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Email Marketing for Black Friday

Nov 25 2009, 10:56 AM

Email Marketing for Black Friday
Black Friday marks the zenith of the year's email marketing, and many customers are barraged by countless offers in their inboxes. In order to stand out from the crowd, the savvy email marketer has to ensure that their Black Friday campaign is both innovative and effective.



Retailers Hope To Salvage A Slow 2009
In this economy the opportunity to purchase products at deep discounts is the impetus for countless thousands of consumers to line up for hours before a store's opening, or to wait patiently at their computers for midnight on Black Friday in order to jump on the outrageous deals being offered. By strongly promoting deeply slashed loss leader products retailers hope to draw customers and pray that they can be redirected to another product with a better margin. With both WalMart and Target selling 32" flatscreens for an unprecedented price below $250, this Black Friday is shaping up to be the most competitive ever.
Quality Trumps Quantity
The primary error many email marketers make during the holiday season is that they drastically increase the frequency of their sending. Although this strategy can yield limited short term results, it also leads unsubscribing consumers. In order to differentiate your email from the rest of the Black Friday avalanche, a quality email which is fully relevant to that particular consumer based on their previous purchases and preferences will draw a much greater response than the usual generic coupon. Many consumers dread facing the elbowing and jostling of stores on Black Friday, so they prefer to shop from the comfort of their home computer. Providing these individuals with special Web-only offers keyed to their previous behavior is an effective way to yield positive results. People usually review their inboxes while eating lunch at their desk, so email marketers prefer to schedule their emails to be delivered at that time. Any Black Friday emails which are set to be delivered on Thanksgiving should be instead be scheduled for early morning or late evening, as most people will be engaged in holiday at other times on Thursday.
Almost 70% Of Your Emails Arrive Image-Less
Many marketers' emails show up in inboxes as nothing more than a pile of little red Xs, as over two-thirds of all ISPs have their email defaults set to block all images. Ensure your email is comprehensible with and without the images being viewed so that your essential message will still be communicated.

All relevant text should be in HTML headings and body
Before approving the email make sure to see it image-less
Ensure each image tag is clearly labelled
Link Your Email To Real-Time Inventory
Since marketing efforts on Black Friday focus on the availability of Door Crashers, many emails push items that are already sold out by the time the customer reads them. Link the email to a real time updated promotion residing on your website, so when you've sold out of iWidgets you can push the iThingies you still have in stock. Black Friday emails are overwhelmingly promotional, so stand out by limiting your pitch copy to no more than one quarter of the email, leaving the balance for content that engages the reader, such as quizzes, polls, and quirky editorial content. Urologists use code words when they exchange email as any of the phrases used by erectile dysfunction marketers automatically trigger spam filters. Never use any of the common phrases in your HTML that will provoke a one way trip to the Junk Box.

Apply these email techniques and your results from Black Friday will translate into a Rosy Monday bank balance.

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