10 steps for the best Black Friday & Cyber Monday email marketing program ever – Part 2

In this second part of our two-part blog series we reveal steps 6-10 for maximizing your share of the available online spend this year, using great email marketing.

To read the first 5 steps, see part one of this blog.

Why Monday is the new Friday

Black Friday remains the key discount sales day of the retail email marketing calendar. But Monday is the new Friday when it comes to online sales revenue over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Though shoppers spent 5 percent per order more on Black Friday in 2013, Cyber Monday online sales were up 31.5 percent over Black Friday (source: IBM 2013 Holiday Benchmark Reports).

So how are your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing plans looking?

6. Make it mobile 

Mobile traffic grew to 39.7 percent of all online traffic on Black Friday 2013, up 34% year on year.

And despite many consumers being back at that their work desks on Cyber Monday, mobile sales were strong on this day too in 2013, reaching 21.8 percent of total online sales, an increase of nearly 43 percent year-over-year (source: IBM).

All the predictions point to 2014 being the tipping point, where mobile eCommerce traffic outstrips that of desktop.

So this is the year you need to make completely sure your email marketing works for your mobile customers and prospects.

Here’s a checklist to help you ensure your marketing emails are mobile-optimized:

  • Use responsive email template designs to enable your email layout to scale and work effectively on a smaller smartphone and tablet screens
  • Use responsive email template designs to enable your email template content to ‘stack’ in a single column layout on mobiles, with certain images and content elements hidden where necessary
  • Make sure your main call to action is visible on a mobile without the user needing to swipe down
  • Make sure your call to action button is thumb-sized
  • If you have an online shopping app, then make sure you include a ‘download the app’ link in your email campaigns
  • Don’t forget your landing pages! These should be mobile responsive and optimized for mobile users too
  • If you have mortar alongside your clicks, then test using QR codes and discount coupons for mobile users to scan to drive footfall into your store.


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dotmailer client, lights4fun, uses responsive design to optimize the below Thanksgiving weekend email for mobile users.

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The layout becomes single column, with content ‘stacked’ and the key call to action above the fold on all devices.

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Read the lights4fun story.

Mobile apps promise to offer the next step in digital marketing, allowing brands to deliver a truly interactive and rich user experience to mobile users. Research shows that 85% of mobile users feel more at ease with apps as compared to mobile websites.  (Source, entrepreneur.com)

Here UK retailer ASOS makes a clear ‘get the app’ call to action in their email template.

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7. Make it social

$150 million in revenue came from social media referrals between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2013 (source: Adobe).

Given that 55% of social networking activity occurs on a mobile device (source: marketingcharts.com), delivering socially sharable email content, optimized for mobile users is a no-brainer for your Thanksgiving weekend email marketing.

Here are our tips for maximizing the social reach of your email content this year:

  • Include 1-click social media sharing links in your email template
  • Include bold social media sharing follow links in your email template
  • Make your message compellingly shareable! Not sure if it is? Then ask yourself these key questions:
    – Is your message single-minded and straightforward – easy to read and understand by both the sharer and the sharee?
    – Is your message compelling – will it make your recipient want to share it right away, while the iron’s hot?


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Kohl’s ‘Operation Black Friday’ email campaign leveraged the reach of social media sharing by announcing  that for every new ‘like’ they received between Black Friday and Christmas Day they would donate $1 to ‘Toys for Tots’.

8. Make it urgent

Building in urgency can really help drive success in your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns.

This is all about re-creating the doorbuster frenzy of bricks and mortar store sales, through the use of time-sensitive email and online offers.

Limited time deals, limited stock deals, and time limited discount codes will all help to increase your click through and conversion rates.

Consider using live dynamic content in your emails, such as Moveable Ink’s dynamic image functionality that enables you to update an offer countdown clock, for example, each time the email is opened.

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Urban Outfitters user a dynamic countdown in their email to add urgency to the time remaining for customers to bag a bargain.

9. Win it back, with cart abandonment automation

Industry statistics indicate that on average, retailers are losing around 68% of sales to abandoned shopping carts (source: Baymard Institute).

With these numbers in mind, it’s clear to see how an automated abandoned shopping cart program can provide one of your most significant wins over the Thanksgiving and Holiday period.

At dotmailer we recommend testing a 3-stage automated email program for recovering abandoned carts, based around this approach:

  • Email 1. Sent 1 hour after the cart is abandoned, reminding the customer of the contents of their cart, and linking back to it
  • Email 2. A further reminder, sent 1 day after email 1
  • Email 3. Sent 1 week after email 2, offering an incentive to complete their saved cart purchase


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dotmailer for Magento client Cabbages & Roses are a high-end fashion and home ware retailer who are seeing a 19% conversion to sale rate on their 3 stage abandoned cart email program.

Read the Cabbages & Roses story.

10. Supersize it!  Post-purchase up sell automation

Your warmest prospects are your existing customers who just made a purchase.

Leverage your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales using email marketing automation to deliver targeted and timely related up sell and cross-sell products and offers.

Product recommendations with images, links to customer reviews, promotion codes, and ‘add to wish list’ links can all help to make this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns your most effective ever.

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This automated, personalized recommendation email from Working Person’s Store shows how good copy writing can make an automated email feel very human.

To read the first 5 steps, see part one of this blog.

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