Black Friday Marketing Strategies That Work

Illustration that represents black friday marketingWhy Black Friday Marketing? If you’ve followed this blog, you know we often like to talk about profit maximization. And that most profitable email marketers leverage strategies others fail to use. That includes leveraging cross-selling, upselling and winback campaigns to increase bottom-line profits. 

However, they are also really good at leveraging special occasions, such as holidays, and yes, Black Friday. In fact, a lot of companies make the majority of their revenue during special events, the holidays and Black Friday. Today we are going to talk about the best strategies to utilize in order to win Black Friday this season, and every season.

The First Secret: Start Early

If you’re reading this in the future: we are sending this article out to our amazing users at the very start of September. This is almost 3 months before Black Friday. And this is for a very important reason.

Black Friday is highly competitive and everyone will be sending offers, and that includes your competitors. The really good news is that most marketers don’t take the time to plan, or strategize. They often come up with the offer right before Black Friday, and they don’t spend much time building up the plan or strategies to make the most out of it.

The strategies I will tell you about in this article are going to work much better if you get an early start. It gives you time to tweak and change things, but it also gives you the chance to do an early waiting list and send content that primes people up for the Black Friday offer. But more on that later.

For now, let me circle back to our amazing users. You too can get all the latest strategies as we release them, right in your inbox. And you get a free Emercury account with the most generous free tier you will find anywhere. Just check out the forever-free plan, and grab yourself a username before people convince me to pull it.

Prepare, study the data on hand

If you’re not very familiar with the immense power of personalization, you can read up on it in The Ultimate Guide to Personalized Email for Higher Conversions.

In either case, the fact is that personalization relies on data, and the better organized and structured your data, the better you can personalize and target your campaigns. 

This goes all the way from creating better and more refined segments, all the way to utilizing our smart-personalization feature to show different email content to different readers.

Now, while you might not have enough time until Black Friday to change how you gather data, you should have time to study the data you already have.

That includes studying what kinds of differentiating tags your contacts have, studying your reports to understand the different kinds of behaviors and so forth. And then, you can move on to building out some smarter segments.

Get your segments in order

When it comes to personalizing mass-broadcast campaigns like this, segments are your best friend. If you’re familiar with classic marketing lingo, you can think of segments as a “customer persona” or “customer profile”.

It is the idea that when you can’t write to every single person individually and personalize to each person one-by-one, you can recognize the fact that people come in types. For example you have the people who open many of your emails, and those who rarely open your emails. You have people who have interest A, but not interest B, and then those who are only interested when you talk about topic B.

The more differentiating points a segment uses, the closer it will come to allowing you to treat the subscribers as an audience of one. That is, the more defined the profile, the closer it will feel as if you wrote an email to that one person specifically. Even if their segment (customer profile) contains 5000 other people.

Building out the actual segments is the fun part, at least when you use our advanced segment builder. Super advanced marketers and novices love it equally as much. And then if you’re on a higher plan, you can even turn those segments into smart segments.

Prime people up for the Black Friday Deal

This is one of the best strategies that I know of, yet I haven’t seen too many people talking about it. But let me tell you first why it works. There is a trick to all of this. The earlier you start preparing your subscribers for the Black Friday offer, the more you will sell. This is because you are getting a head start on your competition.

However, even if you use a pre-launch sequence that leads up to Black Friday, you can only stretch that one so much. You can’t start having a sequence talking about Black Friday that stretches for 3 months, for obvious reasons. However, there is something else that you can do.

You can prime people by sending them content around the main angle of your Black Friday offer. By doing this, you are in essence steering them toward your Black Friday offer.

A bit vague I know, so let me give you an example. Let’s say that you have a product that helps businesses sort out their tax reporting. And the major pain point is around how much time and stress it does on business owners otherwise.

Well, in this case you can start sending educational material that focuses around that pain point of tax reporting. And you would use ti show how your software helps with that. You would try to focus mostly on education however, and not no selling the software too hard.

The idea is to make them desire a solution and aware that you happen to offer a solution

And the best part? Merely by utilizing this soft-selling you will get some sales in the months leading up to Black Friday. This is without even having to discount anything. All the while priming everyone else for the Black Friday deal.

And if this example doesn’t resonate with you because your business model or what you sell is very different, consider that you can get personalized one-on-one training in some of our higher tier plans, so consider booking a demo with us if you haven’t done this yet.

We write these articles to help as many people as we can, but since it’s written for everyone, we have to generalize a bit. For more personalized examples and strategies that apply to your business specifically, consider getting in touch for a free demo.

Consider the two part approach as your default

One of the simplest basic formulas to do a Black Friday launch is to have two major emails. The first one is the teaser email that comes out a couple of days before Black Friday. In it your job is to build up the anticipation so that they look forward to the big reveal.

The second email is the one that reveals the actual offer and opens up the floodgates. Including a button that they can click, to go straight to the offer.

Now, if you don’t have time to do anything more elaborate than this, it will still work rather decently. However, I would encourage you to first create these two emails, and then grow your Black Friday options from there.

For example, the next thing you can do is identify your segment of warmer leads, and then create a variation sequence that includes more emails to precede these two. You might even need to tweak the two default emails so that they make more sense in such a longer sequence.

Additionally, if you managed to identify even more nuanced segments based on pain points or interests, you can create alternative sequences for each.

Add an early-bird special waiting list

This is a continuation of the main theme in this article: the earlier you start, the more black friday sales you will make. This is because most of your competitors are unnecessarily afraid of promoting Black Friday too early.

With the early-bird method, you send out a campaign to your different qualified segments as early as a month or two ahead, and offer them to join your Black Friday waiting list. By joining this list they will be the first to learn about the Black Friday offer, and get early first dibs at buying, before everyone else.

This works best if what you are selling is of limited availability, so it makes sense that by joining the early list they are less likely to miss out and see it go out of stock.

If you offer something that is essentially unlimited, you will need to find a different way to incentivize people to join the list. This is aside from just getting the Black Friday offer first. 

Create and plan your sequences well in advance

You will definitely want to start creating your sequence and email content weeks in advance from when they are sent. This is for two major reasons. The first reason is that you will always find or think of something to tweak or improve before sending. This results in sequences that are lot more powerful and make more money.

The second reason is that it always takes more time than you think, and there are a ton of technical and administrative issues that can come up in delivering the Black Friday experience. Ranging from using the shopping cart differently all the waу to retraining staff about a common issue with customers.

Leverage the “second chance” and Cyber Monday as much as possible

When you’re a marketer trying to maximize conversion, there is no space to be shy about maximizing profit by using additional tactics and strategies. One of these strategies is to give people who missed out on the Black Friday deal a chance to purchase.

There are no hard and fast rules about how to do this. You might decide to “extend the offer” and let people purchase it for a few more days. Or, you might decide to apologize to the people who missed out on the offer and come up with an equally good offer for Cyber Monday.

If you go with the latter option, it is important that you craft the offer differently. Let’s say that the Black Friday offer was about purchasing an annual plan at a huge discount. The Cyber Monday offer might entail a smaller discount, but with some expensive add-on included for free.

Bonus: Consider using smart personalization to get an extra edge

Even if all you did was include people’s first names in the subject line, you would get a decent bump in opens and sales. However, why stop at basic merge tags? 

With Emercury you get access to a super cool and advanced feature called “smart personalization”. You can learn more about it by seeing the announcement post: Smart Personalization Is Here

We are just as excited about giving you this cool feature as you will be when you see what it can do for you. And we can’t wait to see how you use it during Black Friday.

Get A Partner On Your Side

There’s no need to go at this alone. While we do put out a lot of free content to help you, nothing beats a one-on-one conversation. In these articles we try to help clarify things as best as possible. However, every business is different, so we have to generalize.

If you want to understand better how to implement email marketing in your specific business, let’s have a chat. At the moment I am still able to do some free demos, so be sure to book one while I can still do these.

I would love to hear about your specific needs, challenges and any confusion you might have about best practices. And then, help you see how you can use Emercury to improve your bottom-line.

Alternatively, or in addition to booking a free demo, you can also grab a username for our forever-free-plan while we still have it. It’s probably the most generous email marketing automation plan on the planet. We include almost every feature in this plan, with very few restrictions.

Remember, you get to keep this plan for life, for free… Provided that you grab a username while registrations are still open. Be warned, we might decide to pull this way-too-generous offering at any point. So click that link to check if we still allow registrations.


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