As an ecommerce store owner, are you ready for your best Black Friday season yet? We’re sure you’re aware that Black Friday is on November 26 in 2021 so that gives you roughly a month for the D-day. And guess what? The time to start preparing for Black Friday was yesterday. Ok we kid. But what we are serious about is that you should absolutely start preparing for Black Friday now if you haven’t. Just as we’re easing out of the pandemic and life slowly returns to normal the market sentiments too are looking positive, and this year is expected to beat even the last year’s sale records. Just FYI, 2020 Black Friday was the biggest ever ecommerce week of all times. Shopify reported over $35 billion in orders in a single cyber week, which was 20% growth over the previous years. Going by the past trends, this year is expected to clock $50 billion.
Question is: Is your ecommerce store prepared to maximise its BFCM revenue?
But the good part is we can help you get there. Since we’re an email marketing agency, we’re going to limit the scope of this BFCM prep toolkit to email marketing, and for a good reason.
Email accounted for an average of 25% of all ecommerce revenue within our 50 odd clients during Black Friday in 2020. Stores made anywhere between 15% to 70% of their entire BFCM revenue from email marketing alone!
Blendjet, one of our oldest clients, made $800k or 17% of their $5 million BFCM revenue from email, while a new store made 71% of its $200k odd BFCM revenue from email. You get the drift. Email may be one of the most neglected channels of digital marketing, but it is one that has the most potential as a single platform to get the most revenue.
Get this: If our clients got an average of 25% of their entire BFCM revenue from email marketing in 2020, then the remaining channels: Organic, direct, social media ads, Google ads, influencer marketing, and others contributed 65% COMBINED.
That is the power of email marketing.
So now that we’ve got that down pat, let’s dive into
How to set up your email marketing to maximise your BFCM and holiday sales revenue in 2021
First and foremost
1. Have all your essential flows set up
What are email flows? Flows are an email or a set of automated emails that are sent to a user or customer based on their action, behaviour or another pre-defined rule. For example, when a customer enters their email in a welcome pop up box, or when they abandon their cart or on their birthday.
Flows are responsible for generating 50-60% of the total revenue from email marketing, and on average 20% of an entire store’s annual revenue on average! Flows need to be set up well in advance of Black Friday. One of the basic flows is the “Cart Abandoned flows” which alone can fetch you 3-5% of your overall store revenue. And the best part about flows is that that they need to be set up only once but their rewards keep paying. So make sure you have all your basic flows setup as per the image above.
2. Optimise your email flows for Black Friday
Update browse abandoned, cart abandoned and checkout abandoned flows.
Your store probably already has all of these flows set up but a great practice is to update them to showcase a BFCM offer. The Abandon Flows are super targeted and usually get conversion rates because they show a customer a product they’ve already interacted with. So a good idea is to revamp and update all your flows to coincide with a Black Friday offer. So you’re not only showing a person an item they’re already interested in but they’re also getting it now at a special discount. If refreshing them is too much work, adding a banner (one size fits all) to all the emails is a quick workaround for this.
Read more about the trifecta of the ‘Abandon Flows” here in this exclusive white paper.
Set up a BFCM special post-purchase flow
This is a nifty little trick we use and you can totally borrow. Add a banner on your post-purchase flow with a BFCM offer. Anything that encourages your customers to buy from you and buy again after a few days. Something free shipping, early access to a sale or a special offer. We do this because it’s easier to convince someone who’s already convinced. What we’re doing here is maximising the customer lifetime value and getting more revenue from the same customer who likes you, trusts you and likes your product. So if you’re a store selling products that can be bought over and over, a post purchase flow is very important.
Set up a reengagement flow
Before Black Friday starts, ideally before November starts, you would set up a reengagement flow. Why? Because it’s way easier to convince someone who already knows your brand or has subscribed to your emails in the past, bought from your store or been active in the past and been in a flow than it is to get a totally new or green user to make a purchase. These are really valuable customers and you don’t want them to lose them. So whom do we put in the reengagement flow? Ideally people who have not been emailing in the last 6 months or people who have not purchased from you or engaged with you in the last 6 months. So when your BFCM emails start popping up in their inbox A) they already have a sense of familiarity with your brand 2) The emails won’t go into their spam since they would’ve engaged with your store before.
Here the subject line will be very crucial. Usually, we will need to offer them something to reengage them. You could use subject lines such as “Get this offer” or something to get them to open the email. So once this is all done, ideally we increase the list size and we’re ready by the time BFCM hits.
3. Design your BFCM email campaigns and follow these rules
If flows get 30-40% revenue from email marketing, email campaigns including newsletter form the other part of email marketing. On Black Friday, email campaigns can generate 50-60% of the overall email revenue. So go ahead and make those beautiful email campaigns with offers, offers and more offers.
1. Set up teaser campaigns
Teaser emails make a lot of revenue! It’s important to build up the excitement of what’s to come. Some people wait al year to get their hands on the best Black Friday deals. Some even start buying before the deals start. Teaser campaigns capture this audience. Last year for one of our clients, we sent 3 teaser campaigns and just from those alone, we made $13k and these were full-priced purchases!
2. Offer a “buy now, have shipped later” option:
People love buying products on a deal but not everyone wants 12 packs of beef jerky or < insert any perishable item> in the next 3 days. So for these kind of stores, offer an opportunity to buy at a Black Friday offer even if they can’t use the product immediately. This is a relatively lesser known but effective strategy!
3. Design the emails well, make them fun and easy to go through
It’s so important how you open the sale. When the person opens the email, they’re immediately drawn by what they see. For Black Friday, the design of the emails is super important. After opening the email, does it excite you or make it fun to open and go to the website. Look at this email from Blend Jet.
It’s got everything – the colours, the animation, the offer, the CTA — it’s got everything to get you excitement. It’s important to play with that excitement and make sure the banner of your email has an impact. But just to know how to design the best BFCM emails by our head of design, follow the link. Since most people are going to be opening the emails on mobile, don’t make them too long and scrolling too much to get to the offer and the CTA. That is just bad email marketing 101.