The Black Friday emails weekend is soon approaching. The e-commerce sector will be gearing up for both an increase in traffic and sales. Throughout Black Friday 2015, consumers spent a whopping $4.45 Billion through online purchases alone. This emphasises the growing role the e-commerce sector plays amongst consumers this festive period. But surely, there is more to gain from Black Friday than just sales?
E-commerce conversions don’t just have to be noticed as sales. Black Friday emails offers brand awareness and new/loyal custom opportunities, which are both driving factors for converting e-commerce sales. So where does email marketing fit into this? Within this article, I’ll be exploring the opportunities to both utilise and optimise your e-mail marketing efforts to ensure that Black Friday success leads to not only just sales, but an improved brand awareness and customer base leading into Christmas.
Before executing any digital strategy, it’s important to plan. This will allow you to identify your available resources, whilst pinpointing desirable goals and outcomes with a realistic understanding of your strategies potential. It’s always good to work towards highly prospective goals, but for a short term strategy, wouldn’t it be smarter to try and achieve more attainable targets with your efforts?
Below, i’ve highlighted a few conventional outcomes which I feel would be desirable to target this Black Friday as an e-commerce business:
- Sales – With discounted offerings being the driving factor of Black Friday, we’re going to want to be increasing our sales.- Besides, if we’re selling at a lower profit margin per sale, balancing this with an increased sale volume is a must.
- New/Loyal custom – Black Friday is a great opportunity to increase your customer base. We really want to be gaining new customers whilst attaining their loyalty. Especially in the run up to Christmas.
- Brand awareness – With the heightened Black Friday buzz, customers will be talking about their deals, favourite brands, and Black Friday steals. So use this opportunity to get your name out there!
No that we’ve outlined opportunities to target with our strategy, you can now identify some key performance indicators to guide you towards your desired goals.
Attaining Pre Black Friday Custom.
Prior to Black Friday, savvy shoppers will be scoping out which retailers will be participating in the annual event. Making this presence known is a vital part to attracting customers to re-visit you on the day. So how do we let customers know we’re taking part?
Create a Black Friday Landing Page.
Creating a Black Friday landing page will inform customers of your participation whilst giving you the capability to better rank in search engines for “Black Friday” oriented search terms. Just BB Guns have adopted this technique by creating their own Black Friday landing page, where customers instant clarification of the retailer’s intended participation with the event. Having this landing page ensure the audience arriving on-site will be relevant to Black Friday, given the search term’s they’d be deriving from and the page they’d be landing on.
Keep customers engaged.
Engaging customers on-site is vital. You want to get customers into the shopping spirit, so what better way to do so by including some great digital content as part of your Black Friday landing page?
As a digital marketing agency, we’ve included a countdown timer on our dedicated Black Friday marketing tips landing page. This adds a visual element to our page which emphasises the time remaining until Black Friday. Having such content can really entice customers to return on the day, to unveil your much anticipated Black Friday revealings.
Improving your subscriber base.
So why would we want to get customers to our website before Black Friday? Ensuring we’re capitalising on pre-event customer searches is vital for improving our email subscriber base. Having a Black Friday landing page with engaging content will give us the tools to maximise our e-mail subscription capabilities.
Emphasising an e-mail subscription call to action on your page will serve a great way of converting traffic into subscriptions. Enticing your customers with reward incentives will give be great reason to subscribe to your mailing list.
Ellis Brigham, an e-commerce mountain sports retailer have taken this exact approach with their Black Friday page. Their page has an enigmatic feel whilst giving customers the opportunity to be the first to find out about their deals (the reward!). Customers are then directed to an e-mail subscription form, which allows people to segment their shopping interests. This method is a great way of improving a segmented Black Friday orientated subscriber base.
Once customers have subscribed.
Now that you have an improved Black Friday orientated presence and subscriber list, you’re going to want to be feeding your customers relevant content. In the run up to Black Friday, enticing customers with inclinations of your sales whilst fulfilling your customer’s exclusive reward is key.
Pre Event Email Campaigns.
Reminding customers of your involvement with Black Friday with “lead up” marketing campaigns will reinforce your intentions of providing discounted offerings to your customers. To reward your early customers for joining you, maybe consider giving subscribers exclusive rewards, such as an extra percentage off, free postage, or even, a surprise!
Including Social Following Opportunities.
By including opportunities for your subscribers to follow your social channels, you can extend the customer relationship! Not only will they recieve your e-mail marketing campaigns, but they will have the opportunity to interact, engage, and be a part of your social community. If you provide customers a great product, experience, and savings, then you are more than likely going to receive positive user-generated content through your social channels.
On the big day.
Black Friday has arrived and we’re going to want to maximise our sales potential. We’ve created the tools for success, so now we have to execute a coherent strategy on the day. Creating content through relevant channels will be a core player in converting customers into sales.
The “it’s Black Friday!” e-mail campaign.
Black Friday is a very competitive event. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to be pushing strong call to action messages across to your customers. Company Address have embraced this technique with their e-mail marketing campaigns that are to be channeled to customers throughout the day. This approach can help you stand out and have your message noticed! – Besides, the added value customers are gaining through your discounted offerings can be balanced out with a sales driven marketing approach, which won’t poisoning your e-mail marketing strategy.
There will be a large proportion of shoppers who will visit and purchase from your site on Black Friday who haven’t yet signed up to your mailing list. They may have arrived through an organic search channel, purchased, and that’s the end of the road. So why not try and keep a relationship going with these customers?
Bell Tent Boutique do this with their product pages. This gives customers the opportunity to sign up to your e-mail channels whilst shopping. Within a Black Friday context, offering customers reward incentives for subscribing to your mailing list is a must. Shoppers on-the day will be solely thinking about bargains and discounts, so you need to give them a pretty good reason to sign up to your mailing list.
By offering discounted incentives post Black Friday in the run up to Christmas can be a way of extending your relationship with these customers, so that purchases are re-automated in the Christmas period.
Post Black Friday.
Black Friday is over. Customers have had their opportunity to bag a bargain before Christmas. But from now until Christmas, retailers will conventionally be keeping a high product price in place, in light of the increased demand for consumer goods and offerings. But we can make our Black Friday strategy go further.
Through your e-mail marketing channels, we can offer and reward customers for subscribing and purchasing products throughout the post Black Friday period.
Reminiscing Black Friday & Rewarding loyalty.
With the passing of Black Friday, you’re going to have an improved e-mail subscription base. So now it’s time to turn one off shoppers into loyal customers.
Reminiscing Black Friday within your e-mail marketing campaigns whilst easing consumers into Christmas shopping will be important. Empathising with your customer base by understanding how expensive Christmas can be will give your marketing efforts a personal touch. From this, offering loyal subscribers a discount through the Christmas period will be key!
Customers have already purchased from you. They’re aware of your products, customer service and pricing. So giving post purchase customers loyalty rewards can provoke re-automated purchases, which will be highly effective throughout the Christmas shopping period.
Enticing customers to engage.
Through e-mail marketing channels, entice customers to engage and participate with your digital channels isn’t uncommon. Promoting this sort of interaction can provoke positive user-generated content, which a lot of online shoppers depend upon when facilitating unfamiliar e-commerce purchases.
Asos, an e-commerce fashion retailer adopts this exact technique. They encourage post purchase customers to interact and create user-generated content. This strategy extends the relationship they have with their customers, which encompasses participation incentives and rewards for customer loyalty. Shoppers are encouraged to use #ASOSUnbox across vine post-purchase, which has shown a great response.
Such techniques can be translated into your e-mail marketing strategy. Whether it’s through purchase confirmation e-mails or subscriber campaigns, you can encourage customers to further participate with your digital channels. Including such opportunities for customers to physically engage with your brand can really bridge the loss of physicality associated with e-commerce.
How to approach it.
All e-commerce businesses are different. From the operational sector, right down to product offerings, there is no one way to execute a Black Friday strategy to maximise your e-mail marketing efforts. The most important thing to consider, is to plan out your target objectives and identify your available resources. This will give you a realistic indication of how you approach the strategy whilst outlining attainable objectives. Addressing all areas of the customer journey will allow your strategy to flourish to its full potential. Re-automating such strategies into Christmas will allow your subscriber base to grow, whilst being able to segment refined marketing campaigns to try and convert both new & loyal customers.
Pierre is a Digital Marketer at Impression, based in Nottingham, United Kingdom. His expertise lies within creating e-commerce customer engagement strategies. In his spare time, he is an avid skateboarder with a passion for photography. You can find out more about Impression’s Black Friday marketing tips here and you can reach out to Pierre via Twitter @impressiontalk or follow him on Instagram @pierremelion.