Here are examples from six top retailers, and for more on this topic check out these resources:


Like its Black Friday efforts, ASOS’s Christmas emails are designed to effectively engage its young user base.

As well as promoting continuing sales, it places a lot of focus on its gift guides, which is always a great incentive to get users clicking during the festive period.

I particularly like the fact that it talks about products in relation to different budgets – one of the only emails I’ve seen to take this approach.

Not only does this save shoppers from filtering prices on-site, but it also hints at the variety of products on offer.


Instead of focusing on gift ideas, H&M pushes the concept of ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ to entice users to shop.

As well as promoting a core Christmas-related product, this also builds upon festive excitement.

Of course, it might put off potential Scrooges or people that don’t like this sort of attire, however that’s arguably the danger of any Christmas marketing.

Another feature to note is the continued trend of extending sales after Black Friday, with a 50% discount on gifts included at the bottom.


While it is still only early December, Debenhams appears to be stuck in Black Friday mode – choosing to focus on money-off discounts rather than any other kind of Christmas message.

Its emails have so far been geared around its ‘Beautiful Gifts Week’ which, while we’re at it, is a rather weak slogan.

The offer of 15% off gifts is enticing, however the emails are very one-sided, which could potentially put off customers who are tired of the sales.

The gridlock design is also a little garish, with no real indication of the specific gifts customers can expect to find online.

John Lewis

So far, John Lewis’s emails have been the least festive in terms of design.

There’s no real Christmas sparkle or pizzazz. Instead, it focuses on the retailers’ reputation for quality as well as its dedication to competitive pricing.

The lack of festive design isn’t a bad thing – it is quite subtle and still pleasing to the eye.

Choosing to use a gift guide theme, the copy evokes different types of personalities and what would make the perfect present for them.

I particularly like this, as it makes the email feel more personal than other examples, giving customers something of greater value than the standard ‘for him’ or ‘for her’ guides.

House of Fraser

House of Fraser has quite a heavy-handed email strategy, bombarding users with a multitude of messages. 

As well as being a bit overkill, I’ve also noticed how some of the emails are a little confusing.

Despite the email subject line of ‘Ultimate beauty gifts’, the below email is also geared around ‘luxury’ purchases.

What’s more, the inclusion of a coffee machine in between mostly grooming and beauty related items is a bit odd.

House of Fraser clearly wants to promote a variety of products, however its conflicting message feels poorly judged.

That being said, there is some nice editorial-inspired content and a hint towards personalisation.


Lastly, I particularly like Reiss’s email strategy for its customer-centric feel.

Launching a ’12 Days of Gifting’ campaign – it offers users the chance to win simply by signing up.

Instead of promoting gifts and sales, it focuses on making the customer feel valued.

With prizes including experiences as well as material items, it’s also a nice fusion of the offline/online shopping experience – and a reflection of Reiss’s multichannel approach.