Email Campaign Best Practices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Posted on November 14, 2017

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are rapidly approaching and there’s not much time to shore up your email campaign marketing practices before the big day hits. Here are three quick best practices to ensure you have in place before starting your email campaign for these events:

1. Segment your lists

Make sure the email lists you send to on Black Friday/Cyber Monday get segmented off into new “Sale” lists for the users who open and click on them. Create and treat these as “Deal Clickers” or “Deal Openers” — you’ve now got a new email list to test deals and sales against that you know will perform well. Thank me later.

Set up something (in your email tool of choice) a little like this:

2. Stay on brand with your design

Don’t sell out and vomit your deals all over an email. This breaks your brand identity that you’ve worked so hard to build. Shoppers on your email lists have become accustomed to your brand identity they see each week and the layouts you use–don’t dramatically change these for your sales, especially if you’re using clipart graphics. Focus on your discounts, the products you’ve got on sale or even the promo codes but don’t throw design to the wind and make your shopper ask, “Now who is sending this email?”

I see this time and time again. Stores get caught up in the “sales event of the year” mindset and throw away their beautiful, high converting designs in favor of gaudy imagery focused on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s fine to focus the email on the event, just make sure that your imagery is on-brand.

Loom Decor did this really well this year. They retained their standard email header but fit an elegant Black Friday block in above all their other content.

3. Offer “Real” Deals

This is an easy trap to fall into. Offer your shoppers something real with any sale, deal or discount. So many times retailers will sneakily inflate prices leading up to Black Friday or Cyber Monday and then expound upon their big, chunky “40%” deals. Consumers can sniff this out better than you’d expect. Don’t break your hard earned trust over a few sales.

Offer your shoppers something tangible and if you can’t, don’t fake it. You’ll win more brand advocates that way, every time.

eCommerce is about building trust and if you offer deals that can’t be relied upon, that trust erodes.

4. Follow through

You’ll thank me for this one. Now that you’ve got your segmented lists from Tip #1, follow up on the Tuesday or Wednesday after Cyber Monday with the users who didn’t open or click your deals. Hit them up with a clever, text only email about how you’re sad they missed out on the deals of a lifetime but extend an offering of a deal anyways. Criquet Shirts did this last year and knocked it out of the park. Check out what ended up in the inboxes of those that missed out on their great deals:

You still have plenty of time left before Black Friday & Cyber Monday hit to implement a few of these strategies. Get to work! Do you have some tips you’d like to share with the Engine audience? Shoot me an email at and I’ll whip up a follow-up article with other industry tips.