Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest events of the year for eCommerce businesses everywhere. Everybody is looking forward to it: shoppers looking for good deals and store owners trying to make a big profit. You should understand that customers have been saving up some budget for this occasion to treat themselves with some good discounts of their long-awaited items. So this is an excellent opportunity to maximize revenue and get rid of products in stock.
You won't be able to sit back and relax, though, because the competition is fierce. Consumers' inboxes will be bombarded with promotional email newsletters from all types of brands. So your goal with email marketing is to get your emails noticed and opened. To emerge victoriously, this is a guide to create email campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Many companies choose similar email designs for these occasions: Some white text on black color for Black Friday, and blue color with technology effects for Cyber Monday. This is acceptable and no one would protest against them, but this sort of email won't stand against the competition. Therefore, you need something to beat those numerous look-alike designs.
In this article, you will find the best and proven email templates for Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns to set yourself off from competition, engage with subscribers, and leave a lasting impression. Let's see how it is done!
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is not an official holiday, but rather an important shopping event for many Americans and shoppers worldwide. Many eCommerce and stores offer insane sales on this day to welcome frantic and hyped up shoppers. In 2019, 93.2 million shoppers rushed to online shopping on Black Friday with an all-time high record of $7.4 billion in sales.
Since the 19th century, when President Abraham Lincoln first designated the Thanksgiving holiday, the day after it has been the Christmas season's unofficial beginning. Since Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday of November, many Americans called in sick on Friday to have a four-day weekend. So in the 50s and 60s, the term 'Black Friday' became more widely used as the first day of the shopping season.
Because accountants use the color black to signify profit in each day's book entry, retailers started adopting the term Black Friday to reflect the success. On average, adults plan to spend $400 during this day, with a flood of shoppers rushing to retailers for good discounts. This year, 2020, Black Friday is on November 27th, and eCommerce has a great chance to succeed big too with 40% of shoppers going online in 2019.
The day is coming soon enough, are you ready?
What is Cyber Monday?
While Black Friday is for retailers, soon enough an online sales equivalent appears with the name of Cyber Monday. While both two shopping days are the biggest and most lucrative days for retailers in a year, Cyber Monday is quickly taking the lead with more sales every year as more buyers enjoy online shopping from the comfort of their homes.
Cyber Monday is a 24-hour online shopping event on the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. It was created by eCommerce retailers to encourage shoppers to buy online and debuted in 2005. According to ComScore, Cyber Monday's spending reached a record high of $7.8 billion in 2019 in the U.S, with average spending of $431 and 83.3 million online consumers. Since many items were sold out during Black Friday, Cyber Monday represents a second chance to buy many top products at good prices.
This year, 2020, Cyber Monday is on November 30th, so there is a high chance that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be less differentiated, making a big holiday shopping season since COVID-19 is still pushing online shopping to the next level.
So, this year can be the golden opportunity for eCommerce businesses. Again, are you ready?
Why must you have email campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
In these days of high traffic and shopping activities, you will need all the tools you can to get the consumers' attention and convince them to buy from your store, not other competitors. And when social media advertising has been getting more and more expensive, email marketing remains one of the most lucrative channels for eCommerce stores to increase revenue.
Whether you like it or not, emails are an absolute necessity to drive website traffic at a low price. So Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most significant events to use it. This is the opportunity to improve your store's annual business performance and move the company to the lucky color of black.
Here are some of the benefits of having email marketing campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
- Since all other sellers have the same intention, your email list's subscriber base is one of the most surefire ways to gain engagement.
- Email marketing has a high level of personalization to segment recipients and improve your offers.
- Emails can have impactful designs that make your brand stand out.
- Automated email campaigns are useful during a high-activity time so you can take care of customers better.
- The budget for email marketing has always been relatively low compared to other marketing channels.
- The ability to test and gather data for each email brings many insights into customers' actions.
How to write effective emails for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
So, the question is, how can you create an opportunity for your store's emails to get opened on these two highly competitive days? The answer is to think outside the box while following the best practices for email marketing. Let's see how you can craft highly effective emails for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in this section:
With the pressure of serving many customers during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you won't have much time to edit your email campaign. A bit of preparation is always necessary, so here are some best strategies for your emails campaigns during these two days:
- Segment your database for personalized messages: By dividing your subscribers into behavioral and demographic segments, you help ensure your mailing while providing a more personalized experience to the recipient - leading to higher engagement and conversions.
- Attract more attention to your brand's emails: As mentioned, a large number of emails will come to consumer's inbox during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To have a stronger presence, your emails need: Persuasive subject lines, Informative preheader, and identifiable sender name. Unless it is something you've tested, use your brand's name rather than a real person's name.
- Persuade consumers that you have great deals coming: Build anticipation by showing consumers sneak peeks, daily deals, limited-time offers, VIP discounts, and more. All this will attract consumer's attention and convince them to keep an eye on what you have to offer next. A good email series will do this just fine.
- Create cart abandonment emails for middle-funnel shoppers: The strategy here is to create an attractive seasonal email template that reflects your holiday themes, colors, and content. In this email, you can add as much data as possible and let customers know about your special promotions for their wishlist items.
Email subject line
Subject lines for emails are always important. They are the first thing your customers lay an eye on your email. If your subject line is not interesting enough, your recipients won't even open your email, wasting all your effort of creating an awesome email series for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
To create an compelling subject line that is loyal to your brand's characteristics, here are some tips:
- Keep your subject line short and straight to the offer.
- Maintain your brand voice, whether it is humor or professional.
- Personalize the subject line, you can call the consumer by his/her name.
- A/B test different subject lines for your email campaigns.
- Resend campaigns under a different subject line to subscribers who didn't open your email.
Now, here is a selection of the best subject lines for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, feel free to use them or customize to your brand's voice:
- Our Black Friday deal is here! 🎁
- A Thanksgiving treat just for you.
- The biggest [brand's name] shopping event of the year. Join now!
- This weekend only: shop now or miss it!
- Quick reminder - 30% off everything - Ends in 3 days.
- No sleeping bag necessary, Cyber Monday deal is here!
- Don’t miss out on these sweet deals! 😱
- Up to 50% OFF. Free shipping. It must be the holiday!
- Shh! Don't tell anyone and take these discounts just for you now!
Any combination of the words "Black Friday" an "Cyber Monday" with your discount percentage is a good bet to attract recipient attention. You can play around with many emojis too, as long as they suit your brand. Lightning, gift boxes, black-colored emojis, people running, electronics, clocks, loudspeakers, stars, and fireworks are most used.
Through the years, I have seen many minimalist trends come and go with email design, so there are many Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails out there following the trends. They look pretty, but they don't tell much about the sales. To make sure your email content goes hand-in-hand with your offers, here are what you need to do:
Unless you are sure that every recipient knows about your brand and your product, be careful with sending emails that solely focus on the discount. Sure, a good design and CTA can help you a lot, but we are talking about the most competitive time of the year for email marketing, so let your email content shine a light on your company as well.
Next, your email content should always use a time-tested psychological tactic of urgency element. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are about time-limited deals, and when FOMO kicks in, your customers are more likely to act. The best promotional emails would drive a sense of urgency to improve the open rates and click-through rates.
Lastly, if your readers don't immediately get what is on sale, they may get slightly annoyed and move on to other emails. So, your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email content should showcase your products clearly so consumers don't have to search for themselves.
An efficient Black Friday and Cyber Monday email depends on the design. Consumer's inbox would be flooded with special offers, so use your design to stand out. The main color for Black Friday is black and Cyber Monday is blue, but you should use the tone with caution to meet the business tone and the weekend atmosphere.
Want some easy design ideas to capture the reader's attention? You can play with these elements for an unforgettable email:
- Countdown timers
- Interactive carousels
- Shopping within the emails
With the email structure, keep it as simple as possible. Stick to a one-column layout and do not overdo with the graphics. Another important reminder is to have your design look fantastic across all devices. A mobile-friendly layout is a must these days.
Also, if you are preparing sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the same time, make sure that your subscribers recognize your brand by pairing up the emails for these two days. Give them similar designs with slightly different elements and messages so consumers can look forward to your deals.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday will take up an entire weekend, but you don't need to stick to this rule to send your email campaigns. You can begin the sales earlier and end later to extend the promotion period. With a series of emails, you can maintain buyers' excitement during the entire period.
Here is an example of a typical email series for Black Friday and Cyber Monday from AVADA Email Marketing:
- A teaser email sent 7 days before the holiday shopping season begins on Black Friday.
- A countdown-timer email sent 3 days before Black Friday.
- An email with the main offer sent in the morning of the Black Friday.
- A reminder email sent during the Black Friday.
- An email with preview of discounts sent on Saturday for Cyber Monday.
- An email with the main Cyber Monday offers sent on the Monday's morning.
- Final email is sent on Tuesday to thank customers or to prolong the campaign.
Email preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
It is a busy time for your business, not just with emails, so you'd better have some advance work. Prepare to make sure your campaigns would be on auto-pilot and not fail during the busiest days of the year. A good email marketing app like AVADA Email Marketing can help you.
Clean the email list
Even though every shoppers will be waiting for discounts when Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes, you should not bombard recipients who are not interested. Therefore, taking some time to clean your list and segment the audience would ensure that your announcements don't bounce from every inbox resulting in a bad open rate.
Remember that even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important, it is still a part of your marketing strategy and an opportunity to secure and add new subscribers.
Read more: Why should you clean your email list?
Collect data on customers
A good email campaign depends on your ability to connect with customers quickly. This is the time to collect some data about customers activities during this duration of the year. These stats become a great starting point in choosing what to emphasize in your emails - which can meet the subscribers' expectations and convince them to buy.
Warm up the audience
Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring an exciting holiday shopping season, so hype the consumers up with your email campaigns. Send them newsletters about new products and special coupons that will be valid only during these few days. You can also tease them with upcoming sales sneak peeks to pique interest.
Use your eCommerce site to your advantage
When the holiday comes, your website should dress up to impress as well. Use your site as an assistant to create proper anticipation for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What you can do are:
- Add promotional banners
- Emphasize the upcoming events in the content using info boxes.
- Scatter related graphics throughout the pages. -Add a popup as a reminder about the big event.
- The subscription box should remind about the event too.
- Create a new landing page for the holiday.
Your website will be the main tool to collect email addresses and inform users that special offers are coming soon, so they would feel compelled to check the inbox for early discounts. Consistency will help you stand out among other competitors.
Proven email templates for Black Friday (with examples)
It is obvious that you should have an email template for your Black Friday campaign. No matter how attractive your price is, you can't afford to send out an average looking email with a festival of different fonts, colors, and multiple CTAs. A few rules to follow when creating your email template for Black Friday are:
- Keep a fair mix of text and images (about 40/60)
- Stick to a simple structure of columns (for a responsive design).
- Align fonts and size of your texts
- Decide which CTA copy you want to use and display the CTAs clearly in a contrasting color.
This may sound hard if you are not familiar with designing an email, but don't worry, our app AVADA Email Marketing can help. You will have proven and pre-made email templates inside the app, all of which are customizable through a simple drag and drop method. You can see the template I made in the picture above.
In the app, here is how to do it. Once you install the app, you get access to the dashboard, where you can click on Messages -> Campaigns -> New campaign, this is how you start creating a new email campaign.
Here, you will find that the app already has a couple of templates for you to try. You can take some time to look at which suits you the best, or simply choose a Blank template to continue. For a Black Friday email campaign, I selected Season Sales Off, then clicked on Next.
Here, you can edit the email template with the editor. You can drag and drop blocks, change color, edit size, fonts, and much more. The end result is an email template that you can use for Black Friday, and I only edited a little bit to make it work. Of course, you can customize the email more to add your brand's voice and the promotional message.
Then, at the final step, you can enter the campaign's information like name, description, and tag. In this step, you also select who to send the emails. I selected subscribers and consumers with products in carts. Then, you can select when to send the email, which I chose the morning of the Black Friday.
And that is it, a complete email template for Black Friday! If you head to Automation in the app, you can create an automated email series with multiple emails to send before, during, and after Black Friday. Now, let's see some Black Friday email examples from other companies.
An interactive Black Friday email invites readers to take actions that trigger events right inside the email. This can speed up conversions, minimize the number of clicks, and help users purchase more conveniently. Instead of clicking on a button and being directed to another landing page, Nest helps customers add the items to cart in the email. This is impressive thinking about all the time consumers can save.
Columbia keeps track of their buyer's abandoned carts and uses Black Friday promotion to lure them back. This strategy of personalization means their email campaign would be more targeted, and customers have a better chance of buying their dream items. The design is lovely too with a banner for Black Friday at the bottom, letting readers to view their items first.
Inch2 stays true to its brand by having a clear and minimalist design, using classical colors of black and white but still being bold like the product. The brand decided to highlight its best sellers in this Black Friday email, showcasing the most popular products that customers love.
Including a few product examples can entice people to use the amazing discounts when they see what they like. Urban Outfitters paired up products and offers in their Black Friday email to drive more click-throughs. This way, no matter the type of recipients, they can know all the deals the store offers.
Nasty Gals plays it cool with the day and offers promotions on black items only - narrowing the product selection and embracing the Black Friday theme. The playful and urgent headline gets readers pumped up and ready to buy. The image selection is perfect too with a bold model. This is how you use black.
Proven email templates for Cyber Monday (with examples)
With Cyber Monday, since the day is so close to Black Friday, you should have the same approach with design so customers can immediately recognize your business. Many eCommerce stores have combined the two days together as a shopping season, but you can still divide them into two days to attract different groups of customers.
In the template above, I pretty much just followed the previous design and applied different photos for the Cyber Monday email in the editor. With AVADA Email Marketing, I could quickly make another version of the email that suits the colors and feel for Cyber Monday.
After that, I can combine both emails for an automation workflow during the holiday shopping season.
Easy, right? You can apply the same template for your Cyber Monday email campaign, you just need to install AVADA Email Marketing to get started!
Next, let's see some Cyber Monday email examples from other companies:
Cyber Monday doesn't equal the blue color of the internet and hyper speed elements, Loft takes the customers back in time with this retro computer and a loading GIF - representing consumers loading up their closets with new clothing items. It is funny and entertaining, so I really like this design.
Happily Plates added two countdown timers in their Cyber Monday for the best effect. The CTA button is placed right next to the timer, strategically making the customers take actions. What I would like them to add more is a short description of their business model, since I needed to read twice to understand they are a vegetable shop.
Skechers as a shoe company couldn't stand out of the game when Cyber Monday is on. They quickly made Cyber Monday email with neon lights and matrix lines that look really eye-catching. The top banner is helpful for customers to browse their products just like on the website. What I would change, though, is to add a bit of design for the products they offer.
A template for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday is great to save you time and represent your brand in a consistent way. GFDA has a very compelling email campaign here with a bit of humor. Basically, they made the Black Friday email full black, but add white strikethrough and a bit of new text for the Cyber Monday email. Brilliant!
I always find Casper's emails interesting, and it is no exception for their Cyber Monday email. They know that consumers often have to set ridiculous alarm times for good deals in the holiday shopping season, so they put funny and relatable email content into this simple Cyber MOnday email. They ask the customers to forget about the alarms and have a good night sleep, since they have a tempting offer with Casper already. The CTA button is great too with the copy of 'Sleeping'.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday is not a time to be missed by eCommerce stores. The holiday is one of the best occasions to increase revenue by a big time. And once you get those sales, don't forget to nurture a relationship with the customers by using afterward emails, it is always better to have a long lasting friendship!
Big events require big solutions, so don't let your important promotion weekend with Black Friday and Cyber Monday become a troublemaker. Try installing our app AVADA Email Marketing now and use the powerful tools like automation series, email templates, email editors, etc. to create an effective email campaign. If you need any help, support is always here!