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When it comes to the holiday shopping season, Black Friday has become a crucial event for driving sales in the UK.

And with email marketing rated as the number one channel for return on investment by 83 percent of marketers, according to our recently published State of Digital Personalisation in 2016 report, it’s not surprising that many see it as the go-to channel during the festive months. But with so many brands striving for their subscribers’ attention on the day, how do you stand out in the inbox?

Short of predicting the future, data is the only thing that can give us some insight. By looking at key stats from last year’s performance in a recent webinar with Anna Wilson from more2, we’re able to share with you what made last year’s emails perform.

Types of offers

2015 seemed to the year when retailers were torn between a blanket discount and a discount on selected lines. While that depends on your overall business strategy, we were surprised to see ‘free delivery’ didn’t score higher as a potential offer. Why not test different offers on small segments of your audience now to anticipate what will work on the big day?


Best discount

Twenty percent was the sweet spot for retailers last year. If you’re not sure what to do, try different offers in varying product categories. Alternatively, check out what your competitors are doing and be ready to fluctuate your strategy throughout the day. Don’t forget to make your VIP customers feel valued with exclusive deals too.


Email frequency for the weekend

How many emails is too many? On a regular basis, we would definitely not recommend emailing your subscribers every single day. But on Black Friday, all rules are out. In 2015, most retailers sent two or more than five campaigns during the Black Friday weekend. Whatever your strategy is, keep an eye on your unsubscribe rates, you don’t want to annoy subscribers and lose them. Alternatively, ask subscribers if they would like to receive your Black Friday deals and segment those who confirmed.


Best time of the day

I get asked a lot what the best time of the day for sending is and the answer is always test with your audience. On Black Friday, you’ve only got the day to make it right so look at patterns in your sends during the year. Commuting times and the morning proved the most popular for sends, but consider trialling a resend to non-openers for lunch time and in the evening as consumers are likely to be free during those times.


While drilling into data to get insight is a good way to know what makes emails successful, it’s important to look at your own data to find your own recipe for success.

Let us know how these results differ from yours in the comments below.