Black Friday Emails: Get Creative

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Originally posted by Travis Buck, Listrak's Creative Director. For more holiday insights, watch our latest webinar "Holiday Insights from the Design Experts."

When I logged into my inbox last Black Friday I expected to see a lot of black and I wasn’t disappointed. Black is naturally the go to color for Black Friday creative. However, when everyone is using black, how do you make your creative stand out in the crowd? Let’s take a look at some examples that did just that.

First let’s look at some examples that get lost in the sea of black. These examples from Staples and Fab are representative of the average Black Friday email creative. Not bad by most standards but they don’t exactly stand out.



This example from American Apparel uses black. However, they’ve created an eye catching contrast by using black elements on a light background. By using plenty of whitespace they’re able to really make the bold text and image stand out.
J.Crew uses a splash of red to create high contrast. The use of a bright red sweater in this example really makes it pop. I also find it interesting there’s no mention of “Black Friday”. Instead they call it “The gifts, gifts, gifts! Event”.


Coldwater Creek chose to use black as an accent color. It still references Black Friday and uses the color black but red is the featured color here. All that red combined with black and green accents give the email a nice seasonal feel. 

Tiger Direct used an animated ticker in their creative. Animation is a good way to draw attention. In this case it also helps emphasize the limited amount of time you have to take advantage of the sale.

Another way to stand out is to avoid using black at all. This email from Nordstrom is full of bright colors which help it stand out. Barring the dotted border they completely avoided using black. They could have used black for the text “BLACK FRIDAY” but instead chose gray. 


Stand Out in the Inbox
Another thing to remember on Black Friday is that you have to be creative with your subject lines in order to stand out. Here is a snapshot of my inbox last year:


Every subject line is just about the same and nothing stands out. There are a few things you can do, though, so you don't blend in.

Use personalization, like the recipient's name, their favorite brands, or other messaging that is personal to the shopper:


Or, test using special characters as they really catch my attention:



 Finally, simply using creative copy will help you stand out this year:


Questions? Let us know! We have a lot more info in our holiday resource center - podcasts, whitepapers, lookbooks, webinars, infographics, etc. Feel free to browse and use the information you need to help you shine brighter this holiday season!

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