It’s that time of the year again: Black Friday. The day consumers will soon hit every shopping center in sight in search of the best deals and bargains. In recent years, however, many consumers have turned their attention to online shopping, preferring to shop online from the comfort of their homes. Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2017, in fact, saw $7.9 billion in online sales.
What does this mean for advertisers? It means you’ll need to refine your marketing strategy to reach consumers where they are, on channels like social media, search, and email. While your Black Friday campaign can certainly target all three channels (or more), there is one channel that you’ll want to focus on and not overlook: email.
With the number of worldwide email users fast approaching 2.9 billion, email reaches far more consumers than many other channels, and 74% of people prefer brands to communicate with them via email.
Of course, you won’t be the only one reaching out to consumers this way. They’re bombarded with hundreds of brand messages a day. With so many messages, making your brand stand out among the rest might sound like a tall order. But it doesn’t have to be.
Here are a few actionable tips from email strategy experts that can help you start or improve your Black Friday email marketing campaign.
Use email retargeting to send timely deals
If you already have an email subscriber list that has a segment dedicated to people who have purchased from you on previous Black Fridays, you can use that segment to retarget them again this year. But don’t blindly send out an email to everyone on that list. Be sure to check who is still active with your company, or better yet shown a recent interest in purchasing from you, so you don’t waste any effort.
Email retargeting can also be used for those that haven’t made a purchase yet.
As of 2017, an average of 69% of consumers abandon their online shopping carts due to a price that doesn’t match their expectations, finding a better price elsewhere, or just not being ready to purchase. According to Optinmonster, shopping cart abandonment leads to $4 trillion in lost revenue. That’s why it’s so important to retarget customers who abandon their carts via email before they forget about you completely.
The retargeting email you send should contain a timely deal, creating a sense of urgency that implies the consumer needs to buy now or they’ll miss out. You also should let them know what’s in store for them in terms of savings—but don’t be pushy. Typically you’ll want to send an email within three hours after the consumer has left your website, for that is the window of time that they’re most likely to consider your offer.
In short, email retargeting is beneficial for your business for these reasons:
- Normal e-commerce conversion rates can be around 2-4%, but email retargeting conversions can be as high as 41%
- Grows revenues by 4x when compared to other methods
- Provides value and keeps the customer interested in your brand
- Encourages someone to visit your store (for the first time or again)
- Improves your organic search results
But feel free to get creative—there are many other ways email retargeting can be used to increase sales:
During the busy Black Friday season, it’s more important than ever to reach customers in a multitude of ways. Don’t let email be your last stop – use your audience’s email actions to influence marketing on other channels, like social media. You can retarget audiences on social that have opened your emails, and even personalize the messaging based on which image or section they clicked on. Customers are hit with a lot of information in the days leading up to Black Friday, so to ensure they remember your message, they need to see it more than once. Retarget email subscribers leading up to Black Friday and on the actual day, optimizing for mobile and catching users on social while they’re on the go. Continuing your campaigns through social will further increase your customer’s brand awareness and intent to purchase, leading to better Black Friday results.
Remember, for a successful sales campaign over the Black Friday weekend, it needs to be more than “send one and done.” You’ll want to start priming your email subscribers before Black Friday comes. Most consumers are already planning their Black Friday shopping sprees long before Black Friday arrives. If you wait until Black Friday to announce your sales and specials, your emails will sit unopened in an inbox lost in a sea of other promotional email offers while your audience is already out shopping. For your most successful campaigns, start promoting your Black Friday specials closer to the beginning of November. The day after Halloween is often regarded as the start of the Holiday season. So it will be the perfect time to start engaging with your audience and letting them know what great offers you have in store for them.
Then, through the weeks leading up to Black Friday, continue to nurture your audience. Remind them of the coming specials and why these specials make such great gifts for the people on their list. Everyone wants to be a hero over the holidays, so show them how your products will do just that for them.
Finally, don’t abandon your audience once Black Friday hits. Continue to nurture them through the start of their shopping by sending abandoned cart notices, follow-up emails, and even a little thank you gift for your most loyal customers. These little details will leave a big impression on your audience.
Offer exclusive bargains
You can send coupon codes and incentives to your current subscriber list to help nurture them and ultimately improve your conversation rate. Consumers appreciate gift cards and coupons that will help them save money. If a consumer doesn’t purchase right away, you can send them an exclusive offer that best suits their need.
Statistics indicate that coupons can be a great way to encourage future sales:
- 68% of consumers believe that a coupon helps to build brand awareness
- 60% of consumers want to receive coupons so they can save money
- 50% of consumers will visit a store that gave them a coupon or special offer
- 68% of consumers think that coupons generate brand loyalty
The combination of coupon codes, exclusive offers, and other incentives can help increase the value of your product or service to your consumers. Remember: adding value to your consumers shouldn’t be a one-time thing, but a continuous effort.
Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement”. Keeping that in mind, our tip is to equip emails with personalized and trackable incentives. Unique codes attached to coupons or gift cards enable you to achieve sales goals and use extreme Black Friday email traffic as a source of data for future improvements.
– J. Dworniczak, Voucherify.io
Shoppers have been trained to look for the highest value during Black Friday sales. Many business owners mistake this “value” and offer slashed prices and heavy discounts. This actually isn’t necessary!
Instead, create a bundled offer that has high _perceived_ value based on the premiums you include in the bundle, but has relatively low fixed costs. This way, you can offer a $300 sale on a bundle that has a consumer perceived value $1,000. In reality, you never truly discounted your core product; rather, you added additional items that have high perceived value but low overhead.
Using this strategy that big-box retailers have used for decades creates a large profit margin with high perceived value and customer demand.
Send a series of high-quality emails before Black Friday
It’s no surprise that consumers expect to be informed of deals weeks or even months prior to Black Friday. Since it’s easy for your email to get lost in a sea of others, you should build momentum by sending out a series of emails before the big day to generate excitement from your consumers about your products. Most marketers consider the days just post-Halloween to be the official start of the holiday season, so you should start sending out promotions then. By getting started with targeted marketing early, you may even make some sales before Black Friday even arrives.
- Adobe Analytics indicated that in 2017 consumers spent $19.62 billion online from Nov 23-Nov 27
- Over 58 million Americans shopped online from Thanksgiving Day through to Cyber Monday in 2017
While generating excitement about your product is great, you should use this push to build up and retain your email subscriber list.
Black Friday season is one of the few times of the year that customers are expecting—even waiting for—big marketing campaigns. Savvy shoppers are eager to hear what you have to offer. It’s a great time to push for additional email subscribers in exchange for exclusive promotions. But don’t forget your loyal followers! Consider doing a special promotion for customers who shop with you consistently.
Build momentum. If you want you really want to drive your sales on Black Friday, then start sending out more emails with quality content ahead of Thanksgiving.
Send your customers unmissable gift guides and invite them to create wish lists. Given the emails a themed look and get them to click through with genuinely attractive offers.
Black Friday is a noisy time and there are a lot of advertisers trying to grab consumers’ attention at the same time. To make sure your message is heard, create multiple emails: the day before (early access to sale), the morning of (black friday sale), the afternoon of (don’t miss out), evening of (last chance), and finally the following morning (offer extended).Make sure each email highlights the value of your offer and the deadline to get the discount at the very top. This will give consumers several chances to take advantage of your offer on a schedule that works best for them.
Now it’s your turn. Kickstart your Black Friday email campaign this holiday season with these great tips from the experts.