During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ecommerce marketers don their battle gear to fight for limited ad and inbox space.
Your ecommerce marketing strategy, content and design become your defense as you clash with thousands of businesses vying for your potential customers.
With $7.4 billion on the table for Black Friday alone, you need a battle plan to cut through the noise and win out more sales.
In 2019, we spent months strategizing our ecommerce Black Friday and Cyber Monday plan for Facebook, email and CRO to increase sales for one client. Below, we share the tactics we used to achieve the following results:
- 40% YoY revenue growth
- 75% YoY increase in email revenue
- 7X ROAS on Facebook
- 65% YoY increase in website conversion rates
What to Know Before Creating a Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy
The week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday often accounts for more than one-third of a brand's yearly online revenue, according to Corinne Watson, Partner Content Marketing Manager for BigCommerce.
The season is a field day for marketers — meaning all bets are off.
Here’s what you should know going into the Black Friday season:
- Start your planning at least 6 months in advance: Seriously. You need ample time to prepare your site, develop your strategy and assets and ensure you have a full-proof plan in place to earn as much revenue as possible.
- Expect higher CPM for Facebook: The competition on Facebook becomes fierce during cyberweek. CPM rates are 50% higher on average over this week, which can tank your return on advertising spend (ROAS) if not considered.
- Prepare for higher paid budgets: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge revenue opportunities and draw more competition across all channels. Expect higher costs and to increase budgets across your paid channels to capitalize on the opportunity at hand.
Ready to plan for Black Friday ecommerce domination? Here are 15 ecommerce marketing ideas to send sales soaring over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
1. Invest in Prospecting Campaigns Ahead of Time
Retargeting your website visitors should be core to your Facebook strategy. These visitors have expressed interest and intent to buy.
But before you can retarget to prospect customers over the holiday season, you need to build the audience well in advance through prospecting campaigns.
During the fall, allocate more ad spend to prospecting campaigns (for example we bumped investments from 15% of total ad spend to nearly 40%).
Leverage conversion objective campaigns, and the Facebook algorithm will handpick users who fit your detailed targeting criteria and have also shown signals they are likely to purchase from Facebook ads.
2. Ramp Up Retargeting Spend During Black Friday & Cyber Monday
During the week of Black Friday, you can hit those users who clicked with a retargeting conversion campaign when they are more likely to purchase and when you have your deepest discounts.
Since these users are now familiar with your brand, they have a higher chance of converting, which will help make those increased CPM rates worth it.
Through investing early on in prospecting campaigns and ramping up retargeting spend, we achieved a 700% ROAS during the week of Cyber Monday.
3. Promote “Early Access Black Friday” Deals
Email will continue to be the highest-converting channel.
But with 116.5 million emails sent on Black Friday, not even witty subject lines will help you stand out against your competitors.
Consumers know that the best deals come on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But your emails can get lost in the endless sea of promotions as you square off with every ecommerce business on Black Friday.
Email your deals a week early to offer engaged contacts an “exclusive” offer.
Retailers like Walmart have already started to creep into Thanksgiving and give their customers a chance to cash in on Black Friday deals early. We adopted this strategy for our client to reduce competition for inbox space and increase visibility.
4. Don’t Spam Your List
Sending emails is an obvious way to increase revenue. But you can’t spam your database.
Be cautious not to email all your contacts multiple times a day to prevent ruining your sender reputation.
5. Email Engaged Contacts More Often
Tools like Klayvio let you leverage engagement data to get in front of customers who are ready to purchase.
For example, we only sent multiple emails to contacts who clicked a previous promotion email but didn’t purchase. These contacts were more likely to purchase than contacts who didn’t engage at all.
Emailing only engaged contacts twice per day allowed us to send more emails while keeping engagement rates high.
Compared to campaigns that were sent to the entire database, this approach produced the following results:
- 165% higher open rate
- 95% increase in click-through rate
- 35% increase in dollar per recipient
6. Double Down on High-Volume Days
To squeeze the most revenue out of email while keeping sender reputation in tact, send multiple emails on the days with the heaviest competition, including Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
7. Offer Discounts Consistently Throughout the Sale Season
To earn more sales over Cyber Week, your discounts must be compelling and consistent.
You don’t have to come up with unique promotions for early access, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We kept discounts consistent, but sales continued to spike throughout the week.
8. Hit All Your Channels
To maximize the reach of the campaign, promote your offer across every channel, including Facebook and Instagram ads, emails and social posts.
On your website, make sure your offer is front-and-center to bolster sales.
9. Check and Improve Your Site Speed
10. Audit Your Website Conversion Funnel
It’s easy for potential customers to get stuck in the conversion funnel.
As Watson says, "In this age of ever-increasing online competition, it's important to make sure you're accounting for the whole customer experience — not just getting people to visit your website.”
To maximize your investments in paid marketing, you need to ensure your site is optimized to help visitors through the purchase funnel.
12. Evaluate Your Checkout Page
Getting prospective customers to your site is only half the battle. You need to provide a speedy experience to get visitors to the finish line.
Conversion rate optimization is a year round task that needs to happen consistently. One of the biggest pushes we made before was updating the checkout page.
This made the checkout faster and easier to use, eliminating a huge friction point to purchasing.
13. Refresh Your Product Page
Your product page and category pages need to reflect the value to customers to compel new visitors to purchase.
Months before BFCM, we infused our product pages with more details and elevated the design to feel more luxurious to reflect the premium quality of the product.
With the changes we made to improve the conversion rate, we saw the conversion rate increase by 65% YoY for BFCM alone. For the month of November, we saw a 52% increase in conversion rate.
14. Enable Google Address Auto-Filler at Checkout
Your checkout page should be as seamless as possible to eliminate distractions and focus users on the end result: completing their purchase.
Ensure Google’s address auto-filler is set up on your checkout page to automate this unnecessary step and get first-time customers to purchase faster.
15. Test Website Changes Months Before the Holiday Season
You need to give yourself enough time before Black Friday and Cyber Monday to make and test changes to your site.
By baking in enough time for the changes, you can track if you’re making a positive improvement in conversion rate. And if you start to see a decline in conversion rate, you have enough time to revert any changes and continue testing.
Looking For More Black Friday Cyber Monday Tips?
Human has partnered with Attentive to give you an comprehensive guide on how to use email and SMS marketing together during the holidays. Get the guide here: Attentive Holiday Hub
Preparing Your BFCM 2020 Battle Plan
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 is fast approaching and preparing as early as possible will give you enough time to test and tweak to get the best results possible when it counts.
All the new strategies we tried took months of preparation and testing. In doing so, we saw 40% revenue growth compared to the previous year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns.
If you need help creating a Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy unique to your ecommerce business, Human is here to help!
As a full-service inbound marketing agency in Orange County, we tackle everything from ads, email and CRO to SEO, social media and content marketing.