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5 best Black Friday email examples to generate more sales

Black Friday email
5 great Black Friday email examples and takeaways
Increase your open rate with these Black Friday email subject lines
The components of a high-performing Black Friday email
Final thoughts

It’s already the time of year to dust off your creative cap and design your Black Friday email marketing campaign.

Black Friday is one of the most important times of the year for businesses, especially those in ecommerce. Last year, Black Friday shopping broke records with a mind-boggling $9 billion spent, and 2021 could be even bigger. Even more importantly, 39% of consumers actively look to their emails for information on deals and promotions from their favorite retailers.

The purpose of Black Friday email marketing is to draw your customers in with a sense of urgency and convince them to take advantage of your great sales. The challenge comes with the volume of competition. Your customers will be swamped with Black Friday emails, so you really have to stand out.

If you’re worried about creating a last-minute Black Friday email campaign, don’t worry. We’ve done the hard work for you.

In this article, we’ll show you five examples of great Black Friday emails and then share some tips on how you can keep your solution at the forefront of your customer’s minds and break records this holiday season.

5 great Black Friday email examples and takeaways

These five companies really nail their Black Friday email marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at what they do really well and where they could make them even better.

1. Postable

Postable is an online card creation service that helps you design and mail your cards with custom messages. Their Black Friday email has a very simple and effective design.

Black Friday email example Postable

Postable’s Black Friday email subject line: Black Friday Sale Starts… Now! ⏰

When it comes to messaging, Postable has focused on the crazy nature of Black Friday, mentioning “Black Friday Madness” and using some fun alliteration with the sentence “Commence card creation craziness”.

So, what does it get right and where can you improve your own emails?

What works:

  • They’ve included all of the important information in their email content: Their logo, a brief friendly message, the deal that they’re offering and the code customers need to use to receive the discount or coupon.

  • You can’t miss their offer. With the second sentence mentioning it and the large “25% off” graphic taking up most of the email, it’s impossible to open this email and not know exactly what their Black Friday deal is.

  • Their call to action (CTA) says: “To the cards!” and takes you directly to their online storefront. This is a more interesting way of saying “Shop Now” and helps add to the conversational, fun tone of the email.

How you can improve on it:

  • Stand out with design. Use graphics to help your emails grab and hold attention. If you have a consistent design style like Postable, think of ways to make the most of it in your Black Friday email.

  • Let your customers know that the Black Friday sale has started in the subject line and inject urgency to encourage customers to open the email and get shopping.

2. Adobe

Our second example is from Adobe. Their eye-catching email brings out the subject matter with the header and massive technicolor logo for their Creative Cloud software suite.

Black Friday email examples Adobe

Adobe’s Black Friday email subject line: Black Friday deal ends tonight

Adobe’s Black Friday email seems to be aimed at a very specific group: designers who lead a team. Presumably, this is based on the analysis of their customer base and highlights an important aspect of email marketing. Depending on your brand, product and customers, you may wish to target a specific demographic with your Black Friday email to maximize conversions.

What works:

  • Adobe really nails the sense of urgency: “Black Friday deal ends tonight,” “It’s your last chance” and “OFFER ENDS TONIGHT”. All of this combines to create the sense that you’re going to miss out if you don’t follow that link right away.

  • The email is visually striking and is consistent with Adobe’s branding. The white text on a black background is easy to read, and the aesthetic creative cloud logo successfully draws your eye.

  • They finish with a call-to-action button: “Save 25% now”, showing their discount and leading customers directly to their Creative Cloud storefront.

  • The bottom of Adobe’s Black Friday email features brief product descriptions for their most popular software. This helps customers who are less familiar with their products understand why they might want to invest.

How you can improve on it:

  • Make your customers want to open the email with a subject line that pops. Including your offer in the subject line is a great way to get customers to open the email.

3. reMarkable

Next in line, we have reMarkable with another well-thought-out Black Friday email.

Black Friday email examples reMarkable

reMarkable’s Black Friday email subject line: Get $50 off your reMarkable paper tablet

This email has a very similar layout to the first two on our list. They feature their logo, followed by some brief messaging, the offer and a CTA button. What’s remarkable about reMarkable’s email is that it manages to do all of that in less than thirty words.

What works:

  • The text is large, concise, looks great and is very easy to read.

  • Similar to Adobe’s Black Friday email, reMarkable has really focused on the sense of urgency in their Black Friday email campaign. The first thing you see when you open up their email is “Black Friday is ending” with a timer that has counted down to zero.

  • The subject line clearly states their brand name, product and discount, all of which is repeated in the email before a very visible CTA button.

  • They not only provide a basic product description (“Are you ready to meet the only digital device that feels like paper?”), but they also show an image of their paper tablet in action, which helps to build intrigue in customers who are unfamiliar with the product.

How you can improve on it:

  • Put Black Friday in the subject line so customers know there’s a limited time to take advantage of your offer.

4. Codecademy

Our next Black Friday email example is from Codecademy.

Black Friday email examples Codecademy

Codecademy’s Black Friday email subject line: Black Friday Sale on Codecademy Pro

The email starts with their deal (25% off Codecademy Pro until Monday) and goes into a short description of what Pro includes. Next, they have the discount code and call-to-action button to direct customers to their storefront. Finally, they provide a full account of the benefits that Codecademy Pro provides.

What works:

  • Codecademy has included all of the important points in their email with a very clean design.

  • The email has a strong color palette and the text is easy to read.

  • They provide a brief but relatively in-depth description of Codecademy Pro and the benefits that it provides. This is a great way to convince customers that it’s a good investment before they even make it to the product page and can be a very effective marketing strategy.

How you can improve on it:

  • Create a Black Friday email subject line that will pique your customer’s interest: mention the discount and include some personality.

5. DesignModo

Last on the list we have DesignModo.

Black Friday email examples DesignModo

DesignModo’s Black Friday email subject line: ON SALE NOW: 70% OFF all DesignModo products for Black Friday!

The key to DesignModo’s Black Friday sale email is that it really makes use of their brand identity, focusing on their artwork and design above all else. It begins with an appealing banner image that leads into a paragraph stating their offer, how long it will last and a few specific prices for their most popular services. After this, there’s a very simple CTA button that leads straight to their product information landing page.

What works:

  • The design of the Black Friday email exemplifies DesignModo’s branding. The attractive banner image clearly states “Black Friday Sale” along with their discount of 70% off all products in their typical cartoon style.

  • The subject line is descriptive and attention-grabbing. Customers know exactly what they’re getting into when they open the email and they’re directed straight to the storefront with a CTA button.

  • They’ve included discounted prices for their most popular items. This means that interested customers know what it’s going to cost them before they even hit the CTA.

How you can improve on it:

  • Use space as well as you can by clearly stating the discount once above the fold.

  • As well as listing the discounted prices, you could show the original prices too, perhaps crossed out, so customers know great the deals are.

Increase your open rate with these Black Friday email subject lines

The subject line is one of the most important parts of an effective email marketing campaign. In fact, 33% of people decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. Creating a compelling email line can significantly increase your open rate and really help drive conversions.

What is the email open rate?

The email open rate is the percentage of emails that were opened out of all the emails you sent in a particular campaign. Across all industries, the average open rate is only 17% (retail, in particular, saw a significant drop in 2020). You can use your open rate metric to work out if your emails are ending up in spam and determine whether your subject lines were effective.

A higher open rate leads to a higher click-through rate, which leads to more sales. So it goes without saying that you want your open rate to be as high as possible.

What do the best Black Friday subject lines include?

Different companies are going to have different standards and strategies when it comes to creating their Black Friday subject lines. Below, we’ll cover some of the hallmark characteristics of the best subject lines. However, you may not wish to apply them all depending on your email strategy, branding, customers and products.

  1. The company name. Most people choose to click an email based on who it’s from – this goes for companies too. Many of your loyal customers will be waiting to receive your Black Friday email and including your company name in the subject line helps to grab their attention straight away.

  2. A sense of urgency. Including a sense of urgency in your Black Friday subject line helps get people to click-through immediately, rather than wait and miss out on your deals and giveaways. This is because urgency tends to provoke a fear of missing out (FOMO) in your customers. As an example, take a look at Adobe’s subject line “Black Friday deal ends tonight”.

  3. The details of the sale. Putting the actual discount into the subject line is a great way to convince customers to click through to your store. Emails with specific offers in the subject lines generate an 18.1% conversion rate (compared with only 3.8% for those that don’t).

  4. Friendliness. You don’t want to come off boring or standoffish in your Black Friday email. So, have a subject line that’s friendly and playful rather than serious and bland. Use a conversational tone and approach your customers as if you’re telling them great news (which you are). Try to make your text exciting and inviting, without sounding too “salesy”.

  5. A tease, not an exposition. Give just enough away in your subject line that your customers can’t help but click. Once they’re in, treat them to more details about the sale and how they can purchase from your site.

  6. Grab their attention. Put a smile on your customer’s faces as they read your subject line and they’re way more likely to open the email and head straight to your storefront.

Take DesignModo’s subject line, which we featured above: “ON SALE NOW: 70% OFF all DesignModo products for Black Friday!”. It has a sense of urgency (targeting your customer’s FOMO), their brand, details of the sale and doesn’t fail to grab your attention.

However, every brand is different, has a different audience and, therefore, may need a different approach. So, here are some other great subject line formulas that you can use this Black Friday:

  • The Black Friday countdown has started! 25% off all [brand name] products.

  • Blink & You’ll Miss It: Four Days of 40% Off

  • 50% Off. Free Shipping. It must be Black Friday.

  • 24 Hours. 24% Off Storewide.

  • Black Friday countdown: Only 12 hours left!

  • Don’t Miss Our Once-in-a-Year Sale!

  • Doorbuster one-day-only offer: $400 off and FREE delivery

  • Happy Black Friday: 30% off EVERYTHING!

Black Friday email subject lines

The components of a high-performing Black Friday email

The best Black Friday email templates have a set of components that help them perform so well. So, what are these?

Urgency and the fear of missing out

It can’t be overstated: a sense of urgency really drives FOMO in your customers, which in turn drives up your holiday sales.

  1. Is your sale one-of-a-kind? If you’re selling anything that’s limited edition or likely never to happen again, let your customers know.

  2. Is your Black Friday sale going to sell out? If so, tell your customers. They’re more likely to click through and make a purchase if they think they’re going to miss out on a great deal that’s only around for a limited time.

  3. Is your Black Friday sale only available in a short window? A great idea is to include a countdown timer that displays how much time is left on the sale (check out the reMarkable email example above). Letting your customers know there are only a few hours left on your offer can drive up your click-through rate.

The deal, discount, or bonus that you’re offering

Your customers are going to assume that you’re having a Black Friday sale. Sharing with your email list that you’re having one isn’t going to drum up interest. Instead, tell them exactly what your Black Friday sale is going to give them.

If your sale is 50% off your entire line, or you’re providing free shipping all weekend, say it. Take a look at DesignModo’s email; they provide their overall discount as well as examples of their products and their discounted prices. Customers are more likely to open your email if you specifically state your offer.

An eye-catching Black Friday email design

This is a once-per-year event and you need to stand out from the competition, so try to come up with the best design you can. Choose the layout, style and graphics that represent your brand and are sure to catch your customers’ eyes. Don’t forget to make use of imagery or a gif that displays your product or branding.

Next, make sure that the important information is clearly visible and that the order of your email copy makes sense. Take Adobe’s Black Friday email. The top of the email only has four sentences, and yet we have all the information we need: their Black Friday sale is 25% off, the product is the Creative Cloud software and the offer is almost over.

Don’t fill up the email with unnecessary or cluttered information; keep it simple and keep it targeted.

A simple CTA

A CTA is a necessary and highly important part of any holiday email. One click and your customers are right in your online or ecommerce store, ready to purchase. Using an unobtrusive button with some engaging microcopy is your best bet. Something simple and sweet featuring your Black Friday offer such as “Get 20% Off” or “Shop Now” is all you need, but the more interesting it is, the better.

A great subject line

As we’ve mentioned, a great subject line is the first step in getting customers to make a purchase during their holiday shopping, so it’s incredibly important. Follow our marketing tips above to get the most out of your subject line.

Other ideas

Don’t be scared to get creative with your Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) email marketing campaign. For instance, many companies send out a few teaser emails leading up to Black Friday to build anticipation about their sales and products, while some even send out “early access” links that let their customers access their sales before the weekend.

Another creative idea is to use emojis either in your subject line or in your email copy. Many brands now do this, and a synthesis of emoji-email research suggests that it increases the likelihood of customers opening your email.

Final thoughts

The Black Friday weekend is one of the most competitive times of the year and crafting a Black Friday email campaign that’s going to drive conversions is at the top of every sales and marketer’s to-do list. It isn’t easy, which is where effective email marketing software becomes indispensable.

Pipedrive, for example, integrates with the leading marketing tools and lets you efficiently track the impact of your emails. Why not try Pipedrive free for 14 days and see how we can help you engage your customers this Black Friday.

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