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Thanksgiving Campaigns Stuffed with Creativity

The holidays are a time when we see brands’ ingenuity really shine. At the end of the year, there’s one last push to make sales and gain new customers so brands can start the next year off right. Come November, marketing teams flex their creative muscles to create eye-catching Thanksgiving-themed campaigns.

We found and compiled some of the best Turkey Day emails that demonstrate both individualization and innovation.

Subtle Geo-Location

As you know, we’re fans of individualization, especially individualization that takes advantage of dynamic content or segmentation. Resy, the reservation app, used the most subtle form of geo-location in their Thanksgiving campaign. It’s so subtle you may even miss it. The second paragraph ends with “…where you can find the latest special offerings in Chicago—for Thanksgiving, or any time.”

Resy uses geo-location in their thanksgiving campaign

Resy uses subtle geo-location to individualize their Thanksgiving emails. Source: Really Good Emails.

The way this location is incorporated into the email makes us think a smart segmentation strategy is behind it. By knowing where users live, Resy can easily segment their email lists to send location-specific content to each zip code. Because only the intro copy is customized, this could have also been done with dynamic content, where the whole top content block is automatically pulled in based on individual user data.

A Go-To Guide

Sending emails packed with helpful advice is a good way to ensure your emails are not only opened, but saved in customers’ inboxes. Panna, the subscription-based digital cooking magazine from A+E Networks, sent a Thanksgiving email bursting with advice. The email starts by offering new twists on Thanksgiving classics, then has tips and tricks for a juicy turkey, and ends with Asian-inspired recipes. There’s so much Panna offers in this one email.

Panna offers helpful content for their Thanksgiving campaign

Panna sent a roundup of helpful Thanksgiving information to their subscribers. Source: Really Good Emails.

What’s interesting about this email is that it’s almost a standalone piece of content sent directly to inboxes. Yes, you still have to click links and get taken to the Panna site, but this email reads like a content roundup. Instead of bookmarking a go-to guide in their browser, subscribers can just save the email in their inbox, knowing they can come back to it if they need.

Sharing Recipes

Majority of emails are designed to bring traffic to websites or mobile apps, but the way in which they do so can vary greatly. In the previous two examples we saw multiple CTAs with a variety of content made available to subscribers. What Vitamix—the appliance brand—did, however, was provide just one piece of information: a recipe.

Vitamix shared a partial recipe

Vitamix offers the ingredients of a recipe, with a CTA to the rest of the instructions. Source: Really Good Emails.

What’s clever about this email is that Vitamix shared just the ingredient list, not the full recipe. Subscribers can see the ingredients, determine whether or not they want to try making the pumpkin risotto, and continue onto the site. This is another example of an email that could get saved in an inbox as a resource or one that could get forwarded to someone else who wants to make it.

Just Desserts

Rather than sharing tips for cooking at home, Postmates—the food delivery app—plays to their strengths. Assuming Thanksgiving and post-Thanksgiving isn’t a high-traffic time for food delivery (leftovers, anyone?) Postmates pivoted to focus on two aspects of Thanksgiving: awkward family encounters and dessert.

Postmates reduces friction by automatically applying coupon

Postmates targeted Gen Z and MIllennial customers by offering an easy escape from awkward dinners. Source: Really Good Emails.

Postmates gives users a $25 delivery fee credit, telling them they can skip out on dessert at their relative’s house and order dessert at home. It’s a different approach to Thanksgiving dinner that seems like it was aimed at Gen Z and Millennials. What’s more, Postmates reduced the friction in the path-to-purchase by not requiring a code and automatically applying the discount at purchase.

Recipe for Success

These Thanksgiving campaigns all have different ingredients that contribute to successful emails. Whether offering location-specific content or a friction-free coupon, these emails are all authentic, individualized, and helpful.


It’s no surprise that all of these Thanksgiving emails are food-related. After all, that’s a big—if not the biggest—part of Thanksgiving. What’s important to note, however, is that these brands are also all related to food in some way. Brands that stay in their realm of expertise will present themselves more authentically than brands stretching to be part of the conversation.


The best example of individualization is the email from Resy. By adding geolocation, while subtle, they are creating a one-to-one connection with their customers. Individualization isn’t going above and beyond anymore. Customers are expecting it. Individualization creates a deeper connection with your subscribers, building trust and loyalty.


Lastly, these emails all provide something. They are either providing location-based recommendations, recipes, or discounts. Offering timely information is also highly valuable. These were all sent around Thanksgiving, making them relevant to the recipient. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of engagement.

Send Emails Customers are Thankful for

When designing Thanksgiving (or any) campaigns, put yourself in the customers’ shoes. How would you feel if you received one of these emails in your inbox? How do the emails your brand sends compare? Adding authenticity, creating individualization, and offering help results in campaigns that stand out from the rest. Use the holiday email flurry to gather inbox inspiration and think about what your brand could do to improve on your holiday emails going forward.

If you’re looking to further uplevel your email marketing capabilities, schedule an Iterable demo today.

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