7 Tips to Drive Last Minute Christmas Sales Through Email

15 Dec
7 Tips to Drive Last Minute Christmas Sales Through Email

Christmas is practically here. And while you probably have your Christmas email campaigns going strong, this is a good time to consider tweaking things to double down on last-minute shoppers this holiday season. Here's why this is a good idea.

In 2020, a Klarna study found that  79% of consumers left their holiday shopping until the last two weeks leading up to Christmas. On top of that, 35% saved the last of their holiday shopping for the week of Christmas! 

And to add the cherry on top? The same study found that 55% of last-minute shoppers will buy gifts online regardless of delivery deadlines. 

So, where does this leave you? In the middle of a very lucrative opportunity IF you plan to take advantage of it.

Get More Sales From Christmas Email Campaigns for Last-Minute Shoppers

Okay, so let’s restate the above stats in easy terms.

Millions and millions of ready-to-buy shoppers plan to wait to shop until the last minute and will do a lot of that last-minute shopping online.

Now, email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel around.

Your contacts are going to be looking through their emails trying to find holiday sales and other gift ideas as they come down to the wire.

So... If you plan to send email campaigns with the knowledge that more than a few of your subscribers are going to last-minute shop, you can make a pretty penny during one of the busiest shopping times of the year.

Here are seven tips to help you send campaigns that can snag sales before Christmas.

1. Kick Up the Urgency

The week before Christmas is highly competitive.

Your customers’ inboxes are flooded, not just marketing emails, but also with emails from friends and family. To stand out, you need to put extra effort into your email copy!

Use words that create a sense of urgency throughout your messages especially your subject line!

Last-minute shoppers are running out of time — you need to give them a reason to buy from you (Hint: FAST SHIPPING). Here’s how ASOS goes big and bold to get readers to buy right away:

Your target audience already knows they're working against the clock, so if you can remind them of the problem and offer a solution, you'll be well on your way to earning those sales!


2. Keep it Short (and Sweet)

People are busy this time of year. All they want to do is grab a great Christmas deal — FAST.

Keep your copy short, engaging, and to the point. Don’t ramble on and on in your email. Keep your offer front and center!

Here’s how Fleur & Bee does it:

We love how they fit everything into this little email.

Urgency? Check. Clear offer? Check. Prominent CTA? Check!

On performance gear offers a last chance “sprint” for gifts. Plus, we give ‘em a huge bonus for including the last-minute shipping details. It’s another great example of how to send a short, yet effective, email days before Christmas:

This is a perfect example of that Problem — Solution strategy we talked about earlier.

Swoop in and save the day for your contacts, and they'll be forever grateful!

3. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

You have to know: You’re not the only brand offering last-minute Christmas discounts.

So forget personalized subject lines. You need to go that extra mile to make your contacts feel special (past the first name basis)!

Including gift guides tells your customer you get them and makes it easier on them while shopping for their loved ones. We love this email from Heyday!


Last-minute abandoned cart emails are a great way to save those sales (and include personalized product recommendations). 

This simple cart reminder from Coach is an easy example! 

You can also consider the purchase history of your contacts to send out tailored discounts and offers. They’ll love you for knowing exactly what they wanted!

Especially if you give customers a discount on items that they nearly bought. It’s like making their wish come true!


4. Use a Simple, Mobile-Friendly Design

Now, it's always important that your emails look good on mobile. But when you're trying to capture last-minute Christmas shoppers, responsive design is even more pressing.

That’s where all your last-minute shoppers and impulse buyers are! Make sure you have a responsive design with easy navigation that looks great on all devices.

Pro Tip: Use large-sized, thumb-friendly CTAs and links.

‍Here’s a simple but fun Christmas reminder from J. Crew Factory:

There's not a ton of small features readers have to zoom in on or struggle to read. Plus, the entire GIF is clickable! Remember — your buyers are likely browsing for last-minute deals on the go.

Make it super easy for them to click through, and they'll be one step closer to making a purchase!

5. Offer Free Shipping

Additional shipping charges are the biggest reason why shoppers abandon their carts.

You know what’s better than fast shipping? Fast and free shipping! Here’s how frank body attracts last-minute holiday shoppers:

Your customers want to grab the best deal in front of them — catch their attention and offer them value or they’ll switch to another brand.

6. Offer Digital Gift Cards

Yeah, it would have been nice if that perfect, highly sought-after gift was still in stock at the store the day before December 25th — but most people aren't that fortunate.

And even if someone was shopping online a day or two before Christmas, that doesn't mean it's going to ship to their doorstep in time.

So how do you snag sales for your online store during the twilight hours of holiday shopping?

Offer e-gift cards. Jeni’s is one of many brands that did this for their holiday campaigns, even going so far as to call out last-minute shoppers in their subject line: “Last minute gifts that look pre-planned.”

You can do something similar. You can offer these e-gift cards to your subscribers and schedule these emails to go out a day or two before Christmas. And use the subject line to your advantage to stand out in their inbox.

Something like:

  • Looking for a last-minute gift?
  • Still Christmas shopping?
  • Need the perfect last-minute gift? We got it!

7. Use SMS To Get Last-Minute Shopper's Attention

Did you know that SMS has a 99% open rate? Yeah, talk about cray cray.

But it's true. If you've been fortunate enough to collect your contacts’ phone numbers, then you should definitely consider adding SMS to your cart abandonment automations.

Many brands — like Cost Plus World Market (shown below) — do this and even utilize SMS-centric campaigns to take advantage of high open rates.

If you send these, be sure to add clickable links.

Depending on the SMS integration or tool you use, you could even include a photo with your message.

If you’re using Sendlane, we have SMS built into our platform to make utilizing this marketing tactic very simple.


We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Campaign)!

Fear not, Christmas shopping isn’t over yet. You can still put your Santa cap on and celebrate with your customers!

Remember — timing is everything. Don’t bother sending out gift guides or wish lists to last-minute Christmas shoppers.  

There’s no time for that.

Focus on loud and clear offers, prominent CTA’s, and attention-grabbing copy. Get them to buy before Christmas is over!

Did you find any of these tips helpful? We’d love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below.

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