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14 ridiculously good emails from Cyber Monday 2016

Cyber Monday tends to bring out the very best in email marketing. So last week, while the rest of my family fell into tryptophan-induced comas, I eagerly awaited the gems I knew would land in my inbox – and this year’s batch didn’t disappoint.

One note, though: “Cyber Monday” as an insular, one-day event doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore. In fact, I can’t think of a single brand that actually waited until Monday to start their big sales. Instead, many brands kicked things off last Monday with an entire “Cyber Week" or let Black Friday, the traditional doll of brick-and-mortar shopping, steal the show.

So with that in mind, here are the best emails I received from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Kick back and feast your eyes (heaven knows your stomach has had enough) on these top-notch emails!


1. Banana Republic Factory

First of all, I love the fact that these guys compiled a “Warrior’s Guide” to prepare prospective shoppers for the days ahead – a clever way to frame their big sales events in a sea of generic discounts. Second, a numbered, scannable list gives subscribers all the info they need to navigate the holiday weekend (and spend big $$).

2. Nordstrom

Nordstrom sent out an impressive Thanksgiving email last year, so I was happy to see them keep up their amazing work in 2016. The retailer prides themselves on staying closed on Thanksgiving, so this festive send was the perfect way to thank their subscribers and get people excited for the big in-store event on Black Friday.

3. Nest

Nest consistently sends beautiful email, but I was still taken aback by their black Black Friday email. Highlights include the focused CTA, elegant product GIF, and black background that differentiated their design from the many red-and-green campaigns.

4. Loft

Loft does Black Friday and Cyber Monday better than most brands out there. This is just one of the many emails they sent over the past week, but I loved the old-school cursor literally showing you where to click (or tap) on the email. When the action is made THAT clear, how can you resist following suit?

5. J. Crew Factory

J. Crew Factory is an incredibly playful brand, so this was the perfect way for them to approach their Cyber Monday promo. And it worked, too: When scrolling through the abundance of emails in my inbox on Monday morning, this one immediately stood out.

6. Lomography

I absolutely adored the movement and simple design in this send from Lomography. It isn’t overdone – plus, the two round CTA buttons look fabulous on mobile!

7. Polyvore

Another noteworthy trend in 2016? Many brands offered some sort of "Cyber Monday Preview" to get subscribers excited for big savings to come. It helped keep the energy alive despite all the noise happening in people’s inboxes.

8. Huckberry

Huckberry has never been timid about embracing the scroll, but this is next-level stuff. They really went for it on Cyber Monday with this extra-long send, but with the clean organization, clear headlines, and eye-catching images, it doesn’t feel like too much.

9. Rent the Runway

This was one of the first Black Friday offers that truly captured my attention: The clean design and subtle glitter animation felt festive without being too much.

10. BaubleBar

And as it turned out, the whole “glitter GIF” thing ended up being a popular choice. This was another one of my favorites from this year’s batch: It’s just enough to capture the eye, but not so much that it’s overly distracting.

11. Soma

Our team saw a good few of these, too: The “don’t buy anything – donate instead” message. It helps subscribers feel genuinely connected to your brand and the good work you do at a time when everyone else is saying “Buy! Buy! Buy!" I particularly liked this one from Soma, written like a personal letter from their CEO.

12. Casper

This cheeky animation from Casper was another fan favorite: It communicated an idea without people having to read through a bunch of copy to figure out what they wanted to say.

13. Publix

One somewhat surprising hit from this year’s batch? This campaign from Publix. They didn’t ask people to buy anything… or really, for them to take any action at all. Instead, they sent this simple “Thanks” that included a heartwarming, seasonal video.

14. Chicago Tribune

Cyber Monday isn’t just for retailers, guys! I saw food franchises, B2B brands, and even universities get in on the action. But my favorite non-retail example was this campaign from the Chicago Tribune that proves even publishers can keep up with the big dogs of retail.


Know what I’m always hungry for, even after days upon days of binge-eating? Fabulous email examples. Share your Black Friday and Cyber Monday favorites in the comments!