Black Friday (the shopping day immediately following Thanksgiving in the US) represents a milestone in the retail calendar.
But an increasingly stronger gauge of retail demand comes just a few days later, in the shape of Cyber Monday.
The first Monday of December and the highest grossing online sales day of the year, Cyber Monday (also known as Mega Monday) is predicted to again be the busiest day of the year for online retailers in 2013.
This year, the big days fall as follows:
- Black Friday: November 29th
- Cyber Monday: December 2nd
The numbers behind the hype
This year, Amazon reportedly expects to beat the 3.5 million sales it made on the same day in 2012, when it shifted a record 41 gifts per second!
‘Thanks to smartphones and tablets the sales frenzy on Cyber Monday will peak at 6pm. Our research indicates that people will use their commute home to get a head start on their shopping’, says Amazon Vice President of EU Retail, Xavier Garambois.
IMRG predict that that annual e-retail sales in 2013 are “on target” to achieve 15% growth on 2012 and taking December’s online sales “past the £10bn mark for the first time”. This clearly is a critical time for email marketers selling online.
5 crucial email marketing steps to make the most of Cyber Monday
There is a great deal of money on the table around these 2 key dates and in this heightened online shopping window. Consumers’ inboxes will be busier than ever.
Here then are our 5 crucial pieces of advice to ensure your business gets its share of the numbers, through great email marketing:
1. Mobile Matters:
More than ever, your mobile consumers matter. Econsultancy reported the number of consumers in 2012 ‘using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site reached 21.7% of total traffic’ – up from 12.6% in 2011.
They also reported that ‘the number of consumers using their mobile device to make a purchase increased to 14.2%; again that is up from (9.7%) last year’.
Make sure your email templates use media queries and take full advantage of the flexibility offered by responsive design.
To learn more download dotMailer’s popular whitepaper:
The Guide to Successful Mobile Email Marketing
2. Social Sells:
The holiday sales season sees a huge jump in social media users sharing brand messages. This year, John Lewis’s latest campaign prompted its biggest response on Twitter yet, with 80% of nearly 90,000 mentions praising the TV ad, and over 5m YouTube views.
The lessons to learn from the big online retailers – make sure your emails are shareable. Place sharing features next to each of your offers in your creative – some people might feel inclined to share one offer, when others will be drawn to something entirely different; different strokes for different folks and all that!
Don’t forget Pinterest! An Adobe Systems report claimed that last year on Cyber Monday, the number of referrals that came from Pinterest more than doubled from the previous year and referrals from Facebook and Twitter were flat in comparison.
For more guidance download dotMailer’s Essential Guide to Social Email Marketing
3. Win backs:
We’ve mentioned before that ‘73% of shopping carts are ‘left to become idle’ and that as a result, online retailers that don’t target these abandoners really are missing a trick.
In order to run a successful Cyber Monday campaign, you have to plan for beyond just that one day.
Follow up with people that almost (but not quite) got caught up in the Cyber Monday rush with a timely and personalised reminder about what they may have left behind.
We love this cart abandonment win back email from Fossil that claims ‘we’ve got your goodies’ – this approach could work particularly well at Christmas whereby instead of ‘goodies’ an email could refer to idle items as ‘Christmas shopping’, ‘stocking fillers’ or ‘forgotten presents’.
For more guidance on using email marketing to recapture lost baskets and inspiration from the world’s top online retailers, download our newest benchmark guide:
Email Marketing Through the Purchase Journey
4. Step up your creative game:
Cyber Monday is going to see some very busy inboxes. That means getting cut-through may well be a greater challenge for you than ever. So all your most effective, tried and tested tactics and big guns need to be rolled out for this particular selling window.
Don’t forget your email recipients’ intention and journey. For so many consumers, this time of year is a challenge to tick as many boxes with respectable gifts as possible, without going bust!
Think about how your email campaign can make this shopping experience more pleasant, or easier, or more inspiring for them. A picture of Santa may not be the answer!
For more advice and guidance on email marketing
for the holiday period, download dotMailer’s
Email Marketer’s Christmas Handbook
5. And step up the volume:
Perry Malm this year wrote for Econsultancy that ‘retailers who send out more (not crappy) emails this period will drive more revenue from all their channels, both online and offline’.
He says that while upping the frequency of emails doesn’t guarantee higher opens, the inbox is a powerful ‘branding tool’ nonetheless, and I couldn’t agree more.
Consider segmenting your recipients based on their past engagements with your sends, you can then adjust your frequency accordingly for each of these segments. Highly engaged subscribers are more likely to welcome more emails from you, both before and after the Cyber Monday peak.
And use that segmentation approach to identify your key customer groups based on past purchases and specified interests. Relevant, personalised messages with added value (i.e, with something in it for the reader) will drive revenue, not unsubscribes.