The countdown to Black Friday has begun – are you ready? As the clock ticks down to Black Friday, the start of the busiest season in cross-channel marketing is fast approaching. As email marketing accounts for a remarkable 15% of overall sales during the festive season, it’s important to ensure your campaigns stand out in the crowded inboxes of potential customers. Now, more than ever, brands must be organized, prepared, and proactive to confirm and schedule their marketing plans ahead of the holiday rush.
Shoppers plan on spending an average of $189.59 during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. That a 31% reduction from 2021.
Recent research from Finder reveals that shoppers plan to spend an average of $189.59 during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year – a 31% reduction from 2021.
However, don’t mistake this decrease in spending for a lack of interest. Consumers are still on the hunt for unbeatable deals; they’re merely operating on a tighter budget. To rise above the competition and secure those precious customer conversions, your marketing strategy must work smarter, not harder. That’s why we’ve compiled five simple yet powerful tips to help you emerge victorious during this year’s sales season.
1. Prioritize segmentation and personalization on Black Friday
First, let’s start by making sure you’re reaching the right people during this period. Segmentation leads to increased relevancy, increased revenue, and less wastage. Most of your customers and prospects will want messages and offers throughout the holiday season. Some won’t want them all, but we’ll touch on that a little later.
Triggered emails can be incredibly powerful when it comes to engaging customers and increasing conversions during Black Friday. By automating your marketing efforts, you can create personalized emails triggered by specific customer behaviors, such as cart abandonment. These automated emails can help you save time during the busy Black Friday period, while still delivering a customized and effective message to your customers. So, be sure to take advantage of triggered emails this Black Friday to drive sales and engagement.
Abandoned browse and cart popover
It’s worth considering having an on-site popover for abandoned browse or cart. This will help to keep shoppers engaged by displaying popovers that are triggered only when they are about to leave your online store. Through the popover, shoppers can be offered more holiday goodies, and returning customers can easily pick up where they left off with welcome-back popovers.
Why not use the start of the holiday period as a reason to win people back? For those who genuinely have stopped engaging with your emails, using the excitement of the holiday period can be a great way to bring them back into the fold. In the retail world, you’ll have offers and holiday-themed merchandise to sell them.
Be mindful that some contacts may only be seasonal shoppers. Their lack of engagement doesn’t mean they’re not interested; it’s just not their preferred time of year to shop. By using eRFM (engagement recency, frequency, monetary) segmentation, you can identify these customers based on their past purchases and target them differently. Remind them of what they bought last year and suggest similar or complementary items that might pique their interest for this season’s shopping.
Amend your content and cadence
One thing we see with a lot of brands is that even though customers have filled out the preference center, thoroughly browsed your website, and even purchased; many of the brands still fail to recognize any of that behavior. Email marketing campaigns just keep coming and coming without any acknowledgment of a purchase or browsing activities. Some have even sent offers for products customers have already purchased.
One of the easiest things you can do to ‘recognize’ a recipient is to know whether they have purchased recently, how much they’ve spent, and what they’ve purchased. You can then change your mailing cadence and content accordingly. AI-powered product recommendations based on what has already been purchased really do help at this point.
2. Leverage data insights
During the Black Friday sales period, it’s important to leverage customer data insights efficiently. Before the big day, check your automation programs’ performance and optimize them with AI-enhanced algorithms to gain a competitive edge.
Examine the performance of your revenue-generating programs, such as eRFM persona, and identify customer segments that are ready for conversion. Tailor your messaging and offers specifically for highly engaged frequent shoppers and new customers.
You can also use AI-powered predictive analytics to refine your tactics in real time, adapting to your target audience’s evolving needs and desires. This forward-looking approach ensures you stay ahead of the curve, targeting potential customers with razor-sharp precision far beyond standard marketing efforts.
Lastly, focus on nurturing high-value customers with tailored and exclusive offers and messaging designed to deepen their loyalty and boost long-term retention. Look into your predicted customer lifetime value (CLV) metrics to inform your marketing strategy.
3. Implement back-in-stock emails
Products may go out of stock for several reasons. The effect can be highly frustrating for customers who expect to be able to purchase what they want when they want it.
The damage of stockouts extends beyond the direct consequence of a lost sale. There’s the possibility that the shopper will turn to a competitor to find the items in question. Then, there’s the long-term impact on customer satisfaction caused by the frustrating experience.
Using dynamic content and AI-driven suggestions in your back-in-stock emails helps provide clear and current information about product availability and updates. This is especially important for the season’s hottest products. It allows you to build brand buzz and encourage more visits.
4. Focus on a seamless customer experience
Imagine your potential customer, sitting at their computer on Black Friday, with dozens of tabs open, browsing through different websites, and deciding where to buy that perfect gift. What makes your online store stand out? It’s the seamless customer experience you offer. From fast and affordable shipping to hassle-free returns, it’s these small but vital details that can truly make or break a sale. Here are some simple tips for ensuring a smooth journey from browsing to checkout:
Accurate tracking and delivery times
During the Black Friday period, ecommerce businesses need to provide accurate tracking for your shipping. Studies show that in recent years, customers value estimated delivery dates (EDDs) over faster shipping alternatives. Surprisingly, a reliable EDD means not only “no later than” but also “no earlier than”.
Some reasons, understandably, include not being home at the time of delivery and fear of packages sitting outside falling prey to pesky “porch pirates”. So, as part of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) checklist, be sure to review your shipping methods and integrations, delivery date accuracy, and communication methods to ensure your EDD is communicated clearly and as accurately as possible.
Additionally, as we get closer to Christmas, consider telling your customers about shipping deadlines for each method you offer. This transparency helps create realistic expectations and fosters exceptional customer service. This will allow your customers to plan for the last date they need to purchase to be delivered before Christmas. Clear and accurate shipping and delivery communication will go a long way this holiday season for you and your customers.
Easy-to-find return policy
The better your return policy is, the more confident customers will be when purchasing from your online store. Craft a simple, easy-to-understand return policy and ensure it is readily accessible on your website. This openness will reassure shoppers that they’re making the right choice, increasing the likelihood that they’ll click that “Add to Cart” button.
Streamlined checkout process
Don’t be the online store that loses customers at the last hurdle – the checkout stage. Implement a clean, user-friendly, and safe checkout process to minimize cart abandonment. Offer multiple payment options and mark security logos clearly to provide a sense of safety. Guest checkout options also help hesitant shoppers, who may not want to commit to creating a full account but are willing to give your store a try.
Provide outstanding customer support
Great customer support can tip the balance in your favor when shoppers are trying to decide between your store and another. Make sure it’s easy for customers to contact you with their questions or worries through options like live chat, email, or social media. And remember to teach your customer service team to handle any Black Friday-related concerns with friendliness and understanding.
5. Create a sense of urgency
Creating a sense of urgency in your emails can increase sales by over 300%. But how do you go about creating a sense of urgency, we hear you ask. Following these simple copywriting tips can help you write a sales-driving email marketing campaign.
Use compelling language
Utilizing limited-time language in your email subject line and calls to action (CTAs) is a smart way to create urgency and increase sales. Mirror this language with an action-based tone to create a seamless experience. Make sure your CTAs leave no doubt about what you’re offering and what the recipient should do next to get the offer.
FOMO (fear of missing out)
It might sound cheesy but it’s a powerful marketing tactic that you can draw on through your use of language. Use phrases like ‘biggest sale of the year’ or ‘best prices of the season’ in your Black Friday marketing to encourage recipients to shop before it’s too late.
Abandoned cart emails
There will always be some shoppers who don’t complete their purchases. It’s essential to ensure your abandoned cart automation program is in place before Black Friday. It becomes an even more important tactic for ecommerce businesses to win back these potential customers. Offering discounts and other promotions are the most effective way to bring shoppers back but don’t forget that Black Friday entails a much tighter window of opportunity than usual. Make sure to amend the timing of your abandoned cart emails accordingly.
Use Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized digital marketing, and Black Friday campaigns are no exception. With Dotdigital’s Winston AI, you can offer your customers real-time recommendations during the Black Friday sales period. In addition, Winston AI can help you craft captivating subject lines, ensuring your subscribers are drawn to and engaged with your Black Friday promotions.