Do you want to learn how to create a Black Friday email strategy that will turn first-time subscribers into loyal customers? If so, keep reading!
Black Friday and the weeks around it are jam-packed with deals, discounts, and promotions, and consumers can’t get enough. Countless businesses across all industries have one goal in mind: connect with their target audience and increase sales.
When you look at the figures, it’s no wonder brands become frantic during this time of the year. In 2021, shoppers spent a jaw-dropping $8.9 billion during Black Friday. This figure increased in 2022 to a little over $9 billion, and it’s estimated that more people will shop online than ever before this year.
Email is an excellent way to reach your audience during this time because it allows you to reach out to each person and curate offers and content that match their needs. But if you want your email marketing strategy to succeed this holiday season, you have to get a few things right.
Today, I’ll show you several actionable ways you can take your email marketing strategy to the next level this Black Friday shopping season.
Start Planning Early
If you want to create an engaging email strategy, the first step is planning early. If you wait until mid-November to start creating emails and offers, they will not be as polished as they could be if you had started now.
Your plan should have multiple phases and goals, such as:
- Generate leads - Use lead magnets to get people to sign up before the deals start.
- Establish promotions and copy - This part of the process takes a long time and plenty of refining, so start figuring out what type of deals you want to promote in your emails.
- Send test emails - Testing your emails can help you avoid deliverability issues and ensure a smooth experience for your subscribers.
- Optimize for mobile - Around 41% of all emails are opened on smartphones, so you should have desktop and mobile versions of your emails.
The biggest advantage of planning early is you can resolve potential problems before they get out of hand. For instance, you don’t want to discover that your messages aren’t being delivered on the morning of Black Friday.
Segment Your Subscribers
Now, let’s talk about the importance of segmenting your subscribers. Segmenting is when you divide subscribers into groups based on their unique goals, interests, and pain points.
For example, a clothing store would likely break its audience into groups based on the type of clothes each person buys. It wouldn’t make sense to send someone who has purchased nothing but dress clothes promotions for fun and flashy summer shorts.
Segmenting allows you to personalize promotional emails, which can significantly impact conversions. Research shows that 80% of online shoppers admit they are more willing to engage with a brand if they go out of their way to personalize content and offers.
From an email point of view, the results are just as promising. When businesses personalize subject lines by including the subscriber’s name or other relevant information, they see 22% more opens when compared to generic emails.
You can start segmenting your audience by reviewing on-site analytics, customer surveys, and user behavior. Break people into groups based on how they interact with your site, what they’ve purchased in the past, and the preferences established once they sign up. All this data will help you develop fictional customer profiles, called buyer personas, that summarize the people who visit your site the most.
Create Drip Campaigns to Keep Users Engaged
Drip campaigns are a series of emails that are slowly delivered, or dripped, to subscribers over time. These campaigns work well because they are automated, which frees up time for marketers and leaders working behind the scenes.
I highly recommend creating drip campaigns that feature a mix of engaging, entertaining content and value-packed promotions. People are more likely to read your emails if they are more than straightforward sales messages.
Here’s a common pattern for this type of campaign for the two weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
Email 1-2: Announce what’s to come (exclusive deals, content, etc)
Email 3-4: Build rapport by sending relevant, conversational content based on the user’s interests.
Email 5-7: Promote the deals with periodic reminders.
If you follow our first step and plan ahead, you’ll have a much easier time creating a powerful email strategy for the holiday shopping season.
Use FOMO and Social Proof to Spark Action
FOMO, also known as fear of missing out, is a powerful way to drive sales during Black Friday. When you create a sense of urgency and scarcity, you can encourage shoppers to take action instead of missing out on deals that only happen once a year.
You can create FOMO in your emails by creating subject lines that say things like “One Day Only” or “Last Chance to Save.” This will show shoppers that they don’t have much time to take advantage of the promotions featured in your messages.
If you’re wondering how this could affect Black Friday sales, consider this: around 69% of U.S. shoppers say they’ve experienced FOMO. Of this group, 60% said they’d taken action within 24 hours after experiencing fear of missing out.
I also suggest leveraging social proof by displaying testimonials from satisfied customers or showing how many items have already been sold. For example, you could promote a high-ticket item and include user reviews next to the call-to-action.
You may know this from experience, but a staggering 90% of shoppers say customer reviews impact their shopping habits. In other words, this one simple adjustment to your email marketing strategy can have an amazing effect on sales and engagement.
Using FOMO and social proof can help create excitement and urgency that will drive sales during Black Friday.
Follow up after the Holidays
Finally, I want to mention something that you don’t hear a lot of people talking about – following up after the holidays. Many business leaders and marketers are laser-focused on driving sales during this time of the year, that they fail to think about what happens next.
The truth is, you will not convert every subscriber into a customer. In fact, most subscribers during this time may decide to shop elsewhere.
Instead of counting these users as lost, consider creating a re-engagement campaign after the start of the New Year so you can start building rapport and get them interested in your brand. Once the chaos from the shopping season settles down, they may be more willing to give your products or services a chance.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, a lot goes into crafting a killer Black Friday email campaign.
Generally speaking, I suggest you do the following as soon as possible:
- Ensure your email deliverability works as intended so people can read what you have to say.
- Segment your audience.
- Start brainstorming for promotion ideas and working on email copy.
- Optimize your website, including loading times and checkout pages, so users have a good experience once they click through
By the time you read this, you should have plenty of time to start planning your Black Friday email strategy. If you happen to find this post after the holidays, keep the tips presented today in mind for next year!