7 engaging email newsletters to rev up your holiday marketing
Shopify merchants know the last months of the year are critical for driving sales and boosting revenue. This year, ecommerce spending is expected to grow by 15.5%.
Email marketing is crucial for attracting shoppers and encouraging sales. But you already knew that.
The problem? Coming up with what to send is hard. Over half of the merchants we surveyed said their biggest struggle is figuring out email content ideas for Black Friday-Cyber Monday (BFCM) and the holiday season.
To make it easy, we’re giving you seven ideas — accompanied by real email examples — to turn heads with your holiday email newsletter calendar. While you can certainly slide in a sales promotion (one of the examples does), none hinge on a discount for success.
Holiday email idea #1: Offer early access to a new product or collection
Not many things can boost your Shopify store’s excitement levels as well as new products and collections — especially when they hit during the weeks surrounding BFCM.
Even more exciting: getting first dibs on those new goods. By sending new product announcements to your top customers first, you can maximize profitability and build brand loyalty.
New additions are prime gift candidates for everyone, so show them off later to your larger list. Think about how you can shine the spotlight on them, whether through one email or spread over a multi-message campaign.
Let’s examine SCOUT Bags' approach to the early access email:
Just for you: Exclusive FIRST LOOK
Lessons from SCOUT Bags:
- Stir up enthusiasm weeks ahead of BFCM. SCOUT Bags provided early access to its new holiday additions in mid-October.
- Make your subscribers feel important with a touch of exclusivity. In this case, early access is a privilege for the VIPs. That fact is reinforced throughout, with wording like “we’re giving our best customers a one-day head start” and a spot-on “Shop VIP early access” call to action (CTA).
- Take liberties with the “new collection” idea. SCOUT Bags’ holiday collection is a mix of new products and patterns.
- Keep it simple and eye-pleasing. Crisp product photography and minimal text make for an enjoyable viewing experience.
Holiday email idea #2: Showcase product features
With inflation concerns looming this holiday season, some shoppers are sure to be more careful about where and how they spend their money.
Give subscribers a reason to shop with you. Convince them that your product is the solution to their problems by pointing out what makes it exceptional.
Here are some ideas for grabbing subscriber attention:
- Zoom into an image to show the details
- Highlight differentiating materials/ingredients in the product
- Describe the product’s benefits
- List the special aspects
- Weave in a supporting customer review or two
Of course, these features should match what's on your website and give a peek into the product. Outstanding product pages include other vital elements and are half of the conversion equation
The email example from Harry’s can easily double as a new product announcement (see the subject line). But we’re reviewing it from the product feature slant:
Copper has arrived
Lessons from Harry’s:
- Give the product front-and-center attention with a beautiful hero image. Harry’s does it with an up-close view of the copper razor. They lay it atop a gift box, and voilà! The photo speaks for itself.
- Don’t forget self-gifting. There are always holiday shoppers looking to reward themselves, which is why Harry’s uses the self-love promotion.
- Be specific with your CTA. Generic sayings like “shop now” work, but Harry’s uses “order your set” so there’s no question as to the subscriber’s next step.
Holiday email idea #3: Provide a gift guide
Every Shopify store needs a gift guide for the holidays. When you curate your products according to category type, you’re giving a fantastic resource for shoppers who want gift ideas for others and themselves.
The first step is deciding on categories. Assign products to collections your shoppers will value, from gender and age to best-sellers and interests.
A gift guide can also elevate your brand in the eye of subscribers. A well-organized compilation of products signals your shop is thoughtful and has a level of sophistication.
To emerge as a top gift-giving option this BFCM and holiday season, implement more gift guide strategies and complementary email newsletters.
Here’s a top-notch email example from RSVLTS:
Holiday Domination Just Got Easier
Lessons from RSVLTS:
- Call out your best-performing product lines. RSVLTS’ version highlights best-selling shirts by novelty and guides subscribers to the correlating collection for each.
- Speak your brand’s language. RSVLTS channels its cheeky personality to connect with a “bold and fun,” pop culture-loving audience. Snappy prose dominates the email, from the headline and intro to the collection descriptions.
Holiday email idea #4: Write a simple note
Most email marketing newsletters follow the standard framework that includes a headline, hero image, copy, CTA button — and sometimes more.
Why not scale back and try a note for a change? No frills. No images. Just rich text. You can even slim the footer down.
An all-text message carries a personal tone not prevalent among most promotional emails. When signed by a person versus a brand name, it reinforces that real people stand behind the operations.
Use the signature section in Seguno to add a personal touch to your closing.
Let’s see how Kendra Scott goes about the simple note:
A Thursday Treat Just for You!
Lessons from Kendra Scott:
- Strive to be succinct. It only takes two brief paragraphs to get the job done. Shorter text is also more enticing to read than a dense passage.
- Address the recipient as if you’re writing a letter. Insert the first name if you have it, or use fallback text like “Hi there!” when you don’t.
- Provide value. Kendra Scott doesn’t stop at saying thanks. The brand extends its appreciation with a tangible offer.
- Abandon a CTA button for an in-line text CTA. Kendra Scott strategically encourages website visits by inserting text links to two pages. They’re not flashy, but hyperlinks still trigger our curiosity.
Holiday email idea #5: Go behind the scenes
“Be authentic” is a mantra in ecommerce and marketing circles for a reason — 90% of consumers say authenticity matters when deciding which brands they like and support.
Pull back the curtain to reveal who’s running your Shopify store. Display your culture or personality. Though it might take a little more effort to create than most newsletters, the behind-the-scenes email is a chance to be genuine.
We like Ranger Station’s spin on the authentic-minded email newsletter:
Meet our team!
Lessons from Ranger Station:
- Lean into the “support small business” message. Ranger Station’s email is a model example and well-suited for Small Business Saturday.
- Don’t make highly polished product photography the focus. We’re going for authentic, right? Ranger Station’s photos are bright and crisp, yet feel as if a member of the team was behind the camera.
- Feature your people. We see Ranger Station employees and glimpse a bit about them. The short Q&A on their products of choice is a perfect brand tie-in.
Holiday email idea #6: Announce a back-in-stock product
Take a second to consider the term “newsletter.” At their core, marketing emails are an avenue for announcing news.
The back-in-stock email is one of the most newsworthy angles for your Shopify store, whether illuminating a restocked popular product or return of a holiday-only item.
Back-in-stock emails benefit the email rotation. Research shows they generate average conversion rates of 14%.
Here’s an email example from Aloha:
Back in Stock: Peppermint White Chocolate Is Back In Stock!
Lessons from Aloha:
- Photography reigns when paired with a direct subject line and headline.
- Sprinkle in urgency. This email layers in subtle pushes with “Pssst .. this is the last batch of the season!” and “Here for a good time, not a long time.”
- Show why the product is so beloved. Aloha starts strong, defining its peppermint white chocolate as “your holiday obsession,” and follows up with an ingredient breakdown.
Holiday email idea #7: Harness user-generated content
Trust is crucial to winning over consumers. Behind the recommendations of family, friends and co-workers, ratings and reviews have a lot of influence.
One-third of consumers trust reviews “a lot,” and 52% say they evoke “some” trust.
User-generated content — aka UGC — is a powerful mechanism for swaying shoppers. Feature your customer reviews in your emails. Better yet, insert screenshots of social media posts proclaiming your greatness.
Let’s see how ABLE does the UGC concept:
20% off the gift on everyone's wishlist
Lessons from ABLE:
- Tap into social media influencers. We love ABLE’s animated gif of various influencers — identified in the lower corner by their account handles — wearing the brand’s prized jacket.
- Give a subtle nod to the holiday season. We often advocate “holidayizing” emails by adding seasonal touches like incorporating related images or holiday colors. ABLE proves you can do it through language alone. The headline atop the rotating hero image is enough.
Before we move on, we thought you’d like to see a special example we stumbled upon. Fortune & Frame elevates the UGC approach with its “Why I Wear” customer series. The Christmas edition below tells the meaning behind one woman’s locket order.
Fortune & Frame’s email is certainly more labor intensive than the typical UGC approach. But it’s an amazing example of how to make an emotional connection with subscribers.
Get a jumpstart with email templates
Don’t be afraid to mix up your email marketing this holiday season. When you put thought into your messages and focus on producing great content, you’re providing immense value to subscribers.
Variety engages shoppers, grows brand recognition, and builds trust. You know where that leads: greater sales.
Are you ready to create engaging BFCM and holiday newsletters? Shave off some time with Seguno’s templates.
We built 21 starter templates to speed up and ease the creation process. And yes, there’s a template for each email example above: new product and new collection, product features, gift guide, simple note, behind-the-scenes, back in stock, and user-generated content.
Create, manage, and track your email marketing—without leaving Shopify.
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