can offer your customers for the holidays that isn’t too dissimilar from what you offer the rest of the year? Let’s say you’re a professional organizer, during the holidays you could offer holiday decorating services to your top clients. Or maybe you manage a non-profit, run a “25 days of giving” fundraising campaign. Get creative and start brainstorming for next year!