How email marketing increases sales on Black Friday

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark the official start of the buying season for Christmas. Online purchases continue to rise year after year. This year, the expected income from online sales will be USD 1.3 billion (up 15% compared to 2016).

On Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, everyone in the United States traditionally goes hunting for – the best possible – bargains. In recent years, this American holiday has also become increasingly popular in the Netherlands. More and more Dutch people are becoming familiar with Black Friday due to the number of shops participating in this crazy sales day.

Black Friday always falls on the last Friday in November, which is Friday 24 November this year. Many retailers use this opportunity to put forward ‘non-regular’ promotions, deals and offers. Reductions can be as much as 80% and the offers are usually valid up to and including the following Monday. That’s why this Monday, 27 November this year, is also known as Cyber Monday.

In 2015, the website Black Friday Nederland registered a total of 35 active shops and, in doing so, became the first website in the Netherlands to include an overview of all participating retailers and their offers. In 2016, the number of participants more than doubled to 75+ (web) shops. This year, you can visit more than 100 participating shops, including Bol.com, Coolblue, Wehkamp, Zalando and Apple. And the city of Rotterdam is also participating in Black Friday ‘offline’.

How email marketing increases your online conversion rate – and why this also applies on Black Friday

At present, there are more than 4.3 billion active email accounts worldwide. It is estimated that around 269 billion emails are sent each day.

Email is the channel for the best ROI and the favourite communication channel for consumers to receive commercial information. If the predicted increase in the number of online purchases is correct, email will become an even more relevant tool for increasing online sales.

According to studies carried out on Black Friday 2016, email resulted in 17% more conversions than social networks. This corresponds with the preferences of the recipients: no fewer than 72% of respondents stated that they would prefer to receive commercial content via email than via social networks.

Practical tips: how to increase your sales through email marketing?

On Black Friday, consumers look for (and wait for) newsletters with offers, as a result of which open rates rise by 60%.

Anticipate: don’t send tomorrow what you can already send today

According to a study carried out by the National Retail Federation (NFR), 40% of consumers start to either think about or actually make their December purchases as early as October. Start sending emails in the run-up to Black Friday (next year) and create a sense of anticipation among your customers. Tell your subscribers about the amazing offers they can expect and make them feel involved. In this way, you will remain in consumers’ thoughts.

Mobile leads the way

More than 50% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Studies prove that a non-responsive email leads to dropouts, as well as loss of credibility. As many as 80% of non-responsive emails are deleted. On Black Friday 2016, mobile devices generated 53% of e-commerce traffic, representing a total of USD 583 million in sales. A responsive template is therefore not simply a recommendation, but a necessity.

Pay attention to content

At times when people receive an overload of emails, such as on Black Friday, it is all the more important to stand out in people’s inboxes and that subscribers actually open your emails. Even more important is that opening your email leads to a conversion. Be creative, create a feeling of urgency, make use of emoji, use video in email, countdown timers, GIFs, animated headers or think about using text messages as a supporting sales channel. Put yourself in the shoes of your subscriber. Read more tips in this blog.

Segment accurately

Your email marketing campaigns should be customised to your users. Segmentation is the process of sub-dividing your subscribers into various categories, based on their online behaviour, profile and interests. Sub-dividing your database into segments enables you to better personalise your campaigns and content, and adapt to the needs of your users. This leads to better results and sales. You can increase your open rates by 14% and reduce dropouts by 10%.

According to DMA, segmented email campaigns increase sales by more than 760% in comparison with non-segmented campaigns. Segmentation is not limited to group A or B, but offers endless possibilities: demographic, geographic, fields of interest, engagement, etc. The decision about which segment to choose or which segments to combine depends on your objective and the type of subscriber.

Add a personal touch to every email you send

The competition is waiting to pounce on Black Friday, so try to stand out and personalisation is one of the options you simply must apply. Personalisation gives the reader the feeling that the newsletter was written especially for him or her.

Various options are available for personalisation. The simplest is to use the user’s first name in the email’s subject and/or text. This can result in up to six times as many conversions. You can take personalisation as far as you like (and achieve even better results), by basing it on purchasing behaviour, for example.

Step into the shoes of your subscriber. What kind of newsletter would you like to receive this Friday?

Abandoned Shopping Cart

According to Invesp, 98% of users leave a platform without making a purchase, even though they expressed interest in the product or service. SaleCycle estimates the average number of abandoned shopping carts to be higher than 70% which, according to YouMoz, represents more than USD 300 million in lost sales each year.

On a day of many online purchases, such as Black Friday, a good Abandoned Shopping Cart strategy is very important. You need to plan your shipments and decide how long to wait between a shopping cart being abandoned and sending a reminder email, as well as deciding the number of emails you will send in an attempt to turn the abandoned shopping cart into a sale.

Abandoned Shopping Cart emails restore between 15 and 25% of abandoned shopping carts.

You read it here: email marketing is a tool that you should not allow to drift over the coming years. Perhaps – if you’re quick – you can still make use of it before this Black Friday. Otherwise, take advantage of it next year, because Black Friday fever will only increase in the Netherlands over the coming years.

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22, November 2017

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Email marketing, Marketing automation