Subject lines to steal this holiday season

Subject lines to steal this holiday season

The holidays are here, and so is your opportunity to leverage Santa's cheer by bringing the holiday spirit to your email subject lines during this busy season. With email sends skyrocketing during this time of year, your subject lines are crucial to key metrics such as open rates and click-through rates.

Good thing is, if you've not already been incorporating holiday cheer into your subject lines this season, it's not too late! The holidays season is typically considered to run from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, so let's get sending! 

Here's our favorite of the classic holiday subject lines that are guaranteed to light up your subscriber's inboxes this holiday season and how they can best compliment your sends based on goals.

1. Bare Bones

Subject line: Holiday Shopping, Simplified

The content: Keep shopping simple this holiday season.

Why we liked it: This stood out because of its attractive nature—and we don’t mean physically. Think about it: The holiday season can be stressful, so the idea of simplifying things can be extremely attractive.

BareBones email example

Source: Really Good Emails

2. Orly

Subject Line: Black Friday Starts NOW: 40% Off Site Wide

The content: Start your Black Friday shopping and save 40% off products across the site.

Why we liked it: Online shoppers love getting early access to deals on their favorite products. And not having to wait until Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) is a wonderful thing for those looking to get their shopping out of the way before Thanksgiving. 

It’s worth mentioning that while Orly does use caps lock in their subject line, they limit it to the word “now” as a way of emphasizing time—they created a sense of urgency.

Orly email example

Source: Milled

3. Apple

Subject Line: Order last-minute gifts from Apple by December 22

The content: Get your Apple orders in before Dec. 22 to get your gift in time for the holidays.

Why we liked it: This subject line is informative and it creates a sense of urgency as well. It gets straight to the point, and the content within the message only further confirms what the reader already knows (with a little added detail). 

Apple last minute gift ideas email example

Source: Really Good Emails

4. Arrow Companies, LLC

Subject Line: Sew Many Savings – Holiday Pricing Starts Now!

The content: Start saving on your holiday sewing needs.

Why we liked it: This stood out to us thanks to its crafty play on words. Instead of “so,” the brand went with “sew”—something their target audience is sure to get a chuckle out of. They also do a wonderful job of getting right to the point. 

Arrow Sewing Furniture email example

Source: Milled

5. Google

Subject Line: Hey Google, wake me up to Holiday music

The content: Let Google help get you into the holiday spirit.

Why we liked it: For those that use the Google assistant features on their devices, they know the command, “Hey Google” can help them do a variety of things. Thanks to this subject line, readers know they can try several holiday-specific commands throughout their day.

Google home hub example

Source: Really Good Emails

Wrap Up

Crafting the perfect email subject line can be tricky—especially when it comes time to write for the holidays. Marketers understand they have to walk a fine line of sending relevant content and making a profit. So, if you’re still working on writing your holiday email subject lines, keep these tips in mind:

  • Create something simple and short

  • Pique interest by using holiday terminology

  • Promote your offers

  • Make readers feel special

  • Avoid excessive use of caps lock and exclamation points

  • Get creative with emojis 🎅🎄

  • A/B test before sending

Click here to get our full holiday marketing guide, stocked full of insights about what small marketers are planning this year based on an email marketing survey we conducted.

About the Author

Brianna Glenn

Brianna Glenn is a Content Manager on Emma's marketing team. The only thing she loves more than writing is food, which she often experiments with in her spare time. She has a pretty well-known sidekick (her toddler, Miguel) who dances his way into virtual meetings and is famous for making funny faces on camera.

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