7 Email Templates to Increase Open Rates This Holiday Season

It’s the day after Cyber Monday. You open your Spotify account, and you get bombarded with two dozen holiday playlists “carefully selected just for you”: Christmas hits, Christmas classics, Christmas peaceful piano, Christmas coffeehouse, and the list goes on. And while your friends are eating cookies, building gingerbread houses and watching full-day marathons of Home Alone, for you that time of the year means only two things. More Out Of Office replies in your inbox and an opportunity to follow-up with old leads now as the Black Friday craze has dwindled.

To help, I’ve put together 7 effective holiday email templates will turn your boring sales emails into creative, eye-catching messages that even your coldest prospects won’t wait to open like a big Christmas box wrapped in shiny paper.

Trash out the old email playbook, pick one of these holiday email templates, and personalize them for more opens and higher response rates.

1. Use emojis to stand out in the crowd

While the holiday season is going to be chock full of sales opportunities, you can be sure your company won’t be the only one competing for your customers’ attention. With retail brands and software vendors sending daily discounts, it might be hard to get your leads excited about that demo call. 

In a typical head-turning fashion, The Dollar Shave Club has used “Not that gift ⬆️ or this one ⬇️” subject line to cut through the inbox noise around the holidays. When put in context, this subject line is just brilliant.

Email Template


Subject: Not that gift ⬆️ or this one ⬇️

Hey [Lead name],

I know your inbox is flooded with gift emails and discounts, and you can’t wait for that tree lighting ceremony. But solving [insert biggest problem that your product or service solves] could actually be your biggest gift this year since it’s going to [insert biggest benefit and quantify it (going to save you $X,XXX from your marketing budget)].

If you’re ready to get that free consultation call scheduled, just book a slot on my calendar.

Happy Holidays,
[Your name]

2. Use discounts to create a sense of urgency

Holiday marketing is all about urgency. Use this moment to create a real time frame in which people need to act, or they’ll miss out. Now is the time to offer a product discount if they pull the trigger before the end of the year.


Subject: Surprise your team with something better than a fridge magnet

Hey [Lead name],

It’s that time again — it’s important to honor that sacred workplace tradition: the office Secret Santa.

While I can’t help you choose the best Christmas sweater or fridge souvenir for your colleague, I have something better than that! 

If you buy before December 31, I can offer you a special discount of [insert your discount] for [your product]. [Product name] can help you [main pain point and solution (i.e., convert 23% more trials to paying customers)].

Impress your boss and your team, and save money on a gift that will actually move the needle for your company.

Hit a reply to this email and let me know if you’d like to take advantage of this offer today?

Happy Holidays,
[Your name]

Email Template CTA

3. Show gratitude with an email on Thanksgiving

Sure, Thanksgiving is about roast turkey and mashed potatoes, but let’s not forget its other central theme: gratitude. This time of the year is an excellent opportunity to make your emails personal with funny gifs, personalized images and let your prospects (and customers) know how much you appreciate them. Keep this email short and sweet!


Subject: It’s a pleasure working with you

Hey [Lead name],

I wanted to take the time to let you know that I appreciate working with you, and I’m glad that you spent the time to learn more about [insert your company name]

Happy Thanksgiving, and please let me know if I can do anything to help you with [your field of expertise (i.e., marketing, sales, support, etc.)] or otherwise.

Best regards,
[Your name]

4. Be mindful and ask for a better time to follow-up

Christmas holidays are jolly times, but not for all of us. No matter how brilliant your email subject line and copy are, some people will just be too busy to get back to your messages during that period. Instead of hounding your prospects with another “Just checking in” email, show that you’re considered and inquire for the best time to talk after the holidays.


Subject: Should I get in touch with you after the holidays?

Hey [Lead name],

I know that Christmas and the holiday season can be a sensitive time for some of us. 

[Product name] could help you with [main problem], but I’d understand if you don’t want me to send any reminders during that period. We can always continue the conversations in the new year 🙂

Let me know if I should get in touch with you after the holidays?

[Your name]

5. Remind prospects to spend any leftover budget

Many companies spend the holiday season planning budgets for the new year. This time is also an opportunity to remind prospects to spend any budget surplus to avoid losing it.


Subject: A holiday idea for that use-it-or-lose-it budget

Hey [Lead name],

Do you have any residual budget?

Just a quick reminder that any budget surplus will disappear at the end of the year, in precisely XX days. You have to spend any leftover funds before that date, or they get absorbed in the new year or reallocated to someone else. 

I’d love to give you some ideas on how to put this budget to good use. Let’s talk about how [product name] can help you with [greatest pain] while solving your extra budget challenge in one fell swoop.

What would be a good time to talk this week?

[Your name]


6. Help your prospects plan

The holiday season is a hectic time for most of your prospects, as they have to juggle between end-of-year tasks (budget planning, Black Friday, Christmas sales, and so on) and family chores like gift-buying and grocery shopping. Not only that, but people are generally not that productive at that time of the year. To make their life easier, create an on-boarding plan for them. It’s an easy way to keep your prospects on track and define milestones without being annoying.


Subject: Your Holiday On-boarding Plan

Hey [Lead name],

I know this is a hectic time of year, as you’re trying to get some real work done between your ugly sweater office party and the best pie contest. To help us keep things more organized and committed to solving [#1 problem that you aim to solve with this project], I put together this holiday onboarding plan for you:

  1. [Step] [Deadline]
  2. [Step] [Deadline]
  3. [Step] [Deadline]

Let me know if you have any questions regarding these steps? You can always book a call with me to discuss any challenges.

[Your name]

7. Keep your leads in the loop with an annual wrap up email

Keep old customers in the loop by sending them a yearly recap email with all of the latest features that you’ve rolled out in the last year. This message is a good opportunity to upsell existing customers by framing the email as a way for them to save money in the new year.


Subject: Your Holiday Onboarding Plan

Hey [Lead name],

Thank you for being our customer for [insert time] already!

Before you start planning your New Year’s resolution, I wanted to briefly share the things that we did at [Company] in the last 12 months.

  • [Feature 1 with an animated GIF or video demonstrating how the feature works]
  • [Feature 2 with an animated GIF or video demonstrating how the feature works]
  • [Feature 3 with an animated GIF or video demonstrating how the feature works]

In the new year, we plan to focus on [new feature that solves a specific problem]. 

I think we can all agree that [product or service] is a great fit for you, and I just wanted to remind you that if you upgrade to an annual plan before December 31, we’re going to give you [XX%] off on top of our regular annual discounts.

If you’d like to learn more, grab some time on my calendar by clicking here.

Best Regards,
[Your name]

Did you find these templates useful? Let us know in the comments section.

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