Free Shipping Day Email Strategy

What's not to love? No shipping fees, no minimum order and guaranteed to arrive by Xmas.

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Free Shipping Day is the day procrastinating shoppers dream about – no shipping fees, no minimum order and guaranteed delivery by Christmas. What’s not to love?

It was created by the owners of FreeShipping.org, a portal website for e-commerce and free-shipping deals. Many marketers who don’t participate in the website’s official promotion piggyback their own free-shipping offers on the same day or the day before.

Free Shipping Day Email Examples

A textbook-perfect campaign

Here’s a textbook-perfect Free Shipping Day email.

The inbox view (sender, subject line, preheader) all work together to highlight the free shipping promotion. The message body combines essential information with a beautiful hero image that shows thought and care went into this message. The code (FSWEEK) is easy to remember. Then, it goes right into the shopping categories. Short, sweet, attention-getting and efficient, all in one package.

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Promote products, too

If you want to promote products as well as your free-shipping deal, here’s a way to do it.

This email strips an amazing free-shipping deal that others will not be able to match (worldwide free shipping) across the top of a standard email and still includes essential information such as exclusions. It also includes a “Shop Now” CTA button at the top as well.

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Short and sweet

Here’s a short and sweet email that shows you can generate a lot of impact with a simple design. We love the animation, the easy-to-remember incentive code and the efficient display of crucial information.

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Share your shipping schedules

Although Free Shipping Day is not the primary focus in this email, we included it because it showcases a great approach for posting shipping schedules. Many emails roll this important info down to the bottom of the holiday email template.

However, with few days to go until Christmas, your time-pressed shoppers will be looking for that information, and it could spell the difference between clicking to your site and moving on to the next email.

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Customer freebies

Tarte also did something out-of-the-box. Along with free two-day shipping, the cosmetics brand threw in a free full-size product.

Giving customers freebies is an excellent way to make your offer feel special and exclusive. Plus, if you offer free shipping frequently, your freebie offer tells subscribers you’re not just trotting out the same old promotion.

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Make it a celebration

Like 80% of the Free Shipping Day emails we analyzed, Ideel’s email was sent on the day of the holiday. Both the design and the concept are extremely simple. There isn’t a complicated promotion structure or an overwhelming number of visuals, allowing subscribers to immediately home in on the call-to-action.

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Free Shipping Day Content Strategy

Promote your participation in emails leading up to the day

Although Free Shipping Day (both the official and unofficial recognition) is not an email-only event, it’s pretty obvious that email is an excellent way to drive interest, awareness and anticipation. Add a line to the emails that precede your FSD promotion that either remind customers about the promotion or give a sneak peek about the items you will include in it.

Worried that your FSD promotion will siphon off sales from shoppers? This is an excellent premise to set up a test and see what the effects are.

Publish your shipping schedule regularly

Even if you don’t participate in Free Shipping Day, officially or unofficially, do the customer-service thing and post your shipping schedule in your emails, especially as your deadlines for standard, express and next-day shipping approach. See the email creative examples above for ideas.

Front-load your email with your free-shipping offer and any conditions like exclusions or deadlines

We love beautiful emails as much as anybody, but with a limited-time event like Free Shipping Day, you want to get your offer in front of your customer’s eyes as quickly and concisely as possible.

Naturally, you should mention your shipping offer in your subject line, although we were surprised to see how many merchants did not do that. Remember that your dedicated online shoppers are most likely getting emails from your competitors and other senders promoting free shipping. Do you want to risk being overlooked? Don’t bury the lede.

Make it easy to take advantage of the deal with an easy-to-remember code

FreeShippingDay.org suggests using “FreeShippingDay” (naturally!). We saw some clever codes, our favorite being “HOLYSHIP.”

Be ready to up your game

With every merchant offering a free-shipping deal, especially one with no minimum and guaranteed Christmas delivery, you’ve got to meet or beat your competition.

Consider offering both a basic free-shipping/no-minimum and an upgrade to two-day or express shipping with a minimum order. Or, run the numbers with your finance people and follow the lead of some merchants by offering two-day shipping with no minimum.

Another alternative: Let your customers choose between free shipping and a sizable discount (more than 20%). Shoppers who have done most of their buying and aren’t time-pressed might be persuaded to pick out something for themselves if the final price is right.