Learn how to make the most out of sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday by preparing your email marketing beforehand.
For merchants, the holiday sales period is the most important time of year. Especially if you’re selling online. Why? Because the biggest sale events, including Single’s Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday all occur in the final two months of the year.
To make the most of these massive sale events, you’ll want your email marketing to be performing at its best. Not only is email marketing the most profitable marketing channel for merchants, but it’s directly responsible for approximately a quarter of all sales during Black Friday.
So how can you prepare your email marketing as these end-of-year holiday shopping events approach? While it might seem like a big task, it becomes easier and much more manageable by breaking it down into the following steps:
1) Grow your email list
It doesn’t matter how great your holiday email campaigns are if your email list barely ever grew. That’s why it’s important to start growing your list as soon as possible. The earlier you get started with this step, the greater your list will be when the holiday season arrives.
To grow your email list, you’ll want to make it easy for people to opt-in on your store’s website. In addition to making it easy, you’ll also want to make sure your visitors notice your sign-up forms. This is where an email popup becomes useful.
There are many great modules that offer a variety of pop-up options for your PrestaShop site. For example, you can set up an exit-intent pop-up so whenever a visitor goes to leave your site, they’re presented with your pop-up enticing them to join your email list.
As particular events like Black Friday draw closer, you should customize your pop-up so it’s holiday-themed. As in the example below.
2) Clean your email list
If you’re already steadily growing your email list with pop-ups and other forms of email capture, then well done! You’ve got step 1 down pat.
As you grow your list, however, you’ll find that certain subscribers will become disengaged and your open rate drops. Some people will have mistyped their email address when signing up and others will have stopped opening their inboxes entirely.
While this is part and parcel of email marketing, continuing to send emails to disengaged subscribers will harm your email deliverability. Left unchecked, you run the risk of your emails heading to the spam folders of even your most engaged subscribers.
Seeing as the last thing you want is for your holiday email marketing campaigns to land in the spam folder, it’s vital you clean your email list. And the lead up to end-of-year sales period is the perfect time to do so.
To clean your email list, you simply need to segment the subscribers who have not opened a single email you’ve sent over the last, for example, six months. These are subscribers you can safely consider disengaged.
Once you’ve identified these subscribers, you can either remove them from your email list right away or attempt to win them back with a reactivation email campaign. This type of email is simply a “we’ve missed you, come back” style campaign that includes an incentive to get the disengaged subscriber to come back and re-engage. Like in the example below from Sephora.
If you’re unsuccessful at getting them to re-engage, then you should remove them from your email list entirely. This will ensure a clean list that’ll help maximize your email deliverability come the holiday season.
3) Identify which holidays you’ll target
Merchants are spoilt for choice when it comes to which online sales events to participate in toward the end of the year. There’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Single’s Day, Amazon Prime Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s to name the more popular ones.
While it might be tempting to send an email out for every one of these events, doing so will only result in your email campaigns lacking focus and purpose. Instead, you should identify a handful of sales your customers participate in and develop proper campaigns for them.
When it comes to selecting which events to target, consider which ones will resonate with your audience the most. For instance, if Halloween isn’t celebrated by your customer base, then it’s best to skip it and focus your attention and efforts on one that is.
4) Develop an email marketing plan for your chosen sales
Once you’ve determined which events you’ll target the next step is developing a proper email marketing campaign for them.
A proper campaign will consist of more than a single email sent on the day. Instead, it’ll consist of multiple emails spaced out in the lead up to and during the event. For instance, below is a sample Black Friday campaign structure.
- Email 1: Send a teaser email a couple of weeks in advance to let people know you’re going to hold a Black Friday sale a couple of weeks in advance. Hold off on details but promise that you’ll share more information soon to get them excited and to keep an eye out for your future emails.
- Email 2: Share sale details like dates and discounts a week before Black Friday.
- Email 3: Remind people about your upcoming sale the day before it starts. You could also include a countdown timer in the email to help anticipation.
- Email 4: Email letting people know that the sale has commenced.
- Email 5: Send a ‘final chance’ reminder just before your sale is going to come to an end.
Obviously that is only a sample campaign structure. The exact number of emails you include in your campaign and how you space them out is going to depend on what sale your holding, your typical email frequency, etc.
The take-away point is that whatever sale you decide to participate in, don’t just send a single email on the day.
Example of two emails in a Black Friday / Cyber Monday campaign that work together.
5) Start creating your emails
Once you have a plan in place, the only thing left to do is start composing your emails.
To help with this step, there are plenty of free and paid email templates online designed specifically for the end-of-year sales that you can utilize.
The important thing is to not put off creating your emails until the last minute. Once you have your emails ready-to-go, you can schedule them to send when you want.
So if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get set up with an email marketing app. There are many options when it comes to email apps, including SmartrMail which you can download from the PrestaShop Addons Marketplace right now and start a 15-day free trial.
The holiday sales period is likely to be the busiest and most important time for you and your store for the whole year.
By getting your email marketing ready now, however, you’ll maximize the opportunity the sales present while saving yourself significant time and frustration trying to put together a strategy at the last minute.
While you might say at the end of every year that you’ll be better prepared for the next holiday shopping season, now that you have a clear email marketing plan, it’s time to stop putting it off any further!