The best day to send your holiday email marketing campaign

Holiday 'Head Start' Day

As small business owners begin to dream of winding down for the holidays and plan some much-needed relaxation, there is one thing they can check off their lists earlier than expected: that holiday email marketing campaign. New data from GoDaddy shows that there are benefits to sending out email marketing campaigns in early November.

Each year at GoDaddy, we look at our email marketing data and identify the optimal day for sending email campaigns and getting people to click.

Coined by GoDaddy as “Head Start Day,” the day marks the best time to kick off holiday marketing efforts — especially when it comes to email marketing.


We also crunch prior year email marketing statistics to identify notable trends and tips related to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping peak. Here’s what we learned from 2015 data:

holiday email marketing campaign shopping

Start sending emails in early November

It’s true that the holidays seem to be starting earlier and earlier each year, and for email marketing, it’s no different. Last year, open rates peaked on November 2, when they were 16-percent higher than the average throughout November and December. This year, we predict that the best day to send holiday email marketing campaigns will once again fall in the first two weeks of November, before the peak holiday shopping days arrive.

GoDaddy pinpoints Nov. 1–15 as the best time to send your 2016 holiday email campaign.


Don’t get left behind as your customers’ attention turns to turkey and gift-wrapping! One final word of advice on timing: It will probably be a good idea to steer clear of U.S. Election Day, November 8.

Snappy, festive subject lines matter, especially on mobile

With mobile device use on the rise, consumers are increasingly scrolling through inboxes and reading email subject lines on the go. Our data shows that over a recent 10-day period, 46 percent of recipients opened GoDaddy Email Marketing emails on a smartphone or tablet.

The decision to open an email (or not) is made rapidly, so make your first impression count and stand out with clever, seasonally relevant subject lines and pre-header text.

Email overload strikes again on Cyber Monday

Email volume skyrockets on Cyber Monday, but marketers’ enthusiasm on this date might overwhelm recipients. Compared to Head Start Day, businesses send nearly twice the volume of emails (98 percent more) on Cyber Monday.

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day saw some of the lowest email open rates of the holiday season.


So while Black Friday and Cyber Monday might seem like the perfect days to send promotional emails, small businesses should seize the opportunity to start earlier in the season.

Become a holiday email marketing guru

Check out more free online tips and resources for holiday email marketing from GoDaddy, including how to work with influencers, sales tips for eCommerce websites, and using paid search to attract holiday shoppers. Visit

Check out our free checklist, “How to sell more this holiday season” for more tips

Image by: Valerie Everett via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Eric Gilbert
Eric Gilbert has worked with small businesses for the past decade, marketing products like bookkeeping software, websites, online stores, domains, and email marketing software. He enjoys the usual stuff (family, food, travel, etc.) and a few less-usual things (horseback riding, SCUBA). You can learn more about Eric by buying him a beer.