Wether you’re looking for helpful tips or some inspiration for your Black Friday email campaign, you’ll find it all here!
If you haven’t started working on your Black Friday emails, there’s no time like now. But first, read our tips on how to design your Black Friday campaign, and get inspired by some great Black Friday email examples.
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Black Friday in 2021
In 2021, Black Friday falls on November 26 and it’s safe to assume people are going to shop like never before. Last year’s Black Friday showed us that the big move towards online shopping, although scary for many businesses, can be beneficial. Adobe found that consumers spent $9 billion on the web (up 21.6% year over year) on the day after Thanksgiving. That’s absolutely insane.
There are millions of people ready to shop online this year, so make sure it’s your offer they will notice in their inbox. You don’t need a lot of resources to be unique – a simple good idea is all you need to start.
Black Friday email campaign best practices and tips
Polishing your list
You already know how important building your email list is. So, just imagine how the importance of each email address grows before the sales’ biggest day of the year.
If you’re unsatisfied with the number of subscribers you have (and, let’s face it – it feels like there are almost never too many), you should start expanding your list ASAP.
And, speaking of “ASAP”, before Black Friday, your signup forms should ooze with urgency. Or, suspense. You can tease the fact that something big is coming, and every subscriber will know about it first. Change the copy so that it highlights the benefits your future customers can get if they sign up today.
You can put up banners, create designated landing pages – the goal is to get people excited for what’s coming, and ready for your special offer emails in their inboxes.
But, remember that a smaller list full of engaged subscribers is a million times more valuable than a list of people that ignore your emails. So, just be careful when building your list and make a good, not a never-ending, one.
When it comes to Black Friday subject lines, you can either use keywords like “free” or “discount”, use some numbers (e.g., “80%”), or just play on your subscribers’ feeling of anticipation.
You can include a reminder when the sale starts – “Black Friday sale starts tomorrow” or “The sale starts now.” If it’s customers who you know have bought from you before and know about your great deals – “Don’t forget about this year’s sale.”
Write a catchy line connected to your brand. Take Casper, a mattress brand, for example. Their Black Friday emails’ subject lines were: ‘’This Black Friday, choose snooze.” and “Every Friday is Black Friday when your eyes are closed. Because you’re napping.”
The best Black Friday email subject lines are funny, lighthearted, and referring to the products – you can’t go wrong with that.
Consider using emojis to make your email’s subject line pop. But, read the Best Practices for Emojis in Subject Lines first if you’re unsure.
A simple rule is not to overdo it. A few excitement-inducing lines will definitely be enough. Also, if you think of using multiple CTAs – make sure all of them are really necessary, visible, and not too flashy when next to each other.
In the emails you plan to send long before Black Friday, inform your customers about what kind of deals they can expect. Be careful, though. Plant a seed, give a hint, but don’t spoil the fun and don’t write about all the details yet.
When the time for the more salesy and “shop now” emails comes, create a sense of urgency by setting a deadline. Stating that the deal ends on Cyber Monday, or that the promo code can be used through 11/24, will give your customers a little push to shop.
Black Friday email design
A common theme in Black Friday email campaigns (and most Black Friday templates in general) is “all black everything” – and that’s pretty self-explanatory. But, when thinking of the overall email design and color scheme, remember to stay true to your brand identity.
Take a look at this email from Onsen:
It’s very rare to see a non-futuristic Black Friday email, where not even the name of the holiday is in a black font. Yet, this email from Onsen is one of those refreshing exceptions. The email’s design and theme is calm and elegant, which is very fitting for their brand.
Also, it’s simple – a catchy header, short & sweet copy describing what they offer, and a simple CTA. Then, there are clear descriptions of three different deals. There’s no clutter, no flashy content, and no unnecessary copy. When an email gets straight to the point, the customer is more likely to follow your instructions without getting overwhelmed.
A great idea is to incorporate GIFs into your Black Friday emails.
GIFs catch the eye, and when they show the process of unboxing or unwrapping, they build up anticipation and excitation.
Some brands decide to showcase only the black products they put on sale. It plays on the “Black” Friday idea in a fun way and makes the offer seem very exclusive, Black-Friday-only. Take for example Modernica:
The copy in these emails is as brief and condensed as it can be – there’s no time for reading when there are thousands of people already rushing to the checkout ;).
When in doubt, you can build your email using our Black Friday email templates!
All of them are available to edit via the GetResponse email creator.
You can choose a Black Friday template, customize any other pre-designed one, or easily create your own. It’s super easy! (You can create a free account to see for yourself)
A bit of strategy
You could be starting your campaign any time now. Some people recommend starting a week before, or last minute – on Black Friday. Whichever option you chose, it’s best to do a little strategizing and creating automated workflows beforehand.
First, try segmenting your audience into as many segments as you need. Then, you can personalize the emails and offers accordingly.
Re-engage the disinterested subscribers, and rekindle your relationship just in time for the Big Day.
Then, consider giving your subscribers scoring points so you can deliver different offers based on their engagement.
Also, if you want to send a sequence of emails with different products and deals, remember to tag people that already converted, so you can stop nagging them, and send a thank-you email instead.
Prepare cart abandonment emails that will remind your customers to come back and check out. Offer them help and see if they convert. If they don’t, you can set another reminder with a special deal, like free shipping.
You can also turn your early bird sale into a game! How? You’ll find the answer in our guide: 8 Marketing Automation Workflows for Your Holiday Campaigns.
If everything goes right and the customer converts, make sure to thank them for their purchase and give them a chance to rate their experience or send them a satisfaction survey.
Best Black Friday email campaign examples
As much as a great discount is helpful in getting your customers’ attention, the Black Friday weekend (and Thanksgiving week) is a perfect time to make a lasting impression on your audience. A captivating email might make people look forward to other newsletters you send out in the future, increasing the chance of conversions in the long run.
So, to get your creative juices flowing, we’ve gathered some of our favorite examples of best Black Friday emails that can inspire your campaign.
If you need even more email campaign examples, make sure to check out 30+ Best Email Marketing Campaigns and why we loved them. And if you’re looking for ecommerce-specific tips, consider our ecommerce email marketing guide.
1. Spotlight Oral Care
Subject line: The Beauty Oral Care Brand that everyone’s talking about! 🖤
Although the subject line here doesn’t mention a sale or Black Friday, the subtle nod in the form of a black heart emoji does the trick.
Why we like it
The design here is sleek and attention-grabbing. The product is the main character, showcased in a way reminiscent of a space or action movie. And the copy? There’s almost none, in a good way. Can one even get more straight-to-the-point? I’m not sure. The “Ready. Set. Sale” header makes you want to click and shop as fast as you can.
The call-to-action button is simple and centered, which is great. But what this email’s designers also thought about is the fact that people often scroll to the bottom of an email like this to see the promo code. In the section where a code would typically be, there’s another small CTA – brilliant!
What could be better?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I could say that this email is missing the usual “30% off” or a gallery of products, but the lack of information here incentivises people to check out the online store for themselves.
2. Tinker Watches
Subject line: Something New is Coming on Black Friday ⌚
This email’s subject line is a great teaser – it gets you excited for the new release.
Also, the use of a watch emoji here is perfect for a few reasons: the product they’re announcing is, quite literally, a watch; the emoji happens to be a black watch (as in, Black Friday); it fits the email’s design; seeing a watch after teasing a product launch creates a sense of anticipation.
Why we like it
The design of this email is incredibly sleek and elegant. There’s no flashy content fighting for your attention. That makes it so soothing to look at, I’ve been staring at this email for hours!
The fonts used here are simple and clean, there’s one eye-grabbing image, and concise copy.
While the black&white color palette is pretty much a standard when it comes to Black Friday newsletters and campaigns, the email maximizes its potential by hiding the design of their yet-to-be unveiled product as a ‘shadow’ on a background image.
The copy, starting with the “Let the countdown begin” heading, makes you look forward to the big launch and head to their website as soon as the clock strikes midnight after Thanksgiving.
What could be better?
Although it’s not the point of this email, it could use a clear call to action – there’s even just enough space below the copy to fit a nice CTA button. It could lead to a landing page with a countdown, a page teasing a tiny bit more about the new product, or even a website where you could pre-order the watch.
3. & Other Stories
Subject line (1st email): Black Friday starts early
Subject line (2nd email): 20% off all goods
Subject line (3rd email): Cyber Monday | extra 30% off promotional items
Both of the Black Friday subject lines are very straightforward and short. That doesn’t mean they lack personality – a similar, minimalistic approach is echoed in the understated vibe of all the brand’s email marketing. The Cyber Monday subject line, though, could be better, as it differs from the other two’s format.
Why we like it
This example includes three different emails that were sent out throughout the Thanksgiving weekend (from Thursday to Cyber Monday). Even though they apply to two different shopping holidays, they stick to the same, consistent theme – a journey of “the Noir express” (noir is the French word for black).
Their consistent use of words and imagery connected to train rides makes for a good metaphor of their sale’s course. And, when you combine all three parts of this newsletter, it all becomes a short intriguing story, with a start, climax, and final chapter. The message here is clear to grasp, all the important information is fleshed out in short copy, and the CTAs are right in the middle and hard to miss.
Both of the emails created for Black Friday were designed using only black and white, but as soon as the Cyber Monday sale kicks off, the colors are back in place.
What could be better
It’s cool that in the Black Friday pair of emails the products are shown off only in the first one, while the second acts as a reminder that the sale is coming to an end. But, it would also be cool if the final Cyber Monday part of the series also had product boxes showcasing the ‘cyber specials’.
Subject line: Black Friday is almost over 🔊🎧 You can still save with Bose
Bose’s subject line describes the contents and purpose of the email well. However, it’s pretty lengthy and the emojis are not exactly necessary here.
Why we like it
Assuming that this email was sent towards the end of their Black Friday sale, you can see that Bose is giving you all you need to make a decision and buy their product on sale as fast as possible. Each product they’ve listed comes with:
- the product’s full name
- a photo
- the discount & current price
- the previous price (so you could see how much you’re saving)
- its own CTA button
- a real review from a happy customer that had bought it before
It’s a really clever way to allow customers make a quick but informed decision, as it skips the need to look for all the info on the website.
Subject line: A measure of composure in the chaos
Aesop’s subject line is like a perfect relief from the chaos that ensues in our inboxes during the holiday shopping season. It’s also quite intriguing and makes you want to read the email, just to get the sense of composure it promises.
Why we like it
This email is unlike any other Black Friday mail. Its design and colors are airy and calming, complimenting the products perfectly. No flashy gifs, crossed-out previous prices, sense of scarcity, and certainly no ‘hurry up!’. There’s nothing more to be said – it’s simple, beautiful, and what you should expect from a wellness brand. Definitely delivers on the promise from their subject line.
What could be better
It would be great to see some more copy before getting into the products and the font could be a bit larger.
On another note, the choice of the products recommendations slightly threw me for a loop. (Looking at you, ‘Post-Poo Drops’) But, the closing quote was a great refresher after that :).
6. Em Cosmetics
Why we like it
This email stands out for its use of a good-quality GIF and maintaining an uncluttered email design. The GIF instantly grabs attention, showcases the company’s most recognizable product, serves as an additional logo, and fits into the email’s color scheme. There is only one simple CTA, and it makes sense – if the deal is sitewide, there’s no need to add product boxes and additional CTAs. (I should add that the screen capture is missing a navigation bar on top of the email. The navigation provides easy access to each category of products.) It’s a pretty basic Black Friday email template, but once again, simplicity won customers’ hearts!
Subject line: Very Good Graphic Design — On sale this weekend!
The subject line refers to the products offered in the email, all graphic-design-related goods.
Why we like it
I love the sarcastic tone of the email’s heading and subheading. It acknowledges the holiday shopping season being the most consumer-driven time of the year (what I can only assume to be a play on the lyrics ‘most wonderful time of the year’) and makes an auto-ironic statement about hopping on a bandwagon. It offers a discount code for the whole weekend, but it’s ‘CAPITALISM’. Then, it goes straight to business, but in their own unique style, that they’ve maintained in all of their previous emails.
This email is a great example of hate-celebrating Black Friday with your brand’s integrity intact.
8. Honorable mention: Weird Fish
Why I like it
I appreciate a GREAT pun when I see it. And there’s two.
A play on words using the brand’s fish-related theme? That must have been such a satisfying opportunity for the copywriter!
Are you ready?
Time to back up your servers, check your inventory, and make the shopping experience as seamless as possible and enjoyable for both you and your customer.
Happy selling! And, of course, happy shopping! See you in my inbox on November 26!