Last-minute tips to get your email marketing in shape for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales

Email Marketing

This is the sixth installment in our series on marketing to the managed inbox.

Reaching the managed inbox is a multi-layered process that involves a growing number of marketing resources and is more challenging than ever before. Thanks to the rise of malicious email practices, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have doubled-down on email security practices.

It always seems to come as a surprise, but Thanksgiving week is already here. The holiday that is traditionally celebrated by eating turkey and watching football is also the lead-in to the biggest retail sales events of the year. It has also evolved into one of the most important events for email marketers; many email marketers — particularly those in the retail space — are thinking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday all year long. From adhering to deliverability best practices to implementing precise segmentation strategies, marketers need to ensure their email programs in shape.

“Black Friday/Cyber Monday is without a doubt the Super Bowl, World Series and Stanley Cup of email marketing all rolled into one,” said Len Shneyder, VP of industry relations at Twilio SendGrid. “And like the sporting events, it only happens once a year, but the good news is that there’s always next year.”

Don’t disregard deliverability. If your brand is sending emails at a higher frequency and volume this week, deliverability should be a top priority. Don’t discount all of the work your team has done throughout the year to build a strong reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and subscribers by “spamming” them during this week.

Take careful consideration when developing strategic segments to ensure you are delivering emails that your subscribers actually want to receive this week. Target individuals with products or services you know they want to purchase based on their past behaviors, use straightforward language in your subject lines and don’t send irrelevant emails.  

Consider combining CTAs. Can you combine multiple calls-to-action (CTAs) into one email instead of sending separate emails? Research from Radicati indicates that the average person receives between 120 and 130 emails per day. That number will undoubtedly increase this week as brands and retailers ramp up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday messaging.

“The saturation, if not total water-logging, of consumer inboxes during the holidays presents brands that exercise restraint with unique opportunities,” says Shneyder. “Consider combining a few emails and offer two to three CTAs with a compelling, value-driven subject line that isn’t screaming at recipients in all caps.”

Tap into the results. Analyzing the results of your
Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails is critical for informing your email
marketing program for next year, and can help you identify different variables,
outliers and even new opportunities to capitalize on throughout the year.

If you can capture multiple opens of those emails, analyze which links were ultimately clicked,” Shneyder advised. “If conversions happened, you might uncover a new segment that responds to particular offers or is more inclined to transact during narrow windows of opportunity like the holiday shopping bonanza.”

The holiday season is the time that brands need to stand out in their subscribers’ inboxes to catch — and retain — consumers’ attention. Before you finalize your emails and set them to “scheduled,” be sure that your email marketing campaigns don’t overlook any of the critical elements that keep your emails in the inbox year-round.

“Email is iterative, thus think about how you can use data from this holiday season to inform not only next year’s Kentucky Derby, but every major holiday, and let’s face it, the days in between, through careful analysis,” said Shneyder.

More about the Managed Inbox

About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.

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