Converting like crazy on Black Friday is within your reach. All you have to do is start planning, set a couple of things right, and execute. And if you’re wondering if it’s worth figuring out the formula, remember that there are businesses out there that make a sizable proportion of their total earnings during Black Friday, and most of their total profits during holidays and special promotions.
While we can’t give you the exact formula for your specific business, we will set you up to do really well on Black Friday. And here’s a bonus: it’s not just about Black Friday. You can apply these tips to make the most out of other holidays and special occasions.
Figure out the perfect offer
This one will depend on the nature of your email subscribers. Are you in the kind of situation where most of your subscribers are comparing competitors? Is it that they subscribe to you and a bunch of your competitors to compare and research their options? Or is it the case that you are likely their first entry into this industry?
If you’re not sure, then it’s better to err on the side of the former, and go ahead and research what your competitors are offering. What’s the one thing most lacking in their offer, something that you can easily give away during Black Friday or heavily discount?
Think from the perspective of a subscriber comparing you to competitors. What would make it a no-brainer for them to go and jump on your Black Friday offer? Some additional questions to ask yourself include:
– What are your customers looking for? What are they most likely to hope gets discounted during Black Friday?
– Why are we doing this? What is our primary goal during this Black Friday? It doesn’t have to be about making the most sales. It could be about making the biggest splash or raising brand awareness, or just getting more people familiar with a lesser-known product that not enough people purchase.
– How will we know how effective our offer is? What are we doing to track our results, interest levels and what’s working?
– Are there any pivot points or things we can tweak midway through based on how people engage, or are we going to set a fixed plan and go with that.
I think this is probably even more important than the offer itself. In fact, if you start early enough, you have time to tweak the offer midway through. And a lot of the things you will need to implement in this guide take time to do.
This is especially true if you plan on teasing your email subscribers in advance. In most cases, and with most offers you will make more sales if you have email sequences leading up to the Black Friday offer. Now, I’m not saying that it is mandatory. If you plan things well, even sending just two emails can do well. This means sending a single email a couple of days before and another one on the day-of.
In either case, you want to start planning well in advance. This is true for Black Friday, and similar special holiday sales and offers, as well as big product launch specials.
Consider deliverability before you start
Even though a focus on deliverability should be a must for any email marketer, the fact is that many put it off until it is too late and the damage is done. And if you haven’t done the prerequisite work, a massive campaign like this is a surefire way to destroy your reputation.
But let’s take a step back for a second, in case you’re new to the concept of deliverability. In a word, it refers to the fact that sending emails isn’t the same thing as actually getting them delivered. The actual delivery rate will depend on quite a few things, most of which can be encapsulated in the idea of your “reputation” with the ISPs. I’m oversimplifying for the sake of keeping it brief.
Now, if you haven’t done any work on implementing deliverability measures, the odds are that your reputation and deliverability has been going down for some time.
And if you run an intensive campaign comprising multiple mass broadcasts, you can ensure two things will happen. First, many people will not even receive your Black Friday emails. And further, your reputation will tank ever further.
The good news is that if you are reading this guide and applying it, you know you should start early. That gives you enough time to learn a bit more about deliverability. Then, you will want to do some list hygiene and cleanups. This will minimize the chances of your campaigns lowering your reputation further.
And then, you will want to learn a bit more about the concepts of warm-up sequences and how to stagger larger broadcasts. Remember that if you’re on our mid-tier or higher-plans, you get access to a deliverability analyst. We can help you get your deliverability up to par, just in time for your big campaign.
Include Cyber Monday, and Go Beyond Black Friday
Everything you see in this guide is designed to help you convert like crazy with your Black Friday campaigns. But guess what, it works equally as well anytime you have a special occasion to offer an amazing deal or launch a new product or service.
So I want you to think beyond just “make a ton of money on Black Friday”, and “then wait for next Black Friday to repeat this”. Do remember that you can offer a similar deal on Cyber Monday, or even wait a couple of months and have a deal for “the people who missed out on Black Friday”. You can even label it “Black Friday in January” if you want. I think you get the point.
You want to go beyond limiting yourself to the one day associated with this. At the very least you want to expand to Cyber Monday, and then other holidays. And then, look for other opportunities throughout the year to do something similar.
If you’re subscribed to any marketers, you will notice that they have special campaigns year round. And if you look at the formula they use, it will resemble the lead-up to and campaigns for Black Friday. It’s just that the excuse is something different, whether that is launching a new product, a new feature, or really any excuse at all.
Segment, or suffer subpar results
While email automation has allowed for some really cool advances in email marketing, it has one downside. It has caused a lot of people to associate personalization with automated emails, and forget that you can, and should personalize broadcasts as well.
And when it comes to personalizing your broadcast campaigns, segmenting properly is a must. Especially if you’re with Emercury and have access to the super cool advanced segment builder.
A lot of people tend to go to the extreme where they think “well, I’m sending the same offer to everyone, and it’s a broadcast, so why personalize”. However, that’s very un-nuanced thinking. You can treat different segments differently, even if you’re selling all of them on the same offer. And hey, who says you need to have just one Black Friday offer?
That aside, even if you do have a single Black Friday offer, you can focus on different benefits or parts of the offer that appeal to different segments. So you can send a slightly different broadcast to the different segments.
And then, you can go a step even further and really super-personalize the email so that different sentences appear differently to different people, based on what tags are present in their profile. Just utilize our smart personalization feature.
And if you want to get up to speed on segmentation in email marketing, consider some of our super-popular guides. I recommend Email Segmentation Secrets: Tags, Lists, Segments, Explained, as well as How To Utilize Market Segmentation for Maximum Profitability.
Create a dedicated landing page
If you are using the strategy where you tease people about the upcoming Black Friday deal (and you should), then you definitely need to create a landing page.
As you might guess, early on the page will tease people about what they can expect when they come back on Black Friday. It should also encourage them look for future emails as you unveil more about the amazing deal that’s about to drop.
The other reason you want to have a landing page is so that you can keep your emails shorter and let the page do most of the talking. This is for two reasons. The first one being that training people to click on your links is crucial to improving deliverability, and habituating people for engagement.
The other reason is that you get to track events on that page. This is especially easy with our site and event tracking technology. If you haven’t gotten around to using it, then this might be the perfect time to try it out.
Remember that you can create events off of anything that people do on the page. You can then treat people differently for the remainder of the Black Friday campaign, based on how they interacted with this page.
And feel free to substitute “Black Friday” in the paragraph above with any special occasion you will do campaigns for, because it applies even more in those cases.
Visuals matter, a lot
And I’m not just talking about e-commerce where product imagery is a huge factor to sales. If you’re going to have a special sale and want to get people excited about it, you can’t skimp on the design.
This relates to both the email design, as well as the design of the landing page. You want exciting, grand visuals that really get people excited about what’s coming on Black Friday.
Whilst imagery can be less important depending on your industry, you still want to make sure you’re utilizing quality email design. Remember that we have a template library, and you can pick whatever suits you best.
But also consider that our professional email designers are also available if you need something a bit more customized. Check our design & coding services page for more information.
Plan out your email timing and frequency
If you are an email marketer you should be studying and experimenting with timing and frequency as it is. Sometimes when I do consultations I find that I can make simple adjustments to someone’s email timing, and see them make massive gains in engagement, and consequently profits.
The timing that works best will depend on your industry, and the nature of your subscribers. For example, if you’re selling to businesses (B2B), you’re most likely to get email opens during working hours. And if you’re selling to individuals (let’s say weight loss or home products), you’re better off timing your emails after working hours. The day of the week makes a big difference as well.
And when it comes to frequency, it becomes even more important, as getting your frequency wrong can guarantee that you destroy your deliverability. Dial it in just right, and you can see a massive improvement in engagement, deliverability and conversions.
If you want to learn more about email frequency, check out our popular guide: Email Frequency: Don’t Get It Wrong, Follow These Best Practices. And if you’ve followed the most important tip in this guide about starting early, you should have time to study email frequency and get it sorted.
If, however, you are reading this guide after Black Friday, remember that it applies to other holidays and special occasions as well. So you have time to sit down and work out your timing and frequency for a big launch or special campaign.
Retarget those who fail to grab the deal and profit big
I’m sure you’re aware of the “abandoned cart” strategy used in e-commerce. However, I find that a lot of people forget this exact principle can be used for anything. When it comes to a big Black Friday promotion, you do have an equivalent as well.
If you’ve followed our advice about creating a landing page (with Emercury event tracking enabled), you can keep track of the people that open the page on Black Friday, click purchase and don’t finish the purchase. Alternatively, you can track people who just view the page on Black Friday, as this is also a strong signal.
What you want to do next is decide how to retarget these folks. You can either retarget them during your Cyber Monday deal, or even create a special “second chance” campaign targeting those who almost purchased.
This one is a must if you’re looking to maximize your profits on Black Friday. I’m surprised with how many people fail to do this. Especially if you’ve put in all the work to do everything else, this is just one extra task, and it can bring in a substantial amount of extra sales.
Get A Strategic 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 email marketing strategies. 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. Note that we might decide to pull this way-too-generous offering at any point. So click that link to check if we still allow registrations.