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With 28 days to go until Black Friday, there’s still time to check over your email strategy.

With increases in sales varying between 85% and 1,240% depending on country and open rates commonly hitting 60%, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can really set the tone for your holiday period. This week, Partnerships Account Manager Alex presented on Black Friday email strategy and hinted at the countdown checklist of tips and suggestions she provides for her clients in the run-up to the big day. With 28 days to go and 28 tips, Alex has kindly agreed to share her definitive Black Friday checklist for you to run through:

1. Teaser emails: Start early so that you stand out in an inbox which will only get more crowded as the holiday season wears on. Build anticipation among your customers, using FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to encourage people to make a purchase you can offer selected customers sneak peek discounts.

2. Incorporate a flash sale: To make the most of customer’s FOMO, you could also have a flash sale email ready to launch. This will prevent your strategy from becoming formulaic and help increase a sense of scarcity.

3. …or an extended sale: There will be a lot of email traffic over the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend; consider extending sales to the following days or adding bonus elements for VIPs.

4. Are your emails mobile-responsive? We’ve reported increased opens on mobile over this period, so your content must be mobile responsive, make good use of imagery, have a simple copy and be easily shareable. Your website and forms must also render correctly on mobile devices for a friction-free transition to purchase.

5. Dynamic content: Animations, GIFs and countdown timers will grab attention and ensure that you are creating a sense of urgency among your subscribers.

6. Can you gamify your content? Interactive content ensures a memorable experience. Using this both in-store and online for cohesive communication.

7. Cross-channel: Are you making the most of all the tools available? Leverage content across all areas, from in-store to emails, social to SMS and pop-ups to web notifications.

8. Consistency: Ensure the creative concept is the same across all your channels, enabling customers seamlessly to link those visuals and offers to your brand.

9. Segment your data: You could identify a VIP segment to receive additional deals or a higher volume of communications.

10. Are you giving customers the deals they’re hoping for? You can provide subscribers with personalized offers based on their different segments.

11. Identify key personas: Look at their lifestyle, shopping patterns, interests etc. and use all insights available to provide a highly personalized Black Friday – Cyber Monday email and an overall tailored customer journey.

12. Stay true to your brand: There’s lots of cool stuff out there, but ensure you are aware of what offers, and discounts will work best for your subscribers.

13. Transactional data: Use the information you’ve stored on previous purchases to ensure you’re offering the most relevant deals.

14. Upsell: This could be your opportunity to encourage customers into higher value ranges, nurturing that relationship to increase sales figures in the future.

15. Increase AOV: Create packages and bundles which will increase the average order value, making the most of this cross-sell opportunity.

16. Use browsing data: Deliver offers based on products your customers have already shown an interest in.

17. Product recommendations: Pull these through into your campaigns where possible.

18. Abandoned basket strategy: Have your abandoned basket emails ready to be launched to any customer that may be hunting for further deals or need a little more convincing.

19. Real-time responses: Adapt your follow-up campaigns to cater to trends during this period – there will be a real-time response, yet you’ll have also tested for the right waiting period between the series of emails.

20. Seamless online process: Is your check-out process optimized to provide a worry-free customer journey?

21. Keep customers informed: Nurture that customer relationship and inform customers of the offers that will be available soon.

22. Post-purchase: You may have a nurture journey that continued running after the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend.

23. Be a personal shopper: As customers tend to buy a lot of their holiday gifts during this period you will be able to provide them with relevant suggestions.

24. Grow your following: This is a great opportunity to increase your database, so have processes in place for all your touch points. Are sign-up forms available in multiple areas on your website, setting expectations about what people will be receiving during this period?

25. Enrich your existing data: Guide customers towards your preference center; they’ll be even keener to hear from you over this period.

26. Play the long game: Remember that the Black Friday weekend is only the beginning of the holiday period, and you are also doing the groundwork for your Christmas and New Year emails.

27. Test, test, and test again: Test your strategy on subsets of your data to help optimize your emails and your journeys.

28. Have a back-up: Ensure you’re prepared for unforeseen situations such as offers running out or products being out of stock. While it will hopefully not be needed, have an apology email created and ready to launch if these situations occur.

The Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend is now a key calendar event and is treated as such both by marketers and customers alike. Regardless of industry, B2C or B2B, you should be planning for this period as it could increase your sales considerably.

Remember that there will be a lot of inbox clutter. While customers will be somewhat more forgiving about the frequency of emails during this period, this will all be based on relevancy: avoid unsubscribes by making sure that your Black Friday – Cyber Monday communications are targeted and highly personalized.

For further information about the topic and some winning client examples, catch up on yesterday’s webinar now.