Digital Marketing Guides & Strategies

2019 Holiday Email Design Lookbook | Tinuiti

Email Marketing

The holidays are upon us once again. This time of year brings tremendous opportunity for marketers to drive end-of-year revenue, but you’re not the only marketer looking to strike holiday gold.

Following your business-as-usual approach to your holiday email is unlikely to yield the best results this holiday season. That’s where your creativity comes in.

In this lookbook, Tinuiti shares some of its favorite campaigns from last holiday season, as well as insights from the strategists and creatives behind the work.

Before getting to the examples, here are a few key strategies to help guide your messaging strategy, promotional planning, and creative execution.

Holiday Email Marketing Best Practices:

  • Put Your Best Offer Forward: Price discounts and free shipping are the most appealing type of holiday offers, according to Deloitte. Your competitors will likely be offering some of their best deals of the year, so you need to conduct a competitive analysis of last year’s campaigns to ensure your promos will stand up.
  • Keep Creative Clear and Concise: It’s important to get your message across quickly before your email ends up in the trash. Keep your email simple, with a clear messaging hierarchy and big, bold CTAs.
  • Play Up the Urgency: Holiday shoppers are indecisive. You should drive urgency to purchase (Ex: message the end of promos, sell-out risk where appropriate, or shipping deadlines for holiday delivery). It’s important also to use creative elements (Ex: countdown timers or animation) to draw attention to the last chance messaging.
  • Make It Mobile-First: Make sure your emails are designed and coded to be mobile-friendly. Test your emails across devices to ensure they’re easy to read and your important information falls above the fold.

Related Guide: Real-Time Solutions to 9 of Retail Marketers’ Biggest Holiday Email Headaches

Now It’s time to get to the creative inspiration!

Ideas for Holiday Email Design Inspiration to Create Momentum and Generate Urgency Throughout the Holidays

1. Email Capture/Overlays—GIR for Kitchen Products

GIR provided gorgeous holiday lifestyle assets featuring their kitchen tools in use. GIR’s bold, red typography paired with the photography perfectly, helping to draw the eye to the offer against the muted grays and greens.

Ideas for holiday email message - Ideas for Holiday Email Design

An Example for Holiday Email Design Ideas 

2. Email Capture/Overlays—Lime Lush’s Email for Black Friday Sale

The brand aimed to create an eye-catching overlay design to capitalize on increased traffic during the holiday season. They went with a bold, solid-black overlay and added some dazzle with their original logo and sparkling gold accents.

Creative Ideas for Your Holiday Email Marketing: Lime Lush’s Email for Black Friday Sale

An Example of Creative Ideas for Your Holiday Email Marketing

Related Guide: 101 Examples of Effective Calls-to-Action | HubSpot

3. VIP Early Access Emails—Pele Soccer

Pele Soccer’s VIP audience was to give them early access to all sales throughout the 4th quarter of 2018. For Green Monday, the VIP audience brought in an additional 20% of revenue, the open rate doubled, and click rate tripled.

This strategy created a very loyal audience that continued to click, open, and purchase throughout Q1 2019, and that makes revenue keeping afloat instead of the post-holiday dip.

An Example of VIP Early Access Emails by Pele Soccer - Ideas for holiday email message - Ideas for Holiday Email Design

An Example of VIP Early Access Emails by Pele Soccer

4. Cyber Monday Email Message—Comrad Socks

Comrad Socks sweeten the Cyber Monday deal with an offer for free socks to renew interest and encourage additional purchases.

They animated the 8-bit Santa to wave to the reader, playing off the “cyber” theme. The animation generated ample interest to encourage readers to scroll through the rest of the email to reveal the layers of deals.

An Example of Cyber Monday Email Message by Comrad Socks - Ideas for holiday email message - Ideas for Holiday Email Design

An Example of Cyber Monday Email Message by Comrad Socks

Download the full “2019 Holiday Email Design Lookbook” and learn from more than 25 of the creative email marketing campaigns launched during the holiday season.

The Contents of the “2019 Holiday Email Design Lookbook”:

  • Introduction
  • Email Capture / Overlays
  • VIP Early Access
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Gift Guides
  • Last-Minute Gifts
  • After Christmas Sales
  • Conclusion

Number of Pages:

  • 38 Pages


  • Free


Tinuiti is an award-winning digital marketing agency and the new name for Elite SEM. Its recently acquired agencies CPC Strategy, Email Aptitude and OrionCKB.Tinuiti is a performance and data-driven digital marketing leader based in New York, USA. Tinuiti helps clients identify, acquire, and engage customers across the digital media ecosystem while their post-click solutions Retain and Reactivate consumers as they continue their digital journey.With expertise in Search, Social, Amazon & Marketplaces, Mobile Apps, Email Marketing and more, every solution is built on best-in-class data and analytics, brought to life by brilliant creative execution, and powered by exceptional strategists.Tinuiti offers its services for many clients include Bombas, BB&T, Eddie Bauer, Ethan Allen, Etsy,, Rite Aid, Seventh Generation, The Honest Company, Tommy Bahama, Terminix, Vitamin Shoppe.Tinuiti believes that success requires specialization across all silos including Search, Social, Marketplaces, Mobile Apps, and CRM & Email Marketing. But the best results come from bringing ingenious subject-matter experts together to create an integrated media strategy that’s powered by people and driven by data and insights.

Tinuiti Scope of Services:

  • Paid Media
    • Paid Search
    • Shopping & Feed
    • Affiliate Marketing
    • Paid Social
    • Performance Display
    • App Marketing
  • Amazon & Marketplaces
  • CRM & Email Marketing
  • Earned & Owned Media
    • SEO
    • Creative Services
    • CRO
  • Analytics & Marketing Sciences

Tinuiti Top Clients:

  • Tommy Bahama
  • Etsy
  • Eddie Bauer
  • REEF
  • blink
  • MVMT

    Subscribe for our newsletter!