October 10, 2023

Email Marketing for Service-Based Businesses

Breaking down your Black Friday Email Campaign

This season of business can feel like a pressure cooker for online service providers. People start sharing their revenue for the year, everyone and their biz bff is having major sale, and there is more pressure to be “on” and pick up business after your summer slump. It is undeniably stressful.

But, as ironic as it may seem, I don’t think that Black Friday needs to be the messy, stressy launch period that we think it needs to be.

As digital marketers, this is typically our busiest time of the year (depending on our clientele, but generally speaking). We are supporting our clients through sales, shifts, and final pushes for just a liiiiiiittle more cash in the bank. At the same time, we’re doing the exact same thing for ourselves. We want to book, sell, and generally just up that income before the end of the year (I mean, who wouldn’t want to hit publish on that “How I made six-figures on Black Friday” post?) We’re basically working two full-time jobs (CEO and service provider). Three if you’re anything like me and ALSO consider client acquisition and sales to be another full-time hat that us solo entrepreneurs wear proudly.

Point is, we don’t have 120+ hours a week to dedicate to getting our businesses over the Black Friday finish line (and even if we did… who wants to spend that much time WORKING?!? Not me. I’ve got pumpkins to carve, long fall walks to take, and a full and happy life to LIVE.)

But when the online business space is loud as hell. When it feels like everyone is pressuring you to do MORE when your mind and body are telling you to slow TF down. When everyone is fighting to stand out and book out…

You can do the most by doing less.

How to Think Small for Big Black Friday Results

Personal touch has been criminally underrated in the online business space over the last few years, and that is something that is shifting massively right now. For years, we were taught that VOLUME was the way to reach those elusive $10k months. Keep the clients coming in the door at all costs to keep those numbers high. Honestly, it’s no wonder that people think of this industry as an MLM when they first discover it… so much of the messaging on social media is simply “make money no matter what.” Barf.

But slowing down and thinking micro isn’t just a way to combat the girlboss messaging and boost your mental wellness. It’s a way to make the most while doing the least.

In today’s overconsumption economy, attention is the most valuable form of currency. We have so little of it, and there are so many people, companies, ideas, thoughts, opinions, and products vying for just a few minutes of our precious time. The people who control where attention goes are the people who profit massively without constantly having to fight tooth and nail for their next sale. 

Psychologically-speaking, all humans are at least a little self-absorbed (some more than others, but that’s neither here nor there). One of the best ways to capture our attention with our digital marketing and content is to get hyper-specific in the creation and delivery of it. This is what makes email marketing so fruitful: you can get insanely specific in the way that you’re addressing people and funneling information to them.

This allows the opportunity for connection, personalization, and ultimately an experience and interaction with your brand that, on the client’s end, feels custom-tailored to their individual needs.

Your Segmented Black Friday Launch Sequence

Don’t let the headline of this section fool you. You don’t have to be fluent in marketing-ese to make this happen. But there is some homework that needs to be done first. Sorry to say it babe, but you HAVE to segment your email list.

A lot of the “start an email list” advice in the online business space is just that—start an email list, start sending a newsletter every week, and watch the cash roll in. Wrong. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t work like that. You have to strategize. You have to segment. You have to be SPECIFIC.

In everyday practice, this looks like entering new subscribers into specific funnels that encourage a series of micro-transactions and actions that eventually lead to a big-ticket purchase (this could take days, weeks, months, or years depending on the customer and their buyer type).

As far as Black Friday is concerned, this looks like segmenting out your email list based on your Black Friday offer(s) and their intended audience, and building email launch sequences accordingly.

For example, if you’re a social media manager and your audience consists mainly of wedding photographers, brand and website designers, and other social media managers, you wouldn’t send all three of those segments the exact same content. You might send them all your weekly newsletter, but when it comes to something like a Black Friday campaign you want to be SPECIFIC. So, you would start with your Black Friday offers:

  • 50% off your first 3 months of DFY social media management packages
  • 50% off your social strategy session service
  • 50% off 3-month, 1:1 coaching

The DFY service is specifically targeted towards wedding photographers (because that’s the bulk of your experience and client base), the social strategy session is targeted towards designers and other service providers (who understand the fundamentals of digital marketing and know how to execute, they just want support in building a strategy that is a guaranteed sell), and the 1:1 coaching is for new and aspiring social media managers.

That is segmentation and specificity.

TIP: if you don’t know what the people in your audience do in order to properly segment them, use this opportunity to gain more information about them and help them segment themselves by doing market research!

Your Black Friday Email Campaign Outline

With your audience segmented and ready to sell SPECIFICALLY to, you can begin crafting your actual campaign. To make things easier on yourself, you can use the same skeleton campaign and simply personalize it to your individual offers AND the segment that you’re specifically addressing in the campaign.

And to make things even easier, I’ve already outlined the skeleton campaign for you:

  • EMAIL #1: one week before sale starts, founder story. Revolving around the topic of the offer that you will be selling on Black Friday, tell a hyper-specific story about your experience with the topic. Something like “The one tweak to my social media strategy that increased my conversions by 50%,” etc. Tease that an offer is coming to help the reader do the same.
  • EMAIL #2: four days before sales starts, statistics. This one is for the analytic buyers. Share the data behind the performance of the offer for your client and/or use statistics to showcase the power of what you do.
  • EMAIL #3: day before sale starts, social proof. Tell a specific story about how a client succeeded using the offer that you are selling. Don’t be afraid to get creative with this, incorporating a video or interview with the client. Announce at the end of the email that the service is going on sale tomorrow.
  • EMAIL #4: day that the sale starts/cart open date. Announce loudly and proudly that you’re having a sale and that the cart is open. Showcase the fact that you’re offering an extreme discount. Brag about the results that your clients have had using this offer before. Finish with a CTA encouraging them to strike while the iron is hot.
  • EMAIL #5: during sale, “why now?” When it comes to investing in themselves and their businesses, the most common thing you’ll hear is… “one day.” Sure, one day might be fine, but now is so much better. Use this email to tell your readers why they shouldn't wait for “one day.”
  • EMAIL #6: during sale, nurture and FAQs. If you are getting questions from your audience members during the cart open period, use this email to answer them directly. If you haven’t gotten any questions, use this email as a direct objection buster, positioning client objections as questions and explaining in the answers why there’s no need for them to be concerned.
  • EMAIL #7: day before cart close. Announce that the sale is ending tomorrow, double down on the value of the offer and why they should get it while it’s heavily discounted/stacked with bonus features.
  • EMAIL #8: last chance. Announce that it’s really their last chance to invest in the offer at a discount/stacked with bonus features. Encourage them to take action before it’s too late.

With that, all you really have to do is flesh it out: add personality, details, information, stories, statistics, and emotion.

Repurposing Your Email Sequence After Black Friday

The best part about the email campaign that I just shared (and that you will have already created by the time Black Friday is over) is that you can easily repurpose it to use as a super-specific welcome sequence for your audience. 

Actually, I lied. The real best part about it is that you’ll have the performance data from when you ran the original campaign with your existing audience and you can then tweak and optimize it to be an incredibly high-conversion welcome sequence. Do you have goosebumps? Because I do.

When you’re ready to convert your Black Friday campaign into a personalized welcome sequence, here’s what you’re going to do:

  • Take out any seasonal or timely references to make it evergreen.
  • Make the “entry point” to the sequence a freebie/lead magnet of some sort. Make sure that it is directly related to whatever you are leading readers towards at the end of the sequence.
  • Instead of pointing subscribers towards a discounted or Black Friday exclusive service, lead them to an introductory/low-ticket offer or something like a free consult call for the service/offer that is the best fit for that specific segment.
  • Look closely at open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates to see where people got lost, confused, or bored and tweak so that you can keep people engaged for longer.


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By the way, I'm Kori.

Serving six and seven-figure creatives, coaches, and designers, it’s my job to help my clients generate connections and cash in equal parts through their website, emails, and sales copy.

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