5 minute read

Post-Holiday Email Tactics to Bring Customers Back

The following post was written by Carl Sednaoui, Director of Marketing for MailCharts, as part of their Email Inspiration Series for SmarterHQ. If you'd like to learn more about MailCharts—and how it takes the hassle out of email marketing planning and research—visit the website or drop a note. Take it away, Carl!

The holiday shopping season brings you a stream of new customers. If you want to keep them engaged (and shopping) in the coming year, your post-holiday email plan should make customers feel appreciated while keeping your brand fresh in their mind.

Now, we’ll show you four great tactics to do exactly that!

Tactic 1: Create a new reason to shop

The "treat yourself" theme works two ways. It highlights items that shoppers might like to buy for themselves while crossing items for others off their lists. It also recognizes that customers might like a reward for all the hard work they’ve put into holiday prep.

Sender: The Chester Grosvenor

Subject line: Find time for you this month...


See full email: https://www.mailcharts.com/emails/498c94f0-445f-d4cd-8ce1-f01e75645879

Everything about this email is designed to speak directly to bone-weary, holidayed-out customers, especially women, who shoulder the holiday burden. We love the headline ("Immerse yourself") and the copy, all focused on the individual's own needs.

Sender: Crabtree & Evelyn

Subject line: Treat yourself more. Buy 2 Get 1 FREE

Preheader: Unwind in the New Year.


See full email: https://www.mailcharts.com/emails/c9793215-65b6-ea4d-11f4-e757d0005c8c

We like this consumer-product email because it puts a seasonal, targeted spin on a classic buy-two-get-one offer. The products reflect the season, and the copy encourages the shopper to invest in herself. The editorial copy at the end (warming the lotion first) is an extra persuader and desire-creator.

Tactic 2: Send a value-added "thank you"

Your "thank you" message doesn’t have to have a specific offer, but you could add a VIP offer to high-value customers. If you have the data, send a year in review email (list the most popular products, how many points they earned, how many miles travels or points redeemed, etc.).

Sender: Lush

Subject line: Thank you so much!

Preheader: Look what we can do together


See full email: https://www.mailcharts.com/emails/b8999e32-2dd8-2293-a39d-0b09d984e3b7

An email like this could be as exciting as an annual report, but Lush frames it as all of the good works and donations its customers made possible. This approach fosters a strong sense of community and differentiates the brand in a hyper-competitive market.

Sender: Bloomingdale's

Subject line: Happy New Year, Lorem!

Preheader: Heading into 2018 like...


See full email: https://www.mailcharts.com/emails/62b0c0ba-4a65-1e96-fe9c-a1bec58cb352

This animated email from Bloomingdale's riffs on the NYE ball-drop its flagship city made famous. No offer, no discount—but the store location, the "buy online, pick up in store," app CTAs, and the web navigation subtly remind people to shop. We also appreciate the personalization, even if it's just the first name. 

Tactic 3: Bring out the new

Use your New Year message to introduce new lines, merchandising themes, or products. Beware: Inboxes will be overflowing with "New year, new you" subject lines. Stand out by going in a different direction or finding a clever twist on the saying.

Sender: REI Adventures

Subject line: Explore Our Top Travel Destinations for 2018

Preheader: Be Amazed by Tanzania, Patagonia, the Alps and More! 


See full email: https://www.mailcharts.com/emails/df95000f-b19d-9ca0-2fda-1f84a1dea32f

This email does everything but book the trip for you. It uses compelling copy and images to entice its audience into signing up for an adventure. This is a strategic focus because REI's audience is full of people who either own or will buy the equipment they need to scale the heights shows in this email. It’s a great way to align their subscribers’ aspirational goals with their brand.

Sender: Guess

Subject line: Thank you

Preheader: For spending your year with us


See full email: https://www.mailcharts.com/emails/1ea88743-2b1c-bb09-0b34-059f489a1b8d

Different Guess brands took different approaches. One, from Guess Factory, featured a thank you note from Co-Founder/CEO Paul Marciano and a simple call to action: "See the new collection." (See the email here.) 

But, the version above understands that customers are looking for a fresh perspective after the holidays. This images and CTA in this email likely will inspire more customers to start thinking ahead to spring purchases.

Tactic 4: Invite customers to join your community or loyalty program

New customers can quickly switch brands or go inactive. Bring them into your community to retain them and give you more options to segment and target communications.

Sender: Rosetta Stone (UK)

Subject line: Don’t study alone in 2018. Join the RS Community

Preheader: Make Your Resolution a Reality


See full email: https://www.mailcharts.com/emails/dad24d6f-28b3-2679-df95-a74982009b41

This email promotes group learning and stresses its benefits while also highlighting key features. It's timely and inclusive, and the comparatively low price is a compelling persuader.

Sender: Gypsy 05

Subject line: Join The Tribe


See full email: https://www.mailcharts.com/emails/c97edc67-8176-301d-c989-69718eb78fcb

This cheeky email capitalizes on the brand's irreverent vibe. The copy makes the benefits crystal clear while leaving something to the imagination ("some surprises along the way").

The final word

It’s tempting to go back to business as usual after the holidays. After you catch your breath, look for ways to use email marketing messages to capitalize on all the business that just came through your doors. They will help you build your brand, share your company values, and give new and returning customers even more reason to come back, browse, and buy.