Black Friday email strategies, tactics, and tips to try in 2022

There is one great certainty in life: Black Friday will come around every year, and it will be here faster than you imagine. As the largest sale event of the year, it is a huge opportunity for marketers - especially when it comes to the email strategy. How not to miss it and use it wisely? What results should I expect? What types of emails perform best? Should I use automation? Is there technology that can improve my Black Friday efforts? How should a perfect email be designed? How to write a good email subject line? On the Black Friday eve, you may ask yourself many questions. The InboxSuite team provides answers and presents best strategies, tactics, and tips for the best selling event of the year.

There is one great certainty in life: Black Friday will come around every year, and it will be here faster than you imagine. As the largest sale event of the year, it is a huge opportunity for marketers - especially when it comes to the email strategy. How not to miss it and use it wisely? What results should I expect? What types of emails perform best? Should I use automation? Is there technology that can improve my Black Friday efforts? How should a perfect email be designed? How to write a good email subject line? On the Black Friday eve, you may ask yourself many questions. The InboxSuite team provides answers and presents best strategies, tactics, and tips for the best selling event of the year.

Why is it so important to implement an email strategy for Black Friday? Let’s make sure you have enough inspiration.
Only last year US customers spent 14.1% more compared to 2020, reaching record breaking $886,7 billion in total sales. 

Source: National Retail Federation NRF Says 2021 Holiday Sales Grew 14.1 Percent to Record $886.7 Billion

Black Friday 2022 is predicted to be one of the biggest online shopping events of all time. Future Publishing predicts that Black Friday will increase by $158 billion in total sales, regardless of omnipresent inflation. 
Last year 57% of customers made their shopping online. In 2022 we, least to say, will not disconnect from the Internet. Online shopping will remain a leading shopping destination, with the metrics equal to 56%.

Source: National Retail Federation. Holiday 2022 by the numbers

In 2021 we saw 88 million Americans purchasing online, which was an increase of 5 million compared to the previous year. What is the 2022 prediction? 50% increase in the number of online shoppers!
(Source: National Retail Federation: NRF Says 2021 Holiday Sales Grew 14.1 Percent to Record $886.7 Billion
It is heartwarming that 61% of them expect personalized gift suggestions from their favorite brands. (Source: 2021 Holiday Trends Report | Sitecore.) 

Maybe they should receive them through an email campaign? 

This is a rhetorical question and the numbers above are astonishing. It seems like you can make mistakes, but you don’t want to make them on Black Friday! Let’s dive into how to benefit from great email strategies.


How to plan your Black Friday email campaigns?

1. Measurable goals - choose metrics to determine success

First of all, you need to be aware of what your marketing objective is. Why are you doing the Black Friday campaign? What metrics will determine success? 
It has been considered there are two important metrics for email marketers: the Open Rate and the Click-Through Rate. With the new Mail Privacy Protection by Apple released last year, we can't really rely on the Open Rate metrics anymore. For that reason treat the Click-Through Rate as a true indicator of your subscribers’ engagement level. Remember, however, that not all your audience uses Apple’s iOS. 
Depending on the industry, good open rates vary between 17% and 28%. Good click through rate is 3% to 5%. (Source: What are good open rates, CTRs, & CTORs for email campaigns?) Take this and your past performance into consideration when planning your campaigns. Estimate how many products you need to sell and how many emails you need to send. How responsive was your audience last year? Can you improve your list segmentation?

💡Tip: Enhance your metrics through removing recipients who don’t show any activity for a longer period of time; verify new subscribers - double opt-in process is still a Holy Grail of good email deliverability.


2. Create a Black Friday email sequence

Pre-Black Friday emailing techniques

If you're planning to start your email campaign a week or a month before Black Friday, make sure to gradually build the excitement of your customers. This is the perfect way to introduce your brand and products to new customers, as well as remind loyal customers about upcoming sales and deals.

Technique 1: Start with teaser emailing

This type of campaign uses suspenseful language and imagery. It builds excitement for upcoming deals without giving away too much information on what those deals actually are.
You can use two emails for this type of teaser campaign to work: one announcement email and another reminder email. With the first one you can build excitement for what's coming up next week; the second one is sent out closer to the big day, so people don't forget about all those amazing deals you've got lined up for them.After running teaser emailing you can analyze metrics and learn how to segment your data and email campaigns once the big day arrives.

💡Tip: Release deals one by one, not all at once, so your customers will have some time to get excited about each deal before the next one appears.

Technique 2: Give early access, create a waiting list

A waiting list is a way to control the flow of people that visit your website. The idea behind a waiting list is to give customers the ability to sign up for notifications about when or if products become available. A waiting list helps with customer retention because you can build their excitement (by announcing discounts) and then let them know when items become available. If you don't have enough inventory, the waiting list gives you the opportunity to get it delivered, so your customers can be first in line when the sale goes live.


Technique 3: Save the Date Email - Add to Calendar

The purpose of a save-the-date email is to engage your audience with an invitation that is both informative and intriguing. A save-the-date email is a call-to-action itself. However, you may want to provide a Calendar link, so people can easily add the event to their own calendars. One click and voila! Calendar reminder notification will do the job, when the time comes.

Source: Really Good Emails 

Source: Drip


On Black Friday Day emailing techniques

Technique 1: Generous mood timing

In a world where there's a sale happening every day, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd on Black Friday. But you can still make a splash - in fact, it's all about timing. If you want to get people's attention, you need to be ready with an offer that goes live at exactly the right time. Which is when everyone’s in a generous mood - in the morning! 
Pay attention to time zones and the recipients' normal routines. The email open rate is the highest at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm; however, the second-best times are 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Most people check their email during these hours, increasing the odds of more customers opening your message.  
Wanna get out of the box? Check if your email platform provides AI-powered features such as Send Time and Frequency Optimisation. This feature enables you to deliver emails at the time predicted based on past activity towards your emails, adjusted per individual subscriber. You can start using InboxSuite AI-powered solutions.

Technique 2: Fear Of Missing Out - 5 items left!

79% of shoppers procrastinate and leave their shopping for the last minute, according to a survey from Women's Wear Daily. It is a brilliant idea to target them exactly and motivate them to buy now. How to do it? Black Friday is all about urgency and scarcity. 

If you’re buying a TV at a sale and see that only 5 of the 50 that are being sold are left in stock, you will be more motivated to buy because there’s no way you want to miss out on the last one. The more scarce something is, the more valuable it feels. It’s a common way of encouraging shoppers to act immediately - and it works.

The closer until the end of Black Friday, the bigger the fear of missing out on a deal. The more urgency you need to show. The so-called Last Chance Email is a technique to remind your prospects they have limited time and need to make a decision now. 
The faster you can convince potential buyers to purchase now, not later, the more you will make from your Black Friday emails.

Source: Really Good Emails 

💡Tip: Go ahead! Remind subscribers in multiple ways that your Black Friday ends, including in your subject line, preview text, body copy. Set a countdown timer in emails for time-sensitive deals. Add a website pop-up visible only for returning subscribers.


Post Black Friday Technique: extend to Cyber Monday or longer

Push it to the limit. Black Friday is a time for bargain-hunting and deals, but it’s not the only time to shop for great prices. Retailers know that deal-seekers expect more sales after Cyber Monday, so many brands extend their Black Friday campaign through Thanksgiving weekend. And given the expectation that consumers will splurge even more in 2022, it’s worth extending your campaign by a week


💡Tip: Provide a special discount for Cyber Monday.


3. Test your tools  - A/B testing or MVT

No stone should be unturned when it comes to your marketing strategy. You need to do everything in your power to be ready. The best way to determine if your strategy is the right one is testing

The most common testing method is A/B testing. By sending your creatives to a small amount of your database you can:

  • Test multiple versions of subject lines and content;
  • Learn about what makes recipients open your email, what makes them click on particular links or images;
  • Analyze which colors work best with your brand and style;
  • Find out if changing sending time affects their performance.

A/B testing allows you to compare multiple versions of email components, keep in mind though that each version should only test one type of component. For example, you don’t want to A/B test subject lines together with images because you will not know what actually influenced the result. 
You can take a step further in testing and use Multivariate Testing (MVT). It is a method which allows marketers to test different combinations of email variables at once. The “Multi” in Multivariate Testing speaks for the term itself. Email components such as sender name, subject line, header, image, CTA etc. can all be tested concurrently on a selected group of subscribers. MVT provides more insights to learn more about winning combinations instead of drilling down on a specific email component. You can test your tools with InboxSuite AI-powered Multivariate Testing (MVT).


4. Responsive design

Speaking of online shopping habits, increasingly, shoppers are turning to their smartphones over laptops to make their holiday purchases. 44% of emails were opened on mobile devices during the holiday season last year. 
(Source: The Litmus Holiday Marketing Guide 2022). 
If your emails aren’t responsive and mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a serious amount of holiday sales! Make sure that you are ready to target all those devices, regardless of the screen size. You can create responsive and interactive email templates with the InboxSuite Ampier Email Builder.
One step further? Use AMP messages to ask your customers for feedback, comments, and sell via email. No need to knock on devs’ door anymore. Create, test, and export your AMP emails using your everyday design environment and export them in Ampier Figma Plugin.



5. Automation through event-triggered messages

Black Friday shoppers are a special breed. They will chase after the best deals, even if it means adding an item to their cart, saving it for later and then abandoning it for a better offer. But fear not: you can send your customers follow up emails with the help of email automation that encourage them to complete their purchase. 
Cart abandonment emails were the highest performing automations of the shopping holiday in 2021 with 34% open rate, 9% click-through rate, and 2.13% conversion rate.
According to Omnisend, in the first half of 2022, automated messages were responsible for 29% of all email orders and accounted for only 1.75% of email sends. (Source: Email, SMS, and push marketing statistics for ecommerce H1 2022)


6. Email subject line must do’s

You might be surprised to learn that Black Friday is not about offering customers great deals, but rather about attracting their attention. Take the reader aback! It is a battle for FOMO - fear of missing out - and your email subject line is a key part of winning this war. You might want to consider a few tricks to make your campaign stand out. 

  • Save the punchline for later. Don’t reveal everything about your Black Friday sale in the subject line. Wake your customers up with something interesting. 
  • Personalize with customer names: according to McKinsey&Company, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. 
  • Be friendly: deals are tempting, but be careful not to come off as pushy or desperate. Choose a conversational and familiar tone. 
  • Use your company name: 64% of people will open an email because it came from the company they love.
  • Humor can help. Telling a good joke is almost an art - be careful not to spoil it. Putting your audience in a good mood can encourage them to continue their journey with your sales email. 
  • FOMO, one of the strongest powers of human motivation, fear of missing out. It is self explanatory, isn’t it? Make it obvious that deals will be gone very soon. 
  • According to Omnisend, subject lines with percent-off discounts can increase your open rates significantly. An average conversion rate of 18.1% (vs 3.8% for subject lines that don’t have an offer).
  • Emojis rock! Your click-through-rate can increase by as much as 28%.

💡Tip: The best Black Friday email subject lines only use one or two tactics. That’s because if you poke every tactic into one subject line, it will look spammy. Triggering spam filters can negatively impact your email deliverability and domain/IP reputation (it could destroy your Black Friday email strategy).


Top notch Black Friday emails examples

We have seen millions of email templates, some perform better than others. It is not always easy to pinpoint where exactly the magic happens, but there are certain standards worth following. We show you examples of emails that are a perfect match for Black Friday extravaganza.

Tease’s Early Sale

Subject line: Black Friday Came EARLY ⏰

Source: 17 Black Friday Email Examples + Tips To Create Yours [2022]

The countdown timer here is used to great effect by providing potential shoppers with time-sensitive incentive. By including a countdown, Tease is telling “this offer will go away soon”, which creates a sense of urgency that drives people to take action sooner rather than later. It is a brilliant example of the FOMO technique.

Key success factors:

  • Discount code above the fold
  • Countdown 
  • FOMO technique
  • Subject line emoji


Google’s The Black Friday countdown has begun

Subject Line: The Black Friday countdown has begun


Silhouettes of products above the fold are a brilliant way to tease customers, the mysterious vibe of the design makes them want to take a sneak peek right away!
Email offers also free shipping and further discounts on related loyalty programme Google One which are additional incentives to gain for engaging now. 
Certain target audiences will not neglect the message at the end of the email, informing about products being environmentally friendly. 🥬

Key success factors:

  • Mysterious, dark design
  • Countdown included
  • Product silhouettes brilliantly teasing
  • Environmentally-friendly products

Did you know?
Millennials are more likely to search for brands that are socially responsible. 81% of them claim they want to support brands with corporate citizenship.
(Source: Study: 81% of millennials want companies to be good corporate citizens | HR Dive


Looks by Luks Makes Black Friday Green

Subject Line: Green Friday for a good cause, not discounts!

Source: Looks by Luks

Going against the tide is a great way not only to catch attention, but also help a good cause. In an attempt to shift consumer’s focus from material goods to a healthy environment, Looks by Luks turns Black Friday into Green Friday. 
Turns out that wearing environmentally-friendly clothes can be both fun and help save our planet.

Key success factors:

  • Philanthropic approach, make effort with us
  • Catchy copy that makes you hold your breath
  • Special online event promoted


Inch2: Highlights bestsellers

Source: The all-time best Black Friday email examples & templates


We’re all guilty of falling for the old “50% off” trick, but it seems that some brands are doing it better than others. The team over at Inch2 is clearly killing it. They use smart design, a clean layout, and humorous copy to get people excited about their products. The email is showing the most loved products with great discounts. Sarcastic sense of humor is not for everyone, but if tastefully done - it rocks. Well done.
Key success factors:

  • Promoting favorite products with huge discount 
  • Neat, classy, coherent design
  • Humorous approach
  • Urgency and scarcity tactics


The Citizenry’s Give B(l)ack Friday

Source: 17 Black Friday Email Examples + Tips To Create Yours [2022]

The Black Friday Fund? Yes, we are all in!

Clearly philanthropic emails with good cause promotion are the major part of the creative. 
Note, however, that the sender managed to add a gift guide explaining how to choose a perfect product. So it is also a brand awareness campaign. Nicely done.

Key success factors:

  • Great cause that you can support
  • Free shipping and returns + gift guide as additional incentives
  • Urgency - you can join the effort only until midnight


 Key points to take with you

Implementing an email campaign for Black Friday has never been such a challenge. This is because there are so many ways to actually do it, and a lot of things need to be taken into consideration.

Draw conclusions from the past to set goals

You need to be aware of what your Black Friday marketing objective is. Why are you doing this? How will you measure your success? Analyze what kind of content you want to have inside the emails, how many email versions do you plan on sending? Will you use a direct link to place an order, add to calendar, or add to the waitlist? Do you have enough inventory for everyone who wants it on Black Friday?
Second thing you want to do is to draw conclusions from last year’s campaign. It’s important to remember what worked and what did not, because this could help you improve your campaign this year.

Building up anticipation

Your sale will be more successful if you make people eager to follow your campaign and join it as soon as they can. Build up anticipation amongst your shoppers: never reveal too much in advance, remind them that the big day is getting closer, use Teaser, Save The Date or Early Access email templates - they are gold here.

Thoughtful schedule ended with a bang

You need to make sure your emails will be sent out during the time frame that is convenient for most of your subscribers. Not only the choice of day is crucial but also the time of the day. When it finally comes, don’t let excitement become impatience. Reach out to your audience at the right moment. And with a bang - an offer that compels them to act immediately but also confirming the urgency of your deal - mention limited time left until it expires or a small number of items left.

Mobile is the new black

It’s not a secret. Not all your customers are checking their email on desktop computers. Responsive design is the new Holy Grail. If your emails aren’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a serious amount of holiday sales!

Don’t be afraid of AI-powered technologies

Use modern technology and think out of the box. There are so many AI-powered features available on the market that can improve your marketing efforts. From managing and organizing data, clustering your audience with Segment Of One strategy; through Customer Lifetime Value Predictions, email content personalisation, to Customer journey optimization, deliverability enhancement tools and Predictive content recommendations. You can make your AI-powered business with these InboxSuite features.

The best time to boost yearly results and meet targets

To say that Black Friday is a big deal would be an understatement. It’s the best day of the year to make money and get really close to your yearly sales targets. It is also a day when people are finally ready to spend money on things they’ve been wanting. It is the moment when the Christmas shopping season starts. You don’t want to miss that opportunity. It’s not a day on which you want to make mistakes.

Now it’s your turn.

Curious to learn even more about enhancing your email marketing tools using Artificial Intelligence? Schedule a free consultation and let us join you on this journey.

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