2 minute read

Holiday Emails That Knocked Our Stockings Off

Holiday season might as well be called “Email Season.” With brands across industries offering once-in-a-year deals during Black Friday and Cyber Week, the average shopper’s inbox is fuller than Saint Nick’s stomach after milk and cookies. The surplus of promotional emails sent during the holidays makes standing out an elusive achievement for brands.

Here are the holiday emails that stood out to us.

The Limited

Simple, clean and elegant – principles that align with The Limited’s brand. This email puts The Limited’s best deal front and center, highlights free shipping (a key customer expectation during the holidays) and cross-promotes its in-store deals as a secondary message.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters’ entire Black Friday approach was well-planned and consistent. It radically changed its website to celebrate Black Friday, and aligned its email design during that time with its site, creating a consistent and particularly unique customer experience. This stark change in design stood out from the pack. This email features UO’s sitewide deal, and sneaks in a subtle promotion for its loyalty program by emphasizing the added discount members receive.


Anthropologie sent this beautifully designed email, articulating its storewide promotion clearly and concisely. We also enjoyed the spin they put on in-store promotion, using a bit of mystery to entice shoppers to stop by a physical location.


ModCloth emphasizes convenience up front, with nods to its free shipping offer and free exchange and return process, and drives traffic to its site with a big, simple promotional message. The holiday “decorations” on the email add a seasonal and personal touch.


The popular pet supply retailer chose to stand out in inboxes by steering clear of traditional holiday colors. We’re wagging our tails for their blue plaid design and simple, bold text.

Toys R Us

Toys R Us went bright and bold, in step with their vibrant brand. We enjoy the playful aesthetic as well as the toy retailer’s choice to highlight product-specific online deals up front, removing leg work for shoppers and increasing the likelihood of meaningful engagement.

J. Crew

The in-email timer is a unique touch that creates a sense of urgency for shoppers to capitalize on time-sensitive deals. The juxtaposition of work and holiday shopping reinforces that sense of urgency, and makes holiday shopping look a lot more fun relative to shoppers other “options.”

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer’s subject line for this email, “Fleece Navidad,” was simply to punny not to include. On top of the clever approach to eliciting opens, the outdoor apparel retailer dressed up its header image and color scheme for the holidays, and offers gender-specific click through options within the email.

Callaway Golf

Callaway hit a hole-in-one with this simple, easily digestible email. It upped the urgency level by providing shipping cut-off dates for Christmas delivery, reminding shoppers the holidays aren’t ###em/em### far away.

Cole Haan

The high end shoe and apparel retailer offers a quick route to men’s or women’s clothing, and enhances its email by featuring merchandised content based on best selling products with markdown pricing included.