The major holiday sale season is upon us. Some retailers think it’s enough to run a few limited time offers with a coupon code. But will that help you win against Amazon or a much bigger and more established brand? No, you have to get a bit more creative than that. But you don’t have to start from scratch. There’s no better way to learn than looking at live examples of great email marketing campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In our latest article, we just covered the overall strategy of the upcoming holiday season. Let’s get more specific, we’ve just curated 5 of the best email marketing campaigns to run during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. (You can also use what you learn to do promotions for the rest of the year.)

1. Offer Sales on Relevant Product Categories/Brands

80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when the offers are personalized.

It only makes sense. A 50-year-old car mechanic who likes to go fishing probably isn’t going to be interested in the latest Yeezys. A 20-year-old basketball fanatic isn’t looking for hiking boots.

Offer sales on relevant product categories, based on past purchases, carts, and more. All you have to do is create a new segment based on product categories or brands.

Here’s an example. If you have a lot of customers that buy earrings in your store, you can create a specific audience. After that, you can target this audience with new earring designs or earring-related promos.

From here, you can send an email promoting your Black Friday sale on jewelry. Take a look at this example from UK shoe retailer Schuh.

black friday email sample

You don’t have to worry about spending thousands of dollars on animations or designed emails.

When you promote relevant products, keep it simple. Showcase product pictures, highlight the sale and let the products sell themselves. For best design practices, you can check out this article.

Pro tip: Use a live countdown timer to demonstrate that it is a limited-time offer. Just the presence of a countdown clock can increase conversion rate by up to 400%. Sendtric is a service that lets you do this if your autoresponder doesn’t offer the functionality.

2. Follow Up Abandoned Carts with Your Black Friday Sale

Sometimes, the primary reason a prospective customer doesn’t buy is they find the price too high. It’s that simple. With eCommerce, it might be that they didn’t expect the total price, including shipping, taxes, fees, etc.

According to a study by Baymard Institute, the top reasons for cart abandonment during checkout are the high extra costs, being asked to create an account, and a long, arduous checkout process. If you really want to encourage your customers to purchase, make it easier for them!

The point of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to overcome this objection. You lower the price, and your potential customers no longer tell themselves, “It’s too expensive.”

So you can win-back a lot of new potential business by contacting customers who abandoned their cart. If you have a site-wide sale, it probably negates the additional costs and makes it a viable option.

black friday cyber monday email sample
Source: Active Campaigns

As you can see in this example, cart abandonment emails don’t have to be complicated. But you should customize the copy for Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.

If you use words like “Limited time only!” or “For the next 24 hours,” you can drive home a sense of urgency.

If the subscriber doesn’t buy now, they will regret it later. That’s the message an abandoned cart email should send. By combining it with a limited-time site-wide sale, you can get even better results.

If you don’t use marketing automation tools, you might not have access to this data. But don’t despair, in the next campaign, you won’t need data on website usage or online shopping carts.

3. Send a Limited Time Coupon On Previously Purchased Item

Do you sell cosmetics or other consumable products? A great idea can be to send a coupon on a purchase they made a while ago.

You already know that the customer has an intent to purchase this item. It can be a great way to drive even more sales for your most popular items.

To make sure that you don’t turn loyal customers off with offers straight after they buy, exclude them. Focus on customers that bought the item before a specific date.

If you don’t sell consumable products, you can recommend related “further products”.

For example, Amazon automatically follows up after you finished reading a book. It sends an email recommending further books to read. What happens? The customer falls into a hole! It’s another success for Amazon.

black friday amazon sample

It is a perfect example of personalized recommendations. Not only are the products related to the customer’s reading habits, but they also arrived in the inbox just as the book is finished.

If this approach isn’t viable in your business, you can try upselling them similar items. Upselling works best when the product itself is a hint to the identity of your customer.

For example, if someone has purchased workout clothes, you can recommend free weights. Resistance bands might also pique their interest.

Even if the final audience size is only a few hundred customers, they are laser-targeted. You should know by now that you don’t need a huge list to get amazing results. You should also know by now that the old ‘Spray and Pray’ strategy no longer works. In short, these segmented email campaigns make more sales than email blasts.

Savvy email marketers make sure customers don’t stop at a one-time-purchase.

4. Increase AOV With Cart Threshold Gift Campaigns

After seeing the first three options, you might think that Black Friday Cyber Monday marketing is complicated. But this campaign doesn’t require audience segmentation like the first options. It is a straight forward tactic to increase the AOV (Average Order Value) of every customer.

This email from natural cosmetics company Aveda is a perfect example.

Subject Line: Final Hours! Free Shipping & 3-Piece Shampure🎁 – Exclusively Online.

The email clearly states that it is a limited-time (3 days) offer. It is also a great gift at $33 retail value in their eCommerce store, plus free shipping! Plus, it checks the boxes for effective subject lines, highlighting the benefits, and driving home a sense of urgency.

If you don’t want to go quite as hard in the paint, you can offer a gift that makes sense with the items that are on sale. Are you selling fall/winter clothes, offer gloves, a beanie, or a winter-appropriate accessory. If you’re selling gym gear, throw in a gym bag on large orders.

The possibilities are endless, and there are no highly technical requirements to get a promotion like this up and running.

Take your time and produce creative email marketing campaigns that matter to your target audience.

5. Remind Your Customer That the Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale is Almost Over With Last Chance Emails

Once your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are nearing their end, you should give your subscribers one last chance to shop ‘til they drop. Consider it your gift to them—they will thank you for it. Marketers typically call this a reminder email. It is the last email you should send, and an integral part of a promotional email campaign.

Subject Line: Hurry! Black Friday Sale Ends Soon!

During Black Friday in 2018, Noco used email to remind its customers of the discount and generate last-minute sales.

They clearly state that time is running out in the email subject, email header, and email copy.

Remember the KISS rule when designing these types of emails.

If it’s a site-wide sale, the reminder doesn’t have to be a long product catalog or sales email. It is a quick reminder for people who are already interested in your products.

So are you ready? Most eCommerce brands spend at least 5 months preparing for the holiday season— as a rule of thumb. If you haven’t, here are some incredibly strategic eCommerce email marketing campaigns to stand out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  As they say, the best time to start is now.

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