Holiday Emails You Should Prepare Now

Now that it’s fall, it’s time to start working on your holiday emails. Not only that, you’ll even want to start sending some of them out soon.

The next few months will be busy for sure, and you want to be on your subscribers’ minds in the shopping months to come. While it may still feel too early to start talking about the holiday season, there are certain emails you should get out sooner rather than later so they don’t get lost in the holiday bustle.

We’ve got some examples of what you should start sending soon and why.

Share Your Catalog

In the past, you’d receive a catalog in your mailbox, but these days you can set up digital catalogs. Catalogs show all or most of your products for sale, and can be made as a simple PDF or created through a paid service paid service.

When to Send: Unless you have special holiday pricing, a catalog can be useful at any time. Keep in mind that if you plan to attach the catalog to your email, it needs to be less than 2 MB. To avoid delivery problems, it’s highly recommended that you host documents online.

Check out how Intermix announces their catalog in this email:

With the holidays approaching, a catalog gives your customers the ability to peruse though your products and generate ideas for their own wish lists or gifts they plan to get others. If you’ve already shared your catalog earlier in the year, you can segment the message so the ones who already received it just get a reminder, while the ones who haven’t seen it get the full introduction to it.

Promote Pre-Orders

If you know what items are going to be in high demand, you’ll want to start accepting pre-orders before the product is released.

When to Send: October, or based on when product will be available

Take a look at Vosges Chocolate’s email inviting pre-orders:

Allowing customers to start shopping early can lead to more sales. While they’re purchasing one item, they may think of another, then another, etc. You can track who has purchased items, and send a message to that segment with an upsell or cross sell.

Help Them Book With You

If you host events, connect people to places who do host events, have a catering service or offer any other services a party would need, you can start promoting these services for holiday parties.

When to Send: End of October through November. You don’t want to be too early or they’ll forget, but you also don’t want to be too late and have them already booked somewhere else.

The restaurant Buca di Beppo invites subscribers to book holiday parties at the restaurant:

Just as you are working on your holiday emails, other companies are also working on their holiday plans. Remind subscribers that you can help with holiday party planning, emphasizing how your service can help them out.

Offer Gift Guides

Gift guides offer ideas on what to buy for others. This can range from family members to coworkers to last minute ideas. Everyone usually gets stuck on someone in their holiday shopping, and gift guides provide ideas for those suffering from “gifters block.”

When to Send: November through December. Chances are your customers will purchase the gifts they know they want to get first, but you want to provide a resource they can refer to when they’re ready.

Diesel does this in a fun way:

While it may take extra time to create a gift guide, there is not only the potential for more sales but showing you care to help subscribers can improve your relationship with them.

Advertise Store Hours

Changing your store hours for the holidays? Don’t forget to let everyone know! You can use global text snippets in your AWeber account to set and manage your store hours in one place. Once you create the snippet, you’ll have a variable you can insert in your messages that will automatically insert the hours you set for that snippet.

When to Send: This will depend on your industry. For example, if you’re in retail you’ll want to let your customers know you will be open longer, and this can be sent a few days before that begins. But if you have a professional office, you should send an email a few weeks before the holidays letting people know what days you’ll be closed.

See how Marilyn’s Bakery handles this:

People are going to start spending more time shopping, and most businesses accommodate that by staying open longer. However, if your customers don’t know that you’re open later, they won’t be coming in your store.

Check Out the Holiday Lookbook on Wednesday

We’ll be releasing a lookbook of Christmas email examples from the 2010 season later this week. It’ll be free, so come back Wednesday and get inspired!


  1. Eddie Gear

    10/27/2011 11:02 am

    Informative article Crystal. Very specific to niches I believe. As an internet marketer what would be the best choice for me.

  2. Silke

    10/27/2011 11:54 am

    Great tips as always. I like the gift guide and I’m already thinking of ways I can incorporate this into my email marketing. Thanks.

  3. Elena

    10/27/2011 2:06 pm

    Thank you for the holiday tips. Great article for those selling goods. What about those who sell services? Do you have any pre-xmas suggestions for us?

  4. Sean Carty

    10/27/2011 5:12 pm

    Great post, I think everyone knows that it is a great opportunity to write holiday emails, but this post really shows you HOW to make those emails really work for you. I’ll be directing our readers at over to this article for sure 🙂

  5. Jacquelyn TheCreatriss

    10/28/2011 11:49 am

    Great article, very timely and EXCELLENT content – thanks so much. I love AWEBER!

  6. Mark Koenig

    10/29/2011 4:56 pm

    Thanks for the great information. I’m much in the same boat as Eddie Gear above in that I’m also in network marketing. Eddie, off the cuff (and depending upon what products/services you are marketing) I’d say that you might try creating an E-mail “pamphlet” or mini-catalog of your products and/or services.


  7. Crystal Gouldey

    10/31/2011 8:12 am

    Eddie- You could send some fun (but helpful) emails for the holidays, like “Tips to survive the holiday season” and include how you make time for internet marketing during the busy season.

    Elena- You could advertise sales for your service, maybe like a month free or discounted service. You might also want to pitch your service as a gift someone can purchase for someone else and talk about the different people who benefit from using your service.

    Great comments!

  8. Mmahi

    10/31/2011 10:39 pm

    Great article, very timely and EXCELLENT content, thanks so much.Thanks for the great information. I’m much in the same boat as Eddie Gear above in that I’m also in network marketing. Eddie, off the cuff (and depending upon what products/services you are marketing)

  9. lauren

    11/1/2011 2:06 pm

    After reading over this very informative post, I was wondering if you could give any advice to those of us who own coupon sites. Since Holiday coupons are not released way ahead of time it’s hard to build a pre- holiday newsletter. Actually, my busy season begins right after the holiday season as I am focused on health and diets which falls into the new years resolution category. Any advice would help. I subscribed to the “new comments by email” so I’ll be looking for your response. Thanks for all the help!

  10. Crystal Gouldey

    11/2/2011 8:28 am

    Lauren- You know your audience and industry better than I do, but I do have a few ideas you might want to consider.

    Besides gifts, holidays are also known for the good food. If you focus on health and diets, maybe you could offer some tips for making the right eating choices during the holidays and offer coupons to things that would help with that. As it gets closer to the end of the year, you can start promoting what you’ll be offering to help get back in shape after the holidays.