Make Your Emails Merry with These 3 Holiday Email Design Tips

‘Tis the season for decorating all the things for your holidays: your house, your desk at work, even your emails.

But before you douse your next holiday email with glitter, tinsel & garland, it may be good to take a step back & ask yourself if it is creating the right experience for your subscribers. While your intentions may be good in that you are embracing an important time of the year, there’re some design principles to keep in mind.

So how could you be sure your emails convey a festive winter wonderland & not a winter disaster?

I teamed up with our Email Designer, Kim R., to get her advice on how to create a fun holiday email in a way that does not break all of the design rules. Here is her advice:

  1. Aim for simplicity.

Some people like to decorate for the holidays by covering each window, exterior, and blade of grass with festive decorations. But that does not mean you have to do the same with your emails.

“Adding too many photos/festive elements can be overwhelming,” advises Kim. “Aim for a simple email, especially if you are working on a design that is already busy.”

Emails with a lot going on in them easily become distracting for the average subscriber –that goes beyond design. The emails that have too much content, too many different types of fonts and too many columns could present too many places for readers to concentrate their attention.

Instead, try choosing one/two elements to focus on and add to your email, like:

  • An image/GIF
  • A new color scheme
  • A new holiday template.

If you are using a pre-built email template provided by AWeber or another email marketing platform, for instance, this might be all you need to convey that festive vibe.

They launched their “12 Days of Uberflippin’ Giveaways” promotion & incorporated a simple, yet totally festive, design. The hero image combines their logo but embraces the ugly sweater pattern, other unobtrusive visuals that give it just enough holiday spirit.

  1. Limit your calls-to-action.

This is a busy time of year for businesses sending email, but it is even busier for the individuals who’re receiving them.

To make it easier for subscribers to take action & get more clicks in your emails, stick to a brief number of calls-to-action.

“Keep it clear as to what you want people to do,” Kim adds. “If listing products, give them a few things to point to. Do not use too many products to feature in your email.”

You should stick to one link that you want your subscribers to click. But if you have a few different items to feature, consider limiting it to three/four, and then direct individuals to these specific product pages.

By having a button positioned at the top of the email as the main focus, they make it simple for the subscribers to take action.

And that does not prevent them from sharing the benefits about their family of products, either – readers can learn what is in it for them (potentially the people they are purchasing gifts for) choose to buy a specific product from the set.

  1. Stay aligned with your brand.

Swapping your usual email template with a holiday-themed one? Go for it!

When you do, make sure it remains aligned with your brand.

“Be sure to include your logo & consider using your usual headers & footers,” Kim says. “You could focus on making smaller changes, like adding festive colors that go beyond the usual color palette.”

To ensure the email still feels like it is coming from you, consider how you might add holiday delight without turning away the subscribers.

Check out the holiday email promotion from online marketplace Magnolia:

The visual design of the email is simple and does not feel like you just walked into a HomeGoods the Monday after Thanksgiving. They use their regular header. However, incorporate a touch of the season by including a red, festive image & applying the same color to the text above.

Get festive with your emails.

If your holiday emails are already in motion, not a problem! It is never too late to make adjustments to the next send – especially when it could improve the experience for your subscribers.

Not comfortable with changing your email design? If you’re an AWeber customer, try one of our brand new holiday email templates. Just log into your account, and you’ll see them in the Template Gallery.

These templates are ready to be customized, so you can make them fit your brand by doing things like adding you company logo and changing the background color.


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