Best practices

More sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday with great email marketing

By October 19, 2021 No Comments

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to fall on November 26th and November 29th this year. Those dates are coming up quickly, and marketers and small business owners are running out of time to promote their brands in time for the biggest shopping days of the year. When it comes to eCommerce or online-only stores, the sales start quite a bit early with Black Friday email marketing. For brick and mortar stores, email marketing is also quite important when it comes to getting leads for those Black Friday sales.

If your business needs to get a leg up on the competition, it’s vital to spend the entire month of November marketing your business, particularly via email marketing. For business owners that are still scratching their heads over where to start, don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll break down all of the email marketing tips online and offline businesses need to increase sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We recommend creating your own checklist and using the tips and ideas that resonate with you in this guide.

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Table of Contents

The ultimate guide to getting more sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday via email marketing

The ultimate guide to getting more sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday via email marketing

> Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.” — David Newman

Before we kick off our guide, it’s worth noting that this article is split between eCommerce businesses and brick and mortar businesses. These businesses differ significantly. One may exclusively try to market on Cyber Monday or Black Friday, the other might have specific email marketing needs in order to encourage leads to physically enter their store. We split business owners into these two groups simply because either group requires specific email marketing tips and ideas

Let’s start this guide off by breaking down exactly what email marketing entails.

Email marketing to drive sales

Email marketing is a very profitable marketing channel for most businesses, especially in preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Email marketing is the process of sending emails to your subscribers, or leads that have willingly provided their email and other contact information via a landing page or other channel. These email communications can vary significantly, from promotional emails to order tracking emails to abandoned cart emails. Essentially, this marketing channel can be used to inform and drive sales, as well as boost your brand awareness and customer community for your brand.

How is email marketing valuable

With a ROI around 40$ per each dollar spent, year after year, this marketing channel has also the great strength to be highly personalized. If you’re not convinced, take a look at the statistics:

  • Email accounts are used by four billion people daily.
  • Over 64% of small business owners use email marketing to get in touch with customers and prospects.
  • Marketers and business owners who use segmented email campaigns have reported a 760% increase in revenue.
  • 78% of marketers have seen a boost in email engagement in the last year alone.
  • The international email marketing market was priced at a whopping $7.5 billion last year, and that number is expected to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027.
    [Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats]

Now that we’ve established why a good email marketing strategy is so important, let’s move on to the ideas, tips, and potential strategies that you can use as a small business owner to increase sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

eCommerce small businesses – Tips, ideas, and strategies for success

Email marketing for eCommerce businesses is very useful and can provide the right leverage for Cyber Monday. In many cases, consumers tend to hold off on making purchases through the start of Q4 because they want to see if the products they want will be on sale on Cyber Monday. Many eCommerce marketing campaigns are designed around promoting sales on Black Friday all the way through Cyber Monday, and both “sales holidays” are profitable for small eCommerce businesses.

There are many best practices one can implement to capitalize on these retail holidays via email marketing. The biggest tip, however, would be to implement your marketing campaign throughout the entire month of November. Don’t wait to implement your strategy– start your email marketing campaigns as early as November 1st to really get the most out of your Cyber Monday promotions.

When it comes to email marketing for a retail holiday, the key is to have the best possible subject lines possible. Your subject line is the first point of reference for your leads. If your subject line doesn’t grab attention, provide value, and generate interest, your email marketing campaign simply will not be as successful as it could be. Your email content is only as valuable as your subject line is– it’s the front door to your email marketing content, so to speak.

The subject lines that you opt for depend on your business niche and the promotions you are going to offer on Cyber Monday. Still, there are a few key examples of great email subject lines that you can use to get inspired:

  • The Ultimate Cyber Monday Sale – Up to 40% off! – This subject line is excellent because it’s direct and to the point. Many subject lines for sales emails are too long-winded, which makes them look like spam. This subject line is direct, provides value in the form of 40% off, and makes its intentions clear.
  • Just hours left for our biggest sale of the year! – This subject line has a sense of urgency without coming across as pushy. Many consumers will sign up for email communications with their favorite eCommerce businesses because they want to know when the best sales are happening. This email subject line makes it clear that a sale is happening and the consumer needs to act quickly or risk missing out.
  • 💥 Cyber Monday Sale! The Last Day to Get 70% off Everything! 💥 – Emojis can be quite beneficial for Cyber Monday marketing email subject lines. Still, try to keep things simple and don’t overload your subject line with emojis– this will make your email appear as spam. We recommend using two emojis per subject line at most.
  • That’s right, we’re having a sale! – This subject line doesn’t mention Cyber Monday, and that is very intentional. Many consumers have their inboxes flooded with Cyber Monday promotions, with each subject line looking identical to the last. This subject line lets the consumer know that a sale is coming, with very simple and casual language.
  • Your discount runs out today – As we mentioned earlier, many consumers that opt for email communications with businesses tend to have a fear of missing out. They’re signing up for email communications simply because they want to know when the best sales are. This subject line is simple, has a sense of urgency, and makes the call to action very clear– they need to act now or risk losing their potential discount or promotion.
  • Cyber Monday Starts Today! – This subject line gets directly to the point and makes a very evergreen offer. It’s bold and clear, but also excitable. Punctuation can make the biggest difference with subject lines. Without an exclamation point, this subject line might come across and boring or badly written. Use punctuation to your advantage.
  • Extended Cyber Monday Sale! – Using words like “extended” will make it seem like your Cyber Monday sale is about to be over, but your brand has decided to extend the sale deadline for the benefit of your customers. With a fear of missing out, seeing the word “extended” could prompt consumers to jump on the sale right away.
  • 12 hours only: Massive Cyber Monday Sale – This subject line is excellent because it provides a time limit, a sense of urgency, and makes the intention of the email clear.
  • Don’t get FOMO – It’s our biggest sale of the year! – There’s the mention of fear of missing out again. Acronyms can be quite useful in email subject lines, as they reduce the length of the subject line and provide a hip, modern edge to the email itself.
  • Cyber Monday Sale: 45% Off Everything – The numbers don’t lie, and they also provide a ton of value to your marketing emails. When consumers see the actual amount they can save on potential products, they are much more likely to convert. Again, it’s all about providing value.

Outside of your subject headline, pay close attention to your call to action statements, or CTAs. Your CTAs need to be extremely simple and clear, so your leads will be able to easily engage with your brand. Your CTAs can be as simple as “Shop Now” or “Learn More.”


eCommerce Small Businesses | Tips for Success Checklist:

[] | Start your email marketing campaign as early as possible in November, preferably on November 1st.
[] | Ensure that your email subject lines display value, catch interest, and grab attention.
[] | Study the subject lines of successful email campaigns to get inspired for your own subject lines. With this inspiration in mind, make sure that your subject lines are still relevant to your brand, niche, and promotional offerings for the upcoming retail holidays.
[] | Experiment with using emojis in your subject lines, but don’t use more than two per subject line.
[] | Use punctuation, acronyms, and percentages to your advantage in your subject line.
[] | Use a simple, direct, and clear CTA for each and every email.


Brick and mortar small businesses – Tips, ideas, and strategies for success

Just as eCommerce platforms need to market their sales for Cyber Monday, brick and mortar stores need to market their sales and promotions for Black Friday. This event really is impossible to ignore, as millions of people shop both online and offline on Black Friday each year. If you want to reap the rewards of this retail holiday, it’s vital to have an email marketing strategy in place.

To kick off our tips, ideas, and strategies for success, we’ll offer the biggest tip that also applies to eCommerce email marketing: Start early. We recommend that Black Friday email campaigns launch as early as possible in November. This is particularly important for offline stores, as it will give consumers time to plan to visit the store itself. Email marketing for Black Friday can be a little more difficult for offline stores, as they do not have the same level of convenience that an eCommerce platform does. It’s vital to start your campaign early to effectively measure your engagement and build a decent prediction of how many customers will make an appearance at your store on Black Friday.

It’s also important to remember that there is a ton of value in digital marketing. Digital advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing aren’t just valuable for eCommerce businesses. In fact, offline small businesses should focus a majority of their marketing resources on digital marketing, especially email marketing.

With this in mind, there are some important tips and ideas that offline stores can use to create a killer email marketing campaign. To start, we recommend offering exclusive Black Friday promotions to those who have subscribed to your brand via email. Email subscribers are further along in your sales funnel than, say, the occasional customer that stops by your shop because they saw an ad or saw your storefront on the street. Your email subscribers likely saw an ad for your shop online, clicked through, explored your website landing page, and opted to give their contact information over. They’re interested leads– they might just need a little push to become converted customers. Because of this, it’s a good idea to offer special and exclusive offers to your email subscribers, such as an extra 10% off coupon that they can bring into your store to enjoy on top of your existing Black Friday promotion. These offers and incentives can be coupons, coupon codes, free present wrapping, exclusive giveaways, discounts on delivery (if your store delivers goods), and virtually anything else that presents value to your email subscribers. However, these deals and promotions should be extremely unique when compared to the promotions you are already offering for Black Friday.

Just because your business is offline doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a website. At the heart of email marketing is the website you will be directing traffic to. In fact, each of your marketing emails should include a link to a designated landing page. Just as well, the entirety of your website should be highly optimized for mobile. A majority of your leads will access your marketing emails via their smartphone, and the last thing you want is for them to click through to a messy website that they will immediately bounce from.

Include the right CTAs (call to action) in your email body. eCommerce brands tend to have it easy when it comes to CTAs. They can simply include a link to their online store with little in the way of a barrier. For offline brands, using the right CTA can be a little difficult. Here are a few examples of great email CTAs for offline brands:

  • Find a store. – This is a very powerful CTA for an offline store. This encourages your viewers to see the closest shop location to where they live, making the process of getting to your store easier.
  • Register now. – Perhaps your brick-and-mortar store offers a rewards or loyalty program. You can make it easier for potential visitors to connect with your brand by including a CTA to register.
  • Call the store. – If you’re a completely offline store, this CTA can make it easier for your leads (especially older individuals) to get in touch with your brand and learn about new sales.
  • Preorder here. – Preorders are very popular for Black Friday. They also provide an opportunity for brands to track how many sales they are getting before Black Friday even begins.
  • Sign up for updates. – Nobody wants to spam or be spammed when it comes to email marketing. Not every email subscriber will want to deal with countless promotional emails, day after day. Propose an opportunity for your highly valuable leads to opt into day-by-day Black Friday emails.
  • Join the club. – This inclusive CTA could tap into consumers’ fear of missing out. It also makes your brand seem exclusive.
  • Shop now. – It’s short, simple, to the point, and marketable. Even if you don’t have an online store, you can link a landing page to this CTA that lists all of the sales that will take place on Black Friday, as well as the potential preorder opportunities.

Brick and Mortar Small Businesses | Tips for success checklist:

[] | Start your email marketing campaign as early as November 1st.
[] | Remember that digital marketing is just as valuable for brick and mortar small businesses as it is for eCommerce small businesses. Most of your marketing should be focused on digital channels, especially email marketing.
[] | Offer exclusive in-store promotions to your email subscribers. Ensure that these promotions are extremely unique.
[] | Ensure that your website is packed full of excellent landing pages and is optimized for mobile.
[] | Use the right CTAs in the body of your emails, each and every time.

Buying from a computer - Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Online merchants – Tasks to do 30 days before

A successful email campaign begins very far in advance. Here are the main tasks that online merchants should focus on thirty days before Black Friday or Cyber Monday:

  • Start your marketing campaign on November 1st if possible. It’s vital to start your campaign as early in November as possible.
  • Make sure your contact list is up to date and you have all the permissions required.
  • Queue the entirety of your email marketing campaign as early as possible. This will make it easier to focus on metrics and the preparations you’ll need to make for the actual sale, as well as your other marketing channels. Use automation to create your campaigns. It will help you save time and lower the risk of forgetting to send one precious email!
  • Remember to segment your audience. Online retailers almost never have just one target audience. Rather, one’s audience is full of people from different backgrounds that have different use cases for your products. Segment your email subscribers into groups based on their behaviors, and create a targeted email campaign for each group.
  • Ensure that all of your messaging is optimized for mobile.
  • Ensure that all of your Cyber Monday emails have a similar, attractive color scheme. Also add in some moving media every few emails, such as videos, animated GIFs, etc.
  • Look into what your competitors’ email campaigns entail.

Online merchants – Tasks to do 20 days before

As the month progresses, focus on the following tasks about twenty days before your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale goes live:

  • This has less to do with your email campaign, but it’s still worth noting. Ensure that your business, and thus your inventory, is ready for the big event. In the wake of the pandemic, supply chains have been struggling to keep up with the demand for consumer goods. Between thirty and twenty days before Cyber Monday, make sure that you order enough products to meet the demand and large orders you’ll be facing on the retail holiday.
  • There’s no sense of urgency to project on your leads yet. Rather, your email campaign during this period should focus on celebrating the holidays while also subtly including a mention of your upcoming sales. You can get very creative with this period of time. What is your business’s niche? How does your brand relate to the holidays? How can your products be used in the context of the holidays? This period of emails should be used to deliver valuable, entertaining content to your subscribers.

Online merchants – Tasks to do 10 days before

Ten days before Cyber Monday or Black Friday, it’s vital to get the following tasks checked off of your list as you get closer to the big sale day:

  • Lend a sense of urgency to your subject lines. Use language that makes it clear the sale is coming up, but don’t be too aggressive about it. The key is to create a sense of urgency without being overwhelming.
  • Start rewarding your email subscribers. They’re there for a reason and are more likely to make a sale than a lead who just happens to come across one of your ads online. Provide your email subscribers with a special offer, such as a free gift with a minimum purchase on Black Friday or a coupon code to use on a Cyber Monday preorder. A few other valuable options include promo codes, free shipping, gift card codes, present wrapping services, a free trial, referral perks, or access to lead magnets and gated content.
  • The email content you deliver during this time should be highly visual. If your leads haven’t been pulled in by your email campaign thus far, very visual emails could entice them more. Content is key here– consider offering videos or beautiful photography involving your products in your promotional emails.
  • Consider delivering “gamified” emails during this time. Gamification is a highly engaging technique that can be included in visual marketing emails. For example: One of your emails during this period could include an animation of a slot machine and the title “Feeling lucky?” Clicking on the image could direct the consumer to a page where they can roll the slots and receive a random percentage off their Black Friday purchase.

Online merchants – Tasks to do the day of

On the day of Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you’ll have a few key things to do:

  • Queue your last-minute emails. Where offline merchants will need to really hammer home the sense of urgency, we don’t necessarily recommend doing so with online merchants. It’s much easier to go from email to store with online merchants, who are only a click away. Your subject lines should be curious, light-hearted, and excitable.
  • For your leads that have abandoned their cart in the past, now is the time to target them and notify them of the sale occurring right now.
  • Invest time in your other channels. Your email campaign is just one cog in the wheel. With your email campaign automated and running the day of, focus your attention on marketing channels and matters that can’t be automated.
  • Consider extending your deals past the point of Cyber Monday. This is a big trend with businesses, and those who might have missed out could enjoy the sales a few days to a week past Monday.

Clothes from a bag - Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Offline merchants – Tasks to do 30 days before

A successful email campaign begins very far in advance. Here are the main tasks that online merchants should focus on thirty days before Black Friday or Cyber Monday:

  • Start your marketing campaign on November 1st if possible. It’s vital to start your campaign as early in November as possible so you can really get the most out of this marketing strategy.
  • Make sure your contact list is up to date and you have all the permissions required.
  • Kick your subscriber list up. As early as possible, you’ll want to ensure that your email list is packed with potential leads. There are many ways to do this, but the best way is to improve the urgency and overall offering for your products. This should be done before launching your Black Friday sales and promotions.
  • Try to queue all of your emails as early as possible. This can be difficult and time-consuming, but you’ll be glad you did so when it comes to preparing your store, pursuing other marketing channels, and being able to measure the success of your email campaigns for future use.
  • Do A/B testing on your email subject lines. Specifically, use your analytics software of choice to measure the click-through rate of your emails. The emails that aren’t even getting clicks likely have weak subject lines, and thus should be scrapped. Just as well, you should take those scrapped subject lines and gently tweak them. For example: “Cyber Monday Sale NOW!” may have a very low click-through rate, but “Cyber Monday Sale 40% Off” might get more clicks. This is the heart of A/B testing.
  • This should go without saying but distinguish exactly which products will be on sale and exactly what your promotions will look like before drafting your email campaigns.
  • Start sending out non-promotional emails that will get your subscribers excited for the holidays. These can include entertainment tips, decorating projects, information about upcoming events, etc.

Offline merchants – Tasks to do 20 days before

As the month progresses, focus on the following tasks about twenty days before your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale goes live:

  • It’s not quite time to create a sense of urgency in your emails. Rather, this period of time should revolve around showcasing your product offering. What products will be discounted during your Black Friday sale? Are any of them available for preorder? Why are those products valuable? Focus on individual item promotion in your emails during this time. This can entice your potential leads and display the value that your brand offers. Your emails should also be highly visual.
  • Now would be a good time to start sending out your Black Friday teaser emails. Give your email subscribers an idea of what kinds of deals they can look forward to, and whether those deals will be online or in-store exclusively.
  • Use percentages in these emails. Your leads want to know exactly what they can look forward to on Black Friday, so make it easy for them to make an informed decision about whether or not your brand is worth their time and a trip to your store.

Offline merchants – Tasks to do 10 days before

Ten days before Black Friday, it’s vital to get these tasks checked off of your list as you get closer to the big sale day:

  • Similar to online merchants, brick-and-mortar stores will need to create a sense of urgency in their subject lines. Don’t be too aggressive about it– the key is to entice your email subscribers and make it clear that the sale holiday is coming up soon.
  • Consider launching presales around this time. If you really want to be noticed by your prospective leads, you should entice them with sales early in November.
  • Give your potential shoppers actual incentives to stop by your store. Use words like “free” and make your emails seem exclusive, like your email subscribers are part of a secret club.
  • Remember to focus on your email subscribers’ fear of missing out. You can do this by including a countdown timer in your email and very large, easy-to-find CTA buttons that direct them to your holiday ad or preorder page.

Offline merchants – Tasks to do the day of

On the day of Black Friday, you’ll have a few key things to do to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible:

  • This goes without saying, but ensure that your brick-and-mortar store is prepared for a potential onslaught of people. If your email campaigns have been successful and you’ve gained a ton of leads, you can expect some pretty hefty crowds.
  • Queue last-minute promotional emails to fire off throughout the day. Focus on the subject lines– they should be short, snappy, valuable, and to the point. The sense of urgency should be very strong here, but the subject line should also be celebratory and light-hearted. Nobody wants to feel rushed, but rather, gently encouraged to stop by your shop to give your promotions a look-through.
  • Your subject lines should also be a bit subtle. Your subscribers are likely dealing with an onslaught of Black Friday emails, and the subject lines likely melt together. Try to develop a very unique subject line for the day’s Black Friday announcement.

How was our guide to creating an excellent email marketing strategy as a business for Black Friday? Tell us which tip or trick helped you the most.

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Author Alex DeCivita

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