by Anna Wybieralska Oct 31, 2019

If you care about your Black Friday email marketing campaign results, this article is for you. We carefully picked some of the best email marketing tips for Black Friday sales to help you out.

Black Friday is the biggest discount event in the world. The last Friday of November got its name for various reasons. The most popular being that on this day, stores go from red to black - becoming profitable - for the season. During this time, American shoppers spend on average $335 per person with total sales reaching $6.2 Billion as per last year.

Yes, Black Friday is coming. With it, thousands upon thousands of people are scouting the best possible deals, filling up their carts in advance and saving up some extra cash. And if they are preparing, you need to too! But how can you get ready for this event? Let me share some of the best marketing tips for Black Friday sales we’ve found.

But, before we start, let’s dive into the problems that every company has during this time and how can we solve them.

Table of contents

The struggles - and how to deal with them

Tips for increasing sales on Black Friday

So what’s next?

The struggles - and how to deal with them

In every business, there are things that you need to look at and take into consideration. You should always know your target audience, find your niche and know your product. These everyday rules help your company advance in the market. With Black Friday, things are a little bit different. True, all previous rules apply as they are the absolute basics for business. However, with the heat of selling comes new obstacles to overcome:

  • Pressure of the discount
  • Competitive market
  • Standing out
  • Getting sloppy

The Pressure of a discount is usually created by a competing company with similar products. While establishing your price point for upcoming sales, it’s good to do some research about companies like yours. However, you can break a sweat when you look at their price cuts since they can be way more attractive than yours. Naturally, the first thing to do would be to match them or make an even bigger discount. Though, that could be catastrophic for your company in the long run.

While being pressured to increase your discount, you should be mindful of the return of your profits. It’s fundamental to ensure that you don’t exceed the pricing to the point of the red zone. According to Croud research bigger discounts result in bigger revenue, but on average, it places around 37% as the discount sweet spot. It could be a good idea to create a bundle of your products and assign one big discount for all of them or separate your products by rebates based on their initial value and type. Either way going about this cool-headed will ensure profit instead of return you to red. 

You also need to take into consideration all the other expenses like shipping, packaging, and so on. It also could be beneficial to keep an eye out for your competitors to see their marketing moves, newsletters, and performances. You can use various applications for monitoring competition to make sure you’re on top of your game.

There is no escape from the Competitive market unless you are doing felted flower arrangements for weddings or something similarly uncommon. With Black Friday coming around, it gets even more hectic. Everybody fights for traffic, sacrificing their revenue, core assets or quality. In times like this, it’s important to go back to the core of your company. 

What is the goal? Who do you want to reach? There is no point in selling something unrelated to your brand just because it will get you easy money. You can’t randomly start selling electronics in a clothing store just because the revenue is higher. You also need to remember your main product. If a mobile phone shop started showcasing phone cases more than the actual phones, it’s because people are more likely to buy 5 phone cases than 5 phones. However, the main product always was a cellphone, and that should be the center of the sale. Although the idea to promote mobile accessories is good, it’s better to not change your offer drastically before the Black Market hits.

Even extensive background checks on your competitors can make it difficult for you to Stand out. Selling similar products or services puts your name on the list, next to your rivals, and you can easily be missed. This is especially dangerous during Black Friday when your sales can go up even 30%. Solution? Try to showcase your differences. You can create a PPC campaign, provide exclusive support services for your products (we’ll talk about it later on) and be mobile-friendly. The last one seems like a little thing but the majority of people use phones for purchases on the go. And with Black Friday fever kicking in, it will make a difference.

Black Friday creates a sense of urgency not only with consumers but also in businesses.  Everybody wants to start early and sometimes that makes them sloppy. When you combine this with challenging competition, this can make a recipe for an unsuccessful campaign. But losing a few customers is not the worst thing yet. With rushed ad creation for Black Friday, you could make typos or give incorrect information that your customers will see and build their opinions upon. If an email has mistakes, it can portray your company as unprofessional or even shady. This could result in smaller traffic during the event but also could potentially reduce your customer count overall.

Tips for increasing sales on Black Friday

Everybody wants to be a part of the Black Friday celebration. More and more businesses are creating their campaigns and strategies for the upcoming event. So, in order to get the most of this day, we’ve prepared a list of helpful Black Friday marketing tips that can increase your sales.

While all the tips you will read about below are used for overall Black Friday campaigns on social media or the main website, they can be a great inspiration to include in all your email campaigns. It’s worth noting that email is responsible for 20% of the visits during the holidays so using it effectively will be a huge asset.

Tip 1: Benefits matter

Customers are not only looking for a discount. Benefits supporting purchases can make or break your sale. By providing free shipping or an additional gift, you can sway potential consumers your way. Of course, clients are expecting a good discount, but they are more likely to make the purchase when they are offered additional benefits. For instance, when you gift them custom Wallpics Canvas Picture Prints as an additional incentive can significantly enhance their buying motivation.

Apart from the most popular - free shipping, you could also offer additionally fast shipping, extended warranties, adding a free gift with a purchase above a certain amount of money or creating a bundle. Gift packs make great presents and you can provide a discount if a customer will buy at least three related items. And while we are talking about the present, offering optional free gift wrapping is a great addition. A lot of people are already purchasing their holiday gifts during the Black Friday event.

Another Black Friday marketing tip worth taking into consideration is using gift cards. Adding a free gift card to an order confirmation email can persuade customers to come back and do more shopping. Offering rechargeable gift cards is also a great idea. Studies show that not only ⅓ of customers reloaded a gift card but 75% of consumers that had one spent more than the exact card value. 

Tip 2: Timed offers

Creating a sense of urgency can boost your sales. By sending an email campaign with a specific set of words and a good CTA, your subscribers will be more likely to check your website even if only to satisfy their curiosity. It’s also a good idea to set up a counter within your email or even create a popup on your website with a limited time offer. There is also The Hourly Offer concept, where you could showcase a different product each hour (or another period of time) with a huge markdown.

Another great Black Friday marketing tip is a timed offer right when a customer opens your page. KFC was doing a promotion where as soon as you go to the main site, a countdown shows up. If you would order food within this timeframe, you could get free coffee or a cookie. The idea is simple, and by creating this need to make a quick decision for a free perk, people usually spend more. They are also prone to buy something more expensive because they feel they get their money's worth with a free gift.

Tip 3: Exclusive sales

During Black Friday, you want to attract new customers but you can’t forget your loyal ones. The best way to make them feel appreciated is by creating some targeted offers just for them. Do you have a point system in your store? You can send an email offering a double number of points for every purchase during this day. Maybe you could offer a special discount for your next service or give them an exclusive sneak peek of your new product with an additional discount. 

A good idea is to send exclusive targeted sales for your subscribers before Black Friday starts. You could also promote the perks of being a subscriber on your page.

Tip 4: Creative hook

If you want to get noticed, you need to do something in a different way than usual. The best way is to start a designated Black Friday campaign, changing colors and themes to match the event. Even better is to start from the subject line. Now, we’ve already covered the pros and cons of using emojis and also put our take on writing a compelling subject line, but what more can you do? The main point is to make something that stands out. You could create a humorous subject line, use wordplay as your main key point, and write a good CTA. 

Going further than email, you need to really perfect your niche during Black Friday and establish your winning hand. Is it either handmade things, do you support local creators or do you make things that are heavily personalized? Make those strengths your key point for promotion and showcase it in your email campaign.

Tip 5: Team up and redefine

If you’re a smaller business, you know how hard it is to go against corporate chains that are bigger. Trying to raise your sales in their shadow can be a difficult task. However, there is a solution. Creating a special holiday partnership with a supporting company can help you gain the traffic you need. You could create a special dedicated email promoting your collaboration with the best offers that complement each other.  Not only is it a bold move, but collaborations get a lot of interest online.

You can also make your own spin on Black Friday by creating fun different sub-event email campaigns with special offers or by moving away from consumerism, towards a more ecological approach. Creating a Black Friday charity event or partnering with a foundation instead of offering extreme discounts can give you an edge. Customers would more happily support a conscious brand than a money-hungry one.

everlane black friday email campaign

Tip 6: Extend the sales

Although Black Friday is only one day a year, we also have another holiday close by - Cyber Monday. They are divided by the weekend, so why not use this to your advantage?

Extending the sale between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a good move because this gives your customers more time to decide. They can actually scan your offers and buy more things. But here, we are only talking about the weekend - what about starting the sale a day before black Friday and end it a day after Cyber Monday ends? Longer email campaigns could attract more consumers to your shop and at the same time you would be open to a slightly different market - all the people who were late to the party. Consumers who missed the grand first day can be a valid target for an extended discount campaign.

Tip 7: Early bird gets the worm

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to start your first deal at the crack of dawn. Although a lot of consumers are shopping in physical stores as well as online, the trend for making purchases from your desktop or mobile is increasing. Let’s be honest - people are far more likely to make purchases from the comfort of their own homes than just a few years ago. However, it’s worth thinking about starting your Black Friday campaign early to really show your products and offers.

Starting your campaign a few weeks in advance will be beneficial. You will have enough time to prepare as well as your customers. Also, if you start early, your recipients won’t be flooded by emails a couple of times a day but will get consistent flow throughout the month. Remember that during Black Friday, you are still building a reputation among your subscribers. It’s best to not drown them in offers unless your goal is to eventually end up in the spam folder.

Tip 8: Catch their eye

Imagine - emails from different companies are literally flooding your subscriber inbox. You already wrote a compelling subject line, but what else can you do to stand out from the crowd? Well, here is a good Black Friday marketing tip:

Creating interactive or animated emails is one of the answers. While the customer will click on a good subject line, the inside of the email may not be as interesting. So instead of the recipient checking out your website, they will click away to the next email that is more attractive. Implementing animated text in the email can catch their interest for longer. If you feel like using GIFs is too much, you can still find that one stunning photo or color scheme that will catch your customer’s attention. You could also try creating a simple illusion just like J.Crew did in their email campaign:

j.crew email campaign

Tip 9: Abandoned Cart and Welcome Emails

Apart from promotional emails during the Black Friday weekend, there are two other types of emails that require some extra attention. Welcome Emails and Abandoned Carts.

The Welcome Email is your first chance to gain a customer’s trust. With Black Friday coming, it’s best to create a separate email campaign that can include a first purchase discount code or a compelling offer for your services. As welcome emails have over a 45% open rate, it’s vital to make a good first impression. Depending on your business, you can go with a single welcome email or a whole sequence. But the point remains the same - promoting your brand the best you can - from the start. 

When it comes to Abandoned Cart, the pressure is even bigger. Based on 2017 statistics,  the cart abandonment rate reaches as far as 72%. This number is incredibly high and can have negative repercussions, especially during Black Friday. While you can’t always know why customers are leaving the potential purchase behind, you can try to minimize it.

Simplifying your checkout process flow and re-evaluating the data you request from the customer is a start. However, to really try to switch these stats around, you should set up a cart recovery email. By sending an automated message reminding the customer about what was left behind is a great solution to bring him back to the checkout. And if you have creative visuals or catchy lines to use, your transactional emails will get more interest.

So what’s next?

Black Friday can be intimidating, especially for companies that are just starting out. The amount of information and competition can create a headache. It’s important to start from the most profitable promotion channel with a comfortable number of days to spare. Remember that preparation is key and there is no point in rushing anything if you need to sacrifice quality for it.

And hey! If you think that this wasn’t exactly the year that you hoped for, I have one more Black Friday marketing tip for you. Analyze your previous campaign and learn from it. You need to find out what works best for your company, and there is no quicker way to learn than from your mistakes.

If you’re still hungry for more tips and strategies you can find an article about Black Friday email marketing strategies. If you prefer to listen, we have a nifty video as well!

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Anna Wybieralska

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