If businesses and brands want to win sales on Black Friday and the holiday season, they need to consider their online strategy.
Driving consumers to stores from offline offers or email marketing is known as a business’s omnichannel strategy. With Black Friday being a huge shopping day (or week, depending on location), brands and businesses should consider their plan.
A strong email list will give marketing teams the best chance to catch their audience’s eye while building a relationship. That way, when the holidays arrive, marketers can feel confident that their emails will both be read and convert.
The holiday shopping season starts well before December. For many, it begins the day after American Thanksgiving: Black Friday. What began as an offline, in-store only holiday has evolved into a shopping frenzy that takes place online and offline.
In fact according to marketing publication, The Drum, over £7bn was spent online in the UK across Black Friday weekend 2018. That’s a whopping £3.2bn more than 2017. In addition, more than double the amount of adults took part on Black Friday shopping this year (62% compared to 36% in 2017).
Many also think that it’s a phenomenon that won’t die down anytime soon. “They want to experience the excitement of the event firsthand,” DealNews.com’s director of content marketing Lindsay Sakraida explained to Money for their article “The Psychology Behind Black Friday Crowds — and Why They’ll Never Go Away.” DealNews.com found that it’s less about the deals and more about the experience. This should be music to marketers’ ears.
Black Friday began as a made-up day for retailers to clear out stock. As it rose in popularity, companies operated most of the calendar year at a loss. On Black Friday, businesses often went into the ‘black’, or started making a profit.
Nowadays, Black Friday is all about the experience and perhaps also about the fear of missing out (FOMO) for consumers. It also happens on consumers’ terms: Black Friday is when, where, and how customers choose.
Trends show that they want to begin their holiday shopping sooner than Black Friday, and many begin researching for Black Friday as early as October (!). In addition, a 2018 survey by RetailMeNot found that more than half (60%) of consumers plan to start holiday gift shopping before Black Friday.
What does this mean?
Businesses and brands need to be top-of-mind for consumers, especially during the lucrative holiday shopping season. A quarter of Black Friday sales begin with email marketing.
It pays to start marketing for those consumers. And if you want to win against competitors, start sooner rather than later. Big Commerce found that just over 20% of marketing professionals plan more than 3 months in advance of the peak email season.
Lastly, email marketing is responsible for driving around a fifth of sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
Have we convinced you yet?
In his Forbes article, Nishat Mehta makes the argument for customizing ads so that they are what customers want. He writes, “when we put the consumer first — meaning we reach them at the right moment, with the right message and with a relevant product or service — they welcome the assistance of advertisers.” We already know that email marketing has an extremely high ROI (return on investment) of money invested in email marketing is 4,400%, or US$44 for every US$1 spent.
Email marketing can help businesses create more personalized experiences for their customers, which increases their chances of winning the sales.
As the saying goes, a goal without a plan is just a wish.