Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means the two biggest shopping days of the year are almost here. Combined, Black Friday till Cyber Monday has become a 4 day fest of the hottest deals on the internet. This is a huge opportunity to capture the attention of customers who are looking for some great deals.
Marketers should use this time to sharpen their skills to stand out from the crowd this BFCM. To factor this in numbers, last year in US alone, holiday sales ranged to about $120 Billion and it is projected to increase to about $135 billion in 2019.
1. Building an Audience
When to start with push notifications for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Based on sales data from previous years, people actually start browsing for deals earlier than Black Friday as pre-season deals start showing up on websites.
This is the best time to capture the interest of the customer. Start preparing for your Opt-in and push campaigns at least a week before you plan to start the sale.
Get users to opt-in by offering gift cards and coupons which can be used in the upcoming sales.
Giving early access to customers for subscribing to notifications is another way to get a loyal user base and also makes your users feel special. Once the users subscribe you can send them a welcome drip campaign with the special coupon.
Double down on Back in Stock and Price Drop Alerts
Customer’s email inboxes are going to be flooded in the holiday season, so web push notifications would be the best way to quickly and more effectively reach out to your users. But what if the product the customer has zeroed down goes out of stock?
This doesn’t necessarily mean a lost sale. This is where back in stock alerts can be very helpful. Prompt users to sign up for back in stock alerts so that they get an alert as soon as their favorite product is available.
Similarly, you will see a lot of bargain hunters in the holiday season as people are looking for deals not just for themselves but for gifts as well. This is the best time to ask the user to subscribe to notifications so that they are informed of any upcoming sales or price drops.
Use FOMO to your Advantage
Black Friday is really about inducing a FOMO effect. Everyone wants to be the first one to know about a sale and get the best deals on their favorite products. Instill urgency with your Opt-in prompt and see your subscriber list grow.
Prompting the user at the right time is essential. Give the users time to look at your products and then prompt them to subscribe to alerts.
Make sure your holiday messaging comes across
Make your users feel special with a holiday themed banner on your store and customize the opt-in prompt to reflect holidays. Emojis are your best friend to customize the opt-in as are holiday colors. Give your 2-step opt-ins a holiday makeover to tempt users to sign-up.
2. Preparing your Push Campaigns
Now that you have built your audience, it is time to start sending your push campaigns. Here are six push notification best practices and tips for 2019 Black Friday and Cyber Monday season.
Timing Timing Timing
Timing is always the key with push notifications and their efficacy. There are two factors to keep in mind before sending your holiday sales pushes to get the most conversion:
Sending notifications at the right time.
Timing can be the difference between a notification turning from a sale to an annoying vibration. Study the activity patterns on your website, when your visitors are most active. You can leverage both PushAlert analytics on user engagement as well as Google Analytics (or any other you are using) to see when you have the highest user concentration.
Based on data from previous holiday season, sales on Black Friday peaked at noon while it was highest at 8:30 PM on Cyber Monday. Analyze the data from your previous holiday season sales and use that data to augment timing for this season.
Making sure your notifications are timezone optimized.
If your customers are located in different timezone, then you should keep this in mind while scheduling notifications.
Entice customers with last chance deals
Instill a sense of urgency with last minute deals making sure the customer understands that they will never again get this deal. You have already put in the hard work of getting the users to subscribe to notifications, now it is time to capitalize on these highly motivated customers who want to spend on your store.
Sending push notifications with personalized and urgent messaging is the final push your customers need to make a purchase. You can also run “Deal of the hour’ campaigns which offer more discount just for that time limited period. This would make your push notifications more effective and your customers would likely click on them several times in a day to check the deals.
Make your messaging time bound for e.g. “Check out the new holiday collection. 50% off for the next 2 hours only!” This communicates the discount and the time limit persuades the user to act quickly.
Use Rich Notifications
Rich notifications contain visuals and call to actions to make them more interactive. You can add large images to notifications and call to action buttons to enable greater engagement.
Before this Black Friday, you can start sending out visual notifications counting down the number of days to the sale or with details of upcoming deals. Then, once the sale begins, you can send out rich notifications with last minute deals and a set expiry for maximum conversion. An image in a notification encourages the user to take action and makes them linger a bit longer than a traditional text notification.
Personalize Your Notifications
Customers may have different interests. The best thing is that you are already aware of their buying and browsing habits. Create segments based on user behavior on your website. Right from the products they have looked at to when they last visited your store.
Target these segments/audiences with relevant offers on this Black Friday and Cyber Monday to re-engage old customers and bring in conversions from new users as well. PushAlert’s attribute API allows you to add purchase history to your subscribers and you can always use the Audience creator to segment users based on their browsing behavior.
This way you will be able to send offers about products the customer is actually interested in.
Leverage Abandoned Cart Campaigns
Automated abandoned cart campaigns are going to be a huge bonus for your store this Black Friday. When customers are frantically looking for the best deals around, they may add a product to your cart but still check its prices among your competitors.
This is the best time to reach out to them with an abandoned cart notification offering something extra or even a sense of urgency that the product may go out of stock soon.
Use A/B Testing To Prepare your Campaigns
The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work anymore. Therefore A/B testing your push campaigns is the easiest way to check engagement and click through. With A/B Testing, you can test different versions of your message with similar audiences and check which one offers better click-through rates and in turn engagement on your website.
A/B test your notifications leading up to Black Friday so that your messaging is on point and optimized for the big weekend.
Good To Know
Don’t flood your customers with notifications.
It may be tempting to reach out to your customers with every available offer, but restraint will be your best friend. Use proper segmentation to reach the right users with the right products. Factor in the best time to send to your audiences and limit notifications with a set expiry timeout.
Highlight your Shipping and Returns Policy
Although not specifically related to notifications, it is a general good practice to highlight your shipping rates and return policy on product pages. There should be no surprises once the customer adds a product to cart relating to additional shipping costs or a no-returns policy on sale items.
Have a successful Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Prepare and execute your plan earlier than you anticipate for a successful BFCM. Get the maximum out of this holiday season by delighting your customers with some great deals, a smooth ordering experience and keep them coming for more.
As you implement new strategies, the holiday season can be a great learning experience as well, apart from generating maximum revenue. Track everything, and document every decision taken to know what worked and what didn’t. These will serve as a benchmark for the next season. Hope this guide helps you to get the most out of your push campaigns and have a brilliant weekend.