Each year, online figures for Black Friday indicate continued substantial growth. In 2018, online sales reached new levels, and with more Internet users coming online in 2019, this year’s figures will likely be even higher.Purchases from mobile devices are bringing in billions, too. Research by Shopify showed that 66% of sales over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period came from a mobile device. The study is consistent with many others that highlight the growing trend in mobile purchasing.

These statistics illustrate that the opportunity for maximizing your Black Friday sales has never been greater. And to gain your share of sales it means optimizing Black Friday Marketing ahead of peak buying times.

However, the challenges of omnichannel and multichannel shopping as well as a rise in customer expectations means retailers must find new ways to keep customers happy. Increasingly, retailers are looking toward marketing automation to achieve this.

How Do I Prepare for Black Friday eCommerce?

This year, Black Friday falls on November 29 and retailers will have slightly less time to sell to bargain hunters. In response, store owners and eCommerce sites are likely to start their sales earlier, according to RetailMeNot’s annual Holiday Insights guide. The more limited shopping period will also change the way some consumers shop, with 34% telling RetailMeNot that they will start shopping early this year.

As eMarketer states:

“The retailers who succeed during this shortened season will be the ones who make it easy for stressed and time-crunched shoppers to find the best offers.”

That means both retailers and marketers must be ready ahead of time and their Black Friday marketing needs to be efficient and effective. This is why many agencies and business owners are choosing to include email marketing and marketing automation at the heart of their marketing strategy.

Using Automation in a Black Friday Marketing Strategy

Marketing automation can work for every step of your Black Friday Marketing strategy if you implement it correctly. Detailed below are just some of the ways that you can effectively use automation to increase revenue this holiday season.

Look at Your Data Analytics

Begin by looking at the data analytics so you can match your campaigns to specific customers. For instance, say a subscriber has been showing a strong interest in a new HDTV. You can then line up all your HDTV special offers for the Black Friday period and send them out to the customer at regular intervals.

Build Anticipation Through Automation

If you publish a newsletter, then run features on your upcoming sales to build anticipation; publish images and brief descriptions of some of the key offerings that will be part of your Black Friday marketing. Start your campaigns well ahead of Black Friday so you have useful data for personalizing messages closer to the day.

Also, consider running some flash sales. Again, this will allow you to see which offers have the most appeal to your subscribers before Black Friday.

Use A/B testing

Start testing out which email subject lines get the best open rates before the Black Friday rush starts. Use A/B testing to simplify things 一 test two subject lines and compare the results. Your data analytics will determine which offers get the most click-throughs and conversions.

Behavior Tracking

Behavior marketing is vital to retailers and marketers. By arming yourself with knowledge about your customers’ needs and preferences, you will meet those priorities and more accurately target your subscribers. Automation will tell you which:

Behavior tracking will also indicate purchasing behavior.

In addition, use tracking to determine psychographics, demographics and other categories, such as inactive customers, to segment your email lists. All this information can then refine and personalize your campaigns in the run-up to Black Friday and beyond.

Give Customers a Nudge

Cart abandonment is a problem all year round. Cart abandonment figures increase every year, and it means sellers lose millions of dollars in sales. Use integrated marketing to send prompts to your customers, reminding them to come back and complete their purchase.

Automate Your Marketing Emails

Be prepared to cross-sell and upsell. Send shoppers automated emails/newsletters that feature product upgrades and accessories to maximize profits. Offer incentives to encourage sales. For instance, if an order totals a certain amount, offer free shipping.

Create Special Offers for Inactive Customers

If a customer hasn’t ordered from you for a while, send them offers based on their past purchasing behavior and use an email subject line that you know the shopper is likely to respond to.

Develop Drip Campaigns

For more effective Black Friday marketing, set up drip campaigns. Drip campaigns involve nurturing leads over a length of time through repeated marketing. These nurturing campaigns increase conversion and response rates as well as revenues. Personalized emails also have better click-through rates.

You can schedule drip campaigns weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly or even daily.

There are other ways that marketing automation can be part of your Black Friday marketing strategy.

Use automation to:

  • create customer personas
  • build landing pages
  • gain end-to-end reporting and analytics
  • optimize sales notifications
  • convert leads
  • improve ROI

Final Thoughts

Black Friday has always been a peak time for retailers and this trend has now moved online in a major way. Keeping up with the demands of this busy shopping period while building customer relationships and providing the best possible customer experience has always been a challenge. However, the use of automated marketing makes this easier to achieve.

For retailers, marketing automation is now a crucial part of a robust Black Friday marketing strategy. Through nurturing campaigns, data analytics, behavior tracking, and A/B testing, you have the tools you need to make your Black Friday marketing plan a success you can be truly thankful for.

Rebecca Wentworth