Dominating BFCM with Foolproof Audience Segmentation

Dominating BFCM with Foolproof Audience Segmentation

Nordstrom’s Cyber Monday deals page

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the time to keep an eye on if you’re looking to close the year out with a win. 

With over $9 billion in sales across the US in 2022, BFCM represents an opportunity to not just increase and deepen repeat sales, but also to reach out and establish a whole new audience. Insulated against economic booms and busts by lower prices, all-new customer segments can multiply your revenues with the right approach. It’s never too late in the season to supercharge your Black Friday marketing strategy with audience segmentation. 

An Optimized Strategy For The Season

Ecommerce and Black Friday go hand-in-hand – an intersection where accessible shopping meets a powerful surge of new customers. Consumer segmentation helps you harness that surge by customizing your communications across key channels like email and SMS. 

A key advantage of BFCM audience segmentation is that businesses can still fine-tune their strategy late into the season and boost conversions through host migrations, ad creative tweaks, and even just general site optimizations. Full-service agencies are equipped to deploy powerful last-minute BFCM outreach strategies while also ensuring your store is ready to handle those incoming conversions. 

Foolproof Segmentation

Start With Email

Between email, SMS, and paid advertising, we often find that email tends to be the most poorly managed internal marketing channel. It also happens to be the best place to start for your Black Friday marketing strategy with its incredible success rate (based on ROI). 

Tune Into The Competition

One of the biggest mistakes an ecommerce business can commit, even when doing well, is to look at the metrics in isolation. You might be having the best Q2 yet but being unaware of what the competition is up to can mean missing out on potentially game-changing strategies. 

If you’re gearing up for an ecommerce Black Friday sale, subscribe to the competition! Look for brands operating in a similar space and keep an eye out for these two factors:

  • Time: How often are they sending out emails? Before worrying about metrics like CTR (Click Through Rate), and CAC (Customer Acquisition Costs), it pays to understand the simpler aspects of a Black Friday email marketing strategy. Sending out just one less email a month or tweaking the time of delivery can make the difference between a shopper unsubscribing from your list and them taking your outreach seriously.
  • Content: Audience segmentation rarely plays out the same way between two similar brands. What kind of segments are they tapping into? Brands with a greater number of repeat customers could be aiming to lock into that segment with exclusive offers, while others could be using different product categories to create segments.

Similarly, you can also learn a ton by breaking down a brand’s strategy around its content themes (its messaging, goals, and target audience). How many CTAs (Calls To Action) are they using? What kind of language are they employing? 

Keep in mind that you’re most likely never going to find a be-all and end-all solution just by analyzing the competition. It’s all about generating effective ideas for your audience segments. 

promotional Black Friday email for Humble Choice

(A)lways/(B)e Testing

A/B testing takes on a whole new level of importance for a Black Friday marketing strategy. This is your chance to examine the assumptions that have been driving your ecommerce campaigns for Black Friday up to this point. Here are a few examples:

  • X is always the best time of day to send promotional emails.
  • Most of our shoppers only purchase Y types of products at a discount.
  • Increasing the frequency of emails/SMS will cause many shoppers to unsubscribe from our list.

Re-examining these fundamentals can help you fine-tune your strategy late into the season. The trick to doing it well is to test everything–subject lines, email content, delivery times, and click rates. Incorporating testing into annual campaigns helps brands avoid falling into a cycle of habit-driven advertising. 

Audience Segmentation: The Easiest Wins

An effective BFCM strategy is all about working smart; pick off these 2 low-hanging fruits to maximize your holiday season gains.

  1. Engagement + Interest: Combining audience engagement with product interest is a surefire way to navigate your Black Friday marketing strategy. The ideal shopper to look out for is a John Doe who has engaged with your mailers/website more than 2-3 times in the last 7 days and shown interest in a specific product.

    Use the RFP acronym as your guiding light when creating a segment:

    R: Recency
    F: Frequency
    P: Product
  2. Product Type + Brand Specific: It’s not always possible to create advanced audience segments that require the business to know when key events are coming up for shoppers (anniversaries, weddings, etc.). Instead, consider using your customer purchase history to create segments based on product types specific to your market niche.

    For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods might create segments based on different sports for their ecommerce Black Friday campaign such as basketball, football, and golf. Similarly, an apparel brand might try pairing size and fit preferences together. 

Audience Segmentation Errors to Avoid

Batch and Blast: Not Always The Right Call

The average shopper gets over 100 emails and 32 texts a day, creating an incredible amount of noise that can be tough to cut through. Instead of taking the time to refine their content and tailor their emails, many brands resort to competing with a “batch and blast” strategy that involves sending generic emails to their entire subscriber list.  

There are considerable downsides to this approach for a Black Friday marketing strategy:

  • Choosing not to personalize and segment your audience typically hurts open rates and deliverability. While this may seem like a time saver, it actually ends up costing more time as well as hurting you.
    • Boosting the number of generic emails increases the likelihood of them being undelivered, which impacts your reputation score. Having a low reputation score means ISPs are less likely to deliver your emails.

      Brands that continue with an ineffective batch and blast strategy run the risk of getting blacklisted by ISPs, leading to a frustrating recovery process.
  • On a personal level, standardized emails are significantly less likely to resonate with readers. In comparison, surveys have found that emails with personalized subject lines can increase open rates by 50%
promotional Black Friday email for Humble Choice

A personalized subject line can go a long way.

Use Automation

Tons of ecommerce brands have onboarded an omnichannel strategy, and yet it’s still common practice to see marketers manually using exported spreadsheets or APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to migrate customer lists. 

Mailchimp, Hubspot, and most other reputable email service providers (ESPs) come with built-in ad network integrations, making audience segmentation much easier. 

For example, you can use ad network integration with Meta or Shopify for your Black Friday marketing strategy by looking at your shoppers’ previous purchases. Your ESP should be able to migrate customer data from Shopify (for instance!) and show readers dynamic content based on products they’re already interested in.

Essential Segments for BFCM

Let’s walk through a few examples of effective segmentation for your ecommerce Black Friday sale. 

  • Localization: There’s no point in offering great discounts on heavy coats to someone who hasn’t even begun to think about winter yet. Segmenting by locale lets you be precise with your advertising. For example, apparel brands will often use this to present woolen jackets to shoppers living in colder regions, while also allowing those on the coast to enjoy the sun in style.
  • Holiday Shoppers: Whether it’s for themselves or others, many people shop habitually during the holidays, and it’s one audience segment brands can’t miss out on. Use your bigger sale events from earlier in the year or last year’s BFCM shopper data as a foundation.
  • Churn Risk Audiences: Your Black Friday marketing strategy is a perfect time to re-engage with shoppers who are at risk of forgetting about your store. Try targeting this segment with deeper discounts on product categories they’ve already shown interest in.

Most of these segments can be applied to SMS marketing as well–even if you do not have metrics like open rates to work with. Keep in mind that your messaging will naturally have to be tweaked to fit subscriber preferences. For instance, SMS subscribers tend to be less patient with spammy messaging and will opt out quicker than email subscribers.

Ecommerce Success: Black Friday with Koyal Wholesale

Ecommerce brand Koyal Wholesale is a great case study of audience segmentation and paid advertising done right. As an industry leader in the weddings and event planning sector, they were able to use SMS marketing to land a stunning 30% click rate for their BFCM campaign within their first year.

Make This BFCM Season Yours

Knowing thyself is great, but knowing thy customers can be just as rewarding. This year, let segmentation drive your winning Black Friday marketing strategy. Even brands that are looking to make last-minute tweaks late into the season can make it count by picking off low-hanging fruit and hitting core segments like holiday shoppers. 

If you’d like help with your campaign, reach out to us for a free strategy review today! Coalition Technologies has been at the forefront every holiday season, helping clients generate millions in holiday revenues through paid, SMS, and email advertising. We’d love to add you to that list.

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