It’s nearly time for Thanksgiving – which means gatherings with family and friends, big meals, and even bigger deals.
The time around what’s lovingly known as Turkey Day is now synonymous with once-a-year sales, the retail industry and ecommerce. Which means you can use this time to craft truly thoughtful and warm Thanksgiving emails for your audience – it’s practically expected these days.
Briefly about Thanksgiving 2022
This year, Thanksgiving is predicted to be a little bit different from what we’re used to. More so than in previous years, consumers are experiencing financial strain, causing them to rethink their holiday spending.
In fact, to save money this year, 1 in 4 Americans are planning to pass on Thanksgiving altogether and 88% are planning to cut at least one dish from their table, a recent study found.
Consequently, this year, you’ll want to be especially thoughtful when crafting your Thanksgiving emails.
Inviting your audience to go on a shopping spree may seem insensitive and could harm your brand image. Instead, it’s a great time to steer your communications toward how your customers can really save some money this year.
With that said, let’s move on to the main part of this article, which is how to send a happy Thanksgiving email to various audiences – your family, friends, partner, coworkers, boss, customers, and newsletter subscribers.
Before we dive in, let’s emphasize that no matter who you’re sending your Thanksgiving email to, there’s one part that will stay the same: a message of appreciation.
Without further ado, here’s how to write a truly heartwarming Thanksgiving email for different categories of your audience and situations.
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1. “Happy Thanksgiving” for your customers (or clients)
There’s no doubt that your customers will have an overflowing inbox on Thanksgiving day.
Brands that have their email will be vying for attention in their inbox, sending the same Thanksgiving message. To stand out, your email marketing campaign should tick a few boxes:
- A subject line that entices them to open it.
- Clear messaging that you’re sending it for thanksgiving.
- Mention your promotion/discount, if you’re offering it.
1. An enticing subject line
Arguably, the most important part of your Thanksgiving email campaign will be your subject line. It needs to entice your customers enough to open it.
For example, you can combine an offer + a fun emoji so your email stands out. Here’s one from Promo:
Notice the turkeys? 🦃
It’s a nice touch to grab your customers’ attention and highlight that it’s a thanksgiving email.
Here are more Thanksgiving email subject lines you could use:
- Getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner?
- When you wake up from your food coma: have we got a deal for you!
- Who’s ready for seconds? The Thanksgiving Sale starts now!
- Staying in or going out on Thanksgiving?
- Extra 10% off for early birds only! Let’s celebrate the 🦃 day!
- Who are you thankful for?
- Thankful for you: a special holiday message from the XYZ team
- What are YOU thankful for?
- 🎉 Give thanks with 30% off everything
- Our way of saying thank you
- Thanks to you, we’ve done all this!
- Gobble gobble! Open up for a feast of savings!
- A sale so good, you’ll mute the game
- Get these awesome recipes for #Friendsgiving
2. Clear messaging
Next, you need to write a short, sweet and persuasive message. This could include Thanksgiving greetings like:
- “I’m thankful to have customers like you every day, especially on Thanksgiving.”
- “Working with clients like you is the best part about this job. I’m counting my blessings this Thanksgiving that we get to do it!”
- “You aren’t just a client to me—you’re a friend who I appreciate. Happy Thanksgiving.“
- “Our company is blessed to call you a client and we appreciate your business. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!”
These short messages are to the point, yet they also convey the true meaning of Thanksgiving: appreciation. If you have regular clients, you may want to say thanks with a more expansive message.
Remember, your customers will have other things to do with their day (hello, pumpkin pie! 🥧 ), so don’t make it too long.
Sending out your email marketing campaign before your clients sit down to Thanksgiving dinner also sets your business up for another important day — Black Friday.
Here’s a neat example from Fracture that follows these best practices.
And one more, that uses user-generated content to make their message more authentic and interesting.
3. Mention a promotion if you’re offering one
If you’re running a sale that could help your audience save money, this Thanksgiving, it’s especially worth mentioning it.
Here’s an example of a Thanksgiving email template from Sakara:
We love this because it covers all the bases. It thanks farmers, chefs, team members, and customers in a personalized way with individual paragraphs.
Sending out a joint Thanksgiving email like this makes customers feel like they’re special and an intimate part of the company.
And the handwritten sign-off from the CEOs is a nice touch — it makes it even more evident that the company wants to say thanks!
This would also be a good place to give customers an exclusive Thanksgiving offer or promotion so they know their repeat business is appreciated.
Here are two examples from companies that leverage this opportunity to say thanks – and grow their business, too.
2. “Happy Thanksgiving” for immediate family members
If you aren’t sharing a feast with your immediate family members, dropping an email to your loved ones on Thanksgiving day is a nice touch to show your appreciation.
Depending on the family member you’re emailing, you can either send:
- A sincere message that shows love and warmth for the holiday season
- A message with a little humor (cheesy Thanksgiving poems, anyone?)
Either way, your wishes should be filled with gratitude and appreciation for your loved ones.
1. A sincere message
For example, a sincere email message to a parent may look something like this:
The subject line clearly shows what the email is about, and the copy shows your parent how much you cherish them.
You can also sign off by wishing them well for the coming year if you don’t live in the same city as them, as it shows that you’ll be thinking of them after Thanksgiving, too.
2. A humorous message
If you want to send a holiday email with a bit more cheek, Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion. After all, the holiday is all about filling our bellies with food and laughter! Relay the Thanksgiving holiday theme throughout your email:
As this one is less serious, it’s best to send it to the inboxes of your siblings and cousins (or aunties and uncles who like a holiday laugh!)
3. “Happy Thanksgiving” for close friends
Don’t forget about your friends on Thanksgiving.
Although you’ll probably spend your time feasting with family, a quick email to your closest friends on the day lets them know you appreciate them. Express’ Kaisha Langton suggests adding a quote into your thanksgiving message, like this one from Henry Van Dyke:
“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse”
Or, if your friend lives in a different postcode, you can add in a sentence like this:
“Our homes may be far apart, but our hearts are as close as always.”
Like the email you send to your immediate family, this one will depend on your relationship with your friend. Don’t be afraid to inject some humor or poetry if that’s what they’re interested in.
And if you haven’t talked to the friend for a while, but still want to convey your appreciation, you can add in sentiments like this:
“There have been times when I forgot to thank you for being there for me. I take this day to tell you how special you are and how great my life has become because of you. Have a memorable Thanksgiving.”
Mix and match your sentiments with some heartfelt emojis so your end message looks something like this:
4. “Happy Thanksgiving” for your coworkers
You’ll want to keep your Happy Thanksgiving messages for colleagues professional but still charming.
Like the other examples, the email you send your coworkers depends on the relationship you have with them.
Is the relationship serious or funny?
Do you rely on back-and-forth memes to get you through the day?
Do they make your days at your desk bearable?
Think about any quirks to your relationship you can add to the email to make it more special. For example, if you’re both fond of sharing candy together in the breakroom, highlight that:
5. “Happy Thanksgiving” email for your boss
Don’t be afraid to show gratitude to your boss on Thanksgiving.
In fact, reaching out to them on Thanksgiving is important because, as your boss, they’re usually giving people feedback and praise. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to return the favor.
Unlike the email to your coworkers, a Thanksgiving message to your boss should be more formal. You can opt for a short message, like:
- Happy Thanksgiving! I appreciate you so much for making our office a fun, fantastic, and encouraging place to work. Have a blessed weekend with your family, filled with good food and laughter!
- Although you’re always thanking us for our work, it’s our turn to say thank you and Happy Thanksgiving. (Their name), we truly appreciate your support, encouragement, and guidance. You make this a blessed place to work, and your mentorship helps us become better in our roles. Happy Thanksgiving!
Or, if you really want to win some brownie points, you can structure a longer, more heartfelt email that highlights the great work your boss does for the company, like this:
6. “Happy Thanksgiving” for your newsletter subscribers
Even if you’re not offering any specials over Thanksgiving weekend, still send out a message to your newsletter subscribers.
At the very least, your subscribers will know you’re thinking about them over the holiday period. You can:
- Express gratitude and appreciation to loyal subscribers
- Re-engage inactive subscribers
- Hook your audience into a follow-up after Thanksgiving
Designmodo’s Nataly Birch says Thanksgiving is a chance for businesses to bring some holiday vibes to a contact’s inbox and missing the opportunity is an unfortunate slip.
She recommends not spending too much time trying to reinvent the wheel, and stick to culture and traditions instead. Her top tips are:
- Segmenting your audience so you reach your most engaged subscribers
- Using illustrations like acorns and pinecones to hammer down the Thanksgiving theme
- Timing the send so it doesn’t interrupt your subscribers’ celebrations
Here’s how the charity buildOn helps spread Thanksgiving cheer with their subscribers:
Not only does the email share how thankful buildOn is for their subscriber’s support, but it also mentions the charity’s success. By doing so, it’s easy for the subscriber to see how they have directly helped to empower students across the globe.
7. “Happy Thanksgiving” for your partner
Wishing your partner happy Thanksgiving in an email can be a heartfelt way to set up the rest of the holiday weekend.
Elite Daily’s Hannah Schneider says Thanksgiving is such a busy time that finding time to share sentiments with your partner can be challenging.
She says that if you’re confused about what to say to your partner, start with the obvious — that you love, want, respect, and value your partner. To write a heartfelt thanksgiving email, Schneider’s advice is to:
- Make a list of things you appreciate about your partner. Whether it’s their talents, love of family, or their work ethic, let your partner know why you appreciate them.
- If you’ve got some loving pics, add them into the email. As cheesy as it is, a picture really can tell a thousand words on special holidays like Thanksgiving
Once you put all the pieces together, you should be left with a heartwarming email that looks something like this:
Are you ready to write the ultimate Thanksgiving email?
The secret to a successful Thanksgiving email is knowing your audience.
You shouldn’t be sending the same Thanksgiving email to your partner and your boss (duh!). But it’s the smaller details within an email, like highlighting a personal trait you admire or singling out loyal customers that can make all the difference.
But there are certain themes that should be a staple in any Thanksgiving email. Be honest, appreciative, and thankful. Oh, and a turkey emoji or two won’t hurt, either! 🦃
And if you’re looking for a tool that’ll help you say thanks to your audience the right way – go ahead and try GetResponse completely free!
This article was originally written in September 2020 but was updated in October 2022 for accuracy and completeness.