Black Friday Email Subject Lines: The Best Tips to Stand Out of the Inbox

Posted by Philip Storey on 13/11/17 12:41
Find me on:
Philip Storey

Black Friday email marketing subject lines

With Black Friday quickly becoming one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the UK, it’s increasingly crucial for brands to up their game to really make their email subject lines pop. Email marketing is a key channel for building campaign engagement, but without the right subject line, even the best emails will be lost in the inbox.

Check out our 5 top subject line tips for Black Friday campaigns and then head over to our Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Email Marketing!

1. Never be a spammer

It may seem obvious, but with the tone of Black Friday so focused on “SELL, SELL, SELL”, it can be tempting to slip into a few bad habits. The key to a good campaign should always be to stand out from the crowd, rather than to add to the inbox clutter. Remember to avoid excessive exclamations (!!!!!) and keep your subject lines as friendly and easy to read as possible.

2. Keep customers curious

Whilst adding urgency into email subject lines is important, inserting an element of mystery and intrigue is also an effective tactic. A Black Friday study by Phrasee for Econsultancy, which analysed over 3000 subject lines, found that subject lines that aimed to peak the curiosity of their readers, tended to perform much better than “buy now”-style messaging.

Some high-performing subject line examples from the data set included:

  • BLACK FRIDAY is here – want a little help with your Christmas shopping?
  • How you can avoid stress on Black Friday
  • Tick tock, tick tock, the BLACK FRIDAY countdown begins...

The last example combines FOMO (fear or missing out) and urgency persuasion tactics with a hint of intrigue.

3. Always announce an Black Friday email

Customers know it’s Black Friday, and as a result many of them will be skimming through their inbox looking for the best deals. Make this easier for them by ensuring you clearly state “BLACK FRIDAY” in your subject line. This may sound obvious, but it’s important for open rates.

In 2016, Omnisend analysed 900 of their biggest clients' emails to see which ones performed better on this peak sales day. Emails with Black Friday in the subject line resulted in a high 22.1% open rate, with a 4.5% click-through-rate.

The top 5 terms with the highest open rates and click-through rates were as follows:

  • “Free”: 23.7% open rate / 4.7% CTR
  • “Holiday”: 23.6% open rate / 3.2% CTR
  • “Black Friday”: 22.1% open rate / 4.5% CTR
  • “Sale”: 21.3% open rate / 3.2% CTR
  • “Cyber Monday”: 20.7% open rate / 3.8% CTR

4. Surprise your customers

Why not take a leaf out of Julep’s book and consider extending your sale out further as a real surprise and delight moment for your customers? Soon after Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, there'll still be plenty of consumers disappointed that they missed all the best deals.

Consider a "Cyber Week" or extended deadline for deals, like Julep's Cyber Monday email campaign below:

Subject line: "EXTENDED! 50%. Off. Everything.

Julep's cyber monday email marketing campaign


The compelling call to action, bold visuals and the Cyber Monday offer, extended by 48 hours, provides both FOMO and a feeling of added value and opportunity. This is also reflected on Julep's Cyber Monday landing page:

Julep's Cyber Monday landing page


A well timed “EXTENDED SALE” or “FURTHER DISCOUNTS ADDED” subject line can be just what’s needed to gain leads and conversions you may have otherwise have missed out on.

5. Get a little help from email innovation

If you want to get a little help with your subject lines, Black Friday is a great time to take a look at innovative emails tool, like Phrasee, to help you optimise your subject lines and boost your campaign performance. Phrasee uses a combination of algorithms and customer insights to work out the latest trends in email marketing, ensuring your subject lines really hit their mark!

Head over to our Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Email Marketing for more great insights!

Wrap Up

Black Friday is a pretty intense time in email marketing, with thousands of brands now jumping into the fray. But we hope these email tips and tricks help your brand to stand out from the inbox and get your Black Friday campaigns recognised this season.

Want more tips for optimising your subject lines? Dowload our free ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Writing Email Marketing Subject Lines, and go make waves with email!

Download Ultimate Subject Lines Guide

Enchant Agency is a leading UK digital marketing consultancy, based in London. Specialising in email marketing, CRM and paid social advertising, our marketing consultants help brands to reach their full potential with customer lifecycle strategies. If you need help with your email marketing strategy, get in touch with our email specialists and see how we can help supercharge your marketing performance!   

Topics: Black Friday, Black Friday campaigns, Black Friday marketing, Cyber Monday, Cyber Week, Email Marketing, Email marketing campaigns, Email subject lines, FOMO, landing pages, Marketing tools, Persuasion tactics, subject lines, email marketing tools, email marketing subject lines, email tools, Black Friday email marketing, Black Friday marketing campaigns, urgency

Philip Storey

Written by Philip Storey

Philip Storey is the Founder and CEO at Enchant Agency. Philip is an email marketing specialist in London, UK. He has enabled hundreds of brands to improve their email marketing. Beyond marketing, Philip is a business coach, personal and professional development coach and mentor to business leaders and senior marketers.

Check out the most popular blogs this month...

Secret email marketing strategies from top retail brands

Email marketing split testing planner tool