Email Marketing

5 Black Friday Email Campaign Ideas You Could Steal Right Now!


Did you know in 2017 consumers spent over $5 billion in online purchases on Black Friday?

It was the largest Black Friday sales period in history!

Black Friday is high-time for sales and promotions. With so many businesses coming to the party, you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. And boy, it sure is getting crowded.

Black Friday – Worldwide growth

Black Friday started in 1959 and for the most part, has been seen as a primarily American holiday. However, we’re quickly seeing rapid worldwide adoption in recent years. Some countries are growing faster than others.


(Source: Shopify)

No matter which part of the world you’re in, you’ve most likely to see the growing impact of Black Friday, and even its sequel – Cyber Monday.

In order to capitalize on this great opportunity as a marketer or a business owner, I’m going to share some  successful email marketing campaigns for you to draw inspiration from. There’s also a handy list of links to find free stock images to help create beautiful Black Friday emails (provided at the end of this blog).

Here are five Black Friday email campaign ideas for your inspiration:

1. The Simple Sale Announcement Email

Example 1: Product specific


Subject Line: Black Friday – 20% off sitewide!

What it is: A well-executed email from Tanner Goods announcing their site-wide (both in-store and online) Black Friday sale.

Why it works: This email is direct and to the point with a clear focus on the call to action (CTA). They also provide a sneak-peek into some of their products. Be sure to choose your products, and visuals wisely. Consider choosing your best-selling or most interesting products.

Execution: Take the same simple approach to your Black Friday sale announcements. Have a clear subject line with the sale or discount, and include a call to action that brings customers to your discount landing page. Use high-quality product imagery as a background.

Example 2: Annual Subscription


Subject Line: Black Friday Special (Save 51%)

What it is: A simple yet well-executed email from Code School announcing their Black Friday sale on their annual subscription.

Why it works: This email is simple and to the point, with a clear focus on the call to action. Bold fonts and a huge green button for the CTA ensures the most important parts of the email stand out. A subtle ‘Tweet This’ option makes sharing easy.

Execution: Keep your Black Friday sale announcements clear and concise, and make sure the important parts are front and center. Have a clear subject line with the sale or discount, and include a big bold CTA that just begs to be clicked. Be sure to direct recipients somewhere that makes sense – such as the relevant product, or a sign-up page. You might need a designer for illustrations or backgrounds similar to the one in example 2. Alternatively, you could use free stock imagery but try to edit it to suit your offer and audience expectations.

Easily build a beautiful Black Friday Email Campaign with free professionally designed templates in Vision6. Create your free account now!

2. The Black Friday Humour Email

Example 1:


Example 2:


Subject Lines:

  1. Sweats + Shorts = THE SCHWORTS
  2. TGIBF: TAKE 50% OFF

What they are: Both BB Dakota and Chubbies stay consistent with their tone and branding. They use humor to promote their Black Friday sale using imagery that entertains.

Why they work: The subject lines are clever and get you thinking straight away.

BB Dakota uses imagery of someone extremely happy and enjoying the moment. Chubbies incorporate the image of someone lounging on their couch pouring food down their throat. One joyful, and the other funny, they both make the reader feel good.

One has a good amount of text while the other has very little copy used in the email. Both styles can be tested to see what works better in your industry. Story-telling via images is the core of these emails. For example, Chubbies show you their shorts looking comfortable instead of only telling you that they’re comfortable (smart!).

Execution: If it suits your brand then have a bit of fun with your marketing. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with unique subject lines for your emails. Use humorous images or themes that get a reaction out of people in an entertaining way.

You might need a photographer to do this or use stock imagery for humor emails.

3. The Scarcity Email

Example 1: Limited stock


Example 2:


Subject Lines:

  1. Black Paisley – Limited quantities available
  2. Hey VIP! Black Friday starts NOW (12 hours only)

What they are: Nice Laundry and Baublebar create scarcity by using ‘Limited stock’ or ’12 hours only’ hooks for their Black Friday messaging.

Why they work: Both use elements of scarcity throughout the email.  Even the subject line has urgency in it with, “VIP access – 12 hours only”. This tries to minimize procrastination and motivates the reader to take action quickly. The FOMO is real.

Execution: Learn to create scarcity in your email marketing, especially on Black Friday. Create urgency by reminding your customers that your sale will be ending soon. Baublebar created a specific discount for just 12 hours of the sale (smart!). Also, when your products are selling like hotcakes, tell people!

You could try “Moving fast,” “Almost sold out,” and “No time to be on the fence” to create a sense of urgency. Don’t forget to use bold images of your product like Nice Laundry has, or a background that you just can’t unsee, like Baublebar’s.

Easily build emails like these using Vision6’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor. Sign up for free here.

4.  The Animated GIFs Email

Example 1: Subtle animation


Example 2: Photography GIFs


Subject Line:

  1. Something big is coming…
  2. This Black Friday – Choose Snooze

What they are: Both Eve and Casper use an image animation or GIF in their emails to announce their Black Friday sale.

Why they work: They’ve both created a very relaxed email with a clean style. Using a subtle GIF and content trying to cut through every other style of Black Friday emails.  This email is a stark contrast to the usual chaos of Black Friday sales. And contrast = cut-through.

All the important information is immediately clear. Free shipping, the discount, the code, and the day the sale ends are all there in plain sight.

Execution: Start using animated GIFs and very unique imagery in your Black Friday emails, especially if that style matches the tone of your brand and industry. Get creative with the subject lines like this one ‘Choose snooze’. Keep your most important information above the fold if your email is too long.

You might need a designer for implementing the animated GIF emails, but it’s worth it! Be sure to test how your email will look across multiple different email providers like outlook or gmail, as some might not play nicely with GIFs. If you’re a Vision6 user, use the inbuilt testing features to quickly and easily test on multiple providers.

5. The Last-Minute Extended Sale Email


Subject Line: ⚠ We’ve extended our Best Black Friday Deal Ever!

What it is: Sevenly extends their Black Friday sale with a $20 gift card and free shipping.

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 inboxes.

Lastly, the email is well designed. The three most important elements in this email contrast well against the rest: ‘Extended Sale,’ ‘$20 Gift Card,’ and ‘use code FRIDAY.’

Execution: 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. Keep the most important elements in your email front and center. Using special symbols (such as ‘⚠’ above) in the subject line can help you stand out in the inbox. Test subject lines with and without symbols to see if your open rates go up. A word of warning, however, use special symbols and emojis sparingly, as too many could impact spam scores.

Now that you’re full of inspiration, and equipped with examples to boot, here are a number of free stock image websites to get your Black Friday campaign started:

Negative Space







Fancy Crave


Final thoughts:

Black Friday has worldwide adoption and it’s growing!

Both product and service-based industries are using it in their favor. Moreover, your customers expect you to run a promotion, give discounts or send some freebies during the weekend of Thanksgiving, Black Friday followed by Cyber Monday. Also, a lot of people are shopping for Christmas gifts during this time.

With the right amount of engaged subscribers and well-crafted emails, your business can have a very profitable Black Friday sale.

Consider using email campaigns like the ‘Simple Sale Announcement’ which is to the point and works in every industry. Test a series of ‘Scarcity Emails’ followed by the ‘Extended Sale Email’ because they flow perfectly one after the other.

If you have time to plan your campaign then try the ‘Animated GIFs email’ and stand out from the crowd.

Lastly, if your brand allows it, put a little humor in your emails with images that entertain your customer. Your customer will remember you for making them smile.

Write great subject lines because you need people to open your emails in the first place. Celebrate Black Friday with your customers and replicate these strategies for Cyber Monday emails if required.

Build beautiful Black Friday email campaigns in Vision6. Our support team will be more than happy to assist you if you get stuck.

Happy Black Friday!


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