Black Friday And Cyber Monday Email Marketing Guide
What Is BFCM And How You Can Maximize Your Sales With Email Marketing During Q4?
Q4 is here, and that means the best season for eCommerce is around the corner. That’s because the biggest shopping holiday for the United States (more parts of the world are also adopting it) is coming…
Namely, BFCM, or Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
Naturally, this is when any eCommerce store worth its salt should try to use any tool they can use to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday – including backend methods like Email Marketing.
Today, we’ll look at why you should fully utilize Email Marketing for your BFCM strategy based on available data and statistics.
It’s A Digital Life
More and more businesses have not only adapted to the online platform to execute their marketing strategies but have also expanded to provide ways for customers to purchase online.
After all, buying from the comfort of your seat is still safer than actually going out.
It goes without mentioning that the competition for BFCM is fierce, and it can have different effects on your CPM, depending on how you handle matters. A number of factors have contributed to this, including the migration of those that’d normally rely on conventional traffic generation.
The statistics are all over the place, and any serious business understands not to take their email marketing campaigns – the most effective means of generating holiday revenue – for granted.
Brands that did not make this adjustment, especially during BFCM, saw a significant decline, some `with business decreases of -25% compared to an average week. On the other hand, businesses that employed online strategies during BFCM had gains of around 131% on Black Friday compared to an average day. Cyber Monday numbers were higher, with brands reaching a 223% increase compared to an average day.
Email Marketing Is Very Much Alive
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2018, email referred to 4.38% of conversions. That’s more than twice the referred conversions from ALL social media platforms.
In short, it is a fatal mistake for any eCommerce business to ignore email marketing – there’s much to be made, especially when people are raring to make purchases.
How To Make The Most Of Email Marketing During BFCM?
Here are a few tips and tricks that we’ve found over the years with various clients from different industries.
We’ve already given why you shouldn’t neglect Email Marketing for BFCM, and we’ll talk more about the strategy we’ve used for all of our clients.
If you utilize email marketing well during Q4 BFCM, generally, you can see similar results like the screenshots below.
(BFCM Email Marketing Results 2020)
Here’s an overview of how our agency did it for our clients:
Step 1. Decide Your BFCM Incentives And Offers.
This is the first step – after all, this is your core BFCM strategy. According to our past results, bundles provided the highest conversions, next to discounts.
With that in mind, think about your products that are often bought together, and give it a huge discount (think somewhere along the lines of 50-70% off from the listed price).
This is also the time to consider the percent discount you’re willing to give without hurting your profit margins too much. We’ve found that anywhere from 25-35% off is pretty effective.
Step 2. Analyze Results From Your Last BFCM
As you decide the offers to put up during the promotion, one data that will assist your planning is the performance from last holiday. Reviewing the results from the past BFCM campaigns should give meaningful insights into what worked and can work.
You may want to pay attention to emails that generated the highest rates for opening and clicks. The themes, subject, CTA, etc., are key features you can model or improve for better results.
It also saves you from making a similar mistake over again. Thankfully, many email marketing tools can help you track the specific parts of the emails that got the most clicks
Step 3. Analyze Competitions
This cannot be something to rely entirely on because of factors like differences in audience. However, it can still offer some helpful insights, especially if you don’t have a past BFCM promotion to consult or if you just want a bit more details.
Strive to make your campaign unique instead of trying to do the same thing as your competitors. Pay more attention to what’s proven with your audience.
What you can learn from competitors include their timing for the purpose of setting yours to beat theirs. Also, check their frequency and discounts to make your deals better.
Consumers are on the lookout for the best deals, and the proper usage of all these details can give you the ground you need. However, ensure you do not sacrifice profitability.
Step 4. Prepare Your Ads And Popups.
The back end relies on the front end, and it still holds true during BFCM. Once you’ve decided on your promos and bundles, you could set your ads up accordingly.
For the beginning of November, we set up popups that invite people for the “largest sale of the year.” You can A/B test whether to put the promo you’ve decided on or keep it under wraps for the time being. That way, you can find out what works better as a teaser for the coming holiday season.
By mid-November, you can switch the messaging of your ads and popups to have a more urgent tone. You can also include an invitation to an exclusive VIP group that would then receive special perks. You could give them a special discount or earlier access to the BFCM promo.
Remember to put these VIPs on a different list so you can target them specifically.
Step 5. Set Up Your BFCM Theme Specific Email Flows
Take your existing Welcome, Abandonment, Browse Abandonment, and Post-Purchase Flows, clone them and then adjust them for BFCM.
Do not set them to live immediately, however. You’ll need to activate the BFCM Welcome Flow first – do it at the same time as your VIP invitation popups and teaser emails. This is the strategy to get more people into your VIP list and your email list – these are also the people who are most likely to purchase from you.
Email automation can help in this regard. An excellent email campaign should always use scheduling services, which is even more important for BFCM sales. A decent email marketing tool should offer this feature.
Step 6. Prepare The Campaigns
We would suggest being more aggressive with your email marketing during Black Friday and Cyber Monday itself. The number of emails you should send would depend on how well your subscribers are engaged with you in general. Plan for 2-3 emails for Black Friday, 1-2 emails for the following Saturday, and 2-4 emails for Cyber Monday.
Including the flows, all in all, you’ll be preparing anywhere from 20-30 emails to be sent within a week. Yes, you may get an increased amount of spam reports, and the open rates might be lower than usual, but the trade-off is getting higher chances of being seen by your subscribers.
Step 7. Be Aggressive With Email Retargeting
You should assume that the emails on your list are targets for other businesses, and they are likely going to end up with a crowded inbox. Your BFCM promotions could get lost in there when it matters to only get opened after some weeks. And even when they get your mail, not all people will make an impulse purchase from the get-go.
This is where the email retargeting strategy comes in. Retargeting helps you increase the likelihood of your emails getting read. Of course, it has to be strategic so as not to overwhelm your audience.
You can retarget those who did not perform certain behaviors. For example, send a similar email to those who did not open, click, or placed an order from the previous email. If you implement this, you will see an increase in sales conversion during BFCM.
Step 8. Give Your Email List Some Rest
After sending so many emails in such a short time, the best way to keep your sending reputation afloat is to ease up your sending.
For 1 or 2 weeks, refrain from sending any email to your customers. However, you can keep your flows up for newer customers (you should keep your ads going.)
While letting your lists rest, you can clone your newly-minted BFCM assets and prepare them for Christmas.
Not Sure What to Offer?
Here are a few examples:
- Free Shipping: Customers tend to spend a lot during BFCM periods, and the prospect of getting their products for free appeals greatly to them.
- Special Offers for Customers: The BFCM period is also a time to appreciate your loyal customers. Give them a head start and exclusive offers. Don’t forget to apply segmentation based on active and inactive emails.
- New Products: They may love a particular product already, but announcing a new product is also never a bad idea. Consider cross-selling products based on their one-time purchases.
- Gift Guides and Cards: After all, the holiday season is around the corner, and your audience might just need help with surprising their loved ones. Insert factors like age, gender, location, price, etc. And gift cards should come in handy when they are not sure of preferences.
The pandemic may be exerting lesser pressure on current happenings around the world, but the effects are still a major driving force, and some things would never return to how they used to be.
More businesses are realizing these and are keying into practices like email marketing to get more customers. You can be sure that this year’s BFCM is a period they intend to take full advantage of.
This is why you should act now to put things in place. The earlier you can plan and execute, the earlier you can polish the content, the graphics, and the timings.
It’s a lot of work, but in the right hands, it’s quite lucrative. We’ve done this for a lot of clients before, and we can do it for you as well. Just schedule a free consultation with us!