Black Friday is a little over two short weeks away! But, if you haven’t started planning your Black Friday marketing strategy yet, don’t worry. There’s still time!
Whether your goal is to get more visitors to your retail store or increase online sales, email marketing provides a cost-effective avenue for engaging with shoppers. In fact, the average ROI for email marketing is estimated at approximately 4300%, making it an obvious choice for the holiday season to increase year-end profits.
These Black Friday marketing tips will give you some great ideas for promoting your business right up until the last minute:
In-Store Marketing Tips
Many business owners mistakenly believe that email marketing is best suited for ecommerce stores, where subscribers can click-through from emails to visit online storefronts and make immediate purchases. However, email is a marketing channel that truly benefits companies of all types and sizes.
If you have a local business, the holiday shopping season is a prime time to get started with email marketing (or ramp up your existing efforts). With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday right around the corner, it’s time to get your in-store email strategy in place.
1. Use Emails to Encourage Visits
Offering in-store promotions is the most effective way to increase store visits!
Promotions can take the form of coupons, free gift wrapping, bonus giveaways, discounted delivery, or anything else that you can think of to excite shoppers and generate interest.
Make sure your emails specify when promotions will run to clearly communicate with shoppers — you don’t want to waste their time during the busy season. Plus, being specific about incentivizing shoppers to visit on a particular day, weekend, or week creates the kind of engagement that will increase foot traffic and sales.
Local Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
If you have multiple locations, include a local-friendly CTA to help orient subscribers and make their visits smoother. You can do this by including a button that takes recipients to the section of your website where you list locations and then optimize this page for mobile-use.
Highlight in-store holiday events through your emails, announcing upcoming happenings and reminding subscribers when events are approaching.
You can also include social media profile buttons to give recipients an easy way to follow your brand on social media for the most up-to-date information regarding these events.
This is also a great way to promote awareness of your event in the community — giving shoppers a simple way to share the event with friends and family.
If you use an SMS marketing solution, you can also give email subscribers a way to sign up for text communications and reminders from your emails. Uniting these marketing efforts creates an unstoppable cross-channel bang that reaches shoppers on the devices they use most frequently to ensure they get the right message at the right time.
Give subscribers the most up-to-date information about which products you have in-stock. Announce new arrivals when you get them. This is especially important for the season’s hottest products. It allows you to build brand buzz and encourage more visits.
If you run out of stock for a popular item, you can also post any information about possible new shipments that are coming in to replenish the inventory. This is a great way to encourage customers to come back for a product if they really know what they want.
2. Give Shoppers the Option to Sign Up for Emails
Set up a Sign-Up Sheet
It may sound silly to advise putting out a basic sign-up sheet, but simply offering a way for shoppers to sign up for your emails is always more effective than not asking! You may be surprised how many shoppers will sign up for emails (even shoppers who may have just been casually browsing).
If you have an internet connection and a tablet or computer, you can make it even easier for customers. Just leave your device open to a page with your email subscription form available so users can type their email address straight into the form field.
Create a Raffle
Free raffles are an easy way to collect a lot of email addresses that you can use to market to over the holidays and throughout the year afterwards.
But, you should make sure to disclose that signing up for the raffle also signs shoppers up for your emails. Otherwise, you may end up with some grumpy recipients and unsubscribes after the holidays.
Ask at Checkout
Existing customers are far more likely to sign up for emails than window shoppers, which means that asking for an email address at checkout can be a lucrative way to build your email list.
Talk up the benefits of signing up without being pushy to give shoppers a reason to provide their personal information. You can even give them a coupon for their next visit if they sign up.
Online Marketing Tips
For ecommerce retailers, the main marketing communication channel with customers is email! It’s one of the best ways to drive customers back to your store and communicate any special offers that you might have going on for the season.
Holiday email marketing doesn’t differ much from your year-round best practices, except that it concentrates more effort into a smaller timeframe.
So, if you’re already dominating the email game, keep doing what you’re doing. Otherwise, take some time to find clever ways to target subscribers more effectively and create the kinds of emails that will get them to make a purchase.
If you’re at a loss for ideas, here are some suggestions:
1. Send Targeted Promotional Emails
Segmenting your email list is the number one way to tailor the content of your emails to the recipient. It allows you to target a smaller subset of your email contacts and align the content of the email with exactly what they need.
So, where do you start segmenting contacts?
Past Purchase Data
Use purchase history to segment customers and then customize emails to appeal to their purchase behaviors.
Targeting subscribers based on what they’ve purchased before allows you to promote complementary products and suggest other types of products that may interest them.
Using customer-defined preferences as a basis for segmentation is a surefire way to create email content that will appeal to subscribers. To do this, give subscribers a chance to tell you a bit about themselves at the time of signup. Usually, this entails specifying a gender, but you can also add other fields as well.
If you allow subscribers to set topic and frequency preferences at initial sign-up and respect these preferences, the engagement rate will be much higher than sending generic emails to your entire list of contacts.
2. Create a Sense of Urgency
Urgency is a very powerful marketing tool. This is especially true when talking about email promotions. In fact, creating a sense of urgency in your emails can increase sales by over 300%!
Now there’s a number to write home to Mom about!
But, how exactly can you achieve this?
Utilizing limited-time language in email subject lines and CTAs (calls-to-action) is a savvy way to create urgency with recipients to increase sales. Mirror this language with an action-based tone to create a seamless experience.
Including countdown timers in your emails to let recipients know how much time is left until sales end and important dates arrive is a sophisticated way to create urgency.
In-email countdowns can tick down the hours and minutes left on flash sales and display the amount of time remaining until shipping cut-offs for major holidays like Christmas. The psychological effect of seeing a ticking countdown clock is a very powerful incentive for shoppers to take action and make a purchase.
Fear of Missing Out
FOMO (fear of missing out) is powerful marketing tactic that you can reiterate through your use of language.
Including phrases in your emails like “biggest sale of the year” or “best prices of the season” encourage recipients to shop before it’s too late.
Re-engage Shoppers that Abandon Carts
Abandoned shopping carts are just a reality in the ecommerce world.
But that doesn’t mean that they have to be missed opportunities! Emails are a great opportunity to re-engage consumers that abandon shopping carts.
Offering discounts and other promotions is a surefire way to bring shoppers back, especially during the holidays when shoppers tend to browse more before pulling the trigger on purchases.
3. Increase Average Order Value
It’s great to have people making purchases at your online store, but you know what’s even better?
That’s right! Having those people order more things at the time of purchase. There are a few ways that you can do this:
Providing a free shipping threshold is the most common way to increase average order value (AOV). Just be sure to set the threshold enough above your average product price that shoppers must purchase another product to hit it instead of just opting for a small add-on to meet the required minimum.
For example, if your average product is $45, don’t offer free shipping on all orders over $50. Instead, offer free shipping for orders over $75. This will ensure that customers will buy more than one large good to satisfy the free shipping threshold.
Percentage Off Discount
Giving a percentage off orders over a certain dollar value is another way to increase AOV. You can either set one threshold to receive the discount or create savings tiers (e.g. 10% off orders over $100, 15% off orders over $150, and 20% off orders over $200).
Customers who are on the fence about spending more will be driven to do so by the prospect of getting a larger discount on those goods.
There you have it! 5 tips to make the most of your Black Friday marketing this holiday season. Now you’re ready to take your Black Friday sales to the next level. 🙂
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