Hey! This post is part of a larger series geared toward helping ecommerce sellers understand, engage with, and love more customers this holiday season. After all, that’s exactly what the holidays are about, right?
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You’ve rounded up loads of email addresses. People are feeling warm and cozy in your welcome workflow. And now, it’s time to light all the burners in preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What do you have planned beyond your first hellos before the holidays?
Chapter 4 of Drip’s holiday series is aimed at showing ecommerce store-owners how to choose which channels to incorporate into marketing campaigns, which emails strike more chords, and how to make a plan that will fit any BFCM goals.
When it comes to holiday shopping, it’s more challenging than ever to get the attention of consumers. Ecommerce is becoming more competitive, and the number of marketing channels that brands have at their disposal is overwhelming. All these factors combined make a fine-tuned marketing strategy more important than ever. Every move you make with customers needs to be in the right place at the right time—or just like some stray batteries in a mountain of wrapping paper, it’ll get lost in the shuffle.
With a quick exploration and a plan of action, your shop will be ready to tackle the most shoppingest time of the year.
Assess Your Marketing Channels and Make a Master Outline
Whether you’ve been in business for a while or you’re just getting set up, it’s a good idea to take inventory of marketing channels you’re already using. I’m talking every channel up for grabs, like:
An overview of campaigns you’ve run, time you’ve spent, or budget you’ve allocated brings some clarity to opportunities ahead. For example, if you discover you’re still running some landing pages that have grown stale, you know where to pull your resources from so you can pump them into something else—something that will resonate with your customers.
In addition to weighing the channels you’ve used or set up, dig into the channels that your shoppers are spending their time on. For instance, 55% of consumers report buying products online after stumbling across them on social media, and 78% of 18–34-year-olds report discovering products on Facebook.
Facts like that are huge, especially if you have an ecommerce brand that’s still trying to gain some traction in the industry. Additionally, 77% of U.S. small businesses use social media for things like sales, customer service, and marketing. And you’re not just gonna stand there and let your competitors get all the exposure in one channel, are you?
Of course not.
Your Black Friday / Cyber Monday campaign will only be as strong as the foundation you build it on, which is exactly why it’s time to make your master plan. A compelling and enticing campaign is made up of a lot of moving parts—websites, emails, landing pages, ads, and more. But in order to make your mark this year, your store needs to bring these elements together in comprehensive ways instead of disparate touch points.
Once you’ve shuffled through your Rolodex of channels and narrowed your focus to ones that’ll have the most impact with your audience, start mapping out campaigns you want to run.
This could be as simple as putting pen to paper and jotting down ideas for your store this BFCM. Below is a screenshot of what my own planning looks like. I started a spreadsheet where I can jot down my big ideas, who will experience them, and which channels they’ll include.
This is a quick and easy resource I can add and refer to all year long (and even apply to different shopping holidays outside of Black Friday or Cyber Monday). The “channels” column will be a good guide for components to add in my workflows as well as which integrations I should connect to my Drip account before I get started.
Send High-converting Ecommerce Emails
Wait, why are emails getting a special section here? Read on, friend.
In Chapter 3, you learned that consumers prefer email when it comes to brands communicating with them—even beating out social media nearly 2:1. Because so many people prefer to engage in the inbox, your ecommerce emails are a key piece to any holiday marketing campaign.
The problem is that inboxes are inundated with emails leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. People are trying to sift through all the deals, or, worse yet, they’re just deleting everything that rolls in this time of the year. The amount of time that your emails get to grab attention is short, so every message you send has to pack a punch.
The goal is to create ecommerce emails that stand out from the noise; ones that walk the tightrope of being genuine and authentic while showcasing products you want to sell more of. While you prepare your store for holiday shoppers, start thinking about the ways each email you send can have the biggest impact.
The highest-converting emails you can send are relevant, personalized, and timely. Nab a tip or two from some emails that are nailing the ecommerce experience:
Abandoned cart emails engage. These emails check a lot of boxes. First of all, abandoned cart emails can typically recover 15% of shoppers who otherwise weren’t going to purchase. Plus, sending folks reminders about the goods they left behind ranks in the top five marketing tactics that consumers want from brands.
Secondly, these emails are sent to almost-customers at the right time with warm and inviting language. These emails aren’t pushy, and they’re even personalized with images of the exact items left behind.
Product recommendations are effective and thoughtful. Did you know that an estimated 35% of purchases on Amazon come from product recommendations? That’s a hefty percentage that would raise any online store’s bottom line. This email from Methodical Coffee recommends three fan favorites, so any shopper who’s on the fence about buying will have a better idea about what’s yummy.
Brand news and product updates are transparent and build trust. Remember that your marketing strategy leading up to and riding through Black Friday and Cyber Monday isn’t just about “winning” the holidays. Meaningful engagement provides better experiences and is geared toward establishing trust and customer loyalty. One part to making more customers trust your brand more than others is being transparent and letting folks know about what’s happening with your brand.
Emails relaying store news, product releases, and updates make customers feel included and important—an experience they’ll remember long after the holiday spree has ended.
Customer recognition and reward goes a long way. More than 90% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize and reward them—and email is a prime place to show people how much you remember them. This email from Nilton Clothing effectively makes shoppers feel like part of the family and gives them a gift just because of it.
Make Your Marketing Plan with Confidence
Having a plan in place will make connecting your marketing campaigns less overwhelming as you ramp up for the holidays. By assessing your marketing channels, understanding where your customers are hanging out, and choosing a couple engaging and relevant campaigns, you’ll be able to start digging into the nitty-gritty of it all.
Now that you have channels and goals in place, this provides a set starting point when it comes to actually getting into Drip, making your workflows, crafting your emails, and hitting “start” on these campaigns. It’s important to see these customer journeys from a bird’s eye view so you can see how all your pieces fit together.
Without a blueprint of how your customer journeys will flow—and what their end-goals are—you could risk having disjointed or irrelevant messaging. And when emails, ads, or other communications miss the mark, customers notice (and could move onto your competition).
Give all your shoppers the gift of a tailored and comprehensive strategy this year—and it all starts with a little bit of planning.