Cyber Monday Email Ideas: When You’re Not Sure What To Send

Cyber Monday Email Ideas: When You’re Not Sure What To Send
28 October, 2021 • ... • 1961 views
Kate Shokurova
by Kate Shokurova

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday past and gone, the next comes Cyber Monday. It happens a few days after Black Friday, so the lines between these two events are blurred. Cyber Monday is special in its own way though, so let’s look at some of the most successful Cyber Monday email examples and best practices, along with the best examples of emails from the last few years. Make this year’s sale season extra successful!

Why Cyber Monday email marketing matters

Cyber Monday is a great chance to shop for everyone who didn’t have time for it during the Black Friday weekend. Historically, the difference was that Black Friday was all about physical sales, hustle and bustle, and standing in lines whereas Cyber Monday has always been a digital event and happened online, hence the name.

Consumer behavior changed though. Even before the pandemic and thanks to the worldwide progressive digitization, Cyber Monday was gradually taking first place in terms of revenue. Until, according to Adobe Analytics, in 2020, shoppers spent $10.8 billion on it out of $188.2 billion of total spending on the holiday season November 1-December 31, 2020. No other event can compare, even Black Friday, which made Cyber Monday 2020 the largest online shopping day in U.S. history.

Gadgets and video games
Gadgets and video games are traditional products on Cyber Monday but you’re not limited to them, any brand can take part. Source: Adobe

The pandemic isn’t gone yet, so 2021 Cyber Monday will be extra-popular too since its entire concept is built around being online, away from the Black Friday crowds. Salesforce predicts that this year online sales will continue to grow, up to 10% in the U.S. and 7% around the globe. So the stakes are high. Shoppers aren’t just ready to spend money, they’re actually excited to do it.

If you want a piece of this pie too, then your task is to prepare a decent Cyber Monday email campaign.

Tips for a great start

Before you begin creating your campaigns, you need to do a few things with your list of contacts.

Clean it up. You might want to tidy up your email list first before you engage in important campaigns to get rid of inactive contacts, duplicates, and other stuff that’s toxic to your business. It’ll save your money and minimize the risk of running into a spam trap and getting banned by email providers.

Segment it. Typically, brands send the same sale announcements to all users. But if you know which product categories your potential customers like the most, you can segment your list and make your Cyber Monday emails more relevant to increase conversions.

A VIP Cyber Monday email
A VIP Cyber Monday email campaign that Withings sent to some of the clients only. Source: Really Good Emails

Create a list of new customers. For example, you can add an extra Cyber Monday-only subscription form to your website and make a special offer to new customers.

Re-engage old customers. If you haven’t connected with your customers for a while, first you’ll need to launch a win-back campaign to make sure they expect your offers and will not report you as spam, spoiling your reputation as a sender.

Cyber Monday email best practices: A step-by-step guide to making your emails rock

Email marketing is a great tool that can help prepare subscribers for the day of big discounts, spark interest and make them count days until they can finally take part in your grand Cyber Monday sale. Let’s see what you need to do for your holiday campaigns to go as planned.

Write a catchy subject line

What do you do if you want to choose a movie but you have no time for trailers? Well, you make a decision based on titles, and it’s a marketer’s job to create a title that represents the subject, attracts the right audience, and sounds interesting and promising.

The same goes for email subject lines. A study shows that 33% of recipients open emails based on their subject lines. Other studies state that this number may go up to 44%.

So a subject line must be:

  • Clear. Stay true to the email’s main message and don’t sound ambiguous. It might go well with campaigns like re-engagement where it’s sometimes OK to give people a bit of a shock but major events like Cyber Monday are not the place for experimenting with subject lines.
  • Attracting attention. To make your subject lines catchy, use emojis, personalization, and get emotional.
  • Promising value. List any incentives that might capture the client’s attention like discounts, bonuses, or free shipping.

Here are some of the examples of successful subject lines by real brands:

  • 🔥 It’s CYBER MONDAY & jeans are 40% OFF!
  • Cyber Monday: Free Masks With Purchase!
  • Cyber Monday DEALS now LIVE
  • Fall Cyber Monday: 40% OFF ENTIRE SITE!
  • LAST CALL! The Cyber Monday Sale Ends in Hours
  • 💻Cyber Monday Starts TODAY! 60% OFF!
  • New styles added to our Cyber Monday Sale!
  • Best. (Cyber) Monday. Ever.
  • Score! It’s Cyber Monday: Mystery deal revealed!

Choose the right email template

The design of an important email campaign, one such as Cyber Monday, should be memorable.

What’s special about Cyber Monday is that there are no clear requirements in terms of design — no bunnies or candy canes like other holidays have, no immediately recognizable colors, no special phrases or traditions. Save perhaps for the elements of techno-style like in this example:

Boop! Source: Email-Competitors

The absence of traditional elements is both good and bad. On the one hand, you haven’t much to go on, and it’s more difficult to create an instantly recognizable design associated with Cyber Monday. On the other hand, you’re free to express yourself. It all depends on your imagination and the skills of a designer.

Just look at this imaginative Cyber Monday email by Fossil:

Source: MailCharts

Another point is that a template should be clear. As beautiful as the message is, the main rule of any design is not to prevent a person from making a required action. Make sure your email template has a clear structure, enough white space, and a coherent hierarchy. Highlight the CTAs — they should encourage a reader to go to your site and make a purchase. Read more about email design in one of our other articles.

Guggenheim Museum Store
This email by Guggenheim Museum Store nicely features some of their products, has a modern look and palette with distinct CTAs. Source: MailCharts

Write a clever Cyber Monday email copy

Give out discount

The outright giving of a discount is a simple but effective technique. After all, what everybody waits for at this time of the year is a discount — Cyber Monday and Black Friday are the days of the biggest sales. So the easiest and most reliable option not to fail Cyber Monday is to meet customer expectations and lower your pricing.

You can also give a promotional code or indicate a lowered price using the concrete figures. What’s more effective — dollars off or percent off? There’s an opinion that giving an actual dollar amount off is better because a $10, or a $35 benefit is easier to imagine than a 10% or a 35% one.

Consider the rule of 100 — it says that with products or services over $100 a dollar discount is more effective. And with products under $100, things are reversed and a percentage discount is likely to be more effective.

Source: MailCharts

Make a gift

Another good way to delight customers on Cyber Monday and drive sales is to offer a gift — make customers feel special. And don’t forget to mention it in your subject line.

face mask
Ooh, indeed. An extra face mask never hurts. Source: MailCharts

A couple of ideas to make your gift offer even better:

  • Prepare several gift options and let subscribers choose a present to their liking.
  • Gifts fit well with various game mechanics. For example, you can offer customers to spin the wheel of fortune before placing an order and receive a guaranteed prize.

Include multiple offers

Shoppers love discounts, and yet the price isn’t the only thing that interests them. People also care about the speed and methods of delivery, payment options, terms of return, or any other feature. A useful service in addition to the main product is another way to stand out from the competition.

What to offer:

  • Free or fast shipping
  • Extended return periods
  • Free postcard
  • Special packaging
free shipping
30% off AND free shipping is better than just 30% off. Source: MailCharts

Use urgency

Statistics say that 68% of consumers have made an impulsive purchase after learning about someone else’s experience. If you’ve ever found yourself holding two cans of Coke, one of which you hadn’t intended to buy at all, you know what we’re talking about. This is called “FOMO” and it stands for Fear Of Missing Out — a feeling when a person worries that they might (have) miss(ed) something.

When it comes to effective e-сommerce strategies, FOMO marketing is a great technique because fear is a very powerful motivator. It may sound like something manipulative at first but it’s really not as long as you stay true to your offer and don’t hide the fact. It just provides hesitant buyers with a little urge.

Cyber Monday emails are a perfect place to use some urgency to illustrate offers that have deadlines. Emphasize that time is running out and that your subscribers will have to wait a whole year for a similar sale.

You can show urgency in emails using several methods:

  • Using time-sensitive words: “Last day!”, “Hurry!”
  • Playing on scarcity: “They’re going quick!”, “Today only!”
  • Setting deadlines: countdown GIF timers are a very popular way to do it.
American Eagle
American Eagle uses all 3 of the above techniques. Source: MailCharts

Add animation

Moving pictures are great for setting the mood and drawing attention to a specific part of an email. Use GIFs when you need to astonish, amuse, show your brand personality, show an assortment of goods, or replace a video.

The key is to follow the best practices for animations in emails:

  • Use them purposefully to communicate information, but don’t go overboard and don’t distract.
  • Stick to the one scroll/one GIF rule.
  • Make sure that a GIF is no more than 200 Kb because the animation plays only after it is fully loaded. And the total weight of an email affects the load time.
J.Crew Factory
Hey! Come on in to J.Crew Factory! Source: myEmma
A part of a very engaging Cyber Monday campaign by Tattly. Source: Really Good Emails

Do not avoid making jokes

Last year, GoDaddy analyzed 4 studies on why people unsubscribe, and guess what, very often people do it because the content is boring and not interesting to them.

Jokes in email subject lines and email bodies:

  • Entertain
  • Create a friendly mood
  • Help to convey important information in a relaxed way
  • Increase sharing
  • Make a brand more memorable.

Entertainment content is tricky though because the sense of humor is extremely subjective. To avoid sounding offensive, do not write what you would not say to an unfamiliar person in a real-life situation. In the case of massive sales, stick to kind humor and leave the dark and surreal one for another time.

A case of
A case of… 😄 Source: Really Good Emails

Use emojis

You’ve already seen the example of emojis in the subject lines. It’s a popular way to make messages stand out in inboxes, especially in e-commerce. Still, only the minority of senders do it, so you can try it too to improve open rates and overall email marketing results. A few tips to help you make better use of emoji in your subject lines:

  • Don’t overdo it with your emotions.
  • Choose emojis according to the topic of your message.
  • Use one emoji per line, two at the most to avoid looking like spam.

You can also use them in the body of a message, like this:

Source: Email-Competitors

Be mobile-friendly

42% of users read emails on mobile phones with Apple iPhone being the most popular mobile email viewing platform. So with almost a half of users reading emails from mobile phones, it’ll be a shame to include unreadable text or unadapted pictures in the mobile versions of your email.

Thankfully, many of today’s templates are so mobile-first and minimalistic that practically nothing changes when you compare their desktop and mobile versions:

A Cyber Monday email campaign by Cienne for desktops
A Cyber Monday email campaign by Cienne for desktops
And this is its iPhone X-adapted version
And this is its iPhone X-adapted version. Source: Really Good Emails

The easiest way to make sure your emails are responsive is to use builders by email service providers that have this feature by default. For example, Selzy has a powerful email builder that’s responsive.

Make a series of emails

With global supply chains still in a state of confusion, consumers are likely to be extra eager for pre-sales and extended sales this year. Make a series of emails to lead a person to purchase. Create a chain of emails to gradually raise their level of tension before the final sale and make a more confident inbox presence.

A basic mailing plan may be as follows:

  1. The first message announces that the Cyber Monday sale will start soon — right after Black Friday.
  2. The next message is on Cyber Monday itself.
  3. The third message reminds that there is very little time left until the end of the sale.

Another thing many retailers do? Extend your sales and promotions.

Here’s the Cyber Monday email campaign by Angara from the pre-sale to the extended sale:

Cyber Monday Email Ideas: When You’re Not Sure What To Send 16
Cyber Monday Email Ideas: When You’re Not Sure What To Send 17
Cyber Monday Email Ideas: When You’re Not Sure What To Send 18
Cyber Monday Email Ideas: When You’re Not Sure What To Send 19
Source: Email-Competitors

The best time to send emails on Cyber Monday

If you plan to give a sneak peek, it is better to launch an email chain dedicated to the Cyber Monday sale at least a month in advance. Then follow the advice from the previous point.

As for the best hours, consider these findings:

Cyber Monday Email Ideas: When You’re Not Sure What To Send 20

Source: GetResponse

Early morning seems to be the best time for sending emails in every respect, but you can also try experimenting with evenings.

This will also help:

  • Keep an eye on the number of your email. Mail services get suspicious when there’s a sharp increase in mailing frequency and mark you as spam. Increase the number of messages gradually.
  • Tell your audience what to expect. Subscribers will know that you are planning something big on Cyber ​​Monday.

Bottom line

Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day in the U.S. Its relevance is even higher now when shoppers want to avoid brick-and-mortar stores.

To prepare a decent Cyber Monday email campaign follow the best practices:

  • Put your email list in order. Clean it up and segment it, run re-engagement campaigns.
  • Write a catchy subject line. Find ways to make it appealing but stay true to the email’s message and your brand’s tone of voice.
  • Pick the right template. Your goal is memorable but clear and coherent.
  • Write a clever copy. Offer a discount, a gift, or their combination. Think about what other services you can provide as an incentive.
  • Use urgency. Indicate that your offer has a deadline using countdown timers, time-sensitive words, and situations of scarcity.
  • Add animation. Use the benefits of animated GIFs to showcase your products and create the mood.
  • Use humor. Entertain to break the ice and build a better relationship with subscribers.
  • Use emojis. They attract opens and clicks.
  • Be mobile-friendly. Look good to those who only use mobile devices to read your emails.
  • Make several emails. Don’t expect that people will search for your message in their inboxes. Launch a series of emails.
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28 October, 2021
Article by
Kate Shokurova
Out and about, exploring the world and its marvels. A writer and editor with 10+ years of experience, I also dabbled in all kinds of marketing and am happy to use this experience to make quality content, useful for the readers and effective for brands. I feel really passionate about helping people understand about marketing and design through easily digestible materials. Outside of working hours, I enjoy hiking, dancing, watching movies and reading books.
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