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10 best Black Friday email and SMS examples 2023

Discover ten Black Friday marketing campaigns that captured our attention.
Happy marketer reading Black Friday emails.

Black Friday, the highly anticipated shopping event, has come to an end, leaving behind a trail of exceptional marketing campaigns that have caught our attention and impressive sales figures to match. According to Adobe, this year’s Black Friday generated an impressive $9.8 billion in online sales, marking a 7.5% increase from last year.

We’ve selected ten email and SMS examples from this year’s Black Friday marketing frenzy. These examples demonstrate how marketers can effectively engage their target audience, create a sense of urgency, and entice customers with time-sensitive deals. So let’s dive in.

1. Make your Black Friday email promotions pop with countdown timers

During Black Friday, customers receive a lot of promotional emails. To stand out from the crowd, marketers need to find ways to quickly capture their customers’ attention. One effective method is to use visuals and images to make emails more appealing. By incorporating visually attractive countdown clocks in emails, readers are more likely to engage with the content. These clocks help in keeping the message fresh in the minds of the readers which makes it harder for them to forget about it.

Virgin Atlantic’s Black Friday email provides a prime example of how to effectively leverage a countdown timer in an email marketing campaign. They ingeniously combined an animated countdown timer with a boarding pass, a visually attractive approach that made the brand’s email stand out from the competition.

Virgin Atlantic, Black Friday countdown, and personalized email.

This strategic use of a countdown timer significantly increased Virgin Atlantic’s email click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate, as customers were visually reminded of the fleeting nature of the exclusive Black Friday deals. When customers see the countdown timer ticking away and that an offer is ending soon, they are more likely to feel motivated to grab the discount before time runs out.

2. Use engaging and captivating MMS campaigns

During the Black Friday sales period, MMS messages can be a powerful tool to engage customers. With MMS, you can integrate images, audio, and video into your text messages, providing a more immersive experience that goes beyond plain text.

Starface is an expert in using MMS for Black Friday promotions. They create a sense of urgency by offering limited-time deals that are valid only from the message’s delivery until midnight. With discounts of 25% on patches, 50% on skincare products, and a buy-one-get-one offer, Starface creates an irresistible value proposition that grabs customers’ attention and encourages them to act quickly.

Starface World, MMS Black Friday message.

3. Give your Black Friday promotion a heartwarming twist

During Black Friday promotions, it’s easy to only showcase attractive discounts and deals. However, by incorporating a creative and heartwarming twist to your Black Friday promotions, you can truly capture the hearts of your customers. Such promotions go beyond mere financial incentives and tap into the emotions and values of the target audience, solidifying customer loyalty for the long haul.

To execute these promotions successfully, marketers need to understand what resonates with their audience and align it with the company’s core values. A heartwarming twist can mean supporting a charitable cause, giving back to the community, or providing exclusive, emotionally engaging content. The possibilities are endless, yet the objective remains the same: to forge a deeper connection with customers and inspire them to advocate for the brand.

Thortful, a card marketplace, added a unique twist to its Black Friday campaign. From November 24 to 27, they introduced “Thortsgiving”—a celebration that gives back to its creators. This unique take on a Black Friday message sends a powerful message to customers: Thortful is not just a place to buy meaningful cards—they are a tight-knit community that stands by its creators and supports small businesses.

Thortful's Thortsgiving email campaign Black Friday promotion.

By taking this approach, Thortful skillfully establishes an emotional connection with its customers. The campaign is an excellent example of how marketers can leverage holiday promotions to not only drive sales but also cultivate deeper connections while remaining true to its core values.

4. Create memorable copy

Writing memorable copy is important during the holiday rush. With so many messages fighting for attention, your goal should be to create copy that stands out and leaves a lasting impression. Use persuasive language to stimulate your subscribers’ curiosity and emotions, and create a sense of urgency that encourages them to take action. 

For instance, Coach was able to successfully target its SMS subscribers during Black Friday by weaving a sense of urgency into its message. They emphasized that it was the final chance for customers to save big on their purchases before the deals disappeared. The brand urged customers to act quickly and provided a convenient link to access Coach’s exclusive offers.

Coach Flack Friday SMS message.

5. Creating a sense of exclusivity with VIP deals

A highly effective way to ensure customer retention and drive sales is by cultivating a sense of exclusivity through special offers just for VIPs or members. Providing your most valued customers with exclusive access to limited-edition products, discounts, or early shopping access can foster a sense of loyalty and privilege.

One noteworthy example comes from BH Cosmetics, who expertly crafted a Black Friday email designed exclusively for its valued members. The email promised BH Cosmetics’ VIP members an exclusive golden ticket, securing their spot on the priority waitlist ahead of other customers. This members-only campaign not only offered exceptional deals but also made its customers feel they were part of a special group, granting them special access to these incredible Black Friday offers.

BH Cosmetics' exclusive Black Friday email campaign for VIP members.

6. Embrace conciseness and clarity

On Black Friday, shoppers are eager to find deals from their favorite brands quickly and effortlessly. With SMS messages having a limited character count, crafting concise yet informative content is essential. To optimize your Black Friday SMS marketing campaigns, focus on capturing the essence of your promotion clearly while delivering all the necessary information to your target audience.

BCBG’s SMS campaign demonstrates the power of brevity and clarity. During its Black Friday promotion, BCBG sent out a simple and clear SMS message to subscribers that provided all the essential information about the offer without overwhelming recipients with unnecessary details.

In just a few words, the message conveys the nature of the promotion (40% OFF EVERYTHING), the limited-time aspect of the offer, and a strong call to action (Shop now). Furthermore, by including a convenient link to access the sale, BCBG encourages recipients to click through and explore its website, thus increasing the likelihood of sales conversions.

BCBG's Black Friday SMS campaign.

7. Put your best graphics forward

One way to leave a lasting impression during the Black Friday email scramble is to avoid using basic, overused design templates. By creating a unique and cohesive design that stands out from generic email layouts, you can set your brand apart and draw attention to the content within.

Van’s Black Friday email campaign is an excellent example of how to merge innovative design with an engaging concept. Van’s email features a ski and mountain scene that seamlessly integrates a playful interactive game, neatly organized gift selections by price range, and a holiday playlist for recipients to enjoy.

Van’s embraces the Black Friday theme by incorporating unique black elements, such as the font and mountain illustrations, within its email design. This playful, clever approach celebrates the essence of Black Friday while preserving the brand’s distinct design aesthetics.

Van's Black Friday email campaign.

8. Enhance your campaigns with emojis

Emojis have become an indispensable part of modern communication, adding emotion and personality to text-based messages. If you incorporate emojis in your Black Friday SMS marketing campaigns, it can help create a more conversational and relatable tone, which can help differentiate your brand from the competition. 

For instance, Youth To The People used emojis cleverly to enhance its Black Friday SMS promotion. Youth To The People’s message added an element of excitement and visual appeal, making the content more eye-catching and memorable. 

The incorporation of the clock emoji not only delivers the sale information in a more visually engaging way but also adds an element of fun to the campaign. The emojis help reinforce the excitement surrounding the offer while also boosting the readability and impact of the SMS message.

Youth To The People's Black Friday SMS campaign featuring use of emojis.

When incorporating emojis into your SMS marketing campaigns, it’s essential to remember that moderation is key. Using too many emojis can overwhelm your audience, diminishing the impact of your core message and potentially leading to confusion or disinterest. Striking the right balance between visuals and text is crucial to ensure that your marketing communication remains clear and effective.

To achieve this harmony, consider limiting the emojis in your message to one or two highly relevant symbols that complement your text and reflect the sentiment you want to evoke. Place the emojis strategically within the message to emphasize crucial points or provide a visual break without cluttering the overall content.

9. Prioritize mobile optimization

With a staggering 76% of all Cyber Week ecommerce traffic in 2022 originating from mobile devices, marketers need to optimize their Black Friday email campaigns for mobile users. Ensuring that your promotional emails are responsive and displayed appropriately on a variety of devices will significantly enhance user experience and increase the likelihood of engagement, conversions, and success.

One great example of a mobile-friendly email campaign is MunchPak’s. It’s highly effective, with two prominent promo codes seamlessly integrated. The campaign also includes specific details about the offer’s expiration, ensuring customers don’t miss out on these exclusive deals.

MunchPak's mobile-friendly email campaign.

10. Leverage last-minute reminders for increased action

Last-minute reminders are an effective way to make the most of the Black Friday hype and encourage customers who haven’t yet taken advantage of your promotion to act. By reminding them of the approaching deadline, you create a sense of urgency that prompts hesitating or last-minute shoppers to act before the offer expires.

For example, Nuts, a popular brand for nuts and snacks, used a last-minute reminder in its Black Friday SMS campaign. In this message, Nuts effectively communicated that it was the last chance to participate in its Black Friday sale. The use of a loudspeaker emoji further emphasized the need for prompt action.

When incorporating last-minute reminders into your SMS campaigns, make it clear that the offer is about to expire, creating a sense of urgency that prompts recipients to act immediately or risk missing out. This approach not only boosts engagement but also helps to capture sales from those who may have forgotten or overlooked your initial promotion.

Nuts' Black Friday last-minute reminder SMS campaign.


To wrap up, the Black Friday promotions showcased in this blog post captivated our attention and stood out among the rest. You can take these outstanding examples as a springboard for inspiration when designing your upcoming email and SMS campaigns. In doing so, you’ll be better equipped to create captivating and engaging experiences for your customers during future Black Friday events.

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