If you’re like most B2C marketers, you’re probably already planning out the perfect email marketing strategy for Black Friday.

It has to be fun, engaging, surprising, and — most of all — effective at driving new and repeat purchases. But how do you build out the perfect email flow to convert buyers?

No week is bigger in the retail world than the one-two punch combination of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you can effectively market to your audience on these two days alone, it can make or break your entire year.

However, other retailers have the exact same goals as you do. During the holiday season, it’s especially tough to stand out in an insanely noisy market. Why would a buyer open your email, rather than your competitors’? Why would they buy from your rather than just ordering on Amazon?

It may seem daunting, but as you gear up for the holiday season, we wanted to share some tips to help you make the most of your customer communications, starting with Black Friday.

Start with IP credibility

During the holiday season, it’s common for brands to significantly increase their total email send volume. While this can be an effective tactic, it’s also a risky one for your IP. If you’re not careful, your perfectly crafted email will end up in spam rather than hitting the inbox. It’s important to handle holiday emails just like IP warming. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Carefully and incrementally ramp up your send volume as the holidays approach.
  • Once ramped, aim for consistent send volume. Random spikes force ISPs to put your messaging in spam.
  • Send high engagement campaigns that drive opens and clicks to build credibility.

Who should you be emailing? Try to limit your sends to those who’ve engaged or purchased in the last 12-18 months. This will decrease your risk of hitting a spam trap or an expired inbox, especially as you increase your send volume.

How many emails should you send daily? Limit your brand to around 2x of your ‘engaged’ audience mentioned above. After you warm up to your total send volume, you’ll want to maintain a consistent send volume throughout the season.

How many times should you email each customer on peak days? Start by targeting customers who you know actively want to receive flash sale campaigns on peak days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consider sending a “VIP opt-in email” — target that group a max of 3-5 times for flash sales, and non-opt-ins, only once.

Surprise your audience

Now that you know your email will hit the inbox, it’s time to focus on the content of the email itself. Because the Holiday Season is hyper-competitive, you should use your most creative ideas for email marketing this year. It’s a risk, of course, but the other risk is simply that you’ll be ignored — and that’s far worse! Here are a few campaigns that we were impressed with from past years’ Black Friday emails:

All three of these ads are doing a slight twist on the expected Black Friday email. The first one from Fat Face subverts your expectation for a discount by donating to a good cause. The second one from Casper jokes around about sleeping through Black Friday, highlighting the ease and convenience of ordering their product online. The third from Nasty Gal takes a risky angle on Black Friday, offering a “Black Out” sale on everything black across their site. With these ideas in mind, hopefully you’ll feel inspired to get a bit more creative with your marketing for Black Friday.

Experiment and measure success

Measuring the effectiveness of your email campaigns and acting on that data quickly is the final step to Black Friday success. Because you are sending out a much higher volume of emails for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll also be able to run A/B tests much faster than usual. By sending out one message to a segment of your database and another message to another segment, you can quickly understand which message is more effective in converting buyers.

If you take a big risk with a marketing email like Nasty Gal, for example an A/B test is a great way to learn whether or not it’s working in your favor or not. If a message flops, you can quickly pull it and replace it with another message instead. The goal is, of course, to increase conversion rates, drive new revenue, and engage buyers during this tough season. This means keeping a close eye on your daily click-through rates and tweaking the message as needed.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a huge deal for any ecommerce brand. It can be scary to send out emails on such an important day, but if you follow each of these steps carefully, you will succeed. With the right ecommerce marketing strategy for your Black Friday email flow, you can hit the inbox, surprise and delight your readers, and create new loyal customers.

 

Brian Murphy

Brian is the Email Marketing Manager at Zaius. Outside of the digital world, Brian is a die-hard Boston sports fan, plays guitar, loves to brew beer, and coaches youth football.

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