The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Email Marketing Campaigns

The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Email Marketing Campaigns

Are you looking for some creative inspiration and expert tips to help improve your email marketing campaigns this Black Friday? Our Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Email Marketing has everything you need to ensure you deliver killer Black Friday email campaigns! Get key tactics, industry insights and top brand examples from major retailers.


1. Black Friday subject lines

2. Black Friday email creative examples and design tips

3. CRO tactics to optimise Black Friday campaigns

4. Email tools to boost Black Friday conversions

5. Black Friday campaign checklist for email marketing

1. Black Friday subject lines

With so many brands sending out email campaigns during the Black Friday weekend, you need to make sure your subject lines really stand out. You can do this by announcing the Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) trigger, utilising a range of persuasion tactics and offering enticing incentives to open emails – consider using emojis too!

Here are some key email subject line tactics and recommendations to consider: 

Leverage urgency and FOMO

Black Friday campaigns are perfect for leveraging FOMO (fear of missing out) around limited-time offers, as keen shoppers look to take advantage of seasonal deals. Ramp up the urgency in your marketing copy and email subject lines to encourage them to take action. Here are some great examples of injecting urgency into Black Friday subject lines:

  • Black Friday Flash Sale: 20% Off This Weekend Only! – eFlorist
  • Today is THE day to shop: 30% off, in stores & online – J.Crew
  • Black Friday is here early!  – Made4Fighters
  • Get Them Before They’re Gone – Nike

Entice recipients with real value and incentives

Consumers expect big deals during the Black Friday weekend, so don't deceive them or exaggerate the level of your sales, if you're not really offering big value. If recipients open emails or reach landing pages and find they're not getting the value promised, you'll lose their trust. Get the balance right, by enticing customers with the promise of real value and delivering on your incentives. 

These subject line examples aim to incentivise and entice subscribers:

  • Get Black Friday Deals Before Anyone Else   – Beer Hawk
  • Get Up to 35% Off! The stuff Black Friday dreams are made of – Redbubble
  • Ray-Ban, Burberry, & up to 80% off dresses. Oh yes we did. – Rue La La
  • 40% off everything + a bonus offer – Loft

Don't be too pushy

Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns primarily focus on big sales and discounts, don't slip into bad habits. Avoid too many exclamations (!!!), hyperbole and CAPITALISATION, which can feel aggressive and also may lead you to the spam folder.

A study by Phrasee for Econsultancy on Black Friday subject lines analysed over 3000 subject lines, revealing that language aimed at creating curiosity performed much better than “buy now”-style salesy subject lines.

Consider adding emojis to subject lines

Brands are increasingly embracing emoji use in marketing campaigns. Inserting emojis into email subject lines can help grab subscriber attention and trigger emotive responses. Seasonal-themed emojis are an effective tactic for increasing campaign open rate.

Email Marketing Daily reports that emoji use in email and mobile marketing campaigns increased 775% year-over-year.

Beyond the obvious seasonal emojis, try to weave in other emojis, like those that evoke urgency. Here's an example:

"Tick, tock... ⏰ Last chance to get 20% off sitewide – ends midnight"

More seasonal subject line tips

Consider the following email subject line tactics for seasonal campaigns:

  • Use clever wordplay and think outside the (in)box
  • Insert action-orientated language
  • Add keywords and magic questions aimed at a persona's needs and pain points
  • Create mystery and intrigue in subject lines
  • Give people compelling reasons to open your emails
  • Personalise your subject lines
  • Consider the rise in mobile shopping – keep subject lines concise and punchy
  • Utilise pre-header text to offer more incentives to open emails
  • Split test your subject lines and optimise them accordingly

Get more seasonal subject lines tips with our dedicated Black Friday Subject Lines blog.

Also, check out these great resources for more Black Friday subject lines inspiration:

If you want an extensive guide to optimising email subject lines, download our Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Subject Lines.

2. Black Friday email creative examples and design tips

Click-worthy subject lines are just the first step towards a successful email campaign. Your email creative really needs to captivate subscribers. We've outlined some top email design tactics and awesome email creative examples to inspire Black Friday campaigns!

Here's a quick-glance list of 7 email creative tactics for Black Friday success:

  • Add seasonal design touches, icons and colours to email templates
  • Minimise marketing copy and create vibrant visual impact
  • Create compelling CTAs, free of distractions
  • Consider customised typography to grab attention – such as neon sign-style fonts for Cyber Monday
  • Maintain brand identity amidst seasonal designs
  • Create a sense of urgency with your creative
  • Enhance this urgency with dynamic content, such as countdown clocks

Check out these great creative brand examples that demonstrate some of the email design tips and tactics:

Use vibrant colours and typography for Cyber Monday

The neon-sign typography and gif elevates this vibrant Cyber Monday email from Ascot+Hart. The great design, combined with a compelling 25% off discount and bold promo code, creates a really effective email campaign:

Utilise FOMO and urgency-based persuasion tactics

Lou & Grey’s simple-but-effective email creative delivers lashings of urgency, with a few persuasive marketing tactics, such as ticking clock gif, direct call to action and enticing limited-time offer.

Create a striking design and bold CTAs

Here's another example of "less is more" in email creative. Eyebuydirect's Cyber Monday campaign is a no-nonsense BOGOF (buy one get one free) offer, emphatically displayed and enhanced by the use of a gif design.

The offer code is the call to action and is repeated three times and emblazoned across the email, making it impossible to miss – or resist! The use of neon-sign typography for "CYBER MONDAY" is again an eye-catching header.

Get more great email creative examples with our dedicated blog: 5 Brilliant Black Friday Email Creative Examples and Tactics.

Here are some other top resources for Black Friday email campaign design tips and examples:

8 Awesome Black Friday Cyber Monday Email Campaigns You Can Steal (Shopify)

Seven Examples of Black Friday Email Marketing from Retailers (Econsultancy)

If you want to discover more super-effective email marketing tactics, used by successful retail brands, check out our guide to the Secret Email Marketing Strategies from Top Retailers

3. CRO tactics to optimise Black Friday campaigns

Having composed effective subject lines and vibrant email creative designs, it's time to optimise your campaigns with the best tactics to achieve those crucial conversions.

Here are some expert CRO (conversion rate optimisation) tactics to boost conversions during Black Friday:

Utilise dynamic content to increase conversions

Dynamic content helps to enhance the sense of urgency and FOMO during campaigns, which are key persuasion tactics for encouraging subscribers to take action.

Black Friday already creates the notion of a limited-time window for people to get great deals from their favourite brands, so leveraging customer emotions is hugely effective.

The use of persuasive copywriting and compelling calls to action, combined with email marketing tools like Fresh Relevance and Live Clicker, which deliver dynamic email content and insert live content into your emails, really help to increase conversion rate.

This example from Adidas has several FOMO triggers in the copy and the countdown timer just adds that extra level of urgency to convince readers to click through to the website.

Don't leave it too late to build momentum for campaigns

Retailers are starting earlier with their Black Friday campaigns every year, to get the jump on their competition and to build some momentum ahead of the Black Friday weekend.

Customers too are taking advantage of deals early and do Christmas shopping way ahead of time. Encourage subscribers to grab seasonal sales in the lead up to Black Friday.

This snippet from Marketing Profs' infographic on holiday season trends shows how early consumers are looking to start and finish their Xmas shopping, utilising Black Friday deals:

Create an email series and don't forget Cyber Monday

Don't put all your eggs in our basket and send just a couple of Black Friday emails. Plan a series of emails in the build-up to Black Friday and through to Cyber Monday. Use this email series to nudge and nurture subscribers to head to your website for seasonal sales.

Check out this innovative Cyber Monday email series from Loft:

Incentivise customers and reward loyalty

Segmenting your email database and targeting loyal customers with specific deals is a great way to further incentivise subscribers and make them feel valued.

Take this great example from Forever 21, which offers loyal customers a VIP day of discounts:

Step up your remarketing with cart abandonment emails

Remarketing is key during peak sales periods. Consider retargeting customers who have purchased during Black Friday in previous years, as they're likely to convert again, and those who engage during this campaign – offering tailored product recommendations.

Retargeting customers is an effective tactic for boosting conversion revenue – especially when integrating paid social retargeting activity with email remarketing.

An absolute must during the Black Friday period is creating a cart abandonment email series with marketing automation. Cart abandonment emails, especially during peak seasons, will significantly increase conversion rate. 

67% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a customer completes a purchase (Source: MailChimp)

A report by MailChimp found that automated cart abandonment email series' are the most effective type of email marketing automation campaigns, creating a 37% sales boost!

Check out the chart below:

Check out our blog, 5 Essential Email Marketing Tactics for Black Friday Campaigns, to get more top tactics to optimise your seasonal marketing campaigns.

4. Email tools to boost Black Friday conversions

There are plenty of great email marketing tools available to enable brands to give their seasonal marketing campaigns an extra boost. Here are just a few of Enchant's favourite email tools which can help you increase your conversion rate during Black Friday:

  • Movable Ink
  • Fresh Relevance
  • CleverGIFS

5. Campaign checklist for Black Friday

We've created an email campaign checklist to summarise 10 key tactics and best practices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns:

  1. Send email campaigns out early and build momentum ahead of Black Friday 
  2. Have an agile mindset and be flexible to react to campaign performance
  3. Make sure you retarget customers throughout your campaigns
  4. Consider mobile shoppers and ensure emails are mobile optimised
  5. Step up your personalisation and persuasion tactics
  6. Increase the scope of your cart abandonment with an automated email series
  7. Consider email tools and solutions that can add dynamic/live content to campaigns
  8. Split test your email campaigns to get meaningful insights from engagements
  9. Stand out from the crowd and be innovative with your copy and creative
  10. Integrate key marketing channels with your email campaigns to increase reach

Remember, it's important to make sure the sales event is right for your business. Black Friday has been famously ducked big several big retailers, such as Aldi. Check out the supermarket brand's bold message to its audience:

Finally, check out this Black Friday Email Marketing Trend Guide that was created by our email heroes. Showcasing some of the best email campaigns, we've seen over the last few years.


We hope that you found The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Email Marketing useful and got all the inspiration you need to maximise your impact this Black Friday. This can be a huge marketing opportunity, so use all the key tactics you can to claim those extra sales!

Black Friday is just one of the numerous touchpoints within the customer lifecycle, but it's important to nurture subscribers at every key engagement opportunity with relevant content to build better customer relationships and retain customers for longer.

Not sure where to start with planning your Black Friday email strategy? Speak to our team today.

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Ready to Improve Your Email Marketing?

Our team of email marketing consultants are here to help you today

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