Content Marketing

Email Marketing on Black Friday

The madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has faded, and as we take a look at our clients' performance during the key holiday shopping period, one thing was clear: email marketing was the winner.
As marketers, I think we have a love/hate relationship with the big holiday shopping season. We love that our clients offer great deals that have the power to convert upon awareness, but we hate that getting those offers in front of consumers is such a grind. The volume of messaging across digital channels was overwhelming during Thanksgiving week.

According to data from Salesforce Marketing Cloud's Social Studio, Black Friday and Cyber Monday mentions on social media topped 1.9 million in the week leading up to the weekend and through Monday.

There was an avalanche of offers. Plus, it’s a time when social feeds are naturally more crowded. Marketers are not only competing with other brands, but also Thanksgiving turkey pictures, engagement announcements, baby announcements, videos of somebody's turkey deep-fryer fire and posts about the refs in the Iron Bowl, Egg Bowl or other college football rivalry game.

Take the case of one our clients, Wasp Archery. They have 15K likes on Facebook. Typical posts on their page average around 10% organic reach, meaning about 1,500 people see it. On Black Friday, 143 people saw the post advertising their sale. That’s less than 1% of followers. We knew this would be the case, because the same thing happened last year. This year, we were prepared.

Our email marketing efforts for Wasp Archery resulted in an 8.4% ecommerce conversion rate and 47% of total revenue from email during Thanksgiving week.   

Those results came from a clear strategy. We knew the sale itself would naturally lead to high click-through rates to the site. Deep discounts do that. This in mind, we focused more time on creating razor-sharp subject lines that would get recipients to open the email.

Timing was also important. We started talking early, before the flood of Black Friday emails hit inboxes.

As always, we took a “mobile-first” approach because that is the new normal. Movable Ink reports 76% of Black Friday emails and 63% of Cyber Monday emails were opened on a mobile device. If your website and ecommerce experience is not designed for mobile purchases and does not ooze proper functionality, it’s officially time to panic and provide a platform where customers are comfortable making mobile purchases.

While email was the most effective driver of conversions on Black Friday for our clients, we still made lemonade out of the social media lemons. How we did that will be explained in next week’s post, but until then… think about leveraging email marketing. Because when social media feeds get slammed, it’s an essential marketing channel for every brand.