Two of the biggest shopping days of the year are just around the corner. Did you know that more than 55% of consumers plan to shop in stores and online between Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Even though outdoor retailer REI has announced they are closing on Black Friday, it’s still one of the most revenue driving days of the year for retailers and your email marketing plays a huge role.

Last year, email drove 23% of sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday so it’s imperative that your campaigns grab attention in crowded inboxes.

In this post, we’ll share 24 awesome ideas for your Black Friday marketing and email campaigns. Let’s get to it!

24 Black Friday and Cyber Monday ideas

1. Create a gift guide

Gift guide themed emails see a 48% higher transaction rate than pure promotional emails.

You can create a compelling gift guide by using categories based on gender, price point or product color. Campaign Monitor customer, Sephora, created this Black Friday gift guide that highlights 10 products for $10. Sephora shared this on Facebook, but you can also create a subscriber-exclusive gift guide and send it via email.

Make sure you use attention grabbing subject lines for your gift guide emails. Consider a subject line like “10 Best-Selling Beauty Products for Her” or “5 of the Best-Ever Silver Bracelets.”

2. Promote individual gift guide items on social media

Once you create and send a holiday gift guide email to your subscribers, consider highlighting individual products from your guide on your social channels. For example, if you create a “10 Gifts for $10” guide, mention each product in a separate post on social media (image-centric sites like Pinterest are great for this). Provide a picture and a link so customers can make a purchase quickly.

3. Offer hourly online deals

On Cyber Monday, create hourly deals that your subscribers can take advantage of. For example, every hour for four hours provide a special deal on a certain product. A few days before Cyber Monday, send an email that highlights all of the deals, and then automate emails to send each hour that a deal is live. Make sure you let subscribers opt-in to these emails, and explain upfront that you will be sending more email than usual on this day.

4. Offer mystery savings

Everyone loves a mystery, so why not incorporate it into your Black Friday deals? Send an email that offers subscribers 10, 20 or 50% off. When a subscriber clicks on the call to action, he or she is taken to a landing page that provides one of the offers listed above. If you don’t have the website capabilities to pull this off, encourage subscribers to visit your store and pull their mystery savings from Santa’s hat at the point of sale.

5. Offer a free gift with purchase

Consider offering your subscribers a free gift with a purchase. Make it something small, but useful. You could go with something that’s holiday-themed like a free card, cookie cutter or ornament, or you could offer one of your smaller products as a gift. To increase traffic to your store, have subscribers print the “free gift email” and bring it in to claim the gift.

6. Sign up deals

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, your website will have a lot of eyes on it. Capitalize on that traffic by offering a holiday-themed deal to anyone that signs up for your email list. For example, put a sign up form like this on your site: “Sign up for our newsletter and get an exclusive Black Friday deal.”

7. Offer deals for loyal customers

While you can certainly offer all of your subscribers Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, you should consider offering an exclusive deal for your most loyal subscribers. Take a look at your contact list, segment out your VIP subscribers and offer them something awesome as a thank you.

8. Bring them back with deals

You probably already have your email list segmented into specific categories.The holiday season is a good time to try and bring back folks who haven’t purchased for a while. Use a subject line that targets this group like, “Come Back and Enjoy Special Black Friday Prices.”

9. Give your subscribers an upgrade

Service-based businesses can offer an upgrade to subscribers as a holiday deal. For example, auto mechanics can offer an upgrade from a basic oil change package to a premium package that includes tire rotation. A dog groomer can offer an upgraded grooming including a special holiday bandana and holiday scented bath. Think how you can get creative with upgrades and hook your customers into more premium services they’ll enjoy and want to buy over and over.

10. Offer sneak peeks on social

Reveal one or two of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on social media, then follow up with an email. Take a look at the example below. Sephora offered its customers a sneak peek at its Black Friday deals on Snapchat and Instagram then shared them through email.

Sephora holiday email campaign

11. Create a doorbuster campaign

To encourage subscribers to come to your store and shop on Black Friday, lower the prices on some of your top items, but only for the first few hours that you’re open. Send an email that highlights the deals a few days prior to Black Friday, and a reminder email the day before.

12. Give your subscribers free shipping

Shipping costs can keep your subscribers from making a purchase that was inspired by a promotional email. To keep subscribers from abandoning their carts, offer free shipping on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Free shipping is one of the most popular offers for converting customers. There’s even an entire day dedicated to free shipping during the holidays!

13. Extend deals

There’s a lot of competition to capture sales during these busy shopping days, so why not give your subscribers more time to cash in on the savings? Consider creating a deal that starts on Black Friday and lasts through Cyber Monday. Campaign Monitor customer, Converse, did this by offering its customers 25% off for four days. If you want to capitialize even more, you can extend the offer a few extra days to get the most bang.

14. Give deals on gift cards

The average person spends about $172 on gift cards each year, according to the National Retail Federation. To get in on the action, consider offering subscribers an incentive to buy gift cards from your business. Offer 5 percent off gift cards, or give subscribers a $10 gift card for every $50 gift card purchase.

15. Create a Black Friday event

Turn the biggest shopping day of the year into an event. You could host a customer appreciate event with free hot chocolate and holiday cookies, or team up with other local shops and host a Black Friday block party. Send an email invitation to your subscribers and promote it on Facebook by creating an event where subscribers can RSVP.

16. Promote a charity

The holidays aren’t just about shopping; they’re about giving back. Have your subscribers bring in canned goods for the local food bank, or give a portion of your Cyber Monday sales to a children’s hospital in your area. Send an email to your subscribers asking them to participate.

It’s not just good karma, 89% of Americans are willing to switch to a brand that supports a good cause, according to a social impact study.

17. Create a ‘use it when you want it’ savings pass

As Cyber Monday comes to an end, send your subscribers one last chance to save. Offer your subscribers a coupon that they can claim now and use when they want to. Of course, you’ll want to set a deadline to use the coupon, but it gives your audience another opportunity to save and your business another shot at a holiday sale.

18. Host Cyber Monday giveaways on social media

Pick a few products to giveaway to your social media followers on Cyber Monday. Announce the giveaways via email and provide links to the social channels you plan to use for the giveaways. While you have a captive audience on Monday, post a link or two to your most popular holiday gift items.

19. Host a holiday competition on social media

Create a holiday competition that engages your audience on social media. For example, ask subscribers to shoot a video that shows how your products make the holidays brighter. Invite subscribers to participate via email.

Give the winner a deal that’s redeemable only on Black Friday, like 75% off one regular priced item.

Use the video submissions to promote your products throughout the holiday season.

20. Give subscribers shopping tips

Help your customers enjoy Black Friday by offering shopping tips. For example, give advice on where to park, congested roadways to avoid, or tips to keep kids happy while shopping all day. Send it to your subscribers with a catchy subject line like, “10 Tips to Make the Most Out Of Black Friday Shopping.”

While promotional emails rule the inbox during the holidays, it’s a good idea to offer something beyond a sales pitch.

21. New product promotion

Have you rolled out a new product or service this year? Promote it as part of a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale. It’s a great opportunity to tell subscribers about something new while offering a discount that encourages a sale at the same time.

22. Promote deals in your newsletter

Get subscribers excited about Black Friday and Cyber Monday by mentioning what you’re planning in your newsletter. For example, talk about past deals and how you plan to beat them and mention the added staff you have to keep lines short.

23. Create a referral campaign

Create a can’t-resist Cyber Monday deal and ask your recipients to share it with a friend. Campaign Monitor users can add a “forward to a friend” link right in their email. Consider giving subscribers that pass on your email an additional 5% off their Cyber Monday purchase.

24. Create a testimonial email

Create a Black Friday email that promotes two of your popular products and add positive reviews about each product to the email. This kind of testimonial or social proof email is powerful. Eighty-six percent of consumers say reviews are an essential source when making a purchase decision, according to research from Power Reviews.

Wrap up

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about offering great deals to your subscribers. However, a great deal isn’t just a shocking discount. Your subscribers will respond to unique ideas like giveaways, shopping tips, charitable contributions and holiday-themed social events. Be creative and have some fun and you’ll be on your way to a successful season.