The Top 6 Christmas Marketing Campaign Ideas

Believe it or not, Christmas is just around the corner. That means marketing for Christmas is also just around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about the merry holiday and how you’re preparing your marketing for it. Festive marketing can bring a huge boost to your business when done effectively.

According to the Office for National Statistics, between 2020 and 2021, retail sales rose by 5.1%, which is the strongest growth since 2004. This means if your Christmas email marketing campaigns are successful, you’ll be in for a major uptick in sales. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some Christmas marketing campaign ideas we thought stood out and how to make the most of your marketing this holiday season.

Christmas marketing campaign idea examples

Time a Pre-Christmas special deal

Nothing gives people happy holidays quite like a special offer. Consider following in the footsteps of brands like Amazon, Sony, and Samsung, who offer special deals based on how much time is left before Christmas. 

Everyone knows the famous “12 days of Christmas,” so consider a Christmas email marketing campaign where you offer 25% off discount codes for the 12 days leading up to the big holiday. 

With a simple, catchy Christmas subject line, creative copy, and playful visuals, you have an effective Christmas marketing campaign. 

Example of a lead-in campaign
Example of a lead-in campaign (Source)

Example: StyleCampaign shares some examples of lead-in to festive season campaign ideas, including a Christmas campaign that started all the way back in September! 

Holiday thank you emails

Your customers are spending their hard-earned money to purchase from your business. Thanking them will go a long way toward building a relationship between you and your customers. You can use ActiveCampaign’s holiday marketing automation to thank your customers for their respective purchases without lifting a finger. 

Holiday thank you email automation
Holiday thank you email automation

Here’s how this automation works:

1. The contact enters the automation when they make a purchase during the time frame in the segment condition.

2. The contact is sent a thank you email in line with your other festive marketing.

3. The automation waits for 5 hours.

4. The contact is sent an email showing your top deals from your sale.

This automation allows you to offer other products that customers may be interested in, as well. Consider promoting additional products in your marketing campaign within the thank you email. Christmastime is not only a time of celebrating but also a time of spending. Customers will appreciate your reaching out to thank them, which may result in additional sales.

Example: Shopify provides 44 examples of how to thank your customers for purchasing during the festive season.

Sleigh your holiday abandoned carts

Let’s be honest. While plenty of purchases are made around Christmastime, even more carts are abandoned in the process. All these abandoned purchases add up, and there is always an opportunity to try and recoup some of those sales. Abandoned cart emails are sent year-round, but the festive season is a special time for the marketing practice.

During the holiday season, you can time your abandoned cart emails, so the potential customer has to go through with their purchase by a specific date. You can even offer a percentage off to entice them to purchase. If they do, they get a certain percentage off the purchase for following through. 

Consider a fun line in your email about how Santa wouldn’t leave any items in his sleigh. There, we’ve even gotten the email started for you!

Example: Take a look through this blog post to see some creative abandoned cart emails!

Festive gift guide

Christmas is the season of giving and receiving gifts. This also makes it the perfect time for you to make it the season of profit, so why not make it your products that people are giving and receiving by laying out the options for your customers? Create a festive gift ideas guide filled with plenty of opportunities to purchase and fun visuals to make them pop. A sale or 2 will help emphasise the ones you seek to promote the most.

This also gives you the opportunity to create a landing page that will encourage future sales or subscriptions. Simply put, your gift guide is your way of getting customers excited about what you offer and putting them in your sales funnel.

Example: John Lewis presented a gift guide for the 2021 festive season, including many of their products. This gave customers a chance to browse through their products.


A personal favourite, gamification lends itself to Christmastime. Gamification is “an enhanced marketing technique that borrows design elements from games to attract and retain customers. In gamified marketing, consumers are driven to perform an action because it offers elements of competition or reward.”

Using this tactic during Christmastime is brilliant because there are many ways to gamify the holiday. It’s the perfect time to hold a Christmas-themed contest (it can be about anything from a design to the most interesting use of your product) to attract customers and positive attention and increase incoming user-generated content.

It’s a win-win. You get content directly from your users, and your users win prizes of your choosing just for participating. 

Example of Gamification in marketing
Example of Gamification in marketing (Source)

Example: While not Christmas-themed, Whole30 gamified the new year with their competition that started on January 3rd.  

Be ready for last-minute shoppers

We’ve all been there before. It’s the last minute, and you forgot to get your sister-in-law a Christmas gift. Or maybe you’re rethinking giving your cousin socks for the 4th year in a row. In scenarios like this, the customer needs a good gift quickly. That’s where your work begins. Whether it’s a last-minute sale or preparing marketing materials to send some last-minute email campaigns, being ready for your customers at all times is key. That means even (and especially) up to the last minute. 

There are also ways to avoid the major pitfalls last-minute shoppers face. Consider a digital gift card campaign to replace physical gift cards, so you don’t have to worry about sending out products. Additionally, they can be purchased until the last minute, thanks to not needing to be shipped.

Example: Check out what Target did to help last-minute shoppers complete their Christmas lists. 

Take your festive season marketing one step further

The Christmas season is one of the busiest times of the year for marketing teams everywhere. Use ActiveCampaign’s holiday toolkit to prepare and make the most of the season.

holiday season toolkit

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