Best Practices: Black Friday Marketing

Over the past weeks, you have probably been receiving promotions and offers (often, repeatedly) from hotels, restaurants, stores, catalogs, any brand you have interacted with in the past. Doesn’t this leave you feeling irritated and over-served? This is not the direction marketing is supposed to be heading. This is not a “customer-centric” approach. If anything, it’s turning subscribers away in frustration.

Our stats demonstrate this tidal wave of marketing. The hugely popular American phenomenon of Black Friday is becoming increasingly popular in Europe as well. The data from Mapp customers show that messaging volume in Europe in 2016 grew by 37% on Black Friday. In the US, messaging volumes are growing by 13% year-over-year, rising to over 165% on Black Friday.

Here are a few steps to consider so you can maximize the impact of your last minute Black Friday marketing efforts.

1. Leverage key customer data to deliver personalized engagements

It’s common knowledge that customer frustration from in-store shopping and overstuffed inboxes increases during the holiday season. A great way to mitigate this frustration is by leveraging strategic and personalized email marketing, coupon offerings and targeted segmentation.Create customized offers that appeal to your customers’ specific needs during the busy holiday season. The precondition is that you are able to collect, analyze and operationalize your customer data from multiple sources to build a comprehensive view of your customer.

To maximize the impact and conversion rate around your holiday campaigns, research your desired customers’ regular shopping trends. Take into consideration their reviews and product purchases on an ongoing basis. This way, customer shopping preferences can be formed in advance and in real time, as opposed to random last-minute marketing tactics. From there, segment your audiences based on their individual purchase history and their stage within the buyer journey.

2. Create interactive and creative campaigns

According to our email marketing data, open rates increased in the U.S. by more than 18% during Black Friday. With customers either shopping online, or being active on mobile while shopping in-store, it’s vital to also keep the recipient’s attention. Leverage this opportunity and create more interactivity within your email marketing. Increase shopping engagement in your email campaigns with tactics such as rollover effects, quizzes, GIFs, etc. Download our guide to get more creative email marketing ideas.

3. Make sure your emails don't end up in the spam folder

With the typical “holiday inbox clutter”, streamline and implement your email placement and deliverability to increase probable viewership from the customer. Only when the delivery requirements are optimally fulfilled, you can expect the long-term success of your email marketing campaigns.

4. Integrate your email and mobile engagement strategy

According to Campaign Monitor, 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Since customers will be more likely to be shopping on their phones and on-the-go, make sure you incorporate a strong mobile email marketing campaign. It’s important to not silo your marketing strategy to one platform or device. Maximize your potential customer reach and inbox placement by creating email templates that are compatible on desktop and mobile. Download our guide to get more ideas how to integrate email and mobile or read here how push notifications can help you catch the moment during the holiday season.

5. Extend the conversation after Black Friday

Customers don’t want their shopping schedules dictated to them, especially during the busy holiday season. They have also grown accustomed to discounts all year-round; the seasonal discounts have become more spread out. According to RetailNext, December traffic and sales are moving into January, suggesting that shoppers are waiting for post-season sales. Continue beyond just one-day Black Friday sales by offering ongoing sales and promotions, by promoting new products, offering exclusive services or access, and celebrating “the little things”. 

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so remember to keep your marketing campaigns customer-centric and strategically personalized. The best way to maintain a healthy brand-customer relationship is to be intentional and consistent about establishing it – so much so that the “noise” of other brand’s holiday marketing can’t drown out the tune you want the customer to hear. Don’t stake everything only on the Black Friday card and make sure you implement a multi-channel, one-to-one customer engagement strategy to offer the Ultimate Digital Experience to your customers.

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