Friday, November 6, 2015

8 Awesome Black Friday Email Campaigns You Can Steal This Holiday Season

Last year email marketing drove over 27% of holiday sales according to Custora. With this year’s Black Friday set to be the biggest one yet, that number is only expected to rise.

As a marketer and business owner, it can often be difficult to come up with great emails with eye-catching images and actionable copy. That’s why I like to draw inspiration and ideas from other successful marketers and businesses.

I’m going to share eight awesome Black Friday email campaigns that you can steal and start implementing into your business. In each example, I’m going to break down what it is, why it’s so effective, and how you can implement their ideas into your holiday campaigns.

1. The Simple Sale Announcement Email

Subject: Black Friday - 40% off everything!
What it is: A simple but well-executed email from CanvasPop announcing their store-wide Black Friday sale.
Why it works: This email is all business. It clearly announces the sale and has a focused call-to-action. Sometimes, keeping things simple is the best way to go.
How to implement it: Take the simple approach to your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale announcements. Have a clear subject line with the sale discount, and include a call-to-action in your email that brings customers to your homepage or page with the products that are on sale.

2. The Bold Imagery and Animations Email


Subject: Don’t wait ’til tomorrow! Take up to 50% off our most popular inventions right now.
What it is: Quirky uses a quirky image animation to announce their Black Friday weekend sale.
Why it works: I don’t often get animated GIFs in my email, let alone one as fun and entertaining as this. This email really stands out from other Black Friday sale announcements that will be barraging customer inboxes.
Also, all the important information is immediately clear. Free shipping, the discount, and the day the sale ends are all there in plain sight.
How to implement it: Start using animated GIFs and very unique imagery in your Black Friday emails, especially if it matches the tone of your brand.
Again, keeping your most important information above the fold is important.

3. The Free Gift Email

Subject: Black Friday + Giving Tanks
What it is: Storq created a free gift coupon instead of offering a store-wide sale.
Why it works: Storq uses Black Friday as an opportunity to increase the average order value in their store. Offering a free gift is an enticing way to get customers to your store on Black Friday.
The email design is also simple and effective. The coupon code really stands out and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
How to implement it: You can still participate in Black Friday even if your business doesn’t typically discount or you can’t afford to lower your prices. Black Friday gives you a reason to contact your customers, so email them with any offer you can create that weekend.
If you can’t lower your prices, consider offering a free gift with a minimum purchase amount. You can easily do this within Shopify or with an app from the Shopify App Store to help.
Keep your emails simple and don’t overcomplicate your offer. When it comes to copy, less is often more.

4. The Last-Minute Extended Sale Email

Subject: EXTENDED! 50%. Off. Everything.
What it is: Julep extends their Black Friday weekend sale into Tuesday.
Why it works: Not everyone will have the opportunity to check out your Black Friday sale. Extending the sale last-second (and running a sale when competitors just ended theirs) gives customers another chance to purchase from your store.
This email is also effective because it’s unexpected. If you’ve been consistently warning customers about the impending end of your Black Friday sale and then spring a last-second extension, it’s more likely to stick out in people’s inboxes.
Lastly, the email is well designed. The three most important elements in this email contrast well against the rest: “Extended 48 hours,” “50% off everything,” and “use code cyberwow.”
How to implement it: Consider extending your sale and surprising your customers. You can even offer a new discount for the extended sale to get customers off the fence.
Don’t forget to make the most important elements in your email stand out, too. Use Julep’s email design as inspiration.

5. The Black Friday Giveaway Email

Subject: Blacked-Out Friday
What it is: Huckberry turns their Black Friday sale into a giveaway.
Why it works: Giveaways and contests can inject even more excitement into a Black Friday sale. Huckberry is giving their customers more incentive to shop on their site during Black Friday by giving each purchase a random entry into their giveaway.
Huckberry also includes more copy in their emails than most stores. Huckberry is very keen on conveying messages and telling stories in their emails, even on Black Friday.
This email in particular is too long to show in this blog post, but below their Black Friday sale announcement are stories, including the harrowing trip to Antarctica mentioned at the top of the email.
Despite being Black Friday, Huckberry hasn’t changed their established tone. Huckberry continues to deliver interesting stories, even in their most promotion-heavy emails.
How to implement it: Run a contest alongside your sale or give every customer that makes a purchase the chance to win a prize. Check out the giveaway apps in our Shopify App Store to help you put this together.
Finally, don’t diverge from your original messaging or style. If you’ve been delivering great content or stories with each email, that doesn’t need to change for Black Friday. Find a way to weave your Black Friday emails into what you’ve been doing well previously. Make it organic.

6. The Black Friday Humor Email

Subject: Sweats + Shorts = THE SCHWORTS
What it is: Chubbies stays consistent with their tone and branding and uses humor to promote their Black Friday sale on schworts.
Why it works: This email looks a lot different than the a typical Black Friday sale emails. First, the subject line is great. Next, the image of someone lounging on their couch pouring food down their mouth after Thanksgiving is really funny.
There isn’t a lot of copy in this email but it’s still effective at conveying why you need their comfortable shorts. Chubbies also shows you their shorts looking comfortable instead of only telling you that they’re comfortable.
Chubbies also chooses to focus on one product to promote their Black Friday sale instead of announcing a store-wide sale. This is far more effective since leaving customers with too much choice can be overwhelming.
How to implement it: Have fun with your marketing. If it suits your brand, experiment with unique subject lines for your emails and use humorous images.
You don’t need a lot of copy in your Black Friday emails to convey a message. Don’t just tell your customers your shorts are comfortable, show them in an entertaining way.
Lastly, you don’t need to promote several products in your Black Friday email. Promote your Black Friday sale with one product (or a few) instead. Consider choosing your best-selling or most interesting product and promote it on Black Friday to drive traffic.

7. The Scarcity Email

Subject: Woosters Almost Sold Out! Black Friday Prices + Free Shipping For A Few More Hours!
What it is: Greats gives their customers a Black Friday status report on the shoes on sale.
Why it works: Greats uses elements of scarcity throughout the email. “Moving fast,” “Almost sold out,” and “No time to be on the fence” creates a sense of urgency. Even the subject line has urgency in it with “Woosters almost sold out!”.
Of course, Greats’ personality shines through in this email as well.
How to implement it: Learn to create scarcity in your email marketing, especially on Black Friday. Create urgency and use your emails to remind your customers that your sale will be ending. Also, when your products are selling like hot cakes, tell people!

8. The Against-The-Grain Email

Subject: This Is Not A Sale
What it is: Everlane uses Black Friday as a platform to raise awareness and money for workers in China.
Why it works: The subject line is strong and piques people’s curiosity, encouraging them to open the email to learn more. You don’t often get emails on Black Friday letting you know “this is not a sale.”
It isn’t a bait and switch either; Everlane goes against the grain and promises to give 100% of their Black Friday profit to their factories in China to improve working conditions.
This gesture also helps build Everlane’s brand. It also has the chance to be picked up by news sites social media since it’s unique and generous for a time of year where businesses are focused on profit.
How to implement it: If you’re tired of running the same Black Friday sale every year, or your customers have grown to expect the same from you every year, change things up. Consider making this year’s Black Friday all about your customer or someone else in need.
It could be your opportunity to give back a little while also creating a positive brand image for your store.

Over to You

If email marketing isn’t a large part of your growth strategy, take the time to learn why it’s important for your business. If your email list is small, start building it now to make the most out of Black Friday. You don’t need a gigantic email list for your Black Friday to matter, but the bigger your list, the better. With the right amount of engaged subscribers and awesome, well-crafted emails, your business can have a great Black Friday.
Want to crush it this Black Friday? Check out the 26-point checklist I put together to position your store for success this holiday season.
If you have any questions or Black Friday email ideas you’d like to share, leave a comment below. I engage with and respond to everyone.

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