Cinco de Mayo Email Marketing: Best Examples and Tips

Cinco de Mayo Email Marketing: Best Examples and Tips
27 April, 2023 • ... • 413 views
Natasha Zack
by Natasha Zack

Holidays are not simply fun. To businesses, they are also a great opportunity to engage with their audiences and boost sales through marketing campaigns. And Cinco de Mayo is an occasion not to be missed, particularly with the US audiences.  

But coming up with a decent Cinco de Mayo email marketing campaign is not that simple. To help you out, we’ve put together the best email and subject line examples for this atmospheric holiday — and added a few tested tips to make your campaigns stand out.

But what is Cinco de Mayo, exactly?

Originally, Cinco de Mayo (“The Fifth of May”) was a yearly commemoration of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire in 1862. Though that victory wasn’t conclusive, it played an important role in boosting the Mexicans’ morale and served as a reminder that the country can break free — which it eventually did several years later.   

But the holiday changed its meaning later on, becoming a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage at large. These days, typical Cinco de Mayo activities include public parades, folk music concerts, dinner and cocktails parties, and more.   

Also, Cinco de Mayo became more popular in the US than in Mexico. Part of the reason for that were the extensive marketing campaigns during the 1980s. These campaigns helped establish the modern meaning of Cinco de Mayo and stimulate sales during the holiday — and the impact persists to this day. In fact, it is growing bigger — and so does the revenue businesses generate around this date.

Interesting fact

According to a survey by The National Today, nearly 40% of 1,000 Americans surveyed believed Cinco de Mayo marked Mexican Independence Day (which is not the case, as Independence Day is a separate holiday celebrated on September 16). 

Also, 13% admitted they considered this holiday an excuse to drink, and another 13% said they had no idea what its meaning was.

But even though some don’t know what exactly they’re celebrating, sales spike on Cinco de Mayo anyway. Restaurants and alcohol brands consistently see an increase in sales due to the holiday, as do other brands selling holiday-related products. For example, during Cinco de Mayo week last year, Hass Avocado Board reported a 14.5% rise in avocado dollar sales as compared to the previous year. So, it is no wonder that our holiday email marketing calendar features May 5 along with other important dates that call for an email campaign!  

But getting things right for this holiday might be tricky. So, be sure to check out our list of hand-picked examples and tips before you start planning your Cinco de Mayo campaign.

Best Cinco de Mayo email marketing examples

General ideas

There are many ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your customers, but some are more popular than others. Let’s take a look at how brands from different industries approach their holiday email campaigns.  

Induce the mood

Traditional or festive celebration, Cinco de Mayo is all about the mood for the majority of consumers. To create the right atmosphere ahead of the holiday, send them a colorful, bright email — like the one shown below.    

From: Posh Puppy Boutique

Subject line: Happy Cinco de Mayo!

pic
Source: MailCharts

While the idea of a dog wearing a sombrero and playing maracas might look funny, this email is perfect for its target audience. It goes with a simple but effective subject line and focuses on the atmosphere, which is one of the best options for a holiday like this. 

Focus on food

Food is central to Cinco de Mayo. But since this industry is very competitive, businesses need to try hard to win their customers’ hearts — and finances. 

The email below is a great example of how a food delivery company Home Chef nails it with taste. 

From: Home Chef 

Subject line: 🎉 We’ve got Cinco de Mayo covered!

Preheader: Enjoy 16 FREE Meals When You Sign Up

pic
Source: MailCharts

What we like most about this email is the subject line that capitalizes on the holiday anxiety, reassuring customers with “we’ve got you covered”. The effect is enhanced by a relevant emoji and a preheader that promises free meals. 

Also, this email’s design features all the right colors yet manages to look calm and clean, which sets it apart from the majority of Cinco de Mayo emails. It also literally focuses on food, making it the core design element — which is a wise choice for a food delivery service. 

…and drinks

Where there is food, there is a drink — especially on Cinco de Mayo. Beer, tequila, mezcal, and various cocktails share the center stage during the celebrations. Naturally, it’s not an opportunity to miss for bars, restaurants, and beverage brands.   

However, it’s easy to get messaging wrong when it comes to drinking. In the example below, beverage brand Avec chooses the safest option by offering a cocktail recipe featuring their product — but does it with style.  

From: AVEC DRINKS CO

Subject line: The Perfect Paloma for Cinco de Mayo 🍊

Preheader: Party on with AVEC cocktails.

pic
Source: Milled

What we love about this email is that it manages to incorporate design elements associated with Cinco de Mayo while going with a different color palette than most other brands. It is also as neat and unconfusing as can be, with everything just the right size and just in the right place.  

Moreover, this email provides real value while, yet again, doing it in a slightly unconventional way, offering subscribers to try a lesser-known cocktail instead of a traditional Margarita. Clear, perfectly placed CTAs are also present, as is a special offer with a discount (more value!). 

Go with a “kiddie” design

Kids love holidays, and Cinco de Mayo is a perfect “kid holiday” due to its colorful, vibrant, atmosphere. For all brands offering products for kids, the best way to go is to capture that atmosphere and incorporate it into their hero image. 

That’s exactly what Really Good Stuff did in their email promoting arts and crafts supplies for kids’ activities. 

From: Really Good Stuff 

Subject line: Explore arts & crafts for Cinco de Mayo 

Preheader: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with colorful decorations and crafts…

pic
Source: Milled

This email has a distinct “kiddie” design, instantly setting the mood with vivid, bright, and clean colors. The hero image features the products on offer, so that the readers immediately know what they can expect from this email. 

These products are also listed below the image, along with the prices and the typical ecommerce “shop now” CTAs. This makes navigation simple and easy: you don’t have to wade through lines of copy before you get to the products you need. 

Offer something special

From: MyM&M’s – NL 

Subject line: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Us!

Preheader: Create your sweet treats today.

pic
Source: Milled

First of all, this email looks amazing, with just the right color palette that highlights the brand color, subtly spicing it up with the colors of the Mexican flag. But the best thing about this design is that it manages to look colorful and festive without being overloaded or over-the-top. 

Apart from the splendid design, the subject line and the preheader are also great: simple and descriptive, yet still compelling. The copy is clear and simple, too, as is the CTA, which is neatly placed exactly where it should be. 

Bonus: Tap into the origins of the holiday

Though Cinco de Mayo is widely known as a “drinking” (and eating, and partying) holiday, there are times when the original meaning works best. 

In the example below, Wanderer Bracelets taps into the roots of the event and the associations it evokes to make their marketing email look appropriate amidst the pandemic. 

From: Wanderer Bracelets 

Subject line: What’s the True Meaning of Cinco De Mayo?

pic
Source: MailCharts

Instead of bright colors, this email goes for dark, somber hues. But the cacti make it look relevant and “Mexican”, as well as the starry sky and the whole landscape. 

The copy is central here, and though it might seem overly long, it perfectly suits the occasion and highlights all the right points. Somehow, it manages to tie together the origin of Cinco de Mayo, the challenges of the pandemic, and the brand’s product, adding it value and meaning.  

Sales emails

Holiday sales are a staple of holiday marketing. But how do you make your sales email stand out when your competitors are offering big discounts, too? Here are a bunch of successful examples:

Highlight the value

Sometimes, there might be no need for extra creativity, especially in e-commerce emails. All you need to do is simply highlight the value both in your subject line and in the email body, and make sure your CTA is clear and well-placed. 

The example below is a good illustration of this safe and simple approach.  

From: Tani USA

Subject line: Here’s $50 to Celebrate Cinco De Mayo.

pic
Source: MailCharts

This typical e-commerce email’s subject line puts value forward, mentioning the exact discount right away. Moreover, the discount is framed as a gift, which makes it look all the more valuable.

The email’s design is a true minimalists’ delight, featuring just the right blend of clean-cut graphic elements and white spaces that add some air. The copy is also minimalistic and succinct, with just enough words to explain the offer. 

Capitalize on curiosity

Most people love pleasant surprises, so many brands capitalize on curiosity to draw attention to their sales emails. 

Take a look at how BodyCandy uses this tactic, choosing a subject line that is both cute and promising to increase open rates. 

From: BodyCandy 

Subject line: Cinco de Mayo 😻 Surprise

pic
Source: MailCharts

Apart from the catchy subject line, this email features a bright, colorful design that instantly grabs attention and highlights the brand’s generous offer. The CTA is also right there in its place, as is a selection of products most relevant to the occasion. 

That said, the sombrero-wearing cat looks somewhat irrelevant. But on the other hand, it’s cute, it’s fun, and most importantly — it works! 

Get creative

Sometimes, a small discount can attract more attention than a big sale if you approach your marketing creatively. However, there is always a risk, so be sure you know your audience well if you go for something bold and unusual. 

In this example from Rock ‘Em, you can see marketers definitely knew what they were doing. 

From: Rock ‘Em 

Subject line: 🎊 Save A CINCO!

pic
Source: MailCharts

This email is pure eye candy. The product itself, the font, the styling, and the background all work together to create an overall festive atmosphere that is bright, fun, and recognizably (though stereotypically) “Cinco de Mayan”. 

To some people, this email’s design might seem over the top. But given the brand’s image, chances are its target audience will love it exactly for being like that. However, if your brand is not as specific as Rock ‘Em, you might want to be more careful with both the design and subject line.

20 best ideas for Cinco de Mayo email subject lines

In the examples above, many elements work together to create an overall awesome email. But there is one element above them all when it comes to emails: the subject line. 

Given that at least 33% of customers open their emails based solely on subject lines, it is crucial that yours are as attention-grabbing and compelling as possible. Yet it can be so hard to come up with something impressive on demand!  

If you need inspiration, this list of the best Cinco de Mayo subject lines from popular brands can help get your creative juices flowing.  

General examples

  • Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner… (proud90) 
  • Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Fiesta (Sporty’s Preferred Living) 
  • Spice up your Cinco De Mayo Menu! (Food Service Direct) 
  • Gear Up for Cinco De Mayo! (Amols’) 
  • Cool drinks are a must for Cinco de Mayo 🌵🎉 (Grab your custom ice cube molds now!) (Astec Designs LLC / Siligrams)
  • Are you FIESTA ready? (Light Up Margaritas, Blinky Shots, Party Hats and More) (FlashingBlinkyLights.com)
  • We’ve got your Cinco de Mayo plans covered 🎉 (Taco Bell) 
  • It’s five O’GUAC somewhere! 🥑 (Mud Pie) 
  • Celebrate Cinco with savings + recipes 🌮🛳️ (Carnival Cruise Line) 
  • Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style (Karen Millen) 

Sale, discount, and special offer examples

  • $5 off $50 🎉 Cinco De Mayo Sale (Tillys) 
  • 🔥Extra 55% off any item is one spicy deal🔥 (King Size Direct) 
  • Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – 20% Off (Tattoo Golf) 
  • Cinco De Mayo Ribbons Blowout Sale! (Paper Mart) 
  • Starts Now: Cinco de Mayo SAVINGS (Hollar) 
  • 🔴 We’re Giving You Our BEST Deals For Cinco De Mayo (Adorama) 
  • 5 hours only! Cinco de Mayo Happy Hour is here! (Stila Cosmetics)
  • 24 Hours Only! Celebrate Cinco de Mayo (Houser Shoes Inc)
  • Today Only: $5 Styling Fee for Cinco de Mayo 💰 (Bombfell) 
  • 📣 The party’s almost over! (Last chance for 20% off Cinco De Mayo!💃 👉) (Judith March).

How to make how your Cinco de Mayo email marketing more effective

Be cautious with stereotypes

Sombreros and maracas, tacos and Margaritas, and everything in-between are classic Cinco de Mayo associations that speak to the general public. No wonder they come up as a natural choice for Cinco de Mayo emails! But be careful whenever you want to use them in your marketing campaigns. 

First and foremost, it’s easy to go wrong with this tactic. To avoid inadvertently offending your customers, only use popular associations when relevant and always check how well they fit in. For example, it’s okay to feature a sombrero in your email as a product — but think twice if you just want to use it as a decorative element.   

The same goes for Spanish words and phrases. Whether you speak the language or not, it won’t hurt to double-check your ideas with someone who’s an expert in both the language and the Mexican culture to avoid embarrassing bloopers.

But of course, there are traditional elements you can feel free to use in your Cinco de Mayo emails. These include colors associated with Mexico, and references relevant to your products — i.e. Mexican cuisine for restaurants, tequila for alcohol companies, etc.

Try different colors

Talking about colors — who said you have to use the same hues as everyone else? 

In the example below, alice + olivia goes for bright neon hues, cleverly matching them with cocktail colors — and the colors of the brand’s clothes.  

From: alice + olivia 

Subject line: Happy Cinco De Mayo 🌶🔥

pic
Source: MailCharts

Experiment with fonts

Apart from the overall color palette, you can also try playing with fonts. Ways to experiment include tweaking font size, colors, styling, or all of that at once to achieve maximum effect. 

That’s exactly what Allivet did in the example below. And it works perfectly!    

From: Allivet 

Subject line: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Early – Mucho Savings!

Preheader: Get the Lowest Price Guaranteed on Pet Meds. Free Shipping On All Orders $4.

pic
Source: MailCharts

Animate it

Animated images are another great way to liven up your emails, add some action, and make yourself seen. 

Take a look at how an edible glitter manufacturer, Bakell, uses animation to spice up their email design and illustrate the usage of its product at the same time. 

From: Bakell 

Subject line: Create Shimmering Drinks This Cinco de Mayo! 

Preheader: Get 15% off this collection!

Cinco de Mayo animation from Bakell
Source: Milled

Test your campaign before sending mass emails

But what if you have more good ideas than one for your email campaign? For example, two variations of a subject line that are slightly different, or two versions of a design template that seem equally good. In such cases, it’s hard to predict which one will work best with your audience.  

That’s why you need email A/B testing — a feature that allows you to verify hypotheses before sending out mass emails. The tactic implies sending two versions of one email to two control groups. Then, you can compare the metrics and pick the email that performs best. Besides subject lines and designs, you can test other elements of your emails: copy, preheaders, CTAs, sending time, and more.    

With reliable test results, you can confidently send out bulk email campaigns without worrying about that “other version” that “might have worked better”.

Final thoughts

Cinco de Mayo is a great chance for businesses to engage with their customers — especially of Mexican, Hispanic, and Latino descent — and boost sales. However, this holiday is not the easiest one to handle because of how specific it is. 

So, let’s revise the main ingredients for a successful Cinco de Mayo campaign. 

  • Be cautious with stereotypes. Don’t overuse traditional symbolic items if you’re not sure they fit in well, and always double-check all words and phrases in Spanish. 
  • Experiment with colors, fonts, and animation to make your emails more visually attractive. 
  • Always run A/B tests to determine variations that work best before sending out bulk emails. 
  • Draw inspiration from the selection of the best Cinco de Mayo email examples featured in this article. 
  • And remember: Cinco de Mayo and Mexico’s Independence Day are two different holidays

¡Buena suerte!

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27 April, 2023
Article by
Natasha Zack
I’m a professional journalist with 10+ years of experience. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with various kinds of media — print, online, broadcast. Currently, I write copy for brand media and teach English part-time. I also have my own edtech passion project dedicated to teaching English via Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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