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WEBINAR OVERVIEW Black Friday is coming: will you be ready?

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In a recent InternetRetailing webinar, Black Friday is coming: will you be ready, Kestrel Lemen, marketing strategist at Bronto Software , looked ahead to peak shopping season, and at how retailers can best prepare their email marketing campaigns ahead of that very busy Christmas shopping period. Here’s a bulletpoint overview of the main points that she covered.

“It’s a topic very near and dear to my heart and one I’m already talking about on a daily basis,” said Kestrel Lemen, marketing strategist at Bronto Software, (pictured left), as she opened the webinar with an analysis of how popular Black Friday was in the UK market last year.

• In the UK Black Friday 2014 saw 181m site visits and £810m spent. The search term ‘Black Friday sales’ was searched for 235% more than at the same time last year.

• “In the UK this isn’t a day off. It may well be this isn’t as big for brick and mortar stores but it is for online.”

Poll: Have you started to plan for Christmas 2015 (Black Friday) yet? Yes: 77% No: 23%

• Setting goals for Black Friday 2014: base line: how did last year perform, and what’s the goal for next year? “If you can’t measure on it you’re not going to be able to improve it,” said Kestrel.

Poll: Last Christmas did you run a Black Friday sale? Yes: 63% No: 37%

• Plans for 2015: go beyond Black Friday and Christmas messages: other ideas include flash sales, singles day, Cyber or Mega Monday, weather related, last day for shipping. “It doesn’t need to be just one or two campaigns you do during Christmas, there are a variety.”

• Pick the right campaign for the audience.

Examples: Chanel, House of Fraser

• Pick three campaigns for your audience and work out with the team how to make those work. Doesn’t have to be discounting for Black Friday – other Christmas campaigns can work well.

• Plan a cohesive Christmas look: reflecting Christmas need-to-know information. eg: delivery and gifting.

• Address customer concerns head on: eg delivery deadlines, returns information.

• Plan ahead to avoid bad customer experiences.

• Agree on key performance indicators mid-season eg revenue per message, per month, open rates per message and contact loss per week.

• Have a back-up plan: from emergency contacts to the fall back plan.

• Moving on from Black Friday and Christmas: Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day.

• Plan to look back at what worked, what didn’t: measure revenues, top selling products, ask which campaigns worked best, and which less well. Set a date for January.

• Moving on from the webinar: what’s the Christmas plan? Can you make shopping easier? What are the goals? What’s the easiest, first thing learned from the webinar to put into place?

Kestrel Lemen’s presentation was followed by a Q&A session.

To watch the webinar again, see the slides and hear the Q&A session, visit our IRTV page here.

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