Black Friday has its origins in the United States of America but is now known across the globe with an ever-increasing number of countries adopting the trend and providing attractive discounts on products and services.
Black Friday is the first Friday following the American festival of Thanksgiving, meaning that it is the fourth Friday in November.
Traditionally it marks the beginning of the American Christmas shopping period but now that it has been adopted by a variety of countries, it is considered to be one of the most profitable and important sales in the retail and eCommerce calendars.
Cyber Monday was established in 2005 and is held on the Monday following Black Friday and is a day on which companies offer significant discounts online for a range of different sectors. However, as an ever-increasing number of consumers gained greater confidence in shopping online, Black Friday and Cyber Monday tend to roll into one extended sale, often with further discounts revealed on Cyber Monday for a limited period of time, often 24 or 48 hours.
In recent years there has been continual growth in awareness of the festivals with more and more consumers seeking out deals and making purchases online.
This means that an ever-increasing number of brands are extending their promotional periods, sometimes up to several weeks at a time. The success and intent to purchase goods and services on Black Friday and Cyber Monday means that both dates have, in many cases, actually eclipsed the performance of both Christmas and New Year sales and brands are experiencing ever increasing competition in order to generate as much revenue as possible.
It is likely that this is going to be especially the case in 2020 as even more consumers make the transition from the high street into the online sphere due to the restrictions in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This enforced adjustment in habits will mean that in future those who were apprehensive about purchasing online are more likely to keep the habit in the future and it will firmly cement itself as the most important day in the shopping calendar around the world.
This means that those brands and companies who have previously paid little or no attention to Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in danger of losing out on significant amounts of revenue. Ensuring that you are effectively communicating your Black Friday offers is of the utmost important, especially when you are segmenting your database of contacts and sending highly targeted content and products complemented with relevant content and messaging.
Below are some hints and suggestions to ensure that you are sending effective Black Friday campaigns using the power of email and SMS marketing and exceeding your expectations in revenue generation.
Communicate Your Offer on Time
Make sure that you communicate with your audience in a timely fashion – this is all the more important now that more and more brands are sending their offers out in advance of Black Friday.
If you wait until Friday itself your communication is likely to be lost in an overflowing inbox, sending the email out days before Black Friday will help your email will stand out and may help your audience identify products that they wish to purchase.
Depending on your profits targets, consider opening up your sale for the whole of the week leading up to Black Friday, or alternatively, create a mini sales calendar in which you offer discounts on different product categories with incentives for those who across categories with attractive up-sells.
We all like to feel important, and your customers are no different.
Consider sending out exclusive discounts to your database in advance of Black Friday that are not available to the general public. This can be achieved by creating a dedicated landing page that can only be accessed via the link sent out in your email.
If you couple this with an attractive discount, then you will be generating significant revenue from your existing customer base before Black Friday has even landed.
If you are sending out teaser newsletters in advance, then you will be building anticipation amongst your customers and they will be actively looking out for your email in the build up to sending it. In this way they will develop fear of missing out and will be more likely to make purchases in on the day.
Personalise the Content
Nobody likes to receive generic emails; they want to believe that that particular communication was meant specifically for them. It is essential to adapt the content based on the information you have about that user to try to address their needs as much as possible.
Call the customer by name, invite him to events in their area and suggest purchases based on their interests.
FOMO is the acronym of the English expression “Fear of Missing Out” and indicates the fear of missing out on something. In the case of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, events that have a very limited duration, it is essential to exploit the principles of scarcity and urgency.
It is well known that these are two of the most effective weapons of persuasion to convince a person to make a purchase. To increase conversions, it is ideal to create a sense of urgency in consumers: enter a countdown for offers, talk about limited stocks or exclusive sales.
Get straight to the point
During this period, customers are bombarded with communications of all kinds and on any channel. The fact that someone opens your email, or your SMS is already a success, but the ultimate goal is to convert this opening into a purchase, so it is advisable not to waste too much time reading unnecessary information but to get straight to the point. Immediately specify which promotions, products and discounts will be available, when and where.
Create responsive content
Mobile devices are taking on an increasingly important role in the consumer shopping experience. More and more people are using their smartphones or tablets, especially the younger generations who are also the most active in the period of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For this reason, it is essential that your communications are optimized and suitable for reading on mobile devices
Emerging from the numerous communications that consumers receive in this period is one of the most difficult aspects to take into consideration.
How can you get more engagement from your recipients?
Invest time and resources in your communications, do not send simple text but enrich your emails and SMS with rich media such as photos, videos, gifs or links to other contents. Combine communication channels. So far, we have mainly talked about email and SMS, but it is clear that people are continuously receiving promotional messages from multiple channels (social, website, etc.).
It is therefore good to create a broader strategy to intercept customers through all possible touchpoints, in a continuous and effective way.
Statistics and reports are excellent allies to keep track of the progress of your campaigns and have useful data for the following years. A good tactic is to insert unique links or discount codes, in order to understand the origin of users and track purchases from various channels.
Maintain a relationship
Getting a conversion is a good success for an email or SMS campaign, but being able to retain the customer who made the purchase is something even more important and difficult to achieve.
The best strategy is to differentiate yourself from the competition and cover the customer with unique and particular attention. In addition to the classic purchase confirmation, it is very effective to send an additional and personalised communication based on the order placed.
Email Marketing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, emails play a fundamental role. We know, however, that a lot of them are received, so the main goal is to get noticed and enjoy strong open rates.
What is the best way to stand out in your recipients’ inbox? Creating a unique and well thought out subject line is essential.
To do this, it is useful to promise something that recipients are immediately going to be interested in, such as unique discounts, capture their attention with phrases like “Are you ready for this?” or “Open and you will find …”, include emojis that help to increase open rates or insert discount percentages or specific offers.
Customising the content and adapting it to the final recipient can be of great help to improve the open rate of emails, but also to increase the conversion rates of your campaigns.
If you haven’t planned an abandoned cart recovery campaign, now is the time to start doing it. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the percentage of “cart abandonment” is the highest ever. It is an excellent tactic to send an email, designed specifically to attract the customer and convince him to complete the purchase.
Given the proximity to Christmas, you can send emails like “Finish your Christmas shopping before it’s too late” or “Did you forget to buy that special gift?”
Or, since these are limited-time sales, you can create FOMO with items like “Your cart total will increase tomorrow” or “Finish your purchases before the offer expires – only 24 hours left.”
Loyalty always remains the ultimate long-term goal of any sale. As we have seen previously, sending post-purchase communications is a winning strategy to win a customer and ensure that they become a long-term repeat customer.
Emails may include, for example, a thank you message, specifications on the product ordered (e.g. warranty information, installation instructions, etc.), an additional discount or information relating to orders (e.g. special exchange conditions , refund or return for Black Friday).
SMS Marketing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
In the communication strategy for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is also appropriate to consider the use of SMS, which is essential in this context.
SMS provide strong levels of performance, especially when we consider that consumers receive a limited number and are more likely to open them, compared to emails.
Those who are reluctant to use because they are afraid of not being able to analyse and receive statistics on the performance of SMS, can overcome this problem by inserting a special discount code created ad hoc in the text of the message, in order to keep track of purchases made with that code.
If you do not have any discount codes to send to your customers, it is a good idea to insert a link that leads to a dedicated mobile landing page. Keep in mind that the characters of an SMS are limited and should be used in the best possible way.
Landing Pages are a ideal way to increase engagement, especially if they are mobile-responsive and visually appealing.
SMS are also an excellent tool to easily receive customer feedback or quick subscriptions to offers or discounts offered.
Through 2-Way SMS, the interaction between companies and customers is much more immediate, interactive and personalised.
From one-way, the messaging becomes two-way: the recipient of the message can reply to the SMS, not only via keywords but with any text, and the company, in turn, can continue the conversation. Doing so saves time for any calls and makes it easier and more successful to convert.
Another profitable use of SMS can be made by businesses that work little online, but are purely physical or require direct contact with customers. You can enter a phone number within the text to be contacted. It is always important to remember that message personalization increases the recipient’s engagement and amplifies the chances of receiving a call from the customer.
Potential of SMS Advertising
It is clear that what has been said so far is applicable in cases where the company has a substantial database to which to send its communications or wants to address only existing loyal customers.
So what can those who have few contacts or those who would like to find new potential customers do? The ideal solution is SMS Advertising, which allows you to send messages to people potentially interested in the product or service in question and get new sales and customers.
Through this service it is possible to access a database of over 15 million contacts profiled by age, sex and geo-location (province and / or postcode of residence), who have given explicit consent to receive commercial communications.
After selecting the target audience, you just need to write a captivating text, customize the sender for greater recognition, and program the campaign.
Black Friday can be the perfect opportunity to try this tool and benefit from the great feedback and ROI (return on investment) it can generate.
Now that we’ve given you some tips and revealed our tips on how to optimize sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to put your reading into practice and start building your email and SMS marketing campaigns.