Kickbox Twitter chat recap

How to Optimize Your Emails for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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Does hearing the words Black Friday or Cyber Monday send a shiver down your spine? This season can be stressful for email marketers. The stakes can be high. Are you ready to send higher volumes of emails while avoiding the spam folder? Will your designs and subject lines stand out in the inbox?  There’s a lot to keep in mind about getting ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) and how to optimize holiday campaigns.

We sat down with Kickbox to discuss how email marketers can get ready for this busy holiday marketing season. Pour yourself a calming cup of tea and read through the great insights below.  You’ll be Black Friday and Cyber Monday ready in no time. 💪

How can you optimize holiday campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Optimizing every email is important, of course. But when it’s peak marketing season and consumers are spending more money, sending them a flawless email can only help your cause. Where do you start?

We certainly can’t argue with Brian’s point. BFCM is the heaviest marketed time of the year. Competition is fierce and brands are constantly trying to one-up each other with exciting promotions and specials. Whatever your offering is, be sure to nail down how you’re going make it irresistible starting with the inbox display.

Kate’s approach is perfect in order to segment out your avid customers from your passive ones. Avid customers probably already know they’re going to be spending money with you this season and are actively looking out for your BFCM emails. Unfortunately, not every customer is going to share their enthusiasm. Be sure both your messaging and sending frequency is appropriate for each segment.

This is key: warm up your audience (and spam filters) by gradually increasing your sending frequency. By doing so, you’ll be able to avoid more spam folders when you deploy your big announcement and minimize unsubscribes as well.

What steps should email marketers take to get ready for BFCM?

Preparing yourself for BFCM isn’t limited to your emails. Take a page out of Jen’s book below and make sure you’re physically and emotionally prepared to optimize holiday campaigns. We’re all human and these are high stress times—the best thing you can do is to make sure you can find calm in the storm.

Once you square away your peace of mind, it’s time to plan the course of email action.

And finally, when all is said and done, finalize your segments and lists as Karen suggests. You’ll want to know exactly who you’re sending to, and be thoughtful in your messaging to each segment.

What are some unique ways to stand out in the inbox during BFCM?

Again, these are high competition times. You and lots of other brands in the BFCM world are vying for subscriber’s attention in the inbox. How’s an email marketer supposed to make theirs stand out?

Or, all of the above. During this season when consumers are hitting their purchasing peaks, try adding an interactive click-to-reveal feature or another unique element that’s sure to grab attention.

What are some fresh ways to create a sense of urgency in emails?

Marketing as an industry made its name by creating scarcity and urgency around acting on a purchase. As email marketers, we know some surefire ways to land an email in a spam folder, all of which are meant to invoke “urgency”:

  • ALL CAPS (shhhhh…)
  • Excessive exclamation points!!!!!!!!!
  • Spammy phrases

While running a spam test before sending your email helps you land in more inboxes, it’s easier to just avoid them in the first place. So, what are some ways to avoid spam folders but still impress upon subscribers that time is of the essence?

Subscribers are smart. They receive dozens of emails daily, and talking to them has never been more challenging. They’re so used to be marketed to that they have gotten very good at quickly filtering what they will and will not spend their time on.

Remember that you’re talking to a person on the other end of your email, not a machine. Connect with them on a human level.

When do you plan to start marketing your BFCM promotions and how will you use email to create hype around them?

The consensus is that it’s best to stick to what you know, have a plan, and for the love of subject lines, segment.

Just like a subscriber list, it’s also helpful to segment out your specials and promotions based on when they fall throughout the season. That way, your offers will always follow a logical cadence. Also if you can, tease them out early. That’s a natural way to warm up your lists for the larger announcement.

And we’ll never argue with Jen’s point: value over hype. Well said.

Do you plan on sending to an older/larger segment of subscribers for BFCM? If so, what steps are you taking to warm up those older/less engaged subscribers?

When you’re trying to find out if a friend from the past wants to reconnect, there’s at least the “hey, remember me?” re-introduction. Same thing applies to your less engaged segments. Warm them up and get re-acquainted before you send your offer.

Plus, it’s just good subscriber list hygiene.

With more visitors coming to your site/stores during the holiday season, what plans do you have to capture more subscribers & grow your list?

There’s always an opportunity to grow your email list. From point-of-sale (POS) sign-ups to giveaways and social media, put your digital real estate to use and start motivating more subscriptions to your list.

What are some common problems that can occur during BFCM if you’re a high-volume sender and how can you avoid those problems?

High-volume sending comes with its share of risks—mainly in the deliverability arena. Spam folders and inboxes don’t love mass sends, especially when mass sends aren’t a typical practice for the brand.

That’s why it’s important to gradually warm up your IP and subscriber lists (and those subsequent spam folders) so there’s a higher chance of landing in the inbox.

Consider This Your BFCM Resource Page

Don’t Send a Broken BFCM Email

Forgetting to test your emails could cost you—BIG. Test ahead of time and ensure that CTAs work, images are optimized, and that your emails are accessible to everyone on your list. We offer email testing on 90+ clients and devices so you can feel confident when you hit send and get the maximum ROI on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns.

Always Test Your Email on Live Clients!

Make sure your email looks flawless before you send it out to your subscribers. Remember: Only email tests run on live clients can guarantee fully accurate email rendering previews. With Email on Acid, you can preview your email on more than 90 live email clients and devices before you hit “send.” Sign up for our free trial and start testing today.

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Author: Kirsten Queen

With a background in marketing and a passion for content creation, Kirsten has written copy for ecommerce email efforts and e-newsletters. She now serves as Email on Acid’s social media coordinator and has enjoyed the deep dive into the close-knit and passionate world of the Email Geeks.

Author: Kirsten Queen

With a background in marketing and a passion for content creation, Kirsten has written copy for ecommerce email efforts and e-newsletters. She now serves as Email on Acid’s social media coordinator and has enjoyed the deep dive into the close-knit and passionate world of the Email Geeks.

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