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Email Marketing

30 Slightly different Black Friday emails (that actually get attention)

The big secret to Black Friday emails: knowing your customers. Here’s how 30 brands did that and cracked some killer, creative emails.

30 Slightly different Black Friday emails (that actually get attention)

Here’s a fact: 93.2 million people shopped online during Black Friday in 2019. That’s a huge market waiting for you to crack.

With a number as big as that, there is no doubt that Black Friday is one hell of a day. In fact, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, and it's also the biggest opportunity for email marketing.

Sending an awesome Black Friday email this year can be as simple as grabbing something that you like or an image that inspires your customers to prepare for the holidays, and using that well.

To help you get started on the right note, we’ve compiled 30 killer Black Friday email examples that are creative, fabulous, and most importantly inspiring. 

1. Lou & Grey - Keep Things Ticking

The moment you see this holiday marketing email from Lou & Grey, you’re hooked into the ticking clock.

People, by nature, like being a part of things and do not want to miss out—a ticking clock plays on that by creating a sense of urgency.

Black Friday email example from Lou & Grey

2. EyeBuyDirect - Direct Attention

What this motion graphic brings, and a static one simply cannot, is that it directs attention. 

Having the lights move across ‘Cyber Monday’ pulls your attention into the EyeBuyDirect email and encourages you to read more.

Black Friday email example from EyeBuyDirect
Don't forget to read Cyber Monday eCommerce: 12 *Last-Minute* Hacks to Boost Conversions

3. Bonobos - Create Anticipation

Here’s a fact: You need to create anticipation to grab the reader’s attention.

This Black Friday email by Bonobos does that very well by ripping the paper to reveal the offer (and a good offer at that). That not only hooks in the reader but also encourages them to learn more.

Worked on me, how about you?

Black Friday email example from Bonobos
Need inspiration? Check out 25 last-minute Black Friday deal ideas (+ actual examples)

4. Casper - What’s an Email Without a Good Subject Line?

Two words are all it took for this Black Friday email by Casper to hook you in. Choose snooze.

Two carefully planned words to start their email, followed by a steal deal and a grabbing GIF.

And the result? We can safely say that people did not choose to snooze.

Black Friday email example from Casper

5. Cards Against Humanity - A Little Humour Goes A Long Way

Cards Against Humanity has built its entire business on its brand of satirical humor. And their Black Friday emailer was no different.

This email leaves the readers in splits as they try to wrap their heads around the unique marketing strategy.

Whether they choose to give the $5 or not, one thing is certain: the brand just won a place in their hearts.

Black Friday email example from Cards Against Humanity

6. Penguin Random House - Offer Creative Recommendations

People, for better or for worse, are indecisive. So, when you present them with fewer options, they’re instantly more likely to make a purchase.

For real. Let’s learn from The Jam Experiment. The experiment presented buyers with 6 options & 24 options. With 6 options, the conversion rate was 30%. With 24 options, the conversion rate was 3%.

That is exactly what Penguin Random House did. They went through their entire catalog and broke it down into easily digestible options, so picky choosers can have it their way—and have some fun too!

Black Friday email example from Penguin Random House

7. REI - Out of The Sale

When you think of Black Friday, you think of deals and discounts. That’s a given. So when you see this holiday marketing email from REI, you may be taken aback. And yet in awe.

What REI did was to remove the whole concept of discounts from their Black Friday celebrations and instead use it for some quality time with the family.

After all, isn’t that what the holidays are for?

Black Friday email example from REI

8. Quip - Paint A Picture

Sometimes, when customers are being bombarded with “steal deals”, they can’t instantly place where or why they’d use it.

That’s what this holiday marketing email by Quip breaks. They not only tell you the amount of discount you’ll be getting but also paint a picture of what all you could use it for.

Black Friday email example from Quip

9. Quirky - Keep Things Quirky

Akin to their name, Quirky definitely decided to dress up their Black Friday email in an unusual and appealing way.

Having products (chickens and unicorns, too) coming out of a box immediately grabs the reader’s attention and even plays on humor.

The copy, which gives a discount on their “most popular inventions”, only enhances the experience.

Black Friday email example from Quirky

10. Chubbies - Speak Your Truth

This email is very on-brand for Chubbies who have built their business selling “radical shorts for your weekend”.

Why should Thanksgiving be any different? When everyone is anyway going to be binging on some delicious turkey, setting up the experience and plugging in your product is certainly a smart thing to do.

Black Friday email example from Chubbies
Do something different this Thanksgiving. Check out eCommerce Marketing Strategies (and Brilliant Examples) for Thanksgiving

11. Everlane - Choose CSR

While people usually see Black Friday as a means to deals and crazy cash inflows, Everlane is choosing to use it for a cause. 

Talking about this cause, asking their users to contribute, and detailing exactly what the fund will be used for helps them place their brand in a more appealing light.

Whether that drives sales or not, this cause-driven marketing activity helps them establish their brand as one that cares—something that is a big deal in the current socio-political climate.

holiday marketing email example from Everlane

12. Everlane - The Case for Transparency

The digital world in 2021 is driven by millennials, who care about things like transparency, sustainability, and more.

This holiday marketing email tugs on that by establishing Everlane’s brand practice of keeping things transparent every single day.

Definitely scores some major points.

holiday marketing email example from Everlane

13. Tinker - Creating Visual Illusions

Now, we all know that Black Friday brings in excitement. Steal deals, massive offers, and product launches are all the rage.

So, how do you make yours different? Take a note from Tinker who carefully played on the ‘Black’ of Black Friday to subtly announce they’re launching a new watch!

That, coupled with the persuasive copy, encourages the readers to Let the Countdown Begin.

holiday marketing email example from Tinker
Want to plan something exciting? Check out Limited Time Offer: 10 compelling examples + how to copy them

14. Carhartt - Keep Things Moving

A great way to bring a holiday marketing email alive is by adding an animation to it. It’s a rare occurrence that people don’t expect, but are almost always pleasantly surprised by.

This animation by Carhartt is simple, clean, and minimal. And yet draws attention to what they have to offer.

holiday marketing email example from Carhartt

15. Casper - Relatable & Hilarious

Here’s another one of our favorites from Casper that tugs on a very common thing in all our lives: setting a million alarms to wake up early.

By playing on the relatability, this email drives a hilarious conversation and brings attention to what they deem is a good time for shopping.

Also, who ever minds some playful copy?

holiday marketing email example from Casper

16. Eve - Be The Early Bird

This Black Friday email by Eve uses very creative, personal copy to draw the readers into a conversation with the brand.

Once they’ve established the initial connect, they play on what’s important: the deal—and they make it truly sweet, by starting it early.

Being among the first to start the Black Friday discounts cuts through the noise, breaks through other brands, and gives you more time to keep selling!

holiday marketing email example from Eve

17. Apple - Less Is More

Playing on the same sentiment as earlier, Apple uses this email to announce their multi-day Black Friday sale!

However, the design approach here is exactly the opposite. Instead of building anticipation, they dive right in. 

Very on-brand for their communication and the target audience they cater to.

holiday marketing email example from Apple

18. Nordstrom - Ring in The Festivities

What is Thanksgiving all about? Celebrating the festivities with your family and friends over a delicious Turkey (and sides!).

That’s what Nordstrom choose to build upon with this holiday marketing email featuring quirky turkeys moving across the screen, fun copy, and an attention-grabbing CTA at the bottom.

holiday marketing email example from Nordstrom

19. Moment - Capturing The Moment

As a company that’s into selling digital devices and accessories, Moment used this email to call upon its audience to use these products and capture their adventures.

What’s also nice is they used their email signature to mention each of their team members. 

A very heartfelt holiday marketing email overall. 

holiday marketing email example from Moment

20. IKEA - Go Ahead, Be Sassy

IKEA, in itself, is an established brand—one that people across the world love.

So, it’s only fair that they play upon that with cheeky yet subtle copy that encourages the reader to make Black Friday better with IKEA.

When you follow that up with a comforting lifestyle shot, the effect is unparalleled.

holiday marketing email example from IKEA

21. Happy Socks - Add A Pop of Colour

Here’s the thing about creative designs: they grab attention. Whether it’s using unconventional visuals or designs that are really colorful, it works. Clearly, this one by Happy Socks does!

So, go ahead and jazz up your holiday marketing email—use colors that evoke joy, designs that challenge your audience, and visuals that encourage people to shop now. 

Black Friday email marketing by Happy Socks
BTW: You can use this idea for your Product Page too. Want to know more? Check out 20 best product page design examples in 2021 (+ expert advice)

22. Kustom Products - Give Away the Giveaways

Here’s the thing about giveaways: they work. They get people excited, and they bring in a lot more eyeballs to your business.

The simple act of going through the steps, picturing the product in your hands, and finally getting the prize is enough to gain a few loyal customers.

And the people who don’t win? Give them a great deal. A percentage will still go ahead and make the purchase.

This giveaway by Kustom Products is a great example.

Black Friday email marketing by Kustom Products

23. J.Crew - Unconventional Is In

Remember how we spoke about unconventional designs and copy? Here’s proof.

When you see a mouse (an adorable one at that) in an email, you’re instantly intrigued. So, following that up with great offers only enhances the experience. Adding a code for Cyber Monday further keeps the spark alive.

J.Crew absolutely knocked it out of the park with this Black Friday email example.

Black Friday email marketing by J.Crew

24. Storq - Bring On The Puns

It’s 2021. The digital world is run by Gen Z and millennials. The best way to speak with them? Through puns.

Even if it’s something simple like Tankgiving by Storq, it’s enough to bring at least a few smiles.

Black Friday email marketing by Storq

25. RayBan - Conquer Through Exclusivity

Now, RayBan in itself is a big brand—one that’s considered exclusive and elite. With this Black Friday email, they took it one step further.

They gave the members of their exclusive club, The Ones, a chance to access the Black Friday deals 48 hours before anyone else. And for those who aren’t members? 20% off to sign up.

That means that they began selling even before they got to the actual Black Friday products.

Black Friday email marketing by RayBan

26. Dollar Shave Club - Keep Things On Brand 

Dollar Shave Club has established itself as a brand that is funny and light-hearted.

This holiday marketing email example, where they encourage people to burn one calorie and save 30%, is very on-brand with that. 

Plus, who doesn’t like to burn calories?

Black Friday email marketing by Dollar Shave Club

27. The Hill-Side - Your Personal Brand of Humour

We all know that each brand has a personality—one that determines its content, copy, and communication. And of course its humor. 

For The Hill-Side, it’s hacker humor. With pixelated graphics and hacker-style text, they’re bringing in their offers with a unique perspective.

And, it also creates an edge with those who genuinely enjoy all things tech.

Black Friday email marketing by The Hill-Side
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28. Dr. Martens - Keeping the Principles

This Cyber Monday email example plays on each of the holiday marketing principles: great deals, catchy visuals, a countdown timer, launch previews, and icons to highlight their range.

All that considering the brand is Dr. Martens, one of the most popular edgy, alternative footwear brands.

That’s how important principles can be.

Black Friday email marketing by Dr. Martens

29. GFDA - Content Refreshing Done Smartly

After putting all your energy into Black Friday marketing, Cyber Monday can be a stretch.

We’re pretty sure that’s how the team at GFDA felt when they decided to repurpose their Black Friday creative and turn it into a very smartly put Cyber Monday sale announcement.

A move that definitely paid off, wouldn’t you agree?

Cyber Monday email example by GFDA

30. Michael Kors - Community Thinking

Michael Kors is a famed lifestyle brand—one that has created an entire community around its lifestyle.

So, it’s only fair that they show off some of it during their holiday marketing emailer. Whether it’s showcasing influencer shots with their handbags, clothing, or shoes, each element dives into the lifestyle they create and caters to their community.

How can you cater to your community?

Black Friday email marketing by Michael Kors

And there you have it: 30 Slightly different Black Friday emails (that actually get attention).

Draw inspiration from them, bring your personality into your brand’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday emails, and bookmark this page so you can keep them handy.

Remember: the best way to nail the Black Friday sale is by understanding your audience—what moves them, what inspires them, what encourages them to shop now. That’s the big secret.

Black Friday Email Strategy 101

1. How do you write an email for Black Friday? 

Here is a checklist for writing a Black Friday email that gets the conversions — 

a) Write a subject line that makes heads turn 

A subject line that conveys urgency, surprise, or curiosity is likely to make users click on your Black Friday email. 

For instance, here is a subject line from Columbia Sportswear for a Black Friday sale. 

Price drop on your favorites 

This uses price reductions and the first person to grab the user’s attention. 

Another example focusing on the theme and the occasion. This doesn’t sound salesy so customers are highly likely to click. 

The North Face Gets Vibey + Early Black Friday Deals Not to Miss 

Remember to include words such as “Last day”, “Last call”, “Exclusive”, “free shipping”, and “easy returns”, etc that grab the user’s attention among a ton of emails in their promotions tab. 

b) Make the copy appealing (Use the PAS framework) 

Using a copy that follows the Problem-Agitation-Solution framework is a smart approach to ensure that the clickthrough rate for your Black Friday Email Campaigns is high. 

Here is an example of Withings using the PAS framework in its Black Friday Email strategy. 

Black Friday Email example with catchy copy

Let us break it down for you. 

Tomorrow is too late refers to the problem. It conveys that last-minute shoppers need to hurry because the offer ends soon. 

Thought you’d want to know that our best deals of the year end in a few hours. Is the agitation. It provokes the user to take action. 

Now is your last chance to enjoy them! is the solution. The email is using reciprocity where it's making it easy for the users to grab the offer with just a click.

c) Use nudges + visual cues 

While nudges like free shipping, price guarantee, and easy returns are effective persuasive tactics, images bring products to life. Adding visuals with bright colors increases customers' desire to read by 80%

Here is a Black Friday email marketing example from Article. 

Black Friday Email with visual cues and nudges

It offers 45% off plus free shipping on $499 and above. Percentage discounts work well for prices under $100 while free shipping on minimum order fulfillment encourages customers to spend more to qualify for free shipping. 

A free shipping baseline should be 30% more than the AOV. This covers the shipping costs along with driving the customers to qualify for free shipping. 

2. How do you announce Black Friday sales? 

Announcing Black Friday sales needs to be a step-by-step process. Here are a few things that you can do — 

a) Offer a glance into Black Friday sales

Consider you’re a few days away from Black Friday. The ideal way to get started is to offer a glance into the Black Friday sales to build excitement. 

Black Friday cart recovery example

Here is an email from Columbia sportswear mentioning the start of its Black Friday sales in a cart recovery email. 

It’s subtle and not too flashy.

b) Give them something to look forward to (New Product Launch)

Mystery and new things get humans excited. This Black Friday, why not release a new product to help build excitement and buzz? 

Tinker Watches rolls out a new product for its Black Friday email marketing campaign in 2019. 

Black Friday Limited Edition Product Launch example

The message is simple with one CTA — users are required to visit the website and get the opportunity to see the product. 

A limited-edition product is the major draw of the event. This is a major cue incentive for customers. 

c) Make them a part of an elite group (Offer VIP discounts) 

When they get special benefits, they are most likely to make use of it. Offering VIP benefits is a persuasive tactic to get customers to buy.

Withings offers a VIP discount on its limited edition products.  It mentions the products that are up for sale reinforcing the offer. 

Black Friday Sale VIP Benefits email example

3. When should you email Black Friday? 

Your Black Friday email marketing strategy should be divided into phases — 

a) The lead up  

Customers start shopping for Black Friday as early as October. They are in the primary stage of their search and are open to recommendations and suggestions. 

This is a good time to open the conversation with early access deals or early bird offers. 

b) The craze 

During the two weeks leading up to Black Friday, customers look for specific products and brands. 

This is the right time to use it to send behavioral and personalized emails. Make sure to offer in-time delivery before Black Friday. 

c) Final call 

With the holiday gifting season around the corner, customers start looking for last-minute deals and Cyber Monday offers. In the last decade, Cyber Monday has become a Cyber Week. 

At this stage, customers are eagerly looking for last-minute deals. Ready to ship and in stock are the two nudges that work well. 

Hush Puppies sends a Black Friday gifting email that offer 40% and 20% off in select styles and sale items. The promo code BLACKFRIDAY will compel customers to purchase as promo codes equal happiness for customers. 

Black Friday Gift Guide Email example

4. When should I start promoting for Black Friday? 

Your Black Friday email marketing campaign should start at least in late October or in early November. 

Before that, you need to group your highest spenders, cart abandoners, discount only shoppers to start the campaign. 

From emails, social media, push notifications, and paid ad campaigns, this data can be used to personalize your Black Friday campaign. 

The goal must make enough conversions from the highest AOV customers for your Black Friday campaigns so you have a decent outing. 

5. What makes a good Black Friday campaign? 

The measure of a successful campaign includes if you achieve your KPIs. Here are the key metrics you need to analyze — 

a) Online conversion rate 

Your online conversion rate is a good indicator of the sales you were able to make during the campaign. If you measure the conversions your campaign has been able to make on average. 

Here are three questions you should ask yourself: 

  • Were you able to meet your target? 
  • Were you able to sell all the inventory? 
  • What’s the ROI you spent on these campaigns? 

b) Top traffic sources 

Your top traffic sources will help you understand if they were able to generate relevant traffic to your store. If the number is on the higher side, you have scored a win. 

Here’re a few questions you need to ask — 

  • What’s the CAC? Has it increased or decreased? 
  • What’s the ROAS for paid campaigns

c) Average Order Value 

Your average order value should be able to cover shipping costs. Either way, you need to ask which geographical region contributed the most to your AOV. It’s worth noting that even regions with AOV can help you assess the things you are getting wrong and what you can do to improve the same. 

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