Black Friday and Cyber Monday have turned into unofficial holidays for many families. Although the trend to shop on Thanksgiving night faded some with the pandemic, there is still an emphasis by the largest retailers to get people shopping and spending on those days.
If you’re a small business owner, it isn’t easy to complete with the sales offered by the more prominent national or international brands. Your supply chain doesn’t support 90% off.
How can you compete from a value-based perspective?
With email marketing, you can change the conversation. There is more to a transaction than the total cost. When this information gets communicated to potential customers, you can start being more competitive.
These tips will help you navigate that process as a small business owner for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
What Are the Best Ways to Generate Leads on Shopping Holidays?
The best way to unlock the door to success with Black Friday or Cyber Monday is to capture and maintain the attention of potential customers. It often takes more than a discount or a promotion to achieve this result.
Implementing the following tactics can generate results that take you through the holiday shopping season and beyond.
1. Plan ahead for the promotional days.
If people thought 2020 was a tough year, they should take a closer look at 2021.
Many of the economic protections that governments passed were removed. In addition, some countries continued to institute movement lockdowns that prevented businesses from operating at total capacity.
When planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions, it is important to remember that small businesses aren’t usually the trendsetters.
Your company fills in the gaps that people don’t have met by the larger retailers. That means you need to plan ahead by listening to the feedback your current customers offer.
Before implementing an email marketing campaign, it is also helpful to ask yourself the following questions as a small business owner.
- What have I done in the past that worked well, and what ideas didn’t turn out as expected?
- Did my direct competitors do something that turned out to be successful?
- Where do I want to drive consumers who are interested in what my small business offers?
- What items or services have been the most popular in the past few weeks?
- Do I have specific audience or demographic segments that are spending more money right now?
Once you have answers to those questions, it is time to provide information to your customers. About 4 out of every 5 consumers perform online research before buying anything, even at a store.
If you can notify people about what they can expect from your small business on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in advance, it’ll be easier to capture their attention in future emails.
This process should start about two months ahead of when you plan to hold your sales. Since most small business owners wear multiple hats, it helps to create a calendar that offers reminders of when it is time to plan the holiday shopping experience.
2. Get their attention right away from the inbox.
Your small business isn’t the only entity vying for attention through email. Most potential customers get around 100 notifications per day that promise different promos and discounts on top of the regular spam, personal messages, and other content received by email.
That means your message must rise above the noise to get noticed. Although every person has preferences that they’d like to see from an inbox message, you can achieve better results by implementing the following tactics.
- Use a persuasive subject line. People know that Black Friday or Cyber Monday is starting. Avoid the clichés if you want your small business to get noticed. Think about what would entice someone to click, summarize that info into a single phrase, and try to keep things to 30 characters or less for mobile users.
- Personalize the content. You should be identifiable as the email sender. Now is not the time to experiment with different techniques or use anything other than your brand or business to communicate. The goals of this communication are to inform and build trust. You can’t achieve that outcome if you’re less than authentic.
- Be informative. The email preheader should deliver more information about the value offered in the message. Most clients pull at least the first text line into the inbox today, which means someone can see if it’s worth their time to read what you’ve sent without a click.
- Eliminate the filler words. You have precious space in the email subject line, especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday messaging. Don’t use fillers that could be in the content body. Even phrases like “hello” or “thank you” shouldn’t be part of the initial introduction.
- Use logical keywords. Most people have folders and filters set up to manage their email communications. The average person doesn’t focus on your message when they first see it unless they happened to be checking their inbox when it arrived. That’s why using keywords that are easily searchable is helpful when putting together your small business messaging. It’ll put your information at the top of this list.
Send your own email marketing campaigns for Black Friday.
Mailster is a full feature email marketing solution for small businesses which can help you attract more sales for your business.
It is easy to overthink this process. The goal should be to keep things as simple as possible when contacting potential leads.
If you want more attention brought to your small business, then be authentic with your email marketing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Even if your efforts don’t generate sales during the holidays, you might get some business in the next calendar year.
3. Be persuasive with your information.
Although it is crucial for an email to stand out in a customer’s inbox, you must give people a reason to consider your proposal over what your competitors offer. What is the unique sales proposition that your small business provides that no one else can match?
If you’re unsure of your position, these steps can help you stop getting lost in the crowd – whether it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or another day when you’re open for business.
- List the benefits or features of what you offer. A simple Google search that compares your small business with its direct competitors can help you identify the benefits that set you apart. The comparison point that delivers the most value should be at the top of this list, and then continue ranking them from most to least important.
- Think about the needs you meet. People purchase products or services because they solve problems or make life more convenient. Think about how customers would perceive what you offer, how it stands out, and the benefits that come from it.
- Describe what cannot be imitated. What stands out about your product or service that a direct competitor cannot duplicate? Take the best three options, highlight them for your unique sales proposition, and make them an essential part of your email messaging.
- Keep your phrase descriptions short. No one has the time to read a short novel in their inbox. Try to have the messaging restricted to 250 words or less when describing the benefits you offer as a small business owner.
- Avoid large content blocks. It helps to use short paragraphs and sentences when describing the benefits of your goods or services. Try to highlight the keywords or phrases that people focus on when looking for what you offer.
When potential customers read an email, they want to know what’s in it for them. Your Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails should make it a point to describe the value of that investment in clear and accurate terms.
If you can solve problems quickly and for a great price, it’ll be much easier to win some business during the holiday shopping season.
That messaging should also be mobile-friendly. Most emails get opened on apps today instead of in browsers from laptops or desktop computers. If your message is difficult to read on a small screen, it’ll get ignored.
4. Focus on the middle of your sales funnel.
The unique aspect of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that it naturally progresses people through your sales funnels. You have visitors coming to your site, potentially using a shopping cart as a holding rack, waiting to see where the best deals originate.
That means your email marketing campaign must include a cart abandonment feature. By reminding people that they thought of your items enough to add them to the shopping bag, it’s easier for your brand to stay at the top of the mind.
Cart abandonment emails are a non-judgmental way to gently nudge people who got distracted during the shopping process.
When you include the following information with that follow-up note, your small business can often restart the forward momentum that carries people to the end of your sales funnel.
- Switch your email marketing templates to seasonal ones, but don’t forget to continue represent ingyour branding, colors, mission, and vision as a small business owner.
- Include as much product data as possible, including the description, image, and any promotions used.
- Adding a shipping calendar to this email follow-up can give people an estimate on when to expect delivery.
- Offer reminders about when a discount or promotion ends so that the best price possible is achievable.
- Send a final email when a cart is about to expire to generate one last reconsideration from the potential leads you’ve worked hard to create.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are often busy days for families. Many carts don’t get abandoned on purpose! When your small business can send a simple reminder, it’ll bring people back.
5. Offer a loyalty program.
In 2019, only 9% of e-commerce websites were offering a rewards program to loyal customers.
We live in an era where value is a top emphasis for almost every consumer. It’ll be easier to capture their attention or retain their business if you can help them stretch the value of their holiday shopping investments further.
Loyalty programs deliver added value by focusing on the customer instead of the competition. It’s a way to help your small business build credibility through customer interactions.
If you don’t have a loyalty program yet, building one to introduce at the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush can generate lots of attention.
You can send reminders of this added value during your holiday email marketing campaign when you have an active program.
The overall goal is to reward customer loyalty with this effort. The discounts or promotions don’t need to be massive to be effective, but they should be high enough to generate attention.
6. Personalize the messages with customer data.
Personalized email messages always do better than the ones that are batched and blasted to everyone. That process starts at the subject line.
When you can get someone’s attention, it often translates to a brand ping or an email getting opened.
A personalized email tells people that they’re more than a revenue commodity for your small business. It says that you care enough about them that you’re sending valuable and relevant information in a timely way.
Although sending a cookie-cutter message to everyone saves time, try to work with a provider that offers data-driven outreach efforts based on consumer behavior.
Those emails might include purchase history info, personal preferences, browsing behaviors, or even how long they’ve been with you as a customer. Showing people that they are important to you is what works to build trust in your customer base.
7. Have a focused call to action.
The entire point of a Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing push is to drive more people to your small business’s landing page. Without those clicks, you won’t see an increase in transactions from this investment.
It helps to have one primary call to action in your email message. Although it might seem practical to include several different ideas, a busy structure only creates confusion and distractions.
Confused prospects typically avoid or delete email contacts, especially during a shopping holiday when dozens of other businesses are vying for their attention.
You want to guide your leads to take a specific call to action with your email outreach efforts. The goal is to tease the benefits that the reader receives when visiting your landing page.
When the holiday shopping email, call to action, and landing page are congruent, you’ll be following a recipe that can lead to successful outcomes for your small business.
The primary call to action can be offered in multiple locations. It’s a best practice to include it above the fold, in the middle, and towards the end of the message.
Are You Ready for the Holiday Shopping Rush?
Once your email marketing structures are honed and ready, it is time to look at the user experience that customers can expect after clicking.
A fantastic Black Friday and Cyber Monday email gets ruined when people have poor website or shopping experiences.
Before the holiday shopping rush happens, you’ll want to look at user flows, checkout processes, and navigational steps to make everything as simple as possible. Building a site that meets the needs of your shoppers will maximize the impact of your emails.