Get Ready for BFCM: Engagement Strategies to Maximize Sales
The growing popularity of Black Friday and this year’s even more prominent shift to online shopping, mean one thing: eCommerce brands need to bring their (targeting) А-game and cut through the noise with on-point offers, tailored to their individual customers. On the flipside, this surge in online shopping gives businesses an even greater opportunity to make the most out of this sales season.
One of the ways to ensure that you will max up your BFCM is to get to know your customers in advance, engage with them, learn what their preferences are and what they expect from you when the day comes.
SMS marketing gives you the chance to start exploring your customer base early on, and without doing much manual heavy lifting. You can automate this entire process using SMSBump’s robust Flows.
Activate Flows so new subscribers are always welcomed at your store, abandoned orders are recovered soon after they are left behind, customers don’t go long without making purchases, and sales opportunities never slip through your fingers! Collect valuable insights on your customers’ habits, tastes and other key characteristics, to build the ultimate customer journey, powered by dynamic segments! All of this - well before we even start seeing BFCM slogans!
Start by making a good first impression! One that will last at least until Black Friday. ;)
Engage Right Away with Conversational Welcome Messages
Make your first contact even more engaging by asking relevant questions and allowing customers to text you back with a specific keyword that reflects their preference. Enabling our conversational flows will allow you to study each subscriber’s personal taste and needs before extending an offer. Much like any good sales assistant at a B&M store would do before suggesting bright orange ripped jeans to a lady with a taste for classic designs.
You can ask any question you want to help narrow down your products and collections, and refer your new subscriber to the most relevant one of the bunch. And the best part - because you are making it clear that you want to provide them with the most suitable deal, your subscribers will be more than willing to respond to your question and make sure what they end up buying is really what they were looking for. They will appreciate that even during the busiest times, you’ve taken their experience into consideration and have made it so it’s enjoyable.
Later on, if you wish to retarget customers based on different attributes, you can just filter them by what their response was. Do you want to contact only your curly-haired shoppers - segment them by the keyword they texted you back, i.e. CURLY. This way you will be able to make your targeting extra on-point by splitting customers in relevant categories, according to their personal taste or preferences.
After you’ve made a good first impression and have extended a spot-on offer, it’s time to think about what happens if, even after this effort, your new subscribers click on your link but don’t finalize their purchase.
Never Miss a Sales Opportunity with an Abandoned Cart Flow
Abandoned carts are a huge black hole that sucks in millions of sales every year, and with that - millions of chances at a higher revenue. They happen even to the best of brands and can come from unexpected sources - whether it’s the new subscribers you just engaged with, or loyal customers that might have got distracted for a bit and forgot to hit “Checkout”.
The good news is that you can easily flip this around and turn abandoned purchases into a great opportunity for your business, especially around high-traffic shopping events, such as Black Friday. Because, naturally, as the number of site visitors increases, so will the number of abandoned checkouts.
For maximum recovery, it’s important to set up an abandoned cart flow as early as you launch your SMS marketing. Abandoned cart reminders run in the background and are triggered only when somebody leaves without completing a purchase, in no way interfering with your other text marketing efforts. Quite the opposite actually: enabling them will make sure no potential sales fall through the cracks of your online store. Done via SMS, this makes it even easier for customers to finish their order, as all they need to do is click on the link provided and check out.
Read through our article on how to build a two-step abandoned cart flow that will boost your recovery rates. Take a closer look at how we used conditions to personalize the flow so it engages with the different types of customers differently.
Abandoned cart sequences are one way to additionally engage with customers to make the most out of any sales, be it during the Cyber week, or on a regular day. To keep customers engaged for longer, though, and also give a little boost to your average order value, your next step should be to try and upsell them!
Continue with an Upsell Flow
Black Friday might have not started yet, but this does not mean that you should not try and maximize your sales already. Au contraire. Setting up a personalized upsell flow before the holidays start will help you establish a better relationship with your customers and will save you some last minute preparations.
As on big sales days, such as BFCM, people are actively looking for package deals, it’s important that you map out what products fit best together well in advance.
With that in mind, the earlier you enable your upsell flow, the more time you will have to test different products and combinations, and see which ones convert best. This way, when the big week starts, you will be all set with the most converting upsell items!
The rest of our tips on how to create a converting two-step upsell flow for Cyber week you can find in our blog article.
Besides the upsell flow, another tactic you can go for to maximize both your pre-holiday and Black Friday sales is setting up a Winback Flow to try and re-engage customers who’ve been inactive for a while. And make sure these leads (and the revenue they can bring) don’t fall through the Cyber cracks.
Moving On with a Winback Flow
As Black Friday is entirely a sales-driven event, trying to maximize your reach is crucial, and this often means starting your communication with customers well in advance. In other words, take the time before Cyber week to throw a “rehearsal campaign”. Reach out to customers that might have not been active for a while and attempt to bring them back with pre-Black Friday offers, based on what they’ve purchased from you before. This way, when you contact them again with your BFCM sales, you will still be fresh in their memory and they will be more inclined to do their holiday shopping at your store.
Why is this important? Тhink about it this way: wouldn’t it be great if at least half of the customers that have at some point shopped from you return to order from your Black Friday sales?
With a personalized winback strategy, you can make this happen!
Configure a winback flow that will contact subscribers who haven’t been active in 30, 45, 60 or however many days you think will work for your brand. Think of an enticing way to bring them back, such as a sneak peek into your upcoming Black Friday sale, a pre-holiday deal to have them beat the crowds, a flash sale to make them act fast, etc.
Go through our Winback guide for more ideas how you can reactivate customers before, during and after Black Friday. The strategies are evergreen, just need a bit of tweaking to match your brand voice and expectations. ;)
Now that you have 4 very successful ways to interact with customers before the Big day and warm them up with active communication and pre-event promotions, it’s time to think about how to ensure success on BFCM with a little pre-holiday preparation.
The Right SMS to the The Right Person: Segmentation
One of the biggest misperceptions when it comes to SMS is that the same 160 characters will work for every subscriber. What makes SMS effective is the balance between its brevity and the relevance of the message for every recipient. The more focused the message of your campaign, the greater its potential.
This is why brands need to master the craft of segmentation to maximize the success of every SMS campaign. Segmenting customers based on characteristics such as behavior, order history, engagement, geo-location, and other attributes, will help you narrow down your target audience, making sure you only send the right message to the right public. In turn, this will reduce costs but you will also avoid irrelevant messages that could lead to an increase in unsubscribed users.
With SMSBump you have close to infinite ways to mix-and-match criteria and create segments of customers that have the same style, like the same colors, are big and loyal spenders or on the contrary - have made little to no purchases. What’s more important, though, is to spend some time before the holiday rush starts to carefully plan who you want to target and create your key segments upfront. They are dynamic so they will only keep growing as your audience expands.
Take a look at this eBook to get the answers to (almost) all of your pressing segmentation questions. Plus, it comes with 7 ways you can break down your customer base, and create segments that will show you who your high-value customers are, will sift through the holiday spenders, and will even split shoppers based on where they subscribed from.
Engage Actively from Day One!
Make the most out of the pre-holiday period to engage closely with your customers, nurture those relationships and make sure that come Black Friday, each and every one of them will be treated individually. Lasting customer relationships are what bring businesses forward and have the power to sustain a company even through the roughest of times.
All the interactions we talked about above give you the opportunity to collect valuable customer information. Using that data to identify trends and deliver excellent services, tailored to every customer, is what is going to bring them back to your store. Shoppers have and always will be looking for a personalized approach! They do not only want it, but expect it.
With Flows, this doesn’t need to be a complicated task.
And if you are looking for more ideas how to utilize Flows to extend your sales well past Cyber week, go to our after-sales guide.
Viktoria is a Content Creator at SMSBump. Besides writing for work and pleasure, she is an avid foodie, a big fan of Stephen King, and enjoys spending time at the beach.