St. Patrick’s Day Email Strategy

Green beer and shamrock-shaped sunglasses might not be traditionally Irish, but they helped push the holiday to a record $5.9 billion spend in the U.S.

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You need more than the luck of the Irish to spin St. Patrick’s Day emails into gold. But the payoff can put a little more green into your email sales column.

More than half of U.S. adults participate in some St. Paddy’s Day activity, even in pandemic-plagued 2020, the NRF said. It’s definitely a holiday for the younger set, with nearly three-quarters planning to party. 

Shamrock-shaped sunglasses, green beer, and corned beef and cabbage aren’t traditionally Irish, but they help push St. Patrick’s Day spending into the billions, according to the National Retail Federation‘s annual spending predictions.

Where does all the money go? NRF survey data shows consumables (food, drinks, and candy) account for the largest share of spending. But historical data shows Americans are shifting dollars to clothing, gifts, accessories, and décor instead.

Email Examples

Get the party started

First, we love email copy that uses “shenanigans” in the copy. Second, the email captures the 18-34 age group that drives the St. Paddy’s party vibe. Third: The shipping schedule nudges people to act, reminding them that the longer they wait the more they have to pay in shipping. The result: A short but sweet, action-driving email.

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Prize-worthy campaign

Stuck for a St. Patrick’s campaign that doesn’t sell? Try this idea – use your email to promote your most important social media channel! Gamification is hot – so use the larger expanse of real estate that an email gives you to explain how to play and launch the game, and then hand it off to your Instagram page.

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Go pink for St. Paddy

So many things to love about this email, but we’ll start with the color: an on-brand pink that stands in a sea of green-themed emails. The automated four-leaf clover directs the eye to the call to action and the easy-to-remember promo code (“Jackpot”). And there’s just enough green to satisfy the Pinch Squad (the leprechauns who pinch you if you get caught not wearing green on March 17).

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Easy to be green-ish

Want to go green for St. Patrick’s even if it isn’t one of your approved brand colors? Fossil’s subtle green finds a way to tie all the elements together. Another high point in the creative is the subtle animation that shows the different graphic modes available on different watch styles. It conveys a wealth of info without pushing up the email and image weight so high that it affects deliverability and the overall user experience.

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Be creative with promotions

Don’t look at this email if you’re hungry, especially if you have a sad desk lunch waiting in the fridge. An animated GIF series cycles through one up-close, appetite-whetting food image after another, and just when the reader is just about hypnotised, a giant four-leaf clover appears with the $40 incentive. It’s a genius combination of creativity and selling know-how.

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Business up front, goofy out back

We got a big charge out of this clever Shinesty email but also give it props for getting down to business first (the offers are at the top of the email) before veering off into its shocking-but-true facts about St. Paddy’s Day. Click the email to see it in all its goofy glory, and keep scrolling on down to the surprise ending.

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St. Patrick’s Day Content Strategy

Did you know? It’s St. Paddy’s, not St. Patty’s.

Here are a few strategies to make sure you can ace your campaigns for St. Patrick’s.

Zig where everybody else zags with subject lines

It’s easy to rely on classic phrases and stereotypes when writing copy and subject lines, and St. Patrick’s has plenty. But remember that every other copywriter is using the same phrases.

If you want your email to stand out in the inbox you need to watch out for overused phrases like “It’s your lucky day,” “the luck of the Irish,” “wearing o’/saving o’ the green” or “pot o’ gold.”

Using emojis is another tactic that can get you noticed. We’ve seen a lot of shamrocks and four-leaf clovers 🍀  in subject lines, which are attention-getting in both size and color. Other popular emojis include rainbows 🌈,  top hats 🎩, the green heart 💚 , and beer mug 🍺.

Weekend celebrations can mean spending spikes

Ten years of data in the National Retail Federation’s spending tracker shows St. Patrick’s Day projected spending dropped in 2015 and 2016, when the holiday fell during the week, spiked to records in 2017 and 2018 when the day landed on weekend days, then retreated again in 2019 and 2020 when the party moved to mid-week. 

Coincidence? We think not. 

But, even in years when St. Paddy’s Day falls on a party-unfriendly Tuesday or Wednesday, you can aim for a bump in sales by starting promotions on the previous weekend to catch early partiers or extend your celebration through the week and into the weekend.

Go edgy.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just shamrocks and soda bread. Given its appeal to the 18-to-34 demographic, the day has an underlying edge, too. If that’s your customer demographic, going edgy can help you grab attention, entertain subscribers, consolidate your brand image and drive a purchase.

Of course, edgy is risky, too. Don’t spend so much time entertaining your audience that you distract them from clicking to your website to buy something or otherwise convert. You could end up alienating your audience and damaging your brand. Use everything you know about your customers and how much brand equity you have with them before wandering too close to the line.