Black Friday and the holiday shopping season have begun and email marketing plays a key role in Shopify stores. Klaviyo, Shopify’s recommended email marketing partner, recently hosted a live webinar where they went through their top tips for successful holiday email flows. If you missed it, we’ve got you covered!
Emails are a direct and critical communication tool to alert your existing customers of your upcoming offers. In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, you’ll want to build up the hype around your big sales. By following Klaviyo’s recommended email flows, you’ll ensure that you’re targeting the right people with the right messages and maximizing your sales.
Some of the most important bits to keep in mind when dealing with email marketing are:
- Healthy deliverability status
- Quality contact list
- Automated flows
- Campaign strategy
In order to go deeper in to these topics, we’ll cover off the following:
- Major Dos and Don’ts
- Klaviyo recommended flows
- Optimal segmentation
- Essential campaigns
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Before you dive into your flows, segments, and schedules, you need hone three things: deliverability, your offer, and email sign ups.
Those newer to email marketing might not see the harm in just blanket messaging everyone on your contacts list with your upcoming sale. The problem with that is it impacts deliverability. The lower your open rates, the more negatively it will impact your placements in inboxes.
Nail your offer
As with any campaign, you need to know well in advance what your offering is. Are you having one huge blowout sale that applies to everyone? Are you targeting different people with special offers? Or are you pushing one specific product or group of products?
Before you launch any email or paid promotion you need to know who is getting what message.
Build your email lists
The final essential is to build up your marketing list. Of course, you should already have your existing customer base in your email list, but is that enough?
Consider running a paid promotion to a landing page that offers an incentive to those who join your mailing list. Offer to add them to an exclusive list where they will be among the first to hear about your sales and special offers. People like exclusivity and an email is a small price to pay.
Don’t forget to also add sign-up forms across your site with incentives in order to capture emails from all sources. You can even ask them who they’re shopping for which can help inform you of their segment for future comms.
The Dos and Don’ts
The major Dos and Don’ts of your holiday sale campaigns are pretty straightforward and will be echoed in the following section. But if you’re short on time, these are the big-ticket recommendations to keep in mind.
- Take anyone off your mailing list who hasn’t opened an email in 365 days
- Segment your audience based on when they last engaged with an email: engage 30, engage 60, engage 90, and engage 180
- Reserve your most engaged audiences for VIP campaigns
- Ensure you include an opt-out for your email subscribers for holiday or marketing campaigns
- Send emails out to unengaged subscribers
- Resend your campaigns to non-openers
Klaviyo recommended flows
Flows, as opposed to campaigns, are automated and are triggered by a certain action. These are email sequences that are meant to reclaim any lost customers and reengage them.
The 5 flows Klaviyo recommends are:
- Welcome series
- Abandoned cart
- Browse abandonment
- Thank you for your order
- Back in stock
It’s important to create a unique flow for Cyber weekend that’s different to your regular welcome series. Whatever offer it is you had on your Black Friday sign-up forms should be repeated in the welcome email.
Make sure to adjust the content in this email to highlight your future deals and showcase some of your products.
You may already have your usual abandoned cart flow going, but for this period it’s recommended that you shorten the delays by half. So if you usually send an email two days after a cart has been left, make it one during peak season. Also, make sure you have smart sending turned off so they are delivered sooner.
Additionally, you should consider adding recommendations and product blocks to your email. This can encourage your shoppers to go back and keep browsing on your website.
As you approach the latter days of your sales, you may want to consider a discount code or free shipping in these emails as well.
Browse abandonment, similar to cart abandonment, flows need to be reworked for the Black Friday period. Shorten the timeline and turn off smart sending to ensure you’ve got the timings you need.
You can also use the user’s browsing history to segment them and give relevant recommendations.
Here you want to thank your customers for shopping and incentivize them to shop again. You can highlight complementary products or other products they may be interested in briefly here as well.
You can also offer incentives for referrals and request a review. Although, you may want to hold off on requesting the review until you’re sure they have received the product.
Again, like with the previous flows you’ll want to turn off smart sending for the Thank You emails.
Things might sell fast during your big holiday sale, so you’ll want a waitlist flow. Implement the back-in-stock flow code snippet on your product page to automate this process.
You can prompt users to subscribe to updates via email or SMS, if you are using it as channel.
Targeting different audiences with different messages is vital in email marketing. How you segment will definitely depend on your audience, shopping habits, and offering.
A good place to start for your Black Friday emails is with following segments that you will specifically target with tailored messages:
- Highly engaged
- Purchased last Black Friday
- Window shoppers
- Local customers
For your VIPs you’re going to want to consider a special offer. These people are your most loyal customers, so you want to make sure they feel like they’re availing of an exclusive deal.
When messaging local customers, you can give them a discount to pick up their order in-store. Saving you and them shipping and processing costs.
When emailing your highly engaged customers you’ll need very different messaging from your window shoppers. Be thoughtful when crafting your copy and assets for each segment to consider what each group is most likely receptive to.
There are of course a couple of groups that you want to avoid targeting. The first is those that almost always convert anyway on Cyber Weekend. They’re going to buy anyway, so no sense in repeatedly targeting them with messaging or extra discounts.
The other is, of course, your entire mailing list without segmentation. As we mentioned at the start, this has to do with deliverability. If you send a massive blast to everyone, your open rates will be low and will impact future deliverability.
A third group to keep in mind is those who have only engaged in the past 180 days, so opened maybe one email five months ago. You should save them for just your major promotions. No sense in targeting them with multiple emails per week if they don’t end up opening them.
Of course, everything will depend on your business and strategy when it comes to the campaigns you’re sending out. That being said, there are six key emails that Klaviyo suggests across the board:
- Pre-sale hype or countdowns
- Targeted deals for great customers or VIP early access
- Black Friday sale launch
- Hype up for Cyber Monday
- Cyber Monday sale launch
- Last chance to save
At the start of your campaign, make sure you send out an email to all your subscribers allowing them to opt-out of your holiday campaigns entirely. You can then temporarily cleanse your lists of these people since they expressed they’re not interested.
You’ll want to aim for 2-4 emails per week in the weeks leading up to Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. Thanksgiving week, you’ll want to send at least two emails to each segment with more for the most engaged ones.
After the weekend, follow up with your last chance emails and then your holiday delivery emails after that.
Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend can be pretty hectic, but with proper planning and scheduling it can flow smoothly. Keep in mind that targeting is key and to tailor you emails for each segment. Ensure you build up hype in the days leading up to your sale. Then send reminder emails while it’s going on. Last minute countdowns can be helpful for the last day of your sale too.
Good luck with launching your holiday emails!