Black Friday Email Marketing Ideas

Black Friday Email Marketing Ideas

Black Friday falls on November 29th this year, and you don’t want to sleep on this tremendous shopping holiday. If you’re looking for low hanging fruit to kick start your sales you’ll want to take advantage of this day.

Do you know why they call it Black Friday? A lot of people don’t know this.

The holiday started in Philadelphia, where there was a ton of traffic on the day after Thanksgiving. It had nothing to do with shopping. Retailers started using the term Black Friday because it helped get them out of the red (and into the black).

It’s all about what you know, right? Anyway, enough with the boring history lesson. Let’s talk about some ideas and examples you can use in your business to get some more sales this year.

Why Black Friday Email Marketing Matters

Why Black Friday matters

First things first, let’s talk about why Black Friday is an important day to focus on if you’re in online sales. Whether you sell physical products, digital products, courses, programs, imported cheese, or whatever.

You need to focus a considerable portion of your energy on Black Friday, here’s why.

Online sales are up 23.6% since 2017. The average order value increased by more than 8% as well. Cyber Monday is also one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, with $7.9 billion dollars in revenue.

Do you believe us yet?

It’s only getting bigger and bigger folks. 2019 is projected to be the biggest sales year for Black Friday so you’ll want to make the most of these email marketing ideas. Or else you might watch your competitors bask in the glory that is “the holidays”.

The Earlier, The Better

Black Friday Early Access

If you’re anything like me, you love the holidays but hate when people start putting their Christmas lights up in October. That said, it’s never too early to start promoting your deals. You want to be the first in your subscriber’s minds and the last that they see before they hit the buy button.

That means you should be sending out awesome emails to your list at the beginning of October. You could even go so far as to push “Early Black Friday Deals.” How many times have you seen that from a retailer?

We see it all the time. Retailers will push deals for people who want to get deals before the deals even start. Did I mention deals?

Start now!

Don’t Ignore Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday sale

$7.9 billion, yes with a B was spent on Cyber Monday last year. Out of those billions came $2.2 billion from smartphones. You should be creating separate emails to reach your Cyber Monday shoppers. You never want to ignore these people because they might have a bad taste in their mouth over Black Friday.

When you think of Black Friday, you think of some lady drop-kicking an eight-year-old to get the latest and greatest TV.

Black Friday Shopping

Cyber Monday has a lot more chill associated with it, so it helps to create separate campaigns for each. Some people will have zero interest in your Black Friday deals simply because you called it that.

Those same people will eat up the same deals if you approach them differently and promote them as “Cyber Monday” deals. We would suggest using different graphics, colors, and copy to push your Cyber Monday deals. Start promoting them as early as possible.

Bring Out The Best Templates

Email templates done right

This time of year is your best opportunity to boost your sales and catch a little windfall before the holidays kick in. If you’re not marketing to your audience using the best email templates and CTAs, it won’t matter how great your offer is. Let’s be real for a second, we’ve seen so many bad email templates, and we mean most of them.

Last Black Friday, we saw many people use a circus of colors, fonts, and images without having any rhyme or reason behind them.

Here’s the deal with your email template:

  1. Keep it simple! Make sure your email is responsive as heck because a huge portion of your sales will come on mobile. If you’re clunking it up, plan to suffer.
  2. Don’t overdo it with images. Remember that having too many images makes your emails appear spammy and cluttered. If someone can’t understand what to do when they open your email, they’ll do exactly what you don’t want. Close it.
  3. Use basic fonts. Don’t go crazy with all this cute writing in a million different colors. It’s not necessary. Not only does it waste your time, but it does nothing for your conversion rate.
  4. Make the CTA stand out. If you’re using a button for your call to action, make sure the colors are different for that button and it doesn’t blend in.
  5. Don’t blast the deals. If all you talk about is 50% off this and 80% off that. People will see you as spammy, and they’ll think the deals are too good to be true. You need to be real and make sure you don’t seem like you’re trying to bait them onto your website.

Make It Real

Similar to our last point, you need to stay real with your Black Friday email marketing. Some people have a bad habit of making their deals seem too good to be true. If people don’t believe you, they won’t buy from you.

Don’t just highlight all the deals you’re offering. You want to make sure to show your subscribers some real products. Keep in mind that a lot of these subscribers might not even remember you or when they subscribed. And now you’re hitting their inbox with all these “spammy looking” deals.

Do your best to appear like a real person at all times.

Go Nuts With The Deals


Did we ever say we’re the greatest at creating segways into different paragraphs? Hear us out here. While we don’t mean spam a million deals to every subscriber on your list, there is a right way to do this.

For example, you could start promoting your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in October. You could tell your list that you have a deal an hour sale on Black Friday. This is a great way to drum up some attention. You’ll separate yourself from people who are simply offering a percentage off their entire store or product.

Offering a deal an hour pushes your list to keep coming back to your store to see what you have going on. In addition to this deal, you’ll want to offer a percentage off the entire store, so it’s like a double whammy. Not only do you get people coming back, you get that high volume you need to cover the price reduction.

Offer More (and then more)

Another great example of doing something different with your Black Friday emails is offering a free gift with a purchase. We see this happen a lot during the holidays as well.

For example, you could send out an email to your list suggesting they can swing by the store to claim their free gift. You’ll want to use a product or offering that has free shipping and doesn’t cost you much.

If you’re selling digital products, you could offer an ebook or something like that. If you sell physical products, you could use something with free shipping and give it away for free with a promo code.

A great example that Taco Bell uses is during the Major League Baseball World Series. Have you ever heard of this one? It’s awesome.

If a player steals a base, Taco Bell offers a free taco to anyone who comes into the restaurant. Who in their right mind will walk into a Taco Bell and only eat one taco? Show me this person because they must have more discipline than Mark Wahlberg.

 Mark Wahlberg discipline

It’s a huge marketing strategy that anyone could see through, but it draws people in. Everyone wants to get their free taco, and they end up buying a few chalupas, some nachos, and a few drinks as well.

Boom, marketing.

If you sell beauty products, you could offer a complimentary item that goes really well with something else in your store. During the checkout process, you could upsell them on a paid product. Your customers will already feel like they’re getting something for free. PLUS, it’s Black Friday, so you’re offering a huge percentage off that paid product anyway.

Trust me, it works.

Promote Some New Stuff

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great days to start adding in some new products and testing things out. You could send an email out to your list telling them to check out your “Black Friday Exclusive List.” You could even make these special products only available to email subscribers to make it seem even more exclusive.

If you’re re-targeting previous customers (hint: good idea) this is also a great chance to bring them back by giving them new offers.

For digital products, you could tell them that you added some new stuff to a previous course, or you’ve beefed something up.

Regardless of what type of business you’re in, this is an excellent chance for you to tell people to come check you out again.

Make Your Emails Stand Out

You could have the greatest deals, have the best offers in the world, and have amazing content and graphics inside the email. All of that doesn’t matter if your target never opens the email.

Think about your subscriber’s inbox. Especially around Black Friday, it will be chock fulla retailers and marketers trying to do the same thing as you.

Inbox full

Get the sale.

You need to stand out more than the new kid in class. That’s not easy to do.

Here are a few tips to make sure your email gets opened:

  1. Have segmented lists. You’ll want to make sure that your email reaches the right person. You’re 14% more likely to get the email opened if the target understands why they’re receiving it. You should not be sending the same emails to everyone.
  2. Write your own copy. It’s so easy to tell when someone just writes out one email and hits send to thousands of people. You need to have a personalized email that is truly intended for its audience.
  3. Make it personal. This point goes with the last one, but it’s worth mentioning. You should address people by their names and use their name in your headline. A great headline would be, “Hey Mike, Happy Holidays. Quick question?”

Remember that in most email services like Gmail and Yahoo, the first sentence of your email will display before the target even opens it. You need to make sure you get to the point quickly and don’t miss this opportunity. The key to success with Black Friday email marketing is grabbing attention and holding it long enough to secure the bag.

Test Everything (then test again)

You need to make sure you’re testing your headlines, graphics, gifs, deals, and everything else. You’ll never know what works best unless you test everything. This reason is why it’s important to start early, so you have time to test before people start shopping.

You’ll want to make sure to A/B test every single aspect and have a tool to use to make this process simple. Most email marketing tools will come with A/B testing capabilities; you’ll need it.

Final Thoughts

You don’t want to sleep on Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing. This time of year is a great opportunity for you to boost your sales before the holiday shopping season kicks into first gear.

Here are some final points to remember before we go our separate ways:

  1. Start marketing early (October if possible)
  2. Create independent Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions
  3. Use your best content and templates
  4. Make your emails real
  5. Offer plenty of deals
  6. Consider offering free gifts
  7. Push new products or deals
  8. You need to stand out so test everything

Good luck!