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Are You Ready For Black Friday Cyber Monday? We Asked Privy Merchants How They Prepare. Here's What They Said.

By Kristina Simonson
8 minute read

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It’s officially October. Which means Black Friday Cyber Monday kicks off next month.

Are you ready?

We polled Privy merchants to find out what they’re planning this BFCM. We asked things like:

  • When do you start preparing?
  • When do you start promoting your offers?
  • What types of emails do you expect to use to drive sales?

And more.

So, today I want to share what we learned with you.

Because our goal is to help you have your most successful BFCM ever. Let’s dive into the results.

77% start prepping for BFCM 1-3 months ahead

When it comes to preparation, the most common advice we saw had something to do with getting started early. Here are just a handful of responses to prove it:

“Start planting the seeds of your sale early. Give early access to your mailing list before releasing the sale to the public.”

“Do your homework and start as early as possible.”

“Plan, plan, plan, research ahead of time, find what is working in your industry.”

“Start early.”

Clearly there’s something to be said for starting as early as you possibly can. But when exactly do most brands start preparing? We were wondering that, too.SurveyResults_1

Turns out, 77% of respondents get started anywhere from less than a month out, to 3 months out.

  • 54.5% of respondents prepare 1-3 months before
  • 22.8% prepare less than 1 month out

Since we’re about 2 months away from Black Friday, that means it’s time to start prepping if you haven’t already.

Things like, what’s your offer going to be? Are you doing a site-wide sale? Special pricing for specific items? When are your emails going out? What about ads? I know. It’s a lot to think about. But now’s the time to do it. Not the week of.

79% don’t start promotion before the 30 day mark

So if most brands are preparing 0-3 months out, when do the promotions start?

You know, in case you’re trying to figure out when you should actually be letting the world know what you have planned.

Almost 80% of respondents don’t promote before the 30 day mark. But here’s the breakdown.👇

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Only 21% said they promote their offers more than 30 days ahead of time. Which means things really start to heat up by the time November rolls around.

  • 33.5% start promotion 30 days before BFCM
  • 24.6% 2 weeks before
  • 19.2% less than 2 weeks before

So if you haven’t started promoting your offers yet, you’re not alone. You still have a full month before your peers are really stepping on the gas.

You know what this means, though? If you start promoting before the rest of the crowd, you’ll be at a huge advantage. Because people already know what to expect and you’re priming them before they’ve seen too many other offers.

88% plan to send promotion emails

If you’re anything like me, your inbox is out of control the second you wake up on Thanksgiving (maybe even earlier this year). So it’s no surprise that 88% of respondents are planning to send promotion emails.

What is surprising, though, is that only 19% of users see email as their most important channel for sales.

In his Introduction To Email Marketing Masterclass, Ezra Firestone shared that email should drive between 30-40% of your sales. So if you’re only leveraging email around BFCM, I want to let you in on a secret. You’re missing out.

Email should be part of your strategy all year long. So that by the time BFCM rolls around, your subscribers already know and trust your brand. Because just wait. You’re going to see SO many brands you’re not used to hearing from this time of year. And guess what. You’re probably not going to buy from them. Because who wants to buy from a brand they don’t even remember giving their email to? I’m begging you. Please don’t be one of those brands.

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But even though almost 90% of respondents will be sending promotion emails, only 27% plan to send all 4 email types: promotions, abandoned cart, newsletters, and order follow-ups.

And honestly, you should be sending all of these emails. Promo emails to let your subscribers know about special offers. Abandoned cart emails to encourage people to come back to complete their purchase. Newsletters to keep them engaged and entertained. And order follow-up emails to keep them coming back for more.

Here’s a fun fact for you: BFCM has the highest cart abandonment rate of any other day of the year. But only 57% of respondents plan to send abandoned cart emails.

If you’re not doing anything to save abandoned carts (especially at this time of year) you’re leaving money on the table.

You can’t just expect to send one promotion email and drive thousands in sales. You need to have a plan. If your answer to BFCM marketing is sending a single email, you need to rethink your strategy.

73% will use welcome popups

We’ve all seen a welcome popup (or 500…).

You know, the popup you see when you find a new brand that usually offers you a discount on your first order? Like this one from Mountain Crest Gardens.

And by the way, popups are NOT a dirty word. If you do it right, they’re on brand, feel native to your site, AND, most importantly, help you grow your email list.

That’s where a tool like Privy Convert comes in.

Not only can you create welcome popups (check out tons of examples here), you can also create things like:

A dynamic free shipping bar that updates in real time as customers add items to their cart – allowing them to see how much closer they are to earning free shipping.

 

An exit intent popup that allows you to capture visitors’ emails before they leave your site. “What is this magic you speak of?!” Well, it detects visitors’ cursor movements and knows when they’re about to bounce. So at the very least you’ll have a way to get in touch with them down the road. And hopefully, eventually, turn them into customers.

A cart saver popup uses cart targeting and exit intent to help you try to save the sale. So you can try to catch them and save the sale before they go. Something like this example from the Minnesota Vikings.

Lastly, we’ve got cross-sell popups. So if you have products that are frequently purchased together, you can be like hey! What about this other thing that pairs perfectly with what you already have in your cart?

You already know 73% of respondents will have welcome popups, but what about the others? Here’s a breakdown for you:

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Other than welcome popups, the others were pretty evenly matched. But 69% are actually planning to use more than 1 campaign type.

Which is especially important because we’ve found that users running more than 1 display drive 7.5x more email signups. Which means you should probably think about expanding the number of campaigns you’re running.

Speaking of the number of Privy campaigns respondents are planning to run…

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Most (31%) are only planning to use 1 campaign type, while 23% are planning to use 2 or 3. And it just goes down from there.

If you’re only planning to have a welcome popup, why not think about expanding to include a dynamic free shipping bar? Or a cart saver popup to help you try to lock in more visitors before they peace out.

The truth is, only having a single campaign means there’s room for improvement. What other campaign types should you be testing out to get the most value out of Privy this Black Friday Cyber Monday?

51% are leaning on social media ads

Just over half of respondents said social media ads are their most important channel for driving sales.

While ads are incredibly important, only 19% said email is their most important channel. And I’ve mentioned it before, but I want to say it again. Email should drive 30-40% of your revenue.

If I’m thinking about the way I’ve made holiday purchases in the past, it’s not because I saw an ad one time. I purchased from brands I know and love. So absolutely set aside budget for ads. But don’t underestimate the power of email as a channel.

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82% are prioritizing converting more new customers

No surprise here. 82% of respondents want to convert more new customers. That was the largest percentage by far.

But you could select your top 3 priorities...

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Here are the most common combinations:

  • Converting more new customers, Driving repeat sales with my existing customers, Growing my email list so we can sell more after BFCM
  • Converting more new customers, Driving repeat sales with my existing customers, Reducing abandoned carts from people shopping on my site
  • Converting more new customers, Driving repeat sales with my existing customers, Improving the conversion rate on our website

Between converting more new customers and driving more repeat sales, there’s plenty to focus on between now and the holiday. What are you doing to make those priorities a reality?

Key takeaways for this BFCM

Whether you started thinking about your BFCM plans months ago or you’re still figuring things out, there’s a lot to be learned from this poll.

  • Start preparing ASAP.
  • Expand the campaign types you’re using to have the biggest impact.
  • Send abandoned cart emails if you’re not already.
  • Please please please don’t be that brand that just sends promotional emails.
  • Promote your offers earlier rather than later.

**The data in this post is based on 167 responses

Topics: Ecommerce Marketing

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