Religious holidays can be tricky to tie into promotional messaging, especially if the holiday itself has both religious and secular meanings. Take Easter, for example.
Unlike in Christmas messaging, retailers generally don’t use the generic term “holidays” to cover Easter, even though Passover is being celebrated at the same time this year.
Another potentially sticky area is whether to send an email on the day itself.
- Do you email as usual with an offer or promotion?
- Do you skip it and resume regular messaging a day later?
- Or, do you send a unique message tailored to that day?
Many retailers send non-promotional emails on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and other national holidays. While these messages can be little goodwill ambassadors by themselves, they also serve a promotional purpose: They give your subscribers a break from constant promotions, a tactic email marketers have begun to call “white space.”
In the graphic design world, “white space” is the blank space you surround words and images with in an ad, an email layout or a publication design to give the eyes some relief and improve comprehension. White-space emails aim to do the same thing with frequency, breaking up a steady pace of “buy this” emails with messages that aim to help the customer and build up the brand without overtly selling.
4 Easter Emails to Add to your Swipe File
Although promotional messaging made up most of the messages sent on Easter, we came across some Easter emails worth adding to your swipe file for next year.
Many messages came from retailers notifying customers that their stores were closed that day and including a goodwill message. Others focused directly on the holiday and included messages sent over a CEO or company owner’s signature.
1. Sender: AC Moore Arts & Crafts – Subject line: Happy Easter!
Comments: This retailer used its Easter message for a message that combined a standard closed-store announcement with the emotional attributes that Easter evokes without invoking the Christian aspects of the holiday.
The artwork is irresistible – pastel Easter colors and a clever animation that works on mobile as well as desktop. The call to action in the button also avoid the overtly promotional: “We’ll see you on Monday!” Placing the loyalty coupon at the bottom of this message rewards those who scroll but doesn’t detract from the goodwill wishes at the top of the message.
2. Sender: Hobby Lobby – Subject line: Our Easter Message – Feeling Hollow?
Comments: Here’s a different approach from another crafting store. Hobby Lobby and religion go hand in hand. Stores are closed on Sundays, and the company won a lawsuit against paying for birth control in its health insurance, citing its owners’ religious beliefs.
Its Easter message is simple but on-brand, complete with a Scripture reference that makes it unique among emails sent on Easter Sunday. Although it follows the standard template for brand emails, it includes no promotions for its weekly ad, which it usually sends on Sundays.
3. Sender: Vineyard Vines – Subject line: Happy Easter from Shep & Ian
Comments: When you market directly to your customers through email, you establish an intimacy that doesn’t exist with broadcast and print media. So, it makes sense, brand-equity-wise, to send an Easter greeting not just over the co-founders’ signatures but also featuring them in a photo and putting their names in the subject line.
This gives the message a special impact that even the religious messages don’t have – people are more likely to do business with and recall brand names featuring people they know.
4. Sender: Ron Ayers Motorsports – Subject line: Happy Easter
And, finally, we offer you this fun email, because it stands out from all the heartfelt greetings but also is on-brand for the customer base. Who could resist this “Bad to the Bone Easter Bunny?”
White-space emails, like these Easter-Sunday greetings, keep your brand visible in your subscribers’ inboxes but stand out from day-to-day promotional messaging. They allow you flex your creative muscles, express your appreciation to your customers and participate in the cultural experience of the holidays.
At the same time, they can also drive incremental sales from customers who either don’t participate in the holiday or are looking for something do during downtime. You can choose not to include a promotion or test to see whether a promotion generates more traffic than you would get from including your regular navigation links.