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.
In 2022, we ran a Cyber Week sale from November 21 through to December 12. We sent the following emails to promote the offer.
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.
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.
We included prominent banners in our regular email newsletters to promote the offer on December 1.
We sent a reminder email to tell people that the deal was ending soon on December 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.
Sign up for MailerLite to schedule your Black Friday emails now. Automate key workflows in advance to maximize sales and take the stress out of the busy holiday shopping period.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Soccer.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
🏴 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 STARTS N-- 🏃♂️💨
Black Friday | 30% off EVERYTHING
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in October 2022, but has been updated with fresh ideas and examples.