As summer draws to a close, many online sellers are seeing sales pick up with Back to School and fall campaigns.
This means that fall and winter holidays are right around the corner, and it’s time to start preparing Black Friday & Cyber Monday (BFCM) campaigns. If there’s any channel that will make or break BFCM sales, it’s email.
Omnisend, omnichannel marketing automation platform for ecommerce, studied Black Friday email campaigns to find the best trends, practices, and statistics to help marketers prepare for the next year. From 2018, there are five big takeaways that we can apply to 2019 campaigns.
#1. Black Friday is Still the King of the Holiday Season
Despite online shoppers getting their own special holiday, with the creation of Cyber Monday and Cyber Week, Black Friday is still the king of the holiday shopping season.
Ecommerce marketers sent more campaigns around Black Friday than any other day of the year in 2018. Despite having a lower open and click-through rate, however, Black Friday counted nearly double the number of orders that Cyber Monday had in 2018.
How to Prepare:
The best way you can use this information to prepare is to make sure your Black Friday campaigns contain the biggest and best promotions you’re planning on offering this holiday season. Don’t hold anything back, as fewer customers are going to be as ready to purchase on Cyber Monday.
#2. Black Friday Starts Earlier Every Year
It’s no secret that customers start looking for deals early. When shopping online, they begin their holiday preparations earlier and earlier every year.
The Monday before Black Friday, we can see an increase in open, click-through, and order rates, that drop off significantly after their peak on Friday.
Average Order Count Per Email Campaign During Black Friday Week 2018
How to Prepare:
To use this trend in 2019, prepare some teasers for the two weeks leading up to Black Friday weekend. Begin sending your campaigns the Monday before Black Friday, and keep up your promotions throughout that week.
#3. Automation Packs an Extra Punch during BFCM Weekend
When we looked to automation workflows during Black Friday, we found some interesting trends to follow for 2019.
Cart abandonment workflows were the highest performing automation workflows of the shopping holiday, counting a 2.13% order rate in 2018. This trend is significant because it nearly doubles from the order rate of abandoned cart workflows in 2017, which was at a mere 1.65%.
Average Order Rates Per Automation Workflow for 2017 (white) vs 2018 (green)
How to prepare:
Customers will be adding things to carts to save them for later as they hunt for the best deals on Black Friday. Make sure your abandoned cart workflows are honed to perfection before Black Friday.
This is not at all to say that you should neglect your other automation workflows, as others can lend some powerful assists for your profits on Black Friday. Which leads me to my 4th trend:
#4. Welcome Emails Perform Just As Well As Cart Recovery
While abandoned cart automation workflows were responsible for the highest sales on Black Friday, welcome campaigns came in at a close second with order rates of 2.09%.
Why is this the case? A great welcome campaign and incentive can be really powerful on its own, but when combined with an ad campaign that helps new customers discover your store, it packs an even bigger punch for your online sales.
How to Prepare:
Don’t forget a great welcome email series for your Black Friday shoppers. Consider creating a different segment for those who subscribe to your newsletter during Black Friday week.
It’s also a good idea to create a bit of urgency. If you send out an incentive for signing up, put a time limit on it to encourage customers to come back for their first purchase.
#5. SMS Gains Traction for Black Friday
While email steamrolled most of Black Friday in 2018, SMS emerged as the dark horse of the holiday season.
It’s no secret that 94% of all SMS messages are read within the first 5 minutes of being received, with more people opting-in for SMS marketing by the day.
Omnisend marketers in 2018 adopted SMS more frequently than ever before during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping period, with some marketers noting a 2000% ROI from this channel when combined with email marketing.
How to Prepare:
Think about combining SMS and email marketing automation this holiday season to get the most out of your campaigns.
Begin testing SMS campaigns now to find the right mix for your customers so you can be ready for Black Friday.
It’s never too early to begin preparing for the holidays, as the shopping events can impact your profits over the entire year. By looking to data from previous years and thinking about how you can stand out from your competition, you’ll be able to implement great strategies that will make this your best Black Friday yet.