It’s November, which means it’s time for retailers to start ramping up their Christmas marketing efforts.

US brands still have Thanksgiving and the whole Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping bonanza to get out of the way first, but in the UK marketers have a clear two-month run up to Christmas Day.

The avalanche of seasonal joy kicked off in earnest last week with the unveiling of John Lewis’ penguin TV ad, followed by less-popular efforts from it rivals.

But alongside the big TV reveals, digital marketers have also begun dropping in mentions of Christmas.

I’ve started to receive emails promoting various offers and sales, though it hasn’t yet been the torrent of Christmas-related messages that I was expecting.

Here are four fashion retailers are beginning their Christmas email campaigns, but for more on this topic read our posts on six paid search tips for a very merry Christmas and why Christmas begins early for online retailers.

House of Fraser

Christmas has landed at House of Fraser with an online shop dedicated to gift ideas for the festive season.

The email has one main generic call-to-action, ‘Shop Christmas gifts’, followed by links to other sections of the site such as decorations, dresses, and toys.

There’s also a link to the gift finder tool, which I’ll explore in more detail at a later date.

Click to enlarge

Overall the email successfully promotes House of Fraser as a destination for Christmas gift ideas without trying to link to too many different sections of the site.

This is a tricky balance for department stores to strike, as we’ve previously seen with Macy’s confusing email messages.

Mr Porter

Luxury retailer Mr Porter made a relatively subtle reference to its new Christmas shop as part of more general marketing email.

The newsletter mentioned the new shop in the subject line and at the top of the email, but the link to the gift finder section of the site appeared underneath four other sections for winter clothing ideas.

Mr Porter seems to be aiming for a drip feed approach to Christmas marketing, sowing the seed early on before ramping it up as the big day approaches.


H&M has begun pushing its Christmas decorations ahead of its gift ideas, which is potentially a winning idea as I would assume that people think about decorating their house before buying gifts?

Surely I’m not the only person who does all their gift shopping the week before Christmas?

The email begins with a heartwarming image of a home decorated entirely using H&M’s decorations, which successfully got me in the Christmas mood.

The CTAs aren’t great unfortunately as the black colour fails to grab the reader’s attention, but personally I would never have considered buying Christmas decorations at H&M so this email is well timed in my opinion.

Urban Outfitters Europe

Another retailer getting in early to announce the opening of its Christmas shop.

Interestingly it then promotes gift cards rather than individual product ideas, as if accepting that the youth of today have no imagination.

Urban Outfitters also promotes a Facebook competition at the bottom of its email using the hashtag #ME2UO. People can nominate a friend to win a gift from UO if they first follow the brand on Facebook. Sneaky.

David Moth

Published 10 November, 2014 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (5)


Michael Kalynyuk

These companies are definitely taking a much more subtle approach to Christmas shopping marketing than they do in the states. I like it a lot! Different culture, different marketing strategy.

almost 4 years ago

pk vaish

pk vaish, MD at Livelink New Media

I agree, it’s clever of brands to keep their Xmas marketing low-key at this time of year. It would be interesting to see how their approach develops as the week’s progress/ compare current email content vs. that delivered on Christmas Eve

almost 4 years ago



awesome brands in your marketing for thanksgiving. But you should expand it to promote your marketing.

almost 4 years ago


Michael Kalynyuk

The Brits don't respond as kindly to heavy Christmas marketing that's seen in the US.

almost 4 years ago



Hey David,

Great post, fashion brands that work with us are constantly revamping their efforts for the holiday season.

Have you had a chance to try our email marketing solution software Mailify? We would love to have you beta test our product and give us feedback on it.

Best regards,


almost 4 years ago

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