Top 7 Holiday Ecommerce Marketing Emails

With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s time to consider what you’re putting into your customers’ virtual mailboxes, and what they really want to see.

Some marketing emails perform better than others during the holiday seasons, so it’s best to change up your campaigns to capitalize on those Q4 gains. Here are 7 types of ecommerce marketing emails that are most effective for this winter.


1. Gift Card Offers

Gift cards are always a big holiday seller — some people are difficult to shop for, so an open-ended gift card leaves everyone happy. Rather than promoting your products all the time, take some time to promote your gift cards.

Emails about gift cards don’t necessarily offer deals or discounts; they just let your customers know that you do sell gift cards and are a great contender for their shopping list. But if you do want to include a deal, add extra incentive by providing a discount to the buyer — that’s a gift for both the receiver and the giver!


2. Back in Stock

Any time of the year, “back in stock” emails are useful. For people previously interested in the product, there’s no need to reel them in again because they’re already prepared to buy. For people who weren’t previously interested, this email is a subtle advertisement about a product so popular it sold out at least once before.

The holiday season just extends this effect, both suggesting new gift ideas and reminding customers of something they once wanted to buy during a time when they’re prone to buying.


3. Promotion Emails

Promotion emails during the holidays are a standard practice, but for good reason. Especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday of the Thanksgiving weekend, promotional events such as sales and discounts are the norm, and not offering them could lose you money.

Your holiday promotional emails should be a little different, though. Aside from tantalizing viewers with your deals, don’t forget to mention:

  • Specific dates for delivery (“order today and it arrives on…”). Specific dates reassure customers that their gifts will arrive in time, more relevant during the holidays than other time of the year.
  • Gift wrapping options. Including a service for wrapping gifts before delivering them is a quick way to make some extra money and make the holidays easier on your customer.

As always, be sure to include a clear call-to-action within the email.


4. Cart Abandonment

Earlier we talked about the 7 most common causes of shopping cart abandonment — and their 7 solutions. Emails to remind customers that they abandoned their cart can help solve this problem most of the year, but with the holiday competition, you may need to offer a little extra.

Try customizing a new cart abandonment email for the holiday season that offers a special discount for fulfilling the purchase. This could be free shipping, a free item, or a discount from a special promotion code available only in the email.


5. Order Confirmation

Order confirmations are another type of email that’s smart any time of the year, holidays or otherwise. Conversio actually did a study about it and found that for every order receipt an ecommerce company sends, they increase their total revenue by 25¢! Customers appreciate the gesture so much, it increases their repeat business.

Order confirmations are also an advertising opportunity. They can be combined with promotional emails (above) or curated emails (below) to feature products and deals the customer might otherwise not know about.


6. “We Haven’t Heard From You In A While”

The holidays are about catching up with people you haven’t heard from in a while, so why not send a friendly reminder to some absent customers. If they haven’t shopped with you in a while, they may have forgotten to add you to their holiday shopping plan.

Like order confirmations, these emails can be combined with promotions and product curation to serve multiple purposes.


7. Curation Emails

Consider sending emails with a specially curated batch of products. One small setback of normal promotional emails is they only feature a single product or small range of products affected by the promotion. Curated emails promote multiple products, giving the reader a choice — and if shoppers love one thing, it’s choice.

Curation emails can serve whatever goals you want them to. If you think themed products like “Christmas gifts for kids” would sell best, you can curate a group of products in that category.

If you want to unload some inventory to make more storage space for December, list those items. At the very least, a curated list of “best sellers” shows shoppers what other people chose to buy.



In ecommerce, everything changes for the holidays. If your marketing email campaigns are successful all year, you still want to modify them for the holidays, even if just slightly. Adding holiday-themed visuals or naming a normal sale a “holiday sale” helps your customers get into the shopping spirit — plus ignoring the holidays in your communications seems odd.

Try incorporating all seven of the email types above in your holiday campaign, but at the very least add a “happy holidays” to your greeting.


Holiday Shipping Survival Guide
Holiday Shipping Survival Guide

Make this holiday your most profitable season yet. Use this guide to build a holiday shipping strategy in order to cultivate repeat buyers, avoid packaging mishaps, and earn stellar feedback.

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social media calendar
Holiday Social Media Calendar Template

Keep track of how often to post on each channel, who to target with certain advertisements, and what your goals are for the season with our free, downloadable template.

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