Black Friday messaging kicks into gear

But some retailers realize Thanksgiving comes first on the calendar.

Allison Enright

The day after Thanksgiving, known to retailers and consumers as Black Friday, got a fair amount of attention from retail marketers this week, as many worked the phrase “Black Friday” into their e-mail campaign subject lines and promotion pitches.

Some retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target, used the phrase to preview the sales they will offer come Nov. 23. But most of the retailers that featured the phrase “Black Friday” this week used it to capitalize on the growing buzz around it, based on a survey of e-mail from major web retailers reviewed by the editors of Internet Retailer.

Here are some subject lines editors received this week from retailers, with the date the e-mail was sent and explanation of the offer, as needed:

Hanes.com, 11/9: Why wait for Black Friday? Get an extra 15% off, TODAY! The underwear and casual clothing manufacturer offered 15% off the total purchase price, excluding sale items.

 New York & Co, 11/15: PRE-Black Friday Sale + Get Paid to Holiday Shop. The chain apparel e-retailer offered a buy one, get one free sale and $10 off a future purchase for every $50 spent through Nov. 26.

Akira.com, 11/15: This Friday is our Black Friday. The chain apparel retailer offered 40% off already reduced prices with a coupon code.

HomeDepot.com, 11/15: Get Black Friday Prices NOW on Appliances. The home improvement retailer offered sale pricing on select appliances and free shipping on all holiday décor.

Robert Rothschild Farm, 11/16: Pre-Black Friday Sale - 25% OFF Entire Website. The e-retailer sells gourmet food products.

Ross Simons, 11/16: Black Friday PREVIEW: Shop Early. The jeweler offered an additional 25% off selected sales items.

Retailers that sell perishable gift items like fresh foods and flowers continued to focus their e-mail marketing efforts on Thanksgiving. Retailers including 1-800 Flowers, Sherri’s Berries and David’s Cookies referred to the holiday in their subject lines. The subject line, “Give Thanks for Free Standard Shipping from David's Cookies!” led a promotion for two-day free shipping, for example. Reuseit.com, which sells environmentally friendly reusable items, smartly featured the subject line, “Rescue Thanksgiving Leftovers + FREE Shipping” in a message it sent Wednesday. The body of the e-mail included reusable food storage containers.  Reuseit.com is No. 905 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide.


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