Research Outline

Black Friday Marketing Best Practices


To identify best practices in email and mobile promotional strategies regarding BlackFriday/Cyber Monday.

Early Findings

For this hour of additional research, the team focused on email and mobile promotional best practices for the travel industry in relation to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events (new and historically effective promotional strategies). We continued our efforts to focus on white papers, case studies, and expert opinions; however, due to the niche topic, many white papers/studies did not address the travel industry and/or email promotions, specifically. Where it seemed appropriate, we used sources that were blog posts written by experts or industry companies. We can continue to spend time locating travel industry -specific sources or focus on the other features of the project in additional research.

Travel Industry Email Promotions

  • A proprietary company reported on a report by the American Marketing Association (which is likely paywalled; the report was a 2017 infographic on Black Friday). The Association noted that travel was the top discount category on Black Friday, noting that consumers like travel deals during this time. The writer then suggested best practices that include segmentation and personalization of email promotions (by using geo-location, booking dates, ADR, or other features).
  • Another best practice suggestion included rewarding loyal guests with early access to Back Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Communications about extended deals (past Cyber Monday) also get attention.
  • Any email promotions need to be bold and upfront about the deal (ex. "Black Friday starts now with 50% off"). It doesn’t pay off to be coy or click-bait-ish with these emails.
  • This report goes into granular strategies for travel industry email subject lines with suggestions like length, not shouting, emojis, etc.

Additional Travel-Related Information

  • Adventure travel package retailers, reported mobile sales increases during Black Friday through Cyber Monday. e-commerce site chief operating officer reported that the site’s “conversion rate increased 90%…compared with this time period last year.” The increase was attributed to site redesigns and particularly the retailer’s work on its mobile shopping cart.
  • Take a look at these email examples (related to Black Friday, generally, and not just the travel industry). They show many of the best practices listed above in action (e.g., being upfront about the deals in the subject line). These are additional ad examples.
  • Mobile-ready promotions are mandatory this season. Many sources mentioned this best practice. Movable reported a 76% open rate for mobile emails on Black Friday and 63% on Cyber Monday. Mobile devices offer the maximum opens.
  • While there were many articles that seemed appropriately centered on Black Friday/Cyber Monday email marketing best practices, in general, there were very few sources in this first hour that illustrated details about the travel industry. Here are some articles we came across that had some good ideas but were not niche-specific sources: