Ready for Black Friday & Cyber Monday? 5 Tips for Customer Optimization

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“Cyber Monday” as a term doesn’t exactly elicit holiday cheer. That said, the newly minted online shopping bonanza beats out all of its holiday counterparts as the top revenue driver in web holiday marketing. That data point alone should serve as compelling justification for amping up your Cyber Monday campaigns this year, here are some tips for making your Cyber Monday and Black Friday efforts the biggest success possible:

1. Cater to customer buying patterns. In an eMarketer study following last year’s holiday sales, they discovered two interesting trends in Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales. For Cyber Monday, many customers buy primarily before and after the work day, making the hours before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. the highest traffic buying windows. Address this by sending a morning and evening campaign using personalized send time to help combat timezone discrepancies, and increase the probability that your email will be opened, no matter which browsing behavior the user sticks to.

For Black Friday, eMarketer found that many customers will use their smartphones and tablets at Thanksgiving dinners in order to capitalize on those “first thing” 12 a.m. Black Friday mega-sales. For Black Friday, make sure campaigns are responsive for mobile purchasing, and consider even incentivizing mobile users to making a purchase via mobile by adding something extra, like free shipping or an extra percentage off.

2. Geo-target with nearby stores. Geo-targeting your user list is a great way to sew together mobile, email and in-store experiences. By providing your customers the nearest brick and mortar location where they can shop, you increase the probability of conversion from your digital touchpoint. This is most important for Black Friday where in-store sale offers are often much more significant than on web. It also helps nurture the traditional in-store Black Friday shopping experience, and is convenient to your customer, especially if traveling in an unfamiliar location for the holidays.

3. DON’T dismiss your subject lines! Subject lines are one of the most important pieces to your holiday marketing puzzle. Your subject line must encourage an open or your message automatically becomes trash to your customer. But piquing interest is only half the battle when it comes to communications. Leveraging the element of urgency within subject lines is a powerful way to drive opens, clicks and ultimately conversion. Even better than just feeling confident with your copy? Conducting 10/10/80 testing (bonus points if it’s automated!) with multiple copy options to send your highest performing subject lines to the largest chunk of your audience.

4. Incentivize increased average order value (AOV). While Cyber Monday and Black Friday already thrive upon serious sale prices, capitalize where you can on increasing customer’s AOV. Since many Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases are impulse purchases, and customers are extremely motivated to buy, implementing floors such as $X amount needed for free shipping, $X off purchases of $Y or more, etc., can be the tipping point in extracting extra revenue and boosting audience-wide AOV for a much higher ROI.

5. Tap your data to re-engage users. As marketers, we understand that sometimes – no matter how perfect our subject line, how attractive the campaign designs or how appealing the sale – we will lose some users even if they opened and engaged with certain promotions; it’s the risk of the game. By using data, however, from Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, we can target those customers who engaged without buying and send them special promotions to try and capture sales from them as Christmas and after-Christmas sales approach. Or, in the event of an abandoned cart, dispatching a simple abandoned cart series with a building incentive to complete the purchase can also draw the line in the sand between a paying customer, and an engaged user who never makes a purchase.