In our Holiday Marketing Guide, we noted that holiday shoppers will enter the “research” stage in September/October. At this phase, shoppers appreciate stores that have product information readily available more than they appreciate relentless discounts.
As an online retailer, this is prime time for finetuning the promotional emails you’ll eventually send when shoppers move from research to “buy.” Keep in mind that it’s less important to be the first holiday email in every inbox and more important to be the opened holiday email in every inbox.
So how do you increase the chances of your email getting the right kind of attention during the busiest time of the year? It starts at the subject line.
To deliver the greatest impact, we’ve created a list of 21 subject lines to help your holiday emails stand out. For your convenience, we've also grouped them based on specific approaches that you can tailor to your own needs.
Rolling with the Puns
Understanding a pun requires both the left and right sides of your brain working together – one side processes language while the other catches its double meaning. Use these punny subject lines and get the reader to think twice about ignoring your email.
- Yule Adore These Holiday Mugs
- Gobble Up These Tee-Licious Deals
- Give Tanks This Season
- Skip Dessert for Our Sweet Cyber Deals
Dish Out Discounts
The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates this year's holiday retail sales in November and December – excluding automobiles, gasoline, and restaurants – to increase between 3.6% and 4% for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion.
This means your audience will be open to spending but it doesn't mean they'll spend carelessly. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
- Make It A Double: 10% Off T’s + 20% Off Hoodies
- The BEST Gift: 20% Off Everything
- Merry Must-Haves $20 and under
Cater to Self-Gifters
Gift givers aren’t always shopping for others. As pricing becomes more competitive, shoppers are more likely to make purchases for themselves. Instead of hoping this happens, reach out directly to this demographic (learn more about this group in the Holiday Marketing Guide).
- We made you something for the holidays.
- This sale is all for YOU.
- Your Style Forecast: Layer Up!
- Just the Right Gift, Just for You
Holiday shopping can be stressful for a lot of people. The best thing you can offer these shoppers is convenience.
- The Perfect Gifts for Everyone
- 3 Awesome Gift Ideas
- Cheers to Less Stress This Holiday!
Urgency will work better as you near the holidays. By letting your readers know their opportunity window is closing, it will more likely encourage them to take action.
However, do be mindful of actually sensitive details such as shipping times. Avoid promises such as “2 days left for Christmas Delivery” when it’s 3 days out from Christmas. In the likelihood that you miss the delivery date, you’ve lost a customer and they’ll be sure to let their social circle know.
Try these subject lines in November or early December:
- Tick Tock - This 20% Deal Ends Tomorrow
- Today Only: 10% OFF Top Sellers
- Ends Tonight: 25% Off All Full Price
- Get it in time for Christmas
Encourage Repeat Business
As the saying goes, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” Similarly, the value of repeat customers far outweigh the costs of acquiring more one-time buyers. Of course you should continue looking for new customers, but you should always try to keep existing customers engaged. If you’ve slacked in this department, the holidays are a great time to reach out.
- A special gift for our best customers only
- An Exclusive Discount Code for You
- Don’t hibernate through these deals!