UPDATED,  11 SEPT 2020 — The major holiday sale season is upon us. Some retailers think it’s enough to run a few limited time offers with a coupon code. But will that help you win against Amazon or a much bigger and more established brand? No, you have to get a bit more creative than that. But you don’t have to start from scratch. There’s no better way to learn than looking at live examples of great email marketing campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Take heed! For Business Insider predicts that this year’s BFCM will be the biggest one yet! Due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat, the shift in customer buying behavior has forced consumers to take their shopping online. So you can only imagine the tsunami of online traffic once BFCM 2020 begins!

So to help gear you up for the coming storm, we’ve curated 5 of the best email marketing campaigns to run during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. (You can also use what you learn to do promotions for the rest of the year.)


1. Recommend Products Relevant to the Product Highlighted/Bought

80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when the offers are personalized.

Along with the highlighted product, include recommendations that may either compliment the primary product or just catch your customer’s attention based on their purchase behavior so far.

Offer sales on relevant product categories, based on past purchases, carts, and more. All you have to do is create a new segment based on product categories or brands.

Here’s an example. If you have a lot of customers that buy beauty products in your store, you can create a specific audience. After that, you can target this audience with new makeup or makeup-related promos.

From here, you can send an email promoting your Black Friday sale on makeup. Take a look at this example from beauty brand Forchics.

You don’t have to worry about spending thousands of dollars on animations or designed emails.

When you promote relevant products, keep it simple. Showcase product pictures, highlight the sale and let the products sell themselves. For best design practices, you can check out this article.

Pro tip: Use a live countdown timer to demonstrate that it is a limited-time offer. Just the presence of a countdown clock can increase conversion rate by up to 400%. Sendtric is a service that lets you do this if your auto-responder doesn’t offer the functionality.


2. Recommend Related Further Products on Discount

Much like the recommendations section above, this time you send follow-up emails highlighting the related products to your customer’s initial one that are discounted. This is where you can slightly diverge from the type of product what your customer first bought, provided you have the incentive to entice them.

For example, Sommer Ray sent this email to customers who just bought a stylish set of pants. Under the context of “shopping for new styles,” customers were enticed to buy something slightly different from what they initially bought due to the big slash in prices.

Savvy email marketers make sure customers don’t stop at a one-time-purchase.


3. Follow Up with Abandoned Cart Emails with Your Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale

Sometimes, the primary reason a prospective customer doesn’t buy is they find the price too high. It’s that simple. With eCommerce, it might be that they didn’t expect the total price, including shipping, taxes, fees, etc.

According to a study by Baymard Institute, the top reasons for cart abandonment during checkout are the high extra costs, being asked to create an account, and a long, arduous checkout process. If you really want to encourage your customers to purchase, make it easier for them!

The point of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to overcome this objection. You lower the price, and your potential customers no longer tell themselves, “It’s too expensive.”

So you can win-back a lot of new potential business by contacting customers who abandoned their cart. If you have a site-wide sale, it probably negates the additional costs and makes it a viable option.

As you can see in this example from Forchics, cart abandonment emails don’t have to be complicated. But you should customize the copy for Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. A simple text-based reminder email is usually enough to get your customers back and finish their purchase—more so if you include an incentive like a discount on their unfinished order.

If you use words like “Limited time only!” or “For the next 24 hours,” you can drive home a sense of urgency.

If the subscriber doesn’t buy now, they will regret it later. That’s the message an abandoned cart email should send. By combining it with a limited-time site-wide sale, you can get even better results.

If you don’t use marketing automation tools, you might not have access to this data. But don’t despair, in the next campaign, you won’t need data on website usage or online shopping carts.


4. Increase AOV With Cart Threshold Gift Campaigns

After seeing the first three options, you might think that Black Friday Cyber Monday email marketing is complicated. But this campaign doesn’t require audience segmentation like the first options. It is a straight forward tactic to increase the AOV (Average Order Value) of every customer.

This email we made for a client is a great example:

If your customers made a huge purchase in one go, why not reward them? This email can be triggered when your customers’ total cart value has reached a specified threshold. In this example, customers who reached the threshold received this exclusive invitation to shop for 50% off their next purchase.

If you don’t want to go quite as hard in the paint, you can offer a gift that makes sense with the items that are on sale. Are you selling fall/winter clothes, offer gloves, a beanie, or a winter-appropriate accessory. If you’re selling gym gear, throw in a gym bag on large orders.

The possibilities are endless, and there are no highly technical requirements to get a promotion like this up and running.

Take your time and produce creative email marketing campaigns that matter to your target audience.

Pro Tips:

  • Try to assemble together a discounted gift set for catered to the preferences of your customers.
  • Include an exclusive discount code your customers can use for their next purchase.
  • Create urgency by emphasize the time-limited nature of your gifts.


5. Remind Your Customer That the Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale is Almost Over With Last Chance Emails

Once your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are nearing their end, you should give your subscribers one last chance to shop ‘til they drop. Consider it your gift to them—they will thank you for it. Marketers typically call this a reminder email. It is the last email you should send, and an integral part of a promotional email campaign.

Sommer Ray used email to remind its customers of the discount and generate last-minute sales. Remember the KISS rule when designing these types of emails.

If it’s a site-wide sale, the reminder doesn’t have to be a long product catalog or sales email. It is a quick reminder for people who are already interested in your products.


It’s Not Too Late to Optimize Your Black Friday Cyber Monday Emails

Most eCommerce brands spend at least 5 months preparing for the holiday season—as a rule of thumb. Here are some incredibly strategic eCommerce email marketing campaigns to stand out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for more reinforcements to your BFCM email framework. As they say, the best time to start is now.

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