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8 tips to boost Black Friday sales with email automation

With Black Friday around the corner, customers are slowly loading their credit card rifles and getting ready for the annual hunt for great deals - and of course, the items should preferably be shot in the basket of your webshop rather than your competitors'.

By Jacob Gammelby Stenhaug

For the customers, the time leading up to Black Friday is about finding the best deals, and for you who run e-Commerce, it is (among other things) about telling customers that the best deals are on your webshop. In this blog post, we elaborate on how you effectively can create awareness with email automation in a busy time and thus reap the benefits of the year's biggest sales day.


What is email automation?

Email automation is a type of marketing automation software that allows you to automate your email marketing efforts and meet customers exactly where they are on the buying journey. With an email automation tool, you can create automated emails that are sent out based on a specific action, behavior, or absence of these elements. An example might be when your customers sign up for your newsletter, an email is automatically sent to their inbox. Or, if customers leave a full shopping basket on your webshop, it triggers an email reminding them that they are in the middle of a buying process.

Your emails can also be triggered based on a predetermined date and time. Here you have planned what specific date and time the following email will be sent.

There are many different providers of email automation platforms - e.g., Heyloyalty.


Why email automation up to Black Friday?

To answer the question, we must first ask why email is a valuable channel for marketing at all?

It is, among other things, because so much of the world's population uses email as a communication tool every single day. According to Heyloyalty, the number of email users globally will be no less than 4.48 billion by 2024.

In addition, email is a highly effective channel for driving engagement with the recipient. For email marketing, the engagement is on average 13.4 seconds, while for other types of online marketing, it is 0.7 seconds, and this is not a dying trend. The "engagement rate" for email marketing has increased by 21 percent in recent years. Engagement is meaningful because a high level of engagement means that your customers not only remember your webshop, their interest in it is also kept alive.

Now, we have covered a few significant benefits of email marketing (there are many more), but why automate your email marketing efforts up to Black Friday?

According to Heyloyalty, customers' on- and offline buying behavior is unpredictable and constantly changing, which is why you must be able to "read" them and react to their behavior - and this is where email automation is valuable. Especially up to Black Friday, where the competition for customer attention is increasing.

For example, you can have email automation triggered based on your customers' interest in a specific category on your webshop. If a customer visits your Black Friday category four times a week but does not buy anything, you can send an email to give the final push. In the email, you will typically present the customer with different items in the category and communicate the time limit on the offers.

Maybe you also want to send a series of emails, with a specific frequency, a month before Black Friday, where you regularly introduce your upcoming offers. Or you would like to invite loyal customers to a VIP pre-sale event ahead of Black Friday and send an email the week before the event to invite them, and then maybe again send them a reminder the day before. With email automation, you can automate this process and thus create awareness around your Black Friday offerings while eliminating manual workflows and release resources to handle other important tasks in a busy time.


How do you succeed with email automation up to Black Friday?

To be most successful with email automation up to Black Friday, we suggest following the 8 tips below:


1. Get more relevant subscribers added to your list

The first thing you should do is grow your list of relevant subscribers. The keyword here is "relevant." It does not make sense to collect as many permissions as possible if it is primarily from people who do not find your products relevant. Focus on building a list of those who can get value from and ultimately buy your great Black Friday deals.

Of course, that is easier said than done, especially up to Black Friday, when the competition for customer attention is extra fierce, but we will try to give a few quick tips on how you can do that.

1. Your offer must make sense to the customer

An eye for an eye. This applies to almost everything in life, and access to your potential customers' email addresses is no exception. Focus on what you are offering in exchange for permission. It must make sense for the customer.


2. Give a sneak-peak

It can be a good idea to communicate what the customer will get out of being on your email list in the future. For example, will there be good offers on an ongoing basis? Will they be invited to the pre-sale? etc.

3. The registration form must be easily accessible and easy to fill out

It must never be difficult for the customer to find a registration form for your mailing list. It must be clearly displayed on your webshop. In addition, it is a good idea to make a registration form that is easy for the customer to fill out. It does not have to contain many (unnecessary) fields, but possibly just name and email address. The name can be good information to have as it can be used to personalize future emails sent to the customer.

4. Promote

Spend time on promotion through relevant channels. It could be on your social media, where those who follow are already interested in your brand. You can also consider pop-ups. When potential customers are about to leave your webshop, a registration form will pop up, which they can quickly and easily fill out. In addition, you can also encourage your current subscribers to share the sign-up form on their network.

2. Focus on the subject line

Once you have built a solid and relevant list of subscribers, you can begin your email automation efforts. Part of this is to formulate a good subject line. As you have probably experienced yourself, the subject line is very important to whether you want to open an email or not. According to Heyloyalty, you should avoid using typical sales subject lines with block letters and excessive use of emojis and exclamation marks. In addition, using typical sales subject lines can be problematic as they can trigger spam filters. Instead, Heyloyalty recommends that you create a topic line that makes your customers feel special - "Members Only: Early Black Friday Access". Finally, Heyloyalty suggests that you split test two subject lines with an A / B split test function, which, i.a., is available with their software. This way, you do not put all your eggs into one basket if one of the subject lines turns out to be ineffective.

3. Start your promotion early

To be noticed by your subscribers, you should not wait to promote your Black Friday deals until the day before. Many customers spend more time up to Black Friday doing research and finding great deals. Therefore, you should plan to send your emails so that you start communicating with your potential customers at the end of October/beginning of November.

4. Schedule your broadcast days

The purpose is to send your emails at the correct time. That specific time is when your readers have the best precondition to open the email and spend time looking at the content. According to Heyloyalty, it makes the most sense to let your statistics create the basis for when is the right time. Heyloyalty's platform has a campaign statistics feature where you can find an average of when your emails have the highest opening and click rates. If you do not have access to your statistics, then there is a lot of information within this area, and you should ensure that your emails do not drown in lots of other Black Friday emails. Of course, this only applies to the overall emails triggered by a specific date and time - not customer behavior.

5. Communicate the limited time period of the offers

Time limit is a valuable tool when it comes to increasing engagement among your readers. It is simply about clearly communicating a time limit on your excellent Black Friday deals.


6. It must be visually appealing

Your emails should be visually appealing while representing your brand. Humans process visual elements 60,000 times faster than text. While customers only remember 20 percent of what they read, they can remember 80 percent of what they see visually. Therefore, it makes sense to add visual elements that support your offers to increase the likelihood that your customers will remember your offers after reading your email.

Also, feel free to use your standard colors, put in a logo, and make sure the same thing applies in every single mail. The customer must easily decode that the email is from you. At the same time, it is essential to ensure a consistent experience across your channels.

Lastly, your mail format must work on all devices - particularly mobile optimized. More people are opening emails online from their mobile phones, and therefore it should not be difficult for your readers to read your email on this device.

7. Inspire with relevant recommendations

Feel free to send personalized product recommendations based on the recipient's behavior and interest. If your customer has regularly visited a specific product or product category, this can trigger an email including the particular product or product category. Customers will have an experience that you know about them and their needs. It may also be relevant to include the overall, most popular products on your webshop in the email.

8. Give something extra to your loyal customers

Consider rewarding your customers for their loyalty. Those customers who exceed a specific amount will receive an email with, e.g., extra discounts, free shipping, etc. It can help create loyal customers who are also there when the biggest sales days of the year are over.


Heyloyalty and Fiftytwo

At Fiftytwo, we collaborate with Heyloyalty, a Danish, user-friendly, and scalable marketing automation system tailored for e-Commerce. Heyloyalty creates value every day for many prominent Danish e-Commerce and retailers, and with their skilled consultants, they also help our customers lift their 52eSELLER webshop to new heights. Especially for our customers who do not have a large marketing department, it is relevant to get this valuable help from outside.