Some of the biggest shopping days of the year are right around the corner. No matter what you’re selling, your customers are ready to open their wallets, and you need to be primed to take advantage by creating Black Friday email campaigns.
But, since your customers’ inboxes are going to be inundated, you’ll need to stand out and give them a reason to open your emails. It’s not enough to show up; you need to sweeten the deal and make them an offer they can’t refuse.
If your idea well has gone dry, then this post is for you. Below you’ll find nine different suggestions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns.
We’ll cover can’t miss coupons, scarcity-based bonuses, value-add partnerships and a lot more. No doubt your brain will be on fire with ideas about how you can make this holiday shopping season your most profitable yet.
The importance of Black Friday email marketing
The Black Friday weekend can be a massive boost to your overall sales numbers for the year. Best of all, you can get this boost just by sending some thoughtful and well-crafted emails.
Year after year, more and more customers are getting their wallets ready for the impending sales, and this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday are primed to be the biggest ones yet.
To take advantage, it’s a good idea to start planning your marketing campaigns early, instead of scrambling at the last minute.
According to Sendgrid, nearly 24 billion emails were sent during these 24 hours last year. That’s an email for roughly half the world’s population.
But that means one thing — crowded inboxes.
You need your emails to stand out and get opened if you’re going to convince your customers to click through and visit your store.
9 revenue-boosting Black Friday email campaign ideas
It can be hard to come up with creative email campaigns from scratch — especially during the holiday season when you have a million and one other things on your plate. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
- Get in your customers’ minds early.
- Offer a pre-sale for loyal subscribers.
- Entice with a free shipping coupon.
- Create a scarcity-based bonus.
- Create a time-based Black Friday sequence.
- Frame your sale as smart Christmas prep.
- Create a raffle or free giveaway.
- Partner with other complementary retailers.
- Extend your Cyber Monday sale, aka the Tuesday Blowout.
Let the nine email campaign ideas below get you moving in the right direction.
Editor’s note: With Upfiv Email Marketing it’s easy to prep Black Friday emails in advance and schedule them to send whenever you want, so you don’t have to spend your holidays sending emails.
1. Get in your customers’ minds early
Before the madness of post-Thanksgiving sales begins, you’ll want to already be at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
No doubt their inbox is going to be flooded with hundreds of emails vying for their attention. But you can hack this by having them actually seek out and look forward to your email.
One effective way to do this is by sending a thank you email out on Thanksgiving day. The only purpose of this email is to thank them for being a loyal customer and always opening your emails.
Make it a real email, like one you would send to a friend. Don’t use company-speak. Write it with emotion and from the heart.
Then, towards the end of the email, let them know about the massive sale you have coming out. Something like, “P.S. tomorrow will be our biggest sale in company history, so make sure to keep an eye on your inbox.”
The goal of this email isn’t to play with emotion, but instead share your thanks and gratitude and briefly let them know about your massive sale coming up (that could save them a lot of money).
2. Offer a pre-sale for loyal subscribers
If you’re looking to drive sales before the holiday rush starts, you can create a pre-sale email campaign.
This will be for your loyal customers only. To do this effectively, you’ll need to segment your email list based upon active users who regularly open emails or regularly buy products from you.
First, you need something to offer. Maybe you’re marking down certain items, offering a coupon code off the total order, or throwing in a buy-one-get-one-free deal. Whatever it is, create an offer that your loyal subscribers can’t resist.
With this deal, you’ll have a countdown timer in place. You could offer this deal for Thanksgiving day only, or you could offer it for a few days up until black Friday starts. It’s up to you.
Think of this email like a red carpet event. Only your most exclusive subscribers (the ones that are most valuable to your business) are allowed in.
3. Entice with a free shipping coupon
If you’re looking to sweeten the pot of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email deals even more, then consider offering a free shipping coupon as well. You’re already offering incredible bargains, but free shipping too! That’s a no brainer.
To ensure you aren’t losing money on the deal, calculate your shipping costs, and offer a free shipping coupon for orders over a certain value. For example, “orders over $89 will get free shipping, just enter the coupon code FREETHINGS at checkout.”
You can offer this coupon throughout the entirety of Black Friday weekend, or choose a day like Black Friday or Cyber Monday to really boost sales that day.
4. Create a scarcity-based bonus
During this time of year, you want people to take action as quickly as possible. You’re competing with hundreds of other stores for your customer’s hard-earned cash.
One way you can nudge yourself out in the lead is by sweetening the deal. Instead of just offering a discount (like every other store is doing), you can include a free bonus.
Maybe it’s a free backpack or T-shirt. Whatever you’re offering, make sure it’s good, as a lot of customers will buy something from you just for the bonus alone.
You can take this even further by making the bonus scarce. For example, only offer the gift to your first 200 customers. You can also send a follow-up email letting your subscribers know how many of the bonuses have already been claimed.
If you’d like, you can even tease this bonus in your earlier emails. Since you’ll be emailing your customers relentlessly from Black Friday all the way through midnight on Cyber Monday, you can leave this bonus until later on.
Something like, “keep an eye out for our Cyber Monday email where we’ll be giving away a gift worth $250 to the first 200 customers.”
5. Create a time-based Black Friday sequence
One great way to create scarcity is with a countdown timer. Once the timer is up, the sale is over. No questions asked.
There are multiple ways you can run this.
For example, if you have multiple lines of products you can offer a discount on that product line for each specific day. Black Friday is for watches, the weekend after is handbags, and the blowout Cyber Monday sale is all remaining accessories.
Each email you send will focus on the category of items you’re selling, as well as a countdown timer to show how much time they have left to buy.
Or, you can include a standard countdown timer for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals embedded in your emails, or even at the top of your website. You can expect a lot of sales to trickle in at the last minute, just before the timer is up.
6. Frame your sale as smart Christmas prep
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday being some of the biggest shopping days of the year, people are going to be spending a lot of money.
However, a lot of customers will also be looking forward to Christmas, budgeting for this time of the year as well. You can take advantage of this by framing some of your emails as “getting your Christmas shopping out of the way early.”
While all your friends are rushing all over town and filling up their Amazon carts, you can sit back and relax.
Even the reminder that Christmas is coming and these will be the lowest prices you’re offering all year should be enough to garner a few extra sales.
7. Create a raffle or free giveaway
People love free giveaways and the chance of winning big. It’s the reason millions of people play the lotto every single year.
Of course, you won’t be offering a prize that substantial. But, make it compelling enough, and you can see a flood of new orders. For example, whoever makes a purchase over $50 during Black Friday will be entered into a giveaway for a $1,000 gift card.
It doesn’t have to be a cash prize either. Maybe free shipping for a year? A gift card to another store? A free lifetime subscription to the software you’re selling?
Get creative and think of a prize so compelling you’ll have customers buying from you solely to have a chance at winning.
8. Partner with other complementary retailers
This one will take more work beforehand, but it can be a great way to reach new customers while multiplying your bottom line.
The premise is this: Instead of emailing your list over and over again, you’ll get other retailers to email their customers about the massive sale you’re having and vice versa.
Make a list of stores that aren’t your direct competition, but instead offer complementary products. So, if you’re selling backpacking backpacks made from Kevlar you could partner with retailers who sell tents, camping knives, water filters, bottles and more.
Then, you’ll have these retailers email their list with your Black Friday or Cyber Monday coupon codes, and you’ll do the same with your list.
This will not only result in more sales and new customers for your business, but you’ll also be creating goodwill with your customers.
You could even negotiate an affiliate deal, where you’ll receive a portion of the total sales that come through your link. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay out affiliates on your end if you work out this kind of deal—yet another way to generate revenue during the busiest shopping season of the year.
9. Extend your Cyber Monday sale, aka the Tuesday Blowout
If you’re not burnt out with the five days of emailing, then we have another one for you.
The single-day extended sale.
The purpose of this is to sell to the last remaining stragglers or those who are remorseful they didn’t pull the trigger over the previous few days.
Think of this as the final blowout sale. However, you have to be careful not to alienate those who already purchased from you previously. They might be a little salty if you’re going back on your word. For example, if you had a time-based deal that ended at midnight on Cyber Monday, then you need to follow through with that.
Trust takes a lifetime to build, but only a second to lose. Don’t get greedy and go back on your word to make a few extra sales.
Instead, offer different items for sale, or provide less of a discount. Think of this sale like you’re a sporting goods store trying to clear out summer inventory to make room for fall and winter.
Wrapping up: How to make this Black Friday weekend the best yet
Running successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns takes a lot of preparation and planning, but it’s time well spent. Do it right, and you’ll be looking forward to the post-Thanksgiving season every year.
You don’t have to execute on every single campaign idea above. Instead, pick a few that are most in alignment with what you sell.
Here’s a quick recap of the email campaign ideas:
- Send a thank-you email on Thanksgiving day to be on the front of your customer’s mind.
- Create an exclusive pre-sale for your most valued customers before Black Friday begins.
- Offer a free shipping coupon on top of your heavily discounted prices.
- Include a high-value bonus that’s only available to your first 200 buyers.
- Use a countdown timer to inspire people to buy before time runs out.
- Frame an email as taking care of Christmas shopping early.
- Create a super enticing raffle for one lucky customer who buys something during the sale.
- Partner with complementary retailers to have them share your sale with their email list.
- Extend your Cyber Monday sale into a Tuesday blowout sale for those who missed out.
Hopefully, the ideas above will help make the upcoming Black Tuesday and Cyber Monday the most profitable yet.
This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by Macdara Bracken.