4th of July Email Strategy

Most of the nearly $7 billion the National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend on the holiday will go to shopping for food and party good, décor and clothing.

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For marketers, the Fourth has multiple personalities.

First, there’s the appeal to patriotism and a shared cultural heritage that belongs to all Americans regardless of when and how they arrived in the country. Second, the Fourth has come to be seen as the high water mark of summer, with the rest of the season sliding slowly down toward fall with its home, school and work duties.

Most of the nearly $7 billion the National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend on the holiday will go to shopping for food and party good, décor and clothing. If you market to the 18-24 age audience, Independence Day is your jam! The NRF estimates 93% of these young adults will celebrate the holiday, compared with 87% of the rest of the holiday.

Even if your products don’t fit the food-fun-family-fashion theme, a creative hand with a red-white-and-blue color scheme gives you a relevant angle and the opportunity for your creative team to flex its muscle.

Email Examples

Hot dog!

We love a good pun, and this one qualifies because both hot dogs and overheated pooches are part of Fourth festivities. This email’s animation is a subtle but clever reminder to keep Fido and Rex far away from the fireworks fray. It’s clever piggyback marketing for a service that otherwise doesn’t have a clear Independence Day tie.

Capture the party-hardy vibe

This email so perfectly captures the party-hardy Independence Day vibe we can practically feel the sun burning our shoulders to a crisp. If you’re aiming your message to the young adult crowd who are most likely to celebrate the Fourth somewhere besides their living rooms, the easy-breezy copy and hero image pretty much guarantee they’ll get it loud and clear.

We're suckers for a good animated email

We admit it – we’re suckers for a good animated email. (Click the image to see the full animation.) This rocket animation is a great alternative to the usual background fireworks. That’s why we picked this email, but the countdown clock is a handy idea, too, if you want to prod shoppers to take advantage of a limited-time promo for the day.

Feel-good without the promo

Not every Independence Day email has to push a promo. That’s why we love this Vineyard Vines message. It’s a feel-good email that ties company history with a patriotic message. The brand isn’t missing out on promotions, either – it sent strong promotional emails on the days leading up to and following July 4, giving subscribers a break on the holiday.

And the rockets' red glare!

We picked this email because the fireworks animation is so lush and colorful – and yet there’s not a speck of red, white and blue anywhere in the email. It’s a great example of how to create an Independence Day email for a more high-end, subtle brand identity while still tapping into the zeitgeist of the holiday.

Evoke the holiday theme with your product

If the whole “rockets’ red glare/bombs bursting in air” is not your thing, use product color images to evoke the holiday theme. Scroll down to see how Lulus made this happen without any fancy animation! Plus, the “4th of July preview” is a great way to piggyback on the holiday and introduce new merchandise.

4th of July Content Strategy

Let’s dive into some concrete strategies.

Focus on the fun

Independence Day partying became an instant tradition back in 1776 when a bunch of Continental Congress reps repaired to a local tavern to celebrate approving the Declaration of Independence. (That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.)

Today, the Fourth of July is the ultimate party day, whether you’re getting the family and friends together or celebrating with the masses at a parade, picnic and fireworks. Design your email to appeal to that hunger for carefree happiness, togetherness and community spirit which is unique to the Fourth.

Get animated

The Fourth of July offers a good opportunity for adding animation to your emails because it’s such a visual holiday. Fireworks are an obvious choice, but a quick search through the MailCharts archive will turn up some emails that use animation in different and even more creative ways. Look for animated backgrounds and hero images.

Do double duty with another holiday

July 4th promotional emails can be challenging because they overlap other holiday seasons such as Memorial Day, Father’s Day and graduation. You could boost your frequency (and potentially annoy your customers) with single-campaign emails, or you combine them into a single email, adjusting the content as each holiday approaches.

Include store/business hours

Independence Days are a marketer’s dream when they fall on Thursday (2019), Friday (2025) or Monday (2022), because they create long, spendy weekends. Let customers know whether you’ll have the lights on this Fourth with an email that you send on or before the holiday.

Besides store hours, what other services could holiday closures affect, like customer-service or support hours, holiday shipping deadlines or delivery services? Add an email to your Fourth of July rotation to keep customers informed and give them another crack at your sales.

Also, include a store-location link to help people find you if they’re on vacation with a few extra hours on their hands and a yen to shop.

Besides store hours, think about other services that holiday closures could affect, including customer-service or support hours, holiday shipping deadlines or delivery services. Also, add a store-location link for people who find themselves in a strange place on the Fourth with a few extra hours on their hands.

Fly your patriot flag

The Fourth of July is one holiday that we don’t share with the rest of the world (although it comes on the heels of Canada Day, on July 1). Because of this, many retailers look to tap into common feelings of patriotism through copy, images, products, and calls to action.

Should you go all in on the Stars and Stripes Forever theme or soft-pedal the patriotism? Rely on your brand identity and customer personas, what you know from past campaigns, and even what you might learn from your customer-facing departments like customer service and in-store personnel to guide you.

Segment, segment, segment

Because Independence Day is an American-only celebration, consider suppressing addresses of customers who live outside the U.S., using either location data or email addresses that are clearly non-U.S. If you have a significant Canadian population, you can make your Independence Day message do double duty by soft-pedaling references to specific holidays.