The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and for Australian ecommerce businesses, it’s time to gear up for one of the biggest retail events of the year: Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM).
Recent statistics show, BFCM has now become a staple global shopping phenomenon.
In fact, it has now taken over from the traditional Boxing Day Sales, as the preferred showing event. In 2021, Australian consumers spent an estimated $8 billion during the 4 days BFCM weekend, marking a significant increase from the previous year.
This trend is expected to continue, making BFCM a lucrative opportunity for ecommerce businesses.
However, success during BFCM doesn’t happen by chance. It requires meticulous planning and strategic execution, particularly with email and SMS marketing.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process to ensure your ecommerce business is fully prepared for BFCM.
Let’s dive into the stages of preparation and implementation that will make your BFCM campaigns a resounding success.
Stage One – BFCM Planning | September
Conduct an Account Audit
Before you kick-start your BFCM preparations, it’s essential to conduct a thorough audit of your email and SMS marketing accounts. This audit should include:
List Health: Review your subscriber list for inactive or unengaged users and consider re-engagement strategies.
Authentication: Ensure proper authentication protocols, such as SPF and DKIM, are in place to boost deliverability. And all integrations are connected properly and working.
Segmentation: Segment your audience based on preferences and behaviours to send more targeted campaigns.
Compliance: Verify that your email and SMS marketing practices comply with relevant regulations.
Flows/Sequences: This is a great time to make sure your welcome, abandoned, thank you sequences are all working and turned on. It is also the best time to make changes.
A well-planned content calendar is your road map to success. Start by mapping out your BFCM content strategy for email and SMS marketing. Consider:
Campaign Themes: Decide on the overarching themes and messaging for BFCM.
Promotions: Plan your promotional offers and discounts, keeping in mind your profit margins.
Email Cadence: Determine the frequency and timing of your email and SMS campaigns.
Segment Content: Create specific content tailored to different customer segments.
High deliverability is crucial for the success of your email and SMS marketing efforts. According to industry statistics, emails with poor deliverability rates can lead to substantial revenue losses. To enhance deliverability:
-Clean Your Lists: Regularly clean your email and SMS lists to remove invalid or non-responsive contacts.
-Authentication: Ensure your sending domain is authenticated to avoid spam filters.
-Monitor Feedback Loops: Keep an eye on feedback loops to identify and address spam complaints promptly.
-Engagement-Based Sending: Prioritise sending to engaged users to improve sender reputation.
Review/Implement Your Email and SMS Channel
Evaluate your existing email and SMS marketing channels and make necessary improvements:
-Service Providers: Choose reliable email and SMS service providers that offer the features you need.
-Automation: Implement automation workflows to streamline your campaigns and customer journeys.
-Personalisation: Incorporate personalisation elements into your emails and SMS messages for a tailored experience.
-Integration: Ensure seamless integration between your ecommerce platform and email/SMS tools.
Plan Forms + Flows Creation
Start building your email and SMS list early by creating sign-up forms and automated flows:
-Forms: Design and implement user-friendly sign-up forms on your website and landing pages.
Flows: Set up automated email and SMS flows for welcome sequences, abandoned cart reminders, and post-purchase follow-ups.
-Data Capture: Capture essential customer data during the sign-up process to personalise future communications.
Stage Two – BFCM Implementation | October
Design and Develop Your Content
Now that you’ve laid the foundation, it’s time to craft compelling BFCM content for your email and SMS campaigns:
-Eye-Catching Designs: Create visually appealing email templates and SMS messages.
-Compelling Copy: Craft persuasive copy that highlights your BFCM promotions and offerings.
-Mobile Optimisation: Ensure your emails and SMS messages are mobile-responsive for an optimal user experience.
Test Your Campaigns
Before the BFCM rush begins, thoroughly test your email and SMS campaigns:
A/B Testing: Conduct A/B tests on subject lines, content, and CTAs to identify the most effective strategies.
-Mobile Testing: Test campaigns on various mobile devices to check formatting and load times.
-Segment Testing: Send test emails and SMS to different segments to ensure personalisation is functioning correctly.
Stage Three – BFCM Activation | November
As BFCM approaches, it’s time to launch your email and SMS campaigns:
-Timing: Strategically time your campaign launches to coincide with peak shopping hours.
-Personalisation: Leverage customer data to personalise subject lines, content, and product recommendations.
-Urgency: Create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers and countdowns.
SMS marketing can be a powerful tool during BFCM:
-Opt-In Messages: Send SMS messages to opt-in subscribers, highlighting exclusive BFCM offers.
-Order Updates: Provide real-time order updates via SMS to keep customers informed and engaged.
-Abandoned Cart Recovery: Implement SMS-based abandoned cart reminders to recover potentially lost sales.
Stage Four – BFCM Review | December/January
Deactivate BFCM Content
Once BFCM is over, promptly deactivate BFCM-related content:
-Update Content: Replace BFCM-specific content with regular marketing material.
-Confirm Holiday Sending: Adjust your email and SMS sending schedules to reflect post-BFCM engagement strategies.
-Retention: Focus on retaining BFCM customers by continuing to engage and nurture them.
In the fast-paced world of ecommerce, early planning is key.
Black Friday is now considered the largest sales extravaganza of the year; it requires planning and preparation to ensure a flawless execution.
Having an action plan and/or checklist in place will greatly help you manage all the necessary tasks, so you don’t miss anything. This will ensure a successful sales campaign for your brand.