Be Ready for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

With the biggest shopping days quickly approaching, you need to make sure you have your promotional and communication plans ready. This year retailers are even more aggressive. Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Kohl’s will open for the first time at midnight on Thanksgiving; and Wal-Mart plans to open at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving, to start offering deals on some merchandise.

So, let us discuss the ways you can prepare.

You should already be signed up for competitors’ email programs but if not, this is the time to do so.  It is important to see how they are messaging their Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers.  This will help you to understand any advantage the customer may see when deciding between you and your competition. Monitor their emails throughout the sales period to see if their promotions are becoming more aggressive.

Click below and begin your campaigns today!

Know where to get your results and how to get them quickly. You probably review your email performance data several hours or the day after a mailing deploys. For your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, you should monitor your results as they are reported. Make sure you are aware of all of the options available to you. Do a trial run for a pre-Black Friday mailing to make sure you understand the immediate trends for your mailings so you have a baseline to measure against.

Make sure everyone in your company comprehends the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to your business. Outline last year’s performance and make sure the team understands the goals for the current year. Discuss the expectations for availability during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. You should document any hours when resources are not available.

You may have already chosen the products that will be featured, the offer that will be promoted, and who you are emailing, but engagement and conversion may not happen as well as you expected. Make sure you have a back-up plan.  Select additional products and price points you can offer and prepare your commerce platform with secondary coupon codes or discounts. This could save you precious time if things are progressing slower than expected.

Valuable time and revenue can be lost if you need to make creative revisions during peak hours. While qualified marketers can make quick adjustments to segments and deploy a mailing successfully, making creative changes can take hours to turnaround. This is not the time to get stuck in a creative bottleneck.

Prepare email creative alternatives in advance.  This can include:

Featured Products

Product-to-Copy Ratio

Prominence of Calls-to-Action

Reminders such as “Hours Left”

Promotional Variation

You should have a resending strategy included in your communication plan. Customers will have a significant rise in the amount of email in their inbox so make sure you have a calculated approach to your resending methods. This will help decrease the abuse complaints and the amount of those who unsubscribe, which in turn could help avoid blocking issues.

One method is to build segments based on engagement:

Openers who have not clicked: These subscribers have shown they are engaged yet they did not see anything in the email that made them interested enough to click through. Resend to this group with a creative variation, changes to calls-to-action, etc.

Clickers who have not purchased: This is your most engaged subscriber. They were interested enough to open your email, and they also clicked. Something happened on the path to checkout that made them abandon the purchase. If you already have a high frequency communication plan organized and you want to limit the size of the audience you resend to, these are the contacts you want to pursue. Make sure you use a subject line and a creative that drive people to purchase. In addition to featuring your promotion, reference customer service information, your return policy, as well as shipping options and deadlines.

Be sure to prepare your strategy, but realize things may change and flexibility is the key.

*Did You Know? The term “Cyber Monday” is a neologism – (a newly coined term, word, or phrase, which may be in the process of entering common use, but has not yet been accepted into mainstream language) – invented by, part of the U.S. trade association National Retail Federation. It was first used within the ecommerce community during the 2005 holiday season.

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