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13 Cyber Monday emails that absolutely blew us away

If your inbox is anything like mine, these past few days have been a little like watching an Expendables movie. Each time you clicked the Mail tab on your desktop, an endless cast of loud, over-the-top characters flooded in, all desperately competing for your attention. The number on your Gmail app's little red notification bubble continued to climb, causing you more anxiety than Randy Couture's acting skills.

And when Cyber Monday finally arrived, you found yourself jaded with it all. What's that, a 25% discount off your entire website? Color me unimpressed. With so much competition and so much noise, it was difficult for brands to stand out in the sea of "limited time offers" and "exclusive discounts." 

That's why we felt the need to share the true A-Team of this year's Cyber Monday: the brands that, despite their competitors' best efforts and the sheer volume of it all, managed to win us over with incredible emails. Read on to see the best of the best from the holiday weekend, along with the strategies that made them stand out in a stuffed-to-the-brim inbox. 

Digital delights

One new design trend we noticed during Cyber Monday was that many brands incorporated tech imagery and animated GIFs – from Loft's retro computer to Evernote's contemporary iPhone – within the body of their emails. Something about it was incredibly engaging; we could imagine ourselves shopping BaubleBar's sale on our iPads and felt a sense of urgency watching the digital clock change on Bonobos' sales promo.





Seasonal surprises

What better way to stand out at the start of the holiday season than to tap into that good 'ol sense of cheer? Bright images of snowflakes, shiny ribbons, and perfectly-wrapped packages instantly attracted our attention and brought a smile to our faces.


Kate Spade

J. Crew

Standout subject lines

When most inboxes look something like this on Cyber Monday... 

... a subject line like "Shop our Cyber Monday sale!" was unlikely to stand out. We appreciated these brands' attempts to shake things up; their creative subject lines definitely got us opening and made us that much more likely to click. (Plus, any reference to Queen Bey is an instant win in our book.) 

MadewellSubject line: "Your boss is shopping today, too." 

Rosetta StoneSubject line: "Mystery gift. What will you get?"

Mara Hoffman – Subject line: "we be (on sale) all night" 

Dazzling design

To help their messages stand out, these brands literally went the flashy route – and it worked. From Frye's blinking neon sign to Aerie's glittering lights, we may as well have been moths drawn to a warm, softly-glowing flame. 


Nordstrom Rack


Did you get any standout Cyber Monday emails this year? Tell us about them in the comments!