How Email Marketing Can Help You On Black Friday

sale-735267_1280Black Friday is quickly approaching and businesses across the world have begun thinking about what offers they can give their customers. Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days in the retail calendar and the revenue generated last year was up 15% compared to 2013.

One of the main drivers for sales on the day was email marketing. According to retailers, a fifth of all sales originated from emails sent by retailers. So how can you utilise your email lists to receive your share of the day’s sales?

1. Build Your Email Marketing List

The first thing you need to do is ensure that your email marketing list is as strong as possible. This means gaining as many new leads as you can. Offering small discounts for signing up to your email list or promising subscribers exclusive offers can help boost signup rates.

2. Maintain Your Email Marketing List

The next step is to trim down your email marketing list. Remove those contacts that haven’t opened an email for six months and those who haven’t clicked through to your website in about three months. These are people who aren’t interested in your marketing message and therefore, aren’t worth emailing. Considering that the number of contacts on your list can affect the fee you are paying, you can save money by removing the dead wood from your mailing list.

3. Plan Your Offers

It is not wise to plan Black Friday at the last minute. Instead, you should be concentrating on developing the offers in advance. This is so you can warm up your audience to Black Friday and start promoting the offers that will be available on the day. There are several elements to this. These include:

  • Planning what deals will be available on the day and through to Cyber Monday.
  • Planning how you are going to market these deals.
  • Creating a series of emails to promote the day and the offers.
  • Creating extra capacity on your website’s bandwidth (so you don’t go down during the day).

4. Start Segmenting Your Audience

This is the most critical aspect of your email marketing campaign for Black Friday. You are likely to have numerous deals available for your audience across the store. However, only a few of these will be applicable to each customer. Getting the right message to your audience will be important to generate the best results.

To do this you should segment the list completely. Look at what customers have taken an interest in. Include cart abandonment, what they’ve viewed, what they’ve clicked on before and previous purchases; then use these to segment your email marketing list. Each segment needs to be matched with a series of offers that will be available on the day.

5. Ensure Everything Is Mobile Friendly

Black Friday 2014, saw one statistic that should be carefully considered – mobile marketing. Many of the sales from emails were also from mobile devices. Trending over the last few years has seen m-commerce take off. Ensure your emails are mobile friendly to be ahead of your competitors.

6. Start Promoting The Day

The first few emails that need to go out don’t need to mention any specific details. They can be a simple message at the bottom of your current email copy informing customers that you will have promotions available on Black Friday.

7. Pump Up The Promotions

During the week (or two) before Black Friday you’ll want to start getting subscribers excited by detailing some of the offers that you will have available on the day. These messages should be sent out at least once every couple of days to really increase interest and get subscribers anxious about getting the deals. The more interest you can create, the quicker the sales will come in on Black Friday.

If you are able to get the segmentation and deals just right, you can then start to sell just after midnight and see a steady stream of revenue throughout the day.

Conclusion

Black Friday is one of the most important retail shopping days in the world. It offers customers a chance to grab a deal and you the chance to earn a lot of revenue. Email marketing is by far one of the best performers for the day. By preparing in advance, you can reap the rewards and gain substantial revenue from the day.

How are you preparing for Black Friday? Have you started preparations yet?

Let us know in the comments.

Take Action:

  • Prepare your email marketing list.
  • Create promotional content.
  • Start promoting your Black Friday deals.

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How to Define Your Sales Process To Create A Great Auto-Responder Series

Developing a cooperative method between your sales and marketing team can increase your revenue by up to 20%, whereas those without proper alignment can see a decrease of up to 4%.

Consumers frequently buy products and services from an email campaign and an auto-responder series is a good method of making sure that you are sending the messages to your mailing list.

However, an auto-responder series which is too pushy is likely to deter customers from making a purchase and lead to an increase in spam reports, unsubscribers and a poorer brand image.

Therefore aligning your autoresponder series with that of your sales process is essential if you wish to maximise your revenue from the campaign.

Step One – Define the Stages in the Sales Process

The first step is to make a list of all the stages you have in your sales process, right from when you meet the potential client to when you close the sale and even after sales treatment.

You should identify exactly what is said at each stage in order to complete the sale of your product or service. The hope being that you can then mirror this in the auto-responder series.

Step Two – Create a brief outline of what actions the lead needs to take in order to move onto the next stage of the sales process

In the real world, you should know the signs of when a consumer is ready to talk to you more about the next stage in the sales process. If you do it too early or too late, you could lose the customer and they could either not buy the product or go to a competitor.

The behaviours you are looking for are those who are clicking through to see more content, completing a form or another action.

Step Three – Link the actions in step two with the content you create

Consumers like to read content they find valuable and informative. The content you provide also needs to be relevant to the action you wish them to complete.

Stories are pretty effective when it comes to email marketing. Think of interesting customer stories where your product or service has supported their life or given them joy.

Another idea is to give advice on a related matter. For instance, if you are a decorator – you could create content that would describe the best colour schemes for certain rooms, as long as the content has value and interest to the reader and directs them to a relevant action that will set in motion the next stage.

An additional consideration is to make sure that the content is ‘evergreen’ – in other words, despite the day, month or year it is sent – it will be relevant and accurate. This means you are not constantly changing the message just because circumstances are slightly different.

Once you have done this – create the content.

Step Four – Consider the frequency

Email marketing and real life sales are different when it comes down to the time frame you have. Email marketing can take weeks or months to be successful – whereas often in the physical world, you have a single shot.

Having your emails sent out too frequently will lessen the willingness of the customers to stay subscribed to your service and eventually buy a product from you. A good idea would be once every two weeks – you certainly don’t want to send out a message more than once a week.

Step Five – Determine who to send your emails too

You need to make sure that you are regularly maintaining your mailing list – to ensure that you are sending out the emails to the right people.

An email to the wrong person not only lessens your statistics in terms of open rate, click throughs and conversions – but it could increase your unsubscriber rate and spam reports.

Therefore, ensure that the action the lead has taken on your website is sufficient for them to be placed on your auto-responder series.

Step Six – Implement auto-responder series

Once you have made all your decisions – start implementing the process. Place your content in branded email format and start the series with those who you think are ready to read the material. Ensuring that the people who are ready for the message are the only ones that will receive it will improve your open rate and conversions.

Take Action:

Use the above six step solution to define your sales process and create an auto-responder series that will sell your products / services.

Conclusion

Aligning your sales process and email marketing is a good, clean method of increasing revenue.

An auto-responder series can save you time in creating material and manually sending the information. Yet marketers should be keen to keep the series related to their sales process and the content relevant and valuable to their audience for the foreseeable future.

Do you use an auto-responder series in your business?

Let us know how it performs in the comments below!

 

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Keep the Clutter Out of Your Email Content

The difference between a salesperson and a savvy marketer is the way they deliver their message. The ultimate goal is the same across the board – to sell product, or promote the company – but the way each department ends up going about it can be quite different, or at least that’s been the case in my experiences.

Last spring, the retail sales division of the company I worked for approached the marketing department because they wanted to start a biweekly email campaign. That’s an excellent idea, I said. And all was well and good until the two departments sat down to discuss the contents of the email.

“We were envisioning an email that features about 20 different products, with pictures and complete descriptions, every two weeks. And a 700-word or so article. And a coupon. And maybe a video of a dancing cat.”

Several jaws hit the floor. One of our designers actually passed out. Many heads tilted in confusion.

“Well…we just love our product so much and we know our customers do too, so we want to offer them as much as we possibly can!”

Ah, and therein lies the issue. Being passionate about what you do is so important. Loving your company and what they offer is a great thing, and for certain something to be proud of. But if you try to show your customers too much at once, you will scare them.

Think about the last marketing email you opened in your personal inbox and actually spent time examining. Did it feature a multitude of images, three page scrolls worth of text and about 15 different fonts? Or did it feature a clean, dominate image, a small amount of catchy copy and worthwhile links?

There’s no real rule about the limit on the amount of email content. But, think about the things going into your email as actual objects on your desk. A few nice, well placed and helpful items are pleasant, and probably tools you’ll utilize (since they’re on your desk and all). However, the more items you add the more cluttered your desk becomes, and the less you’re able to prioritize and sort out everything that’s there.

If you feel like you have too much to say and not enough room to say it, make a list of everything you want to include. Read through it, and try to prioritize one by one.  Is there anything that is timely and needs to be mentioned right away? Is there anything that relates to a current news item? What can I put into a blog post instead of this email (because links are your friend!)?

Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one who loves your company and wants to hear everything you have to say about it. But think of this email marketing relationship you have with your consumers like a real relationship – if you spill everything on your first date, there’s a good chance they won’t stick around for too long.

Photo: Puuikibeach, Flickr Creative Commons

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