Every year, the holidays seem to arrive a few days earlier — “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on the radio in October? — and with them comes the holiday rush.

Fall weddings, Thanksgiving with the new in-laws, end-of-year galas. Every time we say “yes” to festive plans, we start a mental checklist of all the appointments we need to book. Hair cut, facial, lash lift. And hey, after the stress of it all, why not book a massage, too?

For service providers, that means the holiday season is a time to spend with loved ones and one of the busiest times for business. And while some of the holiday rush is unavoidable, there are some ways to cut down on the time you spend communicating with clients, new and old. Why not automate the busy work, so you can enjoy the festivities? That’s where email marketing comes in. 

How to Use Holiday Email Marketing to Save Your Sanity 

1. Send a Holiday Newsletter Update

The holiday rush can lead to what we’ll call… client mania. There’s the recurring appointment client who suddenly realizes he’s leaving town before his next session and needs a haircut now. The mom whose college kid came home with a terrible dye job (“Could you by any chance fit her in?”). The slew of last-minute appointments ahead of “cocktail attire required” parties. And suddenly, there you are, fielding dozens of texts about whether you can make room.

This is where sending a holiday newsletter can save your [Christmas morning cinnamon] buns. Before the one-off requests start flooding in, answer the FAQs you know everyone will have in a mass update. 

Here’s what to include in a stellar business holiday newsletter: 

  • A season’s greeting. Wish them well! 
  • Holiday hours. Let them know if you’re extending (or reducing) your hours or if you’ll be taking time off and when. 
  • A reminder that you have a waitlist — if you’re a Schedulicity business, it’s built right into your account.
  • Any special discounts or sales to encourage them to book in advance, not last-minute! 
  • Whether you’ll make exceptions to fit people in and how that will work (pro tip: “If you have any special request, just email me!” works just fine).
  • That you have gift cards and products for holiday giving!
  • You might also want to remind them they can save a card on file or prepay to make their appointments easier and faster.

Pro tip: You can do this all with Schedulicity’s email marketing tools, which come included with every Unlimited account. (And if you’re a new business, you get access to them for free for 30 days.)

2. Plan a Special Holiday Sales Campaign

It doesn’t have to be big or complicated, but you should plan a holiday offer of some sort. Your clients are eager to book — and many of them are also keen to spend holiday bonuses. They’re also looking for experience-based gifts for their family and friends. So, now is the time to offer them options. Think:

  • “Buy one for you, get one for a friend” services
  • A limited discount on gift cards
  • Wrapped holiday packages, i.e., a basket with hair products, a candle, and a service gift card
  • Advance New Year, New You packages — offer a more significant discount now if they buy the packages before next year

Pro tip: After setting up a package or discount using your Schedulicity account, you can use our email marketing tools to promote them everywhere!

3. Use Automated Text and Email Reminders 

It’s hard enough keeping track of everything during the rest of the year. If you’re not already relying on automatic appointment reminders for all of your clients, now is the time! 

Encourage people to book online rather than calling or texting you directly. Sometimes, all it takes is explaining to them that you’re swamped this time of year and struggling to keep up with the one-off requests. Point them to your online business listing, and let the spirit of the season do the rest. 

4. Try a Little Tenderness

Yeah, Otis Redding put it best. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday madness and forget that your relationship with clients is also a personal one. They support you because they love you! So why not send a friendly holiday card from your business? 

The format is your call. Write a year-in-review recap, simply wish them a wonderful winter solstice, or invite them to share some of their favorite memories with you. It’s not only a nice feeling to get a little personal — they’ll remember it as they book with you for many years to come.

Need help with what to write? Here are three free holiday email templates for service providers specifically for sending seasons greetings, including a year-in-review template, holiday sales email template, and holiday hours template.