It’s that time of the year again: another national holiday that can easily be transformed into a capitalist fairy tale. Balancing the spirit of the season and the need to push your biggest sales, however, can prove to be the greatest challenge. You don’t want to be too pushy, too cheesy, or too mild…That’s a lot of “too’s” to worry about.

But when you consider that the holiday season brings in over 100 billion dollars in just e-commerce sales for retailers -- it’s worth the challenge. Even if you can simply capture a small portion of the holiday sales, it could make a big impact on your year-end sales numbers.  

The holiday season offers retailers the opportunity to increase sales exponentially. As people rush to purchase gifts for their loved ones while looking for deals on high-priced items, having the right plan in place can bring major profits to your company. Image courtesy of Statista

Holiday Email Marketing

That’s where holiday email marketing comes into play. By reaching your customers via email, you’ll have an additional opportunity to promote your in-store sales and increase eCommerce sales. 

As consumers are looking anywhere and everywhere for a deal on the hot ticket items of the year -- you could be sending those deals right to the inbox. If you can get their attention, chances are good they will click to your site to check out the deal you’re offering and hopefully make a purchase.

Email marketing is a big deal during the holiday season. From Cyber Monday to Thanksgiving Day, you’ll want to hit the inbox of your customer base. But the trick is to stand out against the competition when everyone else is taking advantage of these high shopping times. Image courtesy of The Social Media Monthly

For your benefit, we decided it would be fun to look at nearly 1000 Thanksgiving email subject lines to give you the low down on the trends we’ve found in the sphere. (Fun gets a little nerdy in the digital marketing world.) Here’s what we realized:

1. You’ll Need to Change Your Opinion on Email Length

Turns out, the idea of keeping emails short and sweet seems to be out of style for Thanksgiving subject lines. In fact, the average length of a Thanksgiving subject line is longer than that of other types.

But here’s the catch -- you need to make sure that the content at the beginning of your subject lines are enticing enough for users to click. When writing your holiday subject lines, keep in mind that while desktop users may see the entire subject, mobile users only see about 35 characters of subject lines

As mobile continues to gain traction and is quickly becoming one of the most used sources to check emails, this is a huge factor you need to take into consideration. 

2. Embrace the Holiday Terminology 

Patriotism loses out to vagueness. In fact, it’s almost eight times more likely to see the word “Holiday” than “American” in a subject line during this time of year. 

This could be because, during the holiday season, many people are looking to snag deals and discounts on the products their family wants. That’s why you’ll find thousands of people in-stores on the busiest shopping day of the year -- Black Friday. 

To maximize your online sales, make sure that your customers know the promotion within is a holiday deal. Maybe around the Fourth of July email subject lines with the wording “American” would be the winner between these two, but not during this busy holiday season. 

3. Use Subject Lines to Get Creative

It should come as no surprise that Apparently most people know that Thanksgiving Day is, well, a day. One- fifth of emails choose not to remind them in their subject lines. Instead, this valuable real estate can be used for copy that has a greater impact on the recipient’s experience. (Time to break out those turkey leg emojis.)

Why is it important to get creative with your subject lines to use all the available real estate? The average email open rate is only 18%, meaning most emails are deleted before they are even opened. Wasting the limited space you have could be the difference between your email being opened, or deleted upon arrival. 

The more creative and catchy your email subject line is, the more likely someone is going to open it. Don’t waste your chance to increase sales by creating crappy, unexciting subject lines. You’ll waste more money developing them than you’ll earn. 


4. Let Your Content Play-off of the Season

Finally, for the statistic that gives this post its name. It turns out, a surprising number of brands have do decided to include a good hearty “gobble” in their subject lines. We found it interest that “gobble” was even more prevalent than the word “turkey” in our sample.

This one leads us to believe that A/B testing your emails will help you identify the best content for your customer base. You may be hesitant to add words like “gobble” to your subject line, but after some A/B you might find that your customers really react to the phrase. 

It can’t hurt to try some of those out of the box ideas you’ve been throwing around! They might be just what you need to improve your open rates. 


Get Your Holiday Strategy Ready

It’s never too early to start planning for the busiest shopping season of the year.  As Thanksgiving approaches, you’re going to want to start honing in on how you’re going to reach your customers this year. 

With the high stakes and opportunity for increased sales -- why wouldn’t you be investing a large amount of your time to these campaigns? Here are our last two cents related to this topic: make it fun, keep it light, and give your customers what they want for a successful Thanksgiving email marketing program.

How do you balance the holiday spirit with your bottom line? Make the most out of this holiday season with the best email subject lines on the market. 

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