The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Subject Lines

BONUS: FREE Black Friday Subject Line Cheat Sheet

black friday shoppers bag

Your Black Friday subject lines are about to get the special treatment they deserve. This year, we’re making sure you communicate your Black Friday super deals more effectively.

Let’s start with the facts. Your competitors are already brainstorming for items to put up for sale and are busy looking at profit margins. You probably are, too.

Our objective: Help your communication stand out.

We add a creative touch to your marketing actions, starting with email marketing.

The “all black (Friday) everything” package contains Black Friday email templates and design tips, Tons of Black Friday subject lines and How to use Pinterest for inspiration.

Also, this post is only the prequel to the A-Z Black Friday marketing files we made for you, complete with social media, website, offline marketing actions.

For 2018 we created a bunch of content around Black Friday Marketing choose one of our other Black Friday Special articles:

The ONE Email Automation you should have for Black Friday

Black Friday Marketing Tips to Win Everytime

All the Black Friday Stats You Need

Last Minute Black Friday Marketing Hacks

Black Friday Ideas To Kickoff Your Marketing Game

Black Friday Email Marketing

You know we’ve got you covered like a burrito. 

Email marketing is our cup of tea— hmm, not really a cup.

More like a bowl of tea. Or a pool. An Olympic size pool of tea. Anyway.

Would you care for some email marketing tea-ps?

(If you like puns as much as we do, then stay tuned, there’s more to come.)


6 Black Friday Tips you can use today

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to use color

This Black Friday email departs from the “All black, everything” concept. For the better, we say.

Pick one of our library templates and customize them until they match your branding!

black friday template

Tip #2: Accentuate urgency

First, write a stunning subject line and add urgency. Here is a list of words and phrases to do that:

  1. Use words like “fast / now”. Go for a verb in the Present Continuous. Example: [Going]+ fast
  2. Give them a deadline, like “in 2 hours”. Example: [Closing / Selling out] in 2 hours
  3. Add a time constraint. Example: Sale running for 30 mins
  4. Be more playful, use a sound. Example: Tick. Tock. I’d make it faster if I were you!

(Subject line galore? If you don’t know which one to choose, head over to Refine, our free online tool which estimates how your subject line stacks up against the industry average!

Then, repeat deadline in the content. →

Add a clear, compelling button that prompts subscribers to hop over to your website. →

Last, before launching your Black Friday offers, do make sure that website navigation is intuitive and shipping fees are friendly (: the closer to zero, the friendlier) →

herschel's email cyber monday

Tip #3: Send out real-time updates on remaining stock

Nothing says BUY NOW like “Low in stock“, “Moving fast“, “Running out“, “Selling out fast“.

Consider sending out real-time updates as part of an open-sensitive automation.

Essentially, you’ll be sending out an email to those who engage more with your emails.

If you don’t have the infrastructure to do this automatically, you can do it manually by creating a campaign with the right stock updates next to each product image and send frequent updates to your audience. Make sure your subject line clearly states the update. For example, Monaco T-Shirts are LOW IN STOCK or Almost Sold Out on Wooster (see below):


black friday status report email


Tip #4: Play with tiles

We love how neat everything is.

This style also gives you a scannable overview of the offers by product category and is eye-catching with all these colored thumbnails.

black friday email tiles colorful

Hop over to our Editor to create your own in 3 simple steps or choose one of our lovely newsletter templates:

  1. Drag a half-width container and select the type of element you wish to add (eg. text or image).
  2. To recreate the above, you can either upload images or add text elements and customize them.

This is what you should get on our Editor if you choose to upload your image:

editor for images

and this is what you’ll get for text:

editor for text

After you quickly customize it, you should get this:

editor text colorful box


Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to create something more artsy and less sell-y

A piece-of-art email could help you break through the marketing offers clutter, as well as position you among more exclusive businesses, branding-wise.

Not sure whether this would work across your audience? Hand it over to our platform to run an A/B test across 20% of your list for 2-3 hours. Moosend’s platform will sort this out for you!

black friday email art black


Tip #6: Have items bring color in

Spend more time to write copy that is clear, concise, and sells.

Adding a feature photo of the sale items will also go a long way.

Design-wise, this is a single-photo structure.

To recreate this, edit a photo of your merchandise by adding text.

Then, head over to our editor and simply drag and drop it in a full-width structure carrying an image element.


black friday single image email

30 Black Friday Subject Lines

We had to make sure that you won’t be entering inboxes with the same set of words in your subject line: that Black Friday is going to wear itself out.


We came up with a few subject lines that don’t have Friday in them. Or Black.

Here are 30 Black Friday subject line ideas:

  1. [Name], your next pair of shoes is here!
  2. Don’t tell them how much you spent on the bag!
  3. Remember that cousin? Even she’s getting a gift from you! 3 hours left!
  4. Santa came earlier this year!
  5. Guess who’s checking up on you on Friday: Santa!
  6. Looks like you won’t be maxing out your credit card this Xmas!
  7. It’s not Black Friday. (opens email) It’s floral, (burgundy), …
  8. This is no sale. This is a giveaway.
  9. Oops. We accidentally put all items 80% off.
  10. Clearance never looked so stylish.
  11. This Saturday will be the most stylish of the year.
  12. Your bank account will survive.
  13. Knockout prices to knock them out.
  14. No, this is no typo: knockout prices.
  15. Buy T’s for $2 and jeans for $5. Two hours to go. Tick. Tock.

Take a deep breath – another 15 coming up:

    1. Mouse on the pad. Index on left click. Ready. Set. Go!
    2. Why not shop Christmas for less?
    3. You’ll show them. BF is your new BFF.
    4. Just for today!
    5. Tomorrow is another day! Shop deals now!
    6. (Teaser email) Your new style awaits. On Black Friday.
    7. Buys before guys.
    8. This Friday is a mix of yellow, red, and blue.
    9. bbbbbbblackkkkkkk friday
    10. All black everything!
  1. This season’s color trends are changing to Black. Friday only.
  2. “Dark 5th business day deals” – aka black Friday super deals.
  3. Pitch Black Fri-yay is served!
  4. Friday is the new black.
  5. Ebony (Friday) and Ivory (Monday)*

*Use this if you are extending your Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Refine, our free subject line checker! Estimate how your subject line stacks up against the industry average!

How to write the perfect Black Friday subject lines

Looking for more Black Friday ideas? Here’s the subject line builder for it:

Below is your Marketing vocabulary.

  • bargain,
  • offer,
  • deal,
  • steal,
  • giveaway,
  • markdown,
  • wholesale prices,
  • budget prices,
  • closeout

i) Use it separately in subject lines

e.g.Our prices are a deal-closer.
The smartest deal you made on this Black Friday.

ii) or pair any of these words with any subject line and play around. For example:

subject line equivalent


Enjoy this process, get as creative as you wish, and then… head over to Refine!

Now we got that out of the way, it’s time to move on to…

6 Ideas for using Pinterest photos in emails (BONUS: Matching Subject Lines)

Your email needs a background. You could go for a flat black background. Ooooooor not.

Here’s how you can draw your inspiration from Pinterest photos.

Like we said, inspiration can get tricky. To make sure you don’t black out, here are a few ideas to go all unique about it.

It’s super easy.

Just type “black” in the Search bar, to start working on your ideas.

Pinterest is a perfect inspiration channel. You can’t leave with an empty head.

Below we show you beautiful photos that you could use as a background in your newsletters, complete with matching subject lines for your Black Friday marketing.

Remember, you can always single out elements of these images and take it from there.

Tip #1: The primary image of your newsletter does not have to feature your products

We selected the photo of this beautiful black unicorn as a background for your Black Friday email designs.

Use with Subject line: “Unbelievable offers. Today.”

black unicorn

Just type “black”.

Tip #2: Go for a vague background that plays on connotations

Here, we borrowed the steam coming out of a locomotive engine. Tap on the image to see the full photo.

Use with Subject line: “And…Poof! All of their stock disappeared in a few hours!

locomotive engine steam

This puffy dream is a locomotive engine.

Tip #3: Another example of singling out certain elements

Many photos feature lovely patterns which are usually lost in the bigger picture. Let’s try to see what others won’t. In the image below, we borrow the movement of the dancer’s dress to connote the grace of twirls and pair it with a subject line.

Use with Subject line: “Dance it out in your new skirt! $3-20$ #2hourstogo

a dancer's dress

A dancer’s dress.

Top #4: Don’t be afraid to go for something bold and abstract

What we did here is that we cropped the model wearing the coat out of the photo in order to play with geometry and symmetries.

This email could direct to a landing page where the image of the model wearing the coat appears in full.

Cute mind-blowing detail, n’est-ce pas?

Use with Subject line: “Don’t slouch! Get clicking! Yesterday!


It’s a model’s arm in coat.

Tip #5: This one is our favorite

On Black Friday, as well as every sale occasion consumers are on alert.

Waiting for the moment to make their move, ultimately beating everyone else to t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶i̶s̶h̶ ̶l̶i̶n̶e̶ checkout, and getting their item of desire.

This black panther awaits to make his move.

Use with Subject line: “Black Friday- Are you lurking?

black panther sitting

A black panther.

Tip #5: Pun Intended

Get inspired! Look for a word that could spur puns and retrieve the image, or the other way around! As soon as we saw these picture-perfect blackberries we came up with this one:

Use with Subject line: “Have yourself a berry black Friday!”



(Ok, we could do better.)

Also check here 300 Original subject lines to increase your Open Rates!

Design your Black Friday Email Newsletter

Now that we got the background out of the way, we break down our Black Friday email template on our Editor.

What you’ll need:

  1. Your logo – Center top is what we recommend. This, nevertheless, depends on the overall alignment of your newsletter. We went for Center Alignment for the template below. Customize your newsletter by dragging and dropping elements to suit your liking.
  2. Copy that amplifies urgency – Don’t underestimate the power of great copy. It might take you 30 minutes, or as much as a couple of hours. Don’t limit your copy to one sentence or two. Come up with alternatives. Write, edit, check with a third party, edit again. Bring your choices down to two and then run an A/B test.
  3. The offering – Clearly communicate the offering.
  4. (Free) shipping fees – Free shipping is always a good look. But you can always choose to offer it to those who abandon their cart.
  5. Social media buttons – Elementary, my dear Watson! Make it easier for your subscribers to check you out on their favorite social media channel! Ensure that the content you share across platforms is relevant, but not identical to that of the newsletter. It should offer additional information, not repeat it.

black friday email template


2 top secret tips to really step up your Black Friday game

We bring you two secret tips to skyrocket your performance on Black Friday. You’re entering a whole new level of Black Friday activations with these two:

Add a Countdown Timer

  • To spruce up excitement and user engagement, set up a countdown timer email to go off at 20.00 or 21.00 on the same day to create a sense of urgency.

black friday email template countdown timer

Create a Segment to Reward your VIPs

Reward your most loyal customers by segmenting them into a VIP mailing list.

Then, give them exclusive early access to your pre-Black Friday sale.

Click here to get instructions to segment your most loyal customers into another list.

Invest in a compelling copy that is personal and urgent, so that they open the email: e.g. “John, this is just for you. Tick. Tock.”

What About Cyber Monday?

Are you more of a Cyber Monday fan?
Well, in that case, you should communicate you are participating in the Monday celebrations just before Black Friday kicks in.

This way, your competitors won’t benefit from your absence on Black Friday.

While you are at it, send out a newsletter and promote your Cyber Monday for a few days – this way, whoever is interested in your products will keep some of their budget aside in order to purchase from you.

Remember to check out our top Black Friday marketing hacks to sell out this year. And hey – Get notified when we publish part 2 of our A-Z Black Friday Marketing files by signing up to our newsletter!

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