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 a massive influx in demand that comes with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
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No worries about crowds like these[/caption]
In this post, we’ll offer you 7 of the best ways to prepare your marketing strategy for the weekend of 29th November. We talk about how to use the following to drive maximum conversions.
E-mails, opt-in forms, and landing pages are a great way to promote yourself for Thanksgiving weekend. But to drive impact, you must tie them into an integrated content strategy to really drive sales.
Think of it in this way, if you’re aiming for bullseye, which strategy is more effective?
I’m sure most of us will agree that it makes more sense to directly aim 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. In line with the marketing strategy, your content strategy will be to increase traffic and attract leads. The most lethal tools of any e-commerce business happen to be e-mails 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 get into how to actually use emails, opt-in forms and landing pages as effective content tools.
It’s important that you let your subscribers and visitors know you’re getting into the festive spirit. Although it's obvious 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 you 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 top of mind. This increases your probability of a successful sale. This is how it works:
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 29, John picks up his phone and starts looking for good deals because he knows its Black Friday. That's where your emails count. 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 sending regular emails is important; it's a reminder for your customers to keep you top of mind when they’re ready to buy!
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.
It's true that we get bombarded with emails offering all kinds of deals, and there’s always a chance of your email getting buried under the rubble. Good news is you can take steps to stand out from the clutter and make yourself noticeable.
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If your reader's mailbox looks something like this. You'll need to stand out to get noticed[/caption]
A lot of 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 great 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 normally the easiest people to convert because they already have faith in your brand and your product. You can design a year-round rewards program with special redemption options during Black Friday.
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:
On a more serious note, here are a few good examples:
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 nice 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 content strategy. For example, if your focus is on coupons for subscribers older than 30 years of age, and discounts for those younger than 30, make sure 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 a good 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 all sorts of goodies like discounts, e-books, and exclusive Black Friday deals. The only point where this form falls short is the choice of color grey for body text. Its 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 are we to get an idea of what’s inside?
The same logic applies to opt-in forms. The design and content you choose is the first impression that lands upon a visitor. 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 quality of design. Therefore it's very important 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 have a tendency to click on the first 10 results they see on Google's search engine, and this 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 you come up with year-long landing pages for Black Friday and Cyber Monday instead of starting again each year 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 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 a good example from Walmart. I searched ‘cyber Monday deals’ on google, and this was the 4th result. 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.
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 in accordance with the weekend. But remember that your emails and your website must carry the same message as not to confuse your customers, and to let them know what kind of deals you’ll be offering them.
Ready to execute that awesome BFCM strategy? You’ll need tools to create opt-in forms and send broadcast emails. That’s where our expertise comes in. Mailmunch is built for the exact purpose of growing your e-mail list and helping you reach the right people with the right message. We provide zero-code design tools for landing pages, slide boxes, banners, and opt-in forms. Let us make email marketing easy for you. Sign up today!
Rukham is the Content Lead at Mailmunch. He believes trust should be the basis for all marketing communications.