Black Friday Marketing Strategy: Customer Retention

Black Friday customers featured

eCommerce brands mark Black Friday as a key event in their marketing calendars and prepare for it months before. The problem is that the majority of first-time customers buying during the Black Friday rush will never become return customers.

That’s not an unusual phenomenon – that’s what entrepreneurs would usually expect. After Black Friday, people might not even remember the name of the store where they ordered most of the products.

While true for many eCommerce businesses, it should not be the case for your online store. In this article, we are sharing the top strategies to help you convert impulsive Black Friday shoppers into loyal return customers who will love your brand.

Add Hooks To Order Confirmation Emails

Order confirmation emails have the highest CTR – 54% higher open rate than a regular email. It’s a good practice and often a requirement to send customers a receipt by email. 

In your order confirmation email, you can also offer another discount for customers to encourage them to buy again. For example, Tiny Thorns is thanking customers for ordering during Black Friday in their first email and sends a gift card worth $100.

Order Confirmation

To get a higher open rate of your order confirmation emails, use catchy subject lines. Don’t just limit yourself to conventional subject lines. Here are a few examples to get your creative juice flowing: 

  • Thanks for your order {customer name}
  • Here’s your receipt {customer name}
  • Order confirmed! What next?
  • We received your order

You can also personalize your subject line with a recipient’s first name or by including an emoji. Experiment more – consider writing emails using AI. There are various tools available that use huge amounts of data to make a prediction about email content that will perform the best.

Here are some of the elements the order confirmation email should include:

  • A thank-you message for ordering from your store. If you support some non-profit initiative, mention how your client’s order will change something. Here is an example – ”Thanks to your order, we can grow another tree”.
  • Make sure you send your email right after the order is placed. You have to create a feeling of safety among your clients reaffirming that their transaction has gone through successfully and the order is on its way.
  • Send some tips on how to use your product – for example, if you send a cooker, you can link to an article with some recipes on your blog. If you don’t have it yet, starting a blog around your products and their examples of use is a good way to engage customers to use a product and buy some add-ons as well. It’s also one of the ways to grow online traffic.
  • Add an incentive to buy again – a coupon code or the details about your special deal. Try to cross-sell some products – add relevant items to your email.

Plan Reactivation Flow Sequences

Think of the way to engage your Black Friday shoppers after the event using email sequences. As you have already fetched your client’s email address on the order page, you can send them special offers or other incentives after the BFCM event.

While it is worth giving customers another incentive in the form of a coupon code, it shouldn’t be the only way to get customers to browse your online store. You should remind them about your brand from time to time, so once they are ready to buy again, you will be right there with the right offer.

When it comes to the first email in your post-Black Friday sequence, you can encourage first-time buyers to continue spending money with you by offering some small discount. For example, Sephora offered $15. They also create a feeling of exclusivity by calling a discount a beauty insider reward card – this makes buyers feel appreciated.

Customer Rewards

When offering such discounts, make sure you create urgency – mention when the discount expires. Also, don’t make discounts valid for too long – giving a short time limit, users would want to check your offer quicker.

Use Retargeting Ads

eCommerce brands usually invest a lot into ads and creating social media content at the onset of Black Friday and it raises bids in auctions. As so many brands start competing for the same advertisement space, the cost of ad clicks and conversions skyrocket. 

After Black Friday, businesses cut down their marketing spend significantly and it offers new opportunities. Instead of phasing off your Black Friday campaigns completely, you can spend some advertisement dollars on retargeting Black Friday shoppers. 

You have at least two good options to try out – retargeting people who have purchased from your store during the BFCM season and showing your ads to people who have added some items to the cart, but haven’t finished their purchase. 

Remember that both groups should be big enough in size, so Facebook or Google can display ads to users. If both groups are too small, you should think of targeting a bigger group of people, so your ads can be displayed. For example, Facebook would require the group size of at least 1,000 active users during the last 30 days to start showing your ads.

Consider incentivizing shoppers by showing a coupon code – the same way Levi’s is doing it. Add a clear call to action and direct users to a landing page with the offer.

Retargeting Ads

Offer A Loyalty Program

Invite Black Friday clients to join a loyalty program right after they make their first purchase. You can add the mention about your loyalty program in the order confirmation email or promote it in the post-purchase email sequence. Also, you are not limited to only email promotion here as you can use other marketing tools as well such as sms or Facebook retargeting ads.

By promoting your loyalty program through various channels at once, you increase the chances for customers to notice its benefits and declare their participation. Make sure it is easy to join and you create a good incentive for customers to start using it. Otherwise, it will go unnoticed among busy shoppers.
Check out how this Italian luxury fashion retailer, LuisaViaRoma is creating an incentive to shop more. They launched a club that only active customers can enter. It offers early access to the items which quantities are limited. Being in the club means you can buy exclusive, limited edition products of recognized brands before others get access to it.

Loyalty Program

At the end of the day, you also have to analyze if your loyalty program works months after Black Friday. That’s why it’s worth looking into KPI reporting and choosing the right metrics to track progress.

Train Your Customer Support

Customer support is at the frontline of your business sales during BFCM sales and they have a direct contact with customers – by email, phone, chat, or even Messenger. Depending on how well you train your customer support agents, clients will either love or hate them. 

You have to create a positive impression about customer support during the hot discount season – we all know that. However, you can forget to use the touchpoints your agents establish with customers helping with returns, exchanges, payment issues, or checking shipping status.

It’s more likely that a customer will want to engage with another email or message coming from a helpful customer support agent than with another marketing email you send to their inbox. That’s why you should use the momentum shortly after the discount season is over and establish a process for your customer support agents to re-engage first-time shoppers.

Depending on what channels customer support used to contact your Black Friday shoppers, you can send a re-engagement message incentivizing customers to buy again.

It can be as simple as that: “Hi Jim, I am glad we could sort out the payment issue related to your order. I hope you enjoy using your new smart vacuum cleaner. I thought you might be interested in this limited edition of exclusive carpets – we have just added them to the online store so you would be one of the first customers to see them – we have only 20 in stock! Check them out here!”

By using conditional fields and automation, you shouldn’t create such emails or messages manually – they can be run on autopilot.

Use SMS Marketing 

The popularity and effectiveness of SMS marketing during BFCM have increased – you can see a boost in click and conversion rate in 2020 compared to the numbers from 2019. The graph below proves that consumers not only click the short links that brands add to their SMS, they also take action.

SMS Marketing Stats
SMS Click & Conversion Rates (Q3 2020), Source

Brands use SMS as a tool to promote their BFCM discounts, but they usually forget to continue with this strategy after the sales are over. Nevertheless, this technique is great for boosting consumer loyalty and getting Black Friday shoppers to return to your store for more. 

SMS marketing companies offer various features to make it easy for you to send targeted SMS containing a contextual message that drives people to first click and then convert. In your SMS, you can add the information about the previous purchase a shopper made and remind them about your offering. 

Then, you can suggest checking similar products again. Create an incentive to buy for the second time – add some coupon code or offer two products for the price of one (whatever works best for your brand).


Wrap Up

The Black Friday sales are all about emotions, a feeling of urgency to buy, and a fear of missing out on the best discounts of the year. Once the spell of the sales season is over, it’s unlikely consumers will want to buy from your store again (even if they still remember its name). 

However, you can use this biggest eCommerce event of the year to your advantage and utilize some smart techniques to convert first-time shoppers into loyal return customers. Apart from the Black Friday campaign, you should have the same action plan for what happens after the BFCM season is over. Hopefully, with the tips you have read in this article, you are more prepared than others. Time to make a checklist and put these tips into action!

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