In the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday, major retailers roll out massive advertising campaigns to promote deals and attract customers on what’s usually the biggest shopping day of the year.
Small and midsize businesses can’t typically compete on ad budget, but they have another powerful marketing tool: email.
Pretty much everybody uses email now, but standing out among the sea of Black Friday-promotion emails that land in consumers’ inbox is the challenge. How can you create an effective email campaign for Black Friday (or any holiday, for that matter) that draws in shoppers? Read on for our tips.
1. Build a huge email list
Try to do everything in your power to get people—particularly your customers—to sign up for your company’s emails. You can ask customers to sign up when they check out, at in-person events, and on your website or blog. Some companies create special campaigns, such as contests, with the simple goal of growing their email list.
2. Publish an email newsletter
Whether you send it out weekly or monthly probably doesn’t matter. You should just try to find a consistent schedule that works for your business. Having an e-newsletter is a good tool for encouraging people to sign up. You can tell them you’ll be sending out valuable information and tips related to what your business does, discounts and other promotions to give them incentive to sign up and stay subscribed. Try to keep in mind that you must get permission to add someone to your email list and provide a way to opt-out or unsubscribe. Any email marketing software should include that functionality.
3. Write enticing subject lines
An email is only as good as its subject line—the few words that people use to decide whether to open it or delete it. So consider spending a decent amount of time writing an email subject line that will stand out and get people to click on it. Some tips: Try to keep it short, no longer than five or six words; try to be descriptive, so readers will know what they’re getting; but also give a sense of urgency (“Black Friday special offer—today only!”). Check out this list of best-performing email subject lines for Black Friday from Ominsend.
4. Use images and other visuals
Once you surmount the big challenge of getting people to actually open your emails, the next big challenge is getting them to actually read it. Eye-pleasing and interesting visuals can be a smart tactic for drawing people in. Any images should reinforce your brand image and be formatted correctly so it’s not too big or overpower your message. Some major brands now use animated GIFs in their email marketing that are memorable and engaging. Check out these six mistakes to avoid when adding images to an email campaign.
5. Offer engaging content
Any holiday-themed marketing email needs to have the right mix of content. On Black Friday, for example, consumers expect deals—so make sure to have at least one big promotion that will draw them in. That could be a 30%-off coupon or a buy-one-get-one-free offer. The day is all about shopper deals, after all! But you can also use the email to showcase other interesting content, such as a calendar of holiday events your business is hosting, upcoming promotions or a short feature article on how your business is giving back to the community or supporting a local charity over the holiday season.
There’s no one way to create a successful Black Friday email campaign—businesses use all sorts of content and strategies. (Check out these eight winning Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns.) But it’s smart to plan ahead and put some serious thought into your Black Friday email strategy so you’re not late to the game.