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Email Marketing

The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Email Campaigns

Email On Acid

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are crucial dates on every marketer’s calendar as email accounts for 25% of online transactions. Adobe calculated that shoppers spent $2.74 billion online on Black Friday and $3.07 billion on Cyber Monday. With this type of money on the line and the competition for consumers’ attention being tougher than ever, it’s vital to send engaging email that will convert.

Before we dig into what makes a Black Friday or Cyber Monday email awesome, let’s talk about an important step you need to take before you hit send this holiday season. According to Practical Ecommerce, in 2015 mobile shopping trumped the desktop, grabbing a 57% share and drove a record-breaking $639 million in sales. This year, it’s safe to say that number will only grow. That’s why it’s critical to test your email to ensure it renders properly on different mobile devices before you deploy your email. If you want access to the fastest, and most affordable testing suite, try EOA free for 7 days to unlock unlimited email, spam and image testing!

In the spirit of giving back, we scoured the internet and our inboxes to find the most compelling email campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Take a look below to get your creative juices flowing this season.


To kick off the first campaign we’re featuring, we’ll focus on the first element everyone sees in an email: the subject line! Your subject line is your first (and perhaps only) chance to make an impression. For this reason, your subject line’s job is to stop readers in their tracks as 35% of emails opened are based on subject line alone.

So, what makes a great subject line? One that tells what’s inside, instead of sells what’s inside. ModCloth did a great job of this in the email below as its subject line was, “What’s on sale? Anything & everything.” No fluff, they just get straight to the point with an incredibly compelling offer.

The subject line is also powerful because it does a fantastic job of giving a quick summary or overview of the content contained in the email. Plus, the subject line, images, and content all work together to focus on a singular goal, the Cyber Monday sale. With one goal trailing throughout the entire email, you’re more likely to keep your reader’s attention and close.


FATFACE truly embraces the holiday spirit by giving back to local charities. Instead of doing the usual discount that you see plastered across most emails, they are donating up to 250,000 pounds to local charities from the profits they make on Black Friday.

This not only grabs your attention because it’s something different, but this something different is engaging because of its noble cause.

Plus, can we talk about the text that says, “thanks for GIVING.” I’m a sucker for creative content and wordplay like that.


Uber followed suit in the “giving vs. getting” mentality as well, but this Black Friday campaign is also amazing for two other reasons. First, the element of surprise. They are offering discounts on 5 products over 5 days, but don’t unveil what the gifts are until the day of. This keeps the reader coming back for more, creating awesome engagement over a period of days. Second, the $5,000 prize for a lucky winner. This goes above and beyond any sort of discount or coupon code.

Also, this email is advantageous to multiple companies as this campaign is a co-marketing effort with multiple brands and products. More than just one company’s bottom line will benefit here.


J.Crew always has fantastic email, holiday or not, but this Cyber Monday they stepped up their game. Like I mentioned previously, I love engaging copy and the way they tied their copy and creative together in such a delightful way was worth a mention. This sort of ingenuity is what marketing is all about. Taking a theme (in this case Cyber Monday) and making every element of the email creative and at the same time conversion-driven is one for the books.

Also, props on using dynamic content at the bottom to locate the nearest store to the reader!

Forever 21

Animated GIFs in email increase CTR by 26%. Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday are one of the biggest days for email, there’s no better time to incorporate a GIF in your campaign.

Forever 21 did a fantastic job of employing this tactic with their Black Friday campaign below. They used a scratch card design to represent three possible gold fields with different prizes underneath: 15%, 20% or 25% off the user’s purchase. Not only is this visually compelling, it is also an enticing strategy as a lot of their readers will click and engage solely to see what prize they get.

Plus, give Forever 21 a few points for the simplicity of their design and CTA. Job well done.

Lou and Grey

Before we wrap up, let’s look at one of the most important elements to close a sale: creating a sense of urgency.

This whole email from its copy to the imagery makes your palms sweat. They do a great job of interweaving scarcity into all the elements in the campaign below.

Most people have FOMO (fear of missing out), so try this in your next campaign and see if it garners more conversions.


In this series of impressive Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails, we’ll end with one that was gutsier than the rest, REI.

REI has built their brand around outdoor living. They stuck to their core mission in this email and used it on the biggest email day imaginable.

In the email, they announced they would close their doors Black Friday at all 143 of its retail locations. Instead of sending their employees to work, they paid 12,000 employees on Black Friday to do what they love, which is getting outside.

Not only was this awesome since they stuck to their core value’s as a company, they also started a frenzy on social media. REI invited the nation to #OptOutside. Twitter went crazy with the hashtag #OPTOUTSIDE and got tons of new eyeballs on their brand.

What are your favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails you’ve seen this year?

Share your favorite campaigns in the comments section below to spread some email inspiration!

About the Author

Mallory Mongeon

Mallory Mongeon

Mallory hails from Minnesota and earned her bachelor's degree in corporate communications from Elon University. The voice behind our email campaigns and social media channels, Mallory uses her background in research- and metrics-driven marketing strategies to inform her blogs on the non-technical aspects of email marketing.

Join the Discussion

Hi, I love the newsletter and using EOA. But what about focusing on Email for B2B. Seems like you guys are so focused on Consumer Retail.
Rob McCrave
Thanks for the kinds words and I hope you're well today! For this particular blog, Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails usually are more focused on B2C, and especially retail, for this particular holiday. However, you do make a good point that we could focus more on B2B in other posts we make. We'll be sure to keep this on our radar for upcoming email marketing blogs. Thanks for the tip!
Mallory Mongeon

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