75 Email Subject Lines to Light up Inboxes This Holiday


Consumers are already searching for the perfect holiday sales from their favorite brands. 80% of Americans will, in fact, have started their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, especially those prone to buy online.

What does this mean for you? It means now is the time to start crafting holiday email marketing messages. In fact, email message open rates start to spike as early as October.

To provide you some inspiration, here are 75 email marketing subject lines from B2C, B2B, and nonprofits that are perfect for your holiday email campaigns.

B2C email subject lines

  1. Rip Curl: 5 reasons you need a SearchGPS this Xmas
  2. Freshbooks: Deliver Some Cheer this Holiday Season
  3. Food & Wine: 27 Recipes for a Holiday Cocktail Bash
  4. Joss & Main: Jingle Belles: Gifts for her, best-selling bedding & more on sale today
  5. Dot & Bo: Ring In The New Year – Plus: 12 Days of Christmas Gifting Starts Now
  6. Kate Spade: Last day! 30% off everything with our cyber monday sale
  7. Emergency Essentials: Black Friday Sale! Check Back Tomorrow To View the Deals!
  8. Steve Madden: Cyber Tuesday – 50% Off Clearance!
  9. Sports Authority: Hurry, Only Hours Left for Cyber Monday Savings!
  10. BevMo!: $20 Coupon! Save Big on Cyber Monday.
  11. Seafolly: All she wants for Christmas is S E A F O L L Y
  12. Birchbox: Free Boxes. Ohh Yeah.
  13. Skechers: Get BLACK FRIDAY savings all weekend at!
  14. Steve Madden: If You Open One Email This Black Friday…
  15. Finish Line: Black Friday Doorbusters END TODAY. Snag ’em before it slams shut.
  16. San Diego Chargers: Share the Joy, Bring a Toy To The Chargers Game
  17. J. Crew: It’s OK to have seconds (or thirds) of this sale
  18. Provisions by Food52: Gifting Made Easy: Free Shipping + Discounted Gift Cards + Our Best Picks
  19. Finish Line: Black Friday Doorbusters start now. Put down the drumstick.
  20. Vacationist: Gobble Up These Deals!
  21. Orbitz: Good gravy! 20% off
  22. Food & Wine: 15 Thanksgiving Drinks to Start on While Cooking
  23. Nordstrom: Black Friday Is Here Early
  24. Oribe: 10 Holiday Tips for Your Salon
  25. Lyft: You guys are amazing, you know that?
  26. Instacart: This week’s forecast? Stress-free holiday grocery shopping!
  27. Southwest: Snow Fare Like A Low Fare!
  28. De Beers: There’s still time…
  29. One Kings Lane: Post-Christmas grab bag: pick a present for yourself
  30. Anthropologie: Thanksgiving hosting, toasting & roasting must-haves
  31. Rapha: Last express shipping days for Rapha Gifts
  32. Monoprice: 10% OFF Site-Wide + Shop Our Holiday Gift Guide!
  33. Shutterfly: Just 3 days: get 50% off + NEW Disney Frozen Stockings
  34. Capsule: Christmas Deadline: TODAY – Best stocking stuffer ever!
  35. Travel Channel: Travel’s Best Holiday Attractions 2014/
  36. Musician’s Friend: Perfect last-minute gift–a gift certificate
  37. Papa Murphy’s: Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle…Let Us Help with Dinner!
  38. Groupon: Groupon’s Most Wanted This Holiday Season
  39. JetBlue: Up to 50% bonus – ’tis better to give AND receive!
  40. KSL Deals: Save 10% with Promo Code: Christmas10
  41. Utah Valley Massage Therapy: Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas
  42. Bass Pro Shops: Final Hours! Stretch your payments for 6 months
  43. KSL Deals: 14 Awesome Gift Ideas
  44. Guitar Center: 12 Deals of Christmas—Updated Daily
  45. Cabela’s: You’ve made your list…
  46. For the Person that Has Everything
  47. Musician’s Friend: St. Nick’s here with two ways to save
  48. A Free Holiday Gift Just for Our Members
  49. Save big for Cyber Monday – give the gift of family
  50. Target: Pssst! Get the scoop on Black Friday
  51. De Beers: Find the Perfect Gift
  52. Bass Pro Shops: Save up to 25% on Santa’s Toy Shop!
  53. Monoprice: Holiday Gift Guide – Headphones & Earphones Starting Under $10
  54. Homestead Resort: Home for the Holidays at Homestead Resort
  55. Moovly: Create your own Season’s Greetings video in 10 steps
  56. Guitar Center: Alert: Cyber Monday Has Been Extended
  57. Doug Smith Subaru: Share the Love with your Community
  58. Rapha: Cold weather riding essentials
  59. Waves Audio: Waves’ Black Friday Sale Starts Now – Get a Free New Plugin
  60. ProAudioStar: ProAudioStar Will Beat ANY Black Friday Price PLUS Give You 15% Off Your Next Purchase
  61. Mystery Tackle Box: Merry Christmas From Karl VonDibble (And Mystery Tackle Box)

B2B email subject lines

  1. Team Tony Robbins: Your last chance to save in time for the holidays.
  2. Dale Carnegie Training: Be Bold This Holiday Season with Powerful Conversations
  3. Your $1.00 Cyber Monday sale!!
  4. Cyber Monday Deal from Coming Soon
  5. 3 Key Elements: Stressed Out by the Holidays? Body Language Tools to the Rescue!
  6. Pinterest Partner Team: This week: Create holiday boards and plan Pinteresty events

Nonprofit email subject lines

  1. SF-Marin Food Bank: Today is #GivingTuesday
  2. California Academy of Sciences: Unique Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List!
  3. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: #GivingTuesday is today!
  4. Friends of the Sea Otter: Adorable Sea Otter Gifts Available on Giving Tuesday
  5. Monterey Bay Aquarium: Today is #GivingTuesday: Donate now and become part of a new tradition.
  6. The Marine Mammal Center: A Special Gift to Thank You for All You Do
  7. Just Give: Gifts that do good…and feel good
  8. Susan G. Komen: Holiday gift deadline is tomorrow

While these holiday subject lines certainly spark inspiration, you’ll want to put your own creativity and message into your subject lines. Here are some tips to help you create holiday subject lines that will shine.


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Use words that increase conversions and top holiday words

It may be tempting to get extra creative when it comes to creating fun subject lines for email marketing messages, but it’s also important to remember that there are specific data-backed words that increase conversions. Here are some of the top words to use in subject lines that can boost your conversions:

• Sale
• Off
• Now
• Thank you
• You
• New
• Exclusive
• Discover
• Be the first
• Instantly

You’ll notice that each of these words evoke either a feeling of connection, persuasion, urgency, or interest—all of which are necessary to help you make holiday sales. You can also consider using emoji in your subject lines. The playfulness of emoji are a good complement to festive holiday subject lines and can help your email stand out in inboxes. Word on the street is that the snowman emoji gets the highest open rate?!

Pique interest with holiday words

Not only will you want to use proven data-driven words that convert, but you will also want to use some of the top holiday words to remind subscribers you’re offering special deals that are only available during the holidays. As you read through all the fun holiday subject lines above, you’ll notice a few words consistently stand out including the following:

• Holiday
• Christmas
• Black Friday
• Thanksgiving
• Gift/Give
• Shopping
• Last Chance/Minute
• Special
• Deals
• Save

When you can, work both these top converting words and top holiday email marketing words into your subject lines, and you’ll enjoy the benefits that come from writing excellent holiday marketing email copy.

Promote your offer in the subject line

Another common theme shared by good holiday email copy is stating the offer in the subject line like Chandon does in this pre-Thanksgiving email campaign offering free ground shipping enabling their subscribers to stock up on bubbly for their celebrations. The subject line simply states, Ground Shipping Included and the headline reinforces the offer.

Offer Solutions

Not only is it important to offer deals and promotions in your subject lines, but it’s also important to solve customers’ holiday shopping problems. For example, some people might not know what to put in their spouse’s stocking, what to serve for Christmas dinner, or how to find the perfect gift or their mother-in-law. Offering solutions to these types of problems as well as a promotion can bring satisfying and unexpected conversions.

This example from Birchbox promises to alleviate holiday stress and links to their holiday shop with gifts broken down by price point.

Wrap up

As you prepare for the holidays, remember that there are only 29 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There isn’t much time to get your holiday email marketing campaigns ready, and not much time to send your messages out to your subscribers. Hopefully, these 75 ideas and tips will help inspire you to write subject lines that convert into increased revenue and a very happy holiday season.

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