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October 19, 2023

Ahead of Holiday Season, Persado Guide Shares Top-Performing Language for Retail Marketers

Generative AI Technology Reveals the Emotions that Motivate Action; How “Treat Yourself” and  “New Year, New You” Messages Perform


NEW YORK, NY — October 19, 2023Persado, the Motivation Artificial Intelligence (AI) company, has released its 2023 Holiday Marketing Guide, providing digital marketers with valuable insights for message experimentation and breaking through the noise during the critical 2023 holiday shopping season. The guide, which presents analysis by the Persado Content Intelligence Team, includes proprietary data about the top-performing words and phrases used in holiday campaigns in recent years and the first half of 2023, as well as contextual analysis of the economic and social changes impacting how consumers are responding to brand messages. 

Key takeaways from the analysis of holiday and H1 2023 campaign language is that three emotions tend to perform best when driving customers to engage: 

  • attention — such as “Attention, secret Santas!”
  • achievement — such as “You’ve unwrapped up to 65% off”
  • gratitude — such as “A little love from us”

Persado also found that language encouraging people to “treat themselves” performed well in holiday-related marketing campaigns. Conversely, complementary Persado data analysis found that in retail digital marketing campaigns throughout the last 7 years (5,696 message permutations), “New year, new you”—an often-used holiday narrative—performed poorly across email, social media, and push notifications, when tested against other messaging.

The analysis was conducted using the Persado Motivation AI knowledge base, which is trained on a specialized dataset of real interaction and transaction data from 1.2 billion active consumers that measure and refine language, emotional response, and engagement. This deep historical knowledge fuels Persado’s high-performing, AI-generated marketing content suggestions and enables brands to unearth insights related to campaigns run during a specific timeframe—such as identifying better-performing language used for holiday campaigns. 

“We’re often surprised by which AI-generated marketing language performs the best for our customers,” said Lisa Spira, Vice President of Content Intelligence at Persado. “However, with the wealth of data we can analyze from past campaigns, there are mainstay language elements that continue to be successful year after year — such as attention, achievement, and gratitude. These emotional drivers are great starting points for campaign messages that each brand can experiment with, monitoring how they are performing with their customers. People, and our circumstances are always changing, so marketing language can’t be static.”

Additional findings in the holiday guide include analysis of more than one billion messages sent by brands between January 2023 and June 2023 for seasonal events like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Using the Persado Motivation AI Platform to tag words with the most-likely associated emotion, Persado found phrases like “and you” were often associated with high-performing digital marketing campaigns, playing into a well-documented trend of self-gifting among holiday shoppers.

“Throughout the first half of 2023, we saw an uptick in customers engaging with language that encourages them to treat themselves. Phrases like ‘and you’ or ‘you’ve snagged’ performed well, leaning into the concept of self-gifting—even while purchasing gifts for friends and family,” Spira added. “Looking ahead to the holiday shopping season, and even into 2024, retailers should aim to strike a balance of familiar, intimate language with their customers, reassuring and encouraging them to reward themselves during high-stress times.”

The Persado Motivation AI Platform uses generative AI to create individualized language that motivates customers to engage and act—leveraging the world’s largest consumer motivation knowledge base to deliver messaging that drives business results across the digital customer journey. Persado’s recently released Essential Motivation, an extension of the Persado Motivation AI platform, which provides digital marketers with a self-service GenAI language hub to rapidly create emotionally engaging messages that increase customer action and conversion. 

The Persado 2023 Holiday Marketing Guide, can be found at:

About Persado

Persado provides the only Motivation AI platform that generates personalized communications at scale, inspiring each individual to engage and act. Many of the world’s largest brands, including Ally Bank, Coach, Dropbox, JP Morgan Chase, Marks & Spencer, and Verizon, rely on Persado to engage customers across their journey, from acquisition communications to online cart conversion. Persado’s Generative AI for the enterprise is trained on more than 100 billion digital business language impressions across industries, enabling marketers to motivate customers and drive significant business value.