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Black Friday Email Remarketing Ideas: How to Retain Customers after the Sales End

Good news first, or bad news first?

Let’s start with the good one. Black Friday shopping craze did what it always does best and drove traffic to your website – with so many people coming by your site and browsing what you have to offer. And with the increased traffic, you now have an increased client base at your disposal.

Now the bad news is that 78% of the newcomers were just hunting best deals and will never come back to your site unless… you follow them up.

In this post, we have collected email marketing best practices to help you craft your own email campaigns and make it hard for your one-time customers to forget you.

Turn your seasonal shoppers into year-round customers. After all, you want to keep your store sailing strong for the other 364 days of the year, right?

Regardless of the email type you are going to send within your remarketing campaign – a post-purchase thank you note, abandoned cart reminder, or a discount offer for the next order – the “anatomy” of each one is fairly the same:

  • Subject line
  • Image
  • Email copy
  • Value
  • Call to action

Now, let’s dive right in and see how to perform your best when creating a remarketing email:

1. Subject line: break through the crazy holiday clutter

64% of people decide if they will open an email based on the subject line. If you want to be noticed over the cascade of emails in someone’s inbox, you need to make your message instantly understandable. And pull out your best cozy sweater, because a big part of that depends on your tone.

What do the best email subject lines include?

Pro Tips:

  • Customer name. Personalized emails have 29% higher open rates than emails without personalization
  • Friendliness. Keep your tone conversational and familiar. Think less hard-sell, more friendly chat.
  • Urgency. Let people know these deals won’t last.
  • Your sale details. Subject lines with percent-off discounts have an average conversion rate of 18.1% (vs 3.8% for subject lines that don’t have an offer).
  • Curiosity. Don’t give everything away in your email subject lines. Give just enough of a tease that they can’t help but click.
  • Emojis. If you ❤︎ an emoji, great news: emojis can increase your click-through-rate by as much as 28%
  • Humor. If your holiday subject lines put your customer in a cheery mood, there’s a better chance that mood will keep them clicking through to your post-sale email


Google Store isn’t here to soothe your FOMO (fear of missing out): they make it very clear that their items are in high demand:

Black Friday Email Remarketing Ideas: How to Retain Customers after the Sales End
Google Store: subject line in abandoned cart email

“Really Good Sheet” is Brooklinen’s tagline. Persuasive enough? Their subject line in the abandoned cart email is even more so!

Black Friday Email Remarketing Ideas: How to Retain Customers after the Sales End
Brooklinen: subject line in abandoned cart email

Take a look at more subject lines from our inbox:

  • “Last chance to seal the deal”
  • “Don’t miss out again.”
  • “Were you waiting for a sign?”
  • “Don’t give up on your dream juice-maker!”
  • “Katerina, your boss is shopping today too”

2. Image choice: striking, evocative but simple

Pro tips:

Emails with images have a 42% higher click-through rate (CTR) compared to text-only emails. A visualized offer works better.

Imagine this, your customer has abandoned a lot of travel related stuff in the cart. Make them visualize how going ahead and buying these abandoned items will make for a great vacation. Allow your customers a visual peak into how the products will add to their experience using imagery.


The tagline for Bearsville is “Soap for Men,” and is made from natural ingredients in the Catskills. Using imagery of fashionably bearded manly men is aspirational, selling an idea of the kind of person that uses their product:

Black Friday Email Remarketing Ideas: How to Retain Customers after the Sales End
Bearsville: Image in abandoned cart email

3. Email copy: make it shine

Pro tips:

Use a casual tone in your copy. Your personality should shine through every piece of your marketing content, including cart abandonment emails. Recover sales by being distinctive in a cluttered inbox.


ThinkGeek’s catalog caters to “nerd” culture, such as video games, comic books, and fantasy. Their copy (and subject line) reinforces their branding, with a playful take on Lord of the Rings. If your store’s personality is highly marketable, use it.
This is a concise email. It can be tricky to get your brand persona across so succinctly, but ThinkGeek does it:

Black Friday Email Remarketing Ideas: How to Retain Customers after the Sales End
ThinkGeek: email copy

4. Value: it’s not about just advertising!

Pro tips:

Your content should bring a certain value to your reader. Do not simply make the entire thing your own promotion! You could suggest news, tips, ideas, good shots, and information that the reader would find useful. Only when you’ve developed the above, can you start to promote your own product. Remember to always make use of empathy: if you want your visitor to read and to buy your products, he needs to first get something out of your emails.


Newsletter became one of BuzzFeed’s top sources of traffic. They are the best at writing awesome content. Their subject lines and preview make you immediately open that email. This subject line speaks for the value the reader will get as they open the email:

Black Friday Email Remarketing Ideas: How to Retain Customers after the Sales End
BuzzFeed: providing value in the newsletter

Whiskey Loot provides unique value by uncovering objections up front! They dispel arguments against buying before people even think of them. And if by some chance you can actually think of one, they’ve made it easy to reach out with further questions:

Black Friday Email Remarketing Ideas: How to Retain Customers after the Sales End
Whiskey Loot: tackling buying objections in email marketing

5. Call to action:

Pro tips:

An email call-to-action (CTA) is a link or button designed to get a prompt response from the person seeing it. But remember this childhood lesson: ask for what you want nicely. That means lowering the stakes of what your CTA is asking of your potential customer.

Which of these buttons is best: “Buy now”, “Pay some of your hard-earned cash”, “Return to your cart”?

In general, avoid words like “buy” or “pay” in your CTAs. These are “high-friction” words, because they suggest doing something that the person might not be ready to do.

A CTA like “return to your cart” or “view my cart” get people to take the next step (clicking) before the sell.


Clothing online retailer Chubbies, selling online the most radical shorts ever known to humankind, definitely knows a thing or two about writing powerful copy. They invite cart abandoners to be transported back to their internet shopping carts, free of charge. And the “teleport to your cart” button is really hard to resist!

Black Friday Email Remarketing Ideas: How to Retain Customers after the Sales End
Chubbies: Call to action

Almost there

One last thing to chew on: like any type of relationship-building project, creating a powerful email remarketing campaign takes time. Test as much as possible: different subject lines, different imagery or marketing messages.


There are indeed amazing email marketing campaign examples out there that can fuel you with ideas instantly. If you are ready to master the art of email marketing and retain your holiday shoppers, you are going to need professional tools like MailChimp eCommerce and MailChimp Advanced add-ons for your CS⁠-⁠Cart store. The add-ons integrate a full range of MailChimp services into your website:

  • Synchronise your email lists
  • Fine-tune your emails
  • Perform A/B testing of your email campaigns, and so much more

Email like a Pro and make customers remember you!


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