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Susan DeMatei
November 19, 2014 | Email Marketing | Susan DeMatei


Around this time of year, us marketers are typically working on our “Black Friday” messages.  This day after Thanksgiving started out as a convenient day when businesses were closed but retailers were open and customers could pull themselves out of the turkey and cranberry coma to get a jump-start on holiday shopping.

Stores noticed this convenience, and to capitalize on it, started offering sales.

But then it got weird.

Retailers started staying open later.  Then opening earlier…then into the wee hours of the morning.  When 3am isn’t soon enough, they started just having Black Friday on Thursday, Thanksgiving, and extending it into Saturday.  Then there was Cyber Monday, when all the online etailers got into the sales game.

But, what is the impact of all this expansion?

Immediate impulse buying is triggered by four things.

  • Discounts – it will never be this cheap again
  • Timing – if I wait I can’t get it (or can’t get it at this price)
  • Scarcity – there aren’t very many so I must buy it now
  • The product itself – I just HAVE to have it now

Sadly, for most of us, #3 and #4 don’t, honestly, apply.  Which means we’re forced to use #1 and #2 as our triggers. So the key messaging you need to figure out at this key sale opportunity is not only “at what price”, but most importantly “when” do you advertise to your list.

Reprinted from AdAge

Start Now

All the expansion of Black Friday means there is no urgency anymore. You shouldn’t be focusing all of your efforts on Black Friday alone. In fact, this year, Super Saturday — the weekend before Christmas — is expected to overtake Black Friday as the top sales day of the year for the first time since 2005, according to ShopperTrak. Net: Holiday sales are now starting on Thanksgiving and extending well in December, so it’s time for you to do the same with your marketing plan.

Give your audience all the information well ahead of time if you want to be included on the gift list. Buyers are still very much influenced by email marketing and since we all get swamped by emails – send your emails early, provide reminders, and be clear, concise and repetitive with your offers.

Another important timing issue is to know what time of day is best to talk to your audience. Last year, Google reported searches on Black Friday peaked between 8 am – 12 pm and again between 4 pm – 7 pm. Online sales also peaked around 9 am. Keep these in mind when planning your email and social media post timing.

All Hail the Phone and Tablet

Last year, Shoppertrak reported mobile shopping grew to 39.7% of all online traffic during Black Friday, with mobile sales reaching 21.6% of total online sales. It’s easier, faster more convenient for consumers to shop from their smartphones or tablets. So optimize your messages for mobile viewership and don’t hesitate to use mobile as your main channel for communication for holiday offers

Be Social About It

We all know this, but peer reviews and ratings influence what we buy.  Social media is a way to not only get awareness for your holiday sales, but let your customers spread the news. In 2013, Facebook and Pinterest were the most effective Social Marketing tools. According to 2013 reports, Black Friday shoppers referred from Pinterest spent 77% more money per order than Facebook. However, Facebook referrals converted into sales at nearly 4X the rate of Pinterest. The best option is to be on both platforms. Although engaging consumers, not just with your wines but then telling their friends, will be the key to success in these programs.

So take a deep breath, dear marketer, and load up those emails and posts and jump in…it’s time for the holiday rush!


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