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Cyber Monday Done Right

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In part one of our holiday capsule series we covered the best steps for Black Friday campaigns, and Small Business Saturday in part two, and this time around we’ll focus on how both retailers and online-only companies can build a Cyber Monday marketing plan that will engage your customers, grow revenue and enhance brand recognition.

#1 Don’t Write Off The Importance of Cyber Monday
Since Cyber Monday’s invention in 2005, sales have consistently grown by $100 million a year. Its popularity has continued to rise, making it the highest online spending day of the year in 2010 and every year since. In case you’re still not convinced of its importance, total Cyber Monday online sales rose 16% last year, capping at $3.07 billion. A robust Cyber Monday campaign will drive customer loyalty and increase revenue.

  • How to Do It –
    • Start Early: Get your marketing team together during the slow summer season to start formulating a Cyber Monday plan.
    • Consider Your Options: Whether you decide on an email campaign, a social media push, or an aggressive ad campaign, make sure you’re looking at all resources available to you and picking the channel that will appeal most to your customers.

#2 Consider Mobile
It’s pretty evident by now that mobile devices have cemented their place as important tools in a shopper’s journey from prospect to loyal customer. Last year, 29.6 million online shoppers used mobile devices on Cyber Monday. While customers still purchased more from desktop devices, mobile drove more than three times the traffic to websites in 2015, proving that consumers often view deals on mobile before redeeming them on a larger device.

  • How to Do It –
    • Optimize for Mobile: Make sure your website and email campaigns can be viewed on a variety of devices and screen sizes. Overlooking this step can have huge repercussions on brand loyalty, since 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
    • Think about User Experience: When it comes to mobile, creating an intuitive user experience is essential. Make sure your CTAs are large and easy to click on any device. Brainstorm any questions a customer might have, like inquires about returns, and ensure that information is easily accessible to them on both mobile and desktop versions of your website.

#3 Ensure You Have Strong Analytics All Year
Online retail giant Amazon generated 36% of all Cyber Monday sales last year, in part because of their complex email segmentation, allowing them to offer consumers personalized deals they’d be most interested in. Customer segmentation is a key component to a successful Cyber Monday email campaign, and collecting data intelligently year round will allow you better target specific demographics this holiday season.

  • How to Do It –
    • Start Now: Track spending patterns and follow consumer lead lifecycles year round, so you can better segment your email marketing and reach engaged customers who are likely to make purchases.
    • Keep It Simple: If you’re getting a late start on email segmentation this year, start with an approachable goal for demographic targeting. Online-only lingerie retailer Adore Me saw an email open rate increase of 21% by simply targeting year-round consumers separately from those who only make purchases one or two times a year.

#4 Remember Social Media
Social media is a huge part of your consumer’s life. They’re discovering new products and deals, and sharing that information with their friends via social media. These community referrals are increasingly important for online shoppers. On Cyber Monday, Facebook referral traffic for top retailers is 240% higher compared to an average Monday. In addition, conversion rates for Twitter and Pinterest continued their steady rise. Reach your customers on social media to drive brand loyalty and engaged referrals.

  • How To Do It –
    • Offer Compelling Discounts: People love to share good deals with their friends! By offering your followers value through offers that excite them, you increase customer loyalty and grow social impressions as they share your deal with their peers.
    • Remember Your Images: Strong design and relevant images can help your social media campaign stand a cut above the rest. Consider adding an element of interactivity or animation to your posts, and invest resources in cultivating a visually striking Cyber Monday social strategy.

#5 Don’t Abandon Your Abandoned Cart Email
With all the exciting deals running during the holiday season, shoppers are understandably distracted. Last year, over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, the average cart abandonment rate was 72%. Transactional emails increased by 48% last year, proving that smart marketers are starting to understand the importance of triggered, targeted emails during Cyber Monday.

  • How To Do It –
    • Leverage FOMO: Remind your customers of the time limit on the deal you’re offering by using a countdown to illustrate how much longer they can receive their cart items at a discounted rate. Use words that trigger their fear of missing out and encourage them to act now.
    • Offer Consumers Value: Free shipping reigns on Cyber Monday, and including an offer for discounted or free shipping with your abandoned cart email can entice consumers to complete their purchase. Use interactive elements to build curiosity and reacquire lapsed customers.

#6 Optimize Your Website For Increased Traffic
Digital consumers, for both retail and business, are an impatient bunch! Today’s online shopper expects almost instantaneous gratification. In fact, if your site takes longer than 5 second to load, 74% of users will abandon their attempt, and 46% of users will NOT return to a poorly performing website. You expect your site’s traffic to spike over the holiday shopping weekend and remain high into the following week. Ensure you’ve taken steps to optimize load times and retain customers you may have otherwise lost.

  • How To Do It –
    • Collaborate With Your IT Department: Be sure to set aside time before the holidays to evaluate your server performance with your IT team. Ensuring your e-commerce infrastructure is capable of handling spikes in traffic will eliminate website outages and grow revenue.
    • Learn From Other’s Mistakes: During Cyber Monday 2013, Amazon’s webpage failed for about 30 minutes, costing the company almost 2 million dollars. Ensure you don’t miss out on sales and plan ahead for increased traffic.

#7 Reward Loyalty
Customers like to be rewarded for their loyalty to your brand. Gifting members of your loyalty program or email newsletter subscription list a discount or special offer can drive continued brand engagement and loyalty. Free shipping is the king of Cyber Monday, and it’s an easy way to incentivize loyal customers to shop. In addition, 68% of consumers would recommend a website that has free shipping and 65% have already recommended a retailer because of free shipping.

  • How To Do It –
    • Drive Loyalty Program Enrollment: Utilize Cyber Monday to offer free shipping to existing loyalty customers. In addition, encourage them to share the deal on social media driving their followers to your loyalty program enrollment. Drive sales, create new marketing contacts and enhance brand loyalty all at once!
    • Make Your Offer Interesting: Utilize interactive elements and GIFs or other animation in your offer to capture your loyalty program member’s attention and ensure they redeem your exclusive offer. Craft a subject line that triggers your customers curiosity or fear of missing out and leverages action words to grow email open rates.

#8 Don’t Let B2C Have All the Fun
Yes, when you think of Cyber Monday, the first things that comes to mind are B2C companies, but B2B marketers should get in on the holiday fun too! 94% of B2B buyers want suppliers to make their websites more approachable, like B2C retailers. Cyber Monday is a great time to reach out to your clients and provide them with some useful knowledge based content or discount subscription prices.

  • How To Do It –
    • Think About Your Recipients: Timing is everything, especially on Cyber Monday, when your recipients are going to be keeping an eye on their inboxes for compelling deals.  Nearly half of all Cyber Monday purchases in 2012 were made at work, meaning that hitting your customer’s work email with a deal or some informative content will get your message in front of their eyes.
    • Offer Value Through Knowledge: Cyber Monday is a great day to serve your consumers some knowledge wrapped in a layer of interactivity. Keeping your content interesting, relevant and compelling will ensure that your message reaches the right buyers.

#9 Include the Millennials
Millennials are a huge demographic, and forgetting to appeal to them could mean your holiday campaign takes a huge hit. Last year, 58% of millennials reported planning to spend more on Cyber Monday than they did the year before. Understanding who millennial customers are gift shopping for can give you insight into offers that will be most exciting for them.

  • How To Do It –
    • Keep It In The Family: The most common person that millennials shop for on Cyber Monday is their Mom, followed closely by their Dad and siblings. Offer deals to millennial recipients that makes shopping for holiday gifts for family easier and consider bundling products to target specific family members.
    • Take a Look at Snapchat: Everyone knows that millennials are all over Snapchat like Santa on a plate of cookies. Consider reaching this important demographic by crafting a fun lighthearted Snapchat campaign. Focus on building brand loyalty and involvement by providing entertaining content that offers millennials an experience that feels personal.

#10 Watch Your Timing
Hitting your consumers with relevant content or offers at the right time can ensure that they’re converted from potential customers to loyal brand advocates. On Cyber Monday, when email volumes are high, timing becomes increasingly important. Data collected by IBM indicates that online sales peaked at 11:25 AM EST. However, digital purchasing momentum remained strong into the remainder of the day, rising again dramatically after consumers’ evening commutes.

  • How To Do It –
    • Consider Shoppers’ Daily Routine: If your email list is comprised mostly of other marketers and digital industry professionals, you’re going to want to hit their inbox at a different time than if you communicate mostly with stay at home parents. Knowing your audience and considering how they spend their time can ensure you hit their inbox at the right moment for maximum redemption rates.
    • Don’t Forget About After Work: Many consumers won’t be able to shop during work hours, and aren’t motivated enough to get up early to shop before they start their day. Ensure that your offers run into the evening and hit customer’s inboxes later in the day, once they’re home and settled in, to guarantee a full day of sales.

However you choose to formulate your Cyber Monday Campaign, keep these tips in mind to maximize your marketing ROI, increase brand engagement, and encourage loyalty from your customers, as well as  capitalize on the enormous sales potential of the holidays. If you have more helpful tips for Cyber Monday Marketing, share them in the comments below!