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82. 5 Subject Line Formulas & 5 Content Ideas to Use This Holiday Season in Your eCommerce Business

Want to create kick-ass content that converts and send emails that get opened this holiday season? Here is a quick rundown of a few of my favourite content ideas to help you build relationships with your customers and increase your sales. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Content ideas to keep your eCommerce business top of mind throughout the holidays
  • Specific content prompts to help you build relationships and engagement with your audience 
  • Insight into how you can use the eCommerce Badassery Holiday Content Bundle in your business

Episodes Mentioned 

Episode 78: How I Got Over My Fear Of Live Video


Read the Full Episode Transcript

On today’s episode, I’m pulling content directly from the eCommerce Badassery Holiday Content Bundle to help you create kick-ass content that converts and send emails that get opened. 

If you already purchased the bundle, I just want to say thank you so much! I loved creating it for you and hope you’re finding a shit ton of value. Keep reading because you might just get a little more insight into how you can use them in your business. 

If you haven’t purchased it yet, hopefully, this little sneak peek will give you some insight into whether or not it’s the right product for you. 

As I go through these, keep in mind that many of these content prompts and subject lines can be interchanged across email and social, and many of them can be used multiple times for different products and collections, getting you way more content.

Think of them as a starting point and play around and mix and match them through Q4 and beyond. Sure, some of them are holiday-specific, but others can be used throughout the year. 

Content ideas to keep your eCommerce business top of mind

Remember that while your ultimate goal is to, of course, sell your product, connecting with and creating relationships with your customers is part of the selling process, so it doesn’t have to be all sales all the time. 

1. Share your favorite holiday movie and ask your audience to share theirs in the comments

The first content prompt focuses on connecting and creating engagement. Not only is this a great way to encourage engagement, but it also triggers nostalgia and gives people the warm and fuzzies, which is exactly what most of us love about the holidays. 

If you’re wondering, my favorite holiday movie is Home Alone and my husband got me the DVD so I can watch it every year… and I do. 

2. Go live to talk about everything your customer needs to know about shopping with you 

Remind them of shipping cut-off dates, gift wrapping options, lead times, everything. This is the type of information you can’t share too much. Even if it’s on your website, even if it’s in your emails, having one more place definitely won’t hurt you. It gives people an easy way to ask you questions and you can avoid a bunch of confusion and customer service inquiries in your business. 

If you’re not quite ready to go live yet, then pre-record it instead. That way you can do multiple takes, or if you mess up, you can just say that section over again and cut out the mess up afterward. Using a tool like Kapwing makes this really simple. Feel free to even script it out and pull the document up on your computer and place it over your face while you’re recording. This way you’ll still be looking at the camera and you won’t get distracted by your face on the screen. 

If you want to go live but you don’t feel quite ready yet, listen to episode 78 of the podcast where I share how I got over my own fear of going live on video. 

3. Create a boomerang of your best-selling product 

Use the caption to share 3 reasons why your customers will love it or why it makes a great gift. Remember to focus on the BENEFITS of your product, not just the features. What is the product going to do for the person who uses it?

This is definitely one of those prompts that you can use over and over again in your business, well beyond the holiday season. And it doesn’t always have to be a boomerang either. It can be a live video, it can be a still photo, a carousel, a reel, any format you want really. The main point is to share those 3 benefits. 

4. Share some alternative uses or hacks for your using your product

Like how to reuse a candle vessel once it’s burned away, or giving them outfit inspiration for your best-selling product, or show them everything you can fit into your handbag.

I really love this one because it can overcome some objections people might have about the product that is keeping them from making the purchase. So not only are you creating fresh content, but you’re also removing those objections from the customer’s mind.

5. Do a joint live video with your vendors

Walk your audience through the best-selling products you offer from the brand. You can definitely do this multiple times with different vendors if it makes sense for your business. 

Not only is this great for your customers to learn more about the businesses they’re supporting, but it’s also great for your relationship with those vendors. If you don’t sell other people’s products and don’t have vendors, think about who else you can do a joint live video with. The idea here is to get in front of other people’s audiences, so maybe it’s an influencer you have a great relationship with, stores who carry your products, or even an expert in your industry that can speak to why your products specifically are so awesome. 

Subject line ideas to use throughout the holidays

When it comes to promotional subject lines, I recommend you test witty or suggestive subject lines vs. straight-to-the-point ones. So I’m bringing you one of each. I’m also including pre-header content for each of them. Pre-headers are the little bit of text that shows up under the subject line inside their email reader. It’s VERY valuable real estate and you don’t want to leave it blank. This is one more chance to entice them and get them to open up that email. 

1. Have your pie + eat it too! 

This first one is on the cutesy side, but when you put the promotion in the pre-header of the email, it works great for launching your Black Friday weekend promo to your non-VIPs on Thanksgiving night.

Subject Line: Have your pie + eat it too!

Pre-header: [PROMOTION]

2. Your exact promotion 

If you want to get specific, then just put the exact promotion in the subject line, like 30% off the entire site, and then put the expiration of the promotion in the pre-header.

Subject Line: [PROMOTION]

Pre-header: [EXPIRATION]

3. Your Presents (spelled p r e s e n t s) is requested

Try this subject line if you’re having any sort of event in your business, whether it’s a live video or an in-person event, and then put the name of the event in the pre-header.

Subject Line: Your Presents in Requested

Pre-header: [NAME OF THE EVENT]

4. You’ll be Rocking Around the Christmas Tree 

The type of email you’ll probably send the most during the holiday season is gift and product curations so try a subject line like this one with the pre-header with these [adjective] gifts

Pick an adjective to describe the items you’re promoting in the email. So with these sweet, joyful, delicious, delightful, unique, gifts. Something that makes sense with your brand and products. You can also play around with witty vs. obvious subject lines with these two. 

Subject Line: You’ll be Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

Pre-header: with these [ADJECTIVE] gifts

5. Give the gift of *insert the benefit your product offers*

This one is much more specific. Give the gift of better sleep, joy, confidence, ambiance, calm, health, etc. And then the pre-header would say they deserve it. 

Subject Line: Give the gift of [BENEFIT YOUR PRODUCT OFFERS]

Pre-header: they deserve it!

6. Check your list twice 

Lastly, use this fun subject line with the pre-header how about a gift card? to feature your gift cards. This is especially relevant after your shipping cut-offs, and especially on Christmas eve. 

Subject Line: Check your list twice!

Pre-Header: how about a gift card?

Always think about what will resonate with your customer

As you can see, I’ve used a mix of straightforward and to-the-point subject lines along with some pop culture references and some others that are based more on the psychology of buying. The best thing you can do is just test some things out and see what works best for your audience. And hopefully, these ideas help to get those wheels turning. 

Ultimately, I think the best thing you can do is try to get out of your own head and just get creative. Don’t overthink it. Bring it back to your customer and think about what will resonate with them. What pop culture references will they understand? What is the outcome they’re looking for from your products? Who are they buying gifts for during the holiday season?

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Jessica Totillo Coster of eCommerce Badassery eating gelato on stairs in Rome Italy

Hey, I'm Jessica eCommerce & Email Marketing Strategist

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. Learning from the top experts in the digital marketing & eCommerce industry I love working with female entrepreneurs and teaching the secrets of 7-figure eCommerce businesses.

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