Black Friday Email Marketing 101: Organizing Your Calendar
As we recently posted, Black Friday is more important than ever to online retailers. And to capitalize on Black Friday, you need a well-organized email marketing strategy.
Effective Black Friday email marketing is about sending the right content, to the right audience, at the right time. In this article, we’ll focus on content and timing.
Before we jump in, take a look at some impressive facts:
- Black Friday 2016 recorded the highest email volume of the holiday weekend with a whopping 116 million marketing emails sent.
- Retailers dispatched over 12,000 marketing emails on Black Friday 2016 — 55% more than the prior year.
- The number of cart abandonment emails sent during Black Friday weekend 2016 was 180% higher than an average, non-holiday four-day period.
Why are ecommerce companies going all out with their Black Friday email campaigns? Because those campaigns work. Last Black Friday, email drove nearly $600 million in online sales — 17.8% of the total sales generated that day.
Here’s which Black Friday marketing emails you need to send and when you need to send them.
Beginning of November: November 1 – November 11
At the start of November, send non-promotional emails that get folks in the mood for the holidays and allow you to include mentions of your products. Offer holiday entertaining tips, DIY decorating options, or information about fun holiday events.
Last year, food delivery company Plated sent the email below filled with advice on how to have the “Best.Thanksgiving.Ever.”
The Week Before Thanksgiving: November 12 – November 18
Start sending teaser emails the week before Thanksgiving. Let shoppers know what kind of deals they can expect and give them gift ideas. Urban Outfitters does a great job of this with their Black Friday email marketing:
The Week of Thanksgiving: November 19 – 22
At the beginning of the week, send emails calling out how soon Black Friday is arriving. These will make sure your store is staying top of mind right up until Black Friday.
Perfectly in line with the brand, Apple’s email below is simple, clean, and straight to the point:
UK-based game retailer GAME’s Black Friday email is a great example of how to use FOMO (fear of missing out) and a sense of urgency to inspire action. It includes a timer counting down to Black Friday and encourages customers to sign up for alerts so they can be the first to know about GAME’s promotions.
Thanksgiving: November 23
The day before Black Friday (a.k.a., Thanksgiving), try taking a more subtle approach to your email marketing. Shoppers have gotten plenty of emails from you about your deals, so now is a good time to simply acknowledge that the next day is Black Friday.
This email from Nordstrom does just that. The primary focus of the email is to wish shoppers a Happy Thanksgiving, with only a small note at the bottom about the retailer’s sales.
Black Friday: November 24
You’ve spent the last three weeks building anticipation and getting subscribers excited about your Black Friday sales. Now it’s time to deliver.
Make sure your Black Friday emails complement their predecessors. Most importantly, make sure the deals and discounts you promote in your day-of emails match what you’ve been promoting the rest of the month.
Now is the time to start planning your Black Friday email marketing campaigns. Sending out the right email messages at the right time will lead you to greater sales. The best way to gain confidence in your strategy is to test, test, and test some more. And next year you’ll have a better understanding.