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The festive season is fast-approaching and that means consumers will be on the hunt for some good deals for gifts for their nearest and dearest!
And with that comes Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), which falls on the 29th November this year!
As an ecommerce store owner, this is the perfect chance for you to make the most of that online shopping rush…
But in an online world filled with lots of noise, how do you stand out and get your customers to choose you over your competitors?
Well, a good place to start is to make use of your email database!
Look at all those customers you’ve gained over time… and if you’ve done a good job, they will be loyal to you anyway!
But you can use Black Friday and Cyber Monday to your advantage and treat them to some exclusive deals.
(After all, don’t forget that it’s far easier and much more cost-effective to sell to the customers you already have!!!)
To give you a little help with how best to do it, we’ve listed out four best practices for using email to your advantage over these two sale-crazy days!
(Hint: You can also use these best practices for any other sales you might be having!!!)
1. Get them excited
This means you shouldn’t just be sending an email on the morning of Black Friday…
You should be sending one or two emails in advance to get your customers excited for what is coming
And then send them the email on the morning of Black Friday to let them know that the offers are now available!
Countdown timers tend to work well, as they create visual anticipation (and will also add an element of interactivity to your emails).
You could even tease them with what to expect…
Whether that’s what specific products will be on offer or simply how much discount they can expect.
This is also a good opportunity to gauge the type of response you will get to your Black Friday sale, by how many customers are opening and engaging with those emails!
Ultimately, the more anticipation and excitement you create in the run up to Black Friday, the more likely your customers are to come and buy from you when the sale goes live!
2. avoid spam filters
However, before anything else, you need to ensure that your emails will hit your customers’ inboxes!!!
The temptation with sales emails is to include your best and biggest offer within your subject line…
HOWEVER, there are certain words, phrases and things to avoid in your subject lines to ensure you don’t end up in your customer’s spam folder.
Phrases such as:
- Free gift
- % off
- Great offer
- Limited time offer
(We’ll cover subject lines in a bit more detail in the next point to help you out…)
Another big temptation with sales emails it to include lots of images!
This can be problematic, especially if the image is the first thing your customer sees when they open your email.
To avoid any issues, ensure you’re using alt text on your images so that your customers will still be able to see what the image should have been.
Some email autoresponder services will also give you the option to create a plain-text version of your emails!
This is useful for heavily image-based emails, as it means customers whose email providers don’t accept images will still be able to see the written message you are sending to them!
But once you’ve made it in your customers’ inboxes, how do you ensure they open your emails?
3. Create intrigue
In an inbox filled to the brim with Black Friday offers… how do you stand out from the crowd?
Well, you need to take into consideration what your customers see first when they go into their inbox…
Your sender name and your subject line.
Your sender name won’t be an issue, as your customers should already be familiar with your brand!
However, your subject line is your opportunity to get your customers opening your emails over your competitors’ emails.
In order to do that, you have to think like your customer…
What will intrigue them?
What will make them absolutely want to open your email?
And there are a few things that you can do to help with that:
- Make sure it’s relevant to their interests. If they see your email is about something they are interested in, they will open it to see what it is you’re offering.
- Go for something really ‘out there’ that will make them think… “What is this?! I have to find out what this is all about!” It’s all about creating a bit of curiosity, and could be something like: We’ve never done anything this crazy before but here it goes…
- Make them feel like they’re missing out on something. You could do this by cutting off your subject line mid-sentence, for example, so they have to open your email to see what you were talking about. Or simply say something like: You won’t believe what we have lined up for you!
- Make it time sensitive. Create a bit of urgency to get them opening your email as soon as possible (this will work great for Black Friday because it IS time sensitive).
- Give them value. What will they get by opening your email? Allude to that in your subject line to make them really want what you’re offering.
Once they’ve opened your email… you need to get them reading it and clicking through to your website!
4. make it personal
If you’ve read any of our other blogs (which we really hope you have), you’re probably familiar with the importance of personalising your emails.
If not, the reason personalisation is so important is that it means your customers are receiving the emails most relevant to them… therefore meaning they are more likely to engage with those emails!
And the more likely they are to engage, the better chance you have at getting them through to your website to buy from you!
So, how can you use this to your advantage for Black Friday?
Well, don’t just blast a broadcast email out to your entire list with all of your wonderful offers on them.
Be smart and create different emails with offers that are relevant to the different customer segments on your email database!
Yes, that may seem like a lot of work but with Klaviyo, for example, you can create one email with dynamic sections in it.
This means that when you send that one email out, your customers will only see the sections of the email that are relevant to them!
This is also ideal if your customers fall into more than one segment…
Rather than receive several emails, they receive the one email where only the sections that are relevant to them will show.
(If this becomes too complicated, you can of course send out separate emails to your different segments)
Now your customers can see your best Black Friday deals AND you know they will be interested in them!
This will increase the chances of them hitting the button to visit your website and buying from you!
And here’s an extra little tip…
Make sure your automated emails are ready to maximise on this sales opportunity…
This should be true for all year round…
However, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at your automated emails and see where they can pick up further sales!
In your post-purchase sequence, are you also cross-selling similar products?
Now is a great time to capitalise on complementary product sales, when your customer is already in buying mode AND has already got a great deal!
And are your abandoned cart and abandoned browse emails ready to go for anyone who hits your website and leaves without buying?
Black Friday is an incredibly busy day and you don’t want those customers to get side-tracked and move on from your website, especially if they did have the intention to buy from you!
By sending them a gentle email reminder with the items they had in their cart or the items that they were browsing, you could potentially regain 1 in 5 of those lost customers!
Black Friday (and sales in general) are also a great opportunity for you to see what works and what doesn’t work with your emails, so that you can learn from them and do more of what your customers respond best to!
Doing this will enable you to continually run successful email marketing campaigns with a good ROI, which ultimately leads to an increase in revenue and profits for your store!