It’s that time of the year again! Stores are gearing up on extra staff and stocking up inventory to serve customers ready to break down walls to get a sweet deal in the Black Friday madness.
Thankfully, you run an online store and won’t have to worry about any walls being broken. Regardless, you still have to prepare to meet and attract the massive influx of demand that comes with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
To put things into perspective, Black Friday sales increased from $1.93 billion to $7.4 billion in 2019. Hence, Black Friday sales have nearly tripled in just seven years. Moreover, in 2020, despite Covid-19 restrictions, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales broke all kinds of records and brought in $10.8 billion!
So, it’s evident that massive sales gains will be made on this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales bonanzas. But for that to happen, you need to be prepared.
In this post, we’ll offer you 9+ ways to prepare your marketing strategy for the weekend of 25th November.
Think of it this way, if you’re aiming for bullseye, which strategy is more effective?
Most of us will agree that it makes more sense to aim directly for the center instead of hoping that one arrow randomly lands there. Similarly, with your content strategy, you should make it focused and targeted. And your arrows (e-mails and opt-in forms etc.) should all aim for a single goal.
So if your goal is to maximize sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, your marketing goal will be to promote and facilitate these sales.
Then comes your content strategy, which serves your marketing goals. Your content strategy will increase traffic and attract leads in line with the marketing strategy. The most lethal tools for any eCommerce business are emails and opt-in forms/landing pages. According to a report by Smart Insights, 23% of online Black Friday sales were attributed to emails alone.
Here’s how your strategy looks visually:
Using emails, opt-in forms, and landing pages under the same content umbrella gives you the advantage of sending out a clear message to your viewers. They’ll know what to expect from you, and these different but related marketing channels will complement each other. The customer will know exactly what to expect from your brand.
Now that we know what we need to do for BFCM marketing let’s learn how to use emails, opt-in forms, and landing pages as practical content tools.
You must let subscribers and visitors know you’re getting into the festive spirit. Although it's evident that customers want a good deal and you want to sell your product, it wouldn’t hurt to share thanksgiving related content with your people. It shows that you care and enjoy the same things as your customers.
Besides humanizing your brand, sharing regular emails a few weeks before Thanksgiving and Black Friday primes your readers to keep you on top of their minds. This increases your probability of a successful sale. According to Wordstream, customers who purchase from emails are likely to spend 138 percent more than those who don’t receive email offers.
John, a subscriber of your emails, sees that you sent one email regarding thanksgiving festivities and 2 more regarding your Black Friday deals. He reads them and carries on with his day. On November 25th, John picks up his phone and starts looking for good deals because he knows it's Black Friday. He’ll recall that he received a few emails from your brand and will either go back to those emails or he’ll open your website to browse through your catalog.
Now, if you send John another email on the morning of Black Friday, the chances of him opening the email are much higher. This is why regular emails are essential; it's a reminder for your customers to keep you on top of their minds when they’re ready to buy!
Hence, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can provide the perfect opportunity to step up your email marketing game if you haven't done it already.
Now we’ve established that it is a healthy practice to send out BFCM emails, but I’m sure you’re already wondering: my subscribers receive hundreds of holiday season emails, why would they want to open mine?
Good question, and I’m glad you’re thinking along these lines.
We indeed get bombarded with emails offering all kinds of deals, and there’s always a chance of your email getting buried under the rubble. The good news is you can take steps to stand out from the clutter and make yourself noticeable.
Many big game retailers offer deep discounts, which you probably can’t match, so a better strategy is to entice customers with other meaningful Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
Shopify is a tremendous online commerce platform, and here’s what the folks there suggest you can offer through your emails:
Always remember to reward your existing customers during your special promotions. They are usually the most accessible people to convert because they already have faith in your brand and product. You can design a year-round rewards program with unique redemption options during Black Friday.
This example from Everlane might serve as an inspiration to you. They offer a massive Black Friday discount of 40% and free shipping on purchases above $75. From a design perspective, the email is minimalistic yet, effective in delivering its message. The CTA “Shop Now” is well-placed and visible.
Another example that can inspire you is from Bellroy. They announce early access to their Black Friday discounts with a stylish email. The recipients can avail of discounts up to AUD 70.
Building on our previous point to stand out, another good way to break through heaps of emails that all look the same is to use catchy and creative subject lines. The subject line is the very first impression of an email, and the reader takes less than 3 seconds to decide if he’ll click on it or not. Therefore a good subject line also has a positive correlation with CTR.
In the context of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are a few points to note that will help you come up with attention-grabbing headlines:
Here are a few good examples of BFCM subject lines:
This is an important one. Once those sales orders and customer queries start coming in, you won’t have much time to create and send content. It's best if your team has already prepared lovely email templates at least a month before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
You should prepare templates according to your branding strategy and customer segmentation, which tie into your content strategy. For example, if you focus on coupons for subscribers older than 30 and discounts for those younger than 30, ensure you prepare your emails accordingly. You don’t want the wrong person to get the wrong email.
This is a no-brainer. If you’re going to be marketing for BFCM, opt-in forms and landing pages are the best and most cost-effective way of advertising your deals.
The above image is an excellent example of an opt-in form. It succinctly summarizes in 3 points what the customer can expect by signing up (new products, hot deals, and limited offers). Then at the bottom of the form, the customer is incentivized to sign up for emails by offering them a free coupon.
Similarly, you could attract visitors with goodies like discounts, eBooks, and exclusive Black Friday deals. The only point where this form falls short is the choice of color grey for the body text. It's too light to grab immediate attention; use darker, bolder colors.
An excellent way to get started is to use Mailmunch to create easy-no-coding-hassle-free opt-in forms and landing pages that give you complete control over the content and timing of the pop-ups. You also get to choose from a multitude of beautiful designs. That brings us to our next point.
They say that books shouldn’t be judged by their covers, but how else can we get an idea of what’s inside?
The same logic applies to opt-in forms. The design and content you choose are the first impressions a visitor places. If they’re going to sign up for your emails, they need some sort of a shorthand rule to guide them. And that rule happens to be the relevance of offer and design quality. Therefore it's imperative to get both these features right.
Now, if we’re doing a Black Friday campaign, the content needs to clearly state what kind of benefit the customer will get from signing up with your brand. That content should be backed up by a beautiful design of the opt-in form that stays true to the theme of Black Friday and cyber shopping. And while you are at it, why not truly captivate your readers by using lead magnets? Lead magnets solve a real problem for a customer and are quick to digest. Examples are e-books, checklists, cheat sheets, etc.
Google published a report that stated 61% of shoppers will have already started researching their purchases before the Thanksgiving weekend. This means consumers will tend to click on the first 10 results they see on Google's search engine, which is where SEO leverage comes in.
Brands and websites that rank better will collect the majority of clicks, leaving you with a lesser piece of the pie. This is why it's best to develop year-long landing pages for Black Friday and Cyber Monday instead of starting yearly with a low SEO ranking. Think about it. You’ll put in all that effort to painstakingly create great content and landing pages to boost your SEO ranking for Black Friday, only to do it again next year with no certainty of a good ranking...why not create an evergreen landing page?
You can create a Black Friday/Cyber Monday landing page that is still relevant at any time of the year. For example, you could create a landing page that tells visitors to sign up to be the first to receive BFCM deals as soon as you announce them.
Here’s an excellent example from Walmart.
They can use this page year-long until Cyber Monday comes. At the same time, they let you know they will offer you good deals when it does. This will ensure that your landing page stays relevant throughout the year.
According to Shopify, seamless integrations with social media apps almost tripled the number of sales in 2021 as compared to 2020. If this fact doesn't convince you of the usefulness of social media integrations, we don’t know what will.
Customers want to buy products without leaving the social media app they are shopping from. Hence, integrations with major social media platforms should be a part of your social media marketing strategy.
These integrations allow customers to browse products, add them to their cart, and checkout without leaving the app.
From the above facts, it’s evident that the future of BFCM sales is mobile. Therefore, as a marketer you need to optimize your opt-in forms, landing pages, and emails to be responsive on mobile devices, to make the most of BFCM sales.
Now you know that you can make the most of the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday events by customizing your emails, forms, and landing pages by the weekend. But remember that your emails and website must carry the same message not to confuse your customers and to let them know what kind of deals you’ll be offering them.
Rukham is the Content Lead at Mailmunch. He believes trust should be the basis for all marketing communications.