‘Tis the Season to Develop a Cyber Monday Email Marketing Strategy

Get the most out of big days in the holiday buying season!

The most important thing you can do heading into the 2014 holiday buying season is to understand who your customers are and begin setting up both segmented promotional emails, and personalized automated emails based on purchase and behavioral triggers.

Do you know why? Indeed, you know that Black Friday traditionally was the day that retailers went into the black with their profits, when all year they might have been in the red.

And you also know that shoppers can exhibit downright crazy behavior that does not define their buying trends for the rest of the year – and you want to capitalize on their open minds and open wallets.

But can you really bring order to a chaotic buying frenzy and extract more dollars from them when you know they will be bombarded by promotions everywhere they turn? Absolutely, and, truth is, if you don’t you will be missing out on big conversions.

Black Friday out, Cyber Monday in

Of the 10 most active shopping days, Black Friday no longer tops the list. Now, Cyber Monday is king.

In fact, three of the biggest shopping days are Mondays. This is because there’s been a shift in the way people are shopping in general, and especially for high-dollar items like electronics. It’s not uncommon for customers to go to the show room, look at the products they want up close, and then shop online for the best deals.

Understanding Your Customers

What data points do you need to know to better understand your customers’ holiday buying, how do you gain this knowledge, and most importantly, how do you put it into play to achieve profitable results? Here are some places to start:

  • Identify the holiday-only shoppers. These are people who purchased last holiday season, but not since. (ie, last purchase date is greater than 10/1/2013 but less than 12/31/2013). You should take the opportunity this year to encourage them to come back for more holiday shopping. Some successful language to entice these holiday-only shoppers include “We miss you”, or “Thank you for being a holiday shopper last year. Come back.” “Since you’ve been gone”, and “Looking forward to seeing you again this holiday season.”
  • Get more assertive with repeat buyers. A repeat buyer is anyone who has made two or more purchases in 2014. You know you are offering products they like, so you may not need to jump in with a discount right away. These shoppers might only need prompting from an email that shows some products related to the ones they’ve already purchased.
  • Try to convert non-customers. The holidays are a great time to target people who have never purchased. If you also include acquisition source or predicted CLV analysis into the mix, you can target only those potential-customers who you predict could turn into high value shoppers with more aggressive offers.
  • Map products you most want to move with customers most likely to buy them. In this case, we’re not just talking about any products, but those that you have high inventory in, those that have higher profit margins, or those that you know will fly off the shelf.

Get the eBook: "10 Quick Wins to be a Holiday Marketing Ninja" and learn 10 key email marketing campaign strategies for the 2014 holiday season including real world email examples and best practices.


Cyber Tuesday Grows

Over the past two years, not only has Cyber Tuesday has joined Cyber Monday in out performing Black Friday. With the explosion of smart phones, tablets, and laptops, customers are opting to stay home and wait for the deals to come to them via the internet. In fact, in 2012 Cyber Tuesday revenue (from first time and repeat customers) increased 67%. As the November shopping season gets longer and customers become increasingly tech savvy, make sure your holiday email marketing strategy includes promotions, emails, and deals for Cyber Tuesday as well.

Growth in Holiday Revenue Thanksgiving Black Friday Cyber Monday Cyber Tuesday

Balancing email send frequency 

Get prepared to send more emails. Sometimes lot more.

How should email cadence change in the lead up? Currently, some retailers are sending daily, others weekly, and still others less frequent than that. The frequency of your sends will differ based on the loyalty of your customers.

Big brands, such as Banana Republic, can afford to send promotions daily, or even multiple times a day, even in the off-season, because their subscriber list is very attracted to the brand and tend to be loyal shoppers. These customers appreciate the offers and will repeatedly take advantage of them when they are ready to shop, and they continue to shop often enough to receive attractive promotions regularly.

However, other retailers that don’t yet have such size and broad brand loyalty can suffer from over-sending.

They need to first ask themselves, How often do we have new, helpful content to share?” New products, new offers, helpful educational and “how-to” content is a good excuse to send an email.

Secondly, they will need to ask How relevant is the communication?” Data allows you to send emails that are very relevant, and thus support higher frequency of sending.

For example, the individual product recommendation might go out one day, followed the next day by an educational email about a product recently purchased, or a best customer reward. Automated emails, even if they increase frequency in a given week, are far less likely to cause unsubscribes than increasing frequency of promotional emails.

When we’re talking about Cyber Monday, promotions are the most relevant type of email to send. In 2012, 93% of retailers sent at least one email on Cyber Monday, and many of them sent more.

Sending 4-6 emails per week would not work any other time of year, but for the right group that you’ve diligently targeted – especially those who are loyal – Cyber Monday emails will serve to engage those shoppers while they are hot. You can cover all the hours of the day with flash sales, specials that only last for the first hour, new products released only on a given day, etc. without risking the fatal unsubscribe.

Check out our predictions and analysis for 2014 Black Friday & Cyber Monday and our key email marketing campaigns for the 2014 Holiday Season.


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