Consumer motivation to buy and willingness to spend peaks just as the year begins to wind down. By that time, your small business needs to be in full promotional gear to take advantage of the annual winter shopping spree.
The National Retail Federation says that the holiday season accounts for approximately 20% of total annual retail sales. Retailers aren’t the only ones who benefit from increased business in November and December—service-oriented brands that help people prepare their homes for visiting family or throwing seasonal parties typically see an uptick, too.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent the biggest opportunities for businesses to meet or exceed their annual sales goals. According to Adobe Digital, e-commerce purchases on those days in 2019 hit a new total record of $16.8 billion.
Every business wants a piece of that holiday pie. But to get your fair share and then some, don’t wait until late autumn to implement your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategy.
Planning your BFCM campaign
Whether you operate as a brick-and-mortar shop, an e-commerce site, or a combination of both, now is the time to begin planning for your business to generate the maximum in holiday sales this year.
During this pre-promotional stage, focus on the things that will help your Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) campaigns succeed.
- Build up your customer database: The easiest way to reach a wider audience is by adding more contacts. Encourage social media followers, website visitors, phone callers, and in-person shoppers to subscribe to your mailing list.
- Develop a lead-generation landing page: Make it easy for people to join your mailing list by directing them to this stand-alone webpage, which lets you collect key contact information—even if you don’t have a website. Beyond the basics of name, address, email, and phone number, ask about visitors’ product or service preferences so that you can generate targeted messaging between now and the end of the year.
- Implement the right marketing infrastructure: Everyone prefers personalized attention over mass messaging. Delivering that takes significant effort unless you have an all-in-one Marketing Platform that automates, integrates, and analyzes customer data for your business.
- Create a BFCM marketing calendar: Make a plan for when your business is going to send key promotional messages to generate traffic. In order to keep the orders coming, it takes more than one email or social media post. Be ready to communicate with your mailing list before, during, and after your holiday sale events.
Black Friday marketing at its best
The competition for consumer attention during the holidays is fierce. A multifaceted marketing approach provides several opportunities to connect with your audience. Combining it with messaging that personally resonates with each customer will make your business stand out from the crowd.
Email marketing that sticks
Part of your appeal as a small business is the personalized attention you can provide to each customer when they make a purchase. Your customers expect you to carry that personal touch over to your email messaging, and you certainly want to do that. Unfortunately, writing individual emails just isn’t possible given the limited hours in the day.
Fortunately, tools like email builders let you automate your messaging while still crafting targeted messages to individual customers. These tools can generate and deliver all types of important news to the customers on your contact list.
- Welcome customers to your brand: As you add names to your customer database, new subscribers can receive one or more introductory greetings that showcase your brand and build excitement for upcoming sales.
- Celebrate the date: Make customers feel special by sending them birthday or anniversary greetings that include a preview of holiday gift ideas or exclusive offers.
- Educate the user: Based on browsing or purchasing history, help consumers understand the benefits and features of the products or services that interest them.
- Request the customer’s presence: Invite your best customers to join you for BFCM special events or take advantage of promo codes.
- Share the news: Whether you send emails directly or through RSS feeds, notify customers when your Black Friday sale begins and ends, and tell them if it’s being extended through or beyond Cyber Monday.
Landing pages that drive sales
Many people may visit your website over the holidays in search of gift ideas. But consumers’ time and patience are often limited in the hectic weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If visitors have to dig through all your offerings to find the perfect gift, they may get overwhelmed with choices and leave your site without buying anything.
You can avoid that situation by directing customer attention to the things you know they want or need. For instance, a focused BFCM email campaign may encourage recipients to visit a distinct shoppable landing page where they can quickly find what they want and buy without distractions.
There are several ways to use these purpose-built landing pages to drive sales on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or the days in between.
- Introduce your newest merchandise
- Highlight bestselling products
- Encourage customers to stock up on favorites
- Create urgency due to limited quantities
- Offer a special promo code
A shoppable landing page allows even a business without a full e-commerce shop to generate online sales, letting you take full advantage of the holiday buying season no matter how big a business you have.
Social media that drives traffic
Social media is a marketing channel that works overtime during the holiday season. Consumers spend extra time scrolling through their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, and you want to get their eyes on your products.
Publishing organic posts about the latest trends, new merchandise, or time-sensitive discounts keeps your existing customer base updated on everything related to your brand. Facebook ads have the power to deepen your appeal to a general audience or particular interest groups.
A marketing platform like Mailchimp can help you prepare for BFCM by managing all your organic social posting in one place. With that important task under control, you can focus on making sure everything else is ready for the coming deluge of holiday orders.
In addition to keeping you from getting overwhelmed maintaining your social profile during the year’s busiest shopping days, a streamlined solution like this also analyzes your campaigns so you can reposition future ones for more success.
Retargeting ads that convert
There’s no reason to lose a BFCM customer just because they don’t make a purchase while visiting your website. You can advertise to them as they browse other sites by using remarketing ads. This promotional tactic helps drive sales by targeting recent visitors to your website, offering them a real-time reminder of your product—and an easy way back to it.
Bringing customers back to your website or landing page is one of the most successful ways to drive sales—ad conversion rates for retargeted customers are 7 times higher than those of the general public.
Transactional emails that nurture
The holiday shopping season may be the first impression that a customer has of your brand, so make it a positive one by communicating with them at every open opportunity. Using automated transactional emails is a key part of this strategy. These targeted messages can be triggered by specific occasions and will strengthen the relationship between you and your customer.
- Account opening: Welcome customers to your business with a special offer.
- Order: Send a purchase confirmation and thank your customer with a private extension on a current sale.
- Abandoned cart: Encourage your customer to complete the sale with an added incentive such as a discount or limited-time sale.
- Purchase feedback: Send a follow-up to find out how the customer liked their item and to suggest other gift ideas.
Purchases that multiply
When a customer puts something in their shopping cart, you know they’re already interested in your products. What a great time to offer them a discounted price on a package deal for related items or multiples of the same thing. The customer can enjoy the additional items themselves, give a more substantial gift to one person, or buy products for multiple people with one purchase.
Up- and cross-selling at checkout is an easy way to increase your share of the billions of dollars of annual BFCM e-commerce transactions. Another way to boost your holiday sales is to send purchasers a follow-up email featuring more deals on bestsellers or products that go with their original order.
Programs that reward
Last but not least, encourage additional purchases all throughout the Black Friday weekend by rewarding customers for making purchases. Consider the following incentives:
- Ship purchases for free when the total reaches a certain limit.
- Add a deeper discount over a certain dollar level.
- Offer a future promo code for referring another customer.
Ready, set, go!
Time flies—November and December show up faster than you think. Gear up for your BFCM promotions and set the stage for your best-ever holiday in terms of sales.