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eCommerce Christmas Newsletter Marketing Guide 2020

by Ally Biring

It's that time of year again, Christmas is a mere few weeks away. Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for any marketing team, with so many key milestones to plan for.

Getting organised is key. So, to help we have put together a guide about how to plan and execute your Christmas newsletter campaign.

Planning, Planning & Planning

Like Father Christmas who has been making his list all year, Christmas newsletter planning shouldn't be left to the last minute. You should start planning as early as possible.

A strong Christmas newsletter plan will help your campaign have a higher chance of success. 

Before you begin planning your newsletter campaign there are a few questions you need to ask:

  • Who is it that subscribes to your emails and newsletters?
  • What is their location? (You want to make sure you send your comms out at the right time, not when they're asleep!)
  • Have you set objectives and goals for your Christmas newsletter campaign?
  • Do you know their purchasing history?
  • What offers worked last year?
  • Do you know what interests your audience or what content has previously resonated with them?
  • Which products or services were your best sellers?
  • Did performance or behaviour change the closer you got to Christmas?

After going through these questions it should help you to be able to segment your audience. By Segmenting your subscribers you can target them with tailored offers and content. This will give your christmas newsletters a higher chance of engagement.

Key to your planning success is to review the previous Christmas performance. Below are some areas of performance you can look into:

  • Did you gain insights into what time of day/day your email marketing was better received?
  • Did you use any a/b testing and if so which performed better?
  • Were open rates different depending on device?
  • Did certain offers perform better?

With all our talk of performance, engagement and analysis we have compiled a few metrics which you can use to not only review last years campaign but also this years:

  • Newsletter Open Rates
  • Click through rates
  • Traffic to linked landing pages from within the newsletter
  • Bounce rate on those pages, was it lower than average compared to other traffic sources?
  • Time spent on those landing pages
  • Sales or bookings from that traffic source
  • If using social share buttons - what was the impact?
  • Which offer or content drove the most shares?
  • Was there a particular share that was more influential?
  • How many unsubscribes were there?

Christmas is a four week period so we recommend creating a campaign calendar. Like an editorial calendar it will need to highlight the following:

  • Are you considering a different offer each week?
  • Will you be price dropping a few days before?
  • Will shipping times be tighter nearer Christmas?
  • Weight of different types of Christmas newsletters are you sending?
  • Number of Sales newsletters
  • How many Christmas newsletters by segment and when?
  • Number of Event/reminders
  • Are you doing flash sales?

Bare in mind this calendar should also align with all activities taking place across the business. 

Christmas Newsletters Should Delight & Reward Customer Loyalty

More often than not most brands marketing campaigns focus on attracting new customers. Brands forget they have an existing pool of customers who have brought into their brand. 

What a "loyal" customer looks like will depend on your business. We have some questions you can ask to determine what a loyal customer is:

  • How many purchases have they made?
  • Have they subscribed to a mid-top tier service?
  • How long have they been a customer?
  • How long have they subscribed to your newsletters?
  • Do they open your emails & newsletters

This is a great way to segment your customers so your Christmas newsletter campaign has tailored content & offers for them.

By segmenting your subscribers into a loyal customer group you can create a Christmas newsletter stream which delivers tailored content and offers for them only.

Deck the Halls...Well your Christmas newsletters at least!

For most of us getting in the festive mood, means one thing - decorating! 

But before you get the tinsel, snow gifs and elfs out, there are a few considerations you need to take into account.

  • What are your brand guidelines?
  • What is the brand messaging over Christmas?
  • Are your assets created by external agencies?
  • Do you need to request your assets?
  • Have you got a design resource for the Christmas newsletter builds?
  • What are the do's & don'ts for Christmas?
  • Do you know what fonts you can use?

From the list above you can see what creative resource you have  and put in place some design guidelines.

Like any marketing campaign, resources and budgets are tight. With a Christmas newsletter campaign which is multifaceted you need to be realistic. So ask yourself:

  • Do you already have a series of newsletter templates that you can use for sales and events etc.?
  • Or will you need to get these designed and built?

If you have existing templates that is great all you need to do is update them with your festive branded assets.

This is again dependent on resource and skill level in your team.

If you decide to get your newsletters designed and built in house there are a few points for you to review below:

  • Is the designer the only person who can make edits to copy or designs?
  • If changes happen will dev need to review and test again?
  • Are all the newsletter designs mobile friendly and responsive?
  • Will the newsletters work across all email providers?

Unless you have time on your side, a secured budget and team to be on tap things can get complicated, slow and costly!

It  may feel we have put a damper on you getting festive and creative. But asking yourself tough questions means you remove potential pain points and blocks.

Utilising templates for your Christmas newsletter campaigns will allow for you to:

  • Be more responsive and agile in your working
  • Design resources are minimal and dev resources will be non-existent!
  • You will know your newsletters will work across all email providers
  • Your newsletters will be mobile responsive

If you think using templates might be the right solution for you, we have created a library of professionally designed Christmas newsletters templates. These templates are perfect for all eCommerce marketing needs this festive season.

In Summary

As with any campaign it is key to get planning in as early as possible. Planning your newsletter campaigns is about more than performance metrics.

Use the handy questions in this post to identify your potential pain points and blockages early that could impact delivery!

Be realistic about what you and the team can achieve with the resource and budget you have.

Bonus: Drag and drop rich media, like image and videos straight into your email newsletter. Try Publicate Free
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