How to plan your holiday email marketing before going on a vacation

Holiday email marketing with Zoho Campaigns

From decorated stores to booming sales and high spirits, the holiday season makes both your professional and personal lives better. This is the time of the year you need to focus on your business, but also take some time off with your family. To help you strike that balance, we’ve curated a list of things you need to check off before taking that little holiday break.

Get your list of holidays set

When your business is growing, you may feel the need to run promotions for every holiday—and end up spending more time on them than you should. There are plenty of holidays, so choose ones that suit your business. For example, if you’re an electronic store, Cyber Monday might be your big day. Use our Campaign Calendar to help you choose the perfect holidays for you.


Pick a colorful theme for your emails

What are holidays without some fun, color, and greetings? Choose a holiday template, add a bit of personalization by including your logo, brand colors, and holiday message, and get going!


Pep things up with GIFs

As email marketers, we’re constantly looking out for novel ways to entice readers—and adding animated GIFs can do the trick. Include interesting and relevant GIFs to get your subscribers’ attention, but make sure to use them sparingly, as some email clients still don’t support them. A good way to get around this is to use a CTA as the first frame of your GIF, so your point still gets across.

Identify your active audience

If you’re not regularly sending emails, chances are that your subscribers—and their email clients—have forgotten you. That means your emails might end up in spam folders, or trigger unsubscribes. With email reports, you can separate your dormant subscribers from the ones who interact with your brand, so you can focus your promotions on your engaged subscribers.

List cleaning

Send contextual messages

Personalization is the key to engagement—now, then, and forever. Your subscribers come from different places with different interests, and you need to reflect that. Use dynamic content to tailor your messages based on user demographics.

Give your customers a gift

Come on, it’s the season! Lots of shopping happens during the holidays and that’s when your sales will skyrocket—with the right promotions. According to research, adding coupons will boost your revenue per email by 48%. So spoil your customers with coupons and discounts, and they’ll spoil you in return.


A/B test before you hit send

Your email marketing strategy isn’t complete without performing an A/B test first. Experiment with different subject lines, sender details, or email content, to see which one gets a better response from your sample audience, and send the best version to everyone else.

AB test emails

Get an instant inbox preview

People read your emails on different devices and browsers, so it’s important that they look the same in every inbox. Litmus test your emails, get a preview of how they appear on various platforms, and make changes if needed, before sending them out.


Find the right time to send emails

Email marketing success depends on how well you time your promotions. Your mailing list probably has subscribers from different places, who will open your emails at different times. So automate them based on location, time zone, and previous open times, so your emails will reach your subscribers when they’re most likely to open them.

Email send time

Take your promotions to email lists and beyond

You’ll be running a lot of promotions for the holiday season, but communicating that to your entire audience can be a daunting task. With the help of RSS campaigns, you can put your promotions on autopilot so your audience gets informed whenever you post a blog or update your website with new offers.

RSS feed

Automate your campaigns and save time

For holidays, you’re usually sending out season’s greetings or sales promotion emails. You can set an autoresponder to automatically send out these holiday wishes and offer emails to your customers, while you’re off celebrating the holiday with your family. This way, you won’t miss out on the opportunity to impress your new customers, even when you’re away.

Calendar automation

Say hello to new subscribers!

What’s the best way to create a good first impression with new subscribers? Just send them a welcome email! Subscribers feel good when you instantly gratify them after a sign-up and onboard them to your service without delay. Automate your welcome message so your new subscribers aren’t ignored if you’re away.

Welcome emails

Evaluate subscribers with scores

Assign scores to your subscribers based on how they interact with your emails. Scoring will help you create individual subscriber profiles and plan a completely customized journey based on user behavior.

Subscriber profile

Have you started planning your promotions for the next holiday yet? What’s going to be your email marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below!


2 Replies to How to plan your holiday email marketing before going on a vacation

  1. Hi, you write: ... "A good way to get around this is to use a CTA as the first frame of your GIF" . Pls tell, what is a CTA?

    1. Hi Andreas, Thanks for reaching out. By CTA, I meant call-to-action, the action (or response) you want your subscribers to take after reading your email. It could be a button or a hyperlinked text that directs your users to a particular link on your website. My bad, I should have mentioned it there. -Vaijayanthi N.

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