Every year, "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" mark a global sales extravaganza for retailers. To succeed during this shopping season, email and SMS marketing have become essential tools. Mindy Regnell's article on the Postscript blog, titled "10 Winning Strategies for Utilizing Email and SMS Marketing During BFCM," provides a comprehensive overview of best practices to help you drive sales during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) period.
1. Establish a Smart Sending Strategy:
- Understanding your audience's behavior is key to optimizing your BFCM email and SMS marketing campaigns. During the BFCM season, consumer attention is at its peak. Postscript's data from BFCM 2022 reveals that the most active periods for email and SMS engagement are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. However, don't overlook the potential of off-peak hours, specifically from 1 pm to 5 pm EST, where competition for attention is lower, and you may achieve a higher EPM. Tailor your sending strategy to balance visibility and competition.
2. Offer the Opt-Out Option:
- Respecting subscriber preferences is not only a best practice but a legal requirement. Give your subscribers the freedom to choose whether they want to receive BFCM-specific messages. This proactive approach not only helps you maintain a healthy sender reputation but also fosters goodwill with your audience, leading to more engaged subscribers in the long run.
3. Segment Your List:
- Segmentation is a powerful technique to deliver more relevant content. Break your subscriber list into meaningful segments based on factors such as purchase history, product interests, location, and previous interactions. Tailoring your messaging to these segments allows you to provide personalized and valuable content that resonates with each group, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
4. Create a Sense of Urgency:
- Creating a sense of urgency can significantly impact BFCM sales. Utilize psychological triggers like "limited-time offers" and "exclusive deals" to make subscribers feel that they shouldn't miss out. Consider sharing real-time updates on product availability or setting countdown timers to amplify the feeling of urgency. Craft compelling copy that drives the point home, emphasizing the rarity and time-sensitivity of your promotions.
5. Personalize Your Messages:
- Personalization is more than just addressing your subscribers by their first name. Utilize data to recommend products that align with their previous purchases, browsing history, and preferences. Implement dynamic content that adapts to the recipient's unique profile. The more tailored and relevant your messages are, the higher the chances of engagement and conversions.
6. Include Clear Calls to Action:
- Don't assume that your subscribers know what to do next. A crystal-clear call to action (CTA) guides them toward the desired action, whether it's clicking a link to your website, making a purchase, or applying a discount code. Make your CTAs visually prominent, concise, and compelling. Use action verbs like "Shop Now" or "Get Started" to prompt an immediate response.
7. Test Different Campaign Variations:
- A/B testing is your laboratory for discovering what works best with your audience. Experiment with various elements of your email and SMS campaigns, including subject lines, email copy, images, and CTA buttons. By measuring open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, you can pinpoint the strategies that resonate most effectively with your subscribers. Be prepared to iterate and refine based on your findings.
8. Use Automation to Save Time and Effort:
- Automation is your secret weapon during the busy BFCM season. Set up workflows to handle routine tasks such as welcome emails, cart abandonment reminders, and post-purchase follow-ups. This not only ensures timely communication but also frees up your team's bandwidth to focus on strategic initiatives and exceptional customer service.
9. Track Results and Optimize Campaigns:
- Data analysis is the backbone of successful BFCM campaigns. Monitor key performance metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated. Leverage analytics tools to gain deep insights into customer behavior. With a data-driven approach, you can make informed decisions on which strategies to double down on and where improvements are needed.
10. Don't Forget About SMS:
- SMS marketing offers an immediate and direct line of communication with your customers. Use this channel to provide real-time updates on your BFCM deals, exclusive offers, and last-minute reminders. Ensure your SMS campaigns comply with relevant regulations to maintain trust and effectiveness in this high-impact channel.
By following these best practices, you can harness the power of email and SMS marketing to drive sales and boost revenue during the BFCM period. Keep in mind that BFCM, or "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday," refers to the last Friday in November and the following Monday, which mark an annual shopping frenzy, attracting millions of consumers in search of discounts and deals. It's a prime opportunity for retailers and e-commerce businesses to welcome the sales season with open arms. We hope these strategies help you succeed during BFCM.