2020 Cyber Monday sales reached $10.8 billion, up from $9.4 billion the previous year. That happened despite the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each year, Cyber Monday earnings outpace the previous year. The reason is not only because shoppers are spending more, but because companies are becoming better at maximizing earnings.
Each Cyber Monday brings with it data on what email marketing tactics move the needle and effectively convert customers.
If you want to get the most out of your Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns, you’ll need to learn and deploy those tactics to maximize earnings.
This is why we put this article together. We’ll share the top 10 Cyber Monday emails we’ve found, why they’re so effective, and how you can employ these tactics in your upcoming campaigns.
We picked these emails not only because we believe they demonstrate the most effective tactics, but also because of how each of those tactics works together to create powerful emails.
So read on to discover the tactics you’ll need to maximize your campaigns!
Note: If you want a straight-up guide to creating effective Cyber Monday/Black Friday emails, check out our article Top 10 Black Friday Email Tactics (+ Subject Lines & Examples).
1.) Vitamedica – Urgency & Friction Reduction
Vitamedica is a dietary supplement company that formulates, manufactures, and distributes high-quality supplements for surgery, recovery, skincare, beauty, and general health and wellness.
While they started off selling exclusively to wholesale customers (plastic surgeons, dermatologists, med spas, aestheticians, etc.), they began selling to retail customers in 2012 and hired us in 2018 to increase B2C email-driven revenue.
We were able to double email-driven revenue with emails like this which uses urgency to tap into the customer’s FOMO and compel them to act fast while also handling objections to reduce friction and make taking action as easy as possible.
Uses Urgency To Increase Sales
The email utilizes design elements and copies to create a sense of urgency that compels customers to act immediately.
The countdown timer at the top tells customers how much time they have to take advantage of the sale. As it gets lower, the subscribers FOMO increases.
It also uses copies like “Last Chance” and “Sale ends today at 9 pm PST” to escalate the tension.
Uses Tiered Discounts To Compel More Sales
Vitamedica’s Cyber Monday sale uses tiered discounts to compel customers to spend more money. The email dedicates a substantial amount of real estate to informing customers about the tiered discount savings and the rules behind them.
Using a tiered discount strategy creates another form of urgency. Customers know they can save more by spending more. So they’re likely to buy more products than usual and stock up on supplies so they can save in the long run.
Uses Contrast To Highlight Key Elements
By using different colour fonts and backgrounds, the email draws the readers’ attention to important elements.
The email uses bright, contrasting colours against a dark blue background to highlight the tiered discounts and how much customers must spend to access each savings tier.
It also draws attention to the CTA by making it white against a dark blue background.
Uses Objection Handling To Reduce Friction
While customers may want to spend more to save more, they might also be reluctant to buy in large quantities.
They may be thinking: what if I don’t like the products I buy? What if the products don’t deliver what they promise? Then I’m out more money and stuck with products I won’t use.
The email uses objection handling to eliminate these worries. It informs customers of Vitamedica’s 60-day money-back guarantee (plenty of time to test out their purchase). It also informs customers of Vitamedica’s “excellent customer ratings” and “quality you can trust.”
Conveys All Necessary Information
The most important goal of any holiday email is to give subscribers all the information they need to take advantage of your holiday promotion.
Vitamedica’s email accomplishes that by informing subscribers of the duration of the sale, when it ends, how much they can save, and how to access each savings tier.
2.) Dollar Shave Club – Humor & Intrigue
Dollar Shave Club is an eCommerce company that sells men’s grooming products for hair, beard, and more.
Their Cyber Monday email uses simplicity and a single-column layout to keep the focus on their products and the discount they’re offering. It also incorporates fun through humour and intrigue to make the customer’s shopping experience enjoyable.
Shares Product Suggestions To Entice Customers
The email shares several discounted product bundles shoppers might be interested in.
Customers may not know which of your products they want to buy. But by including product suggestions, DSC gets customers to start thinking about their products and how those products will improve lives.
Sharing product suggestions also reduces friction by helping customers make a decision quicker and easier. This is especially important if your sale only applies to certain products. Don’t force customers to spend time searching for applicable products; put them right in their faces.
Uses Humor To Connect With Audience
The email promises to help shoppers shed their Thanksgiving weight and burn calories by shopping. At the bottom, it tells customers that burning off the calories from one pumpkin pie requires 300 clicks. The email humorously implies that the more customers shop, the more weight they’ll lose.
Humorous copy helps DSC build a connection with their audience. It not only builds a relationship with the audience, but it also penetrates their commercial defences (their resistance to being sold anything) by making them laugh. In doing so, they make their marketing messages more potent.
Includes Intriguing Offers
The email invites customers to purchase DSC’s “Mini Mystery Box,” which contains 4 trial-size body products.
The Mini Mystery Box gives shoppers an inexpensive way to explore some DSC products to see what they like. And customers are likely to be intrigued by the mystery of which products they’re going to receive. After all, who doesn’t like surprises?
The email utilizes a single-column layout to guide readers down the email while enabling them to focus on each product/element one at a time. In doing so, they keep the focus on the offers they’re sharing and help readers consider each one to find the best option for them.
3.) BOIE – Simplicity and Value Proposition
BOIE is another one of our eCommerce clients that sell 3 sustainable skincare and oral care products – a toothbrush, body scrubber, and face scrubber.
They hired us in 2018 to grow their email list and increase email-driven revenue. Using emails like this, we were able to increase revenue by 77%.
Since they only sell a few products, we decided to keep the email simple by focusing on their sale and value proposition.
Uses Simplicity To Control Focus
Because the email design is so simple, we didn’t need to employ many techniques to control the reader’s attention.
They’re able to easily focus on the 4 primary elements of the email – the FOMO, sale information, product images, and value proposition.
Uses FOMO To Compel Action
The email taps into shoppers’ FOMO by immediately telling them that this is BOIE’s last sale of the year. If they want to get BOIE’s products at a discounted price, that’ll be their last chance for a while.
By tapping into their FOMO, the email creates a sense of urgency that influences them to take immediate action.
Shares Product Images To Entice Customers
Much like Dollar Shave Club’s product suggestions, BOIE’s product images get customers thinking about BOIE’s products and what life will be like when they buy them.
These images work with the FOMO to increase their desire to get BOIE products now.
Shares Value Proposition To Entice Customers
BOIE’s primary value proposition is that its grooming products are more hygienic and sustainable than others. The email shares this value proposition by inviting customers to learn more about it.
By sharing their value proposition, we made BOIE’s products more attractive to customers. This works with the FOMO and product images to make the offer more compelling.
Conveys All Necessary Info
The other email elements work together to make the offer as attractive as possible. It also shares all the information they need to take advantage of the offer, including the discount amount, date, and code.
4.) Dr Martens – Special Offers and Urgency
Dr Martens is an eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retailer that sells footwear, clothing, bags, and accessories.
Their Cyber Monday email combines special offers that entice customers with an urgency that influences them to take action.
Tantalizes With Special Offers
The email contains several attractive special offers.
First, the sale itself is pretty significant – shoppers can get 30% off clothing, bags, and accessories. They’re also told they can get up to 60% off other clearance items. The potential for huge savings compels shoppers to visit the site to find out what they can get and how much they can save.
The email also entices them with a sneak preview of Dr Marten’s new season of footwear: Splash Mono. The exclusivity and intrigue of this offer give shoppers another reason to visit the site.
Uses Urgency To Compel Action
The email uses urgency to compel shoppers to take advantage of these special offers before time runs out.
The countdown timer at the top of the email lets them know just how much time is left on the sale. And the copy that says “Today Only” lets them know that the sale is truly limited to Cyber Monday only.
Uses Content Hierarchy To Control Focus
While the other special offers up the ante for customers, the main focus of the email is the Cyber Monday sale.
The email uses content hierarchy to keep the focus on the sale by making the text bigger than anything else in the email.
5.) Herschel Supply Co.
Herschel Supply Co. is an eCommerce company that sells bags and accessories for men, women, and kids.
Their Cyber Monday email uses simplicity and design to ensure recipients get all the necessary info about their sales and take action immediately.
Uses Simplicity To Maintain Focus
The email focuses entirely on the Cyber Monday sale. Its aim is to share all the necessary info about the sale’s tiered discounts with no distractions.
After reading the email, recipients will know when the sale takes place and how much they need to spend to get each discount tier. It includes just one CTA to keep them focused on taking the action Herschel Supply Co. wants them to take – shop on their site.
Uses Z-Layout To Draw Recipients Through The Email
The email is designed using a Z-layout which guides recipients down the email and gets them to focus on each piece of information individually.
This is especially important because each discount tier requires shoppers to use a different discount code to access the savings. By drawing them down the email and controlling their focus, they ensure recipients don’t overlook important information.
Uses White Space To Control Focus
Much like the Z-layout, the email’s use of white space (or black space) enables recipients to focus on each piece of information individually with no distractions. This ensures readers get all the information they need to take advantage of the sale.
6.) Good F****** Design Advice
GFDA is a consulting company that performs workshops that help creatives and entrepreneurs take risks and grow their businesses. They also sell apparel, drinkware, and other fun products on their site.
Their Cyber Monday email uses creative design, humour, and branding to connect with recipients so they’re better able to influence them to take action.
Uses Crossouts To Compel Recipients To Read
We bet you read every word of the crossed-out text, didn’t you. That’s because the mystery of what it says is too compelling to ignore.
By crossing out the text GFDA is able to grab the recipient’s attention and curiosity and get them to read the entire email. The only text that’s not crossed out is the information about their Cyber Monday sale.
Uses Humor To Connect With Recipients
The email uses a funny story about Black Friday shoppers and coarse language to build a connection with recipients.
Humour is an effective tool because it gets your audience to like you more and lowers their guard. When people like you and lower their commercial defences (their aversion to being sold or convinced to do something), they’re more likely to be influenced to take action.
Uses Language to Build A Brand Connection
The email uses coarse, funny language to get audiences to connect with their brand.
GFDA is not a company that uses dry, sanitized language to avoid offending people. Their controversial tone and style is another tactic that gets people to lower their commercial defences because they know GFDA is being authentic and not misrepresenting themselves to make a sale. Recipients who share this attitude are much more likely to feel a kinship with their brand.
Conveys All Necessary Info
The email tells recipients everything they need to know to take advantage of the sale. After reading, they’ll know when the sale begins, how much they can save, and how much they need to spend to get free shipping.
7.) Funky Pigeon
Funky Pigeon is an eCommerce company that sells cards, mugs, calendars, notebooks and more.
Their email uses urgency and product suggestions to compel readers to take advantage of their sales.
Uses Urgency To Compel Action
The email includes a countdown timer at the top that tells recipients when the sale ends. By creating a sense of urgency, they compel recipients to take immediate action or miss out on the opportunity.
Highlights Applicable Product Categories To Reduce Friction
Funky Pigeons Cyber Monday sale only applies to specific product categories. Sharing those categories in their email eliminates the friction and guesswork that may stop recipients from taking advantage of their sales.
Gemvara is an eCommerce company that sells custom fine jewellery.
They sent this email announcing the extension of their Cyber Monday sale to people who abandoned their carts. It uses objection handling, segmentation, and educational content to make it as easy as possible for them to convert.
Uses Segmentation To Boost Conversions
This email was sent to browse and cart abandoners only the day after Cyber Monday. It aims to convert these people by handling objections and educational content that helps them make a decision.
By focusing on those more likely to convert, Gemvara is able to squeeze more revenue from their Cyber Monday sale.
Adds Value Through Educational Content
The email aims to resolve the friction that prevented cart and browse abandoners from making a purchase.
Many of these people likely abandoned their carts because they didn’t know what to buy. So Gemvara helps them out by sharing a gift guide to help them make a decision. They even offer help from a jewellery consultant.
Handles Objections & Reduces Friction
The email addresses other objections that may have prevented recipients from completing their purchase. It informs them of Gemvara’s 101-day return policy, free shipping policy, and free financing policy.
The email also shares a link to luxury jewellery products under $500, in case price was an issue preventing conversions.
9.) Man Outfitters
Man Outfitters is an eCommerce company that sells men’s active outdoor lifestyle apparel.
They created a unique and helpful Cyber Monday email that uses friction reduction and customer-focused copy to help recipients take advantage of their holiday sales.
Uses Differentiation To Stand Out
Their email is unlike others. Rather than focus on one upcoming holiday, they’ve created a guide to all of their upcoming holiday sales. It gives recipients everything they need to know to take advantage of Man Outfitter’s holiday sales.
Reduces Friction With Education
The email aims to help recipients take advantage of Man Outfitter’s holiday sales and make the right purchase decisions. It informs recipients of their upcoming holiday sales, their return policies, and the dates customers should order to receive their products on time for holidays.
By helping customers make the right decision, Man Outfitters reduces friction that may prevent them from buying and established a positive relationship with them.
Uses Customer-Focused Copy To Build A Connection
The entire email is focused on the customer and helping them make the right decision. It even tells them about “Deal Week” and how they won’t attempt to pressure shoppers with fake deadlines or tricks to create “artificial chaos.”
By focusing on the customer, Man Outfitters builds a strong connection with customers and makes their purchase decision as easy as possible.
10.) Standard Strange
Standard Strange is an eCommerce company that sells clothing and footwear. They aim to help customers “own fewer, better things.”
Their Cyber Monday email is one of the most unique on this list. It connects to its audience’s sense of identity and uses urgency and creativity to influence sales.
Uses Differentiation To Stand Out
Standard Strange’s email is one of the most unique Cyber Monday emails anyone is likely to see. It’s designed in a text-only format which makes it look cool and compelling (it also ensures there are no rendering issues).
Rather than using sales copy, the poem shares a haiku that recipients are likely to enjoy. This kind of creativity and fun probably helps them connect with recipients and influence conversions.
Uses Urgency To Compel Immediate Action
The email creates a unique sense of urgency.
Rather than a countdown timer or deadline, it shows that shoppers who buy sooner can save more. Shoppers who buy on Thursday can save 26%. But by Monday, the savings drop to 10%. This compels shoppers to buy early so they can save more.
Connects To Audience Identity
The email connects to the identity of its audience through its unique, artistic format and copy. The bottom of the email says “this email is for fashion plates, MUDD enthusiasts, and poetry healers.” It invites “poetry haters and other grouches” to unsubscriber from their email.
By defining who is in and outside of their tribe, Standard Strange creates a sense of shared identity that builds a stronger relationship with their audience.