This is your last year of waiting until the last minute to plan for 'Black Friday Cyber Monday' promotions! It may seem scary to plan so early in advance, but the best retailers are getting started NOW, and the good thing is; you're getting ahead of the game too. If you want a successful holiday season, it's imperative that you lay the foundation now.
Here are some things you need to be doing from July - September to get prepared. Stay tuned, because I'll be helping you out along the way to make sure you have the most prepared and greatest BFCM strategy ever. Most of the items on this to-do list are related to email/sms marketing since that is going to be the most effective way to reach the people who are most likely to buy from you during BFCM.
- Build your email subscriber list. An email list is an owned channel, which means your brand owns the data - unlike social media and their constant switch-ups to the algorithm. Owning this data is imperative because you know who is interested in your brand, can collect data on your subscribers, and can market to them during the busiest time of the year with email campaigns. Outside of collecting email addresses, make sure you collect their number as well so you can send out SMS messages. Wondering about ways to grow your email list? Sign up forms on your website, Install Interactive Quizzes on your site, Collab with other brands for giveaways, Use a loyalty/referral program smile.io is great, or reach out to your community in your FB, Slack, or Discord groups and ask for their email addresses to stay connected.
- Start ideating on your potential BFCM offers and promotions. Do some research. Check to see what other brands have done in the past, see what the latest trends are with promotions, or come up with some of your own creative offers. Understanding your brand as well as your customer is important here because you need to know what your customers typically engage in when it comes to discounts and you need to understand your profit margins.
- Ensure that you have the most important email flows turned on to nurture customer relationships. You don't want to start overloading people with email campaigns and promotions in November, so make sure you start nurturing those subscribers now through these flows: welcome series, abandoned cart series, post-purchase series, and a win-back series. There's nothing worse than having a list full of subscribers and not even nurturing them. Your email list is pure gold!
- Integrate your email marketing platform (preferably Klaviyo) with your Google Ads and Facebook account. Even though email marketing campaigns are super effective, you also want to get new eyeballs on your store so these people can be ready to shop in November. It typically takes someone 7 touch points before they purchase from your brand, so making them familiar with your brand now is important. The reason you want to integrate your paid media accounts with Klaviyo is that you'll be able to use your current list data for ad targeting. This allows Google and FB to know who your audience is and will allow them to easily target people who are most likely to purchase.
- Ideate Labor Day or Back to School promotional campaigns to test. You'll want to start capturing your customers' attention now, so start off with some promotional campaigns to see what your customers react to and ways you can improve for BFCM. You'll also have the opportunity to clean your email list after these campaigns. There's no point in having people on your list who don't open emails - you're wasting money by having them on your list, so run these campaigns and then remove the people who are no longer engaging. When you're ready to start sending your BFCM email campaigns you'll have a clean list of people who are actually engaged and want to hear from you.
- Identify app integration opportunities. By this point you've probably decided on what your BFCM promotions may be, so it's time to now determine what apps are going to help you achieve this. Are you doing a Wishlist giveaway? You'll need to install a Wishlist app to your site. Are you going to create a separate landing page for your BFCM deals? You may want to install an app for custom page builders. Are you implementing a special deal for your loyal customers? You'll need an app that offers Loyalty/Rewards.
- Plan a giveaway or contest with a partner brand. As I mentioned previously, this is a great way to grow your email list but you can also tap in to your partners brand audience so they can learn more about what you have to offer and see that you are a trusted brand to buy from.
Need help coming up with your strategy? Just give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org