Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails started as early as October 24 in 2017. We’re predicting the marketing emails will start landing in inboxes even earlier this year, as the weekend after Thanksgiving has evolved into an event that looks more like a sport than shopping.
1. Prioritize timing
While the majority of Black Friday emails were sent ahead of the shopping holiday (as early as 30 days in advance), the bulk of Cyber Monday emails were sent on Cyber Monday itself. Surprisingly, 20 percent of retailers sent a post-Black Friday email, while 26 percent sent a post-Cyber Monday email up to a week after the holiday, usually to announce the extension of sale prices. To ensure your timing is on point when it’s time to hit send on holiday marketing emails, you should begin preparations now. In the weeks leading up to Halloween, you should aim to finalize your holiday targeting strategy by re-engaging any lapsed or inactive subscribers that you haven’t engaged with recently. Additionally, marketers should find meaningful ways to stay connected with their subscribers year-round to reduce long-term, non-engaged segments of the email list.
2. Make an offer they cannot refuse
In 2017, “percentage off a purchase” was the incentive retailers used most often to entice shoppers, followed by “dollars off” a purchase. However, what works for some won’t work for all. Allow for flexibility in your marketing campaign plan to let the metrics speak for themselves. If your unsubscribe rates or spam placement rates spike, adjust your strategy accordingly. The holidays are not the time for win-back or re-engagement campaigns. When it’s time for holiday deployment, focus only on your subscriber base who have been actively engaged with your brand to avoid risk and unwanted delivery issues.
3. Balance your marketing channels
An overwhelming majority of consumers prefer email to other marketing channels, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage other channels to get back into the inbox. If you haven’t “heard” from someone via email in 10 months, consider sending a push notification to their phone to make sure the email address on file is correct. This is an organic way to clean up your email lists and naturally re-introduce subscribers to your emails. On the flipside, however, don’t force a non-email person into your subscriber list. Use non-engagement as a sign that those consumers are not email people and reach them another way. Engage with your audience and subscribers on the channel on which they are most comfortable.
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