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3 Cyber Monday email subject lines

Last year’s Cyber Monday was officially the largest online shopping day in US history. Americans spent $10.8 billion, smashing Black Friday and other seasonal records.

If you’re getting involved in the big day, let your customers know with a Cyber Monday email marketing campaign. This guide will help you break down the elements of a Cyber Monday email campaign with helpful examples to inspire your own.

Table of contents

What are the elements of a successful Cyber Monday email campaign?

Everyone will be fighting for attention on Cyber Monday. One of your biggest challenges will be getting your email noticed. The next hurdles will be to hold their attention and convince them to click through to your landing page.

You can stack the odds in your favor by making sure you include key elements in your campaign. Every Cyber Monday email campaign you create and send should tick three boxes:

🤝 Make it personal. Send out personalized offers to your subscribers. Use information stored inside your CRM, like their name, company or past purchases, to make your email grab attention when it lands.

📤 Send it on Cyber Monday. Emails sent on the day get more clicks and conversions, so save your offer for the actual day.

📱Make sure it’s mobile-friendly. Last year, $3 billion in Cyber Monday sales were made via mobile devices, so make sure your customers can view your email design and complete transactions on their phones.

Choose your email type wisely. Research shows that welcome messages and cart abandonment emails are the most effective for conversions out of all the emails you send on Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday email conversion rates

To get your offer seen and get customers to click through to your landing page, you first need to get them to open your emails. An attention-grabbing subject line is the way to do it.

Cyber Monday subject lines to increase your open rates

There are some strategies that you can use to stand out in a crowded inbox, like playing with a sense of urgency or using emojis. Let’s take a look at what it takes to craft a catchy subject line.

Use curiosity to pique their interest

It’s never a good idea to trick your target audience into reading your emails with false offers or unrewarding jokes. If you don’t deliver on your Cyber Monday email subject line promise, you’re more likely to drive customers away than convert them.

What you can do is pique their curiosity enough to convince them to open your message. Asking questions can get readers to open your email and see what’s inside.

Companies can also engage readers’ curiosity in subject lines to hint at a coupon, free gift, discounted product or cheap subscription for Cyber Monday. Try enticing email subject lines like:

  • “It took us 6 months to decide on this Cyber Monday deal for you”

  • “This Cyber Monday is the lowest we’ve ever sold (product name)”

  • “Don’t forget to activate your Cyber Monday deal inside”

All of these subject lines mention a Cyber Monday deal, but the recipient has to open the email to find out what it is. Mixing curiosity with your subject lines is a great way to boost your open rate.

Make it fun with emojis

Whether you love or hate emojis, the statistics are in favor. Adding emojis to the subject lines of seasonal emails can actually boost your email open rates.

A report by Return Path found that adding emojis specific to the event you are advertising can improve “Read rates” and reduce “Deleted before reading rates”. In one test, for example, adding a 🦃 or 🍁 to an email subject line about Thanksgiving improved read rates and resulted in a lower complaint rate from readers.

cyber Monday emoji in subject line.

Use this strategy to add emojis that fit with your brand and offer, like:

  • 🤖 30% off every automation tool in our premium suite

  • 🚨 Our biggest Cyber Monday discount ever

  • ⏳ Our Cyber Monday deal is live – only 12 hours left!

There isn’t yet a science to the perfect emoji in an email subject line. If you have the time and resources, you can A/B test subject lines before sending.

Gently tease readers with offers and discounts

Most customers associate Cyber Monday with discounts and sales.

If there’s one part of a subject line that will catch your reader’s attention, it’s a generous discount on one of your products or subscription packages. According to one study, including an offer or a discount in your Cyber Monday subject line can generate an average conversion rate of 18.1%, which is far better than the 3.8% average without the offer in the subject line.

In your email subject line, you can include a discount or offer in the following ways:

  • “[Your company name] is discounting 40% off every product. Cyber Monday sale ends today!”

  • “Cyber Monday Deal: Free upgrade to any premium [your company name] plan”

  • “50% off your premium plan FOREVER! Thank you, Cyber Monday”

Here’s an example of how Freedom advertised their 2020 Cyber Monday offer to users:

Freedom Cyber Monday email subject line

They included “Cyber Monday Sale” at the start of the subject line, followed by a dash and the enticing words “Freedom Forever” (hinting at the prospect of the discount applying to their Forever plan).

The brand also included the offer “at Half Price” and let the customers know the deal is ending soon with “Final day.”

How to create a Cyber Monday offer that will drive clicks

Once you’ve secured your subject line, it’s time to focus on the email itself and the campaign you need to build to promote it.

Step 1: Build a landing page dedicated to your offer

If you are advertising a specific offer or product in your Cyber Monday email, make sure there is a link and dedicated landing page ready to go.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. A tempting deal has just landed in your inbox, so when you click on your call-to-action, you should be immediately taken to a landing page that talks exclusively about the offer in the email.

Create some urgency to nudge your landing page visitor into a sale. Adding a countdown timer or reminding them that the offer will end once Cyber Monday is over is a great way to drive home to your audience that this deal is only available for a limited time.

DataCamp did a great job of highlighting a past Cyber Monday deal with a dedicated landing page, driving home to visitors that they’ve only got a limited amount of time to claim it (during “Cyber Week”):

DataCamp Cyber Monday

Step 2: Use segmentation to target your list

Next, create emails that target what your customers have purchased from you in the past.

Using segmentation tools, you can send customers Cyber Monday offers similar to products or services they have historically paid for or tried for free but never committed to. For example, if you have a customer group that’s using a lower-tiered product plan but they’ve tried a more expensive tier in the past, try targeting them with a discounted upsell for Cyber Monday.

Segmentation is also a great way to target customers on Cyber Monday that have recently churned or finished a free trial but didn’t convert into a paying customer when it ended. Offering them an unbeatable deal on Cyber Monday is a way to get them back in the door and win them over.

Step 3: Make your deals and discounts obvious

Any Cyber Monday deal you send to your email list should make the benefit clear. Don’t offer people several different products or subscription packages. Choose one or two big discounts or offers and put them front and center so they stick in your reader’s mind.

Let’s go back to the DataCamp example. Look at how the offer is advertised in an email:

DataCamp Cyber Week email

This email is impressive for what it doesn’t say. It’s not filled with text or product offers, but it hammers home the savings for the user with a percentage and a dollar amount: “50% off” and “$150”.

Now, look at how that is reinforced once someone clicks on the email’s call-to-action (CTA) button:

DataCamp Cyber Monday Deal CTA

It’s the same offer (right down to the brand colors and fonts), reinforcing trust and the value to the reader.

Making your discounts and offers as obvious and memorable as this example from DataCamp can be an incredibly effective strategy for your Cyber Monday email strategy.

Step 4: Have a plan to draw in new customers (and retain your current ones)

The beauty of Cyber Monday is that you can offer deals to attract new customers and slash subscription prices to encourage upsells from current ones.

The tactic here is to create different offers for each group and advertise them in a way that’ll pique their interest.

Offer existing customers features or discounts that aren’t advertised to the public. Not only will this make them feel like you’re giving them the VIP treatment, but it’s also a great way to create some excitement around your Cyber Monday deal for current customers.

To draw in new customers, you can try offering a free short-term upgrade or offer a couple of months for free if they buy an annual subscription.

Step 5: Resend your email during Cyber Monday’s golden hours

During last year’s record-breaking Cyber Monday sales, something stood out: the last four hours of Cyber Monday accounted for 25% of the entire day’s revenue.

Forbes reports that between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time), shoppers were spending $12 million every minute. They call this block of time Cyber Monday’s “golden hour” when spending increases as people try to cash in on sales before they expire.

When Cyber Monday is nearly over, send out another email push to your audience. Emailing at 8.30 p.m. may be the final nudge someone needs to buy a yearly subscription. Some people on your list may not have seen your morning email, so round up anyone who might miss out with the Cyber Monday golden hour email.

However, don’t send too many emails and risk ending up in the spam folder. Sending out two emails on Cyber Monday is enough (one in the morning as Cyber Monday starts and one as the day wraps up).

Swipe inspiration from these Cyber Monday email examples

Now that we’ve been through the key elements of a Cyber Monday campaign and how to write a subject line that grabs your reader’s attention, let’s look at three brands that created some of the best Cyber Monday email campaigns.

1. Designmodo

DesignModo Cyber Monday email

Designmodo runs email campaigns for offers and discounts throughout the year (users can get a deal on Halloween, Black Friday, and even the 4th of July). However, their Cyber Monday deal is always the most generous.

Not only is there a 60% off discount on offer, but Designmodo has applied the Cyber Monday discount code to every product in its range. The brand has also doubled the discount advertised during last year’s Cyber Monday sale, which was only 30%

DesignModo Cyber Monday sale
DesignModo Cyber Monday Coupon code

Designmodo’s Cyber Monday email subject line: Cyber Monday: The Final Countdown! 60% OFF on Designmodo 🔥

What we loved about this Cyber Monday campaign:

  • Countdown timer. Adding a countdown timer on the email and the landing page adds a sense of urgency to the offer to increase conversions.

  • Reinforcement. The email offer mentions that the reader may have missed out on the tool’s Black Friday deal. It then reinforces that the Cyber Monday deal will be the last chance the customer has to take advantage of the discount.

  • Different offers. Instead of discounting a single product, Designmodo slashed the price of most of its tools. It works because it’s simple: 60% off everything is easy to remember, and the reader can use it to calculate their total savings across multiple products.

2. Hootsuite

HootSuite Cyber Monday Email

Like Designmodo, Hootsuite has discounted several product lines in its Cyber Monday sale. However, it targets certain buying groups differently.

For example, the top of the Cyber Monday email is targeting teams and Enterprise prospects:

Cyber Monday Hootsuite Plans

However, if you keep scrolling, the brand gets much more specific by focusing on customers who may be having trouble with particular social media tools:

HootSuite Cyber Monday Customer focus

This is a clever way of targeting different personas on your list without spending lots of time creating segments and separate email campaigns for them.

Hootsuite’s Cyber Monday email subject line: Save over $700 on Hootsuite plans and certification

What we loved about this Cyber Monday campaign:

  • Clear savings message. The subject line highlights a huge potential saving. Considering Hootsuite’s paid plans start at $49 per month, it’s bound to pique the curiosity of users on lower-priced tiers.

  • Cheap trial. For HootSuite customers that are subscribed to a plan that doesn’t include the AdEspresso add-on, offering it for a $1 trial is a great way to let people test the waters.

  • Convincing copywriting. There’s no fluff in this Cyber Monday email campaign. It tells readers at the bottom that they have until Friday to take advantage of any discounts.

3. Grammarly

Grammarly Cyber Monday Email

Grammarly’s Cyber Monday campaign is smart because it has a specific target: people who use Grammarly’s freemium plan. While these customers don’t pay for their current plan, many features (like checking sentence structures and skimming content for plagiarism) aren’t included.

If a freemium user has been holding off upgrading to the paid plan, shaving 50% off the $139.95 annual price tag might just seal the deal.

Grammarly’s Cyber Monday email subject line: Cyber Savings: 50% OFF Your Favorite Plan

What we loved about this Cyber Monday campaign:

  • Urgency. Although it doesn’t use a countdown clock like some of our other examples, this Grammarly email has a clear deadline (midnight on November 28th) and combines it with copy (Upgrade Now, Act Fast) to create a sense of urgency.

  • Clarity. It’s short, sharp and sweet. Grammarly is offering one discount on one product.

  • Clear CTA. A single CTA that has a clear message. The reader won’t get confused about what Grammarly wants them to do.

From these brands that created some of the best Cyber Monday emails we’ve seen, you should consider these key takeaways for your own Cyber Monday email template.

1. Reinforce that this deal will be their last chance to take advantage of offers before the holidays. This will scoop up any procrastinators still on the fence. It also helps to build a sense of urgency, something you can encourage with a countdown timer or a clearly stated deadline.

2. Clarity is key. Each of these Cyber Monday email examples was crystal clear about their discount and which items qualified. Furthermore, they each used a straightforward CTA to let customers know what to do. Don’t get too complicated with your offer or your email copy. Tell your customers what it is and how to get it in the simplest way possible.

Use these components to build a winning Cyber Monday email template and share your holiday offers with more customers than ever.

Wrapping up

Between Cyber Monday emails and Black Friday emails, it can be challenging for ecommerce and SaaS marketers to decide where to focus their efforts.

The numbers show that Cyber Monday is now the biggest shopping holiday of the year, so it’s a date worth marking in your marketing calendar. Cyber Monday is an opportunity to convert freemium users into premium-paying customers or upsell new features to existing customers by treating them like VIPs.

By getting Cyber Monday right, you can set your company up for a (very) successful holiday season. Try Pipedrive free for 14 days and see how an intuitive CRM can help you engage your customers this Cyber Monday.

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