Lessons From a $61.9k Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promo Campaign (2023).

2023 is not only Black Friday to remember, but also a whole year most businesses will never forget.

Personally as an email copywriter, this promo tested me if I’m worth my salt.


Because the economy that year was walking on thin ice.

Companies are laying people off.

And cost of living keeps going up, causing everyone to spend less.

The Challenge

That’s why getting a sale in 2023 is much harder than it was a few months (or years) ago when people didn’t bat an eyelash to pull their credit cards and buy something.

Even existing customers are now more resistant.

And if you’re a business selling premium products, you probably had customers switch to a much affordable brand.

That’s bad for business.

But despite that, we’re able to make November 2023 a record-breaking month with over $61k in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from emails.

That’s a 44% increase in sales from the previous year.

I know that’s a bold claim. So before we go further, let me show you some proof.

The Result

Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales in 2023 vs. 2022

Note: The coupon codes were only revealed to email subscribers. My client did not run any paid advertising during this period.

The Strategy

Unlike last year, announcing “Black Friday Deals are now LIVE” won’t be enough.

Since this is a tough time for both businesses and customers, now is not the time to be clever or play around.

We have to be clear on WHY we’re the best and only choice.

Here are the email strategies we put in place:

Strategy #1: Call out the elephant in the room.

“These are tough times.”

“I need to spend wisely.”

“What are my other options?”

These are the things customers are thinking at that moment because of the recession economy.

Don’t just send emails (or any promotion for that matter) as if nothing bad is going on.

Note: The economy is NOT the main theme of the promotion.

We’re simply recognizing that the “elephant” is indeed present in the room, and it’s a challenge to our customers.

In some of our emails, we mention the phrase:

“We know times are tough. That’s why…”

“Even if costs of materials and goods keep on going up, rest assured we remain committed to…”

As the saying goes…

People buy NOT because they understand you. They buy because you understand them.

Author Unknown

Strategy #2: Have a “sell to a non-buyer” mentality.

We’re sticking with our list segmentation.

But as far as messaging is concerned, we ditched the “it’s easier to sell to a customer” mentality.

For this promotion, everyone is assumed as a non-buyer.

My client actually commented that our customer emails are redundant, because they’re already aware of our USPs (unique selling proposition).

But as I said earlier…

Even customers are now hesitant and more resistant.

Some are even switching brands.

That’s why this is the time to remind them again why they bought in the first place.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re selling a supplement with 100% transparent dosages (no proprietary blends) and clinically dosed ingredients.

You can couple that USP with strategy #1 and say…


“Have you tried checking other supplements’ labels?

With everything that’s going on today, I wonder…

Do they still have the same ingredient dosage now as before?

I wonder how they keep their cost down?

The thing with proprietary blends is, you can’t really tell what’s going on inside.

That’s why I believe TRANSPARENCY is more important now than ever.

At [Company Name], that’s our #1 commitment.”


Fair warning: Do NOT call out the elephant in the room in every email.

As mentioned earlier, we don’t want it to steal the show. Just enough to let our customers know we’re aware of the situation.

It’s thanksgiving after all, so we want this to be the main theme.

Strategy #3: Make them FEEL you got their backs.

How do we say we care for our customers without saying “we care for our customers?”

By making them feel we care.

And writing about how we stick with our core values, beliefs and USP even during tough times is more than enough.


Our emails have personal and plain-text (with 1 image) direct response copy.

Each email looks like an actual letter from the CEO checking in how their customers are doing.

We can’t achieve this with “pretty” poster-type and image-heavy emails.

Final Thoughts

These strategies are not limited to just Black Friday or any promo.

This is not limited for “tough economy” campaigns either.

You can also use it in your new product launches, welcome sequence, or any non-buyer campaigns.

If you can make business during tough times, you can do the same (or even better) at ANY time.

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