November 17, 2021
Q4 is the most nerve-wracking time for all e-commerce businesses, every single year.
To make matters worse, Apple has released a new update on their iOS software which is making it even harder for brands to reach their customers through email.
Everything that could go wrong is currently going wrong. But as always, email marketing is the only thing that will allow e-commerce brands to flourish.
To combat the challenges e-commerce business are facing with acquiring new customers, I’ve put together 10 useful tips to help you get to your revenue targets.
Here’s what we'll cover:
BFCM it’s your chance to engage all of your subscribers, even the ones that haven’t been opening your emails for a while.
You’ll need to change the way you speak to them in order to “win them back”.
You can craft these emails as if they’re cold traffic. You cannot make any assumptions with this audience. You need to treat them like they’re new to your brand and unaware of what you do/sell. Your subject lines should be broad and aiming to re-introduce yourself to this audience.
The truth is you’ll be sending a lot more emails to your list during BFCM, possible multiple emails per day.
It’s ok to break the rules every now and then. Bu this is something you’ll have to work up to. If you’re currently sending 1 email per week, slowly increase your send cadence between now and November 22nd, which is the Monday before Black Friday.
Your audience will not be annoyed that they receive too many emails. They’re expecting it and frankly, they want it.
Resends will be your friend during BFCM.
A resend is simply sending the same campaign with a different subject line and preview text to non-openers.
Typically, you’ll use this technique sparingly. It’s not ideal to do more than 1-2 resends per month. When a resend goes out, the campaign may get less than a 10% open rate, which can be terrible for deliverability.
However, this could lead to a few thousand in sales that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.
Due to the latest iOS 15 update, Apple Mail users will show as opening ALL campaigns (100% open rate).
Since you might not know who has and has not opened your last email, a resend could mean that you change the subject line and preview text and one aspect of the email. Swap out an image, make small changes to the header or subheader copy, or do something that’ll make the email appear different.
It’s more work, but unfortunately, this is necessary.
All of your pre-BFCM emails will be mainly content-focused instead of sale-focused until you begin to tease your sale.
You can use the 30-60 days before BFCM to get your audience to fall in love with you because of your identity, your values, and the content you create. Not because you give them 15% off every week.
Working on your deliverability in September, October, and early November is critical for present and future inbox placement.
Whether you achieve superior inboxing by prompting them to reply (auto-whitelisting), click the “star” next to the email, or manually move you to the primary tab. This will have a massive impact on your deliverability.
You’ll want to leverage the SMS channel during BFCM.
A simple strategy you can use is to add a second step to your pop-up to collect phone numbers.
Add them to a Teaser segment and hit them with the BFCM before everyone else.
Segmenting your audience is something that should be done year-round, but it’s especially important to outline which subscribers are hot and likely to buy, or cold and unlikely to buy.
Any customer can convert, but it’s all about how you frame your messaging. The next bullet points shows you the segments you should use in order of intent.
You should prioritize VIPs over anyone else in your audience. They’ve paid you hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars since they heard about you, and they’ll probably keep
going. These are your biggest fans, and you cannot let them down. Give your VIPs early access, extra incentives, and special treatment. They deserve it.
Depending on your budget, you could also use Facebook to boost awareness and anticipation of your BFCM sale.
Here’s a brief breakdown of how to structure your ads.
During BFCM, your post-purchase flows should be extremely brand/founder centric.
In order to ensure people that they bought from a real brand that makes high-quality products, the founder needs to be present in their inbox within an hour of purchasing.
Make sure you update your post-purchase email during BFCM. This can be plain-text, and many customers will feel like the founder took the time out of their day to personally thank them for their purchase.
BFCM is truly one of the greatest and most stressful times of the year for businesses across the globe - with e-commerce right at the top.
Not all of you will make it in one piece. Some of you will get your ad account banned, some of you will have major supply chain issues, some of you might forget to edit the subject line and send out an email to your whole audience.
But one thing I can guarantee is that if you follow the steps in this article, you’ll be one step closer to having a great BFCM season.
Until next time.
Learn the best practices behind an effective email flows strategy for eCommerce stores!