40 tips to make the most of your holiday marketing.

With special tips for
Calendarize your content to plan for the holiday season.

Develop a promotional schedule

Map out your sales and promotions for the entire holiday shopping season, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Ready your inventory for the holiday rush

Prepare for the holiday season by planning your product offerings several months in advance.

Even when our vendors give us a timeline, we still have to pad it with extra time. After all, we can’t launch new items as soon as we have them in-hand. We need photos for the website, emails, and social networks. We have to make sure we’re organized and ready for fulfillment when orders start coming in. It feels crazy to plan so far ahead. We had to get into a wintry mindset for our holiday collection, which feels impossible when it’s 100 degrees outside. But allowing for that extra time is crucial for business.
Meghan Lindsay
Freddie and Co.

Engage your social media followers

Encourage social engagement with a holiday contest or sweepstakes exclusive to followers and fans across your social media channels.

Publicize your upcoming events

Announce any upcoming holiday events, pop-up shops, and seasonal sales in advance, so your customers can help you spread the word.

Show appreciation to loyal customers

Reward your best customers with a special discount, early access to sales, or a first look at new products.

When the holiday shopping period rolls around, every retailer is offering discounts and special promotions, so it’s hard to grab the attention of customers. I have a small but loyal repeat customer base and I try to shoot them all an email when we have new stock coming in, upcoming sales and limited run artist collaboration socks. They also get discount codes and a personalized email from me, and they tend to respond really well to that.
Brock Sykes
Odd Pears

Spread holiday cheer

Thank your customers for their patronage throughout the year by sending them a thoughtful holiday greeting.

Communicate your shipping policies

Clearly communicate important order-by dates and shipping details so your customers will get their products in time for the holidays.

Highlight your most popular items

Showcase your best-selling items with a special holiday collection or gift guide.

Manage your list and target your audience.
 - Consolidate subscribers into a master list

Consolidate subscribers into a master list

You can create as many lists as you need, but it’s often more convenient—and cost effective—to instead manage a single master list of subscribers.

Maintain a permission-based list

Maintain a clean, permission-based list throughout the holiday season. If you haven’t contacted subscribers in the past six months, be sure to reconfirm your list before sending.

After removing inactive subscribers from our list, our open and click rates grew stronger than ever. Now, we create segments and Automation workflows based on the purchase history of our customers, so we can be sure that we’re advertising the right products to the right people
James MacDonald
 - Integrate with social media

Integrate with social media

Turn your social media followers into subscribers with a Facebook signup form or Twitter Lead Generation Card.

Target subscribers with segments

Use segments to organize your subscribers and send them targeted, relevant content.

Advertise to subscribers on Facebook

Use Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature to target your MailChimp subscribers with Facebook ads.

As our customers turn to social media for information on new product launches and exclusive promotions, we use our MailChimp database to create a custom audience on Facebook. It helps us reach our customers beyond their inbox while still respecting their privacy.
Johnathan Cohen
Lancer Skincare
Create relevant content to send to the right people at the right time.

Send a special offer to repeat customers

Use segmentation to send a targeted promotion to customers who have made a certain number of orders.

Targeting our most engaged customers is made possible (and easy) by using MailChimp’s segmentation features. Other email marketing platforms we’ve used don’t offer anything close, and the tight integration with our Shopify store data helps ensure that the right customer gets the right message. We’ve seen nearly a 10% increase in opens when we use segmentation to target our customers based on their buying history.
Rob Williams

Recommend products customers will love

Personalize your email by including product recommendations driven by the purchase history of your customers.

We’ve found MailChimp’s unique product recommendations to be a simple yet effective way to provide our customers with targeted content.
Haik Kavookjian
Sword & Plough

Welcome new customers to your list

Automatically welcome new customers or enroll them in an onboarding series with the help of our First-Time Customers Automation workflow or pre-built e-commerce segment.

Send abandoned cart messages

Follow up with customers who abandon their shopping cart to remind them what they’ve left behind and encourage them to complete their purchase.

Email marketing is an integral part of our business and abandoned cart emails are very important to us. We’ve recovered many carts via the built-in abandoned cart emails.
Jimmy MacDonald
Authenticity 50

Re-engage lapsed customers

Create a customer re-engagement Automation series to win back customers who haven’t made a purchase from your store in a while.

We used the integration with MailChimp and our Shopify store to create a re-engagment email that enticed subscribers who haven’t made a purchase in a while with a discount code. The campaign worked great, and we were happy to win back some of our lapsed customers.
Paisley Parker

Provide helpful inventory updates

Send back-in-stock messages to alert customers when your most popular items are available.

The back-in-stock email program started out of necessity. We release a new product every week. Inevitably, between the breadth of our outdoor outfitting collection and demand, we see periods of low inventory. We developed a customized MailChimp template for our back-in-stock emails, which allows us to add special offers and messages, such as free shipping to customers who have been particularly patient. We call these our ‘good things come to those who wait’ emails.
Jaime Soper
Best Made Company

Target your audience by demographic

Use Predicted Demographics to create relevant, engaging emails that target your audience by gender or age range.

Don’t forget your brick-and-mortar

Use email to support—and drive traffic to—your physical storefront.

Send on the go email with MailChimp Snap

Create and send photo-based emails right from your phone with MailChimp Snap.

When I found out about Snap, it was what I believed in—sending a simple picture with a simple text, and not bombarding our customers. People are overloaded with info these days, especially on the web. I just want to get the point across.
Rachel Raab
Buddha Pants

Personalize your message with merge tags

Use merge tags to include personalized, relevant content in your emails and subject lines.

Test and optimize to make your content even more engaging.

Perform tests to learn what drives engagement

A/B test different copy, images, and calls to action in your email to learn what resonates with your audience.

A/B testing allows us to learn about our customers' shopping habits. From testing subject lines to send times, we're learning how to best target our customers and reach them when they're most responsive. There are so many variables that can affect the optimal send time, and we use A/B testing to help take guesswork out of the equation.
Vaughn Sulit
Baked by Melissa

Choose the best combination when A/B testing

The winning combination of an A/B test can be chosen manually or determined automatically based on open rate, click rate, or total revenue. Be sure to select the winning criteria that’s most valuable to your business.

 - Test with goals of your business in mind

Test with goals of your business in mind

Set objectives for testing and optimization that align with the goals of your company. For example, if you want to sell more stuff, test campaign elements aimed at increasing sales.

 - Test strategically to inform future campaigns

Test strategically to inform future campaigns

Be strategic when determining what percentage of your list to test. If you’re a frequent sender, consider running tests on the full list so you can gather as much information as possible and learn for future campaigns.

 - Identify patterns in subscriber behavior

Identify patterns in subscriber behavior

Create a Comparative Report to analyze campaign performance over time and identify patterns in subscriber behavior.

Use subject lines to make a good first impression

Try using different subject lines for each campaign—and even including personalization or emojis when you can—to learn what improves your open rates.

 - Optimize sending by time zone

Optimize sending by time zone

Schedule your MailChimp campaigns with Timewarp to automatically deliver based on each subscriber’s time zone.

Analyze your reports after sending

Track individual product sales, total revenue, and ROI after every campaign you send.

 - Test your campaign before sending

Test your campaign before sending

Test your campaign across more than 40 different web, mobile, and desktop email clients with Inbox Preview, so you can be sure everything looks just right before you send.

Optimize your campaign for mobile devices

Customize your campaign’s mobile styles and preview the changes before hitting send.

 - Find your best sending time

Find your best sending time

Use Send Time Optimization to identify the sending time that will result in the highest engagement from your subscribers.

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Revisit your branding for the holiday season.

Maintain a consistent voice

Set guidelines for your voice and tone to ensure that your messaging is consistently clear and on-brand.

Newsletters are really the core messaging of the brand and it’s kind of where it all starts for us. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. Having not just a sense of humor, but a sense of warmth and intimacy in our brand voice, is important to us.
Nancy Kruger Cohen
Mouth Foods
 - Update your brand’s look for the holidays

Update your brand’s look for the holidays

Give your email website and social media channels a festive refresh for the season.

Strengthen your brand with storytelling

Feature your “hero” products, share holiday inspiration, and separate yourself from the crowd.

 - Revisit your style guide

Revisit your style guide

It’s a good time to make sure your fonts, colors, and other design elements are on point.

Best of luck and season's greetings.
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