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When it comes to romance and getting a little closer to that special someone in your life, few holidays even come close to comparing to Valentine’s Day. However, did you know that Valentine’s Day also accounts for $13 billion in retail and online sales every year? For this reason, Douglas Karr of the Marketing Technology Blog and plenty of other industry experts point out that if you’re brand isn’t also trying to cozy up customers in the big lead up to this holiday, it’s time to switch up your approach. With this in mind, let’s dig into a few tips and tricks that are sure to get your campaign ready for Valentine’s Day.

Create Content for Everyone

First up is the realization that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. As Karr goes on to explain, over 60 percent of people plan to pick up holiday gifts for friends and family members as well. Adding in that 45 percent who also buy Valentine’s gifts for their pets, shows that there’s plenty of space for brands to build an email marketing campaign during this holiday, even if you’re not dealing in “romantic” products and services. Basically, as long as you have a great discount or offer to fire off – or even some informative or engaging content – there’s no reason not to connect with your contact list in the inbox when February 14th rolls around.

Timing Is Everything

As far as when you should send out your emails, The Huffington Post’s Gabriel Shaoolian points out that timing is everything, but it can be a little tricky. If you want to get the most out of your content, try and send out your emails a day or two before the big holiday. If you wait until Valentine’s Day itself, or you jump the gun and send out an email four or five days in advance, your brand will have a hard time maximizing the impact of this content. Additionally, offering up “last minute” delivery and purchase discounts can help impart a sense of urgency among your audience and help make timing an even bigger part of your campaign process.

Have a Little Fun with Templates and Designs

Outside of pinpointing the proper timing, Shaoolian also suggests that if you want to boost the return of your Valentine holiday marketing investment, don’t be afraid to get into the spirit of the season with festive templates and designs. From the traditional cherubs and hearts, to themed version of your branded images and logos, fixing up your inbox content with shades of pink, red, and white can really get your audience into the spirit of the season.

For those brands willing to go the extra mile, Valentine’s Day graphic content can also take on a decidedly interactive flair. Embedded games, animations, and personalized messages all fit this billing and ensure that your brand provides a unique and custom experience that sets your message apart from the rest of the fluff found in the inbox.

Pairing up with Other Brands

Valentine’s Day is all about enjoying relationships with others, so why not use this time to create unique deals with related products and service providers – or even “deal-of-the-day” outlets like Groupon? As Kay McFadden of Inc. magazine explains, this process not only helps connect your brand to the holiday if it’s not exactly oriented toward this seasonal event, but it can also set the stage for future advertising and promotional partnerships. The best part about this approach is that customers love value, so few things you can do are more effective at reaching this goal than giving these consumers combined options and increased discounts.

Share the Fun on Social Media

Finally, use this special time of the year to be a little more social with your audience. Building relationships with these shoppers from around your city, the country, and even the globe isn’t easy, but breaking the ice with a fun Valentine’s offer makes the process a little more palatable. Even if it’s something as simple as posting your email content for the week to Twitter, Facebook, or any other platform, showing that you’re willing to reach out on this special holiday is a great step forward in terms of brand awareness and social outreach.

Naturally, this is a lot to take in all at once, but with these tips guiding the way, there’s no doubt that you’ll be having a blast with everyone on your contact list and enjoying all that Valentine’s day has to offer in the inbox and beyond.


If you’re like most other people, chances are you spent the entire holiday weekend, from the moment you set the fork down at Thanksgiving to the wee hours of Monday morning, shopping. However, once the fervor of Black Friday and Cyber Monday wore down, did you realize that there’s a new player for your holiday attention – Giving Tuesday – right on the horizon? If you’re a member of the nonprofit community looking to leverage an email marketing campaign to increase donations, there’s plenty of lessons waiting for you and your upcoming operations in this look back at the most successful Giving Tuesday ever.

What Is Giving Tuesday?

First off, this retrospective won’t make much sense if you have no clue what Giving Tuesday is, so let’s spend a few minutes going over the particulars. Essentially, this new member to the holiday season aims to provide a more impactful and heartfelt element to the shopping craze that takes place on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Instead of buying products and services during the massive sales on these days, proponents of this alternative implore consumers to divert these funds to a variety of charitable causes and other goodwill operations.

The Email Marketing Connection

As admirable as this sentiment is, you’re probably wondering what exactly Giving Tuesday has to do with email marketing right about now. According to Ernie Smith of Associations Now magazine, the answer to this question rests in a single word – everything. As Smith notes in his review of the most recent Giving Tuesday, email marketing played a major role in spreading the word for these charitable causes, in addition to pumping up donation totals to unheard of levels.

Don’t believe it? Consider this fact; Cyber Monday lead the way as usual with the highest number of marketed email messages, clocking in at 54.6 million. However, Giving Tuesday and the charitable organizations backing this process easily trumped Black Friday’s 40.5 million emails and overtook second place with an astounding 48.3 million such offerings.

What’s even more impressive is that the number of individual email marketing campaigns enacted during this period helped cement this upward trend in a big way. Despite not firing off as many marketing messages, more organizations enacted Giving Tuesday initiatives than ever before. In fact, this number of unique campaigns – which stood at 7,626 – roared past the 7,216 of Cyber Monday and the 3,660 offered up on Black Friday.

Gauging the Impact of This Year’s Holiday

Of course, email marketing is a bottom line business, so tossing around abstract facts and figures only goes so far. To help put this growth into perspective, Brett Zongker of ABC News reports that this Giving Tuesday brought in approximately $46 million worth of donations, thanks in large part to effective email marketing campaigns. Considering that this number is a 63 percent increase over last year’s similar 24 hour period, it’s safe to say that the nonprofit organizations that utilized email marketing during this time of year were clearly onto something special.

Building Your Next Nonprofit Email Marketing Campaign

Now that you’re up to speed with the particulars of this most charitable of holiday traditions, it’s time to delve into the lessons learned from these campaigns. By doing this, you’ll have all the tools needed to make your next email campaign aimed at former and future donors a major hit, even if Giving Tuesday is in the rearview mirror.

According to Emma Wilhelm of Business 2 Community, if you want to follow in the footsteps of these successful charitable campaigns, it all starts with keeping things simple. Instead of dancing around the subject, try to make the message as clear and straightforward as possible. Some of the most evocative calls-to-action lay out the need for help right at the top of the email, ensuring that these readers understand just how important their aid can be to your cause.

From here, utilizing the body of the message to explain donation amounts can help spur viewers into action. By seeing preferred amounts, as well as exactly where this money is going, Wilhelm explains that donors during Giving Tuesday, or any other day, are more receptive to the idea of helping out.

However, the most powerful lesson learned from these emails comes in the form of the continued bond between nonprofit email marketing campaigns and social media. By requesting shares, likes, favorites, and all other manner of digital proliferation, your message can take on a whole new life outside of the inbox. Regardless of what charity or cause you support, it’s hard to deny that this, along with the rest of the lessons learned from this past Giving Tuesday, will come in handy the next time you plan an email marketing campaign on behalf of your organization.



With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror here in Canada and Halloween just around the corner, saying that the holiday season is in full swing is a bit of an understatement. Aside from the frantic rushing of families trying to keep up with all of the festivities, this time of year is also special for your brand’s email marketing campaign. To help ensure that you keep up with the holiday cheer, here’s a few simple tips that can help maximize your inbox presence from Halloween to Christmas and beyond.

Prepare for the “Creative Crunch”

Even if you’ve been around the block before during the holiday season, that doesn’t make the influx of increased sending, as well as the development of creative content, any easier. As Steve Dille of Marketing Land points out, adding in Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, and all of the other major shopping events that occur before the start of the New Year onto the standard holiday dates puts a strain unlike any other on brands looking to stay connected with consumers during this time.

To avoid a complete email marketing meltdown, spend some time with your team and make sure they understand the need for quality and expedience during this time. Also, connecting with your email service provider to ensure that there won’t be any technical hiccups when the time comes to ship out massive amounts of marketing messages can also save you some headaches during peak times of activity.

Optimize in Real-Time

Additionally, to help make the development and optimization of your email creative content operate smoothly, Dille suggests getting your team acclimated to working with consumer data and information in real-time, or working with professionals that embody this approach. By familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of deciphering customer trends, as well as maintaining easy access to this information, your brand can implement fast responses to any sudden changes to your ideal consumer profile. When compared to the sluggish reaction times and techniques utilized by your competition, it’s hard not to feel a little extra holiday cheer when enacting this approach.

Seasonal and Segmentation Go Hand-in-Hand

One of the biggest mistakes brands make when trying to capitalize on the holiday season is forgetting that, even though profiling helps describe the average customer, not all members of the target audience are alike. As Stephanie Zatkyo of HubSpot explains, failing to incorporate list segmentation with your seasonal offers can lead to some sticky situations with these readers. For instance, just because the majority of your contact list celebrates Christmas doesn’t mean that it’s okay to fire off emails filled with this type of content to the members of your list that identify with other religious orientations.

Again, this comes down to the amount of data you have on your target audience. However, the message still holds true; if you have the ability to segment your list and offer varied seasonal content, this endeavor is well worth your time and effort, especially when compared to potentially offending these valued customers.

Make the Holiday Season Interactive

Another smart tip that can really drum up some major interaction with the members of your email marketing list is to encourage user submissions as part of your holiday campaign. In his post for Marketing Sherpa, Adam T. Sutton explains that finding ways to promote an interactive experience, especially during Halloween, is one of the most engaging techniques brands can implement as the holiday spirit sweeps your target audience.

Even something as simple as requesting photos of your contact list members in their costumes for an on-site gallery is enough to add a little fun to your seasonal promotion. Of course, if your brand can find a fun and creative way to tie these submissions or acts to its products and services, you’ve struck pure email marketing gold. Regardless of how you decide to follow this tip, keeping things fun, lighthearted, and interactive is a recipe for success that’s hard to beat.

Branch off Into Uncharted Territory

For the last tip, Sutton goes on to suggest that leaving the beaten path behind and blazing your own trail in terms of holiday email marketing is a clever way to stand out from the competition that’s locked into standard offerings. Instead of sticking to the traditional spooky skeletons and red-nosed reindeer that come with this time of year, taking a more subtle approach and embodying other aspects of the holiday season, like rich red and gold autumnal colors in your templates, can help put a fresh spin on seasonal marketing. When combined with the rest of what you’ve learned about maximizing your impact in the inbox during this festive time of year, there’s nothing stopping your brand from sitting back and enjoying an extra-large helping of holiday cheer along with increased traffic and conversions.



One size does not fit all!  This is why, at Elite Email, we have hundreds of templates available for you to prepare your email newsletters or flyers.  Sure, there’s a certain convenience in using the same email format for all your email marketing needs.  But if this is what you’ve been doing for a while now, you’re probably sick of looking at the same colors, the same font and the same kinds of photos in the same places.  So it’s quite likely that your customers are tired of them too.

Letting Customers Know that You Have New Products

Sure, loyal customers do like to receive news about your specials and sales, especially when the holiday season comes around.  However, if they keep seeing the same type of email coming from your company, they might assume that you don’t have any new products either.

You may be getting in new products all the time.  You’re probably at the cutting edge of your industry.  But if you don’t let people know about it, they’re not going to flock to you and buy what you’re selling.

Getting Creative

In order to really make an impact, let your creativity run riot.  Use orange and black at Halloween and green and red at Christmas.  Vary your print type.  Use different types of images.  Just keep mixing everything up until you feel satisfied with the result.

These days, it’s very trendy to mix and match colors and images that aren’t generally used together.  You could color-block your newsletter with purple, yellow and brown, for example.  Or three other colors that don’t generally go together.  Or mix up illustrations and photos in the same newsletter.

Spreading Holiday Cheer

A winter wonderland newsletter for the holidays always looks lovely and hearts, cupcakes and roses are just right for Valentine’s Day.  The important thing is to let your customers know that you’re thinking about them and you want to spread some holiday cheer.  Even if each customer doesn’t show up to buy what you’re selling,  you’ll at least know that you’ve brought a smile to someone’s face.

So whether you want to create a flyer for an upcoming holiday or just spruce up the look of the newsletter that you send out to all your clients, we have a template that’s right for you.  Infuse some creativity into your workplace and let your customers know that you care.  Contact us for an email template to suit every occasion.



Halloween is easily one of our favorite holidays here at Elite Email. It’s just so much fun to see the tremendous amount of emails going out with ghosts, goblins, witches and werewolves.

Everyone seems to jump on the Halloween bandwagon (…obviously!) and yet again we have set another record this year. Our email volume on the morning of October 31 is up 29% over last year. That represents a ton of outbound emails.

One thing I love seeing is how people tie in Halloween to their promotions. I always say that an email is most effective when it’s relevant, and tying back to something as top of mind as Halloween immediately boosts relevancy.

Another thing I noticed this year that I like a lot is an increase in the number of emails that include “Safety Tips” when trick-or-treating. I saw a bunch of retailers sending out promotional emails that had a section devoted to these tips. It’s great to see that businesses are including content like this because if these safety tips are repeated enough, then we can all have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.

On behalf of the entire Elite Email Team, I want to wish everyone a Happy  Halloween!

Happy Halloween


Chocolates, hearts, cupid and….. emails!

Today Elite Email published the results of a study that analyzed the volume of emails scheduled for February 14, 2013 compared to last year.

You can view the full release here.

Overall, we found that email volume this year spiked a tremendous amount with an impressive 16% jump.

That is huge when you compare it to the 7% increase we witnessed in 2012 over 2011.

We reached out to some customers after they scheduled their email on Feb. 14 to get their take on why their volume was higher this year.

Lots of people said they have been aggressively trying to grow their mailing list. And, while size does not always equal engagement, having a larger audience of people to reach out to can certainly help. People reported that they put their mailing list signup forms/buttons in higher profile locations on their website, as well as adding a signup form to their Facebook page.

Many offline organizations said that they have been training their staff better with regards to the value of obtaining a customer’s email address. This has led to a substantial increase in new opt-in contacts.

When we ask this question we always get a lot of people telling us that they have boosted their email marketing efforts as a result of scaling back on traditional paper-based advertising. To their customers they claim they are becoming more eco-friendly, but ultimately we know that email provides better engagement, vastly superior analytics and a much greater ROI.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Elite Email Heart


This week we are releasing 8 more new templates.

We have three new business templates and with 2013 right around the corner, we also have five New Years templates.

So send out your New Years cards and come back next week to find out what new templates we will have for our customers.

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This week we have 9 more templates for our customers.

These templates can be found in the holiday and real estate sections of our expansive template galleries or check them out below.

Check back in next week when we will have even more templates to add to our galleries.

View More Email Templates

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‘Tis the season and we have a special gift for our customers

With the Holidays right around the corner, we have released 20 NEW TEMPLATES for Christmas and Hanukkah

These templates can be found in the Holiday section of our template gallery or check them our below

Have a Happy Holiday!

View More Email Templates


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We have seven new templates for our clients this week.

You can check them out below or in our template gallery in the Holiday and Retail sections.

Check back here next week to see what our team will come up with next.


View More Email Templates

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retail253 retail254 retail255


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