Your email strategy during Black Friday Weekend or whenever you’re having your big push or promotion can mean the difference between being successful or not. Email is always important, but it’s even more important during this time because people’s email inboxes are flooded with messages and if you’re not sending consistent emails to stay at the top of the inbox, you’re gonna get lost in the crowd.
If you’ve been following along the last few weeks we’ve been focused on getting ready for the Q4 season. We’ve talked through the foundational things you’ll want to make sure you have in place in time for the season, we walked through some general marketing ideas last week and today I’ll be walking you through my strategy for creating a Black Friday weekend email campaign.
Before we get into the content I want to remind you of the Holiday Planning Series I’ve previously done on the podcast, episodes 72 – 74. These go through the 3 Ps of Q4, Planning, Preparation + Promotion. Instead of replaying those this year, I’m creating new episodes as a supplement to the originals. So I recommend you still go back and listen to them.
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Assumptions for This Email Marketing Strategy Exercise
Okay, so the first thing to know, is that the email cadence I’m about to walk through assumes a wide assortment of products and a pretty big email list. You may have to adjust this and scale back if you only have a few items or a small email list.
Also, for the sake of this example, we’re going to pretend that you have the same sale going from Thursday – Monday, with early access for your VIP list on Wednesday evening. And then the sale launches to everyone on Thanksgiving, after dinner.
The Sunday Before Thanksgiving Email
So the first email we’re going to send is in the evening on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and in this email, we’re going to tell them everything they need to know about shopping with us on Black Friday.
And we’re going to send two versions of this. The first one will be to your engaged list and then 15 minutes after that, you’ll send it to the rest of your list. This is a message, that you want even the unengaged people to get – because your promotion might be the thing that gets the to take action again – but we want to stack them in a 15-minute increment to protect your deliverability.
Don't Be Afraid to Give Away All the Details of Your Black Friday Sale
Don’t be afraid to give them all the details about what’s going to be on sale. I know a lot of times you want to keep some mystery because you think it’s going to pique their interest or you’re afraid they’ll wait to buy. First thing, they’re gonna wait anyway. Secondly, the more information you give up front, the more they can already qualify themselves as someone who wants to buy something from you.
If you put yourself in the shoes of your customer, at this point they are getting geared up and ready for a weekend of shopping. They have their favorite stores, they have their gift list or their personal wishlist, maybe they plan on shopping in physical stores this year. They’re trying to map everything out and decide where they’re going to spend their time and money. This email, and your entire pre-launch process (episode 127 if you don’t know what I’m talking about) is designed to help them make a buying decision ahead of time. So that when you go live they already know, yep – I’m gonna come spend my money with you.
The Tuesday Before Thanksgiving Email
Then on Tuesday, we’re going to remind our VIP list that their early access is starting tomorrow! I’m giving them all the specific details, including the exact time and time zone of when it kicks off. Essentially, we want them to mark it off their calendar, whether figuratively or literally.
The Wednesday Before Thanksgiving Email
Now it’s Wednesday and we’re ready to launch our VIP access. I’ll usually send two emails, one in the AM to everyone on the VIP list and then once again in the evening to anyone who didn’t click the email.
The Thanksgiving Day Emails
Thursday morning, I send a last chance to the VIP list letting them know there are only a few hours left before it opens to the public and then Thursday evening you send the full launch of your sale to everyone on your list. And you’ll want to stack them as we did with Sunday’s email.
The Black Friday Weekend Emails
Now for the rest of the weekend, Friday – Monday, we’re going to be sending two emails per day, one in the morning and one in the evening – but not everyone is going to get every email.
Friday Morning, you’re going to send to everyone in your engaged list who hasn’t clicked your previous emails.
Friday Evening, you’ll send to everyone in your engaged list who hasn’t made a purchase yet.
On Saturday Morning, you’ll send again to everyone in your engaged list who hasn’t purchased yet
And then on Saturday night, you’ll send to anyone who hasn’t clicked one of your previous emails.
Sunday morning, you’re going to stack emails again with your engaged list and your entire list. Generally, I like to feature the weekend’s bestsellers so I can send to people even if they’ve already made a purchase from me.
Then Sunday night, I’ll resend that email again to anyone on the engaged list who hasn’t purchased yet.
The Cyber Monday Emails
For Cyber Monday, we’re also going to send two emails. In the morning, you’ll send a countdown to when the sale is ending.
Monday evening, about 4-6 hours before the sale expires you’ll want send a last chance email to your engaged list and then 15 minutes later to your entire list.
Send More Emails Than You're Used To
If you’re hearing me explain this for the first time, it probably sounds like A LOT of emails. And it is. But email inboxes are like Twitter feeds during this time and sending multiple emails a day helps to keep you at the top of the inbox and gives you multiple opportunities to connect with your subscribers because they’re just not going to read every email that they receive.
And if you’re worried about unsubscribes, I really wouldn’t be. One, because unsubscribes are actually a good thing and 2, during this time – people just ignore what they don’t want to see and rarely take the time to actually unsubscribe.
Get a Video Walkthrough of an eCommerce Black Friday Email Schedule
Now, if just listening to this in audio format felt overwhelming, don’t worry – I actually have a video where I walk through this and show you the schedule laid out in spreadsheet form and I go a bit deeper on what type of content to put into each of these emails.
I recently put together what I’m calling the eCommerce Badassery Vault. In addition to my paid courses, I’ve also moved a ton of free content there like free video trainings that I’ve done and a list of all my favorite eCommerce tools, apps + resources. The Free Resource library will eventually get moved there too, but at the time of this recording, that’s still a work in progress.
If you want to get access to that, click here to access the eCommerce Badassery Vault. It will prompt you to create an account if you don’t already have one and then automatically give you access to the FREE training videos. Once inside, make sure you read the featured post how to navigate the vault so you can find your way around.