10 Cyber Monday Email Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

10 Cyber Monday Email Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

This post was updated for the 2022 Holiday Season.

Cyber Monday can be a perfect storm; there’s no denying that. It can crash your website because of the quadrupled amount of traffic. It can force you to drop your prices below a reasonable level just because your competitors did so. It can cause unprecedented delivery delays and customer frustration.

But Cyber Monday can also be extremely rewarding—that is, if you get your infrastructure, logistics, inventory managers, customer service, and support teams ready for the challenge. A thorough preparation also involves creating email campaigns that’ll excite your audience and put them in a buying mood ahead of time.

What should you include in your emails to drive anticipation and urgency? What design practices should you avoid? We’ll answer these and other questions about Cyber Monday emails by looking at steal-worthy examples from big brands.

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Is Cyber Monday worth it?

Cyber Week is the biggest annual online shopping event, including Thanksgiving sales, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday and Black Friday are the big players in terms of revenue. In 2021, Black Friday generated $8.9 billion in sales, whereas Cyber Monday resulted in $10.7 billion.

Here are other important facts about Cyber Week 2021 you need to know:

  • During Cyber Week, US online sales reached $33.9 billion.
  • The most popular items bought during Cyber Monday were electronics, clothing, toys, and video games.
  • Holiday shoppers increasingly prefer Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) tools like Klarna.
  • Brick-and-mortar store visits went up 48% compared with 2020. This is likely a result of post-pandemic store re-openings.
  • Early deals in October directly affected Cyber Week sales, causing them to go down, which makes a targeted email marketing campaign for this period even more important.
  • Due to inflation and attractive offers on big-ticket items, customers spent almost 14% more on Cyber Monday.

If you have an ecommerce store, it’s never too early to start preparing for your Cyber Week sales. Capitalize on this huge ecommerce holiday season by bringing shoppers to your online store with an email marketing campaign.

10 Cyber Monday email examples—and why they work

Here are 10 great Cyber Monday email examples from real retailers. No stealing allowed, but we hope you get inspired for your own Cyber Monday marketing campaign!

1. Holiday fun and eye-catching GIFs (Riffraff)

Using GIFs in Cyber Monday emails
Which outfit would you choose?

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • GIFs with a purpose. This email from Riffraff uses a GIF of rotating outfit ideas to show off the products you’ll find if you click through to shop.
  • Mobile friendly. The stacked vertical design is easy to scroll through on any device, making it mobile-friendly.
  • Holiday humor. The promo codes have subtle holiday references (“Santa! I know him!”)—way more fun than codes like 30OFF or SALE.

2. Tech imagery and urgency (Jack Spade)

Urgency in Cyber Monday emails
A total attention-grabber. Does the hourglass icon give you flashbacks to your first PC, too?

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • It’s iconic. This email from Jack Spade uses a classic hourglass loading icon as a fun play on the tech—or “cyber”—theme of the holiday.
  • Creates urgency. The hourglass and the copy work together to emphasize the urgency of the sale’s final hours.
  • Easy to act on. The simple call-to-action (CTA) makes it easy to act on the urgency created by the rest of the email.

Offering coupons works: 55% of consumers said they’re very likely to use a digital coupon provided by a retailer.

3. Big promises and extended sales (Michaels)

Extended Cyber Monday sale
Why settle for Cyber Monday when you could have Cyber Sunday and Monday?

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • Big promises. This email uses a GIF to make big promises about their deals both in-store and online.
  • Extended sales. Michaels advertises an extended sale to capitalize on the Cyber Week trend.

4. Scarcity and a tech-themed background (Velvet Caviar)

Creating scarcity with Cyber Monday emails
A storewide sale conjures an image of endless possibilities.

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • Animated background. Sensing a trend? More animated GIFs! The hacker-themed background animation plays into the tech theme of a holiday that’s all about being online
  • Creating scarcity. The promise of selling out adds some urgency—better shop now, or you might be too late!
  • Product showcase. Velvet Caviar sells phone cases; this email design gives you a preview of what’s on sale.

5. Brand personality and mobile optimization (Dollar Shave Club)

Cyber Monday emails optimized for mobile
Just 1 of 3 emails designed by Joshua Elkin for Dollar Shave Club’s Cyber Monday campaign.

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • Brand personality. Dollar Shave Club’s brand is lighthearted and funny—just like this email.
  • Mobile-optimized design. A mobile-optimized email template (right) to make sure the email looks great on every device.
  • Surprising stat. Did you know clicking burns 1 whole calorie?!

6. Free shipping and old-school tech (ModCloth)

Stylish Cyber Monday email
Remember when computers looked like this?

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • Old school tech theme. ModCloth sells cute, vintage-inspired clothes, so it’s no surprise that their super-cute Cyber Monday email features an old-school tech theme.
  • Subtle humor. The little “beep! boop!” GIF adds some extra fun.
  • Free shipping. A tried-and-true promo. 80% of consumers expect companies to offer free shipping above a certain amount.

7. Gift-giving and simplicity (Casper)

Minimalistic Cyber Monday email
I’m somehow feeling sleepy and full of holiday cheer at the same time.

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • Holiday shopping theme. Black Friday and Cyber Monday officially kick off the holiday shopping season. This email from Casper embraces the holiday theme.
  • Simple design. The minimalist design and single CTA work well on both desktop and mobile.

8. Hacker humor (The Hill-Side)

Stylized Cyber Monday email example
Matrix-style hackers and pixelated graphics. Welcome to the World Wide Web.

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • Hacker-themed humor. This hacker terminal-themed email from The Hill-Side has fun with the holiday’s cyber theme.
  • Mobile-friendly. Simple, mostly text-based designs look great on pretty much every device.

9. Simplicity and wordplay (The Loft)

Elegant Cyber Monday email design
Going big and staying home? Be still, my introverted heart.

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • Wordplay. The wordplay in this email from The Loft celebrates that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home for great deals on Cyber Monday.
  • Simple, not boring. The clear design and CTA will look great on any device—but they’re not so plain or dull that you’ll ignore them.

10. Countdown timer (Dr. Martens)

Cyber Monday sale countdown
It’s the final countdown…

Why this Cyber Monday email works:

  • Extra urgency. Doc Martens uses a countdown timer to boost urgency levels. This visual cue tells customers that they better act fast to get in on the deal. An experiment by ConversionXL found that adding a countdown timer alongside an email’s CTA led to a 147% increase in conversions.

How to write a killer Cyber Monday subject line

Without a great subject line, no one will open your email. If no one opens your email, they won’t see your amazing Cyber Monday campaign.

Did you know that there are over 188 words that are considered spammy and should be avoided when writing subject lines? However, what you add to your subject line is just as important.

Here are some subject line best practices for Cyber Monday and beyond.

Make them so curious they have to click

What makes someone open an email?

  • They’re expecting to hear from you.
  • They already know they enjoy and trust emails from you.
  • Your subject line promises them something they want—like an awesome Cyber Monday sale!
  • Your subject line makes them so curious they have to click.

Behavioral economist George Loewenstein uncovered 5 ways to make people curious:

  1. Ask a curiosity-inducing question: “Are you ready for this?”
  2. Tell a story: “Open up, and you will find…”
  3. Go against their expectations: “CYBER MONDAY SUCKS” (Yes, that’s a real subject line. Yes, I opened the email.)
  4. Imply that you have information they don’t: “Mystery Sale! How Much Will You Save?”
  5. Imply that they used to know something that they’ve since forgotten: “You forgot to unwrap a present” or “Did You Get All Your Gifts?” (This works especially well for combining abandoned cart email techniques with Cyber Monday discounts.)

Let’s look at an example. If you’re running a Cyber Monday sale, maybe you start with an email subject line of “Cyber Monday sale!”

Not a bad start, but what if you added a few of the curiosity levers?

  • First, add a question: “Are you ready for Cyber Monday?”
  • Next, start a story: “Are you ready for Cyber Monday? This family is…”
  • Finally, be unexpected: “They prepped 3 months for Cyber Monday. Are you ready?”

Which is most engaging? “Cyber Monday sale!” or “They prepped 3 months for Cyber Monday. Are you ready?”

By adding 1 curiosity lever at a time, you can gradually amp up your subject lines—and make sure people open your emails.

(Warning: Curiosity levers are powerful, but only use 2-3 at a time. Any more than that, and you wind up with clickbait).

Get expressive with emojis

Emojis are a big trend in ecommerce subject lines, especially around Cyber Monday. Emojis can help your email stand out in an overcrowded inbox and get a higher click-through rate. The same research shows that emails with an emoji placed at the end of the subject line have better open rates.

(That said, you know your brand best. If emojis don’t fit in with your brand identity, don’t use them.)

Here are some Cyber Monday subject line examples that use emojis:

  • ⏳ 5 HOUR FLASH SALE: 25% OFF YOUR ORDER
  • 30% off sitewide ???? Cyber Monday Sale!
  • ???? 30% Off Everything + Free Shipping
  • ???? CYBER MONDAY STARTS NOW | $50 Off $150 →
  • ???? Just hours left for big Cyber Monday coupons and massive doorbusters!!
  • ???? Cyber Monday Sale is LIVE! ????
  • ????Better Than Their Deals☝️
  • ???? NEW DEAL ADDED: Extra 20% off thru midnight
  • ???? 50% Off Inside ????

Put percent-off discounts in your subject line

Let’s get back to the idea that your subject line promises subscribers something they want. Don’t be afraid to share your specific Cyber Monday deals in the subject line. Your contacts will still have to (and want to!) click through to find a discount code or learn more.

Neville Medhora, an entrepreneur and copywriter who’s helped businesses like AppSumo, recommends using numbers in email subject lines to communicate the offer’s value more clearly. Email subject lines that include numbers have higher than average open and reply rates.

88% of Americans regularly use coupons with discount codes and coupons while shopping, so announcing 1 in your subject line is a great hook.

(P.S. ActiveCampaign has a subject line generator to help you write effective subject lines all year. Or check out this guide to writing your own awesome subject lines.)

Make the most out of your Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns

Cyber Week and email marketing: a match made in ecommerce heaven. 

  • Brands using ActiveCampaign sent 486 million emails on Black Friday in 2021. Consumers also placed the most orders on Black Friday.
  • Buyers left $76.4 million in revenue in their carts during Cyber Week 2021. ActiveCampaign customers were able to recover $10.4 million using abandoned cart emails.

Before you go, here are just a few more tips to make the most of your Cyber Monday emails:

Stay consistent: To outsmart your competitors, you need to keep your conversation flowing. Reach your customers on Small Business Saturday, when most businesses take a break and maintain the momentum till Cyber Monday.

Get personal: Take your Cyber Monday email marketing to the next level with segmentation. Segmentation lets you personalize the offers you send your subscribers based on what you know about them. With site tracking and retargeting, you can send deals to subscribers based on previous purchases or pages they’ve viewed on your site.

Be mobile-friendly: Make sure you use mobile-optimized and responsive Cyber Monday email templates. On Cyber Monday, smartphones accounted for 39.7% of online sales.

We hope the email ideas and tips inspire you to create your best Cyber Monday email campaign.

Want to get started quickly? Check out these email templates.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Get started with your holiday campaign with our 2022 Holiday Marketing Toolkit. It has everything you need to make this your best year yet.

holiday season toolkit

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