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This year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday land on November 26th and 29th. However, ecommerce sales will start earlier with Black Friday emails, and your holiday marketing strategy should be ready for kick-off at the beginning of November.
If you want to get the edge on your competition, you need to take the entire month seriously. You need to start working on your Black Friday email marketing campaigns as soon as possible.
What should you expect from Black Friday email marketing campaigns this year?
Due to the pandemic, a changing ecommerce environment, and evolving owned marketing channels, the following trends can be forecasted for the upcoming holiday season:
- Significantly more people will shop online. This brings more opportunities for ecommerce businesses as well as higher competition.
- Ecommerce promotions will start much earlier than Black Friday itself. This year, many retailers will start their communication just after Amazon’s Prime Day.
- Retailers will reinforce their email communication with other marketing channels, like SMS and web push notifications. These two channels are getting considerably more popular and a lot of retailers see new potential opportunities there.
Bearing all these trends in mind, here are the eight most important steps you need to follow for your Black Friday marketing success.
1. Boost your subscriber list
We’ve written before why it’s not only important for you to build up your email list, but also nine proven ways you can build an email list today.
This is especially true in the holiday season, as ‘Cyber 10‘ is the biggest shopping week of the year.
Even more, those customers who’ve already bought from you will be more likely to buy again. With this in mind, having an email list becomes much more important.
If you want to boost your subscriber list, you should try to improve on the urgency and offerings for your products. This should be done before your Black Friday/Cyber Monday discounts and offerings.
Also, consider adding an additional phone number field into your signup forms. Promise early-access deals to encourage visitors to sign up for your messages.
You can also create a special landing page to grab visitors’ emails from, for example, your advertising campaigns, social media ads, etc.
These updates will make you competitive and help you to stand out, especially if you start your promotions earlier.
2. Start sales before the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend
In order to get noticed by your subscribers and visitors, you shouldn’t promote your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales on Black Friday—or even Thanksgiving.
Instead, you should start promoting your sales well before then. We’ve previously discussed exactly when you should start your promotions and how often message your customers in the past.
Generally speaking, you should plan to start your communication early—in the second half of October or the beginning of November at the latest.
3. A/B test your emails
Getting better conversions and engagement in your emails can be a complicated task. This can involve a combination of the offer in your emails, the style, the visuals, your email text/copy, the subject lines, CTAs/buttons, and so much more.
It’s often the case that you’re not sure which offer would work best for your customers — 30% off, or 15% off? Or if BOGO or free shipping beat a 25% discount.
Or what products you should promote, or if your email copy should focus mainly on a product, or a branding story.
That’s why you should do A/B testing your emails. A/B testing allows you to enter two different versions of the subject line and see which one performs better.
With Omnisend, version A will go to 25% of your recipients, version B to another 25%, and the winning subject line will go to the remaining 50%.
You can test the entire content of the email, or you can focus specifically on two versions of a subject line to see which one leads to better opens.
4. Create urgency in your Black Friday email campaigns
When it comes to email engagement, a sense of urgency is a powerful tool to employ. This is the very nature of why limited-time offers often work so well.
For example, Flash Sales create a sense of urgency that drives conversions in a short amount of time.
To achieve this, you can introduce a countdown timer. You can also showcase some kind of scarcity, such as showing the level of stock remaining for products.
This way, your customers understand that there’s a limit to the deals you’re offering.
5. Launch cart abandonment automation
This is why they’re essential as part of a drip campaign—especially during holiday sales. Over 75% of carts will be abandoned and auto-reminders can help you recover at least some of them.
Consider setting up a workflow optimized for the holiday season. This means that the workflow should contain more messages than usual and they are sent with shorter gaps between them.
You should also opt to use SMS with your holiday promotions.
6. Add more channels into your strategy
Ideally, you can add these channels to an automated abandoned cart workflow. The example above shows you to effectively achieve this.
Alternatively, you can use it to enrich your welcome workflow:
7. Give something extra to your loyal customers
You should always make your most loyal customers feel rewarded. To do so, provide some extra value to your loyal customers and subscribers. They’ll feel more appreciated and be more likely to convert again or more often.
Naturally, you should only opt to do this while your margins still stay on the safe side.
For subscribers, consider an early-access offer, some exclusive members-only bundle offers, or free shipping.
For your loyal customers that you can identify and segment, offer exclusive discounts, free-of-charge gift-wrapping, or engravings, if you offer services like these.
After all, you’re not only focused on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping period here. You’re also looking long-term—aiming to build up your brand, your customer loyalty, and extend each customer’s lifetime value.
8. Extend your deals past Cyber Monday
Lastly, it’s probably a good idea for you to extend your deals just a little bit after Cyber Monday.
Remember though, it’s not necessary to go too crazy and extend it all the way to Christmas—you can simply opt to extend it for one or two days.
This kind of post-holiday sale can also work wonders in tandem with our last tip—offering it to your most loyal customers. This can include new customers you’ve made during your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.
You can opt to extend your sale in one of two ways.
- Either have the sale apply to your entire site for longer.
- Or, send special, time-sensitive, one-time discount codes that essentially offer the same discounts that the sale did.
Here, the marketing of your extension is important. After all, you still want to maintain the scarcity and exclusivity of your promotions.
You can send an SMS that gives your customer one more day to finish their shopping. Or you can try to send an email like Julep:
- Their subject line is straightforward and eye-catching—EXTENDED! 50%. Off. Everything.
- The sale is extended only for 48 hours, which still maintains that sense of urgency.
- Those customers who missed your sales for one reason or another can still buy from you at your special prices.
This also means that it’s easier for your emails to get noticed. Most of the mad-dash, last-minute emails are sent on Cyber Monday. By Tuesday morning, everything should be quieter in their inboxes—this means you’ll be noticed more.
Skyrocket your sales with your Black Friday email campaigns
If you want to increase your sales, it goes without saying that you need to double down on your email marketing. If you don’t have an email marketing strategy yet or haven’t invested in email marketing at all, you still have time to fix that.
You won’t believe how much money you’re leaving on the table by ignoring email marketing. After all, most estimates put this at around $40 ROI for each $1 spent.
Black Friday is looming closer and closer, so there’s never been a better time to start planning for it. After that, implement your strategies and get your piece of the Black Friday-Cyber Monday pie.