Email Marketing

8 Email Subject Lines to Inspire Your Holiday Marketing

6 minute read

by Adrienne Jack and Jordan Wellin

The holidays are upon us, and no one is more aware of that fact than anyone who subscribes to an email list of any kind. With each day that comes closer to Christmas, businesses are amping up their email campaigns, trying to squeeze in as many as possible before the holiday in hopes of converting more customers.

We’re often faced with a similar scenario as we prepare email campaigns for our clients, even on the B2B side of things. Of course we’re always looking for new and creative ways to ensure our open rates are high, and that always starts with the subject line.

So when the holidays roll around, it can be nice to throw in a little Christmas cheer to entice recipients into opening their emails. Here are eight examples of brands using holiday-themed text in their email marketing, which will hopefully give you some inspiration as you send out your email blasts in the coming week.

1. Highlight Your Specialty

If your company is well-known for a particular offering during the holiday season, your email marketing campaign is sure to pique interest if it uses brand awareness to its advantage.

Starbucks used the comeback of their Holiday Red Cup, with their subject line, “Red cup. Set. Go,” to remind loyal coffee lovers that Christmas was coming.

2. Be On Trend

Because Crate & Barrell wants their customers to know how in-vogue their homewares are, letting them know how best to dress their furniture in preparation for a holiday gathering was a good angle to go on.

“What holiday tables are wearing… plus Free Shipping” catches their audience’s eye by offering to provide a Christmas dinner table fit for home staging. On top of that, it’s always worth mentioning what everyone wants to hear: free delivery!

3. Play On Words

We all love a Christmas pun. UK-based furniture company reminds us that “Christmas ain’t sofa away” – and, on a more subliminal level, that it might be a good time to consider a new couch.

Puns can be so bad that they’re great, which makes them a technique that never gets old for cheesy holiday email marketing.

4. Inject Humor

Funny campaigns are an opportunity to reveal your human side, especially if your day-to-day offerings aren’t usually something to laugh about – travel, for example.

Jetblue’s email subject line, “Family, friends, food & flying – all of our favorite F words!” makes flying during the holiday period suddenly sound more appealing. According to Adobe’s five “Rules of Engagement,” 70 percent of global consumers consider humorous branding more relatable. In the case of your email campaign, that gives you a pretty good chance of generating more opens.

5. Make It Rhyme

TOMS is notorious for its philanthropic calls-to-action, so it couldn’t resist the chance to appeal to customers’ generosity with, “Be the reason someone smiles this season.” Turning your email subject line into a snippet of poetry may give it a catchy feel, especially if it ties cleverly into your company culture.

6. Entice Them

If you can offer Christmas gift advice, use your product features as bait and stir up some intrigue all at the same time, you’re onto something for encouraging holiday email opens. Ugg does exactly this, with, “Looking for the perfect gift? You’re getting warmer…” – as of course someone would be, if you gave the gift of Uggs. There are plenty of ways to keep your email list guessing with a little clever wording.

7. Make Tempting Offers

As previously mentioned, puns and free delivery lead to email open rates to go crazy for. Oriental Trading even added money into the mix, using their email campaign to appeal to their audience’s inevitably low budget.

“Shop like Santa, spend like Scrooge: free shipping + $10 off” is an example of how you could make an impact on your email list’s inboxes with offers that differentiate you from others in your industry.

8. Use Christmas Lyrics

If all else fails, throwing in lyrics to a Christmas classic might be worth a try. Harry & David managed to pulled this off seamlessly, when they noticed that although partridges and pear trees aren’t in high demand on the first day of Christmas, their fresh fruit delivery might be: “We’ve got the pears… who really wants the partridge or tree?”