I know I am quite late for this, but it needed to be said anyways, because just too many marketers are making those same holiday marketing mistakes.
First of all, I'd like to commend Aweber for bringing up this issue before all internet marketers.
Don't Send Empty Emails: I have lost count of how many emails I have received with inane subject lines like 'Happy Holidays' or 'Happy New Year', etc. Empty and inane greetings look good only on paper cards; if you are sending out paper cards to your friends then you can send a card with an inane subject line like that and nothing more, because paper cards are valued more by the recipients and they have a longer shelf life than emails. When you are sending an email, the atmosphere is entirely different. People access the internet for information. If you are sending your subscribers empty emails, you are only wasting their time because God knows how many such greetings cards they have already received from their friends and neighbors.
Send emails on holidays only if you have something of value to give your subscribers (preferably a freebie). If you have nothing valuable to offer, don't send anything. You might have noticed that I didn't send a single greeting to you during the Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas, or even New Year, because I had nothing special to offer you! When I do have something special to offer, I will definitely communicate with you, holiday or no holiday!
Stop the Family Banter: Out of the many 'holiday emails' that I have received, some would discuss about funny things that happen if their family during the holidays. Heck, could you share these with your friends instead? You can consider your subscriber as your friend, but remember that they are on your list for a reason- to benefit themselves from your products or newsletter. They are not on your list to waste their time reading what is happening in your family. So please keep your family matters away, because your subscribers have nothing to do with them; this is one sure shot way of gaining more 'un-subscribers' than subscribers.
Give Us a Break Please! : Seriously, you have the whole year to pitch your products to your subscribers; can't you spare the holidays? You know, I unsubscribed from at least seven newsletters this week, because they sent more than 3 product pitches and JV offers during each of the holidays (and I am sure I am not the only subscriber to do this) . I just wanted to cry out to them and say: Hey, Give us a break man! You certainly have no life, but I do have one nonetheless!'
Geo-Target Your Subscribers: Personally I don't recommend anyone to send holiday greetings unless they have something special to offer, but if you really want to send them anyway, please target your subscribers first based on their IPs. Geo-targeting may not be needed for major holidays such as Christmas or New Year, which I believe have universal dates, but may be crucial if you are sending greetings for holidays such as Thanksgiving Day which is celebrated on different days in different countries. You might want to read Aweber's article on how to geo-target your subscribers using Aweber – would come handy for you if you are a Aweber customer.
Now that the holiday marketing rant is over, let's promise to start the New Year on a positive note :)