Holiday Email Marketing Guide

Complete Holiday Sending Calendar

Plus Holiday Email Acquisition & Engagement Tips

The Ultimate Sending Calendar

Key Holidays & Scheduling Tips


Holiday Campaign Overview - What Can Be

The holiday season is the most profitable time of the year for email marketers. Deciding which holiday(s) you want to market around is up to you - no one knows your brand and company culture better - but it’s important that you start strategizing and sending emails now. Choose to promote holidays that compliment your company’s goals, products, and services. If you try to advertise a holiday unrelated to your business, like a luxury jewelry company offering deals on National Taco Day, you won’t see a return.

Your series of emails before the selected holiday(s), should either promote sales of your product or service, or help you stay in front of your audience by showcasing your brand. Every business is unique, so it’s up to you to choose the most effective type, voice, and design for your emails.

National American Beer Day

October 27th

National Internet Day

October 29th


October 31st

Dia de los Muertos

October 31st - November 2nd

Sandwich Day

November 3rd

National Candy Day

November 4th

Veterans Day

November 11th

National Entrepreneurs Day

November 15th


November 24th

Black Friday

November 25th

Small Business Saturday

November 26th

Cyber Monday

November 28th


December 18th - 26th

National Cookie Day

December 4th

Super Saturday

December 17st

Christmas Eve

December 24th

Christmas Day

December 25th

National Bacon Day

December 30th

New Years Eve & Day

December 31st & January 1st

Sending Schedule for Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2022


Send your first message at the beginning of October. Give your subscribers a preview of upcoming deals and snapshot of new Halloween-themed products.


Send your second message mid-October. Let your subscribers know that Halloween decorating is on! Offer your products or services at a discount


Send your third message a week later. Remind your customers that Halloween is approaching. Give your subscribers an exclusive email-deal only.


Send your last message on Halloween. Send a festive greeting card and a last-minute Halloween deal.

Sending Schedule for Dia de los Muertos

Monday, October 31st - November 2nd, 2022


Send your first message two weeks before. Highlight the fact that Dia de los Muertos is close. Advertise your services or products


Send your second message a week before. Remind your subscribers that it’s just around the corner. Display your featured products or services.


Send your last message on Dia de los Muertos. Wish everyone a happy holiday. Make it personal by addressing your subscribers friends and family.


Sending Schedule for Veterans Day

Friday, November 11th, 2022


Send your first message a week before. Send a short, personalized message thanking our veterans for their service. If you are offering a deal or promoting a service, display your products/services.


Send your last message on Veterans Day. Send a personalized note thanking our veterans. If you are running a deal or promotion, remind them that it’s still available.

Sending Schedule for Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 24th, 2022


Send one message on Thanksgiving. Send a festive greeting card that includes a call-to-action informing them about your Black Friday deals. Be sure to address their friends and family in the email you send.


Sending Schedule for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Friday, November 25th and Monday, November 28th, 2022


Send your first message before Halloween. Give your subscribers a sneak preview of your upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.


Send your second message a week later. Start categorizing your products and/or organizing your services. We recommend displaying the products with the highest offer value first. While creating these emails, set up trigger campaigns based on what products they clicked through to.


Send your third message a week later. You can set up triggered emails in your account right now! Depending on what your subscribers clicked through to, they should receive emails featuring those same products/services with similar items or items that go together well. Offer a special deal for the product they clicked through to specifically.


Send your fourth message a week later. Send a gift guide featuring your Black Friday deals. Offer an early discount for your subscribers.


Send your fifth message a day before Black Friday. Remind your subscribers what great products and/or services you offer, and their potential savings if they shop with you. Wish them safe and happy shopping!


Send your sixth message on Black Friday (at midnight!) Summarize all of your deals and discounts, and highlight the most popular products that you sell. Remind your subscribers that these deals continue through to Cyber Monday.


Send your seventh message the day after Black Friday. Send your subscribers last minute Black Friday deals and upcoming Cyber Monday deals.


Send your last message on Cyber Monday. Highlight your deals and offer exclusive, additional savings for your subscribers.


Sending Schedule for Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 26th, 2022


If you are a small business, send your first message a week before Small Business Saturday. Talk about your story, your founding, and your customers. Offer an exclusive discount for subscribers on Small Business Saturday.


If you’re a small business, send your last message on Small Business Saturday. Send a thank you card to your customers thanking them for their loyalty. Remind them of your exclusive discount and feature some of your most popular products.

Sending Schedule for Hanukkah

Sunday, December 18nd - 26th, 2022


Send your first message on the start of Hanukkah. Send a short, personalized message addressing the family and wishing them a “Chag Sameach!” in a greeting card. If you are offering a deal or promoting a service, display your products/services.


Send your last message on the last day of Hanukkah. Send a short, personalized message addressing the family and wishing them a happy end to their holiday. If you are offering a deal or promoting a service, remind your subscribers that it’s still available.

Sending Schedule for Super Saturday

Saturday, December 17th, 2022


Send your first message ten days before Super Saturday. Highlight your shipping capabilities, shipping deals, and other discounts your may be offering.


Send your next message a week before Super Saturday. Send a few last-minute gift ideas. While creating these emails, set up trigger campaigns based on what products or services you display.


Send your next message a few days before Super Saturday. Remind your subscribers that there’s little time left for on-time shipping. Include information about your shipping deals and discounts.


Send your last message on Super Saturday. Depending on what products your subscribers clicked through to, they should receive emails featuring those same products/services with a last-chance shipping deal. For those who didn’t open the email at all, craft a message reminding them of their last-chance shipping options and feature your top-selling products.

Sending Schedule for Christmas Eve & Day

Saturday and Sunday, December 24th and 25th, 2022


Send your subscribers a message on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Send a festive greeting card addressed to them specifically, wishing them a Merry Christmas. We do not recommend adding any promotional items or listing any products in this message


If you are offering extended deals and discounts, send your subscribers a message on December 26th. Mention that you still have previous deals running or introduce your new promotions.

Sending Schedule for New Years Day

Sunday, January 1st, 2022


Send your subscribers a message on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Send a festive greeting card that features upcoming sales and start-of-the-year deals.

So, Why Email Marketing?

People often ask us “why should I send my clients an email campaign for the holidays?” The answer is simple - email marketing is cheap, fast, and effective. Our monthly subscriptions for email marketing start at just $5/month and we offer complete control over what messages you send out. Sounds great, doesn’t it? It gets better. On average, stores who send email campaigns see 25.1% of their purchases originating from an email campaign during the holidays. If you break it down, let’s evaluate an account with 200 subscribers:


= $7,200 or 144,300% ROI

With Black Friday emails alone, you have the potential to generate $7,225+ minus $5 for the month of email marketing = $7,200 OR a 144,300% ROI.

So, why email marketing? It is a cheap, fast, and an effective marketing channel during the holidays and throughout the year. Not sure where to start, or need help optimizing your holiday email campaigns? Connect with our email marketing specialists, today.

Acquisition Tips - Getting New Emails

New Customers Data vs. Old Customers Data

In general, it costs 4 to 10x more in marketing dollars to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a loyal one. Yikes! When we talk about acquiring new emails, it doesn’t mean you have to track down new customers. In fact, we encourage our clients to focus on monetizing their existing database. Do you have a list of email addresses from previous client sales? Emails linked to online orders or subscription accounts? Have you checked and downloaded your customer list from your POS system? Ecommerce sales processing system? Use these emails to connect with your clients in a non-intrusive way. Once you upload them to your FireDrum account, send them a welcome email that invites them to purchase more of your products. Let them know what you’re planning to send over time and give them an option to unsubscribe.

If you’re a new business or are starting fresh with no email addresses, we recommend setting up your POS system and/or eCommerce software to display a subscribe button during customer checkout. If you use a system that does not support email subscriptions, we suggest adding a simple pen & paper sign up sheet near checkout. These methods will save you money and protect filter out those who are truly interested in your business

New Ways to ‘Stay in the Loop

Use other marketing channels (like Facebook and Twitter) to advertise your newsletter. Advocates of your business and want to stay connected with you every way possible. Show them a preview of your newsletter and offer a special holiday discount when they sign up for emails.

Irresistible Incentives

We normally discourage our clients from offering sign-up incentives (unsubscribe rate increases after clients receive the incentive), but offering a deal throughout the holidays is worthwhile. Put up signs around your store and CTA’s throughout your website offering free shipping or a--% off for new sign-ups. These sign-ups will boost sales throughout the holiday season IF executed and optimized correctly. To nurture these new incentive-sign-ups, make sure to include the following

Acquisition Tips Continued


Ask for Referrals. You may not have to look far for new subscribers. Customers who are happy with your service and/or products will refer friends and family IF you ask. Don’t be shy! Craft a message that invites your current subscribers to share their positive experience with their peers and offers a holiday-themed reward. To acquire the most emails before you start sending your holiday campaigns, we recommend asking for referrals from existing clients in October.


Ongoing Incentives. What ongoing special offers do you have for new members? People who were initially attracted to your deal are expecting ongoing incentives. World Market, a home decor and artisan furniture store, offers 15% off every store visit for active email subscribers.


Physical Sign-Ups. Capture emails in-store or out on the field. People who normally shop at your location may not know about your email newsletters and would be interested in signing up. Leave a sign-up list at your cash register, set-up an opt-in feature in your POS system, or carry a notebook and pen to collect new emails.


Optimize Website Forms. Give your website visitors various opportunities to sign-up for your newsletters, but don’t let your forms interrupt their scrolling. We recommend adding at least 7 forms throughout the footer, sidebars, and content in your website.

Do NOT Purchase Email Lists

Purchasing email lists can prove not only costly to your business, but you’ll be flagged for spam. Always
always always make sure people that are signing up know who and what they’re signing up for.

Engagement Tips - Generate More Leads

Make It Personal

On average, companies experience a 10-14% increased click-through and conversion rate with
personalized email messages. By personalizing your subject line, email content, and products to fit each
subscriber segment, you can expect more sales throughout the holiday season. With the holidays
approaching, recommend organizing your lists into these separate categories:

  • Zip Code. By organizing lists per zip code or city, you’re giving subscribers the opportunity shop
    products that ship quickly is available for same-day pickup.
  • Demographic (age and gender). Promote products that appeal to each age group and sex.
    Holiday gift guide opportunity?
  • Engagement rate. Who has opened recently and who hasn’t? Active subscribers want to be the
    first to know about upcoming sales and new products. Give them what they’re craving by
    sending exclusive holiday deals and new product “peeks.” Inactive subscribers, on the other
    hand, need to be won back or removed from your email list.
  • Past purchases. If you run an online store, optimize your past purchases categories and import
    emails into separate segments.
  • Purchase amounts. Who’s spending less than $50, or more than $500 per visit? Email products
    that fit into your subscriber’s comfort range and appeal to their holiday spending budget. Etsy, a
    popular online handmade-boutique, does a great job of segmenting their subscribers into
    purchase amounts

To further the personalization of your emails, take advantage of our merge tag features. With merge
tags, you will be able to address subscribers by name in the subject line and throughout the email

Multi-Platform Marketing

Keep your loyal customers and new subscribers engaged this season by publishing relevant and original content to all of your marketing platforms. If you’re not staying active on all pertinent channels, you will be lost in the crowd of emails, social posts, and paid ads. Don’t give your customers the opportunity to forget about you - help them feel connected by sharing company news, featured/new products, and exclusive discounts.

To help minimize your time spent on creating content, try our “auto-post to social media” tool. This tool automatically shares your campaign to Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin once your email launches. You can update your social messages’ title and text directly in the FireDrum editor.

Engagement Tips Continued

Setup Auto Senders

With the incursion of new subscribers, customers, and orders you’ll be processing this holiday season, it
would be wise to set up auto senders.

  • Welcome emails. Engage your new subscribers immediately by configuring a welcome email campaign. These campaigns can feature your latest products and let your subscribers know why they should choose your products over other companies. Send one, two, or twenty welcome campaigns at separate intervals.
  • Incentive signup email.If you gained new subscribers by advertising a special discount or incentive, don’t wait to send them their deal! With FireDrum, you can schedule emails to send automatically when new subscribers sign up for your newsletter or for a particular segment.
  • Trigger emails. Trigger emails, or emails that are sent based on certain customer actions, are a great way to stay connected with “on-the-edge” buyers. Send personalized emails tailored to their taste with a few clicks in FireDrum. To capture those holiday price shoppers, we recommend creating emails with special deals based on products they clicked through to see.

Deals They Can’t Resist

The holidays are full of deals and discounts… are you offering the best one? Discounts don’t always mean you have to offer your products at 50% off. Shoppers around the holidays are typically looking for the best shipping deal and discounts on products that go together. We recommend offering free, two-day shipping on orders over $25 to $75, and exclusive subscriber discounts on gift sets

Optimize for Mobile Devices

In a 2018 report, 20% of all holiday purchases originated from an email. Meaning, one out of every five subscribers will purchase something they see in your emails. If your campaigns aren’t mobile friendly, that 20% will dramatically decrease and your holiday sales won’t reach your projected numbers. With the FireDrum Email Studio, you don’t have to worry about your email being mobile friendly. Our drag and drop editor automatically makes your emails mobile responsive. To test the flow of your content, take advantage of our Inbox Preview Assistant tool.

Engagement Tips Continued

Subject Lines that Stand Out

You don’t want your email to be lost in the vortex of emails during the holiday season, and neither do we! Grab your reader's attention from the first place possible - your subject line. Make your holiday subject lines merry, personal, and irresistible to open. When you’re creating your subject lines, try to keep these tips in mind:

  • Try not to sound too serious or straightforward. Be cheerful for the holiday season! Puns are a fun way to bring humor to your email and attract subscribers to take a peek. Sleigh With Your New Holiday Hairstyle. 10% off all haircuts.
  • Add our merge tags to make your subject lines more personal, addressing subscribers by their first name. Anna, we have the perfect gift for your little one.
  • Let them know you care about them and not just their money by wishing them a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah. Have yourself a Merry Christmas, James. We have a gift for you!
  • Hit the emotional, lovey-dovey side of your subscribers. The holiday season is all about family and friends - speak to that! It’s hard when the ones you love live far away. Don’t feel so far this
    season with latest app AND Show them how much you care.
  • Win the inbox by offering gifts to each of your subscribers. The season isn’t just about giving - it’s a time to relax, spend time with friends and family, and to treat yourself. Eric, take a break from shopping with a free massage.
  • Re-spark your customer’s holiday spirit by advertising quick & easy gift guides and shopping tips. Struggling to find the right gifts for your in-laws? Shop our holiday gift guide.

OpenBoost Technology

Did some of your subscribers miss your gift guide that you sent? Not open your latest deal? Stay ahead of your competitors and in-front of your subscribers this season by utilizing our OpenBoost Technology. This tools allows you to schedule the message to be re-sent to people who didn’t open them beforehand.You are able to change the subject line and preheader text during the scheduling process

Custom, Branded
Email Templates & More

Looking for a specific design or style for your holiday templates?