Did you know that a Thanksgiving email is more effective than a Black Friday email? Marketers send fewer emails on Thanksgiving, and the open rate is higher than the open rate of Black Friday emails. These are the conclusions drawn from ConstantContact’s analysis of tens of thousands of emails.
The study above proves that a Thanksgiving email is an excellent opportunity for you to cultivate a relationship with your clients.
This post will help you formulate your Thanksgiving email campaign’s goals, including your email template design and subject line.
Define the goal of your Thanksgiving email campaign
In most cases, companies use this event as an opportunity to promote their seasonal deals and show gratitude to their loyal customers.
Answering these questions will help better define the purpose of your Thanksgiving email campaign:
- Do I want to show gratitude to loyal customers by rewarding them with special coupons?
- Or do I want to boost sales by offering promotional deals?
- Do I want to re-engage with the inactive customers by offering them special deals tailored to them?
- Would I experiment by using a Thanksgiving email as a chance to send a special welcome to the newest subscribers?
Below, we included some of the best examples of Thanksgiving email subject lines and promotional email designs that other brands sent out. That can help you define your goal even better.
Stand out from the crowded inbox with your subject line
After you have defined the goal of your happy Thanksgiving email campaign, it’s time to come up with the subject line that stands out in the email subscribers’ inboxes.
Take into consideration that no matter how awesome your Thanksgiving email offer or template design is, recipients will initially judge your message on the subject line.
Remember that the goal for you is to stand out from the crowded inbox. Your subject line must convince recipients to put a hold on family feasting.
It’s a fight between your subject line and a juicy turkey! Is your subject line sweeter than a pumpkin pie? If so, you have a chance to get your email opened; otherwise, refine your subject line.
How to write a good subject line for the Holiday season?
Apply the “4U” model to write the best email subject lines.
4U refers to urgency, usefulness, uniqueness, and ultra-specific.
- Urgency: A good subject line for a Thanksgiving email generates a sense of urgency to convince people that NOW is the time to open your email. Consider using expressions like “Final Hours”, “Early Bird Shopping”, or “It’s time to give”.
- Useful: Let your recipients know what you deliver before they open the email. Save their time to save your business! “Happy Thanksgiving: 30% off” and “Thanksgiving’s most-wanted” are useful and concise expressions showing what you get by opening the email. To help you even more, we have included below 38 Thanksgiving email subject lines.
- Unique: Uniqueness is always appreciated, but it’s extra useful on Thanksgiving! Make your subject line distinguishable, and try to stand out in the overcrowded recipients’ inboxes.
- Ultra-specific: Don’t confuse people; inform them from the beginning that your email is related to the holidays. And keep your subject lines to fewer than 50 characters.
Grab their attention by making a joke, a play on words, or using an emoji in your email subject line to stand out in their inbox.
38 Subject line examples for your Thanksgiving email campaign
Get inspired for your Thanksgiving email subject line experiments with these 38 examples:
- Don’t be a turkey – get these deals now
- Your Thanksgiving begins here
- Thanksgiving Eve! 40% Off EVERYTHING!
- Happy Thanksgiving! Early Bird Shopping!
- Turkeyed out? Dish up 50% off!
- Happy Thanksgiving! Special Savings Inside Just for You
- By the way: Happy Thanksgiving
- Happy Thanksgiving. (Now, let’s get to shopping!) | New arrivals
- 1-day wonder 20% OFF everything!
- Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks
- Let’s Celebrate Free Shipping Day!
- Celebrate Free Shipping Day Early!
- Let Us Show Our Thanks – Take Up to 30% Off
- Happy Thanksgiving! Take 20% Off
- Are you a turkey?
- Thanks for YOUR BRAND NAME – Thanksgiving Holiday Offer!
- [New announcement] Thanksgiving gift for all ** GROUP NAME** Members
- Save Up to 40% for Thanksgiving!
- Thanksgiving prep made easy: 20% off your order – in stores & online. – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Happy Thanksgiving! Special Savings Inside Just for You – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Happy Turkey Day! The BIGGEST Black Friday doorbusters start NOW online – YOUR BRAND NAME
- From Us To You: Happy Thanksgiving! Plus: Enjoy 20% Savings – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Happy Thanksgiving Eve! – YOUR BRAND NAME
- The perfect Thanksgiving outfit – YOUR BRAND NAME
- GOBBLE. THIS. UP. 50% off ALL Thanksgiving Essentials +$10 coupon – *YOUR BRAND NAME
- This is HUGE. Shop our Thanksgiving sale. – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Thanksgiving Eve! 40% Off EVERYTHING! – Heavenly Couture
- Everything You Need for the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Happy Thanksgiving! Get 3 FREE Ends Tonight – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Food & Wine: 15 Thanksgiving Drinks to Start on While Cooking
- Put your fork down – this sale is almost over! 40% Off Everything. – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Good gravy! Save 50% our most popular products
- Let’s talk turkey! Save 50% and you’re welcome. – YOUR BRAND NAME
- We have cooked up some tasty deals. – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Don’t be a turkey – Get these deals now
- Thanksgiving Sale: Extra 20% off. – YOUR BRAND NAME
- Wines That Go With Turkey
- 1-day wonder 20% OFF everything! – YOUR BRAND NAME
If you are A/B testing your emails, keep in mind your Apple Mail users. After the Apple MPP update, open rates might not truly reflect your email opens.
31 Thanksgiving email campaigns for 2021
Your Thanksgiving email campaign’s success is mainly determined by the email design format and email copywriting that you choose for promoting seasonal deals with your subscribers.
Brands experiment with a lot of email formats during the Thanksgiving holiday, and there is no universal winning solution. It’s all about knowing your audience, testing, and tweaking your emails. Simple emails work for some brands, while other brands get better results with complex ones.
You can easily design your perfect Thanksgiving email in a professional email template builder. It helps to design emails faster because of it’s flexible drag and drop editor.
While you are designing, you can get inspired for your Thanksgiving email template design with these 31 examples.
Preserve traditions during the pandemic
Thanksgiving is an important holiday; it has been celebrated for hundreds of years. A feast with the family is instantly associated with Thanksgiving; turkey and pies are mandatory too.
Your email should resonate with these traditions to transmit a coherent message. In 2020, however, the pandemic has completely shifted our lives and a “new normal” has been introduced.
This is reflected in brands’ communication and now that Thanksgiving is around the corner, it is also reflected in their email campaigns as well.
This email by Refinery29 acknowledges directly that Thanksgiving 2020 is different. The email copy is relevant and relatable, yet lighthearted and fun.
Your guide for a very #2020-style Thanksgiving
The top 5 items that should be on everyone’s Thanksgiving list ✅
This fun and quirky Thanksgiving email template is a great example. The brand adapted their email copy in a subtle way while keeping it fresh and relatable.
Why not use the power of animated GIFs in your Thanksgiving email design to grab the attention of your subscribers?
GIF images in the email are attention-grabbing and convey appealing messages. These work perfectly to showcase products and services. Use Thanksgiving-related GIFs to impress the viewers.
You can also embed a video in your Thanksgiving email. But keep in mind that not all email clients support videos in email. Check out our guide on how to send videos in email marketing campaigns.
And finally, take your Thanksgiving email campaign to the next level by sending out AMP emails.
As you might know, Google recently launched AMP emails, which are interactive emails that allow recipients to take action inside the email (subscribe to a newsletter, buy a product, book a reservation, leave a review, refer to a friend, etc.) without having to leave the email window and going to a Landing Page.
Although designing AMP emails is tricky, since there aren’t any drag and drop email builders that generate AMP emails yet, it’s still worth a try.
Take 20% Off Site-Wide
The email messages that brands are sending out this year revolve around comfort, staying at home, video conferences, and being safe.
Order your baskets in time for Thanksgiving 🦃
Offer free shipping
This year, shopping in stores became a public health issue. Companies are then promoting the number one benefit: free shipping. Discounts and promotional codes are a plus, but free shipping in 2020 has become the norm.
📣 THIS. IS. IT. Up to 65% off on Thanksgiving sale!
Delight the recipients
Why not delight your customers on Thanksgiving Day?
The dream of any email marketer is to delight the recipients.
Easier said than done! People get swamped with tons of emails, and they became immune to huge discounts, cool offers, and other deals.
Your Thanksgiving email is not only a way of saying “Happy Thanksgiving”, but it reveals how much you really care about their problems.
OXO’s email is an excellent example in this respect.
The design of this Thanksgiving email template is smooth, simple, and aligned with the brand guidelines. This Thanksgiving email template offers users a fresh and new take on Thanksgiving promotional emails.
Thanksgiving dinner in just 4 hours
Send a special welcome to the newest subscribers
Why not use your Thanksgiving email as a chance to send a special welcome email to your newest subscribers?
Let them know that even though you haven’t known each other for a long time, you are happy having them as customers.
This is one of the best ways to start a relationship with your new customers.
This Thanksgiving Welcome email template is a great example of how you can use a seasonal event like this for activating new email subscribers.
We designed a Thanksgiving Welcome email template in our professional email template builder in just a few minutes with the flexible drag and drop editor.
You can use the template for free here. When you are done, simply export the code to your ESP.
👉 Get inspired even more with these 25 inspiring welcome email templates.
Re-engage with the inactive customers with Thanksgiving email
You can also use this seasonal event to send reactivation email to win back your old customers that haven’t been active for a while.
You can always remind them, that despite going in different directions, you are thankful to have them.
Try to come up with a personalized email message and be creative in your Thanksgiving re-engagement email design. Follow these best practices to get a better idea of what to send.
FINAL CHANCE for Thanksgiving Orders
Show real gratitude
Thanksgiving is about gratitude, and many brands forget about that in their Thanksgiving email marketing campaigns.
Replace the sales messages with empathetic and genuinely natural ones.
Let your subscribers know that you respect and appreciate them and that your company is doing everything possible to satisfy them.
Make Them Feel Close This Year
It’s essential to assure your readers that they matter more than revenue, profits, ROI, or any other indicators.
The biggest issue is how to prove your good intentions; there is a blurred line between showing your gratitude and bragging about yourself.
Making donations for each product sold on Thanksgiving might be a solution to show your appreciation and encourage people to buy from you. In this context, buying from you is equivalent to doing a good deed.
Reward your most loyal customers
Roughly 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers (80/20 rule).
Just ask yourself where you would be without these customers? So why not take some time to show gratitude and reward these customers by creating a special promotion just for them?
Offer discount code for just 24 hours
Cult Gaia applies the same winning approach in their newsletter. Instead of traditional messages, this email gets straight to the point: 2 days only free Express Shipping for Thanksgiving. Once the recipients open this email, they will know the email purpose instantly.
They applied the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) concept well in their email design. That will speed up your customer’s decision-making process.
GET YOUR ORDER BY THANKSGIVING
This Thanksgiving email campaign is genius! The brand created 12 days of limited, time-sensitive offers.
Happy Friday! Here’s today’s deal …
Offer them an additional 25% OFF
This is one of the most featured Thanksgiving emails to clients, due to its natural and unobtrusive message. It shows the human face of the brand by accepting that people are lazy, eat much, and stay in pajamas on Thanksgiving.
The email’s purpose isn’t to get you away from your comfort zone; however, it informs about a serious discount that might interest you. The gray background wasn’t a random choice, but rather it’s a color that doesn’t disturb the eyes of the viewers and highlights the discount. Even though it looks like a 15-minute job, this Thanksgiving email template is the result of many hours of research and hard work.
Offer free shipping on orders over a threshold
Free shipping is not always cheap, especially for smaller brands. You can create an offer with a free shipping advantage, and limit it to offers above a certain amount of purchases. This way, your customers are happy about the free shipping and your team is happy about the saved margins.
Your Thanksgiving Look + Free Two-Day Shipping
Be clear and concise in your offer
Sometimes, the recipe for a successful Thanksgiving email is simplicity and short content.
The design of this Thanksgiving newsletter is decent, and the content is straightforward — it’s Thanksgiving, and this brand offers a 25% discount for Thanksgiving. With a clear and well-structured email layout, we can, during the first few seconds, understand the email message. The most important sections of the email: headline and call to action are highlighted.
Thanksgiving Sales Event
Include a toast in your Thanksgiving message
Anthropologie is a brand that delights its customers with impressive emails. This Thanksgiving email to clients is another masterwork.
The design of this email template is discrete and warm, but the main attraction is the font used. The handwritten letters and the angled lines emphasize the human aspect of the brand. There is no doubt that another type of font wouldn’t have had the same effect.
Experiment with referral Thanksgiving email campaign
This Thanksgiving email stands out, due to its minimalist design and the original message.
Unlike other Thanksgiving emails, this one emphasizes friendship for those who are without family or can’t be with family during the holiday. Another plus of this email is the clarity — you know that you may get $50 from the first second you open the email.
Add an upcoming Black Friday offer
This brand used a nice technique in their email campaign. They sent a Black Friday teaser email with a subject line referring to Thanksgiving sales.
🛍️Early Black Friday Day Deal – 20% Off! Plus Thanksgiving Turkey Tips!
Just say “Thank you”
If you aren’t planning to run a promotional email campaign on Thanksgiving Day, you can still show gratitude to your customers by sending them a “Thank You” newsletter, like Things Remembered, did.
Thanksgiving sales with a Christmas theme
If you’ve already defined your promotional offers, why not start earlier?
Half Moon’s newsletter is a perfect example of how you can use Thanksgiving Day as a way to start promoting your Christmas offers. You can experiment with a similar approach.
The Early Thanksgiving SALE Starts NOW
Buy 1 Get 1 free campaign
Be creative with your 50% discount offer. You can experiment with a similar approach.
Toby’s email design is a good example of how you can choose fonts sizes and colors in your email design to grab the readers’ attention to the main message.
Merge Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals
Why not merging Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals? These events are so close to each other.
This e-commerce Thanksgiving offer from Petco is a great example of how you can merge promotional deals of Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Let them know what is exactly on sale
Fulton Fish was very informative and specific in their Thanksgiving offer. Instead of promoting a 20-50% discount on all products, they gave detailed descriptions of specific deals.
That’s a good practice that retailer stores do in their promotional newsletters. You can experiment with the same concept in different industries as well.
Order For The Weekend + Save 15% On New Deals!
Combine discount and FREE shipping in your offer
The jockey had a distinctive approach from other e-commerce Thanksgiving promotional emails. They offered 25% off with a coupon code and additional FREE shipping on the not-defined amount of orders.
I liked their email design and the copy itself where they were clear in showing gratitude to their loyal customers.
Offer Discount, FREE shipping & FREE returns on ALL ORDERS
The Style Sheet was even more generous in its E-commerce Thanksgiving email offer to their customers. They offered up to 40% off, FREE shipping, and FREE returns on ALL orders.
They used red color clearly in their email design for grabbing attention on the main messages of the email copy.
Be creative with your Thanksgiving email design
Don’t be afraid to stand out of the box and design a flashy Thanksgiving email. It’s important, however, to always stay on brand, and keep true to your vision and guidelines. Here’s a great example from Lion.
How to keep your gut happy this Thanksgiving 🌼
Use GIF banner in the hero section of your email design for grabbing attention.
This animated Thanksgiving email template from indeed grabs attention. Try to design something similar.
Generate a sense of urgency with countdown timers
Inserting a countdown timer is another way of animating your Thanksgiving newsletter.
Generating a sense of urgency is its primary advantage, so use it for time-sensitive discounts.
We wrote an entire guide about how to add a countdown timer to an email, so read it and craft a more animated email.
Send Happy Thanksgiving email cards
An image is worth a thousand words, so why don’t you delight your email recipients with a heart-warming Thanksgiving card? You will set yourself apart from the competition, and it helps in the long-term perspective. Luckily for you, we have checked many sites featuring Thanksgiving email cards. Check these examples to get inspired!
Spread love, not germs
Use autumn-inspired Thanksgiving email cards
Thanksgiving is an autumn holiday, therefore impress the email recipients with an autumn-inspired e-card. It has nothing fancy, but it’s well-designed, and it might be a good fit for a traditional audience.
Get Autumn Harvest before it’s gone! 🍁
This Thanksgiving email card is suitable for an informal audience that appreciates the humor. It’s funny, and the animated effects make this e-card genuinely memorable.
Use design associated with turkeys
This is a template you can use in both print and online; the colorful turkey is a design masterwork that will captivate viewers.
Use this guide if you need inspiration when writing the e-card copy. It contains suggestions on how to write the most appropriate messages for family, friends, or colleagues, plus a few inspiring quotes.
Note: If you still haven’t found an example that you like and that you want to use in your campaigns, you can take a look at our email template collection with professionally designed thanksgiving email templates. You can use them for free in your campaigns.
You can use this free email template designer, builder, and editor to easily add your own images and text.
Send Business Thanksgiving Messages
The email you send to your colleagues is different from the Thanksgiving email you send to clients. The format and the message of an email to employees will slightly differ from the one sent to your boss. To get the most from your Thanksgiving wishes, you have to choose the right email format.
Thanksgiving email to employees
Sending best wishes to your employees will make them feel appreciated. These emails have almost no limitations — just tell them that without their hard work the company wouldn’t have grown.
Simplicity and a personal approach work the best for these emails. Check these messages if you need some inspiration:
- “We are so thankful to have you as an employee, and we hope that you have a wonderful holiday spending time with all of the people that you love in your life.”
- “An employee like you is something to be thankful for always, but we are especially thankful for you at times like these. Happy Thanksgiving!”
- “We hope you have a happy Thanksgiving; we are so thankful for you and all of the things that you do here. You deserve some time to enjoy your loved ones and have a break.”
Thanksgiving email to boss
Perhaps your boss is too demanding sometimes, but tell them about your appreciation for Thanksgiving. Don’t go too formal, but your email can’t be as informal as the email for colleagues. Study these messages to get inspired and then jump at writing!
- “I would like to express my gratitude to you for being a role model and an inspiration. Thanks for teaching me so much. Happy Thanksgiving”
- “Working for you is an honor. Working without you is an absolute horror. Working under you is a pleasure, an experience that I truly treasure. Happy Thanksgiving!”
Thanksgiving email to colleagues
Don’t bore your colleagues with long messages lacking personality. Write from the heart and all your colleagues will appreciate it. Below are some examples in this respect.
- “I love all of the projects I’ve been getting to work on with you. Thanks for your invaluable input and for always pushing me to be the best I can be.”
- “You are not just my colleague at work but also my friend. I appreciate your time, support, and cooperation.”
Thanksgiving email to clients
A business can’t grow without customers, so you should be grateful to them. Don’t forget to send an email to thank them for their collaboration. Here are three suggestions:
- “As I count my blessings this Thanksgiving Day, know that you are among them. Clients like you have made my business what it is, and for that, I am extremely grateful.”
- “In this season of thanks, I have many things to be grateful for. And one of them is wonderful clients like yourself. Thank you for your friendship and Happy Thanksgiving.”
- “Clients like you make my job worth doing. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work with you.”
Thanksgiving Office Closings
Draft your own Thanksgiving email signature
Probably, an email signature is the last thing to take into consideration when sending a Thanksgiving email. Even though competitors don’t use it, you should get the most from your email signature. Add a nice banner or a GIF related to autumn or harvest; even a “Happy Thanksgiving” message works miracles because it’s an unexpected signature. We wrote a complete guide for you, teaching how to craft the perfect email signature.
These are universal tips that work for the majority of Thanksgiving emails. Still, you don’t have to limit yourself to these; by experimenting, you can improve the results of your Thanksgiving email marketing strategy.
Now, it’s time for inspiration! The following Thanksgiving email templates can delight and inspire you to compose even better emails.
Design the mobile Thanksgiving experience
It’s almost a no-brainer tip, but it still deserves your attention. This collection of reasons to use a mobile-friendly template gives you plenty of information about mobile usage in an email reading.
A Thanksgiving email shouldn’t disappoint the recipients. People equate good mobile design with the sender’s respect for them. During this holiday season people are more sensible and receptive, so don’t hurt your image by sending a poorly-optimized email.
👉 You can automatically design mobile-optimized emails in Chamaileon.io.
Thanksgiving Day is a special holiday event. In most cases, your loyal subscribers expect great promotional deals from you. So don’t miss this opportunity.
Resources from this post could help you to come up with a great Thanksgiving email template design and well-performing subject line for your email campaign. Now it’s your turn. Good luck with your email campaign!
It will help you craft a beautiful HTML template without coding, within minutes. There are many great email template builders that you can use for free.