Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

Black Friday Is Coming

Black Friday Is Coming! Ultimate Practical Tips and Examples of a Good Black Friday Email

Most statistics on Black Friday email marketing suggest big numbers in terms of online transactions, dollars spent, emails sent, clicks made, and purchases completed. But there are other numbers that are not so widely announced, and yet they give a deeper insight into what it takes to make a successful Black Friday campaign.

According to the 2018 Digital Consumer Trend Report by Movable Inc., during the holiday season:

  • the average customer opens 3 emails from a brand before making a purchase;
  • 74% of users abandon their carts.

These are the numbers! These are the stats that go before all $# billion sales. And putting these numbers in words, one message is not enough to draw the attention and lead people to a purchase. You need to come up with a well-thought automated series instead: promo campaigns, product recommendations, reactivation campaigns, reminders, cart abandonment emails - all these message templates, as well as your overall marketing strategy, should be ready early before the season if you plan to perform your best marketing routine.

All Black Friday email ideas covered? High five! You’re fully equipped for the biggest online shopping weekend of the year. For those who still need the job to be done, I’ve come up with an extensive guide on practical advice and a couple of things to avoid. Check them to ensure your Black Friday season will be as beneficial as it can be.

Make Your Black Friday Marketing Plans in Advance

  • The early bird catches the worm. Don’t wait till mid-November to decide how many emails you’ll send and what color they’ll be. The best time to send out Balck Friday emails is in advance. Plan ahead. While preparing a campaign, you may need to engage designers, translators (if you send multilingual campaigns), etc., so make sure you don’t call people at 2 a.m. on November 26 to tell some campaign needs urgent editing.
  • Introduce additional custom CTAs and sign-ups on the website, social pages, and in your fall campaigns to boost your email list. Let people know you’re coming up with special Black Friday offers they can’t miss out on. Even those not subscribed to you wouldn’t mind checking holiday discounts.

Custom CTAs and sign-ups

  • Spruce your website. Festive banners and teasing pop-ups help get a taste of lucrative deals you’d be offering.
  • Adjust website product recommendations. Think of what product categories you want to focus on this holiday season. Since Black Friday is mostly about sales, consider putting bestsellers and hot offers upfront.
  • Get a social media back up. Bring out the best in your bargains across all platforms you use to communicate with your audience. Straightforward discount ads, big price slashing, holiday challenges, local events - let people know what you’re up to on this November 27.

Use social media

  • Get ready with cart abandonments. As you’ve might learned from the above, quite a lot of customers add things to carts but don’t complete the purchase. Black Friday is a crazy hunt for the best deal, so people look through dozens of offers before making a final decision. Automate reminder emails to drive the prospects back and turn them into actual customers.
  • Prime Black Friday multichannel experience. Team up different communication channels for better response. Email + Mobile Push, Email + Web Push, Facebook contest + video livestream: the more options people have to engage, the better for your business.

Multichannel approach

350+ ready email templates for free

Black Friday Email Inspiration

First, I would recommend checking last year campaigns to compare designs and offers. This way, it will be easier to select among this year's Black Friday email templates.

1. Get creative with a subject line. The competition for the customers’ attention is always fierce; the heat grows as the holiday season approaches. To get your sales noticed, it’s better to come up with something more creative than 80% off All Collections. Humor, emojis, big digits, play of words, riddles - take advantage of any tactics to make your campaigns stand out.

Check these awesome Black Friday email subject lines I’ve come across; bet they will get your creative juices flowing.

  • Every Friday is Black Friday when your eyes are closed. Because you’re napping. 
  • Black Friday Doorbusters END TODAY. Snag ’em before it slams shut. 
  • Readdle Black Friday deal is here! 
  • This weekend only: please don’t shop ❌
  • Black Friday Savings without the Big Crowds! 
  • Black Friday Burnout? Contact the Penguin Hotline! 
  • Don’t miss out again ! 
  • Get your paws on Black Friday savings from Petplan.
  • 2 tips for bringing the holiday party to you 
  • PSA: No Trampling Required
  • ⚠️ We’ve extended our Best Black Friday Deal Ever!
  • It’s about to go email-crazy. 
  • Enjoy a stress-free holiday season with great gifts, extended returns and more 
  • The Apple Shopping Event is almost here.
  • If you’re going to open one email this weekend…
  • Black Friday is 100 Days Away….
  • Better Than Their Deals☝️
  • Mystery Sale — How Much Will You Save.

2. Create a sense of urgency. Nobody likes missing out; but missing out on really good deals is even worse. Let people know the clock is ticking. Make use of a countdown timer, limited offers, or seasonal deals that won’t be available any time soon, and make sure to double-check the time details. You don’t want to send no longer relevant deals.

Consider using some of these time-sensitive phrases that may speed up the decision making:

  • Don’t miss out!
  • 2 hours left to save big;
  • Act fast!
  • Limited time only;
  • Last chance to…:
  • The deal is almost over;
  • Final day!
  • The deal ends tonight;
  • Only a few remaining;
  • 5 left in stock;
  • Supply is limited;
  • Limited edition design;
  • Final hours;
  • Get yours before it’s sold out.

3. Emphasize the benefit. Showcasing sales alone may not be the winning idea. With Black Friday promotional emails, all brands offer sales so people get immune to big digits, even if it’s 99% off. Consider focusing on the currency equivalent instead: compare the regular price with the sale price and show how much exactly people would save with your deal.

Profit in dollars

Instead of just putting #% off, Pluralsight put actual dollars up front. $100 off sounds bigger than 30% off, and doesn’t require additional calculations to figure out the savings. The phrase Never Before Discounted also provides additional value.

4. Work on design. As suggested by the name, Black Friday email design presupposes having pretty many black elements, from the background to the font. Your fantasy is the only limit, yet there are things you need to pay attention to regardless of the message content:

  • is all text, including CTAs, clearly visible and easy to read?
  • does the chosen style resonate with the brand image?
  • are all elements displayed correctly on any device?
  • do you use original photos that compliment your product?
  • is the copy easy to navigate?
  • are there no broken links, typos, etc?

5. Work on copywriting. Sorry, no single recipe here. You’ll have to handle it on your own. Black Friday is a kind of marketing Olympics where every participant performs their best, so you need to come up with an excellent idea (trite but true) if you want to be heard. However, don’t try too hard. Your brand has its own audience and loyal customers who got used to certain communication patterns - stick to them. If people like your language, why spoil a good thing?

So what you have to do is to come up with a short clear message written in the not-too-sophisticated language that reflects your brand personality.


Hi, Jo. Bet you wanna know what we’ ve got for ya this November? Hurry up and check our best deals.


Hi, Jo. Hope you are curious to find out what deals we have prepared for you this November. Keep on reading to discover awesome sales.

Though the message is the same, the delivery differs: choose words that match your audience’s expectations.

6. Get dynamic. Support an email with a visual interest using some interactive elements like

  • GIF;
  • rollover;
  • quizz;
  • AMP-supported elements.

Black Friday marketing emails are all about catching attention. A clever animation adds energy to your email, making it more memorable and thus letting have an advantage over other similar messages.

7. Go beyond digits. 100% off sounds great, but combined with some extra holiday perks, it sounds even better. Consider teaming up product sales with additional seasonal offers like

  • free shipping;
  • special package or wrapping;
  • custom loyalty cards;
  • discounted in-store pick ups;
  • no-fee membership.

A lucrative sale backed up with useful gifts that offer durability over discounts builds the right type of involvement that leads to more sales days after Black Friday.

8. Opt for mobile friendliness. More than 75% of people open emails on smartphones meaning your campaigns should be optimized for mobiles and other gadgets. Before sending a campaign, make sure its text, colors, CTAs, images, and video, if any, are displayed properly on any device.

Email preview

Last post

5 Black Friday Email DON’Ts to Avoid

1. Don’t delay. According to the 2016 Retail Holiday Readiness Report, to complete a holiday email campaign, 71% of companies spend over three weeks; 27% spend one to two months; and 12% spend over two months. If you (hopefully) plan a series of several messages of different types, and some of them incorporate advanced features, it’s essential to start preparation in advance. Don’t be that 0.5% who wait till the last week.

2. Don’t send just one message. To guide from the offer consideration to purchase completion, you need an extended campaign that covers before, during and after the holiday. Start with at least one warm-up product announcement to spark anticipation, then offer a deal, and opt for a re-engagement email in case the previous offers haven’t been used.

3. Don’t deliver misleading messages. It applies to both the subject line and the email copy. Don’t lie telling the particular design won’t be available until May if you restock regularly, and people can see it on your website. Corporate culture is key to building customer loyalty, and few people would love to deal with dishonest brands. Don’t bruise your reputation for the sake of a one-time profit.

4. Don’t use giant GIFs. If you use any animation element, make sure they don’t exceed the appropriate file size and don’t slow down the email loading. Otherwise, your campaign may not look on a smartphone as great as you intended.

5. Don’t forget about analytics. If you’re not new to email marketing, you’ve probably been implementing Google Analytics or similar tools for a while. This means you’re armed with particular metrics to evaluate the performance of your past campaigns and improve the ones you’re planning to send. In case such words as open rate, click map report, or response by domain are completely new to you, it’s high time you started to learn how to use traffic behavior to optimize your marketing strategy.

One platform for all messages - emails, pushes, SMS

Best Black Friday Email Examples and What to Steal from Them

We know that stealing is bad. Plus you won’t be able to copy the below examples anyway just because they’re are custom-crafted and aimed to reach the audience of the particular brand. But why not learn from their experience and get inspired for more. As they say, it’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.

  • Black and white text-only design by FatFace where they experiment with the font styles and sizes.

Text-only design

  • At Chubbies, they know how to take advantage of well-placed humor. A short funny text copy, as funny image, practical information, a product display, a custom CTA - all elements of a successful email are incorporated in one campaign.

Well-placed humor

  • Personalization Matters by Adidas who localized their holiday campaign, reaching the customers in their preferred language.

Language personalization


  • Folks from REI rebel against the system and offer to participate in something more important than just buying stuff. They focus on a non-monetary experience following their company’s purpose to … inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure.

Non-monetary experience

  • Inch2 sticks to the minimalistic design and classical colors. They also highlight the most popular products to speed up the decision making process.

Minimalistic design

  • The Black Friday campaign by Everlane changes things up. It aims ...to encourage more thoughtful consumption promising to give 100% of profit to improve the working conditions of their factory in China. Everlane kills two birds: provide people with an opportunity to participate in a charity and position themselves as a caring brand with a strong social focus.

Social focus

  • Design with black and glitter gold, a quiz introducing curiosity, a custom CTA that smoothly continues the offer - Forever 21 manages to set the mood for the holiday.

Custom Black Friday CTA

  • Instead of a cluttered promo with everything being offered, Food 52 comes up with a simple easy-to-scan email that doesn’t dilute the promotion and focuses on the very best offer - cocottes this time. All the important information on the top, the pleasing-to-the-eye image, no color cacophony - the message is easy to read and easy to use.

Easy-to-read email

  • Another example of a classic approach: a straightforward design and only two basic colors. The sale benefits are given in pounds instead of percentages which gives more clear understanding of the deal value.

Benefits in pounds

  • And here is a bit of color by Destination Lightning. Now that you’ve made through the previous nine all-black designs, this one stands out a lot, doesn’t it?

Colorful design

Black Friday has long turned into an international event that shapes shopping behavior around many countries. Yes, its influence may differ depending on the regional market, but it’s never too much of an opportunity to engage with your customers.

Timely prepared for the holiday season, you can boost conversions, promote brand awareness, get more social media coverage and extend your contact list. Take advantage of the latest email building trends to create memorable campaigns that stand out. Looking for more practical information that goes beyond Black Friday? Sign up to our newsletter, and once a month we’ll send the most trending articles straight to your inbox. And when we tell once a month we MEAN IT.

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Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

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