The holiday season will be different for retailers this year, but early industry data shows shoppers are still willing to spend, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Finder data shows that U.S. consumers are expected to spend $ 148.5 billion during BFCM's shopping season. Millennial consumers are expected to spend the most money ($ 851), followed by Gen X ($ 679), Gen Z ($ 594), and Baby Boomers ($ 577).
Black Friday and Cyber Monday promise to be busy days for retailers, so don't miss your chance to be part of the action.
While social media is certainly important for online sales, email has proven (at least to date) to be more reliable when it comes to attracting buyers to your website and getting involved. to the ordering process.
It's gotten to the point where retailers are planning their marketing strategy for this November heavyweight duo months in advance - but what can you do to boost your email marketing in the last few weeks leading up to the big two days?
Read on for our tips.
1. Hook them to the subject.
Each retailer will launch an email campaign for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So your goal should be to find ways to stand out in your customers' inboxes.
The first step is to create a compelling subject line that will make your post appear among the hundreds (or thousands) of other Black Friday and Cyber Monday related props that your audience will be bombarded with.
Take a look at this screenshot of the inbox, shown in a publication on the Demac Media blog:
Overwhelming, right? In most cases, people faced with an inbox like this will ignore or delete just about anything - except emails from retailers they already have a relationship with.
Here are some good ground rules for making original subject lines that stand out:
- Keep them short and quick. ("It's Black Friday. Everything's on sale.")
- Inject them with a little humor. (“Just what you need: another Cyber Monday email!”)
- Give them a sense of urgency. (“Our must-see and better-than-ever Black Friday sale is almost over!”)
- Add an element of curiosity. (“The best Cyber Monday deal of the year is in this email.” “You've never seen Black Friday do like this.”)
But the best rule of all? Be original.
2. Optimize for mobile.
Here's the thing: People love to shop on their mobile devices. In 2019, $ 2.9 billion in mobile phone sales. This should come as no surprise and we expect that number to increase in 2020.
So it's a good idea to assume that most of your customers will be opening your Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails on a mobile device.
To this end, you absolutely must make sure that your emails are optimized for mobile. That means:
- ensuring fast loading of visuals.
- keeping your messages relatively copy-free (light on words to avoid clutter) so they are easy to display and integrate on smaller screens.
- use mobile device detection to push shoppers to an optimized version of your website.
3. Focus on the visuals.
For maximum impact (especially on mobile), you should prioritize statement visuals. Pick an overall theme that matches your brand and stick with that in the look and feel of your emails.
Here are some ideas:
Animation: Using simple GIFs in your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing keeps the tone light and fun and helps pique the curiosity of potential customers. This example from Forever 21 (which also features mystery deals, another popular marketing tactic for those two huge shopping days) pairs a clean black background with minimal text and a bold CTA.
Minimum color palette: This Topshop email is a great example of the power of simplicity. The large print run (“Up to 50% off selected lines”) stands out with that mint green color, and the CTA is clearly offset in its solid black box.
Product oriented: It's a great alternative to animation, bold text, and simple color schemes. Place a few of your best-selling or popular products on a holiday display, take photos to email them, and do some craft marketing using the image that best showcases the products. You can even put together several different versions and send them into segmented explosions to collect data on the types of visuals that are best suited for your clients.
4. Entice your buyers.
No matter what type of promotion you run (online only, in-store only, or both), you should consider offering incentives to your potential customers.
Incentives are a great way to convince people to take that final buying leap, and they can help you stand out in the chaos of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Two of the best ways to raise the bar when it comes to incentives? Exclusivity and the word "free".
In general, people like to feel like they are getting a special deal that's just for them. To tap into this trend, you can offer an “exclusive” discount to the first 100 or so customers who order online or make a purchase in-store.
Buyers also like to receive free shipping, gifts, small gifts or add-ons with their purchases. Consider creating an email marketing around some sort of “free giveaway,” like Birchbox did in the product-focused visuals example we showed you above.
And don't forget: Once you've decided whether to offer incentives, make sure your potential customers know about them. Plug them into your social media messaging and make them the focal point of your emails.
5. Emphasize ease and convenience.
Even though the majority of people these days start or end their holiday shopping before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ease and convenience are still huge factors when it comes to whether someone will complete. or not a purchase with you. Whenever possible, you should make these points important features of your email marketing campaign.
Create a gift guide respond to both your repeat customers and friends, family and loved ones who will be purchasing gifts for your regular customers and include the guide in one of your emails.
Write subject lines indicating that you have done the job for potential customers (such as “Your One Stop Shop for Christmas Gifts” or “Cyber Monday #winning: Free Shipping & Returns!”).
If there's one key element in your business regarding ease and convenience, focus on it. Make sure shoppers know you are offering free shipping, same day delivery, free gift wrap, gift cards, or anything that might attract them to you compared to other retailers.
Just as you'll likely start your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing at least a week in advance, you need to keep the momentum going a few days after the noise has subsided in order to fully maximize sales.
This time of year is crazy for everyone - and in a rush, customers can be interrupted during the ordering process. Make sure you keep track of those abandoned carts, and consider giving a little extra something (two-day free shipping, 10% off) to push people towards that buy button.
Another thing many retailers do? Extend their sales and promotions.
If you decide to do the same, send emails on Saturday and Tuesday to let customers know that your Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts are available for a while. You can also increase your promotions and offer increased sales for a few hours.
Bonus tip: test, optimize and improve your posts
Successful BFCM emails and campaigns rely on several components. These include subject lines, content, images, timing, etc. To help you get your vacation emails online, our friends at Marsello have created a handy infographic designed to help you confidently create campaigns for BFCM and beyond.
This handy resource serves as a nifty checklist of things you need to optimize to boost your success on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the other vacations ahead.
Take a look below and be sure to Discover the powerful capabilities of Marsello that can take your email, SMS, and loyalty marketing to the next level.
Now it's your turn.
What have you planned for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing? Will you be using any of the tips we've outlined here? Let us know in the comments.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's retail expert and content strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool stuff that helps retailers increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She is also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers make their stores more sustainable. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.
Are you a retailer ( or retail sales associate ) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers ? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson ? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you ?
You should keep reading because, after years of being one of the strongest sellers at my store, I can assure you : anyone can sell. That’s not to say it’s not going to take a lot of practice. But over the years, I’ve found that a customer will tell you verbally and/or physically how to sell to them. If you’re listening properly and looking for the right cues, you can always tell if a customer is interested in what you have to say, what approach to take with them, and what exactly they’re looking for.
Check out the tips below, put them into activation, and you should find yourself successfully closing sales : Practice Active ListeningActive listening isn’t just about standing in front a customer silently. There are a few important things you should be doing to engage in this practice :
The most important part of réactive listening is to not form a response while the customer is speaking. This is really hard to do, and is going to take a lot of practice. It’s very natural to latch on to one part of a comment and form a response to it, and then shut out the rest of the comment. to become a good listener, a sales person must resist doing this. Active listening should engage your whole body. Things like nodding and having an open stance show the customer that you are listening to what they have to say. Once it’s time for you to speak, give the customer a quick summary of what they said. This has a few purposes. First, it allows you to come up with a response post-comment without things being awkwardly silent. Second, showing the customer that you heard everything they had to say will often open them up to providing you with more information than they initially supplied.
Practicing active listening means that you are fully engaged with learning what the customer wants. This engagement makes a huge difference. Not only will you understand what the customer wants in a deeper way, but you also gain their trust easier.
Next : Pay Attention to Body LanguageAlong with active listening, you should be practicing ‘active looking. ’ ( Yes, I just made that term up. ) People will betray a lot of what they’re thinking in the things that they do with their body. A lot of body language experts will tell you some odd things to look for, like watching if someone scratches their nose, but I don’t think that level of depth is necessary. In fact, I think that if you’re watching for a customer to scratch their nose, you’re probably not practicing active listening.
However, there is still plenty of body language you should be paying attention to while you’re actively listening. Let me give you a bermuda list of tells you can easily pick up on during a conversation with a customer. 1. Eye ContactWhere a person’s eyes are looking is one of the easiest ways to tell what they’re focusing on. If the customer is looking at you, or the products you’re sérieux with, that’s a good sign. It means they’re engaged with you and are interested in what you have to say and sell.
If they’re looking around, at someone else, out the door… anywhere that’s not where you are – that’s not a great sign. Usually if this is the case you should say something like, “Let me know if you need anything else, ” and let them do their own thing. No eye contact doesn’t mean you won’t be able to close the sale – but it could spell trouble if you don’t pay attention.
Hands/ArmsAnother important thing to pay attention to is what people do with their hands and arms. Typically, if someone’s arms are crossed, they are uncomfortable and probably not interested in what you have to say. You should tread gently : let this customer know you are there to help. If you’re talking with a customer who is clearly shy and uncomfortable with talking to you, I recommend acting in a more reserved manner and avoiding things like answering questions the customer has yet to ask. In addition, because this position reflects a closed off mind, I mostly suggest avoiding suggestive selling. Suggestive selling does not work well on someone who is not interested.
Open arms and palms facing towards you, however, are an excellent sign. If your customer has taken this sort of posture in your conversation, you’re doing well. In fact, I would definitely recommend going for it with suggestive selling. ( Of course, make sure you’re showing them items that are actually related to what they want, not just some pre-placed item that your directeur wants to get rid of. )
Facial Expression—Particularly the Curve of Their MouthLastly, you should be paying attention to the expressions you customer is making. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pay close attention to your customer’s facial locutions. Even if a customer is pulling a straight face at you, most people’s mouths are fairly expressive in small ways. Often, the corners of the mouth will be curving slightly up or slightly down. Down is not good for you – it indicates frustration or annoyance. Curving up, though, is an super sign. Additionally, you should pay attention to how tightly the lips are held. If they’re pressed tightly together, it can mean the same thing as crossed arms.
That’s the three major areas of body language you should be paying attention to while actively listening to your customer. Keep in mind that while the customer’s body can give you an indication about how they feel towards you and your product, it’s the listening that is going to yield you the important information about what they want. Now that we’ve established good customer reading techniques, let’s talk about what to do with the information you pick up :
Respond With Similar Body LanguageOne of the easiest ways to set someone at ease is to “mirror” their body language. You don’t want to go overboard on this – that can seem creepy or just mean. But little things are really important. Start with pace and timing. Is the customer in a hurry ? Or do they want to take things slow and steady ? Speak and act at the same pace as the customer. If she’s in a hurry, speaking quickly and speed walking across the store, then you should speak quickly and speed walk across the store as well. If she’s speaking slowly and moves slowly, your speed talking and walking will only come across as aggressive to her.
In addition, you can do subtle things like adopt a similar posture, or use similar hand gestures. With the hand gestures, be careful. You don’t want to come across as mocking your customer. Don’t make juste replicas of hand gestures, keep it general. Determine if someone is ready to buy ( or not ) based on non-verbal cuesHere are a few more tips to help you differentiate shoppers who are ready to buy versus those who aren’t interested.
According to SCORE contributor Lee Perlitz, signals that shoppers are interested in a product include : Spending time looking at or discussing one product type – When a customer spends time focusing on just one product, there’s a good chance they’ve already set their sights on that one and are interested in purchasing it. Looking around for somebody to help them – Catch the shopper’s gaze when you see them looking around. According to Perlitz, you can approach them “if they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows. ”Body language – A shift in body language signals “a change in esprit state that may well indicate readiness to buy. ” For example, if the shopper suddenly styles relaxed after you’ve answered their questions, that could be an indication that they’re ready to buy.
Be sure to approach customers once you see them exhibiting these signals. Failing to spot these signs or not acting in time could result in you missing out on the sale. On the flip side, here are the non-verbal signals indicating that someone isn’t ready to buy. Avoiding eye contact – If a customer doesn’t hold your gaze when you look at them, it likely means they’re not ready to make a purchase yet. Making ‘not now’ excuses – Statements like “just looking” or “not now” are clear signals that they aren’t ready to buy. Perlitz recommends that retailers “make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. ”Looking at many different products – Not being focused on just one product is another indication that shoppers should be given space.
When you see or hear people exhibiting the signals above, then it’s best to hold off on the sell. Figure out the type of customer that you’re dealing with and respond accordinglyAs you know, there are several genres of customers who walk through your doors, and you need to tailor your approach accordingly. tera help you do that, we’ve put together a quick slideshow summarizing the most common types of customers in retail. Check it out below :
More tips ? Those are our tips and tricks to help anyone become a good sales person. It’s important to remember that truly good sales people work on creating trusting relationships with their clients before they sell them anything. If you are capable of creating a trusting relationship, you are capable of selling. These tips are intended to help you create that relationship.
What tricks to reading customers do you employ ? Let us know in the comments below ! Author Bio : Cara Wood is a digital administrative assistant at Capterra, a company that puts business software buyers in touch with business software vendors ! When she’s not at work at Capterra, she can be found horse-back riding, reading and just generally having a good time at life.