It’s the season of giving, so why not give your customers the gift of fun, festive marketing emails this Christmas. We’ve all received the generic ‘Christmas sale now on!’ emails that have gone straight in the bin, but what can you learn from them to apply to your own email strategy?

Here’s a few seasonal emails straight from our inboxes, why we like them and what you can take from them.

What makes a good Christmas email?

Before we delve into the examples, what actually makes a good marketing email at Christmas? Your customers are probably being bombarded with sales, discounts and exciting new products every day in the lead up to Christmas (and let’s be honest, it started as soon as Halloween was over!). So how can you stand out and make an impact amongst the mess that is the holiday season?

In a previous blog post, we’ve noted how to keep your business emails professional, which is fine for most of the year, but when it comes to Christmas you want to have some fun. Your brand tone of voice still needs to be present though. 

Get a good balance of: 

  • Christmas puns 
  • Your tone of voice 
  • Your products/services 
  • Some exciting imagery to get people reading and not sending you to ‘spam’

It also doesn’t hurt to send out a ‘Merry Christmas’ email that doesn’t contain any sales pitches or products. Your customers will like to know you care and are thinking of them, even when they’re away from their desks.

Let’s look at some examples.

Holland & Barrett

Subject line – Find the perfect present 🎁

We’re starting off with health retailer, Holland & Barrett. They open their email with an image of a family opening present by the tree, a strong start for a Christmas email, with the title ‘The Christmas Gifting Edit’. The image is warm and full of smiles, exactly what people want to think of when it comes to Christmas. 

As we scroll a little further down the email, they’ve included a countdown with days left to get your gifts in time for Christmas. This is a good addition, as it’s common for shoppers to rush at the last minute. Including something like this lets them know exactly what time they have so they can prepare.

The email continues with product placement, divided into different categories like ‘Gifts for under £10’. This is another worthwhile thing including, as customers can jump straight to the section that applies to them. 

Why we like this email – It’s clearly laid out, with sections for the products, and includes some nice, festive imagery.

Why we don’t like it – The image at the top is quite large, so you have to scroll quite far before you get to the products and content. Make the header image smaller, or landscape, so customers can get to the good stuff quicker.


Subject line – Keeping your pets safe at Christmas 🎄

Straight away this email catches our attention. Any animal lover will know that if you put a picture of a cute kitten at the top of an email, chances are we’re going to keep reading. This email is shorter than the previous one, but in a good way. It starts with the kitten, followed by a catchy headline, and then some links with images to other pages they want you to click on. It’s clear, concise and has just the right amount of text to image ratio.

Why we like this email – There’s the right amount of text, paired with an image and a link, so the email isn’t overwhelmed by paragraphs or huge photos. It’s well-balanced. 

Why we don’t like it – Only 2 of the 5 images included are Christmas-themed, so the overall feel of the email isn’t as festive. If you’re sending out Christmas emails, make sure the messaging is consistent throughout. 

The Body Shop

Subject line – ✨ Little gifts, BIG smiles 🎁 🎄

This email isn’t leaving us much to remember. The Body Shop, where’s your Christmas cheer? Right off the bat the header gives us no festivities whatsoever. The only indication that this is a Christmas marketing email is the ‘Fill your stockings’ heading. Yes, they’ve stuck with their brand colours, but with no festive imagery until you scroll down it’s not sparking any excitement. 

Why we like this email – The Body Shop has remained consistent with their brand colour palette, which is always a good idea when it comes to marketing. You want your brand to be recognisable, and colours are a great way to do that. 

Why we don’t like it – This email, in comparison to others on this list, is very plain. There isn’t nearly enough Christmas in it and the images that have been used don’t scream ‘Santa’ to us.



Subject line – Ho-ho-how would you like to win £10,000? 🎅

We’ve saved the best till last. Costa has given us by far one of our favourite subject lines. A pun and the chance to win a massive prize? Yes please! 

One thing we’ve noticed with all of these emails so far is that their subject lines contain emojis. Never underestimate the power of the emoji – but also don’t overdo it. One festive emoji at the end of the subject line is enough to let customers know exactly what they’re in for. Just don’t make the mistake of peppering your content with them too.

Costa deserves a special mention for their email, with animations, snow falling and delicious looking treats and drinks all making an appearance. Their email is eye-catching, full of festive cheer, while also matching their branding perfectly. A pretty amazing email if you ask us!

Why we like this email – Costa has kept their brand at the core of this, but also made it fun and festive. The animations, balanced out by photos of their products give us a pretty perfect email. And they haven’t gone too heavy on content. 

Why we don’t like it – Our only criticism, if we’re being really picky, is that the header animation and image are quite big, so there’s a lot of scroll. But we don’t mind as much as we did with Holland & Barrett because the animation is fun!

Make your emails memorable

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If you’ve got any questions, we’re here to help. Our teams are available 24/7 to give you advice or point you in the right direction. Just give us a call on 0800 0612 153 or message us via live chat.

Happy Holidays!