John Lewis Black Friday

Research shows email marketing drives online sales during cyber week. Make sure you tick all the boxes for bargain hunters, says Rob Martin.

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November is here which means Black Friday isn’t far behind.

The event used to be an exclusively American creation, a day after Thanksgiving when people turned up at stores hell-bent on beating others to the, er, punch on crazy deals.

Unfortunately, that aggressive image is what mostly came to mind when people thought about the Black Friday bargain-fest, which this year falls on November 25.

TV news reports of angry fights on store floors over $20 X-Boxes or pushing and shoving over food mixers did little to dispel that. Here’s a BBC News report from last year:

 
Thankfully, things are changing and it seems email is getting some of the credit.

The idea of downing the Thanksgiving dinner in double-quick time and setting up camp on cold sidewalks outside stores is slowly fading away as the digital shopper takes over.

In short, there’s no need to step out and fight over a cut-price smart TV, instead you can snatch the pick of the bargains on your tablet or laptop.

That’s because Black Friday and Cyber Monday have really begun flexing their muscles online with attractive deals that often trump the in-store offers.

The US and now Europe is now a huge online Black Friday battleground. Just yesterday we Googled the term ‘Black Friday bargains’ and up popped special offers from Apple, Argos, John Lewis, Tesco, PC World and Currys, among many others.
 
John Lewis Black Friday
 
Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which usually follows it, have become part of a wider Cyber Week, a now embedded and unmissable calendar moment for stores and retailers to capture the digital consumer with eye-catching offers and sale items.
 

Email’s central role

Increasingly, online merchants are beating brick-and-mortar stores in the great holiday sales battle.

And the biggest driver of online sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? —you guessed it, email.

Last year, Custora, the predictive analytics platform for e-commerce marketing teams reported that:

  • E-commerce revenue was up 16.1% over Black Friday 2014.

 

  • Mobiles sales were estimated at 36% of all online sales.

 

  • Email Marketing drove the most online sales on Black Friday.

 

  • Cyber Monday e-commerce revenue was up 16.2% over Cyber Monday 2014.

 

  • Mobile Shopping accounted for over a quarter of online shopping on Cyber Monday 2015.

 

  • 3Email marketing drove 22.1% of orders.

 
So how can we use these findings to create an effective email marketing strategy for Cyber Week?
 

Build momentum

If you want you really want to drive your sales on Cyber Week, then start sending out more emails – with quality content.

Send your customers unmissable gift guides and invite them to create wish lists. Given the emails a themed look and get them to click ‘open’ with a genuinely attractive offer
 
Black Friday Email Campaign
 

Tie-in with Social

Email marketing may be more effective than social media for driving sales but don’t neglect your social channels completely.

When you’ve emailed a gift guide out, follow up on social media by posting about each individual item.

Offer sneak peaks on Black Friday deals and then send out an email with more information.

This may seem like an obvious one, but promote your newsletter sign-up form on all social channels.

A mobile-optimised website is essential. With most people checking email from the phones and with mobile shopping increasing, a website optimised for mobile is crucial for increasing those sales.
 

And Play Nice!

So, there we are. We hope you’re all set for Black Friday. Rev up your content, design a neat email campaign and take advantage of this extraordinary shift in online consumerism. As the research shows, this is here to stay and email plays a big part. But remember, play nice folks!

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