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Black Friday Email Marketing Strategy Best Practices 2023

Who here has their Black Friday 2023 shopping wishlist ready already? 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️🙋

Black Friday is an eagerly anticipated shopping event both by brands and consumers. Consumers are excited because of the Black Friday deals, while brands are because of the many business opportunities the shopping event promises.

Well, they might be onto something.

In 2022, Shopify reported an unprecedented success during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend: Independent businesses across the globe achieved a remarkable sales record of $7.5 billion, a significant 19% increase in sales compared to Shopify’s Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend in 2021.

Now, consider this as well: 73% of digital marketers think email marketing is an excellent marketing channel, surpassing SEO (72%) and paid search (67%).

You don’t even have to imagine what sort of power you will wield by utilising email marketing in your Black Friday campaigns. So let’s go over the steps you must take to get the best results from this endeavour.

This article will briefly explore the benefits of email marketing for Black Friday before delving into how to develop a Black Friday email marketing campaign strategy.

Key Takeaways

  • Shopify sellers alone generated $7.5 billion during Black Friday weekend 2022.
  • Email marketing is the most preferred marketing channel by 73% of digital marketers.
  • By cultivating an engaged subscriber base and crafting compelling emails, you can experience a highly profitable Black Friday.

Benefits of Black Friday Email Marketing Campaigns

As can be expected, during the eagerly awaited (both by brands and consumers) Black Friday period, email marketing takes on an even more critical role in captivating and converting customers.

Email marketing allows companies to reach a wide audience, build anticipation, and drive sales during this busy shopping season with enticing deals, discounts, and promotions.

Here’s what you can expect to get from Black Friday email marketing:

  • Direct communication
  • Brand loyalty
  • Recurring customers
  • Measurable results
  • High Return on Investment (ROI)

Read more: 35 Mind-Blowing Email Marketing Statistics

How to Develop Effective Black Friday Email Marketing Campaigns in 8 Steps

1. Build a Targeted, High-Quality Email List

A targeted, high-quality email list is a prerequisite for every successful Black Friday email marketing campaign.

You can use the most sophisticated design, write the most compelling copies, and provide the most special special offers. Still, all would be for nothing if you don’t correctly segment and target your Black Friday email campaign list. Without a clear vision of your target audience, your Black Friday email marketing campaigns would be just another email sent to the trash can.

To build an engaging email list for a great Black Friday email marketing campaign, pay attention to:

  • Quality: Don’t buy email lists. Sending emails without consent from users will affect your sender’s reputation negatively. Bots, spam accounts, and abandoned email addresses don’t convert anyway. 
  • Relevance: Only target people genuinely interested in your products or services when building your Black Friday email marketing list. If you don’t, you’ll have to deal with high unsubscription and low conversion rates.
  • Quantity: Once you’ve got the email list quality and relevance figured out, build your email list and expand to wider audiences.

Read more: How to Build An Email List That Converts

2. Craft Compelling Black Friday Email Marketing Copies

Now that you’ve built your email list let’s talk about your Black Friday email marketing campaign’s content. We’ll go over each element one by one:

  • Preheader text: Sometimes called “preview text”, a preheader text is a brief description of an email’s content. Adding a preheader text to your Black Friday email marketing campaigns will get your audience’s attention and lead to higher open rates.
  • Email copy: Use active language and write in the second person; the email is directed at the reader, not you. Your Black Friday promotion should be about what benefits you’re offering, so don’t talk about features. Keep your copy brief and use it to create excitement for the upcoming Black Friday deals.
  • Multimedia: Enhance the appeal of your Black Friday emails with images and videos. Increase urgency and create excitement with countdowns. 
  • Social proof: Not every Black Friday email marketing campaign has to have these. However, generally speaking, people are more easily persuaded by others’ opinions. If you deem customer testimonials necessary for your email campaign, make sure they’re easy to identify and skimmable. Alternatively, you can use badges for popular products, best sellers, hottest deals, etc.
  • Call-to-action: Have actionable and easy-to-spot (People skim their emails) CTAs in your Black Friday email marketing campaigns.

3. Design Mobile-Optimised Emails

You need a mobile-first approach to your Black Friday email marketing; here’s why:

  • Mobile accounts for 26-78% of email opens, depending on your target audience, industry, and email type.
  • Almost 72% of users will delete and not read an email if it’s not mobile-optimised. This will lead to lower conversions and ROI and harm your brand reputation.

Here are a few things to consider to make your Black Friday email marketing campaigns mobile-optimised:

  • Subject lines and preheader texts: Keep them short to increase readability and open rates.
  • Design layout: Use a single-column layout. This will make it easier for you to create the emails, and such emails will be easier to read.
  • Load time: Most of us check our emails on the go— while waiting for our coffee to be prepared at the local coffee shop, for example. No one has patience for slow-to-load emails, so compress large-sized multimedia. But don’t forgo the quality while doing so!
  • Alt text: Ensure the accessibility of your Black Friday email campaigns by adding related alt texts to images.

4. Implement Email Automation and Personalisation

Email marketing automation transforms the manual process of sending marketing emails into an automated workflow that generates recipients based on specific criteria. Subsequently, it triggers the delivery of emails to those recipients in a predetermined sequence.

Once you have your high-quality Black Friday email marketing lists and email copies in place, email marketing automation provides you with the flexibility, efficiency and ability to personalise at scale.

Triggered emails based on user actions, such as abandoned carts or wishlists, add a touch of immediacy, ensuring timely communication and increasing the chances of conversions. Solutions like Dynamic Segmentation make life incredibly easy for marketers in such scenarios. 

Unlike traditional segmentation approaches grouping people based on past behaviours, Dynamic Segmentation creates segments in real-time. With Dynamic Segmentation marketing, it becomes possible to personalise marketing messages for each individual in real-time, offering a more tailored and responsive approach.

All you need to do as a marketer is to:

  • Define the rules for your target dynamic segments.
  • Prepare Black Friday email marketing content for different scenarios and campaigns.
  • Set up the triggers for your Black Friday email marketing campaigns.

Your dynamic segments will change in real-time based on the user’s immediate actions. Therefore, they will receive the correct personalised Black Friday email campaign, increasing the probability of conversion.

5. Plan the Timing and Frequency of Emails Carefully

How many emails is too many? At what time should you send your Black Friday email campaigns to ensure maximum conversion? 

According to a study by Hubspot:

  • Email campaigns sent on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday get the highest engagement.
  • Email marketing campaigns sent between 9 am-12 pm on Tuesdays generate the most engagement, followed by Mondays and Wednesdays within the same time frame.
  • Marketing emails sent Friday through Sunday see the lowest open and click-through rates.

Balancing email frequency to avoid overwhelming subscribers is a delicate act. It’s best to keep in mind that email frequency best practices depend on the industry and customer life cycle.

But remember this, too: We’re talking about Black Friday email marketing campaigns.

Customers across all industries eagerly wait for those Black Friday campaigns. (I, for instance, am planning to get a new Kindle this Black Friday and will be on the lookout for the related emails.)

A Shopify study reveals consumers actively search for great deals from their preferred brands. According to the study, which gathered responses from over 24,000 consumers worldwide, 76% of them are focused on finding higher-quality products that offer durability. Additionally, a significant majority (84%) intend to compare prices to secure the best discounts before making their purchases during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend.

It’s safe to assume that Black Friday email campaigns will have higher frequency than regular campaigns due to consumer expectations and demand. But always consider these three key points for your Black Friday email schedule:

  • Goals: Know what you aim to achieve with each Black Friday email campaign. This will help you set the schedule for each campaign.
  • Customer’s journey: This takes us back to step 1 in building your Black Friday email marketing campaign. You can’t target users in all three stages of a buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision) with the same message and at the same frequency. You need to consider what customers in each step need; you need a proper email marketing segmentation strategy.
  • Engagement metrics: There isn’t an exact science to email marketing frequency, so closely monitor your engagement metrics and compare them to past data to find that sweet sweet spot.

6. A/B Test and Optimise 

In email marketing, A/B testing involves the practice of distributing two different versions of your campaign to separate groups of subscribers. The primary objective is to determine which variation yields the most favourable response, ultimately helping optimise the campaign’s overall performance.

So, which elements should you test?

  • Subject lines: Given its influence on open rates, testing your subject lines should be at the top of your list. A/B test your subject lines for length, tone of voice, and word order. You can also test what happens if you use numbers or all capitals (e.g. BLACK FRIDAY) in the subject line.
  • Preheader text: What was said about A/B testing email subject lines applies to your preheader texts as well.
  • From name: You can try and see if your subscribers engage more with “From [BRAND]” or “From [PERSON] from [BRAND]”.
  • CTAs: Which colour and font combination works best for CTAs? What position should it be at?
  • Sending time: We’ve just discussed in the step above that optimum email frequency and sending time differ significantly for each business. A/B test to find yours.

Document and thoroughly analyse the A/B test results to optimise your Black Friday email campaigns.

7. Ensure Compliance with the Email Marketing Laws

Various laws govern email marketing depending on the location of both the marketer and the recipients. However, the essential ones that every marketer should be familiar with are:

Although adhering to every law and regulation related to email marketing might appear overwhelming and challenging, entirely disregarding them is not a wise strategy either.

Prioritising compliance is essential for sustainable growth and a positive brand image. Follow these best practices to ensure compatibility with the laws and regulations:

  • Have a clean email list.
  • Get and record user consent.
  • Have easy opt-out options for subscribers.
  • Process opt-out requests quickly.
  • Don’t use deceiving email subject lines.
  • Provide your business’ physical address and link to privacy and cookie policies.

8. Continuously Monitor and Measure the Campaign Performance

After all these steps, you’re still not done with your Black Friday email marketing campaigns. Once your campaigns are out there in the wild, the fun part begins—monitoring and optimising.

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), such as open rates and conversions, is imperative to assess whether your campaigns meet the expected performance benchmarks.

The most crucial email marketing KPIs to track during the Black Friday period are:

  • Email open rate: Low open rates may signal that your subject lines or preheader texts are not engaging enough. You might need to make some changes.
  • Click-through rates: Low CTR may signal problems with your CTAs. Their message may not be clear enough, or they may be difficult to identify.
  • Email bounce rate: Pay attention to your soft and hard bounces, as they might point to potential email deliverability issues.
  • Unsubscribe rate: A high unsubscribe rate suggests your Black Friday email campaign does not resonate with your target audience. Go back to step 1 to understand the root of this problem.

Wrapping Up

Take time to understand why email marketing should be a significant part of your growth strategy while you still have all this time to get ready for Black Friday. By cultivating an engaged subscriber base and crafting compelling emails, your business can experience a highly profitable Black Friday.

Follow these steps to craft successful Black Friday email marketing campaigns:

  • Build a targeted, high-quality email list.
  • Craft compelling email marketing content for different segments.
  • Optimise for mobile.
  • Implement email automation and personalisation.
  • Plan email frequency and sending times carefully.
  • A/B test different email components for the best results.
  • Ensure compliance with necessary laws and regulations.
  • Continuously monitor and record campaign performance.

Want to absolutely smash Black Friday email marketing? Contact Segmentify, and together, we’ll develop the most suitable strategy for your growth.

FAQs About Black Friday Marketing

When is Black Friday 2023?

In 2023, Black Friday falls on Friday, November 24th.

How long does Black Friday 2023 last?

Technically, Black Friday is only the day after Thanksgiving and ends as soon as Cyber Monday starts on November 25th.

Retailers, however, love to combine the two days and extend them as far as possible. Many retailers extend their Black Friday Cyber Monday sales through early December, turning everything into one big holiday shopping period.

Is Black Friday a thing in the whole world?

The term “Black Friday” refers to the day after Thanksgiving in the USA. Historically, this shopping event was only observed in the USA, but it has, over time, gained popularity worldwide. Today, people from around the world participate in Black Friday shopping activities.

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