Building E-commerce Flash Sale Email Campaigns To Boost Sales

Eman Zahra
Eman Zahra

Last updated on

March 20, 2023

Email marketers are always finding ways to improve conversions. Many email campaigns are run to increase engagement, generate more leads, and boost revenue. One of the most effective ways to do so is by running a flash sale.

Many reputed store marketers call flash sales an ultimate sale strategy. This isn’t all talk but is proven by numbers that state that flash sale emails:

If you’re an email marketer and are running a flash sale email campaign, you need to know about the most productive subject lines that work. We are discussing 9 flash sale subject line templates for every business. But before that, let’s discuss what flash sales are.

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What is a flash sale?

A flash sale is when an online store offers big discounts or promotions for a very short period of time. The main goals of a flash sale strategy are:

  • To increase sales by making customers buy impulsively.
  • To increase short-term sales.
  • To get rid of inventory.

There are three ways flash sales are different from regular online sales:

  1. Discounts and promotions are better than what a business usually offers
  2. The window of a flash sale is shorter than regular online sales
  3. Not all the products are on sale. There are only specific products depending upon the availability and usual sale of all the products.

There are specific days in a year when flash sales become popular. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of those days that attract online shoppers without fault. There are some websites like AliExpress that even offer “daily deal” flash sales as their main business model. There usually are some drawbacks to these sales.

Flash sale for eCommerce businesses

Flash sales were introduced to e-commerce businesses in the early 2000s, and have proven to be an effective promotional strategy ever since.

Yes, every eCommerce store can run flash sales but it’s not an easy task. They can harm your business as well.

Unsuccessful flash sales can hurt your brand image and can even erode profits. However, if the flash sale strategy is successfully executed, your business does not only thrive on profits but can also attract loyal customers who keep coming back for more.

There are many tools and techniques that shoppers use to help them compare the prices of products and the quality that a business offers. Shoppers today are well-educated on products since online exposure is keeping them up to date. With a sense of urgency that flash sale offers, shoppers spend a lot of time researching the product and then opting to buy it. This sense of urgency can easily boost sales for any business.

Flash sale emails

To run successful flash sale campaigns, every step has to be carefully planned. Execution of the plan becomes easier when you have all the goals, tasks, and to-do lists aligned in front of you. Flash sale emails are the most important method that promote the event. Here’s when you should send a flash sale email:

  • Before flash sale starts
  • When the flash sale starts
  • Change in the dates of flash sale
  • Extension of flash sale (send an email every time you go for the extension).

Our complete flash sale guide can help you understand the basics of building a flash sale campaign strategy.

Many eCommerce stores send flash sale emails to their subscribers many times before the actual sale begins. Below, we are listing everything that should be included in a flash sale email:

Preview Email

Preview email is part of the first step before the flash sale begins. It is sent out to inform the target audience about the flash sale. Here’s what this email should include:

  1. The date of your flash sale
  2. The duration of this sale
  3. Type of products on sale
  4. Offered discounts in flash sale

Email 1

Email 1 is the next step and is sent out as soon as the sale begins. Here’s what this email should include:

  1. Include the promotions
  2. Include the products on sale
  3. Duration of the sale

Email 2

The second email is sent out a little after email 1. Email 2 can be sent out on the same day as email 1 after a few hours as a reminder. It can also be sent out the very next day. It is a great way to keep the customers engaged. The second email is often neglected by most marketers but we suggest sending it as follow-up emails can triple the response rate. Your reminder email should include the same elements as your first email.

Email 3

The third email is sent out a day before the sale is ending. This email adds a sense of urgency as you’re telling the customer that they’re going to lose the chance of availing the offer soon. Here’s what email 3 should include:

  1. Time when the sale will end
  2. Products on sale
  3. Promotions available

Many email marketers segment their email lists and send out flash sale alerts to specific segments. For example, to attract more customers, this email is sent to the new subscribers only. Another segment is loyal customers who get this offer due to their loyalty. Both ways, you’re increasing brand loyalty.

To market to existing customers, some email marketers create segments based on prior purchases. The products offered in this flash sale are related to those purchases.

To make the most out of flash sale emails, subject lines are made more appealing for the recipients. Read on to get an idea of how a subject line should be crafted.

Subject lines for flash sale

Emails with a great subject line have a much higher open rate. 47% of the emails are opened based on the subject line. To make flash sale offers to stand out, the subject lines are made more attractive. Here are 6 subject lines that worked for the mentioned brands and the reason why we love them:

Sony Summer Sale

Subject line: Sony Big Summer Sale

Why we love this: The subject line used by Sony is a very simple and compact one. In only 4 words it tells us what to expect from the sale.

  • “Big,” tells us that the sale is going to be a big one. Customers should expect large discounts and promotions.
  • “Summer,” gives the whole happy breezy vibe to the flash sale.
  • Lastly “Sale” explains that this email is a notification for a flash sale. Interesting how less is more in this email subject line.
Sony Flash Sale Email

Sun Basket’s “LITTLE SECRET”

Subject line: A surprise from Sun Basket! Treat yourself to bold flavors and delicious dinners.

Why we love this: ⭐️Sun basket is a renowned name in the healthy and organic food industry. There are more than one reasons why we love this subject line:

  • The star in the start attracts customers towards the email and attracts them to read what’s written.
  • There’s a mystery in the word “surprise” that makes it more attractive.
  • They are not talking about the sale in the subject line but about the benefit that one gets from the sale.
Sun Basket Flash Sale Email

Madewell giving extra

Subject line: Get an extra 40% off now. Yes, we’re not kidding

Why we love this: Who doesn’t like a little extra discount? And this is exactly why we love this email subject line.

  • The subject line says that you’re getting a little extra from Madewell and it’s not even little- it’s 40% extra. The subject line adds the last part to make the subject line a bit more humorous.
Madewell Flash Sale Email

This is also to make an impact that Madewell is to be trusted on this. By saying “we’re not kidding”, Madewell is emphasizing the credibility of the sale. This way, it is also establishing brand trust.

VistaPrint for friends and family

Subject line: Friends & Family sale + email exclusive offer inside!

What we love about this: VistaPrint has custom office supplies including business cards and other paper products like notecards. Here’s why this flash sale subject line is interesting.

  • Friends and family discount makes you feel important as it is calling customers friends and family.
  • VistaPrint has added the element of curiosity by saying there’s an exclusive offer waiting for the customers inside the email. That’s what makes the email more attractive and makes the customer open the email.
VistaPrint Flash Sale Email

Blinkist 4 month discount

Subject line: “Last chance! Save on 4 months when you subscribe now”

Why we love this: Blinkist is a subscription service that has everything including books and podcasts. This subject line creates a sense of urgency and here’s how it does the deed:

  • “Last chance,” says that this is the last time you’ll get an offer like this, making customers think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “When you subscribe now” is also working on the same concept of urgency.
  • “Save on 4 months” is a big offer saying the offer will work for 4 full months of subscription.
Blinkist Flash Sale Email

Audible 2-for-1 sale

Subject Line: 2-for-1 Sale on Most-Binged Listens!

Why we love this: Audible offers paid audiobooks that can be streamed from everywhere and here’s why this subject line works:

  • Well, 2 for 1 is always a good offer.
  • By mentioning “most-binged listens”, they’re signaling that the sale is on their most consumed content. This gives the reader that the product is highly used and therefore valuable, therefore they’re more likely to make purchases.
Audible Flash Sale
Whether you want customers to complete an opt-in form or share your blog post across social media channels, it all comes down to how you encourage them. Mailmunch allows you to build email lists, create beautiful emails with engaging templates for all niches. Drive your audience crazy with sales templates!


Almost 47% of the recipients open their email based on the subject line. Perfecting your subject line can increase your ROI immensely. If you’re not getting a good open rate, chances are you need to work on your subject line.

Hopefully, these examples will inspire your next flash sale campaign and you’ll be able to easily create the most attractive subject lines for your sales.

If you want tailor-made templates for your campaigns, Mailmunch can help you out. Mailmunch offers email templates that can be easily customized and used accordingly. In addition to these email templates, you can also get free landing page templates and pop-up templates.

Mailmunch helps in boosting your audience and growing your sales by increasing your brand awareness. It is available at the most affordable prices for every eCommerce business.

Author Bio

Eman Zahra

Eman-e-Zahra is an IT graduate and has helped many businesses especially software development companies with their content marketing. Eman has managed to achieve a global clientele with her work by lending them a hand in the marketing strategy department.


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