The most wonderful time of the year is almost here… Black Friday and Cyber Monday!  On these days, most retailers celebrate considerable increases in customer conversions and record-setting revenue.  Across the board, we see a much larger percentage of those that click through resulting in a purchase.

Unfortunately, the large increase of orders typically masks the fact that email open rates suffer due to the sheer amount of email volume in the inbox.  In fact, benchmark data from 2018 showed that on average retailers open rates dropped by 21% on these important days.  Imagine the additional revenue that could come from this missed audience!

Retailers must break through the noise to stand out in the inbox on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!  We have assembled the following strategies as a starting point to help separate your messages from the crowd.

Use Predictive Analytics to target relevant offers to the right customers

Move beyond a rules-based approach in segmenting your audience and targeting offers. Harness the power of predictive models to automate the process of identifying behavioral patterns at scale with the help of machine learning.  See the Predictive Analytics Playbook for ideas that can be used to help drive engagement and revenue from you holiday campaigns.

Use supporting SMS messaging

Engage with your customers across channels with the one-two punch of email and SMS mobile messages. Leading up to BF/CM, implementing a tap-to-join acquisition campaign can help make sure you have permission to send both email and SMS messages.

A/B test subject lines with early time zones

Take advantage of the early morning hours in eastern time zones to split test subject lines and test your BF/CM strategies.  Use the highest performing versions that show the most engagement later in the day.

Use Send Time Optimization based on time zone

Make sure that messages are received at the right moment no matter what time zone your customers are in. Using Send Time Optimization based on time zone will allow your message to hit top of the inbox at a specific time that you define.

Build interest leading up to the holidays

Plan ahead with a series of messages announcing and teasing your amazing upcoming holiday sale.  Use a countdown to build interest by enticing customers to be ready for your holiday offers.

Use urgency and scarcity to create FOMO

So much of the success surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday is founded in “fear of missing out”. As human beings, if there’s a chance that we might miss it… we want it!  Be sure to utilize a combination of urgency and FOMO in your subject lines and pre-headers to increase those open rates!

Personalize subject line & pre-header

Admittedly, this is not a new strategy by any means, but the power of first name personalization within the subject line seems to be often forgotten in the holiday hubbub.  You could also experiment with personalizing the pre-header to stand out in mailboxes where it is prominently displayed.

MultiPass by the hour vs. the day

Typically, retailers use MultiPass (the ability to automatically re-send messages to non-openers) in number of days.  On BF/CM you should reduce MultiPass timeframe to hours instead.  Be sure to change the subject line of the MultiPass message in order to encourage an open that did not occur on the original send.

Of course, this is just the start.  Hopefully these strategies can help kickstart your holiday campaign brainstorming as you determine how your campaigns will stand out in the busy Black Friday and Cyber Monday inbox!

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