The biggest shopping weekend of the year is almost here. And if there’s a time to be bold with your marketing, it’s during the lead up to Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM).
Jacob Sappington, director of email strategy at ecommerce-focused growth agency Homestead Studio, has worked with prominent direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands like Hexclad, Casely, Brightly, and more. This year, he recommends his clients go big with their email and SMS marketing campaigns. By this he means sending to more people more often.
Ahead are some of Jacob’s tips for improving the performance of your email and SMS ahead of the busy Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend.
5 ways to improve your BFCM marketing campaigns
Want to get the most out of your marketing efforts this holiday season? Jacob has experience working with brands to improve their campaigns, maximizing impact—and revenue.
1. Widen your scope
Jacob says the most common mistake he sees companies make during the holidays is targeting segments that are too narrow. He challenges brands to ask themselves, “How broad can we go without hurting our deliverability?”
Jacob advises using segmentation to filter out automatic email opens, but to consider redefining and expanding the lists of people you send emails to. For example, if you usually target a list of customers that were engaged in the past 30 days, try sending to people that show engagement in the past 60 or 90 days. He also suggests looking at past BFCM purchasers and adding them to the mix.
2. Be aggressive with frequency
Black Friday Cyber Monday is not the time to stick to best practices. Jacob is telling his clients, “We send reputably 362 days out of the year, so that for three days out of the year, we can be a little bit crazy.”
In fact, your brand’s emails or SMS might get lost in the shuffle if you’re not sending multiple times ahead of and during the big weekend. “We’re recommending that all of our brands send three emails on Black Friday, multiple emails on Cyber Monday, and multiple texts on Cyber Monday as well,” Jacob says.
3. Re-engage with past customers
Use BFCM as an opportunity to connect with old customers. With rising acquisition costs, you can save money by investing in a well-executed email strategy that targets existing customers. “Email is so powerful because it’s a much cheaper delivery platform than other forms, including paid ads,” Jacob says.
4. Start collecting emails and SMS with a “micro-yes”
Your company’s website will probably get a huge influx of traffic during Black Friday Cyber Monday. This is a great opportunity to build your subscriber list.
Jacob has seen success with Homestead’s clients getting customers to opt in to marketing communication with a “micro-yes.” “The main idea is that you’re asking a really small leading question that someone is likely to say yes to,” Jacob says.
In a website pop-up, instead of immediately asking people to type in their email for a discount, make the first question even easier. “It’s just something as simple as saying, ’Do you want 10% off?’” Jacob says. “Or, ‘What are you shopping for today?’ And then having some options for different categories or collections that you have.”
Once the user engages with your question, then ask for their email and phone number on separate pages. Don’t bombard them by asking for too much information at once.
Jacob says he’s actually seen higher conversion rates and collected more emails and phone numbers with this method, even though there are more steps involved. “As marketers, we’re taught that the more steps we add, the less conversion we have,” Jacob says. “But this runs completely contrary to that.”
5. Compare against your own benchmarks
Many companies are looking at the same metrics for their email and SMS campaigns: open rate, click rate, place order rate, revenue per recipient. But Jacob cautions against comparing those metrics against vague industry benchmarks.
“I told this to a client last year: ‘We’re going to lower your click-through rates, and you’re going to make more money because of it,’” Jacob says. By focusing on the company’s goals around revenue, Homestead was able to help the brand clean up their data on deliverability and better segment customers—and those improvements translated to higher conversion.
To learn more about Jacob’s recommendations for email and SMS strategies, check out his full interview on Shopify Masters.