Beatriz Redondo Tejedor

// Head of Content

Some things keep coming back faster than you expected them to. As soon as the summer heat starts to fade, stores magically become filled with Halloween and holiday decorations… and suddenly, you’re thinking to yourself, “oh, right, it’s that time of the year again…”. Yep, now’s the time to take your brushes and your tools out to craft your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns.

Raise up, email marketers: it’s time to design the perfect Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails. Just follow our steps and check out all the amazing Black Friday email examples we’ve picked out for youht, and you’ll create a masterpiece.

Plan ahead by listening to your customers

This year, Black Friday weekend will be even more important for retailers and eCommerce stores, as we all prepare our holiday shopping for what will likely be an atypical holiday season.

Customers receive a huge volume of offers during these hectic days, so it’s important that you set clear goals and build a winning strategy that targets your core audience. Have a look at the data and analyze what worked and didn’t work during last year’s holiday season.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What did you do last year that really worked or even didn’t work so well?
  • What did your competitors do?
  • Do you want to drive your customers to your store or focus on online sales?
  • Which items were most popular in the past few weeks?
  • How can you segment your audience to send them more of the right kind of content?


Personalize your Emails According to your Segments

One tip that’s guaranteed to work for all retailers: provide information to your customers in advance. Shoppers are tech-savvy and know how to prepare their sales season way ahead of time to get the best deals in their Black Friday shopping – 81% of consumers now do online research before purchasing.Send them pre-sale emails with a little teaser of what’s to come and give them all the information they need to make their online shopping decision at least a week before.

Choose the right Black Friday email template

Yes, we’re being Captain Obvious here. But no matter how attractive the prices you offer are, you can’t afford to send out an average looking sale campaign with multiple CTAs, a festival of different fonts and kaleidoscopical colors. Last Black Friday, we still saw A LOT of these.

A few rules to follow to avoid a design disaster:

  1. Stick to a simple structure with columns (easier to get your email responsive).
  2. Keep a fair mix of images and text (about 60/40).
  3. Align fonts and size of your messages.
  4. Decide which CTA buttons to use and make sure they are clearly displayed in a contrasting color.
  5. Have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Holiday Emailing to dig further.


Download our beautiful Black Friday email template

Does all of this sound like Mission Impossible to you? Don’t panic: you don’t need to hire the latest fancy designer in town for that.

Black friday email template

Download our free Black Friday email template here and adapt it now using Mailjet’s email editor, Passport.

Use email content to your advantage

Don’t get us wrong – we just told you to make sure your emails look pretty, but going ahead, you also need to make sure design and content go hand in hand. In the past few years, we’ve seen a minimalist trend out there with a lot of beautiful Black Friday emails that just don’t tell you much about the sale because…they’re just pretty.

Be careful with being too mysterious

Unless you’re sure everyone knows perfectly well who you are and what you offer, be careful with sending emails that only focus on the actual discount.

Black Friday Email - Content DON'Ts

Don’t only highlight your discounts on your Black Friday emails – show your products too!

Sure, a sleek design and a good CTA can go a long way, and some Black Friday emails are real works of art. But think again -this could work fine when you launch a brand new mysterious collection, to tease your loyal customers. But here, we’re talking about THE most competitive time of the year in the inbox; plus there’s little surprise/suspense effect on what a Black Friday offer can be made of.

Create a sense of urgency in your Black Friday email marketing

Now, this can seem like Marketing 101, but it’s a time-tested marketing psychology tactic. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about time-sensitive deals and FOMO kicks in when your clients believe they might miss out. The best Black Friday emails use email copy and images that drive a sense of urgency to improve open and click-through rates.

Focus your wording on deadlines and scarcity, like:

  • “Time is running out” or “Get it before it’s gone”
  • “Sale ends tomorrow” or “Sale almost over”
  • “Last chance” or “While supplies last”
  • “Only N days left” or “Only N spots left”


And don’t forget to use all the magic marketing words that we’ve found to be successful:

  • “Great deal”, “Special offers”, “Prime offers”,
  • “Off everything”, “Reduction”, “Only”, “Savings”


However, be careful not to use Black Friday email subject lines that don’t deliver what you promised. They might get higher open rates, but if your subscribers think you’re being purposely misleading, they might decide to unsubscribe or send your email directly to their spam folder.

Showcase your products to attract attention

If your contacts don’t immediately get what’s on sale, it’s double or nothing: either they’ll be intrigued and click to see more, or they’ll be slightly annoyed that you’re asking them to search for themselves what you’re offering and move on to another email. Yes, your contacts can be lazy: never underestimate that.

Respect your brand identity in your Black Friday email

We’ve said it before: having a dedicated email voice helps you stand out and be more easily identified in the inbox. It’s even more crucial during a noisy period like Black Friday and Cyber Monday when all the brands are going to use the same wording and content with percentages of discounts, as well as potentially similar designs.

Focus on your own brand identity to make your customers feel at home. Remind your customers of how they feel when they connect with your brand. Whether your specific touch is humor or emotion, use your own DNA to write and illustrate your emails.

  • Brainstorm with your marketing team on a specific product or idea to promote in an original wayas Chubbies did with their “Turkey pants” promo email.
  • Ask your copywriting magicians to come up with marketing messages that both reflect your brand and use marketing psychology tricks.
  • Use graphics, illustrations, and colors that reflect your brand identity.
  • Don’t feel like you have to go black: you can also make color the new black and use a dark touch only here and there.


There’s no one recipe to create the perfect Black Friday email. The main idea is to make sure that your customers recognize you when they receive your email and read it in the crowd of other Black Friday emails. So we recommend that your emails clearly display your brand identity (logo, style, voice, type of subject lines, images…) in order to improve your chances of capturing your reader’s attention.

Black Friday Email sephora

SEPHORA’s Black Friday email design perfectly shows what SEPHORA is all about.

Make sure your Black Friday email stands out in the inbox

We’ve already said this: your contacts’ inboxes will be completely full on Black Friday, and most likely the majority of your subscribers will only dedicate a few seconds to each email they’ve received. But… you don’t want this to happen to your campaign and you’re prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent it. Great.

To stand out in the inbox and ensure that your contacts pay attention to (and appreciate) your offers, sometimes you have to go all in and give your campaign an innovative touch. Want some design ideas that can capture your reader’s attention? You can play with these elements to create an unforgettable email:


Black friday email example

Reward your email audience with exclusive deals

You’re probably going to spread your efforts across several marketing channels: ads, website, online store, social media, you name it. But since email is a consent-based channel and your subscribers have actually chosen to be part of your mailing list, why not use your Black Friday email marketing campaign to reward your email list for being such a faithful audience?

  • Create deals that are exclusive to your email database – don’t forget to mention that in the email subject line for a better open rate!
  • Offer a giveaway in addition to the Black Friday deals
  • Encourage referrals in the body of the email to take this opportunity to grow your contact lists.


Create matching Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns

Are you preparing a Black Friday sale and a Cyber Monday sale? Make sure that your contacts recognize you by pairing up your Black Friday and your Cyber Monday emails: similar designs, slightly different messages, like Jonathan Adler.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Emails

Aren’t these email twins just perfect for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Get inspired with these Black Friday email examples

Designing a great Black Friday email is not easy. Check out some of our favorite examples.

Less is more

A picture says a thousand words, so J Crew have let their image do most of the talking. Animals are always hard to say no to, and this, combined with the wordplay makes for a click-worthy message.


The red theme is festive as well as energizing, ideal for triggering a post-holiday spending spree.

Laugh your customer into the checkout

Using humor is a great way to stand out in the Black Friday inbox, whatever your industry. Make like Chubbies and sell your brand’s personality as well as products. Maybe you’ve got a couple of funny subject line ideas and want to find out which to go with. Split test to split your subscribers’ sides.


Show them what you’ve got

Be sure to include a few product examples that entice people to use these amazing discounts right away. Pair up products and offers, like Urban Outfitters’ Black Friday emails does, to drive more click-throughs.

Black Friday Email urban outfitters

A little less choice, a little more action

Sometimes, however, too much choice can overwhelm the consumer and actually be bad for business.

Nasty Gal offers a promotion only on black items – narrowing the selection and embracing the Black Friday theme. The succinct, urgent headline gets the subscriber pumped up and primed for impulse-buying. Not the first time a blackout and marketing has worked perfectly together.

Nasty Gal Black Friday Email

It’s your turn: Create a stunning Black Friday email

And voilà: now that you’ve got all our master tricks, you’re all set to be the next Picasso of email marketing this season.

Remember these Black Friday tips:

  1. Spend some time analyzing your customers’ behavior before Black Friday.
  2. Choose a responsive email template and throw in the right number of CTAs (that is, not many).
  3. Wisely select your email content to suggest urgency and scarcity: Black Friday is just one day indeed!
  4. Add a few carefully-selected images from your brand library that highlight your top products.
  5. Respect your brand image so your clients know it’s you.
  6. Add interactive content and GIFs to stand out in the inbox.
  7. Create an exclusive email deal for your customers.


With Mailjet’s drag-and-drop email editor, Passport, you can easily build a stunning email from an existing gallery of templates, so you didn’t need to stress about getting it right. We’ve got a great template gallery for you to choose from.

And if you’re not sure where to start or don’t have time to adapt one of our traditional templates, download our free Black Friday email template here. Designing a great Black Friday email this year couldn’t be easier.

Send your Black Friday emails with Mailjet
Create and send stunning Black Friday email campaigns with Mailjet. Use one of our predefined templates or design your own with our drag-and-drop editor and send them straight to the inbox.

Create your account now

Want to learn more about how to create your holiday email strategy? Check out Mailjet’s Ultimate Guide to Holiday Email Marketing.


This blog post is an updated version of the post “Crafting the Perfect Black Friday Email Campaign“, published on the Mailjet blog on November 3rd, 2016 by Mylène Blin.