Email marketers can use these Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 strategies to make holiday campaigns and offers a success.
In an earlier post, we discussed where consumers plan to shop this holiday season. In this article, we share strategies email marketers can use to capture greater market share during Cyber Week 2019.
Cyber Week refers to the days from the Monday before Thanksgiving (when most big holiday sales offers begin) through Cyber Monday. The time between Cyber Week and Christmas Day is shorter this year because Thanksgiving falls late in the month. That makes planning ahead for this holiday shopping season more important than last year.
1. Get Your Email Marketing Data Ready
One of the most valuable Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 strategies you can implement will be ensuring you’re starting with clean email marketing data. Use email list verification services to check the accuracy and deliverability of email addresses in the marketing database. Add an API to web lead forms, at retail kiosks, or anywhere customer data is collected to check the accuracy of email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses before adding them to the database.
This is always a good practice for keeping marketing data clean. But because consumers will have less time to shop and ship their presents, and companies will likely need to pick up the slack with fast order fulfillment and shipping, it’s going to be particularly important to ensure customers are typing in their shipping and billing information correctly.
2. Promote Offers That Take Into Account a Shorter Shipping Season
For many consumers, wrapping presents and sticking them under the Christmas tree or bringing them to other holiday events is something to look forward to. Packing them up in boxes and shipping them in time to loved ones generally isn’t.
Customers often shop online during the holidays to avoid crowded stores, but they may also be trying to avoid crowded post offices. If waiting in long post office lines to pay high shipping rates isn’t enough to make shoppers cringe, delayed packages are. Nobody wants to picture their loved one’s disappointment when they look for presents under the tree that haven’t made it there in time.
When retailers can take the burden of packaging and getting presents delivered in time off consumers’ shoulders, it can be a competitive advantage. But with fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, “Shipping included” and/or “Guaranteed to arrive by December 24” will be music to shopper’s ears.
The more deals a retailer can offer, shipping options they can provide, and time they can save on arrival of orders, the better. Amazon, with its speedy shipping offers for Prime members, and other online retailers that can offer discounted shipping rates and guaranteed arrival dates could see an increase in sales by making these options available.
3. Ensure Internal Teams are Ready for Campaign Success
Important to the success of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 strategies will be ensuring there is sufficient product to meet demand and operational efficiencies in place for order taking, fulfillment, and accelerated shipping schedules.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 Strategies Beyond Email Marketing
While inventory and shipping responsibilities don’t fall to email marketers, the promotions they send during Cyber Week and the ability of the company to fulfill any orders that result from those promotions are inextricably linked. Marketing teams should work with other internal departments as necessary to identify any gaps between what they promote or promise and what the company can deliver. Together, they can determine:
- Which products will be in stock and possible to ship in time
- What products may need to be reviewed by inventory management to prepare for a spike in demand
- Whether there is enough profit margin to include shipping costs in the price or offer discounted shipping rates
- If some products will need to move earlier in the season to deliver them on time (For example, retailers that offer personalization for items will need a longer lead time to prepare and deliver them, so they may want to extend their sales offers earlier in the season to avoid missing out on shoppers who have shipping time constraints.)
- If websites are primed and ready to handle the high volume of orders expected (“In stock and ready to ship” messages could go a long way toward encouraging online sales, but there must be seamless integration between inventory management tools and ecommerce sites to avoid disappointing customers.)
- What consumers and clients are expressing an interest in or the types of discounts they’re looking for (a conversation among marketing, customer success, and sales teams can reveal great insight into what is trending with customers)
4. Adhere to Best Practices for Email Marketing
Meanwhile, the marketing team can plan for a robust email marketing initiative to drive sales during Cyber Week. With this generally being the time that digital campaign volume is highest, it’s a great time to remember to stick to best practices for email marketing:
- Evaluate the performance of holiday campaigns from the previous year (What worked and what didn’t? Did sending on certain days or dates leading up to the holiday get higher ROI?)
- Don’t send every person in the database every campaign message – Have a cadence of emails that make sense for promoting Cyber Week deals without damaging sender reputation.
- Use audience segmentation to target individuals during the holiday season with the most appropriate offers – If the messages resonate, you’ll have less chance being marked as spam or having customers unsubscribe.
- Make everything you are promoting in your email easily clickable with a direct link to the product(s) featured – No one wants to see a particular product and offer that excites them, only to end up on a page with all the products in that category to have to search through.
- Don’t send holiday emails just to send them – Like any digital campaign you send, identify the specific goals you want to accomplish. How many clicks do you expect? Purchases? Measure campaign performance like you would other campaigns.