Shopify Ecosystem

Guide To Black Friday Marketing With Web Push Notifications (BFCM 2021)

guide-to-black-friday-marketing-with-web-push-notifications-(bfcm-2021)

Marketing your Black Friday sale is crucial. Since they are sent instantly and directly to your subscribers’ device screens, web push notifications are the perfect marketing channel for this time-sensitive sale. What’s more, you can even convert anonymous shoppers into subscribers, ensuring that you don’t miss out on store visitors who don’t want to leave their personal details.

But, planning how you’ll market your sale can be time-consuming. We’ve created this quick guide— complete with strategy, best practices, and examples— to help you plan and schedule your campaigns and optimize your automations to help you sell more during BFCM with web push.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

📚 Campaign ideas and a step-by-step strategy for the sale  🏆 Best practices when creating campaigns for BFCM  📈 Automations strategy and best practices for Black Friday

Campaign Strategy to Promote your Black Friday Sale

Set up campaigns to be sent before, during, and after Black Friday to maximize your engagement and drive more clicks and conversions for your sale. Here’s how we’d recommend marketing your sale, including the kind of campaigns to send and when to send it.

In fact, one Shopify Plus store sent a few web push campaigns last year during their Black Friday sale using PushOwl. Just one web push campaign generated $4,000 for their store! With a well-planned web push notification strategy for your BFCM sale, you can bring back subscribers and get them to shop during your sale. 

Pre BFCM: Set expectations

In the days leading up to BFCM, hype and building excitement for your sale, informing subscribers about the discount and any new releases they can look forward to.

You can also nudge shoppers to wishlist items they want to get. This way, you can easily get a purchase from subscribers when the sale begins, since they would already know what they want to get.

During BFCM: Send reminders

Schedule a campaign to be sent out as soon as your sale is live. Here are a few campaign ideas to help you plan out campaigns to be sent during BFCM:

Announcing the sale is live

Send a notification as soon as the sale starts, letting shoppers know that your sale is live and how long it will last.

Here’s how Arteza announced the sale to their subscribers:

Mid-sale reminder

Send out a mid-sale reminder about your sale, highlighting specific collections and letting subscribers know they have very little time to make the most of your big sale. Here’s what Mavi Jeans sent out to their subscribers for their Cyber Monday sale:

examples of good push notifications

Last chance notification – 6 hours before the sale ends

Send a reminder that your Black Friday sale will end soon, 6-8 hours before it does. This way, you can remind your subscribers to finish their shopping. 

Here’s how you can build on the urgency to shop before the Black Friday sale ends:

Black Friday marketing

You can also take inspiration from Ecigwizard’s Black Friday campaign that they sent out last year:

As you can see, these last chance notifications reinforce the discount that you’re offering and drive subscribers to your store if they haven’t already bought from you.

Advanced: Use segmentation to target specific subscribers

If you already send segmented campaigns to your subscribers, you can use segmentation to target specific subscribers and drive more conversions. Here are some campaign ideas for different customer segments:

  • Exclude shoppers who already bought from you in the last 7 days to ensure that you aren’t spamming them with promotions and only target subscribers who haven’t made a purchase.
  • Target loyal or VIP shoppers and send an exclusive offer just for them.

  • If you provide faster shipping or have specific shipping rates for shoppers in specific areas, target shoppers in these locations and send them a campaign around this offer. For instance, if you sell worldwide but don’t charge for shipping only for Australia, you can send a campaign to subscribers in Australia letting them know that their orders have free shipping!
  • Cross-sell a new collection or new products to shoppers who bought items that would pair well with the collection or product featured. So, for instance, if you sell clothes, you can send a loungewear collection promotion to shoppers who bought workwear from you earlier. 

Post BFCM: Give a chance to those who didn’t purchase

Many merchants run post-BFCM promotions even after the sale weekend, allowing shoppers who missed out on the sale to play catch up and grab their favorite items. If you run such post-BFCM sales, set up your last BFCM campaign a few hours after the sale weekend.

Ensure that this campaign states how this is a special exception and let shoppers know how long they have before this last chance sale ends.

Black Friday marketing

Pro-tip: Use Segmentation to exclude shoppers who bought during the sale weekend to avoid spamming them.

Best Practices for Creating Web Push Campaigns

Now that we’ve shared a strategy for your web push campaigns, here are some best practices to keep in mind when crafting your campaign.

1. Schedule your campaigns in advance

You probably have a lot to do during this time so it’s best to plan and schedule all your campaigns ahead of time. You can schedule your campaigns through the PushOwl dashboard and view them within the ‘Campaigns’ page on your dashboard.

2. Keep your copy short

Keep your title and message short and relevant (under 25 characters) to ensure that your promotion isn’t cut off. Stick to the two details you need to convey about the sale— 

  • How much discount is being given
  • When the sale ends

Read our blog about best practices for notification lengths. 

3. Use Shareable Discount Links

Besides mentioning the discount within your notification, make it easier for shoppers to redeem your offer by adding a shareable discount link to your campaign. This way, the discount is automatically applied when your subscriber checks out.

Follow these steps to add shareable discount links to your campaigns.

4. Use urgency words within your copy

Build importance over your time-sensitive sale by adding urgency words within your notification copy to drive more action. These can be used within your button or within your main title or message. Here are some words to start with:

  • Buy Now!
  • Don’t miss the sale.
  • Unlock deals!
  • Shop before it expires!

5. Drive action with buttons

Always add buttons to your campaign to give shoppers more direction after they read your notification. So, once your notification informs shoppers about your Black Friday sale, the button would then tell them to ‘Start shopping’ or ‘Check out bestsellers’, driving them to specific parts of your store.

Here are some button copy ideas for your Black Friday notifications:

  • Shop Black Friday 
  • Show me your deals!
  • View Bestsellers
  • Shop Mens / Shop Womens (For this, you can add two buttons, one for each gender)
  • Start shopping

6. Use the flash sale feature (Enterprise feature)

Since Black Friday is a short-lived sale, you don’t want your web push campaigns to be sent after the sale is over. Avoid negative experiences by enabling flash sale, a PushOwl feature that lets you add an expiry time to your web push notifications.

This way, your campaigns won’t be sent after the BFCM sale is over.

7. Exclude past buyers with Segmentation (Enterprise feature)

To ensure your subscribers have a great experience, use Segmentation to exclude subscribers who bought in the last few days. This way, you can avoid spamming subscribers and maximize engagement for the campaigns you send.

8. Don’t use Smart Delivery (Enterprise feature)

Don’t use Smart Delivery for any of your Black Friday campaigns.

Here’s why: Since it only sends campaigns during your subscriber’s active hours, Smart Delivery may stop your notification from being sent to specific subscribers. Instead, the system might detect that these certain subscribers are not active while your sale is running or less active as compared to weekdays. Due to this, you would not reach these subscribers at all, losing out on potential sales.

Setting up Automations for Black Friday

Besides campaigns, your automated notifications will also help you re-engage shoppers during this time. Once you’ve switched them on, customize these automations to make them more effective. Here’s what we recommend:

1. Customize the copy

Make the copy for your automations more specific to your sale, including the discount and building urgency about it.

For abandoned cart reminders, you can add the product name and use tailor your notifications to let shoppers know they’ll miss the discount if they don’t checkout soon. Here’s an example of a cart abandonment reminder sequence for Black Friday:

Black Friday marketing - cart recovery

The same works for browse abandonment notifications. You can nudge action and re-engage shoppers by driving them towards your interactive content like quizzes and lookbooks and highlight how little time they have to get your exclusive discount.

Since new subscribers will be discovering your brand for the first time, use your welcome notifications to greet them and let them know about your discount and when it’ll end. Use language that reflects your brand and use your buttons to take them to quizzes or specific collections like bestsellers.

2. Shorten the timing 

By default, your automations are set up to be sent out across a few days. But, due to how short the Black Friday sale is, it’s crucial to shorten the time delay and bring back shoppers who abandoned their cart or visited but took no action. Here’s our recommended timing for your abandoned cart and browse abandonment notifications:

  • 20 minutes for the 1st reminder
  • 1 hour for the 2nd reminder
  • 4 to 12 hours for the 3rd reminder.

For other automations, we’d recommend changing the time delay according to the kind of message you’ve set up and your goals for the automated notification.

3. Include the discount (and Shareable Discount Links)

Since your discount is your main highlight of the weekend, don’t forget to mention them across all your automated notifications. Make it easier for shoppers by adding a Shareable Discount Link to the notification or one of the buttons. Read our helpdesk to learn how to add these links.

Note: Don’t forget to switch your automated notifications back to default at the end of the sale to avoid sending wrong information to shoppers buying from your store after the sale.

Set up a winning web push strategy for Black Friday and sell more!

We hope this guide helps you promote your Black Friday sale and drive more traffic via web push during this time. If you need any help with your web push notifications during the sale, our support team is always available to give you a hand.

Here are some resources that might help you:

📚 Examples of web push campaigns sent by real brands

Special thanks to our friends at PushOwl for their insights on this topic.
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