As an on-the-ball email marketer, it’s likely that you’ve already set the wheels in motion for your Christmas campaigns. But, before you focus all your attention on the festive season, there are a couple of other important marketing days coming up: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In the USA, Black Friday is the name given to the first Friday after Thanksgiving. It is widely regarded to signify the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. While it may have originated on the other side of the Atlantic, retailers in the UK (both online and offline) have reported surges in business on this date, prompting many of them to run their own Black Friday marketing campaigns.

Much more recently, the term Cyber Monday has appeared in the marketing zeitgeist. It is used to describe the Monday after Thanksgiving; a day in which many online retailers noticed a significant growth in sales. Again, this has prompted many marketing campaigns and promotions. This year, Black Friday falls on November 28th and Cyber Monday on December 1st.

So, what are you going to do to take advantage of these important marketing dates? Here are some ideas:

Start Early

Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days of the year, success is not guaranteed. There is a lot of competition among retailers to offer the most enticing discount or promotion. Use the days leading up to Black Friday to build anticipation around your particular promotion and try to encourage customers to take advantage of it.

Amazon does this every year for their ‘Black Friday Deals Week’:

This simple email succeeds in building anticipation by using provocative language (“…Millions of pounds of savings…”). They have also given their customers a number of ways of being alerted about the deals on offer (customers like to know they’re not missing out on a bargain). However, this email could have been improved by previewing some of the products that are going to be on offer during the promotion, particularly if they are products that the customer has previously taken an interest in. That customer can then be first in the queue when the deals begin.

Use Your Research

Discounts and promotions are a great way to drive business and increase sales. Most retailers run a number of special promotions throughout the year. Use information gained from your previous promotions in order to shape your Black Friday or Cyber Monday campaign. Which promotion gained the most interest from your customers? Which had the biggest impact on your business? Which one made you the most money? This information will help you achieve the most success possible over the shopping season.

Apple’s products are very rarely reduced, so they know that they customers are likely to respond positively to any discounts on their range. In the past, they have used Black Friday for this purpose, first building anticipation about the promotion:

Then showing their customers the discounts on offer:

Obviously, this has only scratched the surface of what can be achieved with a Black Friday/ Cyber Monday email campaign. In my next post, I’ll go over some more ways you can take advantage of these important marketing days.