Black Friday Email Strategies to Try for Thanksgiving 2024

Chanelle Smith
Chanelle Smith

Last updated on

May 14, 2024

It’s that time of the year again: Black Friday. The day consumers will soon hit every shopping center in sight in search of the best deals and bargains. In recent years, however, many consumers have turned their attention to online shopping, preferring to shop online from the comfort of their homes. And the sales revenue has increased with each passing year.

According to Adobe, the Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday sales revenue in 2020 was a whopping $34.4 billion. But, in 2021, consumers shopping earlier in October because of earlier deals caused the sales to decline to $33.9 billion, a slight decrease of 1.4%.

What does this mean for advertisers? It means you’ll need to refine your marketing strategy to reach consumers where they are on channels like social media, search, and email. While your Black Friday campaign can certainly target all three channels (or more), there is one channel that you’ll want to focus on and not overlook: email.

Why email?

With worldwide email users being 4.26 million, email reaches far more consumers than many other channels. Still, in 2022, up to 70% of consumers want brands to communicate with them via email.

Of course, you won’t be the only one reaching out to consumers this way. They’re bombarded with hundreds of brand messages a day. With so many messages, making your brand stand out might sound like a tall order. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are a few actionable tips from email strategy experts that can help you start or improve your Black Friday email marketing campaign.

Use email retargeting to send timely deals

If you already have an email subscriber list with a segment dedicated to people who purchased from you on previous Black Fridays, you can use that segment to retarget them again this year. But don’t blindly send out an email to everyone on that list. Be sure to check who is still active with your company or, better yet, has shown a recent interest in purchasing from you, so you don’t waste any effort.

Email retargeting can also be used for those that haven’t made a purchase yet.

As of 2022, an average of 69.99% of consumers abandon their online shopping carts due to a price that doesn't match their expectations, finding a better price elsewhere, or just not being ready to purchase. According to Shopify, shopping cart abandonment causes eCommerce stores to lose $18 billion in revenue. That’s why it’s essential to retarget customers who abandon their carts via email before they forget about you.

The retargeting email you send should contain a timely deal, creating a sense of urgency that implies the consumer needs to buy now or they’ll miss out. You also should let them know what’s in store for them in terms of savings—but don’t be pushy. Typically you’ll want to send an email within three hours after the consumer has left your website, for that is the window of time that they’re most likely to consider your offer.

In short, email retargeting is beneficial for your business for these reasons:

  • Normal eCommerce conversion rates can be around 2-4%, but email retargeting, if done right, can lead to a 147% increase in conversion rate over time
  • Grows revenues by 4x when compared to other methods
  • Provides value and keeps the customer interested in your brand
  • Encourages someone to visit your store (for the first time or again)
  • Improves your organic search results

But feel free to get creative—there are many other ways email retargeting can be used to increase sales:

During the busy Black Friday season, it's more important than ever to reach customers in many ways. Don't let email be your last stop – use your audience's email actions to influence marketing on other channels, like social media. You can retarget audiences on social that have opened your emails and even personalize the messaging based on which image or section they clicked on. Customers are hit with a lot of information in the days leading up to Black Friday, so to ensure they remember your message, they need to see it more than once. Retarget email subscribers leading up to Black Friday and on an actual day, optimizing for mobile and catching users on social while they're on the go. Continuing your campaigns through social will further increase your customer's brand awareness and intent to purchase, leading to better Black Friday results.

-Sarah Maloy, Adaptly

Remember, for a successful sales campaign over the Black Friday weekend, it needs to be more than "send one and done." You'll want to start priming your email subscribers before Black Friday comes. Most consumers plan their Black Friday shopping sprees long before Black Friday arrives. If you wait until Black Friday to announce your sales and specials, your emails will sit unopened in an inbox lost in a sea of other promotional email offers while your audience is already out shopping. Start promoting your Black Friday specials for your most successful campaigns closer to the beginning of November. The day after Halloween is often considered the start of the Holiday season. So it will be the perfect time to start engaging with your audience and letting them know what great offers you have in store for them.

Then, through the weeks leading up to Black Friday, continue to nurture your audience. Remind them of the coming specials and why these specials make such great gifts for the people on their list. Everyone wants to be a hero over the holidays, so show them how your products will do just that for them.

Finally, don't abandon your audience once Black Friday hits. Continue to nurture them through the start of their shopping by sending abandoned cart notices, follow-up emails, and even a little thank-you gift for your most loyal customers. These little details will leave a big impression on your audience.

-Brenda Ster and Windy Lawson, Sassy Suite

This email from Forever 21 is a perfect example of a BFCM retargeting email. The headline “One More Day… Just For You” immediately tells the recipient that the brand is offering them an exclusive discount on its products. Also, the discount of 25% can entice the recipient to take the desired action. 

BFCM retareting strategy email example: Forever 21

Offer exclusive bargains

You can send coupon codes and incentives to your current subscriber list to help nurture them and improve your conversation rate. Consumers appreciate gift cards and coupons that will help them save money.  If a consumer doesn’t purchase immediately, you can send them an exclusive offer that best suits their needs.

Statistics indicate that coupons can be a great way to encourage future sales:

  • 68% of consumers believe that a coupon helps to build brand awareness
  • 60% of consumers want to receive coupons so they can save money
  • 50% of consumers will visit a store that gave them a coupon or special offer
  • 68% of consumers think that coupons generate brand loyalty

The combination of coupon codes, exclusive offers, and other incentives can help increase the value of your product or service to your consumers. Remember: adding value to your consumers shouldn’t be a one-time thing but a continuous effort.

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement". Keeping that in mind, our tip is to equip emails with personalized and trackable incentives. Unique codes attached to coupons or gift cards enable you to achieve sales goals and use extreme Black Friday email traffic as a data source for future improvements.

J. Dworniczak,

Shoppers have been trained to look for the highest value during Black Friday sales. Many business owners mistake this "value" and offer slashed prices and heavy discounts. This isn't necessary!

Instead, create a bundled offer with high-perceived value based on the premiums you include in the bundle but with relatively low fixed costs. This way, you can offer a $300 sale on a bundle with a consumer-perceived value of $1,000. In reality, you never truly discounted your core product; instead, you added additional items with high perceived value but low overhead.

Big-box retailers have used this strategy for decades, creating a large profit margin with high perceived value and customer demand.

-Dan Bussius, Built by Love

Herschel Supply Company, demonstrates perfectly what a unique offering is in this email. The company is offering its recipients Black Friday discounts starting from $10 and going up to $50.

BFCM specific offers example: Herschel Supply Company

Send a series of high-quality emails before Black Friday

Unsurprisingly, consumers expect to be informed of deals weeks or months before Black Friday. Since it’s easy for your email to get lost in a sea of others, you should build momentum by sending out a series of emails before the big day to generate excitement from your consumers about your products. Most marketers consider the days just post-Halloween to be the official start of the holiday season, so you should send out promotions then. By starting targeted marketing early, you may even make some sales before Black Friday arrives.

  • Adobe Analytics indicated that in 2021 consumers spent $33.9 billion online from Nov 26th to Nov 29th
  • Over 179.8 million Americans shopped online from Thanksgiving Day through to Cyber Monday in 2021

While generating excitement about your product is excellent, you should use this push to build up and retain your email subscriber list.

Black Friday season is one of the few times of the year that customers expect—even waiting for—big marketing campaigns. Savvy shoppers are eager to hear what you have to offer. It's a great time to push for additional email subscribers in exchange for exclusive promotions. But don't forget your loyal followers! Consider doing a special promotion for customers who shop with you consistently.

-Megan Schaulis, Kettle Fire Creative

Build momentum. Start sending out more emails with quality content ahead of Thanksgiving if you want to drive your sales on Black Friday.

Send your customers unmissable gift guides and invite them to create wish lists. Give the emails a themed look and get them to click through with genuinely attractive offers.

-Robert Martin, Groupmail

Black Friday is a noisy time, and many advertisers are trying to grab consumers' attention simultaneously. To make sure your message is heard, create multiple emails: the day before (early access to sale), the morning of (black Friday sale), the afternoon of (don't miss out), an evening of (last chance), and finally the following morning (offer extended). Make sure each email highlights the value of your offer and the deadline to get the discount at the top. This will give consumers several chances to take advantage of your offer on a schedule that works best for them.

-Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

Apple really does know how to create anticipation among its customers. Just take a look at this email and you know why! You can take inspiration from this email and include it in your email series to send before BFCM, to create anticipation and leverage the sense of urgency in your customers.

BFCM email example: Apple

Use Mailmunch to boost sales this BFCM!

 Now it’s your turn. Kickstart your Black Friday email campaign this holiday season with these great tips from the experts, and Mailmunch!

Mailmunch is a complete email marketing solution that gives you total control over your BFCM email marketing campaigns. Design and edit converting emails, landing pages, and opt-in forms. Use advanced email automation to target customers at just the right time. And keep track of all your campaigns with highly Advanced Marketing Analytics. Sign up today and start your free trial!

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