Every year the end of November traditionally kicks off the busiest season in the world market — Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. During this time, the business community takes its chance to engage a new audience, reawaken inactive subscribers, and make bank, of course.

In this article, we will supply your Black Friday marketing strategy with some guidelines on your email, SMS and web push campaigns and illustrate how you can make them work together with Automation 360.

Inside the Black Friday marketing

Black Friday goes right after Thanksgiving, and it is considered to be the unofficial start of sales for the Christmas season. Cyber Monday follows the Black Friday weekend. During these days, companies delight their customers with discounts, gifts, bonuses and offers that are hard to ignore.

Statistics show that sums spent on online purchases during this time are rapidly growing from year to year. In fact, 2017 online Black Friday sales jumped record high and showed a 16.9% increase compared to the corresponding time frame in 2016.

black friday online spendings
Source: Statista

This year’s Black Friday craze is in full swing. November 23 is right on its way, so get ready with our tips in order to rock this year’s Black Friday marketing.

How to plan a Black Friday email marketing campaign

Here’s a run-through list of the main points to tick off before launching your Black Friday email campaign:

  • Analyze your previous campaign

Take a closer look at your last year’s campaign. Which email subject lines worked better? Did your subscribers fall for the free shipping offers or money off their order? Did your previous Black Friday campaign manage to improve your bottom line? With this information on fingertips, you’ll be able to choose the winning tactics for your upcoming email campaign.

Make sure you regularly clean your mailing list: spot and remove bouncing addresses, send re-engagement campaigns, make it easy to unsubscribe and say goodbye to inactive users. This way, you’ll not only make your emails reach the primary folders of your engaged subscribers but also escalate your sender reputation.

You’re not going to come up with identical perks for everyone on your mailing list, right? Segment your audience first to send offers which will correspond to your subscribers’ shopping plans and interests.

During this hot shopping time, your subscribers’ inboxes are going to be overflowed with special deals, discounts, and bonuses. To stand out among other brands, think about creating personalized subject lines, calling to urgency, turning to emoji, or just coming up with a creative subject line copy.

black friday email subject lines
Black Friday-themed subject lines

Since Black Friday campaign is supposed to increase your sales, all emails you send out should be up to the point and contain a prominent call to action (CTA). Think of several CTAs to relieve and speed up users’ shopping routine or use a creative approach, for instance, adding a call to action which would reflect the subject of your email.

black friday cta examples
Examples of Black Friday CTAs

However, one email may be not enough to ensure the brand’s presence in the inbox. As statistics show, an average user receives 88 emails daily. This number escalates during the Black Friday fuss, so your email may easily get lost in such a huge flow of messages. That is why it’s better to reach your subscribers through a series of emails.

How to create a series of Black Friday emails

Take a look at a possible Black Friday email series composed of four messages:

1. Come up with a warm-up email to fuel up subscribers’ excitement and let your audience take a sneak peek at your hot offers.

Send the first email two days prior to the Black Friday sales. Use the smart variable throughout your series: addressing the subscriber with a name if available or with a general greeting if the name isn’t specified. Make sure you explain why you’re sending this email now and what the subscribers are to expect next.

2. Send the second email in the midstream of the Black Friday sales to the main segment of your subscribers.

Fill your second email with tempting offers and launch the campaign in the morning of the big day. Create the sense of urgency around your email specifying that the number of your special offers is limited to motivate the subscribers to take action. Meanwhile, get ready for low open rates — the promotional fight in the subscribers’ inboxes is going to be no joke!

3. Prepare an additional email with special offers for active subscribers.

Track the open rate of your previous campaign, craft an email with big discounts and send it to your most active segment on the Big Friday night.

4. Launch a Cyber Monday campaign across your main segment to inform that your sales go on.

By this moment, your subscribers are likely to be tired of endless sales and offers, so you could come up with a guide to help them choose the best options for Cyber Monday sales and offer, for example, the best spots to shop for clothes, toys, makeup or so.

Now let’s look at some of Black Friday marketing campaigns launched by famous brands to fuel up your creativity and outline the tried-and-true tips for your campaign.

Start your Black Friday marketing early

Black Friday isn’t a single-day event anymore. The best deals knock on the users’ inboxes weeks ahead the big night as 53% of shoppers start their holiday spendings in October and November.

Ann Taylor, for example, launched their Black Friday campaign a week prior to the actual date. The brand sent an email with a tempting offer to motivate their users to start the holiday spendings.

black friday email example
Early Black Friday email campaign by Ann Taylor

Extend the joy

Surprise your audience with an extended sale, including new offers and discounts. Though the golden rule of marketing says that less is more, Mud Pie decided to break it and extended their Black Friday sale.

black friday email example
An email with the extended sale from Mud Pie

Turn to humor

There is no need to tell how wonderful / useful / delicious / indispensable / “any qualitative adjective” your product is. Showing it is much more effective.

The email below from Chubbies stands out among other Black Friday marketing campaigns. The email is concentrated on just one product — shorts. Or, more precisely, on schworts. By focusing on one product, the company avoids burdening subscribers with the paradox of choice.

In the ad, a man is sitting on the sofa while scarfing down Thanksgiving leftovers. It looks funny. There is no need to use many words as the image clearly shows what the schworts are needed for, and why the schworts are so comfortable.

black friday email example
A humorous Black Friday email from Chubbies

Make Black Friday not so black

Who said that the main color for Black Friday emails should be black? Marketers from The White Company believe it should not. They drew inspiration from the company’s name itself and made their sale white — not ordinary, isn’t it?

black friday email example
A creative Black Friday email from The White Company

Dear Miss Modern creates designs in white and pink colors for logos and branding. They could not have acted otherwise than launching the Pink Friday Sale.

black friday email example
A creative Black Friday email from Dear Miss Modern

Generate anticipation

Once you have planned your Black Friday offers, you can schedule your emails. Start sending emails once a week to arouse subscriber’s interest and create hype for the upcoming Black Friday sale.

Mud Pie embedded a timer counting down the time to the big day to jumpstart subscribers’ anticipation of the sale. The company also launched an early sale almost three weeks ahead the big event.

black friday email example
An email with a countdown timer from Mud Pie

Make the best out of this hot shopping season and come up with additional communication channels like web push notifications or SMS.

Reaching your audience via text messages is a surefire way to keep your brand at the forefront of your customers’ attention. Why not present your offers and promotions to your customers via the device they are going to carry around while hunting for the best bargains?

How to plan a Black Friday SMS campaign

A smart SMS campaign can relieve and support your ongoing emails as you can send a text message to your subscribers to thank them for the purchase, inform them about the order and delivery status or remind them about your upcoming offers and promotions.

Stick to the following steps while creating an SMS campaign:

  • Integrate your SMS campaign with other forms of online communication like email marketing or social media.
  • Think through the content of your text message. Bring value with your SMS and offer subscribers a discount for referring your website to friends, thank them for the order, ask for feedback on the purchase process or simply remind them about the details of your Black Friday campaign. Remember to limit your SMS to 160 characters if you want to create an SMS copy that will convert and won’t bore the reader.
  • Set the time and frequency of your campaign using the information about subscribers you have on hands. Don’t text too often and send SMS within reasonable business hours to make sure your customers are able to react to your offer.
  • Add a shortened link to your landing page to encourage your subscribers’ online and drive more traffic to your website.

For effective SMS marketing, you can also send an SMS series rather than a single message. Here’s a possible series of text messages:

1. In your first SMS, state when your Black Friday deals start. Fuel up users’ interest in your sales by indicating the discount they are about to get.

black friday sms campaign
An example of the first SMS in a series

2. Remind your audience about your special perks with the second SMS on the day of the actual sale. Urge users to hurry up with their order by offering them a lead magnet — free shipping or a complementary product.

black friday sms campaign
An example of the second SMS in a series

3. Make your third SMS a thank-you message assure your customers that their order is being processed and they’ll get all benefits from the sale they initially signed up for.

black friday sms campaign
An example of the third SMS in a series

Implementing web push notifications to your Black Friday strategy is another way to engage a wider audience in your digital campaign.

How to plan a Black Friday web push campaign

Offer your audience to subscribe to your web push notifications, then roll up your sleeves and get busy crafting your web pushes.

Take the following steps into account while deciding on your web push notification campaign:

  • Use the information driven from the segmentation routine to identify the preferable time to launch your campaign, location to come up with relevant shipping options, or browsing history to tie your offer with subscribers’ shopping interests.
  • Compose the text of your web push notification. Keep it up to 30-120 characters long so that it will be properly displayed in different browsers.
  • Choose where your web push will face the user — whether on your website home page or any other product page — and enter the corresponding URL in the settings.
  • Schedule your web push campaign according to the timezones of each of your segments.
  • Remember to preview your web push notification and run A/B tests to choose the best performing variant.

Take a look at a possible web push series composed of three notifications:

1. Start your web push campaign by unveiling your offers and reminding the users when your sale begins.

black friday web push notification
An example of the first web push notification in a series

2. Next, send a web push at the start of your Black Friday marketing campaign and specify the duration of your sales.

black friday web push notification
An example of the second web push notification in a series

3. Finally, remind your audience that the sales will close soon to motivate them to grab the drop-dead bargains.

black friday web push notification
An example of the third web push notification in a series

How to automate your Black Friday marketing campaign with SendPulse

Knit the above-listed delivery channels into a comprehensive Black Friday digital campaign using Automation 360:

1. Choose the Automation option in the sidebar, then click “Create Automation,” and choose Automation 360.

2. Fill in the basic data about your campaign and click “Apply.”

sendpulse automation 360
Getting started with Automation 360

3. Choose the conditions and variables suitable for your Black Friday campaign and specify the communication channels to be used. At this stage, you can use the free email templates the SendPulse team has prepared for Black Friday.

black friday automated campaign
The automation flow created with SendPulse

Winding up

With our tips in mind, you are all set to take the full advantage of your Black Friday campaign. Make sure you

  • get warmed up for your campaign with analyzing the last year’s results, mailing list cleaning, segmenting your audience, and creating catchy email subject lines;
  • craft a smart Black Friday-themed email series;
  • plan an SMS and web push notification campaigns to complement your Black Friday marketing strategy;
  • automate your campaign and bundle several communication channels together to reach a wider audience.

Gain inspiration from the mentioned examples, save your time, and create marketing campaigns with SendPulse!

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