17 Tips To Turn Your Holiday Email Into A Virtual 'Easy' Button

Remember Staples and its big red "Easy" button? Maybe an "Easy" button doesn't exist in the real world, but your holiday email experience should come as close as possible.

We all know holiday planning and shopping can be one of a customer's most stressful experiences. A "Make It Easy" strategy can help you remove the FUD (fear, doubt and uncertainty) that could prevent shoppers from doing business with you.

In my previous Email Insider, “Last-Minute Tips for Your Holiday Email Planning,” I included a few "Make It Easy" tips, such as doing the discount math for your customers. I'll expand on those tips here and suggest more ideas to incorporate before the holiday season takes off.

Message Design and Navigation in a Multiscreen Environment

1. Test and tweak message templates so they render better on the three major screen sizes: smartphone, tablet and desktop/laptop.



2. Remember that most conversions still take place on the desktop. So, review any responsive and mobile-friendly design templates you use to be sure they don’t negatively affect the desktop experience.

3. Make messages easier to read on a small screen by boosting font, button and image size in message content.

4. Look for places to reduce "fat finger" mistakes. Separate links and buttons that are close together, and add space around them.

5. Modify your top email navigation links to include key holiday-oriented content such as return policy, shipping options and gift cards to address common questions customers will have this time of year.

6. Add information to the email preheader that will either support the subject line (viewable in inbox snippets) or highlight secondary information in the email.

Copy and Content

1. Add helpful information to your email's administrative footer such as a store location finder, customer support contact information and hours of operation, shipping and return policies, change of address, update preferences and the like.

2. Send a special holiday email that promotes all the services you offer to help customers make or manage purchases, and also alerts them to increased email frequency and special sales. These likely include the information in Item No. 1 above, as well as the following:

  • Shopping assistance (personal shopper, automated gift-matching service, etc.)
  • How-to-buy guides, especially sizing, quality tips or feature comparisons for electronics, software, clothing, sporting goods, toys, jewelry, etc.
  • Gift-card purchase and redemption policies and procedures
  • Loyalty program or premium club
  • Shipping and return deadlines and policies
  • Gift wrapping
  • In-store pick-up
  • Sale dates
  • Email frequency and preference options

3. Do the math. Show the exact savings your customer will receive on each of your featured products or suggested items. Include the original price, the discount (both dollars and percent) and the final price.

4. Invite new shoppers to join your loyalty or premium club. Show current members what their membership status is (how much they've saved or how close they are to a premium level or new benefits).


1. Remind customers of important events or deadlines, such as shipping or return deadlines. Use a countdown timer, progress bar or other device to make these deadlines stand out.

2. Add a dynamic copy block that inserts nearby store locations, temporary holiday hours and special events at those stores.

3. If you send emails for key process abandonments (e.g., browse and cart), add an additional reminder email or revise existing messages, incorporating content, such as return and shipping policies, that might reduce the concerns that led customers not to complete the purchase.

4. Add email reminders for special sales and events (online or in-store events), especially to customers who clicked on the original email invitation.

Subscription and Frequency Management

1. Add a holiday theme to your welcome email or on-boarding program as well as holiday-focused content such as shipping/return deadlines and policies, gift cards, customer support, etc.

2. Allow subscribers to change their frequency (get less or more email) during the holiday season. Feature this information in a heads-up email and in the administrative footer of each message, and add copy on your unsubscribe/subscription management page to offer this option.

3. Search your database to find subscribers who haven't bought from you since last holiday season and send them a special mailing that invites them to return. Mention new services, product lines and other enhancements.

Any of these tips can help make more customers push the "Place Order" button and then sit back and say to themselves, "Wow, that was easy."

Until next time, take it up a notch!

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