It’s almost upon us... the biggest, most awaited, most dreaded period of the year for e-commerces everywhere! BLACK FRIDAY sales.
A time when us, email marketers, fill our pots with coffee and tell our spouses that we’ll sleep at the office.
It’s also a time when shoppers everywhere get bombarded with discounts left and right and furiously start to unsubscribe.
Because we’ve been asked repeatedly what are the best ways to communicate efficiently without being tiresome, we’ve prepared a short list of tips and tricks for email marketing campaigns.
Package your Black Friday discounts
Storytelling sells. Building anticipation sells. Instead of sending the old dusty discount email to announce your offers, why not create a campaign around Black Friday. A few examples would be: an advent calendar (revealing different types of products a day), happy hours (bigger sales at specific times of the day), giveaways (rewarding customers for buying during Black Friday), gift guides (small snippets of inspiration), loyalty points and so on.
I promise you more engagement than your competition, more so if your content is witty and your segmentation is on point.
The fight for the most catchy subject lines has begun! Your customers’ email inboxes are flooded with basic and dull subject lines EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So, how do you shine bright like a diamond in their inbox? Use humor to catch your audience’s attention, keeping in line with your tone of voice. Once hooked, stir their engagement with GIFSs, countdown times or an awesome email template design. It’s true what they say, an image can say more than a thousand words. And do not forget to use a sense of urgency and scarcity in your Black Friday campaign, as the fear of missing out, will lure shoppers into spending their well saved earnings in a minute.
However, be careful not to overestimate your Black Friday discounts if they don’t reflect reality - saying you have a 70% discount (implying to your whole collection of products) when you only have a few products on sale. It will work once.
Segmentation and personalization
The most important rule to keep in mind during Black Friday is DON’T SPAM the customer. He’s already receiving tons of newsletters about menstrual cramps and the pills to help with that even if he’s a guy and was only looking for a pair of trainers.
Segment your database and send different messages to different clusters of customers. One time shoppers? Invite them to do their second purchase taking advantage of the huge discounts on your website. Inactive users? Tell them how much they are losing out.
Also, have you noticed people repeatedly checking out different categories of products without buying them? Give them an incentive like free delivery or product recommendations that fit their purpose.
Last but not least, there is no sweeter sound to somebody than his own name. Remember that and use it throughout your emails.
Time and frequency
It’s obvious that we need to send more than one email to create awareness, but the best way to do that without being spammy is to test the waters and prepare the audience with some Early Bird emails, a couple of days before the big event. Tell them what they should expect from you, a touch of mystery will get them hyped about your products and their Wishlist will be ready to go.
The hustle of this season is not a joke. Analyze your competitors' strategy from the past and plan your campaign’s calendar to avoid the same communication patterns. The best time to send your Black Friday offer should be early in the morning or late in the evening when everybody has a little time to scroll between the seas of discounts. Don’t forget to send reminders and a countdown email to trigger again a sense of urgency.
Automated campaigns based on customer behaviour are efficient throughout the year, but they skyrocket during Black Friday. They are simple to set up and give users the impression that you’ve paid attention to their needs. Have customers left something in their basket and did not order? Nothing like a small Black Friday incentive to make them pull the credit card out of their wallet. Have they checked your website and did not settle for anything...maybe a Black Friday gift guide based on their browsing history will persuade them.
Check also your times of conversion. People might make the decision to buy sooner than normally so, if your usual abandoned cart email would trigger after 6hrs since abandonment, you might want to set your Black Friday version in a 30 minutes window.
Don’t stop at Black Friday. Do a Cyber Monday
Everybody loves second chances, right? It is well known that the highest revenue actually happens on Cyber Monday, the day after Black Friday frenzy. This day can be a second chance for your customers who haven’t had the time to buy from you, to finally buy that well deserved item they were wishing for.
Don’t miss this opportunity to put the extra energy into Cyber Monday, pair it with Black Friday, keep a similar design and boost your discounts, while engaging/luring your customers directly to checkout.
Test, analyze and optimize in real time
Needless to say that it’s imperative to test the mechanics of your Black Friday campaign before the big day. Create test environments and go through a customer journey to make sure there are no overlapping points of contact and broken discount codes.
After the campaign starts, don’t sit back and watch the campaign unfold, start analyzing the results. Is your open rate lagging? For your next newsletter, include a subject line that builds anticipation or A/B test your sending times. If conversion rates don’t make the mark, try adding popular product suggestions and invest in catchy design. The key is to optimize in real time to make the best out of this period.
In a nutshell, to make your Black Friday campaign a success, prepare in advance, be very clear with whom you communicate and how, know your audience and dare to be a bit different than your competitors. Rely heavily on automations and be ready to turn the tide if your KPIs don’t rise up to your expectations.
We’d be happy to hear from you, tell us your own tips and tricks for Black Friday success. And don’t forget, no more than 3 cups of coffee per day! :-)