Black Friday: Planning your email and SMS send-outs

Black Friday is a hectic day for e-commerce, retailers, and customers. Make sure to plan your communication as much as possible to avoid opt-outs, and to help yourself to make it into your customers' email inbox.

Ideally, your emails should be ready and scheduled well in advance before Black Friday so you don’t risk delays. When using segments for your send-outs, Engage will always re-calculate the segments before sending, even if you schedule it days in advance. 

If your communication will push a lot of traffic to your e-com it can be a good idea to send your message in smaller batches with roughly hour-long intervals to make sure your website doesn't get overwhelmed and crash. 

Try a new channel

Customers these days are easily distracted and bombarded with marketing communication. They might scroll through their emails while watching TV or working. However, SMS messages immediately demand their attention. In fact, research says that SMS has an average open rate of 98 % compared to email’s average of 20 %.

With SMS you usually promote one link, so make sure you have a Black Friday specific page set up on your website to direct traffic to. Equally important is that the page can handle the traffic as it will likely peak for each send-out. You might want to personalize your messages as well, read more about how to do that here.

Or why not create super-sharp targeted campaigns with your collected customer insights? With Online Ads from Engage, you can synchronize data to Facebook Custom Audiences and Google Customer Match. It’s possible for you to communicate with personalized content since you already know who to target.

Performance is key

Millions of emails and SMS messages are transacted during Black Friday week. This is how you ensure the best result.

  • Spread out your send-out in batches, do not send to all at once.
  • Schedule your emails at least two hours before the send time but ideally four hours to give Engage a good amount of time to create and prepare your messages.

Also, sending your communication batch-wise is the best way of getting through the Inbox Service Providers (Gmail, Outlook, etc.), as they may ”throttle” your emails (i.e. receive your emails at a slower pace) due to the increased amount of emails during this period.

And don't forget your “gold” members or those who shopped last year? Make sure that you are reaching that sweet spot first. Read more about how to optimize your segmentation here.

How to draw attention

We all know that the inbox will get filled up - maybe your customers are waiting for the best deal? It might be hard to know what works the best to draw attention.

Also, put some work into the content creation, make sure to stick out from the crowd - why not work with animations in your email send-outs? Read more about how to work with GIFs in Voyado here. 

Recurring communication

You don’t want to bombard your customers with communication and risk unsubscribes. While planning your send-outs for Black Friday, check which automated flows are currently running and see if you can adjust content or maybe limit how much they send out for the next few weeks. Read our Tips and inspiration article for more thoughts on how to limit your recurring communication. 

Wait to check statistics

Due to the sheer volume of marketing communication going out in one or a few days, you might expect a small delay in seeing accurate statistics. Don’t focus too much on checking how well your messages performed immediately, try to wait a bit to check the results of your campaign, as tempting as it might be to check it right away. Send out statistics on an aggregated level will be visible faster than statistics on an individual level. 

Read more about email statistics here.
Read more about SMS statistics here.


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