3 easy emails to send before Christmas for more sales

Here we are, staring down the barrel of the busy Christmas period. If you’re a maker or an online business owner, you’re probably thinking about how to maximise sales AND how to stay sane. Both are important!

To give you an easy step towards more sales, more confidence, and less stress, I’m sharing three key emails you can send before Christmas, including key dates, subject lines, and what to include.

So are you ready to find out more and get them scheduled? Let’s go!

Email 1: Black Friday / Cyber Monday

Whether you’re offering a discount, other offer, or just keeping your shop open as usual, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend is a big peak for people buying online. Yes, people will look for deals, but they’ll also have had their November pay cheque and will have Christmas firmly in their sights!

It’s a great time to nudge more people to spend their hard-earned cash with you – on your unique, uplifting, and super-desirable products. (I know you have them ready to go…)

Here are the details for this email:

Date: Friday 27th or Monday 30th November

You can choose whether to send this on the Friday, the Monday, or somewhere in between. You might have strong feelings on how other businesses are approaching this weekend, or have an offer you want to align your email with. If in doubt, go for 8am on Friday 27th November.

(And if you do have a discount or offer running over the weekend, don’t be afraid of sending two emails – one with the offer announcement, and another reminder email just before the offer ends!)

Subject line options:

  • The best email you’ll open all day!
  • Shop small this Christmas (plus a special offer just for you!)
  • Shop with {discount detail} this weekend only

You can tweak, edit, and make your subject line work for you. Add an emoji or two. But make sure you keep it short, snappy and enticing!

Email content:

  • Use a short, bold headline, such as “Shop with 20% off this weekend” or “Ready to get your gift list sorted?”
  • Include a short paragraph introducing your offer or sharing your approach to Black Friday as a small business owner, for example, “It’s a strange year to be a small business, but as a thank you for all the wonderful support I’ve received this year, I thought I’d share 20% off during this busy weekend. I’ve got my party hat ready to do a happy dance for every order that comes in!”
  • Then include two or three gorgeous product images – products that you’re known for and are bestsellers – plus a nice big “Shop now” button linking through to your shop.
  • Have a discount code? Make it really clear and a big link to your shop.
  • Share a customer review or a quick recap of your offer details.
  • Add a sign off and a final link to your shop.

Email 2: Last Chance To Order

Date: whenever your last order date is

(And you can totally get this drafted and ready to send if you’re not quite sure when that will be yet!)

Subject line options:

  • Last chance for {product type, eg festive biscuits or gifts to delight} this Christmas
  • The Christmas train is leaving the station…
  • Order today! (I don’t want you to miss out)

Email content:

  • Use a clear, bold headline that gets straight to the point: “Today is the last day for orders!”
  • Add a short sentence: “I don’t want you to miss out, so here’s a reminder that today is your last chance for Christmas gifts this year. Let’s get that list sorted!”
  • Share 3-5 product images with a big, clear call to action: “Shop now!”
  • You could include a few key product types, such as “Gifts for grandparents” or “Last minute stocking fillers” or “Luxury gifts for BFFs”.
  • Include a short and sweet review from a customer to cultivate trust.
  • Sign off and include a final link to your shop.

Email 3: Merry Christmas

Date: Thursday 24th December

This email isn’t a sales push – but that’s really important! This is a chance to thank all your loyal, generous, amazing customers for their support and wish them a Merry Christmas, wherever they are and whatever they’re up to.

Subject line options:

  • Merry Christmas from {brand name}
  • Stockings up? ✔ Twinkly lights on? ✔ Merry Christmas ??
  • From my home to yours, {customer name}

If you collect customers’ first names, automate that last subject line with a tag to pull their name through. If you don’t, just leave it out!

Email content:

  • Use a headline like “Thank you” or “Merry Christmas”
  • You can write a short paragraph to thank your customers, or tell your Christmas Eve story, eg “Well, here it is: Christmas Eve. I’ve got a cup of mulled wine, the presents are wrapped, and my heart is full. Thank you to every single one of you for your orders, support, and encouragement this year.”
  • Use an illustration or a photo to highlight your Merry Christmas message.
  • Don’t forget to wish them a Merry Christmas: “I hope your Christmas is full of love and magic, even if it isn’t quite what you hoped for this year.”
  • And finally: “I’m going to hibernate at home for a couple of weeks, but I’ll be sharing snapshots on social media, so join me there. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you again in January!”
  • Sign off

It’s time to amplify your success this Christmas

And that’s it! Those three emails are going to keep your newsletter subscribers engaged through the Christmas period. They’re going to generate some sales for you. And they’re going to make you feel organised and on top of things.

And that, my friend, is worth it.

If you need help or have any questions, you can get in touch.

And if you found this helpful, you’re going to love the Better Business Collective. Join the waitlist now.

Here's the thing: you can't do everything

You can't do it allWe think we can. We think we should be able to. We’re told that doing everything is just standard practice. It’s not even a big deal, it’s just what’s expected.

Successful business, perfect relationship, amazing friendships, a house that’s always clean, tidy and stylish, a perfect body, relaxed and highly effective parenting, picture-perfect holidays. That’s the picture. Be quirky, original, AND entirely acceptable.

And at this time of year, we add the idea that “this is just Christmas. This is what it’s supposed to be like: stressful, over-worked, doing everything because everything has to happen.”

It’s that feeling, when you look at your to-do list, that you cannot drop a single thing. They all need to happen before the end of the day. Because they just do! There’s no option!

When we’re over-worked, overwhelmed and have gone too long without sleep, rest and a calm moment – that’s when we’re even more susceptible to thinking we have to do everything. Ironically.

But here’s the thing: you can’t do everything

You’re not super-woman. You’re not superhuman. You, too, are limited by time, fallibility and the human need for sleep.

That’s not to say you’re not strong, resourceful, successful, and doing your best.

Let’s accept that those two things can happen at the same time. (I know you might need to suspend your disbelief for a second. Play along with me…)

If you’re both human and striving to do your best, what does your to-do list look like?

Perhaps you buy the mince pies for your Christmas drinks, instead of making them. Perhaps you cancel the entire thing.

Perhaps you pay for all your presents to be gift wrapped.

Perhaps you let go of a whole load of things.

Perhaps you ask for all kinds of help.

Now, this last one is where it gets tricky, I know, but if you can’t do it all, and some things really need to get done, asking for help is where it’s at.

You’re allowed to ask for help. All kinds of help.

Need a boost or help prioritising or to get it off your chest? I’m here. Get in touch.

I wish you a week of doing your best, but acknowledging that you can’t do it all. Welcome to the club.

Jenny xx

PS I created a little #inspiredadvent thing over on social media, which features a little word a day to prompt you. Today’s is simplicity. Appropriate, non?

DAY four #inspiredadvent

Guest post: Betsy Benn on Christmas preparation

Betsy Benn profileBetsy Benn is the owner and designer at Besty Benn, a successful design studio specialising in personalised prints. When her personalised bus blinds launched on notonthehighstreet.com in 2010, her Christmas season (and business) reached new heady heights. Here, she shares what she’s learned about surviving (and thriving) at Christmas.


Christmas is coming!

Well technically, like tomorrow, it’s always coming when you are in retail. Even on Christmas Day, you’ll be thinking about next year’s range (unless you’re John Lewis, in which case you’ve been talking about each Christmas 18 months in advance!).

So why am I writing about it in September?

Because now is key planning time for our logistics so you might want to start thinking about yours too.

This will be Betsy Benn’s sixth Christmas, and in that time we’ve picked up a few key facts:

  1. Christmas happens on the same day every year, so you can plan for that (even if sometimes customers seem to forget that it’s coming)
  2. Life is a lot less stressful if you are not phoning around suppliers, desperately trying to source the most commonly used white envelopes that everyone else also suddenly needs.
  3. Your family will understand “petrol station gifts” once, possibly twice, but not forever. They are more important than your business, as are you, as you’ll both be around if the business isn’t one day. Look after yourselves the most in the high stress times.

So practically what does that mean?

Stock up and keep track

Well for us, it meant doing a big ol’, pretty list of the things we can’t run without. As a print business, of course that meant paper and ink primarily, but also everything we use for dispatch (tubes, bubble wrap, postage labels, etc). We stuck that pretty list on the wall, stock piled as much as we could, and checked levels every day in November and December. It almost became a religion! We print our own postage labels, and simple things like pre-printing 3000 of them meant we didn’t have to do it again in peak trading.

The big ol’, pretty list of the things we can’t run without
The big ol’, pretty list of the things we can’t run without

Then there’s the tech that we couldn’t operate without. Printers were serviced, laptops and computers had the once over from the tech clever hubby. If you don’t have a tech clever hubby, may I suggest you go and get one a bit sharpish. Hang out at Game Zone for a bit, I’m sure it’ll be easy.

Get a good team

But, most importantly, what about the people that you can’t operate without? In a small team, it can take just one person to be taken out of action (it is flu season after all) for you to be, well, screwed. And what if that person happens to be you?

Two years ago, our key admin person, who knew every process and did all the customer contact, was unexpectedly out for a week and then had a few days of random hours after that. This was late November and we were rushed off our feet. I admit I went into panic mode, I felt totally lost, and I had to go and have a bit of a stress cry in the loo for a few minutes! I soon realised, as much fun as it was sitting on a toilet seat in the dark, gently rocking, there were no tea and biccies within reach so I was going to have to leave eventually.

Everyone was waiting for me to decide what to do. I called a temp agency and they very quickly found an admin person that was free to start the next day. She was brilliant and still does a few odd hours for us to this day. Sure there was a lot she couldn’t do, but she picked up the easier tasks quickly meaning I didn’t have to do post when there were trickier things that needed my attention. It was expensive, but it was worth it for the relief, and it was only for a couple of weeks.

After that experience, we made it a priority in the business to not have all the knowledge on any particular thing in one person’s head. We can all do post and book it out, even if only one person does it day to day. We can all print, accept orders, book couriers, use every bit of kit. Things happen, people are fragile, and you need to have a contingency in place for how you cope.

If you rely on external suppliers, or outsource any part of your business, then talk to those people now too. We are currently contracting freelancers for all of November and December and understanding who else has what hours.  We rely on external framers, so we have chats about their capacity and how they will cope with the increased demands and what their last working and shipping dates are.

Plan your own Christmas

Finally, plan some of the best bits of Christmas, the family bits! We have three family birthdays in December too, so that’s an added bit of pressure right there! I know already that Lego will feature quite prominently, so that’s easy to buy now and save. Stocking fillers can also be bought well in advance, and I’m guessing some of our lovely colleagues in other small creative businesses would also love to have our early orders! Just don’t forget where you hide them.

Get Christmas presents planned and bought now!
Get Christmas presents planned and bought now!

Schedule some restorative down time now, when it feels remote. A night out at a comedy gig, a family Christmas event,  pay for it too if you can. You’ll be less likely to cancel it even if you are off your rocks crazy busy. You need it, you do. What are you doing all this for anyway if it’s not to have a better life for you and yours? Christmas is about love, actually, and you deserve not to miss out in the process of making it special for strangers!

Book in some food shopping deliveries now. Yes now. Waitrose are currently taking delivery bookings up to 29 November, so in the next month all the December ones will be ready. Make some delicious meals and freeze them for when life just becomes too hectic, or find some lovely “just cook” type meals that will nourish you in super quick time. Personally I overload on entertaining friends in September and October and they, lovely beings that they are, understand and reciprocate in November. And why not book a goodies delivery to the office, all the essentials, whatever yours are. It will be an amazing gift to yourselves.

However you plan for this festive season, start now. Once you start, you’ll feel more confident that you’ve got this, and that can only be a good feeling!


A note from Jenny: If you’re in need of support over Christmas, check out my Group Mentoring package, or get in touch to discuss one-off and one-to-one options. Let’s make this your best Christmas yet!


Enter The Forge

Life's too damn short to chase someone else's definition of success. I'm here to give you the courage and tools to forge your own path.