Will “Merry Christmas” really double the conversion rate over “Happy Holidays”?

A new CNN article suggests that “Merry Christmas” still rings brighter over “Happy Holidays”

The demographics breakdown

Overall poll results for Americans:

  • 64% prefer “Merry Christmas”
  • 31% prefer “Happy Holidays”
  • 5% are unsure


Ok. So now you’ve got some data from a obscure poll that says solid majority of Americans prefer you to say “Merry Christmas”. The question is what do you do with that? Do you put “Merry Christmas” on every page? Maybe on banner ads? What about emails? Or should you say it at all?

Well, since we are into testing, we cajoled one of our clients to let us test Merry Christmas v. Happy Holiday a couple Christmases ago. The client allowed us to test this with specific email campaigns, and below are results: (from a prior post.)

We wanted to know if using “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” in an email campaign to a small segment of customers  would impact conversion rates?

We were able to randomly select a group of 100,000 customers for a client and tested these subject lines:

A few notes on the test:

  • The client is a large retailer, their customers mirror a general sample of the USA.
  • The email mirrored the subject line’s message; all other elements were the same.
  • We sent the email on the 21st of December.

The results showed a HUGE difference . . .

As you can clearly see, “Merry Christmas” killed it, nearly doubling the click through rate of the other subject lines.

Although we’re not allowed to share the “buy” data, it was just as impressive. Nearly doubling the number of transactions by changing an email subject line shows just how important it is to test and try new things. If you’re not constantly testing, you’re throwing money away!


Have any of you tested MC vs. HH and seen a difference? Do tell us. We wish you a Happy Holiday season! ;-P

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2 thoughts on “Will “Merry Christmas” really double the conversion rate over “Happy Holidays”?

  1. I think the reason that works so well is because we are flooded by tons of very politically correct corporations saying “Happy Holidays”, while most of us celebrate Christmas in one way or another.

    Christmas speaks to a lot of peoples hearts, is more personal and emotional than “Happy Holidays”.

    It’s also one specific date and not a generalized season or span of dates. It has a specific meaning. Interesting work.

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