Research Outline

Black Friday Marketing Best Practices


The goal is to understand what best practices currently exist for Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns.

Early Findings

  • In order to gain email addresses for holiday marketing campaigns, one best practice is to hold a raffle and ask for emails as part of the entrance requirements (as long as it is disclosed that this will sign participants up for marketing emails). According to one study, 43% of consumers are willing to disclose information like email addresses if it benefits them with promotions.
  • Another way to get email addresses for Black Friday/Cyber Monday email promotions is to have pop-ups on store websites encouraging people to sign up for notifications on sales and promotions.
  • Creating a sense of urgency in holiday marketing emails can increase sales by up to 300%. Ways to do this include adding a sale countdown timer in the email, using "limited-time" language in email headers and subject lines, and using language such as "biggest sale" and "best prices of the year".
  • Urgency should be taken a step further by adding personalization. One study showed that messages that simply said things like "This deal won't last" generated less sales than more personalized, yet still urgent messages like "A Gift for You" or "Treat Yourself".
  • Emails for large events like Black Friday should be sent at least one day before, the day of, and a few hours before it ends. Studies also show that marketing emails should be sent on Tuesdays or Thursdays at 3pm to gain the most readers.
  • It is recommended to perform an A/B test on subject lines before sending out Black Friday emails. This means testing two different subject lines with two small groups of customers and using data to see which performs better. The winning line can then be sent the majority of the rest of the consumers in a store's list.