How to Create the Best Black Friday Email Campaigns in 2023: Guide + Examples

Black Friday email campaigns

Mere weeks stand between us and Black Friday, and it’s time to plan, write, and schedule your Black Friday email campaigns for this season. The tradition of the biggest shopping event on- and offline stretches back to the 1950s, and it officially marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Followed by Cyber Monday, the day is part of Cyber Week, a time when all consumers across the US (and the rest of the world, too) shop till they drop.

Knowing that Black Friday online sales increased 3.5%, reaching $65.3 billion globally in 2022 and they are likely to continue growing, makes the post-Thanksgiving day the most attractive date for product and service sellers everywhere. What you can expect from Black Friday as an email marketer is a surge in buyers but also fierce competition since all the businesses will be fighting for their piece of the cake.

Planning out your Black Friday email campaigns takes time, and it’s best if you start early. If you want to make sure your campaigns are well-crafted and on-brand, you need to understand what they entail, what the creative process looks like, and what your Black Friday sequence needs to contain. 

What Makes a Good Black Friday Email Campaign?

Black Friday is more than a simple sale. People see it as a special opportunity to purchase something they want but can’t normally afford. They may have saved for this opportunity, and they likely have a budget. 

Knowing what your audience likes, how they react to your content, and what products they buy most often, strive to create the best offer possible, including your exclusive, most expensive products.

So, a good Black Friday email campaign boils down to the attractiveness of your offer and proper email list segmentation. To create it, you’ll need to divide your email list into segments according to age, interest, and engagement, target your audience, and create an irresistible atmosphere with only one possible outcome in mind — the purchase. 

Washington Post - Best offer on Black Friday email campaign
Washington Post – Their best offer on Black Friday

How to Create the Best Black Friday Email Campaign?

Did you know that over 263 million Americans shop online — about 80% of the population — and predictions say this number will increase to 291.2 million by 2025? Also, Black Friday in-store sales in the US increased 12% every year, and related e-commerce sales increased 14%.

Combine that with the fact that email marketing has the ROI of 4400%, and the importance of your Black Friday email strategy becomes clear.  

To create the best campaign for your business,  we said you must know what your customers like. Observing audience behavior and learning from it is how you will identify perfect email list segments and target them correctly. Remember — many sellers and likely all your competitors will be sending several emails during Cyber Week(end), and you need to find the smartest way to reach your prospects and attract their attention. 

As you plan your email strategy, data is your best friend. Monitor all the relevant email metrics to define your offers and campaign elements. 

Here’s what data you should look at:

  • Look at your previous Black Friday campaign and find what worked and what failed. Repeat the successful actions.
  • Check out your competition and make a better offer.
  • Determine who you’re targeting — your online customers or your subscribers who like to shop in-store. This is one of the most important segmentation factors, and you cannot mix these two campaigns together.
  • Make a list of the most popular and desired products you offer and see what deals you can make. 
  • Observe your audience’s reactions to see which offer goes to whom. 

Once you have your data and you know what offers you want to make, start writing your copy. 

Eton announcing Black Friday Weekend in a teaser email
Eton announcing Black Friday Weekend in a teaser email

Black Friday copy

When you start writing your Black Friday emails, make sure you are clear, and you’re informing your customers well in advance what’s in store. This will help them decide to stick around for D-Day. 

Your copy shouldn’t be too long — you should stick to the point and give information about products, deals you’re offering, and the duration of the sale. 

Note that online sales don’t always last for one day only, but more often than not, stretch out to Cyber Monday, covering the entire weekend.

But before you reveal your offer, entice your customers with a little tease. 

Black Friday teaser email

Black Friday teaser email is the first message that serves to attract customers to your store and give them notice that a shopping event is coming. Your copy needs to contain the dates of the event and the announcement, and you can play with the design using different concealing elements. 

Big brands can afford to keep their upcoming offer a secret, but if you’re a new brand, it’s best you aren’t too obscure about the offer. To create the right kind of anticipation, your prospects need to be familiar with your brand and know exactly what to expect. If you’re new on the market, it may be better to give more information in the teaser.

Tinker announces Black Friday in a mysterious teaser email
Tinker announces Black Friday in a mysterious teaser email

Always stay on brand

Imagine the number of emails people receive on Black Friday. It’s huge! In this swarm of offers, what they will look for is the seller — the brand behind the email. 

Even the most fantastic offer or the most beautiful email won’t matter in the long run if you fail to make your brand shine! So, always make sure your logo, brand name, website, and colors are on brand, as this will get you visibility and prominence in the future. 

Write irresistible CTAs

Your Black Friday messages need to be packed with CTAs directing people where to click and how to buy. Don’t be afraid to use more than one, but if you’re repeating the same sentence over and over, you’ll get boring fast. 

Think about how you can allure your audience to click on a link to your website and purchase the offered product without using cliché. For example, if you’re selling mascara, offer them an easy path to the most gorgeous eyelashes and season it with humor, and if you’re promoting tools, use manly wording to create a sense of necessity while mentioning their gentle side. Your buyers need to feel good both about the offer and the product they’re about to buy. 

Outline Your Black Friday Email Sequence

Your Black Friday email sequence shouldn’t be too long. Three emails are sometimes enough, although senders often opt for more. 

In the following order, the essential messages are:

  1. Black Friday email teaser
  2. The Offer
  3. Final reminder

A single email won’t do because people need to know an offer is coming. But the length of your sequence will depend on different factors, such as the nature of your business, the size of your brand, and the number of offers you’ll have. 

If you send a mysterious teaser, you may need to reveal the offer just before the day of sales so customers will get more excited about it. In case you’re an online seller, you may want to stretch your shopping event over the whole weekend, including Cyber Monday, so you’ll need more than one reminder. And if you’re planning a flash sale within a sale, that’s another email. 

However you plan out your email sequence, you should stick to the essentials and build on them. 

Personalize your emails

Good targeting works best when paired with proper personalization. After you segment your email list, you’ll need to implement dynamic fields to add recipients’ names and other personal information you have to make the best offer. You can offer them their favorite product at a special discount, for example, or something they’ve been clicking on but haven’t bought yet. They will feel cared for and will be more likely to buy. 

Carvana Black Friday email offer
Carvana Black Friday email – Check out the personalization!

Don’t send anything without A/B testing it first!

Complex as it is, a Black Friday email campaign will require a lot of testing. You’ll want to see if your campaigns work, targeting different segments, what the personalization looks lik, and if there is any loose code. Test everything on time and before launch so you don’t have to worry about embarrassment at best and looking unprofessional or losing customers at worst.

At Campaign Refinery, we believe testing is vital for the success of your targeted sequences, but we also like to keep it as simple as possible. That’s why we believe that personalization is crucial when you create any type of email campaign. Using our software, you can create both minimalistic and ostentatious messages, personalize each of them with the recipient’s name and targeted offer while enjoying the highest deliverability rates on the market. Scroll down to learn more about our premium service.

How many emails to send during Black Friday?

While you’ll need to send three at least, you may want to spread out your campaign over several weeks leading up to Black Friday. The number of emails can fluctuate even between campaigns targeting different audience segments. There’s no real answer to this question — while some sellers send the basic 3, others decide to send 2 emails per week. 

What’s more important is that you have your basics covered and not to spam your recipients. Getting blacklisted during Black Friday would be pretty ironic, don’t you think? 

When should I send my Black Friday sale emails?

Your Black Friday email teaser needs to go out one week prior to the sale at the latest. Ideally, you’ll send a teaser much earlier, as soon as November starts, to announce the event and prepare your customers. 

Every week, you should give your customers a sneak peek at what’s to come, revealing a detail or two about your offer, but not the whole thing. That’s how you’ll build an atmosphere of excitement and curiosity.

Early on the morning of Black Friday, send your offer with all the relevant information, such as description, price, discount size, and duration. 

Before your offer expires, in the afternoon of the final sales day, send out a last-chance reminder to create FOMO around the offer.

Summary — Black Friday Email Campaign Tips

Brands resort to different tactics as they prepare their Black Friday emails. Some use more mystery, some less; ones opt to do humorous, others visually appealing campaigns, all seasoned with various degrees of humor. 

Here are 7 elements that can help your campaign turn heads:

  1. Moving visuals: Include animation or gifs to create interesting effects, to slowly reveal your offer as people open your email, or to make them laugh. Interactive elements will keep customers engaged and provide a rewarding, fun experience. 
  2. The right color palette: Include your brand colors, but play with them and see if your designer can add a bit of glitz. There’s a reason people invented neon commercial signs.
  3. Humor: Be funny! Using clever puns and memes and even creating new memes related to your brand can help people remember your offer and come back to purchase on the day of the sale. 
  4. Suspense, scarcity, and urgency: Craft your sequence and tune in the copy to create the perfect suspense and have your buyers wait for your offer in anticipation. Announce a limited stock to create the feeling of scarcity and top it off with time sensitivity. Nobody wants to miss once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
  5. Curiosity: Too much mystery can hurt you, especially if you’re a new brand. However, revealing too much might make your prospects lose interest too early. Keep your audience curious by slowly unveiling crucial parts of your offer, with the full width of the shopping event revealed on Black Friday morning. Make sure you mention this in your copy. 
  6. Exclusivity: Target the right customers for the most exclusive deals of the season. Make it a one-time offer, be generous with the discount or product bundling, and watch your faithful buyers return. You will make them feel both special and satisfied, making them remember you after Black Friday is over.
  7. Social media: Announce your campaigns on social media and invite your customers to subscribe. And don’t forget #hashtags!

To create the best Black Friday email campaign for your business, you need a clear plan and smart execution. Our tips will help you get an idea of how to create your concept, but you should think about the right design solutions as well. 

BAUBLEBAR creates a sense of urgency in their Black Friday email
BAUBLEBAR creates a sense of urgency in their Black Friday email

Get the Ideal Black Friday Email Design for You

OK, we’re email marketers, not designers. To find the perfect design solution for your Black Friday emails, it’s best to look to the competition. Before we give you any examples, let us draw your attention to the design basics. 

To remain on brand, keep your visual elegance, and not overcrowd your emails visually, you should:

  1. Keep it simple: A simple column structure makes your emails easier to read and see on mobile and desktop. Also, simple designs open more quickly — nobody likes to wait for images to load!
  2. More images, less text: About 60% over 40% in favor of images will do the job. Both should be clear and to the point. This includes interactive elements such as gifs or animation.
  3. Check your fonts! If you have fonts your brand always uses – use those. Test your emails to double-check the font size and visual consistency of the copy.
  4. Strategize with CTA buttons: Decide what your CTAs are and place them on key spots in the email. Make sure the links work!
  5. Test and then test again: Testing your copy, visuals, campaign series, and every aspect of your Black Friday emails will allow you to fix errors on time and put your head at rest once you launch the sequence. 

Talk to your designer about the possibilities in design direction and adapt your Black Friday email campaign to suit your brand and your audience. What we mean is, simply — don’t send clickable games to seniors and avoid using a solemn palette for kids’ products.  

More Black Friday Email Examples and Templates You Can Reuse

There are visual and copy templates you can take and reuse for the purposes of your Black Friday email campaigns. To help you decide on direction and style, we’ve compiled a small selection of both. 

Boiler Room's Black Friday email announcing an exclusive offer
Boiler Room’s Black Friday email announcing an exclusive offer
Bose uses gamification element similar to lottery to allure buyers
Bose uses a gamification element similar to lottery to allure buyers
Kidly Black Friday Campaign
Kidly Black Friday Campaign uses Gifs to make the penguins move
Moment Black Friday reminder email - creating FOMO
Moment Black Friday reminder email – creating FOMO
KitchenAid announces Black Friday sale and invites more people to sign up - email list building at its best!
KitchenAid announces Black Friday sale and invites more people to sign up – email list building at its best!
Modernica's Black Friday reminder email features products and minimalist design
Modernica’s Black Friday reminder email features products and minimalist design

Send the Most Creative Black Friday Email Campaigns with Campaign Refinery

As one of the examples says — we’re email geeks. We believe in the power of email and work to bring the elite results possible to our customers. It makes us happy.

Our clients report an instant increase in open rates up to 2x since signing up with Campaign Refinery!

Imagine what this kind of deliverability and significantly higher open rates can do for your revenue during Cyber Week. 

If you feel keen on getting your hands on our premium product, get in touch with us: check out our packages and apply to become a customer.

But even with the best software on the market, you will need your own assets, such as an organic email list and leads — lots of new leads. This is where we can help, too — by offering you a piece of our founder’s knowledge on how to build the most compelling lead magnets, all FREE of charge. 

Tactics you’ll learn in our mini-course will teach you how to dramatically increase your lead magnet consumption by as much as 7.56x more clicks! 

Sign up for the Lead Magnet Multiplier Course and make an effort to complete it — so you can keep access to it FOREVER. 

We don’t need a crystal ball to tell you that if you combine the tactics from the course and what you learned here and pour it into a thought-out Black Friday email campaign, it will change the course of your business!

Let us know how it went; we’re rooting for you!

Happy emailing! 

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