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Black Friday Email Marketing Ideas to Skyrocket Your Sales

Karolina Petraškienė
Content Marketing Manager
Reading Time: 6 minutes

This year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday land on November 26th and 29th. However, ecommerce sales will start earlier with Black Friday emails, and your holiday marketing strategy should be ready for kick-off at the beginning of November.

If you want to get the edge on your competition (and who doesn’t), you need to take the entire month very seriously and start working on your Black Friday email marketing campaigns now.

What Should You Expect From Black Friday Email Marketing Campaigns This Year?

Due to the pandemic, a changing ecommerce environment, and evolving owned marketing channels, the following trends can be forecasted for the upcoming holiday season:

  • Significantly more people will shop online. This brings more opportunities for ecommerce businesses as well as higher competition.
  • Ecommerce promotions will start much earlier than Black Friday itself. This year, many retailers will start their communication just after Amazon’s Prime Day.
  • Retailers will reinforce their email communication with other marketing channels, like SMS and web push notifications. These two channels are getting more and more popular and a lot of retailers see new potential opportunities there.

Bearing all these trends in mind, here are the eight most important steps you need to follow for your Black Friday marketing success.

1. Boost your subscriber list

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We’ve written before why it’s not only important for you to build up your email list, but also nine proven ways you can build an email list today.

This is especially true in the holiday season, as the Cyber Ten is the biggest shopping week of the year.

Even more, those customers who’ve already bought from you will be more likely to buy again, so having an email list becomes much more important.
If you want to boost your subscriber list, you should try to improve on the urgency and offerings for your products. This should be done before your Black Friday–Cyber Monday discounts and offerings.

Also, consider adding an additional phone number field into your signup forms. Promise early-access deals to encourage visitors to sign up for your messages.

You can also create a special landing page to grab visitors’ emails from, for example, your advertising campaigns, social media ads, etc.

These updates will make you competitive and help you to stand out, especially if you start your promotions earlier.

2. Start sales before Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend

In order to get noticed by your subscribers and visitors, you shouldn’t promote your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales on Black Friday or even Thanksgiving.

Instead, you should start promoting your sales well before then. As already mentioned, plan to start your communication in the second half of October or the beginning of November.

Read more about when exactly you should start your promotions and how often message your customers in the article: Unalike Holiday Email Campaigns 2020: The Who, How, and When

3. A/B test your subject lines

Getting your open rates up can be a complicated task. It can involve a combination of the time of day, day of the week, weather, political event, or many other things.

However, one of the biggest things affecting your open rates are your subject lines.

Normally, you have to decide, based on your intuition or your experience with your email list, which subject lines lead to better open rates. There are also many aspects to consider, such as whether you should use the word ‘free’ in your emails, or if it’s better to just say ‘discount’ or ‘sale’ or explicitly state what the discount will be ‘20%’.

That’s why you should do A/B testing on your email subject lines. A/B testing allows you to enter two different versions of the subject line and see which one performs better.

With Omnisend, version A will go to 25% of your recipients, version B to another 25%, and the winning subject line will go to the remaining 50%.

4. Create urgency in your Black Friday email campaigns

When it comes to email engagement, a sense of urgency is a powerful tool to employ.

For example, you can introduce a timer or some kind of scarcity, so your users understand that there’s a limit to the great deals you’ll be offering.


5. Launch cart abandonment automation

As the most effective marketing automation, a cart abandonment workflow is a must-have for every retailer, as part of a drip campaign, especially during holiday sales. Over 75% of carts will be abandoned and auto-reminders can help you recover at least some of them.

Consider setting up a workflow optimized for the holiday season, meaning that the workflow should contain more messages than usual and they are sent with shorter gaps between them.

Learn more on how to optimize this workflow so it would be max effective here:
6 Ways to Optimize Your Holiday Workflows in 2020
5 Ways to Use SMS with Your Holiday Promotions in 2020

6. Consider adding more channels into your strategy

Consider adding text messages to your Black Friday communication. According to data, outreaching your audience via three and more marketing channels brings up to 90% higher customer retention.

Ideally, you can add these channels to an automated abandoned cart workflow, like in the example above. Or enrich your welcome workflow.
See the example below:

7. Give something extra to your loyal customers

Consider providing some extra value to your loyal customers and subscribers so they feel appreciated, while your margins still stay on the safe side.

For subscribers, it might be an early-access offer, some exclusive members-only bundle offers, or free shipping.

For your loyal customers (that you can identify and segment), you can offer exclusive discounts, free-of-charge gift-wrapping, engraving, etc.

After all, you’re not only focused on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping period here, but you’re also looking long-term – aiming to build up your brand, your customer loyalty, and extend each customer’s lifetime value.

At Omnisend, we have some interactive email elements for rewards and incentives, like a Scratch Card or a Gift Box.


8. Extend your deals past Cyber Monday

Lastly, it’s probably a good idea for you to extend your deals just a little bit after Cyber Monday.

It’s not necessary to go too crazy and extend it all the way to Christmas. No, just extend it for one or two days.

Here, the marketing of your extension is important, you still want to maintain the scarcity and exclusivity of your promotions. You can try to send an email like Julep, or an SMS that gives your customer one more day to finish their shopping.

Julep has a great Black Friday email campaign to extend their sales
  • Their subject line is straightforward and eye-catching: EXTENDED! 50%. Off. Everything.
  • The sale is extended only for 48 hours, which still maintains that sense of urgency.
  • Those customers who missed your sales for one reason or another can still buy from you at your special prices.

This also means that it’s easier for your emails to get noticed, as most of the mad-dash last-minute emails are sent on Cyber Monday. By Tuesday morning, everything should be quieter in their inboxes, and you’ll be noticed more.

Skyrocket your sales with your Black Friday email campaigns

If you want to increase your sales, it goes without saying that you need to double down on your email marketing. If you don’t have an email marketing strategy yet or haven’t invested in email marketing at all, you still have time to fix that.

You won’t believe how much money you’re leaving on the table by ignoring email marketing ($40 ROI for each $1 spent).

While Black Friday is more than two months away, now is the best time to start planning for it. After that, implement your strategies and get your piece of the Black Friday-Cyber Monday pie.

Do you have any other Black Friday email strategies? Let us know in the comments below.

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Karolina Petraškienė

Karolina is a writer, content marketer, and email enthusiast at Omnisend. When she's not curating articles, you can find her in the woods challenging herself in hiking boots or off-roading her bike.