How to Leverage Email Marketing to Win Black Friday Sales

Banner Symbolizing Black Friday Deals

Isn’t it about time you got the kind of profits that you deserve for working so hard at your business? Here’s a fun secret, it’s not just about how much you make from your regular activities. A big part of being very profitable is how much you make from special activities.

And when I say special activities I mean coming up with special promotions and campaigns that create excitement and above-average interest in buying your products. One of the most profitable “excuses” to boost sales is leveraging the excitement around Black Friday.

Why Black Friday Matters More Than You Think

Everyone is doing it. In fact, a ton of emails and campaigns get sent out on and around Black Friday and the volume reaches levels that are much higher than any typical day or period in the year.

That might make you say “oh well, that means I’ll get drowned out in the inbox, right?”. No, actually, it’s quite the opposite. This is a case where because “everyone else is doing it”, it benefits you, and you need to do it as well.

This is because it creates an expectation in people, and many of them are actually waiting for your Black Friday offer. In fact, if you don’t offer one, they are kind of confused.

In fact, think of this in another way. If you don’t offer a Black Friday deal and don’t announce it in time, people who did want to buy from you, are not going to buy from you.

blackboard has a yellow arrow goes to side from a white arrow, symbolizing a better decision for black friday

In fact, in the coming weeks, whenever someone realizes they want and need to buy your products, they are likely to get another thought right after that. They are going to think “But wait, they’re probably going to have a Black Friday deal, let me delay this purchase for a few weeks and get it at the special Black Friday price”.

In the meantime they might be sucked away by a great Black Friday deal from another company and basically splurge their budget on that. And then, they can no longer buy from you, even though they had already decided to. So not having Black Friday deals is actually kind of risky a lot of the time.

Why Email is Still the Best Way to Boost Black Friday Sales

Most everyone knows that Email is still king when it comes to marketing channels. Many channels have come and gone trying to dethrone it, but nothing has ever come even close to it. Now, the main reason is that email is the most personal and the closest thing to one-on-one communication. And it feels that way to most people.

However, when it comes to a situation like this Black Friday campaign, there is one more advantage that’s not often discussed

A lot of us have become accustomed to seeing email as a to-do list of sorts. In fact, major email apps have recognized this and now let you set and schedule when you want to get to and handle your received emails.

People generally have a sense that a received email is something they need to act on, and get around to handling.

When it comes to your Black Friday campaigns, this is amazing. A received email essentially plants a little bit of an “unresolved” space in the subscriber’s mind. Especially if you send multiple emails about the deal and also utilize pre-launch emails.

This will trigger a sense of something to be decided on and resolved in the subscriber’s mind. They will have to decide if they want to act on your Black Friday deal or not.

No other channel has this advantage. If you target someone with a Black Friday ad or a social media post, they can just scroll away, and they do not have that unresolved feeling.

Some Super-Important tips

You’ve most likely come to this article looking for the recipe at the bottom, but I still urge you to go through these tips, as applying them will make a huge difference to the success of your Black Friday campaign.

Plan in advance

If you look at the suggested recipe below, you will see that I give you the specific sequence and emails that you can send out. This includes the earliest pre-launch emails, all the way to the emails you send after Black Friday ends.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last moment to start planning those emails. You actually want to have at least a general idea of what those emails will say, and what the angle will be. If you can prepare a draft for all of your emails, leading up to, and including the Black Friday emails, even better.

Prepare your lists

Huge high-return campaigns are always a good motivator and reason to do some segmentation and clean up of your lists.

Yes, ideally you should have a system in place where you are constantly segmenting your audience, cleaning up your lists and sorting personalization data.

However, if you’re not there yet, when a big campaign is coming up, it’s a really good idea to look at your lists. Really dig into those reports and the advanced segment builder and see if you can’t differentiate your subscribers based on their behaviour leading up to these holidays.

All the emails I’m going to recommend in the recipe later on in this article are simply going to work much better if you know which version of the broadcast you are sending to which kind of subscriber.

Offer genuinely high-value killer deals

Black Friday deals work best when they are genuinely the type of a killer deal that you can’t get at any other time of the year. We’re talking about a deal that’s so good that it almost sounds crazy. And if you’re wondering how you can offer such a crazy deal and still make profit – that’s where volume comes into play.

Obviously this will depend on your business model, but in general acquiring customers and providing them with the product and service has a cost attached. Both of these costs are lower for people who purchase during a Black Friday deal.

If you sell a service that typically costs $100 a month, perhaps $25 of that covers the cost of getting someone to become a customer, and $25 covers providing the service itself. People who buy from a Black Friday deal are next to free, and the cost to give them the service is typically lower as many of them simply buy on impulse and never even use the service that they purchased.

Again, this is just a generalization and observation

I’m just giving an overview on how many companies can get away with Black Friday prices that seem unreasonably low. Obviously you will have to exercise your own judgement to come up with a killer deal on your own.

One more thing to consider is that you can always sell more things on the backend, or even do cross-sells and upgrades. This is another trick that some businesses use to get away with crazy Black Friday pricing.

Companies like these might make no profit, or even a slight-loss on the product that they’re selling in the deal itself. However, the moment people add it to cart, they are asked if they want to purchase an upgrade, add-on or some related item. Alternatively, depending on the business model it might trigger a sequence of upsell and cross-sell emails.

If enough people buy the upgrades and cross-sells to make the average purchase profitable, due to the huge volume of sales, it makes the campaign overall quite profitable.

Start Early

You will see this in the recipe I’m going to share with you as well, but I highly encourage you to find ways to start earlier than most. There is no rule or law that says you have to wait until Black Friday and compete with everyone else who’s revealing the Black Friday deal on Thursday night.

There are ways to build excitement, anticipation and interest for your Black Friday deals way ahead of time, but more on that in the recipe.

An Example Recipe

If you’re like most people, you want some specifics, so I am going to provide you with a very general recipe. And when I say general, I mean that most any business will benefit from following this recipe. However, you can tweak it further in terms of which types of emails you do or don’t send in your Black Friday campaign.

Start off with the teaser email

Remember what we talked about in the section about why Black Friday is important – people are wondering if you will have a deal. So if you are planning on having a deal, it is a good idea to let them know in advance that there will be some sweet Black Friday deals coming.

This is great from a psychological standpoint as it encourages them to set aside a part of their Black Friday budget for your offer. They still have no idea what the offer will be, but just planning for it in advance radically increases the odds that they will make a purchase.

Continue with the early-access “VIP” email

Here’s a funny framing trick we like to recommend to most businesses – your email subscribers are your VIP “insiders group”. And that’s how you want to treat them. They get first dibs at all the best offers, information and yes, the first spots at anything involving a limited quantity.

For a lot of marketers it is hard to make this mental switch, as they do not think of their subscribers as being “special”, especially if they have huge lists. But you have to understand that someone who has given you their email address is a lot more valuable than a person just visiting your website.

An obvious way to understand this is to look at retargeting ads. If you want to retarget someone who has visited your website, but hasn’t given you their email address, you have to spend money to advertise a deal to them. But advertising the same deal to your email subscribers costs you nothing, zilch, nada. It’s essentially free.

On the other hand, when you figure out how to price an offer to someone who discovered it from a paid advert, you have to factor in the cost of the ad. This difference in cost is something you want to account for when you price things. It also changes how you offer things to your subscribers, versus the general random website visitor.

You really want to see them as your “VIP” crowd and actually treat them as such. This mental frame will also change how you do email marketing in general. You will realize that a subscriber getting inside of your email list is a privilege, something that truly benefits them. And that will change a lot about how you do everything.

How to utilize the VIP early-access trick in your Black Friday campaign

Simply craft an email where you offer your subscribers an early-access link where they can look at the Black Friday deal ahead of time.

It is important to explain that this is only for them, because they are a “VIP insider”, and the deal hasn’t gone public yet. So they get an early peek before everyone else.

This trick will work best if you’ve already established this “VIP Insider” frame from before. However, even if you haven’t implemented it yet, starting to use this frame during that Black Friday campaign is as good a time as any.

Some key technical details

You don’t need to do anything fancy with the page that you send them. It doesn’t need to be hidden behind a password or only visible to people who clicked the link.

It’s just a regular page that you’re not sending to anyone except those email subscribers. Your general website would not link to this page, your pricing page would not mention anything about the deal and so on. The public-facing parts of your website will announce the specifics of the deal a bit later.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t mention anything on the website at all. You can use parts of your website to tease visitors that there is a deal coming, and ask them to signup for your VIP list to get an early peek.

Simply tell the visitor that an amazing Black Friday deal is coming, and that if they want to get the juicy details, they can sign-up for your list and get in before everyone else.

Bonus Trick: Send an email asking them to save the date

Using psychology to your advantage is always a great leverage point. One of the best tricks I have seen is asking people to save the launch date and time on their calendar.

Simply send an email telling people that you will probably be overwhelmed with requests when the deal goes live. If it applies, you might say that there are limited spots or quantities.

It is therefore a great idea that if they are really interested in making sure they grab this deal, that they save it on their calendar. Then, put in an “add to calendar” link. You can find out how to do this for Google calendar by Googling it or asking your developers.

Announce the Black Friday deal

This is the big launch email. You want to do it a couple of minutes after changing your website to show the Black Friday deal to everyone. This is when the deal becomes “live” and people can actually purchase it.

Then, broadcast out that email telling people that the deal has gone live. If you’ve done a good job at the previous emails, you don’t have to do a lot of selling in this email.

The Last Chance Email

This is an email that you send out as the deal is coming to an end. This will depend on the type of limit you’ve put on the deal. If it does end on Friday at midnight, you would send this email in the evening, a couple of hours before it expires.

If on the other hand you are doing a deal that lasts the entire weekend, you would send this email sometime on Sunday.

And then if it’s limited by quantity, you would send this email as the number of items is running out and the quantity is nearing its end.

The Cyber-Monday Offer

Depending on your business model and preferences you might want to also send an email offering a Cyber Monday deal. In general this can be a lighter version of the Black Friday deal or a completely different deal altogether.

For example, if you’re a SaaS, the deal for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday might be about the exact same product, for example your paid tier.

However on Black Friday it might be something like a 50% off on an annual plan. Whereas on Cyber Monday it might be an equally valuable deal, just structured in a different way.

For example, if you have an onboarding fee to get on the monthly plan, anyone purchasing on Monday will get that fee waived, plus they get an additional discount on the monthly plan. So it would be similar in terms of value, just structured differently.

Now, I gave you just one random example for just one type of business. If you want more custom-tailored advice, consider looking at our paid plans where strategy sessions are included. If I get to talk to you one-on-one, I can give you more personalized advice specific to your business.

Prolong the deal and send a few more emails

It doesn’t matter what excuse you come up with in order to prolong your Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal. Anything that sounds plausible will do. The thing that you have to remember is simply this: if you find a way to prolong this campaign you will make more money.

Depending on how much you prolong the deal and with what excuse, you might get away with sending a few more emails giving people a few more chances to get a great deal.

Get a Partner on Your Side

You know, there is a saying about how experienced people learn from their own mistakes, but the really smart people learn from other people’s mistakes. The same is true when it comes to the smart marketers I know. They don’t want to waste time “learning from their own experience”. It’s a lot faster when you learn from other people’s experiences.

And here’s a funny thing, when you have access to a great mentor, this is exactly what you get. Access to someone else’s experience, so you know how to do things right and skip every mistake before it even comes up.

But do you know what’s even better than a mentor who has a lot of personal experience?

One that has a ton of experience helping others. So they have both their own personal experience to go off of, but also all of that experience from being involved in the learning journeys of hundreds of marketers just like you.

And wouldn’t you believe it, you just happen to be so lucky that you ran into just such an opportunity. You see, over here at Emercury we have been personally involved in the growth and success of thousands of marketers for over a decade. We have advised, helped and guided all of these marketers to more success and profits. This is just something that we see as integral to the Emercury experience.

And if you want to get a sense for that “Emercury Experience”, consider booking a free demo with our team. Isn’t it about time that you felt what it’s like to have someone on your side? Someone that is excited for, and cheering for your marketing success.

Because that is what we believe in. We don’t see Emercury users as “customers”, we see them as partners. The more profit they make from marketing, the more they will utilize our marketing platform. So it’s a general and overall win-win. And if you’re shy about booking a call, consider at least grabbing a forever-free plan while we still give those out.

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