Timing and Tips for Successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing
Yuliya Skorobogatova 1 November 2016
What Christmas is for believers in magic and what Halloween is for zombie lovers, the Black Friday – followed up by the equally exciting Cyber Monday – is for traders. It’s indeed a giving time of the year, the last two weeks of November. With yesteryear’s sale rates breaking all records and around 121 million people expected to join the shopping frenzy the following month, the time has never been more opportune for maximizing your company’s marketing efforts. Here’s how and, just as importantly, when to hop on the post-Thanksgiving gravy train.
1. Email Marketing
Even though one of the most potent marketing strategies in the past couple of years, an email is not as impactful during the holidays. In fact, both open and click-through rates usually drop in this period of time, simply because our inboxes are cluttered with newly received messages. In order to make yours noticed, you’ll need to be clever about the timing and nature of your Black Friday email campaign.
When? To avoid the super-jammed traffic, be sure to send your holiday emails beforehand. When it comes to Black Friday, the best timing is 2 weeks prior to the day; it’s at that point that shopaholics start making their checklists and browsing the market. Waiting for the hype to start will only get you buried underneath all those pushy last-minute offers, which will remain unread one way or another.
Blast. When cleverly timed, there’s no reason for Black Friday emails not to get sent in bulk – in case some of them miss the destination, you can be sure that at least one will arrive exactly where needed.
Polish. Since you have to compete for the receiver’s attention, your subject lines will have to be twice as charming and tempting as they usually are. Black Friday is the perfect opportunity for polishing them up.
Personalize. Whenever there’s a public craze in the e-commerce universe, loyal customers tend to slow down and pull back. Instead of agitating regulars with ill-suited deals, start custom-tailoring your offers especially for their needs.
2. Social Media Campaigning
Inbound marketing can only reach as far as the content permits it, and like otherwise in digital advertising, it definitely rules the holiday season as well. But long before letting it bewitch your landing page visitors, you should allow it to shine its light across all social media channels. Apart from spending their time comfortably snug with their families, your customers have a couple of hours extra to hang out with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
When? Unlike with email blasts, you can feel free to post and share your special holiday deals just before and during Black Friday. Regardless of what time of the season you choose, building up the excitement beforehand is never a fruitless tactic.
Tag. There are so many different types of content that can tip the scales in your favor. Whichever you opt for, do not, by any chance, forget to emphasize it and use both #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday in front of your niche product hashtag.
Engage. When it comes to social media campaigning, engagement is never more important than during festivities. Instead of creating your usual one-way content, dust off your creativity and make your posts as interactive as you can. Contests, limited discounts and exclusive Black Friday deals will quickly raise the buzz around your holiday offers.
Monitor. Hopefully, your products will be in high demand a couple of weeks before the big day finally comes, which is why optimizing your social media monitoring process is quite necessary. The last thing you need is driving potential customers off by not being responsive and helpful.
3. Landing Page
Most likely, we don’t have to remind you in which direction the customer acquisition process goes; once intrigued by your social media posts, prospects will turn to the landing page for additional info. Being a main representation of your brand values, a website needs a bit of season-appropriate redecorating, if not in terms of design, then certainly in terms of content. The occasion is quite enthralling, so make sure to let your audience know that you’re enjoying the celebration too.
When? The best possible time to adorn your landing page with a fresh, captivating and, most importantly, season-related content is 2-3 weeks ahead. Start building excitement around Halloween, reheat during the Thanksgiving week and finally launch your enticing holiday journey come Black Friday.
Greet. Whatever the niche, a customer wants to feel appreciated, which is why adding an extra human touch to your messages is now more important than ever. Assemble your team and brainstorm the warmest, most inviting and charming holiday card for all of your website visitors to see.
Leverage. Don’t panic if all eyes are finally on your landing page! Come holiday time, website traffic usually skyrockets, so be prepared to leverage these rates for effective lead generation, to convert newbies with flash sales and free shipping and to make the regulars come back for more with “You Might Like This” sections and other upselling incentives of a similar kind.
4. Online Advertising
“Black Friday Ads” is one of the most researched phrases throughout November, so be careful not to miss on that marketing possibility either. Even if the organic part of your holiday campaign already runs smoothly, giving an additional push to special offers is quite a clever strategy, especially because paid advertising isn’t so costly anymore.
When? Facebook ads are still the furthest-reaching ones, and the most favorable time for deploying those is the last Sunday before the due day.
Retarget.A recent study has found that retargeting ads have the potential of increasing the number of branded web searches by a startling 1046%! Believe it or not, Black Friday is when customers leave their shopping traces all over the place, thus making it quite easy for you to track them down and bring them back. And since those are the ones that have already made at least one of the many potential touchpoints with your brand, a retargeting ad won’t have many problems intriguing them once again.
5. Special Deals
Given that coupons, gift certificates, freebies and other promotional material of the same kind should remain in the very core of your Black Friday marketing efforts, regardless of when, where or how, and we cannot but express a couple of ideas of our own. In most cases, these special deals can address your customers via all available channels.
When? Special deals should be timed in accordance to your channel of choice and its specific dynamic.
Exclusivity. Whether it comes to offering hourly online deals or inviting potential buyers to a special Black Friday happening, the exclusivity incentives can make your customer experience not only pleasant, but luxurious as well.
Convenience. Still, not everyone is a fan of elite shopping experiences; sometimes, customers simply want to be met halfway. To their convenience, empower your Black Friday email newsletter with a gift guide, post a shopping tips checklist to your blog or merely offer them an extended deal.
Excitement. Marketing is not only about meeting your target audience’s expectation, but about exceeding them as well. Raise excitement with a mystery subscription deal or a filmed sneak peek of what you have prepared for the forthcoming Christmas shopping season.
Devotion. Customer loyalty goes both ways: in order for customers to turn to regulars, you’ll need to show them how valuable they are for your company’s future growth. Express your devotion with regulars-only free shipping, gift cards and supplementary discounts.
Even the least obsessed of shoppers feel that they deserve some good old Friday spending for all the hard work they’ve done over the week. If you’re unable to grasp the significance of Black Friday, simply put it in these terms – being a holiday that celebrates our purchasing itches and gratifies our year-long temperance, the 25th November is what the commerce continent of the business world has been eagerly expecting since last Christmas.
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