As a marketer and business owner, it can be difficult to come up with great emails with eye-catching images and actionable copy. That’s why I like to draw inspiration from other successful marketers and businesses.
I’m going to share eight awesome Black Friday Cyber Monday email campaigns that you can learn from. For each example, I’ll break down what it is, why it’s so effective, and how you can implement the idea into your BFCM campaigns.
1. The simple sale announcement email
Subject: Black Friday - 40% off everything!
What it is: A simple, but well-executed, email from CanvasPop announcing their store-wide Black Friday sale.
Why it works: This email is all business. It clearly announces the sale and has a focused call to action. Sometimes, keeping things simple is the best way to go.
How to implement it: Take the same simple approach to your Black Friday Cyber Monday sale announcements. Have a clear subject line with the sale or discount, and include a call to action that brings customers to your discount landing page.
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2. The bold imagery and animations email
Subject: Don’t wait ’til tomorrow! Take up to 50% off our most popular inventions right now.
What it is: Quirky uses a quirky image animation to announce their Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend sale.
Why it works: I don’t often get animated GIFs in my inbox, let alone one as fun and entertaining as this one. This email really stands out from other BFCM sale announcements that will soon be barraging customer inboxes.
Also, all the important information is immediately clear. Free shipping, the discount, and the day the sale ends are all there in plain sight.
How to implement it: Start using animated GIFs and very unique imagery in your BFCM emails, especially if that style matches the tone of your brand.
Keeping your most important information above the fold is important.
3. The free gift email
Subject: Black Friday + Giving Tanks
What it is: Storq created a free gift coupon instead of offering a store-wide sale.
Why it works: Storq uses BFCM as an opportunity to increase the average order value. Offering a free gift is an enticing way to get customers to spend more on your store on Black Friday.
The email design is also simple and effective. The coupon code really stands out, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
How to implement it: You can still participate in BFCM even if your business doesn’t typically discount or you can’t afford to lower your prices. Black Friday Cyber Monday gives you a reason to contact your customers, so email them with any offer you can create that weekend.
Keep your emails simple and don’t complicate your offer. When it comes to copy, less is often more.
4. The last-minute extended sale email
Subject: EXTENDED! 50%. Off. Everything.
What it is: Julep extends their Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend sale to Tuesday.
Why it works: Not everyone will have the opportunity to check out your Black Friday Cyber Monday sale. Extending the sale last-second (and running a sale when competitors just ended theirs) gives customers another chance to purchase from your store.
This email is also effective because it’s unexpected. If you’ve been consistently warning customers about the impending end of your BFCM sale and then spring a last-second extension, it’s more likely to stick out in inboxes.
Lastly, the email is well designed. The three most important elements in this email contrast well against the rest: “Extended 48 hours,” “50% off everything,” and “use code cyberwow.”
How to implement it: Consider extending your sale and surprising your customers. You can even offer a new discount for the extended sale to get customers off the fence.
Don’t forget to make the most important elements in your email stand out, too. Use Julep’s email design as inspiration.
5. The Black Friday giveaway email
Subject: Blacked-Out Friday
What it is: Huckberry turns their Black Friday Cyber Monday sale into a giveaway.
Why it works: Giveaways and contests can inject even more excitement into a BFCM sale. Huckberry is giving their customers more incentive to shop on their site during BFCM by giving an entry to their giveaway with each purchase.
Huckberry also includes more copy in their emails than most stores. Huckberry is very keen on telling stories in their emails, even on BFCM.
This email in particular is too long to show in this blog post, but below their BFCM sale announcement are stories, including the harrowing trip to Antarctica mentioned at the top of the email.
Despite being Black Friday Cyber Monday, Huckberry hasn’t changed their established tone. They continue to deliver interesting stories, even in their most promotion-heavy emails.
How to implement it: Run a contest alongside your sale or give every customer that makes a purchase the chance to win a prize. Check out the giveaway apps in our Shopify App Store to help you put this together.
Finally, don’t diverge from your original messaging or style. If you’ve been delivering great stories with each email, for example, that doesn’t need to change for BFCM. Find a way to weave your BFCM emails into what you’ve been doing well previously. Make it organic.
6. The Black Friday humor email
Subject: Sweats + Shorts = THE SCHWORTS
What it is: Chubbies stays consistent with their tone and branding, and uses humor to promote their Black Friday Cyber Monday sale on "schworts".
Why it works: This email looks a lot different than the typical BFCM sale email. First, the subject line is great. Next, the image of someone lounging on their couch pouring food down their throat after Thanksgiving is really funny.
There isn’t a lot of copy in this email, but it’s still effective at conveying why you need their comfortable shorts. Chubbies also shows you their shorts looking comfortable instead of only telling you that they’re comfortable.
Chubbies also chooses to focus on one product during their BFCM sale instead of announcing a store-wide sale. This is far more effective since leaving customers with too much choice can be overwhelming.
How to implement it: Have fun with your marketing. If it suits your brand, experiment with unique subject lines for your emails and use humorous images.
You don’t need a lot of copy in your BFCM emails to convey a message. Don’t just tell your customers your shorts are comfortable, show them in an entertaining way.
Lastly, you don’t need to promote several products in your Black Friday Cyber Monday emails. Promote your BFCM sale with one product (or a select few) instead. Consider choosing your best-selling or most interesting product.
7. The scarcity email
Subject: Woosters Almost Sold Out! Black Friday Prices + Free Shipping For A Few More Hours!
What it is: Greats gives their customers a Black Friday Cyber Monday status report on the shoes on sale.
Why it works: Greats uses elements of scarcity throughout the email. “Moving fast,” “Almost sold out,” and “No time to be on the fence” create a sense of urgency. Even the subject line has urgency in it with, “Woosters almost sold out!”
Of course, the brand's personality shines through in this email as well.
How to implement it: Learn to create scarcity in your email marketing, especially on Black Friday Cyber Monday. Create urgency and use your emails to remind your customers that your sale will be ending soon. Also, when your products are selling like hotcakes, tell people!
8. The against-the-grain email
Subject: This Is Not A Sale
What it is: Everlane uses Black Friday Cyber Monday as a platform to raise awareness and money for workers in China.
Why it works: The subject line is strong and piques curiosity, encouraging people to open the email to learn more. You don’t often get emails on BFCM letting you know that “this is not a sale.”
It isn’t a bait and switch, either. Everlane goes against the grain and promises to give 100% of their BFCM profit to factories in China to improve working conditions.
This gesture also helps build Everlane’s brand. It even has the chance to be picked up by news sites and social media since it’s unique and generous during a time of year where businesses are often so focused on profit.
How to implement it: If you’re tired of running the same BFCM sale every year or your customers have grown to expect the same from you every year, change things up. Consider making this year’s Black Friday Cyber Monday all about your customer or someone else in need.
It could be your opportunity to give back a little while also creating a positive brand image for your store.
Ready your Black Friday campaigns
If email marketing isn’t a large part of your growth strategy, take the time to learn why it’s important for your business. If your email list is small, start building it now to make the most out of Black Friday Cyber Monday. You don’t need a gigantic email list for your BFCM to matter, but the bigger your list, the better.
With the right amount of engaged subscribers and well-crafted emails, your business can have a very profitable BFCM.
Want to absolutely crush it this year, though? Check out the 26-point checklist I put together to position your store for success this holiday season.