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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2016-09-21

Summer is officially over and soon, believe it or not, the holidays will be upon us. Now is the perfect time for B2B marketers to begin planning holiday email campaigns. Here are 12 ideas to get you started:


  1. Holiday theme: An email with a holiday theme – spanning the message, graphics and offer – not only stands out, but also invites fun and lowers the guard of the recipient. Now is the time to get creative, so, for your Halloween-themed message, be a little scary, cute or funny with colors, photos or animation. To add a personal touch, consider including pictures of yourself or your office mates in Halloween costumes (but keep things professional). Consider Thanksgiving and Christmas themes as well, but remember to include other holidays (e.g. Hanukkah, which starts Dec. 24), too.


  1. Promote philanthropy: With Thanksgiving comes the opportunity to give thanks to customers, partners, etc., and to promote your company’s charitable efforts as well. Offer to make or match a direct donation, donate a portion of November revenue, or maybe even a set amount for every call-to-action (CTA) download to a worthy, reputable philanthropy. This creates funds for a good cause, and associated goodwill for your company.


  1. Hold a contest: Solicit stories and pictures from your customers, subscribers or prospects of their crazy or unique costumes, holiday traditions (Festivus anyone?) or charitable event, and give a cool prize (or charity amount match) to the winner. Who had the most beneficial, innovative unique use of your solution in 2016? Whatever you do, make your contest or promotion sharable on social media channels to further encourage positive, personal engagement.


  1. Target kids: Design your promotion or contest to appeal to the interests of your recipients who have children or grandchildren. Collect kids' costume photos, or create a holiday picture or coloring contest. Give a big, fun prize to the winner – or even better – a small one to all who enter. (Make their kids happy, and you may have won a fan for life.) 


  1. Collect kids costume photos, or create a holiday picture or coloring contest. Give a big, fun prize to the winner – or even better – a small one to all who enter. (Make their kids happy, and you may have won a fan for life.)


  1. Daylight savings: Remind your audience of daylight savings (November 6), and lay claim to a portion of the extra hour they get back to download and read your CTA, watch a video or listen to your podcast or recorded webinar.


  1. Election Day: Draft off the political buzz by tying your campaign to the coming Election Day (November 8). Ask your customer or subscribers to vote on their favorite (or desired) product or feature, and announce your own election results.


  1. Black Friday or Cyber Monday: Hold your own B2B sale or promotion for the Friday after Thanksgiving (November 25) or, perhaps easier, for the Monday (November 28) after the long holiday weekend. Both of these days are now etched in the minds of many people as a day for shopping, so they may be even more open to your message or special offer.


  1. Give your own holiday gift: Reward loyal customers or subscribers with a small but valuable free gift, download or other perk.


  1. Free shipping or delivery: If you normally charge for delivery of your product, consider offering it at no charge in December. If training, installation or implementation is normally a part of your B2B sale, consider eliminating, reducing or bundling it with a minimum order size.


  1. Add a free gift card: Who wouldn’t appreciate some extra holiday spending money or, perhaps more valuable, a small gift for the kids, relatives, neighbors or service vendors in your customers’ lives?


  1. End of year special: Use the coming end of the year to promote a special or discounted version or bundle of your solutions. Your audience may relate to your effort to unload some extra inventory – they might have some of their own as well – and may be on the lookout for closeout deals. In addition, they may have some leftover budget they need to “use or lose,” so your offer may be quite timely.


  1. Just say thanks: How about taking a novel approach and send an email that has no marketing message or CTA, and simply thanks your customer or subscribers for their business or attention in 2016? You can also use this as an opportunity to send your own company holiday card, perhaps showing a picture of your company or department employees.


The holidays are a time to get a bit more creative, establish a personal touch, have fun and reward your audience for their business, loyalty or attention. The goal is not only to generate incremental Q4 revenue, but also to establish a positive association with your company – and set the stage for more communications to come in 2017.






Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database.


Image Copyright: vladstar / 123RF Stock Photo

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