Black Friday and Cyber Monday can deliver a big boost to retailers’ bottom lines. For some segments, those four days can bring in as much as 40% of revenues.
Your marketing strategy for these days in late November should be developed now, not a few weeks before the holiday sales season kicks off. (Black Friday is November 29 in 2019.)
Here 8 questions to ask as you develop a marketing plan for this season:
What kind of offers will you make to your customers? There are a number of strategies to take. Some retailers focus their efforts solely on Friday and Monday. Others celebrate Cyber Weekend with deals running from Friday through Monday – offering different specials each day. For example, a clothing retailer could offer a 30% discount on sweaters on Friday, 25% off on jeans on Saturday, 30% off coats on Sunday and 40% off boots on Monday. In 2018, companies could even be seen to run specials through a full Cyber Week beginning on Cyber Monday and ending the following Friday.
The longevity of your sales period isn’t the only factor to consider here, the length of your promotions themselves should be considered. Perhaps you will offer a different “doorbuster” sale each hour that promotes traffic and quick sales during certain times of the day. Another way to increase sales is to bundle related products and offer special pricing on these packages.
Email gets a workout for BFCM marketing because, unlike direct mail, you can determine exactly when it will arrive in a customer’s inbox. The downside is that because retailers hit BFCM hard, your email will need to stand out from the pile. An enticing subject line is key–no “big sale today” but instead something that piques a customers interest like “our best-rated yoga pants half off until 8 pm tonight.” Having an endpoint for a special – such as a doorbuster sale – will create a sense of urgency. A lot of marketers add countdown timers to emails so that shoppers can see that the time to get the deal is slipping away. You might want to send a series of emails throughout the day to remind customers of your limited time offer and nudge them toward purchase.
Make sure your email is easy to read and see on mobile devices as many shoppers–even those who plan to buy online–will be out shopping, going to movies, and traveling to see family over the holiday weekend so their mobile device will be used more than ever. A slow loading time or device compatibility issues will frustrate shoppers. Be sure and include a sign-up function; when an online user visits your page, it is likely they are interested in your offers.
Create a dedicated landing page for your specials, which will allow you to track sales of your BFCM deals and the impact they deliver. This data will be valuable as you develop your BFCM for future holidays.
Specials and discounts that target customers’ previous purchasing habits or product preferences are typically more successful. Online retailers can tailor their offers to groups of customers based on buying patterns. You could also tailor offers based on gender, age and income. Create separate email campaigns to your past and potential customers. You don’t have to offer the same deal to all.
Email marketing is used extensively to market Black Friday/Cyber Monday, so make sure your email list is (1) robust and (2) accurate. If you aren’t already, use multiple means to collect customers’ email addresses–at checkout in-store and on your website, by inviting customers to opt-in to receive email updates and specials. As motivation, retailers sometimes offer a discount in exchange for email and other personal info like birthdays and interests as far as merchandise. Review your current email address list for accuracy and eliminate outdated addresses as well as addresses from which you have not received responses in a year or more.
Most retailers will pour most of their marketing into email efforts, but don’t forget that direct mail can also be a part of the mix. There are several good reasons to use it. For one, it can alert customers of your Black Friday/CyberMonday specials in advance, so they can better plan their shopping strategy. An inexpensive postcard will be well-read and could also include a special discount code. Although we all assume everyone shops online these days there are still customers who don’t, either because they lack internet access or have worries about security. A direct mail piece, sent well before BF/CM can target this audience. Have your direct mail list cleaned now to remove outdated addresses and duplicates.
Setting a minimum purchase level to qualify for free shipping can increase your average sale. If the average purchase for your customers is $35, a minimum free shipping threshold of $50 might motivate a customer to add a pair of gloves or hat to their order and get free shipping, especially if they have already purchased two sweaters at 40% off with their Cyber Monday discount.
After you have mapped out your plan, it is wise to automate your email marketing as much as possible. If you aren’t already using this software, check out reviews at trusted sources like PC Magazine.
If you’d like to talk about how we can assist with your Black Friday/Cyber Monday marketing, give us a call.
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