Black Friday through Cyber Monday are the four most important days of the year for most retailers. E-commerce marketers especially need to be prepared for the upcoming rush of online shoppers. Thankfully e-commerce marketers can use intelligent automation workflows to ease the pressure of this shopping period.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped a lot since its outbreak at the beginning of 2020. One of the biggest changes has been the change in shopping habits. With so many people unable to access traditional physical stores, the demand for online shopping has grown exponentially. As a result, you’ll have more opportunities to find and convert new customers than ever before.
With a bit of careful planning you can use your marketing automation software to build programs that work for you in the background this holiday season.
Implementing automation programs will not only save your team time, but you’ll also see a significant boost in your ROI. Automating key stages of the customer journey with your brand during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend will help your email marketing convert and close sales faster.
1. The welcome program
Welcome programs are essential for establishing strong relationships with your customers.
As BFCM is a golden opportunity for e-commerce brands to recruit new customers, a welcome program builds a solid base for your future relationship. A well-planned and fully optimized welcome program will help you learn about your customers, while connecting with them.
You should introduce yourself, set expectations, and clearly outline your brand’s unique selling points (USPs), all while gathering customer data.
There’s still time to optimize your welcome program in time for the BFCM weekend. Ensure that your program clearly asks for new customers to create accounts or update marketing preferences. The more data you collect at this stage, the more advance tactics you can adopt later.
Once you know customers’ names, ages, interests, and more, personalization and segmentation will be a breeze!
Shoppers are at their most engaged at this stage. They’ve either just made a purchase, or are intending to make a purchase. In the lead up to Black Friday, entice and engage customers with teaser content about your upcoming sale or offer early access to sale items. This will help you usher them down the funnel faster.
2. The nurture program
In the lead up to BFCM you should be looking closely at your customer segments. Or, more specifically, you should be looking at your RFM segments.
RFM – recency, frequency, and monetary – looks at when shoppers last made a purchase, how often they shop with you, and how much they tend to spend. You should use this to send customers down unique nurture programs in the lead up to Black Friday.
After all, a loyal customer doesn’t need the same prompts as an at-risk customer. You can choose to focus your BFCM marketing on driving big purchases from your loyal customers, or target infrequent shoppers with exclusive discounts to bring them back into the fold.
Segmentation and personalization increase customer engagement, giving shoppers’ more reason to convert when looking at your emails.
3. Abandoned cart emails
There’s no denying our intentions when it comes to BFCM – we’re out to makes sales and drive profits.
That’s why there’s no automation program as important as your abandoned cart. The average monthly revenue recovered by an abandoned cart campaign is $39,000. During a busy sales period like Black Friday the only way it can go is up.
The reasons why shoppers abandoned carts are varied. Some are just browsing. Others are distracted, browsing on the go or during their lunch break. Whatever the cause, a timely abandoned cart email automation is the perfect reminder you need to drive customers back to your site.
An effective cart abandonment series will send no more than three emails. Anything beyond this you risk annoying the customer to the point they no longer feel an affinity with your brand.
Your first email needs to land in the inbox while your products are fresh in the shopper’s mind. Anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour is perfect. And just in case your reminder isn’t enough, including AI-powered product recommendations can serve to highlight other items in your sale. From upselling to increasing your average order value, there are simply no drawbacks to including recommendation blocks in your cart abandonment emails.
4. Retargeting campaigns
Never miss an opportunity to reach your customers with a personalized retargeting campaign.
Retargeting campaigns help keep your brand in front of customers and potential customers at all times. To maximize your revenue potential during BFCM weekend, you need to be thinking about your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Customers are going to be bombarded with sales alerts in their inbox. To stand out you need to prepare to take your personalized automation marketing to new channels. Retargeting campaigns allow you to use the data you already have on your customers to surface relevant ads that’ll drive them back to your website.
The longer you stay at the forefront of the shopper’s mind, the more likely they are to convert on your site. When targeted on three or more channels, the purchase rates of campaigns increase by over 280%, so retargeting on social and using display ads is a must-adopt strategy.
5. The loyalty program
Loyalty programs are all about creating lifelong relationships with your customers. You’ve done the hard work, winning and converting customers in the lead-up and during the BFCM weekend, once that’s over, let your loyalty program do the hard work for you.
A smart, well-planned loyalty program makes customers feel valued by your brand and keeps them coming back, time and time again. Offering exclusive discounts or rewards based on total order value are great tactics to drive repeat (and bigger) purchases.
By ensuring this automation is in place before the biggest shopping weekend of the year you’ll be setting expectations high. If you offer double points or free gifts during the sales period, you’ll be giving shoppers more incentive to convert, spend more, and return to your brand.
There are already some very clear indications out there that this BFCM weekend isn’t going to be like the ones before.
Customers will be shopping online now, more than ever before. Black Friday sales are going to be longer. We’ve already seen e-commerce giant, Amazon, launching early sales nearly a month ahead of time. But all is not lost. There’s still plenty of time to boost your conversion tactics before the big day.
These marketing automation programs are guaranteed revenue generators. It will be well worth dedicating a little time to setting up your automated marketing campaigns. While these run in the background driving conversions, you’re marketing team can focus on optimizing and improving customer experiences elsewhere.
And the best part: they’ll keep making you money, long after the sales have finished.