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What was your favorite holiday email? This year – even from as early as Halloween up to Thanksgiving and coming up to Christmas – we’ve seen a number of great holiday email campaigns. We’ve covered many of them in our Email Design Workshop blog and wanted to share with you our top 5 email marketing insights and real life examples of email campaigns from this year’s holiday season.

#1: “Dress up” your email campaigns for a festive feel

You’d be surprised how adding a simple image of a pumpkin or a red & green Christmas ornament to your email marketing campaigns can turn them much more personable, engaging, and festive. After all, your subscribers want an experience from your brand  and not just a company talking to them. A great example of this is from our 9 can’t-miss tips for your Halloween email with this email from Barnes & Noble:

We appreciate when a brand doesn’t take itself too seriously and invests time in design touches that offer a festive feel. The holidays are a great opportunity for brands to make their email campaign stand out – i.e.  get “dressed up” – and engage their subscribers. Why? Because a more engaged subscriber is more willing to purchase from you, as we see from our second insight:

#2: Email yet again the most effective marketing channel during this year’s Black Friday

That’s right! Email was the most effective marketing channel that generated 25.1% of all online sales during this year’s Black Friday, followed by organic search (21.1%) and paid search (16.3%). Here’s a nice chart from our Email Insights from Black Friday and Cyber Monday blog post:

#3: The action is all on mobile

Mobile devices played a big role in this year’s holiday season. Mobile optimization and responsive design are no longer an option for effective email marketing. Although mobile email opens remain steady (up 2.3%), we’ve seen a big increase in click-through rates up 22.8% since last year. During the Thanksgiving holiday shopping spree, 1 out of 5 purchases came from smartphones.

Looking for more mobile stats? Check out our mobile email marketing stats from this year’s Thanksgiving shopping season.

#4: Our top email design tips for your holiday email campaigns

Your subscribers sign-up to your newsletters for a number of different reasons; they might want to follow your brand, for example, and receive exclusive content from you, especially if they’re already your customers and/or members. Brands know how to leverage their email communications and strategically highlight deals, discounts, and savings and send the right promotional email campaigns. Here are three email examples from top retailers:


Designing your email to highlight deals and saving was our tip #3 from our Design Tips for Holiday Shopping Emails. Check them out! As a quick recap we had:

  • Tip #1: Build a shopping guide
  • Tip #2: Tell a story that’s true to your brand
  • Tip #3: Highlight deals and savings

#5: Know how to design a great promotional email!

Since promotions make a big part of any email marketing program, we decided to focus on the design elements of a promotional email in our Design tips for email deals and discounts blog post where we break down the important elements of a promotional email and provide these tips to keep in mind:

  • Tip #1: Create urgency
  • Tip #2: Leverage your visual brand to communicate
  • Tip #3: Get to the point. Be clear. Repeat.
  • Tip #4: Tell the story… and then tell it again

Back to you: what was your favorite holiday email?

So, there you have our 5 email design and marketing tips from the 2015 holiday season. Let us know in the comments what was your favorite holiday email campaign that you sent or received in your inbox! And, be sure to check our Email Design Workshop blog for more email design tips and how-to tutorials shown with our BEE email editor.

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