Black Friday and its younger online sibling Cyber Monday are right around the corner. It’s a big weekend shopping and an increasingly important time of year for eCommerce stores. More people than ever are choosing to buy online, rather than line up in the cold at brick-and-mortar stores. To capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) demand, get your email campaigns ready to go.

To capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday demand, get your email campaigns ready to go. Click To Tweet

But are Black Friday and Cyber Monday really that important? Surely people shop on Tuesday, too, right?

According to data from Shopify, those two days are extremely significant. The platform sees huge spikes in orders on Friday and Monday versus the rest of November.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns

These two days (and the week before and two days in between) are so important that your traditional email marketing messages aren’t enough. For this big sales weekend, you’ll have to boost your game a bit with three new email campaigns.

Use this checklist to make sure your email marketing program is ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

1. A unique cart abandonment campaign

Cart abandonment is higher than ever during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2017, it rose as high as 74.5 percent, which is about five percent higher than usual.

Cart abandonment is higher than ever during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Click To Tweet

You should already have a cart abandonment campaign running–if you don’t, now’s the time to create one. But because cart abandonment spikes during the BFCM run, it’s a good time to give your campaigns a holiday feel.

Keep in mind that your Black Friday and Cyber Monday customers may not be buying for themselves, even if your customers usually do. You might find it helpful to add language to your cart abandonment emails that reminds them to finish their gift purchase, such as…

  • “Did you forget to buy that special gift?”
  • “Finish your holiday shopping before you run out of time!”
  • “We think you forgot to finish your gift shopping…”

Of course, it’s also smart to leverage scarcity even more than usual. Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday are one-day events (or at most, a four-day span), any deals you’re running probably won’t last long. Here’s some language you might use in your cart abandonment emails:

  • “Finish your purchase before the sale ends.”
  • “Your cart total will increase tomorrow – buy today!”
  • “Your Cyber Monday items won’t be available on Tuesday.”

You’ll also want to adjust the timing of your emails. We generally recommend sending three cart abandonment emails: 60 minutes, one day, and two days post-abandonment. If you’re promoting a one-day Black Friday sale, you don’t have multiple days. Reduce your timeframe so your emails go out at 60 minutes, two hours, and four hours. (Or send only two emails on the day of the sale, and turn your final message into a sort of win-back email with a separate deal design to lure shoppers back into the fold who weren’t enticed by your BFCM sale.)

2. The standard promotional campaign

Naturally, you’ll want to have some kind of promotion. You don’t have to offer a discount, although people tend to expect it more on this weekend than any other, especially if you sell B2C products. Even if you don’t give something away, it’s still smart to curate and feature some products as a Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotion.

You don’t have to offer a discount for Black Friday / Cyber Monday, although people expect it, especially if you sell B2C products. Click To Tweet

The challenge with BFCM email campaigns is that your subscribers get a lot of them. Retailers send more than 50 percent more promotional emails during this time than usual. So you’ll need to be especially compelling if you want your subscribers to open your messages.

Make sure they actually get your emails

First, make sure your emails are actually landing in your subscribers’ inboxes rather than going to spam. This means following email deliverability best practices.

Second, use a sender name (the “from” name) that your subscribers know well (it’s the part of your email 42 percent of people will look at first). Sometimes it’s valuable to change your sender name, but during Black Friday and Cyber Monday is not one of those times. Don’t experiment during such a big sales window. Stick with what works and what people will recognize.

Third, you really have to get those subject lines right. Unlike a transactional email (like a receipt) that people expect, they’ll use the subject line of your promotional emails to decide whether to open your message.

Avoid ALL CAPS subject lines, even if you’re super excited. Feel free to drop in some emojis, but don’t get carried away. As always, A/B test your subject lines to find and use the ones that work the best.

Fourth, send your emails at the right time for your audience. Your subscribers will receive many Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns. They’ll be looking for reasons to delete some without reading, so it’s important to deliver your message when they’re happy to read. Use your historical data to discover the right time.

But here’s a tip: You typically want to send your email before peak shopping times. Emails sent on the Sunday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday have an especially good ROI.

Make your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns stand out

You have to make your Black Friday / Cyber Monday emails more compelling than the countless other campaigns your subscribers will get. Click To Tweet

Use bold imagery and colors in your email along with short, snappy, simple copy. Your subscribers will be wading through a lot of emails. They won’t bother combing through paragraphs upon paragraphs of words.

This United by Blue email is a great example of simple, bold, and easy-to-consume and design.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns

So is this email by Herschel.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns

If you’re giving out a discount, it’s smart to make it the feature of your campaign. BB Dakota does it well by putting those words right at the top in a BIG font size.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns

A fun technique is to hype your promotions long before the big day. Instead of trying to stand out in your subscribers’ inbox, this method will get them looking for your email. Zagg does this well by announcing their sale two weeks in advance.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns

If you decide to give a discount, be a bit unpredictable with it. Starve your subscribers for discounts in the run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday so they’ll be hungry for one come Thanksgiving. Then use scarcity and urgency to entice your subscribers to make quick buying decisions.

3. A unique post-purchase campaign

Communicating with your customers and nurturing a relationship is an important function of email marketing. It’s smart to send a series of messages after new customers make their purchase.

Use a special #BFCM post-purchase email to nurture a long-lasting relationship with your customers. #eCommerce Click To Tweet

The first post-purchase email is your receipt, but there’s little reason to update it for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You might give it some holiday style, but that won’t create more sales (at least not directly—it may boost overall customer delight, which could lead to repeat purchasing down the line).

Many brands like to send a separate thank you email apart from the order receipt. These can be useful if your order values are quite high or to send information specific to the product being ordered, such as warranty information, installation instructions, or how-to guides.

If you send one of these, you could use it to deliver special information that’s specific to the popular shopping weekend. For instance, you might let your customers know…

  • That shipping may take longer than usual due to the high volume of deliveries through the post office and package carriers.
  • That your Black Friday / Cyber Monday items are subject to a special return, exchange, and refund policy.
  • Other ways for your customers to participate in your promotion.

If you send an upsell email sometime post-purchase, consider substituting it for a special Black Friday / Cyber Monday upsell message that gives customers time to buy again before your promotion ends. You may also want to include some of your promotional items.

And if you send an email to entice new customers to join your loyalty/rewards program, Black Friday / Cyber Monday is a great time to offer them something special for signing up. You’ll have a lot of first-time customers during this time of the year, so don’t be afraid to push those relationships.

Free download: Your Black Friday and Cyber Monday preparedness checklist.

Prepare your BFCM campaigns early

If you follow our advice, you’ll need several brand new emails designed, edited, and tested before Black Friday. Create them early so you can promote your deals before the weekend as well. People love the anticipation of knowing something is coming.

Besides, the sooner you get yourself in order for Black Friday / Cyber Monday, the sooner you can start thinking about your other holiday emails. smile

About the Author Beka Rice

Beka is the head of product at Jilt. She works on app improvements, integration plugins, helping merchants improve recovery campaigns, and shares tutorials on reducing abandonment or improving recovery on our blog.

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