Love it or hate it, Black Friday is an event your brand can’t afford to ignore. UK Black Friday sales on e-commerce sites continue to grow, from £1.4bn in 2017, to £4.8bn in 2022.

For brands looking to turn temptation into sales this November, email will be an important channel. But what does a good Black Friday email look like? Read on to find out as we discuss our top 10 Black Friday emails and what makes them so effective.

1) Amazon

In our first example, Amazon uses behavioural data to deliver a highly personalised experience. The recipient is targeted with products from home and kitchen — the section they browse most often.

This clever use of behavioural targeting is an effective way to engage customers and drive them towards conversion. And it’s easy to emulate with the right personalisation platform in place.

Amazon Black Friday example

2) Surreal

“Oh, we should do a black email for Black Friday!”

But what if black is only a minor part of your colour palette, or doesn’t feature at all?

This example from DTC cereal brand Surreal stays true to their colour palette, which should make it far more memorable among an inbox full of black emails.

The second element we like is in the copy; “we’re selling more or less everything…” As a brand in a small niche, this is a smart way to harness the culture of Black Friday, as well as being in keeping with the brand’s playful tone.

3) Jetline Cruise

This is a stylish Black Friday email from Jetline Cruise. The bold copy and stripped-back colours allow for maximum visual impact. But it’s the timing and call to action of this email that’s particularly clever.

Sent in advance of Black Friday, the call to action is “Pre-register your interest”. This creates a sense of exclusivity around the cruise offers which builds anticipation. By the time the sale commences, interested customers will be chomping at the bit to buy.

JetlineCruise Black Friday Example

4) Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer keeps things classy in our fourth example. We love the black and gold foil effect. Visually this balances out the heavy discount which may have created an undesirable bargain-basement feel in another colour palette.

The copy and call to action points customers to their local store to take advantage of the sale. Using email to drive brick and mortar footfall is a clever tactic if you need to boost in-store sales. But do consider if you could be limiting overall sales by not offering online discounts too.

Marks and Spencer Black Friday Example

5) FatFace

FatFace appreciates that its target customer isn’t a fan of frantically scrambling for a bargain. Instead, the brand appeals to its customer’s charitable side by promoting the fact that it is donating rather than discounting.

To apply this principle to your own audience, consider their core values. What alternative take on Black Friday would resonate with them most? Finding a unique audience-led angle is a clever way to stand out from the flurry of discounts.

Fatface Black Friday Example

6) Fossil

When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday creative, Fossil steals the show. This awesome retro game animation grabs the customer’s attention and gamifies the sale.

Consider whether your audience would value something a bit special inside their Black Friday email this year. Investing time and money into innovative creative will make your campaign a talking point for consumers and marketers alike.


7) Starbucks

This Black Friday email from Starbucks caters to the customer’s need to make progress on their Christmas shopping. Crisp, large product images with clear discounts make the choice of what to buy the coffee lovers in their lives easy to make.

Further down the email there is a “gift of the week” reveal. Serialising content in this way hooks customers into your campaign, increasing the likelihood that they’ll open next week’s email too.

Starbucks Black Friday Email example

8) Forever 21

Forever 21 keeps customers engaged and guessing which discount awaits them in this playful Black Friday email example.

The trick to nailing your Black Friday messaging lies in knowing what your audience will value. If it’s a sense of fun, this discount mechanism is spot on!

Forever 21 Black Friday Example

9) Bonobos

This example from Bonobos shows how you can use your Black Friday email messaging to increase average order value.

By giving customers spend thresholds to access each discount level, Bonobos encourages customers to spend more. This is a great way to shift end of season stock and ensure the sale boosts your brand’s bottom line.

Bonobos Black Friday Example

10) Matalan

Matalan uses its Black Friday email as a way to promote the benefits of its rewards card app.

By making your Black Friday discounts dependent on app usage or reward scheme membership, you too can turn the event into an opportunity to build loyalty.

Matalan Black Friday Example


This blog post has equipped you with ten sales-boosting Black Friday email examples and an understanding of why they work so well.

Our analysis has uncovered a wealth of Black Friday email tactics including:

  • using behavioural data to personalise your message
  • creating a sense of urgency to buy now
  • building anticipation with pre-sale messaging
  • using email to drive in-store sales
  • finding an alternative angle on Black Friday
  • investing in innovative creative
  • using product imagery and discounts to make gift buying easy
  • gamifying how you deliver discounts
  • setting a spend threshold to increase average order value
  • offering discounts through your app to promote its usage

However, we encourage you to think beyond the use of a single channel and consider your overall marketing strategy.

You should consider the following questions: What are you going to do about your existing customers? How will you convert new customers cost effectively? What happens with your campaign after Black Friday?

Find the answers to these questions in our webinar: 10 Mistakes Brands Make on Black Friday.