Total online sales in the US during Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit a record $5.81bn in 2015. These are dates that, if done right, will leave your virtual cash register ringing. Get them wrong however, and you are practically watching your profit walk out the door…

With that in mind we have created a blog series to help you get your shop in order and maximize on the upcoming sale season! Can’t wait for your weekly tip? Download the whole thing in whitepaper form now by clicking the image below…


Last week we discussed load testing. So, on to our second topic…


Reports have shown that during 2015 Black Friday, email drove more sales than any other channel – demonstrating once again that despite busy inboxes, email is anything but dead. A critical tool for the holiday season, it drove a quarter of the sale producing traffic, beating organic search (21%), paid search (16%) and direct traffic (17%) – information that should be used to guide your acquisition strategy this season.
So how can you best utilize email as tool?

The answer? To build excitement about your upcoming sales, remind dormant customers of your brand and keep your products in their mind.

But to do that you should keep in mind the following…

Urban Outfitters know the importance of
advertising their Black Friday deals through email!


Pick the days to send your emails carefully

Too early and you risk your potential shoppers forgetting about your sale, too late and it’s possible that their hard earned cash has already been mentally allocated elsewhere. If you are a smaller retailer consider the findings from GoDaddy and start to send email communications on “Head Start Monday” – the Monday before Thanksgiving. This was found to be the optimum day for smaller businesses to engage customers, with open rates 14% higher than the average daily open rate for the November to December period, and CTRs 23.5% higher.


Utilize words that have been shown to increase conversions in your subject lines

Research was conducted to this end by Campaign Monitor who A/B tested the subject lines of 3,941,735,015 recipients, from 360,872 campaigns and 11,207 lists. Some of the words shown to have the desired effect were: Sale, Off, Now, Thank you, You, New, Exclusive, Discover, Be the first, Instantly. In this period shoppers are uniquely engaged to one end – getting the best deals, over everyone else – and it is words like these that will signify the opportunity to do so and therefore increase engagement. That said, it is best to tie them in with holiday specific terms to make it clear for which event you are building anticipation. And remember, your competition are all going to be using similar tactics so witty, engaging or impactful copy is still needed!


Use onsite data to help tailor your emails to show only the most relevant products.

There are two methods to consider:

1. Personalize. Use the data you have gathered on an individual’s buying and browsing behavior to highlightthe items from your inventory that will be most of interest to them. By appealing to their individual tastes you are utilizing the insight you gathered to cut through the noise and focus their attention. In fact 42% of shoppers prefer emails that contain products based on their previous behavior and past orders.

Bodybuilding Warehouse take their Cyber Monday email
efforts one step further by personalizing their communications.

2. Highlight trending items. Dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are particularly suited to promoting those items that are most popular in your store. Why? Because mass buying behavior of this type is often driven by the desire to “keep up with the Joneses” – people will compare what they bought and the bargains they got. This means they want to know what everyone is lusting after, so they too can get it – but for a fraction of the price. By highlighting the most popular products in your store you not only play on this but also subtly introduce the concept of scarcity; if the item they want is featured in your trending list then they know other people want it and it implies that it could soon sell out, motivating them to move now.


Tune in next week to find out how to remove in-store barriers to purchase! Or download the entire whitepaper now, by clicking the image below.

The guide include expert tips on:

  • Load testing your website
  • Getting your store mobile ready
  • Effectively using email in your marketing efforts
  • Removing in-store barriers to purchase
  • Enabling pop-ups to increase conversion and allow for data capture.