12 October 2020 Tips & Tricks

6 Pre-Black Friday Email Marketing Automations

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As of this very moment, we’re about two months away from Black Friday, the huge day that unofficially kicks off the 2020 holiday shopping season. Anyone with even the slightest understanding of ecommerce already knows how important it is to have a rock-solid email marketing plan in place well before Cyber Monday rolls around. The real secret to success is setting yourself up with a few clutch email marketing automations ahead of time.

“Wait, what the heck is automation, and how can it help my Shopify store?” Glad you asked! The key here is the “auto” part. Essentially, automating your email marketing means introducing processes that automatically send certain messages to customers whenever they do— or don’t— take a specific desired action. In most cases, these emails are personalized and dynamic, using what you know about these customers and their habits to include the products and info most relevant to them at that particular moment in time. 

When implemented correctly, these automation campaigns are like having a whole new member of your team whose entire job is sending conversion-driving emails to your shoppers. Around a busy time like the holidays, that extra help handling a major sales-driving marketing channel is crucial. Here’s a guide to the six most crucial automations to add to your email marketing arsenal by the time shoppers whip out their wallets for Black Friday.

Automatically Roll Out the Red Carpet for New Customers

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Once you convince a prospective customer to give you their email, make it count by sending an automated series of welcome emails that’ll make them feel like a VIP. 

First and foremost, introduce your new email recipient to who you are and what your business is about. This can also be an opportunity to learn about their preferences and product interests, which will help with your audience segmentation and ensure you only send them the most relevant offers. If you’re feeling confident enough at this stage, consider some kind of initial deal to convert them into a customer, or save it for an automated follow-up once you know more about what specifically they’re looking for. Either way, the deal makes them feel special and drives sales.

Laying the groundwork with this automation campaign is crucial for success before the holidays. Many potential customers will be scoping you out before they pounce on your Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, so make sure you can both get to know each other a bit better before the buying frenzy begins.

Always Be Upselling

You’d think the last thing you’d want to do after a customer completes a purchase from your Shopify store is try and sell them something else, but think again. An upsell automation that can recommend similar or complementary products is a secret weapon that could potentially double up your sales. 

A successful upsell centers on understanding your products— as well as how and why your customers buy them. Is the item they just picked up that’s often bought in combination with something else? Do you sell certain products or accessories that can enhance the experience of what they just bought? 

This sort of upselling or cross-selling is always useful in ecommerce, but it’s especially true around the holidays. With all the shopping your customers will be doing, there’s always the possibility that they’ll be back looking for something else soon enough. You might as well start planting those seeds early— especially if it takes no extra work on your part.

Move Abandoned Carts Through the Checkout Line

You may already be familiar with the kind of email marketing efforts that can win back shoppers who abandon their carts. Just like the other types of emails here, the abandoned cart campaign can— and should— be automated, especially given that nearly 70% of all shoppers leave their carts before checking out. 

Whenever a (potential) customer leaves your site without purchasing the items they left in their cart, a series of automated emails can provide them easy opportunities to pick up where they left off. The first email should provide a simple way to reconstruct their cart. Subsequent emails can go for a bigger sales push, incorporating social proof or even potential discounts in order to get them across the finish line.

Turn Browsers into Buyers

A close cousin of cart abandoners, window shoppers are those frustrating would-be customers who take a look at your product pages— sometimes multiple times— only to close the tab and walk away. While those who leave behind abandoned carts are closer to buying something, getting even a small percentage of these window shoppers to convert can pay real dividends for your Shopify store. 

Luckily, all it takes is a personalized push in the right direction. If you’ve collected the emails of these window shoppers, you can leverage browsing data to remind them of the categories they’ve perused and the product they’ve considered. Pairing that reminder with a little bonus offer could be just what it takes to convince them to pull the trigger.

Turn Happy Customers Into Your Biggest Champions

You can shout all you want about how great your Shopify business is, but nothing creates new customers like positive reviews and free marketing from customers who rave about you to their friends and family. That’s especially true around Black Friday and the holiday season. After all, if you’re shopping for someone who just told you how much they love a particular Shopify store, that’s probably a great place to look for their gift. 

All too often, though, only customers who’ve had truly awful experiences feel compelled to share their experiences. But that can change with an assist from some timely automated emails. Sometime after a customer receives their order, hit them up with an email that asks them to leave a review and/or refer a friend. In either case, consider incentivizing that through the use of referral codes or other bonuses for reviews. 

Not only does that get some positive press out into the world that can push new customers to convert, this also provides a chance to check in with customers who may have had a less than five-star experience. This makes it easy to step in to make things right before they disappear or disparage you.

Repair Relationships with lost customers

No matter how hard you try, you can’t make everyone love you all the time. Sometimes, a bad experience leads customers to ghost you. Other times, they might’ve just forgotten you existed. Don’t take it personally, automate! 

The key is to set up an automated campaign that combs through a list of your lapsed customers and sends an email that can rebuild your relationship. If you lost their business due to a bad experience, this can give you a chance to make amends. If it’s simply a case of you slipping their mind, this puts you back on their radar before the busiest shopping season of the year. 

Don’t wait until Cyber Monday’s over — Automate now

Any retailer already has enough on their plate during the countdown to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Laying the foundation with these six automation campaigns ahead of time will not only serve you well as you close the book on 2020, but set you up for further success in 2021. 

If you’re looking for a helping hand to get these automated email campaigns off the ground, making Pathfinder your partner. Try it for free, no card required 👇

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Corin Camenisch

Marketing Manager at Pathfinder

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