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Use These Email Ideas to Sell Your Course on Black Friday

| November 16, 2018 | 7 min read

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale marks the start of the Christmas holiday and it’s the event of the year for both businesses and consumers!

In order to make the best out of the opportunity though, businesses need to take advantage of the tools they have available and invest in promotional marketing, most preferably email marketing.

You may be asking, why?

As research finds, email marketing is at its core a powerful marketing strategy and has a huge positive impact on the business revenue during holiday seasons. Also, according to a 2013 Direct Marketing Association report, the average ROI for email marketing is estimated at 4300% for US companies, offering an extraordinary increase in business profits.

If you are new to this, you can also take a look at our course A Comprehensive Guide to Email Marketing.

Email Marketing Campaigns

In a recent article, we talked about email marketing and its importance in online learning. What you might have not heard of, is that there are many types of emails that help to get a specific message across.

These are the welcoming email, the informational email, the newsletter and the promotional email, amongst many others.

For the purpose of this article, we are going to look at more closely at the promotional email, which it’s a well-targeted email for seasonal campaigns and the most suitable email template for the BFCM sale.

The following list with the email templates coming from various retailers can help you gather some inspiration:

1Create Suspense: Surprise!

An email can do a lot of things and one of these is to create a feeling of suspense. The following example from Forever 21 shows a scratch card that was sent out during a Black Friday email campaign. With just a simple CTA the company encourages people to click on the email and reveal the percentage of the offer!

Effective, don’t you think? You can also create suspense through a surprise gift or a new product launch.

Example: Forever 21

2Urgency: Hurry Up!

According to ConversionXL, creating urgency can help you increase your sales by 323%! Doing this in an email is all about telling people that they have limited time to purchase their offer.

Also, scarcity and FOMO are two effective techniques that can draw people into this. The fear of missing out is what brings people in. These along with other psychological tricks can help you increase your sales in clever ways.

This email offers the last chance to your audience to check out the offer and can work perfectly for seasonal sales such as BFCM. Use words such as ‘Limited Time Only’, ‘Today Only’, ‘Only X Left’, ‘Sale Ends at Midnight’ or ‘Sale Ends on 30th November’ etc.

Example: Tommy Hilfiger

3Cart Abandonment / Failed Purchase: Hello again!

A great example that explains the abandoned cart email is Walmart’s email reminder that aims to re-engage visitors that already visited their site within a specific timeframe, but left without buying from them.

Likewise, at your LearnWorld’s school you can check your students’ activities through the events log and find out if there are any ‘cancelled sales’. In order to ‘win them over’, you can send them a different email of that you would normally send out to those who are regulars. Find out who are non-paying customers and re-approach them through email.

Example 1: Walmart

Example 2: Blueberry

4Reminders: ‘7 Hours Left!’

Most emails that are sent out to customers can work as reminders, but when it comes to special offers and promotions, each word you write on that email counts! Just like the ‘Hurry Up’ email, this one sends out the message that the day of the sale is approaching fast. The ‘countdown email’ urges people to check out what’s available.

What’s unique in this type of email is that it can be sent multiple times reminding people how many days are left before the sale ends. Also, you can make it count the days/hours/minutes to the start or the end of the sale.

Example 1: Gap

Example 2: Zagg

Example 3: Teavana

5The Cheesy: ‘We’ve Missed You’

Although this may sound cheesy, the ‘we missed you’ email can be super effective as it makes people feel unique. This type of email is often sent out to lost subscribers and can include a clever message that reminds people of the benefits of staying in touch with your business. Also, this is a great opportunity to show them what you have been up to.

It helps if you provide a list of these e.g. information on new products, discounts on memberships, a coupon code, a checklist, an invitation to a webinar or a free ebook. All of these can help to re-engage those people who haven’t visited your site for some time.

Example: VetRxDirect

6Straight to the Point: “50% OFF”

Why waste time in boring introductions and risk losing the attention of the reader? Sometimes the best approach to writing a promotional email is cutting to the chase and using a strong call-to-action statement with big bold letters that says exactly what it needs to say. Nothing more, nothing less. In a way, what you see in this email is what you get. Hence, it requires simplicity in words, colours and media content.

Example: BB Dakota

7Product Recommendations: “You might like …”

The BFCM bazaar provides the best excuse to come up with something new, as in with new products, new courses! If you are planning to feature a brand-new course, you can send out an email informing your audience about it!

For better effectiveness, you can check out which students bought your courses and send them the one course that is relevant or similar to the one they bought previously. The ultimate goal is to send them an email encouraging them to check it out!

Example: DollarShaveClub

8Going Big: “The Biggest Offer”

This is the type of email that says to your audience: ‘it’s time to buy the one thing they always wanted’, but was probably too expensive to do so in the past. What you can do is pick that one course that is not as popular as others and offer it at a better price with a discount bigger than usual just for this time.

Encourage your existing and new audience to buy their one-expensive favorite. As a plus, you can offer it along with other products e.g. a bundle, an e-book or any other physical product.

Example: Dean & Deluca

9Engagement: “Take a Survey!”

Be proactive and encourage your audience to take action through an email. You can do this by sending an invitation to a survey as a requirement to complete an important step to get a course discount, or simply visit your site. This should be something that would spark their attention immediately.

Be aware though. Not many people like taking part in a survey, especially when they don’t get something out of it. Avoid writing the word ‘survey’ in the email headline or if you chose to do so make sure you offer something in return e.g. ‘Take this Survey and Win a Free Course’! You can combine this with the BFCM deal, any other seasonal sale, or when you want to get some feedback from your customers.

Example: Kate Spade Saturday

10Suprise: “Surprise, Surprise!”

Who doesn’t like surprises when they are good surprises? The best sales are the last ones because they can give a massive boost to your profits with a limited cost – sending another email. Retaining the discounts, when the sale didn’t go as expected has the potential to get you a couple of more sales.

Usually, 2 or 3 days more can ‘do the trick’ and surprise your audience, supplying them with some extra time or even a bigger discount on products.

Example: Forever 21

There is no doubt that email still remains the best channel for digital marketing and sales, and will continue to be in 2019. For every online instructor, it’s worth investing in it, especially when it comes to promoting a big sale such as the BFCM!

Should you need any more ideas download our ebook “The Ultimate Guide to Selling Online Courses”

Free ebook
The Ultimate Guide
To Selling Online Courses
Discover how to make your online courses ready for sales and, most importantly, profitable.

In the meantime, check out our article on how to write more effective emails and boost the performance of your marketing campaigns.

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Growth Marketer at

Nick Malekos is the head Growth Marketer of LearnWorlds. He is a results based and well-rounded Digital Marketer with years of experience in the education industry that doubles as a youth trainer and volunteers’ coordinator in his free time.

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