black friday marketing, black friday sale announcment, cyber monday, email marketing, email campagins

Mastering Your Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) Email Marketing for 2023


Can you feel it in the air? That’s right—the holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes the mother of all retail weekends: Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or BFCM.

If you run an online store, you know just how huge Black Friday 2023 can be for your business. But let’s not forget about Cyber Monday—because when it comes to holiday shopping, this dynamic duo offers a golden opportunity to skyrocket your Black Friday sales and engage with your customer base like never before.

The key to unlocking this treasure trove? An unbeatable Black Friday email marketing strategy.

These email campaigns offer a direct line to your customers, allowing you to grab their attention with eye-catching email design, irresistible Black Friday deals, and those all-important Cyber Monday sale announcements.

Table of Contents

Why Email Marketing is Critical During BFCM

From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas celebrations, shoppers are on a retail pilgrimage, and their path often leads directly through the digital doors of online stores like yours.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why focus on email marketing when there are so many other channels?” Well, despite the growing influence of social media and other marketing messages, email marketing remains a stalwart method of driving sales and fostering connections.

In fact, during Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM), a well-executed email marketing campaign can be your golden ticket to revenue heaven.

Direct Line to Your Customers

Unlike social media, where your promotional posts might get buried in a sea of competing content, emails land directly in your customers’ inboxes. This means you have their undivided attention, even if it’s just for a few seconds. Use this moment wisely by designing high-quality, attention-grabbing emails that resonate with your audience’s Black Friday shopping needs.

Targeted and Personalized Offers

With email marketing, you can segment your email list to send highly targeted Black Friday offers or Cyber Monday deals. Personalization can drastically increase conversions, transforming casual browsers into loyal customers. Imagine sending a “Last Chance for Black Friday Discounts!” email to customers who’ve shown interest in specific product categories—talk about striking while the iron’s hot!

Boost Open Rates and Conversions

During BFCM, people are actively looking for deals and are more likely to open emails that promise value. Crafting compelling subject lines and using email design elements like countdown timers can create a sense of urgency, driving up your open rates and, subsequently, your conversions.


Compared to other advertising channels, email marketing offers a high return on investment. Every dollar spent can result in a multi-fold return if your Black Friday email strategy is well-planned and executed. With automation tools, even smaller ecommerce stores can manage to run intricate holiday campaigns without breaking the bank.

Re-Engage and Build Relationships

BFCM isn’t just about immediate sales; it’s also a fantastic opportunity to re-engage with past customers and foster new relationships. A series of well-thought-out emails—from teaser emails to “last-minute” Cyber Monday emails—can keep your brand top-of-mind, paving the way for future interactions and sales.

BFCM is a critical time for ALL businesses! Secure your payment system before it’s too late.

Building a Robust Email List

Ah, the email list—the backbone of any successful email marketing campaign, and doubly so when it comes to Black Friday email marketing. If you’re looking to make a splash this holiday season, it’s critical to build a strong email list. Here’s how you can do it.

Leverage Pop-Ups for Newsletter Sign-Ups

Your website is your primary asset, and you should utilize it effectively. Use attention-grabbing pop-ups to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter. Be sure to offer a compelling reason—whether it’s a sneak peek at your Black Friday 2023 deals, early access to Cyber Monday sales, or a special discount code.

Encourage Account Creation During Checkout

Another ripe opportunity to grow your email list is during the checkout process. Shoppers who are in the middle of making a purchase are already engaged. Prompt them to create an account, and make sure to include a checkbox for email subscriptions. This not only simplifies future purchases for the customer but also adds them to your treasure trove of email subscribers.

Offer Irresistible Lead Magnets

What’s better than free shipping? Maybe a 10% discount on the next purchase? Whatever you think will entice your target audience, offer it as a lead magnet to encourage email sign-ups. These incentives don’t just have to be limited to your website; promote them on social media to cast a wider net.

Leverage Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media channels when building your email list. Use targeted ads or posts to drive potential customers to a landing page where they can sign up for special offers, thereby becoming part of your email marketing campaigns for the holiday season and beyond.

Utilize Partnerships and Collaborations

Consider teaming up with brands or influencers that align with your products. A joint email campaign can introduce your brand to a new set of eyes, growing your email list through cross-promotion.

Quality Over Quantity

Last but not least, focus on gathering high-quality emails—these are potential customers genuinely interested in your brand and products. They are the ones most likely to convert during your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns.

Content Diversity in Your Email Campaigns

So, you’ve laid the foundation with a robust email list—now what? The next step is to diversify the content of your email marketing campaigns. Sending out the same type of email repeatedly will not only bore your audience but also might lead to an increase in unsubscribe rates. Here’s how to keep things fresh and engaging.

Welcome Emails

First impressions matter. If someone has just signed up for your email list, kick things off with a warm welcome email. Use this opportunity to introduce your brand and give a sneak peek of what they can expect during the Black Friday weekend or Cyber Monday sale. Think of it as rolling out the red carpet for your new email subscribers.

Educational Content

Not every email should be a hard sell. Provide value by sharing educational content related to your products. Whether it’s a how-to guide, a video tutorial, or tips for making the most out of their purchases, educational content helps you build trust and credibility.

Promotional Offers

This is the bread and butter of any Black Friday email marketing campaign. Flashy subject lines like “Unbeatable Black Friday Deals!” or “Exclusive Cyber Monday Discounts Just for You!” can quickly grab your reader’s attention. Include limited-time discount codes to add a sense of urgency and encourage quicker conversions.

Cart Abandonment Emails

Let’s face it: shopping carts get abandoned. But BFCM is not the time to let these potential sales slip away. Craft compelling cart abandonment emails that remind shoppers what they’re missing out on. Add a special offer or a countdown timer to inject that much-needed sense of urgency.

Teaser Emails

Building anticipation is key to a successful Black Friday email strategy. A week or so before the big day, send out teaser emails revealing a glimpse of what customers can expect. Think of it as the trailer before the main event. It sets the stage and builds excitement.

Sale Emails

These are your D-Day emails—sent out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Make sure they are eye-catching, laden with call-to-action buttons like “Shop Now,” and designed to drive immediate action. Include phrases like “Final Hours” or “Last Chance” to enhance the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Crafting Compelling Email Subject Lines

You’ve spent hours perfecting your email copy, adding beautiful images, and embedding those eye-catching CTA buttons. But none of that will matter if your email goes unopened. The first battle in any email marketing strategy, especially during Black Friday Cyber Monday, is getting that email opened. The weapon of choice? A compelling subject line.

Simplicity is Key

Sometimes, less is more. Consider using simple, straightforward subject lines like “Black Friday 2023: 50% Off Everything!” Simplicity can be striking, and a clear, concise message can often outperform a convoluted one.

Add a Dash of Humor

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are serious business, a little levity can go a long way. Humorous subject lines can capture your audience’s attention and make your email memorable. But remember, humor should align with your brand identity to be effective.

Create Urgency

FOMO is a powerful motivator. Use time-sensitive language like “Last Chance for Black Friday Discounts!” or “Cyber Monday Deals Ending Soon!” to create a sense of urgency and prompt immediate action.

Use Emojis Wisely

Emojis can make your subject lines more engaging and visually appealing, but use them judiciously. An emoji should complement the text, not confuse or overshadow it.

A/B Testing is Your Friend

To find out what really resonates with your audience, consider A/B testing your Black Friday email subject lines. This involves sending two different subject lines to a small segment of your email list, then using the one that performs better for the rest of the campaign.

Customize for Your Audience

If your email marketing platform allows it, personalize subject lines with the recipient’s name or other information. Personalization can increase open rates and make your email stand out in a crowded inbox during the holiday season.

A catchy subject only matters if you can process their payment.

Writing Engaging Email Copy

So, your email got opened—congratulations! But getting customers to open your email is only half the battle; the other half is engaging them with compelling copy. After all, what’s the point of a great subject line if the email content doesn’t deliver? Here’s how to write email copy that not only retains attention but also encourages action.

Maintain a Conversational Tone

People are inundated with marketing messages, especially during the holiday season. Stand out by writing your email copy as if you’re having a one-on-one conversation with the reader. A conversational tone makes your brand feel more personable and relatable.

Consistency in Brand Voice

While adopting a conversational tone, it’s essential to remain consistent with your overall brand identity. This creates a cohesive customer experience from your website to your social media channels and, of course, your emails.

Be Clear and Concise

During Black Friday weekend and the Cyber Monday sale, consumers are overwhelmed with offers. Get to the point quickly, clearly stating what the email is about and what the reader stands to gain from it. Use bullet points or headers for easy skimming.

Appeal to Emotions

Leveraging emotions can add a punch to your email copy. At this time, the most useful emotion is fear (of missing out), but you can experiment with even a more calming emotion that positions your business as a sort of relief from the bombardment of BFCM emails your customers are getting. Emotional triggers can be highly effective in prompting action, so be smart and use the emotion that creates the greatest reaction within your customer base.

Add Social Proof

Testimonials, reviews, or even social media mentions can add credibility to your email. Social proof assures the reader that others have benefited from the great Black Friday deals or Cyber Monday offers you’re promoting.

Design Elements That Matter

So you’ve nailed down your email list, created compelling subject lines, and crafted engaging copy. Now, let’s talk about design. When it comes to Black Friday email marketing, the design can often be the difference between a click-through and a quick delete. Here are some design elements you shouldn’t ignore.

High-Quality Images

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in a Black Friday email campaign. High-quality, attention-grabbing images and GIFs can showcase your products in the best possible light, enticing readers to explore more.

Countdown Timers

Adding a countdown timer to your email can inject a sense of urgency. For example, a ticking clock next to a Cyber Monday deal can effectively compel readers to act quickly.

Typography and Colors

Choose fonts and colors that align with your brand identity. Consistency is key in creating a cohesive visual experience. Additionally, certain colors evoke specific emotions—reds for excitement, blues for trust—which can complement your email copy.

Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons

An eye-catching CTA button is arguably the most crucial design element in your email. Make it big, bold, and easy to find. Use contrasting colors and actionable text like “Shop Now,” “Claim Your Discount,” or “Get Early Access” to make it as clickable as possible.

Visual Hierarchy

Design your email to guide the reader’s eye from the most to the least important information. Use size, positioning, and color to establish a visual hierarchy, leading readers naturally to your CTA button.

White Space

A cluttered email can be overwhelming and difficult to read. Use white space effectively to break up sections, making it easier for readers to digest your email and find the information they’re interested in.

Great design, still no conversions? It could be your processor!

Legal Aspects to Consider

In the rush of designing eye-catching emails and writing compelling copy, it’s easy to overlook the legal side of things. However, adhering to legal guidelines is not just about avoiding fines; it’s also a vital part of building trust with your email subscribers. Let’s dig into some of the key legal aspects to consider for your Black Friday email marketing campaign.

CAN-SPAM Act Requirements

If you’re based in the United States or sending emails to U.S. residents, you’ll need to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. This federal law lays out specific requirements for commercial emails.

1.     Physical Business Address – Including your physical business address at the bottom of your emails is not just good practice—it’s the law. This applies to all commercial emails, so make sure it’s part of your Black Friday email design.

2.     Unsubscribe Button – A clear and conspicuous option for recipients to unsubscribe from future emails is another legal requirement. Make sure the unsubscribe button or link is easy to find, usually at the bottom of the email.

GDPR Compliance for European Customers

If you have email subscribers in the European Union, you must also consider the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation demands explicit consent from individuals before you can send them emails. For your Black Friday weekend campaign, ensure that you’ve obtained the necessary permissions.

Privacy Policies and Data Use

Be transparent about how you handle customer data by including a link to your privacy policy in your emails. Transparency isn’t just good business practice; it also fosters trust among your subscribers.

Double Opt-In is Your Friend

Using a double opt-in process can add an extra layer of legal protection. It requires new subscribers to confirm their email address by clicking a link in a confirmation email. This step ensures that your email list consists of individuals who genuinely want to receive your Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday offers.

The BFCM Email Marketing Timeline

Timing is a crucial but often overlooked component of a successful Black Friday email strategy. Getting your emails out too early may make them forgotten; too late, and you risk getting lost in the holiday email deluge. So, when should you start planning, executing, and tweaking your BFCM email marketing campaigns? Let’s break it down.

Groundwork in September

Believe it or not, September is not too early to start thinking about Black Friday 2023 and Cyber Monday. Use this time to:

  • Cleanse and segment your email list.
  • Draft initial versions of your emails.
  • Begin creating lead magnets to grow your list.

Ramp-Up in October

By October, you should be:

  • Finalizing your Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday offers.
  • Designing your email templates and creating attention-grabbing graphics.
  • Setting up automation for certain emails like welcome messages and cart abandonment reminders.

Generating Hype in November

November is go-time. Here’s your to-do list:

  • Send out teaser emails to create anticipation.
  • Deploy early access offers to your most loyal customers.
  • Perform A/B testing on subject lines and CTA buttons for your early campaigns to make last-minute tweaks.

Black Friday Weekend

  • Black Friday: Send out the main sale email first thing in the morning. Follow up with a ‘Last Chance’ email in the evening.
  • Small Business Saturday: If you’re a small retailer, consider sending out a special offer or promotion for Small Business Saturday.
  • Cyber Monday: Similar to Black Friday, start the day with your major sale email and close the day with a ‘Last-Minute Deals’ email.


Don’t go silent after Cyber Monday:

  • Send a ‘Thank You’ email to everyone who made a purchase.
  • Share exclusive holiday season offers to keep the momentum going.

Monitoring and Adjusting Your Campaign

The road to a successful Black Friday Cyber Monday email marketing campaign doesn’t end once you’ve hit the ‘Send’ button. In fact, that’s when the real work begins. Monitoring and adjusting your campaigns in real-time is crucial for maximizing their effectiveness. Let’s dive into how you can do just that.

Key Metrics to Monitor

First and foremost, identify which key metrics are essential for gauging the success of your Black Friday email strategy. This often includes:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Conversion rates
  • Bounce rates

Real-Time Tracking

Many email marketing platforms offer real-time analytics, allowing you to track the performance of your Black Friday email campaigns as they unfold. Keep an eye on these metrics throughout the Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday to identify any opportunities or issues that arise.

Adjusting Subject Lines

If your email open rates are lower than expected, consider revising your subject lines. Use A/B testing to experiment with different phrases or styles to see what resonates most with your audience.

Tweaking Email Design and Copy

If you’re seeing a high click-through rate but low conversions, the issue might lie in your email design or copy. Ensure that your CTA buttons are clearly visible and that your email copy is compelling enough to drive sales.

Retargeting Strategies

Use the data collected from your email campaigns to retarget your audience effectively. For instance, if a segment of your email list engaged with your Black Friday offers but didn’t make a purchase, consider sending them a special Cyber Monday deal to nudge them towards conversion.

Learning and Planning for Next Year

Finally, once the BFCM rush is over, take the time to analyze what worked and what didn’t. The insights you gain will be invaluable for planning your future holiday campaigns, not just for Black Friday and Cyber Monday but also for other key retail periods like Christmas and New Year’s.

Take Your BFCM Campaigns to the Next Level

Whew, that was a lot to cover, but we hope you’re now armed with all the strategies, tips, and best practices to make your Black Friday 2023 and Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns an unparalleled success. From building a robust email list to crafting compelling copy and subject lines, each step is an essential piece in the complex puzzle of ecommerce success.

Now, while nailing your email campaigns is critical, there’s another aspect you mustn’t overlook—your payment processing. Struggling with payment issues during the busiest online shopping days of the year is the last thing you want. That’s why we recommend opening a high-risk merchant account with DirectPayNet. With their secure, reliable, and versatile payment solutions, you can ensure that every customer’s journey from ‘Add to Cart’ to ‘Complete Purchase’ is smooth and hassle-free.


About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.