In the run up to Cyber Weekend, your subscriber’s inbox will be swamped with retailers virtually screaming for attention. However, email remains the most impressive online marketing channel in terms of engagement and ROI, with an average of £38 return for each £1 invested (DMA). With 3.9bn active email addresses and the ability to personalise campaigns, it’s unsurprising that email remains successful in targeting highly-relevant, action-based content to the right customers at the right time.
In 2017, standing out from the crowd and effectively creating urgency and excitement, without spamming your subscribers is a must. You don’t want to be THAT brand.
So, to give you the inside scoop on what makes an Email campaign Cyber Weekend worthy and bound for success, we spoke to Charlie Bailey, one of our brilliant Email Marketing Strategists, who shared 8 essential pointers for a successful campaign…
ESTABLISH YOUR PLAN OF ACTION
First things first, be prepared and be proactive.
Findings from an analysis of last year’s performance will help you develop a well thought-out strategy for Cyber Weekend. This will allow you to identify:
Subscriber activity: what stage of their journey were they at when they converted?
- Product trends: what were the top products or categories around Cyber Weekend? Were these products on offer at the time?
- What was your best performing email for opens, clicks and revenue?
- How many emails did you send? Was this a batch and blast approach?
Using insights from your own data from the previous year (right under your nose!) will allow you to be more efficient with your time, focusing on content that really matters and delivering relevant targeted emails.
CREATE A BUZZ
Last year’s insights show that brands chose to send out their offers up to a week before Black Friday itself. We even witnessed brands sending a series of emails over multiple days with different subject lines and subtle design changes, to build interest and instil urgency for Cyber Weekend. Your campaign you should include:
- Teaser email
- Launch email
- Recommendations and best sellers
- Countdown to offer deadline
The lead up to Black Friday 2016 actually had higher conversion rates and sales than the day itself, so make the most out of the run up to Cyber Weekend to get your subscriber’s excited about your upcoming discounts!
Once your subscribers have opened your email, it’s imperative that what they see is engaging enough to drive them to your website to convert. Keeping your call to actions simple and to the point will give them a clear direction of what you’re asking them to do.
Last year, the use of animation was seen to promote offers and products – this is a great way to make your email unique and present your messaging in a quick and entertaining way.
We live in an era of personalisation – and that goes beyond [FIRST_NAME].
With 74% of marketers claiming targeted personalisation has increased customer engagement, it’s a biggie for your Cyber Weekend email campaign strategy.
Remember, not everyone will be using your website for the same reason. Asking your subscribers what deals they’d like to hear about through a preference form or their click behaviour will help you identify what each individual customer wants. That way you can ensure you’re taking them on the most relevant journey through segmentation and automation.
Listening to your subscribers will ultimately help you achieve higher engagement and increase conversions ahead of and during Cyber Weekend sales.
Send time and subject line will also be key to ensure that you stand out from the crowd – So choose wisely!
DON’T BE SHY
Admit it, we all love emojis. So don’t be afraid to use them in your subject lines; they are a lighthearted way to connect with your subscribers so why not?
Experian recently reported that 56% of brands using emojis in their subject lines experienced higher unique open rates – so have a bit of fun with yours!
USE AUTOMATION TO DRIVE ENGAGEMENT AND REVENUE
Catching subscribers at the right time with the right content is much more effective than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Email automation offers a timely and personalised approach to your campaign for your subscribers, but it can also save you time and effort in the long run! There are many ways of using automation throughout the Cyber Weekend to drive engagement and revenue.
Triggering an email based on click behaviour of a deal they’d like to hear from will make sure they don’t miss out, or using purchase history from the Cyber weekend period to recommend accessories will help increase your average order value.
As well as your Cyber Weekend campaigns, you can also include messaging in your automated lifecycle emails through nurture, retention and re-engagement. Including promotional content on your Black Friday deals and offers could help convert a new subscriber, recover a basket or even re-engage a lost subscriber.
In 2016 mobile devices trumped in the battle of the online shopping channels, with 64% of purchases taking place on a mobile phone.
The clear shift towards mobile shopping and the increased confidence consumers have in making mobile payments, means your email campaigns need to be fully-responsive to ensure the best possible user experience across all devices and optimise conversions.
CROSS CHANNEL COLLABORATION
The journey that your customers make from their initial interest in a product or service to purchasing is now more complex than ever. Planning content for promotion over multiple channels and touch points will allow your customers’ journey to be consistent and seamless.
Bridging all the data you have on your customers such as demographic, interactions and purchases will allow you to create powerful, relevant campaigns across all channels. This will ensure better informed marketing decisions and even potentially maximise your customer’s lifetime value.
Using data to communicate with VIP email subscribers through social media is a great hack to get them checking their inbox for an exclusive deal that’s just landed!
SUSTAINING THE RELATIONSHIP AFTER CYBER WEEKEND
The cost to acquire a new customer is much greater than the cost to retain an existing customer (B2C Community). After you’ve obtained a new group of subscribers after the festive period, how will you turn them into loyal customers?
We’ve all witnessed first hand incentives splashed around our screens to win back or retain customers, however simply delivering on your value proposition could just do the trick!
So what tactics can you deliver throughout your campaigns during and after Cyber weekend?
- Feedback – Listening to your customers will make them feel appreciated. Sending them an email to review a recent purchase will give you insight and actionable data to improve your product or service. This is automated, trackable and can instantly get feedback!
- Special Occasions – Email is the easiest and most effective way to send messages on special occasions like birthdays. It might be a small gesture, but it shows that you care.
- Educate & Involve – Has your customer purchased an item that may be difficult to assemble or use? Sending them a follow up email with a guide to educate them on using the product will make their experience with your brand a whole lot easier.
If this sounds like a minefield you’re not ready to conquer, it’s likely you’ll need a helping hand to achieve maximum results. That’s where we come in – If you’d like to discuss your imminent Email Marketing needs, get in touch today!
Pssst… if you’re on the hunt for more Cyber Weekend wisdom, check out our latest posts on Affiliate Marketing hacks, and 4 Key Learnings you can take from last year’s Cyber Weekend. Happy planning!