The summer heat is fading. Stores are turning into magical lands filled with holiday decorations. Suddenly, you realise it’s that time of the year again… Thanksgiving, then right after it’s Black Friday followed by Cyber Monday. So, yeah now is the time to start planning your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns.
I know it isn’t easy to craft the most outstanding email campaigns every single time. I also know the pressure is skyrocketing around this time of the year. Especially when people are being bombarded with a gazillion Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns full of discounts, special offers, promotions and limited sales from every brand they have ever signed up to. Well, raise, Sir Email Marketer and get designing if you want to stand out.
“Email has an ability many channels don’t – creating valuable, personal touches – at scale .” – David Newman
This year experts predict that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) mayhem will be the biggest one yet. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic changed quite a lot in people’s lives – from how businesses operate to how people shop. I can only imagine what online traffic will be like once BFCM 2020 commences. To capitalise on the BFCM demand, email marketers must start getting their Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns ready – now!
In this article, we’ll cover the following topics:
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday stats
- Black Friday email campaigns
- Cyber Monday email campaigns
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday checklist
Let’s dive in.
Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday really that important? Surely consumers shop on other days of the week too – like Wednesday.
When is Black Friday? November 27th.
When is Cyber Monday? November 30th.
To help you understand the importance of BFCM 2020 and why you mustn’t neglect to send Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails campaigns, I’ve rounded up some top Black Friday & Cyber Monday stats.
- in 2019, Back Friday in the U.S. generated over $7 billion in online sales
- in 2018, Black Friday in the U.K. generated almost £1.5 billion in online sales
- mobile shopping on Black Friday has risen from 61% in 2018 to 67% in 2019
- in 2019, Cyber Monday total sales hit over $9 billion which up almost 18% compared to 2018
- online sales through smartphones in 2019 grew 46% compared to 2018 accounting for 33% of all Cyber Monday sales in 2019
With COVID-19 now being the new normal, consumer’s behaviour and purchase patterns have changed dramatically. According to stats, 48% of consumers have increased their online spending since the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, 40% of consumers have increased their time on social media and their use of online messaging to obtain product and business recommendations. Lastly, 60% of consumers have increased their use of social media and online messaging to search for product information and engage with businesses.
As an email marketer, it can be tricky to always come up with great email campaigns with eye-catching imagery and top-notch, actionable copy. But, here’s the deal, you don’t have to. Instead of banging your head in the wall, why not draw inspiration from what other successful marketers and businesses?
Black Friday Email Campaigns
I’m going to share three amazing Black Friday email campaigns you can not only learn from but also draw some inspiration. For each one, I will break down why it works and how you can implement the concept. Ready?
1) A Simple Sales Announcement Email
Subject line: Black Friday Sale – 40% Off Everything!
Why does it work? It’s a simple, well-executed email that’s all business. It announces the store-wide Black Friday sale clearly with a simple, focused call-to-action (CTA). Sometimes you don’t need to go berserk on your design and copy to get recipients to engage.
How can you implement it? If you want to keep it clean, simple and to the point, take the same approach when crafting your Black Friday email campaign. Set a clear subject line adding the sale of discount to it, add a focused CTA that will bring the recipient to your Black Friday sale landing page and always remember to test before you send.
2) The Animated and Bold Email
Subject line: Don’t wait! 50% Off Our Most Famous Creation
Why does it work? Not a lot of marketers take the time to add entertaining and fun GIFs to their emails. That would be a mistake because the right GIF can make your email campaign stand out from the other Black Friday emails bombarding your recipients’ inbox. Additionally, all the relevant and important information is immediately clear – free shipping, the discount and the sale end-day.
How can you implement it? Instead of adding boring, cliche imagery to your Black Friday email campaign, get creative – add a quirky GIF and/or a unique image. Make the message clear and always keep the most important information above the scroll (also referred to as above the fold – it’s the portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling).
3) The Fun Email
Subject line: Sweats + Shorts = THE SCHWORTS
Why does it work? This email looks quite different from other typical Black Friday sale emails. Nonetheless, Chubbies stays true and consistent with their brand and tone of voice and adds some lighthearted humour to promote their Black Friday sale.
First and foremost, the subject line is awesome. Second, the image of a dude in “schworts” lounging on a sofa pouring food down his throat (right after Thanksgiving if you’re in the U.S.) is hilarious. Third, as much as there’s no actual copy in this email, it conveys the message quite effectively – you need their comfy schworts. Lastly, did you notice Chubbies only focused on one product in their Black Friday sale instead of a store-wide sale? It’s a far more effective method as giving customers way too many options can sometimes be overwhelming, and they can get indecisive.
How can you implement it? Don’t be stiff with your email marketing. Be bold, funny and creative. You can do anything you like, the sky’s the limit – as long as you stay true to your brand, of course. Thus, start experimenting. From the subject line to the imagery, you can do whatever you want. There’s no need for tons of text to convey your message. Pictures speak louder than words – show your customers why your product is exactly what they need.
Cyber Monday Email Campaigns
I’m going to share three awesome Cyber Monday email campaigns you can draw inspiration from. For each one, I’ll give you a breakdown of why it works and how to implement it. Are you ready?
1) The Witty Wordplay Email
Subject line: Cybear Monday Sale! Save 58% on VPN
Why does it work? Tunnel Bear decided to have some fun with their Cyber Monday email. They’ve created “Cybear Monday”. It’s a witty, fun and simple wordplay that fits the brand’s style 100%. Did I mention the cartoon bear is super cute, too? The simple play on words and the imagery does not take the customer’s attention away from the very clear message – you can save a lot of money by taking advantage of their Cybear Monday offer.
How can you implement it? Cyber Monday email campaigns do not require marketers to keep in line with strict design rules because well… there aren’t any. You can be as creative as you want and create an email campaign which directly relates to your brand and will help you stand out from the competition. Plus, it’s a great way to build customer loyalty and recognition.
2) The Command Prompt Hacker Humour Email
Subject line: Cyber Monday Sale! 30% Off Everything & Free Shipping
Why does it work? The Hill-Side decided to let their inner geeks out by creating a unique, old-school Cyber Monday email campaign with e tech-hacker-themed flair. This design approach works because it’s simple, mostly text-based and will look great on (mostly) any device. All the important information is clear and strongly emphasised by the bold font colour and style. Overall, the design perfectly fits the Cyber Monday vibe.
How can you implement it? Creating a Cyber Monday email campaign is unlike any other special occasion emails – like Christmas, for example. There is no Santa Claus to incorporate, no default colour palettes that are easily recognisable and no special wording. As much as such lack of direction can be bothersome and stressful, it’s quite beneficial in terms of designing Cyber Monday emails. You are free to create whatever you like and be as original as you want. Case in point – The Hill-Side Cyber Monday email. So, embrace the cyber aspect of Cyber Monday and don’t be afraid of creating something completely different and new.
3) The Extended Sale Email
Subject line: Cyber Monday EXTENDED! 50% Off Everything
Why does it work? It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to have the opportunity to check your Cyber Monday sale. Thus, extended it. You’ll then have a running sale just when most of your competitors already ended theirs. To top it off, you’ll give customers a chance to purchase from you. This approach is effective because it is unexpected.
Still do your usual Cyber Monday email campaign but… instead of constantly alerting customers about the imminent end of your Cyber Monday sale, you will pleasantly shock them by springing a last-minute sale that’s more likely to stand out in their inbox.
Lastly, the email is very well-designed. All important and relevant information like the length of the last-minute sale, the discount and the promo code – which are the three most important elements – are clear.
How can you implement it? Think outside the box. Yeah, you’ll still send a Cyber Monday email campaign but instead of cyber-fighting with the competition be smarter. Extend your sale and surprise your customers. If, for example, your usual Cyber Monday sale was offering 40% and your customers were on the fence, give them a new discount for this extended sale – that’ll get them off the fence real quick.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Checklist
There. You have it. Everything you need to know to prepare engaging Black Friday (November 27th) and Cyber Monday (November 30th) email campaigns that drive results. Remember, once you’ve achieved your BFCM 2020 goals, don’t forget all those relationships. Nurture them so they can become life-long friends – and customers.
To make things even easier, I’ve put together an 11-point checklist every email marketer must have –
1) Determine the length and timing of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns
2) Use urgency and relevant wording in your subject lines – e.x. %, discount, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.
3) Go beyond a simple sale or discount to make your offer stand out from the competition
4) Ensure your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns are optimised for mobile
5) Settle of a colour theme for your email campaign – e.x. all-black, just black accents, etc.
6) Emphasise on the important information to draw the recipient’s attention – e.x. GIFs, imagery, etc.
7) Add a countdown timer to create urgency
8) Personalise your offers as much as possible
9) Make sure you have cart abandonment campaigns ready in case you need them
10) Email customers product recommendations once they finish a purchase
11) Always test your email campaigns before you send them
Black Friday + Cyber Monday + email marketing = a match made in eCommerce Heaven!
You already know all the basics of crafting an outstanding email marketing campaign. Thus, there’s no reason for me to repeat the same things over and over and over again. I’ll just sound like a broken record. Personalisation, ya-da, ya-da, segmentation, la-la-la, testing, testing, testing – you know this stuff.
When crafting the perfect Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns the only thing you need to remember is to be creative, original, witty and use all the tricks up your sleeve. Now that I’ve given you some inspiration, are you ready to make BFCM 2020 the best one yet?