email marketing black friday

With Black Friday just around the corner, many online retailers will be focused on creating marketing campaigns to help them win a share of what could be a $10bn sales opportunity. As a low-cost, high-return marketing channel, email marketing should play a significant role in this strategy. However, with so many campaigns hitting consumers’ email inboxes In the days before the big day, it will be difficult for campaigns to stand out from the noise.

So what does a successful Black Friday email marketing campaign look like?

Black Friday Email Marketing Mistakes

Marketers often make several “rookie” email marketing mistakes in the run-up to major sales events like Black Friday. These include:

  • Last Minute Campaigns: By the time Black Friday rolls around, the party will be almost over. This will be particularly true in 2022, when consumers have reported that they will be shopping earlier than ever this holiday season. This fact has been accelerated by events like Amazon’s recent 2-day Prime event. As a result, your email marketing strategy needs to create excitement around your sales event in the weeks and days prior to Black Friday.
  • One-Off Campaigns: Black Friday is far too important to send just one email. If your entire Black Friday email marketing strategy is just one email, you’re underestimating the importance of the event and overestimating the power of email marketing. Email marketing is powerful, but not that powerful.
  • Untargeted Campaigns: So, you’ve got an online shop that sells all sorts of stuff. You’ve sent me an email saying you’re running an online sales event. You and everybody else, buddy. So what? You’ll need to remind me again why I should click on your email.
  • Cold Campaigns: OK, while every email you send should be compliant with regulations like GDPR, CPRA, and CCPA (admit it, you haven’t heard of two of these laws) if you haven’t been in the habit of sending regular campaigns throughout the year, your Black Friday campaigns will potentially have all the charm of an unsolicited (SPAM) email.

What Does a Successful Black Friday Email Marketing Campaign Look Like?

Let’s not overthink this question.

Successful email marketing starts with sending the right message to the right person at the right time. This means carefully segmenting your lists based on previous buying habits. For example, if your website sells fashion and a customer has only bought ladies’ fashion from you, they should only ever receive emails about ladies’ fashion.

The more granular your approach to segmentation, the more likely you will find success. So if that same customer had previously only purchased specific brands in specific sizes – you know what to do.

Make It Big

My good friend Hank Hoffmeier from the email marketing firm iContact recently shared his advice on social media.

You HAVE to stand out from the crowd around this time. Go crazy! Go big or go home,” says Hank.

He’s not wrong.

And while your campaigns should be big, it’s often the smallest things that make the difference between success and failure – small things like subject lines.

Email Marketing Subject Lines Best Practice

Subject lines should SCREAM benefits. If you want to talk about your sale in the subject line, you should remember that a sale isn’t a benefit. A great deal on a product the subscriber actually wants is a real benefit.

Best practice dictates that subject lines should be kept short and sweet. However, with around 60 characters and approximately nine words to play with, if you thought writing a tweet was challenging, email marketing takes creative marketing copy into a whole new realm. This perhaps explains why so many marketers waste space with the words “Black Friday Sale” and not much else.

Are You Ready For Black Friday?

I’ll leave you with this final thought:

If you are gearing up for Black Friday and haven’t thought seriously about how email marketing can help you take your share of the biggest sales event of the year, you’re not only leaving money on the table. You are actively handing that cash to your competitors.

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