4 Ecommerce Brands Share Their Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing Strategies

As a customer success manager on Klaviyo’s growth team, I’m an expert in email marketing strategy. When it comes to understanding which customers to send to, which automations to run, and how to optimize your email design, for example, I can advise you on general best practices, but that’s just it…general

I’m not an expert at running a business; running a warehouse, optimizing fulfillment, profit margins, and, more importantly, marketing a specific brand. This is where our customers come in, and it’s why I started the Klaviyo Growth Podcast with the goal to listen to those customers as they provide advice based on their unique experience as brand-builders. 

The Klaviyo Growth Podcast has given me the opportunity to learn from some amazing Klaviyo customers, so I wanted to share some of the top tips I’ve heard so far in the lead up to Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM). 

Here are four tips from marketers to help you make the most of your Cyber Weekend this year.

1 | Tell your brand story

While speaking with Dr. Jennifer Edwards of Live Well by Dr. Jenn Edwards, we dove into how you can separate yourself from the competition, especially the big-box competition, during Black Friday. While there were a number of tips that Jennifer shared, the main one that stood out was to tell your story and communicate your mission. 

“There’s a bigger story for every product. Sit down and think about what your bigger story is,” said Jennifer. 

“For sunglasses, maybe think about road trips where you’re driving in the car while wearing your sunglasses. Think about what the experience around your product is and talk about that,” she said.

Every brand is going to be offering big discounts, what makes your brand special? 

Don’t be afraid to include your story and unique offering in the same email that you’re providing discounts. During Cyber Weekend, it’s still important to lead with your discounts but you’ll still have room for great imagery, customer reviews, and unique selling points. 

2 | BFCM can be an opportunity for everyone

Michael Pinckney of Pinckney Cookie Cafe (virtually) sat down with me to discuss his first Cyber Weekend event as an ecommerce business owner. While he had always had a website, the coronavirus crisis made it even more necessary to move his sales online this year. But in doing so, he didn’t really think Cyber Weekend was for him. 

“I thought of Black Friday Cyber Monday as not really applicable to my business. I think of it as the time to go get an expensive gift and get presents for Christmas. With cookies, it’s more of an impulse buy, and cookies don’t stay good very long. They’re not shelf-stable. You’re not going to buy them on Black Friday Cyber Monday for Christmas,” said Michael.

“But the bottom line is that’s when people have their wallets out. That’s when you want to make your offers because they’re ready to buy,” he said. 

This is such an important point for the thousands of businesses moving online due to COVID. This year may look different than those previous, but many consumers are still planning to spend during Cyber Weekend. Certain people will be spending more, some will spend less than usual, but almost all demographics are looking at this event with the thought that there are going to be great deals. 

Even if you don’t want to offer traditional deep discounts or you want to plan your sale outside of the Cyber Weekend time frame, you should still prepare your marketing strategy and expect to see heavy virtual foot traffic on your website throughout this time.

3 | Learn from your customers

Mary Coggins of Athletic Greens had some unique insight as a subscription business that does a lot of their business after Cyber Weekend. 

For example, it’s important to keep in mind that after Cyber Weekend there’s still a lot of money to be spent over the holidays and into the new year (especially health and beauty). 

“Email can be this incredible playground for testing hypotheses that can really impact other parts of your marketing strategy. It’s a great way to get a quick read on new offers you want to try out, CTA copy, branding, images, and other things like that,” said Mary

“For us, January is our busiest time of the year. So we saw the holiday season as a great way to test offers and various things that we could then use for our January strategy so that we could understand what offers customers resonated with and give them a better experience in January,” she said.

The concept of using BFCM as an experiment and A/B testing over Cyber Weekend is definitely not one that we normally discuss, but what better time to take actionable insights from your data than when you have the most people shopping on your site?

Depending on your brand and your customers, you may want to consider re-focusing your marketing efforts and invest in post-Cyber Weekend campaigns based on what you find to be successful during this peak.  

4 | It’s never too late to start planning

Matt Mullenax, co-founder and CEO of Huron, shared some great insight as a brand going into their second Cyber Weekend. After sharing with us some of the initial marketing strategies they implemented, we got to BFCM 2019.

“We didn’t have a plan in place that we were really excited about, so we decided to just sit on the sidelines and see how it goes. Then, Saturday hit and I called my co-founder and said, ‘We have to do something,’ and we had a great last three days of that weekend,” said Matt.

“There’s so much consumer intent over the course of that 4-6 day window that you can certainly participate in that interesting buying ecosystem without diluting or sacrificing any part of your brand. If you’re not a brand that puts things on sale, you don’t have to go red tag your entire site to get eyeballs to your storefront,” he said.

While you’ve likely already been hard at work creating a strategy for this upcoming Cyber Weekend, don’t get discouraged if you haven’t had the time to put together your dream plan. Additionally, creating a marketing strategy around BFCM doesn’t mean you automatically have to resort to deep discounting.

And remember, no matter how well you plan, it doesn’t guarantee perfection. Just make sure you participate. 

Final thoughts

No one can predict the ideal strategy for Cyber Weekend. Many brands, including big box stores, are experimenting with different strategies this year than they did last year. Meanwhile, the coronavirus has changed the way this Cyber Weekend will play out—both for consumers and brands

The best thing about being able to host the Klaviyo Growth Podcast is the knowledge I’ve gained from the customers that join. Hopefully, some of this advice will apply to you, too.

Want to hear more from the Klaviyo Growth Podcast? Find all episodes on Apple Podcasts and Spotify Podcasts.

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