5 Common Email Marketing Black Friday Mistakes to Avoid in 2023
Written by Philip Storey
4 Minute Read
Every email marketer wants to make their BFCM campaign the best yet, especially with the levels of competition entering your subscriber's inbox.
Without a doubt, BFCM is the craziest time of the year for all email marketers, so making mistakes in your email marketing is much more common than you may think. A small mistake in your Black Friday campaigns can make a huge difference as to whether a customer chooses to shop with you or your competitors.
This blog outlines some common mistakes email marketers make that you should make sure you avoid this Black Friday.
1. Gaslighting your subscribers
We are seeing too many brands doing this during the Black Friday holiday...
Retailers: FINAL HOURS OF THE BLACK FRIDAY SALE SAVE NOW! until the cyber Monday sale, the extended Black Friday sale, the extended Cyber Monday sale, the giving Tuesday sale, ad infinitum
Companies are eager to win every purchase they can during BFCM, so they lie about when their sale is ending. Many brands will email their subscribers telling them that their sale is about to end and they only have X hours to get 60% off. A few years ago subscribers may have believed this and made an impulse purchase, but not anymore!
Brands use gaslighting to make subscribers think that their sale is about to end when in actual fact they are about to extend it anyway - this really sucks! However, with the number of emails entering their inbox every day, subscribers have become experts at sniffing out fake marketing messages.
So if you are using these techniques in your Black Friday emails, this is effectively gaslighting your subscribers so don't be surprised when your emails are thrown into the trash or even worse, junked. Subscribers will see your brand as untrustworthy and are likely to stop engaging with your emails or purchase.
2. Not telling your subscribers when your BFCM sale is going to drop
As BFCM is approaching quickly, subscribers will be on the lookout for tricks that retailers use to get them to spend more money. One tactic we have seen retailers use leading up to the BFCM weekend is not making it clear when they are going to kick off their sales. Not being transparent about the launch of your Black Friday sale means that some subscribers may buy from you before the sale starts - this just isn't fair.
the agony of making a big purchase a mere 4 days before the black friday sale begins. i paid full price for a new pair of blundstones like an absolute fool
Not making it clear to your subscribers may seem like a quick win, but in the long run, it will be a loss. If consumers feel like they have been tricked, they will lose trust in your brand and ultimately stop engaging with your emails. Now you don't want that, do you?
So, retailers, you may think this is a smart tactic, but really when a subscriber catches you out they will hold this against you - just be honest, it's a whole lot easier.
3. Misleading creative
Your customers are BFCM experts. So when you are thinking about creating your Black Friday email campaign, never try and fool your subscribers with misleading information.
@KnomoLondon Very misleading Black Friday offers - beware - 30% only applies to some colours. What a disappointment!
Using misleading creative is very common in the email world, especially during a sales season like BFCM. Email marketers use subject lines to offer free gifts or surprise discounts without actually saying what they are. These irresistible subject lines are forcing customers to click on the email but fail to mention the requirements needed to activate the 'freebie'. This is known as Blackhat for email - not cool.
Email marketers, you need to be honest and respect your subscribers. It's not worth getting a subscriber to visit your BFCM sale if they lose trust in your brand in the process. Make sure you are giving your subscribers all the information they need to know in order to qualify for the deal - it shouldn't be difficult for a customer to work out what they need to do to get a discount or a free gift. With the level of competition entering a subscriber's inbox, your BFCM creatives need to be clear, otherwise your readers will shop somewhere else.
4. Not communicating your returns policy clearly
With BFCM starting earlier and finishing later every year, you need to make sure your returns policy mirrors this - if it doesn't, we suggest you extend your returns window during Black Friday.
just cannot wrap my head around @shopbop not having an extended holiday returns policy. "hey, come shop our Black Friday sales, but please give your gifts within 15 days of delivery" yea, sure. cool.
Many people use BFCM for holiday gifting and may not be purchasing for themselves. As Black Friday falls so close to Christmas, your subscribers could be buying for loved ones or friends and may not know that something isn't right for a couple of months after purchase. If you offer a 14-day window for exchanges, your customer is out of luck if the product is not correct.
You need to make sure you are putting your subscribers first and be happy to extend your returns policy. This needs to be communicated with your customers so they know that it's okay if a product needs to be returned a month after being purchased. A subscriber is more likely to spend their money with your brand if this is communicated clearly and they'll appreciate the extra consideration from you.
Go that extra mile and your customers will too!
5. Sending emails to people who have already purchased
Email marketers, it's likely that you need to stop sending BFCM emails to subscribers that have already purchased from your sale. Either that, or you need to switch up the conversation. You could say "thank you, we noticed that you have already made a purchase but if you are looking to take advantage of our BF sale again it ends in X hours".
If you don't thank your customers for purchasing something.. you don't deserve any sales.
Don't keep bombarding your subscribers with the same email campaign as if you have not acknowledged the purchase they have already made from your BFCM sale. You want to excite your customers about their new purchase, not make their purchase feel disregarded.
Subscribers can buy again from your sale, but you need to make sure your BFCM messaging is different, as well as less a less aggressive contact strategy. For those that have recently purchased from your sale, offer them something new or personalise your messaging based on what they have recently purchased - they don't need to be reminded about the products they have already brought.
As you plan your BFCM email campaigns this year, keep in mind these common email marketing mistakes. Avoiding these mistakes will allow you to create epic Black Friday campaigns that will keep your subscribers happy and make the most out of every sale!