As an email marketer, you know how difficult it is each year to come up with different ideas for you various festive campaigns.

That said, major holidays are an opportunity to market to your subscribers when they may be most receptive to offers.

Following are a few examples of holiday email campaigns that illustrate how ordinary can easily become extraordinary.

St. Patrick’s Day Emails

Even if you’re not Irish, chances are you know that St. Patrick’s Day is March 17. I applaud Busch Gardens for not overstating the obvious. Its email subject line is simply: “Opening day is March 17.”

The email reinforces the holiday theme with a green background behind the headline and subhead, and a green lead-in to the copy. And the copy also ties into the theme: “It must be a lucky day because March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day….”

St. Pattys Email Example

OK, so the subject line is a bit cheesy: Want the luck of the EYE-rish? But when it comes to tongue-in-blushed-cheek emails, I’ve got to give them the benefit of the doubt. The dialogue balloon captures the spirit o’ the holiday (and the tone of the brand): Kiss me I’m… Oh, just kiss me!

St. Pattys Email Example

Easter Emails

Walmart cleverly uses “peeps” in this Easter-themed subject line: Smart peeps are saving on Easter – shop your local ad now. It sure beats (pun intended) “Egg-citing Easter values” that showed up in my inbox from another online retailer.

(note: screen capture missing. I must have misplaced it, but you get the idea.)

Valentine’s Day Emails

Kudos to Mattel for expanding the Valentine’s Day audience – which typically targets adults – to include the little ones, too. The preheader draws you in with “Shop the darlings of our site” and then (without showing a single toy) subtly succeeds in marketing gender-neutral gifts with a pink heart on a blue background. The quotes, too, include references to “her,” “his” and “granddaughter.” Whether the quotes are real or contrived, they appeal to parents with “value” and “Great for hours of fun.” What could be a more romantic Valentine’s gift for a parent than keeping the little ones entertained for a few hours?

Valentine's Email Marketing

Halloween Emails

At Halloween time, emails are filled with tricks, treats, and Spooktaculars ad nauseum. Hotel Chocolat, however, describes its chocolates as “Dead Gorgeous.” The product photography is gorgeous, too, with an open coffin-shaped box perfectly propped and revealing a peek into the goodies inside. This campaign blows the lid off its all-too-predictable counterparts.

Hallowen Email Example

Bonus Halloween examples:

Mother’s Day

In an early reference to Mother’s Day, JC Penney (excuse me, make that JCP) cleverly uses the phrase “Mother’s May.”

Mother’s Day Email Marketing

Contemporary bold images and colors are consistent with the retailer’s rebranding strategy. Unfortunately, its efforts may be for naught, as the company is laying off more than 2,000 employees as sales continue to fall.

Related post: Mother’s Day Email Marketing Ideas

Christmas Emails

In this older Christmas campaign, Just Fab puts a chic spin on the phrase “naughty or nice.” Forget the fact that the model looks like she might fall flat on her face wearing these “Naughty & Nice”” shoes. Even her expression seems to say naughty and nice.

Christmas Email Samples

Related posts:

The Key Seasonal Email Marketing Takeaway

Challenge yourself (and your creative team) to come up with some out-of-the-gift-box ideas for the next holiday campaign. For one thing, it will take the repetitiveness out of your job – and hopefully will result in a campaign that generates more opens… more clicks… and more sales.

Or if you’re strapped for time or ideas, chances are your subscribers won’t remember what the offer was from one year to the next. So if you had a particularly successful seasonal or holiday email campaign, why reinvent the wheel? You could recycle the campaign and update as necessary with products, prices or other elements that have changed.

About the Author: Scott Hardigree is the Founder of Indiemark and Editor of Email Critic. Connect with him everywhere here.