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16 Black Friday emails to inspire your best year yet

· 22 min read · Email marketing · Oct 6, 2023
Vlad, customer support

Competition for inbox space on Black Friday is more intense than the competition for that last slice of pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner.

But you can stand out by creating a Black Friday email campaign so irresistible that customers can’t help but open, click, and snatch up the deal. 

In this article, we look at 16 outstanding Black Friday emails and analyze what makes each one so great so you can duplicate the tactics in your own campaign.

In 2023, Black Friday falls on November 24. Cyber Monday falls three days later on November 27. It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and the peak of the holiday season shopping period.

Most brands will send multiple emails during, before and after the Black Friday weekend. A typical Black Friday email promotion sequence looks something like this:

  • Email 1: Teaser email sent in the week before Black Friday

  • Email 2: Countdown email sent just before Black Friday

  • Email 3: Main offer sent on the morning of Black Friday

  • Email 4: Reminder (or multiple reminders) sent while your campaign is running

  • Email 5: Last chance email sent just before the end of your campaign

Brands that run both Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales can continue their email campaign into the following week. Just don’t go overboard, as you might cause people to unsubscribe.

You can also promote your offer in your regular email campaigns. Adding a section that mentions the sale will increase the visibility of your offer.

Black Friday email campaign example: MailerLite

In 2022, we ran a Cyber Week sale from November 21 through to December 12. We sent the following emails to promote the offer. 

  1. We introduced the deal on November 11. We created 2 separate emails targeted at different customer segments. Both emails included a link to a page where the recipient could sign up for alerts and a countdown timer so it was clear when the deal started.

  2. We sent an email on November 21 announcing that the sale was now live. It included further details, benefits, and a link to the checkout page. 

  3. We included prominent banners in our regular email newsletters to promote the offer on December 1.

  4. We sent a reminder email to tell people that the deal was ending soon on December 5.

  5. We sent a final email telling people that the sale ends today on December 12. This went out to a specific segment of subscribers who could benefit most from the deal. 

Our offer ran at a slightly different to many Black Friday sales, so the timing of the emails in this example may be different to the ones you send. Nonetheless, this is a good example of the types of emails you can send at different stages in your campaign.

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As promised, here’s your dose of Black Friday email inspiration. Each email includes a screenshot, a description of why it works, and the main takeaway you can use in your campaign.

1. MailerLite: Promote your sale in advance

MailerLite Black Friday email example
Source: MailerLite

Build anticipation for your Black Friday sale by promoting it the week before. Our pre-sale email contains all the information subscribers need to get excited about our Cyber Week sale

  • It highlights when the sale starts and ends

  • It includes details about what customers can expect

  • It has a clear call-to-action button that lets customers sign up to be alerted when the sale starts

Key takeaway: Pre-sale emails are an essential part of a great Black Friday email strategy. Let people sign up for more information and then create a group of interested subscribers. Here’s how to do this with email segmentation

2. Sun of a Beach: Keep things simple

Sun of a Beach Black Friday email example
Source: Sun of a Beach

Black Friday emails don’t have to be complex. This eye-catching Black Friday email example from travel brand Sun of a Beach stands out due to its simplicity.  

  • Its distinctive black-and-white design is sure to stand out

  • It has a single link to the sale, so the subscriber knows exactly what to click on

  • The sale has a clear start and end date, which creates a sense of urgency among buyers

Key takeaway: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by Black Friday email marketing, use a similar design that explains when your sale runs and links to your collection.

3. Modernica: Create a Black Friday collection

Modernica Black Friday email example
Source: Modernica

Furniture brand Modernica used Black Friday as the opportunity to create a dedicated collection of themed furniture. 

  • The main offer is the limited edition collection, not super low prices 

  • The email includes high-quality images of the most popular products

  • It shows both the original price and the sale price of each item

  • The email starts with a reminder that the sale is in its final hours

Key takeaway: Use this idea if you want to run a Black Friday promotion without lowering your prices too aggressively. 

4. Elizabeth Grant Photography: Highlight your product value

Elizabeth Grant Black Friday email example
Source: Elizabeth Grant

Low prices aren’t the only thing buyers look for in Black Friday sales, they also want quality products. We love this Black Friday email by Elizabeth Grant Photography because it uses both these factors to create an extra compelling offer. 

  • The email clearly highlights the value of printed photos in the digital age

  • It includes a big discount and makes it clear that the sale is for one day only 

  • It highlights that photos are great gifts, so people may buy prints even if they don’t need one for themself

Key takeaway: Black Friday discounts are an effective way to drive conversions, but don’t forget to focus on the value of your product.  

5. Promote your sale in your regular newsletter Black Friday email example
Source: promotes its Black Friday offer in its regular newsletter. It uses a specific block to highlight the offer while continuing to promote its non-Black Friday-related content elsewhere. 

  • The offer is super clear: 20% off all items in the store

  • The button takes users straight to the store

  • The Black Friday promotion is just one part of the overall newsletter

Key takeaways: Don’t limit your Black Friday promotion to specific emails. Including it in your regular campaigns will increase its visibility among your subscribers.

6. Gymshark: Make your sale interactive

GymShark Black Friday email
Source: GymShark

Gymshark turned Black Friday into a game by hiding discount codes throughout its website.

  • The game encourages brand interaction and stands out among all the standard promo messages

  • The email contains clear instructions that ensure recipients know how to participate

  • It highlights why people should take part, which is to access bigger discounts

  • The idea of a hunt or a game is likely to appeal to the competitive GymShark audience 

Key takeaway: Consider how to use your Black Friday promotion to increase brand engagement. Do so in a way that is likely to appeal to your target audience.

7. AppSumo: Target your most engaged customers

AppSumo Black Friday email example
Source: AppSumo

In this Black Friday email, AppSumo uses a last-chance offer to encourage people to sign up for its Plus subscription plan, a product aimed at the brand’s most engaged users. 

  • The Black Friday deals increase the value of the subscription plan 

  • It’s a super-limited sale which encourages people to sign up now

  • The offer is hidden halfway through the company's regular weekly newsletter, anyone who sees it is likely to be very engaged with the brand

Key takeaway: Use your Black Friday sale to generate more loyal customers. If you don’t have a subscription plan like AppSumo, you could do this by offering to extend the deal for people who share your product on social media or refer a friend to your company. 

8. Luonto: Be sure your email works on all devices

Luonto Black Friday email example
Source: Luonto

Create an email that works on all devices. Furniture seller Luonto built its email campaign using MailerLite, so the content blocks display correctly wherever people view them. 

  • The responsive design looks great on mobile and desktop

  • The yellow highlights draw attention to the most important details

  • The email includes clear instructions for how buyers can access the discount

Top takeaway: Preview and test your email on multiple device types before sending it out. This is easy to do from within the MailerLite email builder. Or use one of our Black Friday email templates from the gallery below.

9. Look Fantastic: Draw attention to your offer with animations

Look Fantastic Black Friday email
Source: Look Fantastic

Standing out on Black Friday isn’t easy. LookFantastic manages it by including an animation of an alarm to alert customers to its early access Black Friday sale.

  • The animation looks cool and instantly draws the reader’s attention

  • The offer, call-to-action (CTA) button and online shopping discount code are super clear

  • The email highlights that the offer is for today only, which creates a feeling of urgency

Key takeaway: You can easily add animations to your email by uploading a GIF file. Here is all you need to know about using animated GIFs in emails.

10. Adidas: Promote new sale additions

Adidas Black Friday email
Source: Adidas

Adding more products to your sale is an easy way to get people back to your online store once your sale is underway. Use your email to promote these new additions, just like Adidas did in this email.

  • It mentions that the brand has added more items to the sale

  • It provides clear links to each collection

  • It highlights that the discount is only available while stocks last

Key takeaway: Think about how to get people back to your sale multiple times. Adding new products, increasing discounts, offering a freebie, or reminding recipients that the sale is ending soon are good ways to do this.

11. SpaceNK: Use a countdown timer

SpaceNK Black Friday email
Source: SpaceNK

Black Friday offers are effective due to the limited time people have to buy them. Make the most of this by including a countdown timer in your email, just like SpaceNK did.

  • The timer is a visual cue about how long the reader has left to make a purchase

  • The company uses a super simple offer—you get £25 off for every £100 you spend

  • Setting the amount customers must spend to £100 encourages people to spend more than they might have otherwise

Key takeaway: Use a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency. MailerLite customers can easily do this using the email countdown timer block.  

12. Withings: Give more to VIPs

Withings Black Friday email
Source: Withings

Withings rewards VIP members with access to a special Black Friday offer. This offer makes recipients feel valued so they’ll be keen to take advantage of the exclusive promotion.

  • The email highlights the exclusive benefit, which is being able to access the Black Friday deals before anyone else

  • The email includes products that may appeal to the customer

  • Using words like “you” makes the holiday email seem personal

Key takeaway: Reward loyal customers by sending them special offers. Create audience segments in advance, so you know who your loyal customers are. You could even use email personalization to make people feel like the email is just for them.

13. Medusa’s Makeup: Make your emails social

Medusa's Makeup Black Friday email
Source: Medusa's Makeup

An active email list is a good opportunity to build your audience on other platforms too. This Black Friday email example from vegan cosmetics store Medusa’s Makeup stands out because it cross-promotes its Instagram account. 

  • The Instagram content shows how other customers use the products, which may inspire people to buy

  • The email links to the Instagram page, which can result in more followers

  • The company promises to share user photos on their own page when tagged with the company hashtag, which encourages brand engagement

Key takeaway: Use your Black Friday email to build engagement across other social media channels. And use your other channels to generate email signups!

14. Columbia: Add a Black Friday twist to cart abandonment

Columbia Black Friday email
Source: Columbia

When someone starts the buying process but doesn’t commit, you can send a cart abandonment email to remind them of the unfinished purchase. Columbia put a Black Friday spin on its abandoned cart emails.

  • The email shows that the product the customer was interested in has a discount

  • It promotes other similar products and shows their discounted prices

  • It includes a CTA button that links to the Black Friday landing page

Key takeaway: Combining a cart abandonment email with a discount can encourage people to buy. Get more cart abandonment email inspiration here.

15. LookFantastic: Extend your campaign

Look Fantastic Black Friday email
Source: LookFantastic

Almost every retailer has a Black Friday sale, which makes it hard to stand out. Make things easier by extending your email marketing campaign. LookFantastic promotes a Black Friday reset which went out 11 days after Black Friday finished.

  • This gives people who missed the Black Friday sale another chance to buy

  • The offer is super clear, which makes it easy for people to buy

  • The company mentions limited quantities, so readers know it is the last chance to act

Key takeaway: People’s inboxes are full of Black Friday offers. Sending an email the following week can help you stand out and make last-minute sales.  

16. The Verge Deals: Promote affiliate offers

The Verge Deals Black Friday newsletter example
Source: The Verge

Who said you need a product to send Black Friday emails? Tech news website The Verge sends a roundup of the best Cyber Week deals on other platforms. It uses affiliate links to earn when people buy a product based on their referral. 

  • The email highlights the best tech deals from around the web

  • It includes mini-reviews of each product so the reader can make a buying decision

  • It uses product boxes to showcase each item and make it easy to click through to the offer

Key takeaway: Promote Black Friday deals to recipients in your email newsletter, even if you don’t have a product to sell. Be selective and ensure you only choose the best deals that are relevant to your audience’s needs. 

By now you should be feeling inspired to create your own Black Friday emails. We also have plenty of Black Friday and holiday email templates you can use to get started quickly. Here are 7 final tips and best practices to help you create a super-effective campaign.

1. Nail your subject line

A good Black Friday subject line increases your open rate. Make your Black Friday email subject line stand out with personalization, by adding emojis, and by appealing to your audience’s needs. Here’s more on writing great email subject lines.

Example Black Friday email subject lines

  • 🏴 BLACK FRIDAY S-A-L-E 🏴 These deals are going F-A-S-T 🏃

  • All Out for Black Friday! Up to 85% Off + FREE…

  • BLACK FRIDAY 👉 New deals added 👈 Shop NOW!

  • 🏁Black Friday Sale: Ready, Set, Save! 🏁


  • Black Friday | 30% off EVERYTHING

2. Write engaging email copy

Make your copy clear and focus on how your Black Friday sale benefits the reader. Include information about the offer so people know how good a deal it is, as well as any extra details that will help people buy, such as coupon codes, start and end dates, and links to relevant pages. 

Check out the examples in the section above for tons of great examples of email copy. Or read this article for more about writing impactful newsletter copy. You can also use our AI email content assistant to write content that connects faster. Our AI tools are available on our advanced plan, while all new signups get free credits to use.

3. Show products or connect your store

Connect your e-commerce store provider with MailerLite to unlock automatically generated product blocks. Use these to showcase your best products and add clear links to checkout pages to simplify the buying process. 

When you connect your store you’ll also get access to deeper analytics that highlight factors such as the number of orders and the total value generated by each campaign.

4. Personalize your content

Use customer data to personalize your emails and subject lines. You can use any information you have in a custom field in your email content. The most common type of dynamic content to add is the user’s name, but you can also add factors like their location, industry, company, or the type of product they are interested in.

5. Design great-looking emails

Pay attention to your Black Friday email design. Visit our newsletter gallery for inspiration or pick one of the pre-built e-commerce templates when creating a new campaign. 

Our updated Drag & drop editor includes plenty of new design options including the ability to create boxes and then reuse them across any campaign. This can save a ton of time when creating a Black Friday sequence with multiple emails.

6. Test your campaigns

Use email A/B testing to optimize your campaign. Analyze the open rate or click-through rate of two different emails on a small email subscriber sample, and then send the best version to your entire list. If you plan to send your Black Friday emails via automation, you can even A/B test each individual step to ensure the best results. 

7. Automate your emails

Black Friday is a super busy time for most businesses. Save time while still benefiting from email marketing by automating your emails. 

The easiest way to do this is to create campaigns for each email and then schedule them to go out at the relevant dates. You can also use automation to send follow-up emails based on how people interact with your campaigns. 

For example, you can send follow-up emails to people who click on a buy link but don’t actually buy your product. Or you can remove people who do buy from the rest of your automation. 

Click here to find out more about email automation.

Don’t put off planning your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing strategy. Starting early ensures you're ready for one of the most important times of the year and guarantees you a slice of that pie.

Remember that you can create your emails in advance and then schedule them to go out at optimum times for Black Friday shopping. You can even use our Black Friday and holiday email templates to reduce the time it takes to build your emails.

This will help you implement an effective campaign while freeing up time to handle all the other tasks you have going on at the busiest time of year. 

What are your plans for Black Friday email marketing? Let us know in the comments.

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Sign up for MailerLite to build your Black Friday campaign today. Connect to your e-commerce provider and build automated workflows. Send up to 12,000 emails for free every month.

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Editor's note: This article was originally published in October 2022, but has been updated with fresh ideas and examples.

Duncan Elder
Duncan Elder
I’m Duncan, a content writer at MailerLite. I love building websites with no-code tools and writing about what I learn. I created my first site in 2011 with Blogger—it’s safe to say that website builders have improved a lot since then!