Promotion period: November 26 – November 30, 2020 (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) with 4 emails sent to the subscribers with various segmentation
Every year, November is extremely busy and profitable for eCommerce stores all over the world because of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. And while most online businesses run sales during this period, some don’t know how to offer discounts while actually staying profitable.
Shortlist had a chance to work with a customer who produces CBD medical products and had never run any promotions for BFCM. However, this year they decided to offer a 35% off blanket (site-wide) discount and asked for help from the Shortlist team.
Instead of four days, which was the initial idea, the discount actually lasted for five days, since we advertised to a small segment of customers on Thursday, but we will give more details about this later.
Client’s sales history
The average monthly sales for this client were $60k–$80k. In December 2019, they recorded their highest daily sales in the history of the company, which was $12,036.
As you can see from the chart, during November 2019 while they didn’t run any promotions, their daily sales were anywhere between 10 and 90 orders per day. However, during most days, they didn’t exceed 30 orders per day nor a revenue larger than $4,000.
In 2020, their sales numbers dropped even more because of the COVID close-down and they were in a financial crisis of a sort. We gladly agreed to help them and defined a simple yet very effective promotion strategy.
Step-by-step BFCM promotion strategy
The promotion we decided to run included a coupon code customers could use on the checkout. The coupon was activated on Thanksgiving, November 26th, and expired at midnight on November 30th, right when Cyber Monday ended.
Based on the promotion rules, each customer was allowed to use the coupon code only once.
Our main focus for this promotion was to bring the coupon to the attention of as many people as possible. To do this, we found multiple third party sources where we could pace the coupon and planned to promote it via social media through the client’s brand pages.
In order to maximize our client’s sales, we had to spread the effects of the promotion as much as possible.
These were our main points of focus:
- Black Friday
- Weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Cyber Monday
Let’s take a closer look at each of these significant dates and how we managed to maximize the client’s sales during the promotional period.
At the very beginning, we didn’t make any changes to the client’s website and only announced the promotion to approximately 6k of their most active subscribers.
We sent out an email to people who had opened the previous five email campaigns and those who hadn’t made any purchases from the store during the previous three days. We didn’t want to include the people who had purchased something recently in the campaign.
The email we sent included a personalized subject line, used a friendly tone, and announced Friday as the reveal day of our secret promotion, available only for the most active subscribers.
Also, the email included the coupon code right next to a colorful CTA.
The results of this email were more than satisfactory, with 36% opens and 4.9% clicks.
As we promoted this deal to only a small number of people, the total sales were much lower than we expected to see when we expanded the promotion, but the company still made $4,857
The email was already scheduled to be sent out to the entire database the following day, which was, of course, Black Friday.
As Black Friday has traditionally been the busiest day for eCommerce stores during the holiday season, this was the day we went all in.
The first thing we did was raise a banner of the client’s website homepage at 1AM on Nov 27th to announce the promotion. The banner included a coupon code and an expiration date.
Aside from updating their website, we also used social media to post about the discount on the company’s pages.
Third-party coupon websites
Prior to Black Friday, we reached out to multiple websites that host coupons for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Since we had sent them all the information regarding the promotion beforehand, those efforts paid off on Black Friday, as our client saw an additional boost in sales.
Naturally, we also sent out a newsletter on Friday to 21,000 subscribers, as we excluded the people who already opened the promotional email that had been sent out on Thursday.
After the subject line, we stated how despite the company never running discounts before, the times changed and now customers had the chance to get 35% off on all products. Just like in the previous email, we included the coupon code, CTA, and the expiration date for the promotion.
To help our client make more sales, we asked the email recipients to spread the word about the promotion, and in return, they would receive a free gift.
As you can see, this email also had great results. With 6.3% opens, 1.1 % clicks, and $8,394.10, we were very satisfied with how this campaign was progressing.
Black Friday results
Black Friday results were as follows:
There were just over 100 orders on Black Friday and our client made $12,747.
We haven’t planned any specific promotions for the weekend, as people don’t usually expect any promotional emails during this time. For this reason, we let the sales flow on autopilot throughout the weekend and decided to make a final call on Monday.
Regardless, the sales over the weekend were decent as well.
On Saturday, our client had just under 70 orders and made $7,481. On Sunday, they received fewer orders, but the numbers were still larger than any other day before our team helped them run the promotional campaign.
As this was the last day of the promotion, we wanted to make the most of it. We set up time-sensitive messages to help skyrocket our client’s sales.
We started by sending an email to the largest subscriber segment, which included 23,000 people in total. We didn’t send this email to customers who made a purchase within the last four days, as we didn’t want to bother the ones who had already bought products during the promotion.
The email was scheduled to be sent at exactly 8 am and this is what it looked like:
The email did a great job of creating a sense of urgency, telling subscribers exactly when the promotion was about to end and how much they would save by making a purchase.
However, since the discount expired 16 hours after receiving the email, subscribers had enough time to go to our client’s website and use their coupon code, which was clearly stated in the email.
Once again, we saw great results from this email. The total opens were 10.5%, clicks were 1.6% and the revenue was approximately $9,783.
Aside from sending the email, we also announced the last day of the discounts on the company’s social media pages.
Cyber Monday results
Cyber Monday results were as follows:
As you can see, this was the highest sales day ever not only during the promotional period but during the entire history of the company as well.
There were just under 160 orders on Cyber Monday, making $17.525, so it’s easy to see Cyber Monday was a great success.
Overall, we were more than happy with the results we saw from the promotional campaign we created for our client that ran from Thanksgiving until Cyber Monday.
The coupon we created was used exactly 372 times, and the store even had 54 orders from new clients. The total profit from customers who purchased items with the coupon was $41,231.
All in all, the promotional period was very successful for our client and helped them make a much larger profit than during any other day this year.
If you’re planning a marketing campaign for next year’s holiday season, contact us.
Our team of experts will gladly help by creating promotions across multiple channels, reaching your customers, and helping you make more profit.