Top Black Friday Subject Lines for Your Inspiration

Black Friday email subject lines

Subject lines are one of the things that influence open rates the most, so Black Friday email subject lines should be designed to engage and motivate. They need to be catchy, spot-on, and get right to the point — there is no time for guessing and dilly-dallying in the fierce competition for customers between businesses. Stay around and get inspired by some of the best examples of Black Friday’s subject lines other businesses used.

The importance of Black Friday email subject lines

During the Black Friday sale, there is a cutthroat fight for attention between emails in the inbox. Black Friday campaigns themselves can last from a few days to a few weeks, so as a marketer, you need to make the most of it. 

In the U.S., Black Friday and Cyber Monday come after Thanksgiving Day and represent the start of a long period of Christmas shopping, and it’s a prime opportunity to increase business profits. Email marketing is one of the best ways to get those deals into your customers’ inboxes. And when it comes to email marketing and the Black Friday combination, you want to get the highest email open rates possible to ensure your deals are seen by as many potential buyers as possible. 

The email subject line is one of the two things that make a person decide whether they need to open the email (the other is the sender’s reputation). The difference between a good and bad subject line (or, rather, the one that works and the one that does not) may as well be a difference between making another sale or not.

Best examples of Black Friday subject lines

Early Black Friday deals email

When sending “early access” emails, make sure your readers understand what’s in it for them. “Early Black Friday deals” should have something that makes them differ from the full-blown Black Friday sale itself. 

A few ways to approach this are:

  • Exclusivity 
  • Secret deals
  • “Get it done and over with” appeal

Getting something exclusive is a popular but very effective tactic. Secret deals that are available only before the main sale starts also work great. And there is a category of people who hate shopping but still have to do it — resonate with them via a “get it done early” type of subject line.

Swipe to see the examples:

Early Black Friday deals email subject lines
Source: Really Good Emails
Early Black Friday deals email subject lines
Source: Really Good Emails
Early Black Friday deals email subject lines
Source: Really Good Emails

Gym & Coffee goes the exclusivity route with the email subject line “FREE BEANIE just for YOU”:

Early Black Friday deals email subject lines
Source: Milled

Teaser email

A teaser is a type of email that builds interest through curiosity.

Black Friday teaser emails play an important role: they inform your customers that you are planning to have a Black Friday sale, and give them a sneak peek into what they could expect from it. 

And although they are teasers, they are still straightforward — take a look at the few examples below from past Black Friday campaigns:

Teaser email Black Friday subject lines examples
Source: Really Good Emails
Black Friday teaser email using mystery approach
Source: Really Good Emails

Days leading to Black Friday are especially precious: they let you run promotional campaigns leading to the big sale and build excitement. 

Emails like “early deals” and teasers are a way to get ahead of your competition and help you build anticipation, set expectations, and create excitement through mystery (with some bits of sneak peek into what is coming, to whet the appetite). They can also be purely informative — like telling the subscribers when exactly the sale is going to start.

Every customer has a limited amount of time and money they are willing to spend, so by informing them early you make sure they plan for you and won’t spend it all on deals from others. This is especially true for big check products — people need to plan ahead and a surprise sale with no warning might not be the best approach. Warn them to get prepared in advance — to make sure they can buy what they want, while you can meet your sales plan for the holiday.

Launch emails

Launch emails’ purpose is to inform people that The Black Friday sale started, and to announce exact details, dates and numbers. Sometimes, the sale only lasts a few days (some businesses even make it last for one day only), so it has to go out as soon as the sale actually starts. 

Drop the fluff and get to the point: this is the time to get serious about selling. The straightforward and direct subject line is good, and adding a detail or two to it makes it better.

Black Friday launch email subject lines examples
Source: Really Good Emails

Last chance email

Finally, the Black Friday sale is coming to an end — time to remind everyone about this fact. Last chance emails are a last-ditch effort in order to get potential buyers to buy. They prompt potential customers to act on an expiring offer, and capitalize on a “fear of missing out”, or FOMO for short. 

Considering that big discounts like Black Friday happen only once a year, you have to do everything in your power to make your emails be taken seriously.  

Here are a few last chance email subject line ideas for Black Friday:

Black Friday last-chance email subject line ideas
Source: Really Good Emails

Tips for your Black Friday subject line

Pay attention to the language you use

Holiday email marketing differs from regular newsletters and campaigns. Overall, Black Friday emails are better to be bold, straightforward and concrete. What could come off as too “salesy” at any other time is perfectly fine during Black Friday. 

Swipe away:

Black Friday emails style and language
Source: Really Good Emails
Black Friday emails style and language
Source: Really Good Emails
Black Friday emails style and language
Source: Really Good Emails

Add urgency

The sense of urgency — such as time-limited offers and deals that expire soon — creates an impulse to buy, and a combination of urgency with direct and spot-on subject lines is a recipe for success.

Time is running out, or the stock is running low — both of these situations create a sense of urgency and trigger the “fear of missing out”. Last chance emails capitalize on this to get their share of sales.

Ways to add urgency:

  • A chain of emails that are a countdown themselves: e.g., “3 Hours Left Till the End of Sale”, “2 Hours Left…”, “1 Hour Left Only”
  • Emphasizing scarcity: if there are only a few pieces/spots left, say so in the subject line

An event email subject line that expresses how much prices will jump up once the sale is over

Black Friday countdown
Source: Really Good Emails

Use a dollar value discount rather than a percentage

In his book “Contagious”, Jonah Berger mentions that dollar-off discounts may seem to be a better alternative to percent-off discounts, especially for higher-priced products.

The difference is about how consumers feel about it. When it comes to a laptop for a $2,000 item, $500 off seems larger than 25%, which makes people more likely to purchase when they see the dollar discount. On the contrary, if it’s a chocolate for $20, then 25% off will psychologically “feel” bigger than a $5 discount, even though the actual amount is the same.

Dollar value discount over a percentage
Source: Really Good Emails

Give a sneak peek of the offers inside

The sneak peek tactic is about letting out a fraction, but not the whole deal. For example, you might mention one or a few specific products in the subject line, while keeping the rest of them secret until the email is opened. Let subscribers know what is waiting for them without the need to open your email.

Sneak peek into Black Friday emails
Source: Really Good Emails
Sneak peek into Black Friday emails
Source: Really Good Emails
Sneak peek into Black Friday emails
Source: Really Good Emails

Be sure to stand out in the inbox

People’s inbox is crowded during Black Friday sales. Here are a few ways to stand out from the crowd:

  • Use capitalization for part or whole of the subject line.
  • Use special symbols to replace letters in the subject line, or replace one or a few words with symbols.
  • Write the whole subject line in lowercase.
  • Try a creative approach — a usage of words, analogies, and euphemisms that express the meaning but are not normally used in a sales context.
Email subject lines to stand out in a crowded Black Friday inbox
Source: Really Good Emails
Email subject lines to stand out in a crowded Black Friday inbox
Source: Really Good Emails
Email subject lines to stand out in a crowded Black Friday inbox
Source: Really Good Emails

Use emojis

Emojis are also a way to stand out — when they are used appropriately, or a way to sink the email — if the usage makes no sense and puts people off. 

Here are a few reasons you might want to use an emoji:

  1. Emojis in the subject line may increase the email open rate (according to Campaign Monitor, the companies that incorporate emojis have a 56% increase in their unique open rates). 
  2. Emojis save space. They let you express a lot with just one symbol.
  3. Emojis convey emotions and sentiments and make your subject line expressive. 

Here are some of the best practices when it comes to emojis in the subject line:

  • Keep your emojis relevant. 
  • Don’t go overboard with their amount. 
  • Pay attention to the context, your brand’s style, and your customers’ preferences.
Black Friday email subject lines with emoji
Source: Really Good Emails
Black Friday email subject lines with emoji
Source: Really Good Emails
Black Friday email subject lines with emoji
Source: Really Good Emails

Final thoughts

Black Friday means you’ll have to fight for attention. You need to put a little more strategic thinking into your subject line planning and write content that stands out from the rest. 

A few effective tips to use on Black Friday emails:

  • Use straightforward and direct language: “Early Access to Black Friday Deals”, “See What’s Heating Up on Black Friday”, “Black Friday: 25% OFF”.
  • Add urgency: “Only Two Hours Left Till the End of Sale”, “The Black Friday Countdown Has Begun”.
  • Use a dollar value discount over a percentage-based: “Save $350 on Your Tempo Studio”, “Black Friday $8.88 Sale”.
  • Give a sneak peek into the coming offers: “CleanMyMac X and other apps are 30% off”.
  • Stand out in the inbox: use emojis, use a countdown, write your subject line with capitalization, lowercase, add some special symbols if appropriate: “🤘🏽 Black Friday starts now 🤘🏽, “Snooze through the sales…”.

What Black Friday subject lines do you like the best?

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