Year-round, email marketing is an effective cornerstone for any online or in-store business to connect with its audience, but it can truly shine during key shopping seasons and moments. Adapting email marketing solutions for seasonal days and holidays, however, requires forethought and creativity as well as an automated delivery timeline of relevant content that will keep your recipients poised and engaged. With the right strategies in place, your Black Friday email campaigns have powerful potential to boost sales, engage customers (new and old), and leave a lasting impact.
The best seasonal marketing solutions acknowledge the fact that the reason email remains one of the most effective channels is its ability to directly reach consumers’ inboxes. This provides a unique inroad for businesses, allowing them to tap into the collective mindset of consumers during specific periods by going beyond the ‘nudge’ approach and instead, fostering a sense of urgency and excitement.
The run-up to Black Friday
Black Friday is a shopping extravaganza, and as such, the best email marketing solutions should reflect and take advantage of this seasonal opportunity.
Here’s how to prepare strategically and effectively for high-converting Black Friday email campaigns:
- Build an email subscriber list – By encouraging sign-ups and providing incentives for subscribers, you will ensure a robust email list. Social media integration is a simple way to boost your list before Black Friday. Post a link to your signup form in social media promo posts. (Implement our quick 2-step guide).
- Segment your email list – Define and divide your subscribers into relevant dynamic segments based on preferences, interests, demographics, and shopping behaviour. This helps marketers develop fresh campaigns, ideas and improved messaging to test out on their customers. (Do not overlook the influencer power of clear CTAs for your segmented audience to guide them as to what to do next).
- Craft compelling Black Friday offers – Keep subscribers reading with catchy, on-point subject lines offering exclusive Black Friday deals that will pique their interest and help you stand out from the competition.
- Create eye-catching email designs – Invest in striking visuals and attention-grabbing email templates that align with the Black Friday theme and showcase your brand.
- Implement a countdown strategy – A countdown timer in your emails creates a sense of urgency and anticipation. (Our TouchbasePro drag-and-drop template builder – available to all our subscription clients – has the feature of adding a live updating countdown timer to your campaigns.)
- Optimise for mobile – One of the best email marketing solutions will always be designing for mobile. The number of online shoppers who use their smartphones to browse and make purchases on Black Friday is on the rise, year-on-year.
Tailored Black Friday email marketing solutions
Seasonal email campaign strategies are pivotal in giving you direct access to your subscribers with promotional (not-to-be-missed) offers and persuasive teasers.
But when it comes to Black Friday, even your most loyal subscribers are likely to be shopping around. So, how do you keep your target audience engaged and laser-focused on your deals such that all other competitor emails flooding their inboxes will fade into the background?
The three key players are personalisation, dynamic content and A/B testing.
Personalisation – Proactively tailoring your Black Friday emails to individual subscribers, based on their preferences and past interactions, is a pivotal step to increased open rates during this seasonal shopping frenzy.
Dynamic content – content within an email that changes depending on who receives the message – tailors the message to each recipient’s needs and interests,
and displays products or offers that are most relevant to each recipient.
For Black Friday – or any other seasonal or holiday email campaign – this leverages the natural societal element of FOMO with content that makes full use of urgency and scarcity tactics.
- Urgency-driven subject lines: “Offer ends at midnight” or “24 hours to get this deal” or “Only 100 available at this once-off price!”
- Teasers: Pre-Black Friday announcements always create a sense of anticipation with recipients feeling they have access to insider knowledge.
- Exclusive deals: Special offers just for subscribers tap into our human ‘VIP’ desires, and make us feel we are getting something unique.
- Feedback and reviews: Encouraging your readers to check out reviews and post-product feedback is an underutilised approach, but can deliver huge rewards in keeping subscribers engaged with your product/category offers ticking a buyer’s ‘due diligence’ decision-making box and giving them peace of mind that this is not only a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ deal but also a really wise purchase.
A/B testing – As an ongoing and data-driven process, A/B testing is a key email marketing solution. The insights can be analysed to refine your strategy for better performance in your Black Friday email campaign and beyond.
The best advice (and one of the best email marketing solutions) we can give in the run-up to Black Friday is to test your headlines, placements, visuals, CTAs etc. BEFORE the actual day.
Here’s the rationale:
- You can optimize your campaign’s performance: Testing elements of your Black Friday campaign ahead of time helps you identify which variations perform better so you can create a more effective email campaign for Black Friday. This optimisation can lead to higher open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately, more sales.
- You eliminate the last-minute rush: Black Friday is a high-pressure, high-volume sales day. If you wait until the last minute to test your email campaigns, you risk encountering technical issues, errors, or unexpected challenges. Testing in advance gives you time to address any issues that may arise, ensuring a smoother and more successful Black Friday promotion.
- You have the opportunity to tweak and refine: A/B testing is not a one-time process but rather an iterative one. By conducting tests in advance, you can learn from the results and make the necessary adjustments. This iterative approach allows you to progressively fine-tune your email Black Friday campaign.
- You can avoid spam filters: Email service providers may flag or filter emails that exhibit suspicious behaviour, such as sending a large volume of similar emails all at once. By testing your emails in advance, you can identify and address any issues that might trigger spam filters, helping to ensure that your holiday messages reach your intended recipients’ inboxes.
- You can boost customer engagement: Black Friday is a competitive time for e-commerce stores and retailers, with customers receiving numerous promotional emails. Testing your emails in advance allows your team to create content and messaging that stands out, captures attention and effectively engages your audience.
- You make data-driven decisions: As a ‘knowledge strategy,’ A/B testing provides valuable data on what works and what doesn’t in your email marketing efforts. Conducting these tests beforehand allows you to make data-driven decisions and improve your email strategy based on real insights, rather than relying on guesswork.
Timeline for your Black Friday emails
Timing is everything if you want to maximise your Black Friday email engagement and conversions.
Here are our TouchbasePro Black Friday email scheduling guidelines:
- 2-3 Weeks before Black Friday, send out an awareness/teaser email to build anticipation and keep your subscribers ‘saving the date’ and monitoring their emails for relevant updates.
- Weekly countdown emails serve as reminders. Include some sneak previews of exclusive offers or special deals as a ‘carrot.’ These emails would include a special CTA encouraging them to ‘sign up for notifications’ or ‘add to their wishlist.’
- 1 Week before start including daily alerts by increasing the frequency of your emails. (Keep them short, sweet, varied and original).
- 1 Day before is all about building the hype and perhaps including an hourly countdown timer.
- On-the-day ‘early bird’ emails are all about creating excitement and buzz.
- Throughout-the-day emails serve as reminders of ongoing deals or specials or informing customers of deals that are almost sold out. E.g. “Only 3 left!”
- Post-Black-Friday emails could include extended offers that roll over into a Cyber Monday email campaign.
Black Friday comes around each year with a hype and a buzz that cannot be ignored. For e-commerce stores and digital marketers, email marketing is a potent tool during this key shopping moment to build anticipation and create a memorable and winning shopping experience for your customers.