Email DesignNataly Birch • October 28, 2019
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are marked with red ink on every retailer’s calendar. Combined, these dates offer an excellent opportunity to increase revenue. They are peak volume days when potential clients are eager to wander around digital stores.
Use email newsletters to drive traffic directly to your website and channel it in the right direction. When skillfully designed and sent at the right time, they can work magic. They deliver a message, engage subscribers, boost income, and build strong relationships. Their success depends on several factors, and the timing is the most crucial.
We have already highlighted the basic principles of good email campaigns as well as considered highly converting subject lines; it is time to maximize your strategy with proper timing.
Start with Email Design
Before we move into finding the best time to send an email for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we need to make sure that the design of our newsletter will not fail us nor disappoint the audience. Therefore, it should comply with best practices of email newsletters such as:
- Have a themed look
- Include an attractive offer or offers
- Highlight the value of your deal
- Stress a deadline
- Include brand identity
- Meet the mood of the event
- Do not bore the audience
- Do not overwhelm users with too many options
- Has optimal readability
- Be straight to the point
Check out our guides to get more information.
Also, ensure several vital things.
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- First, you should have good deliverability rate, even on the busiest days of the year.
- Second, your email should look great across various email readers. Pay attention to the limitations of using images, gifs, and emojis.
- Finally, your email newsletter should look good on small and large screens.
If you do not have time to create a design that will look great across numerous devices, and email readers, you can use special tools that will do all the heavy lifting. Consider Postcards for that.
Postcards is a free HTML email template builder with a drag-and-drop interface where you can quickly create a template without coding. Inside you will find more than 100 functional blocks that have responsive behavior, elegant design features, and most importantly work consistently across all popular email readers.
How Many Emails to Send for BFCM
According to recent statistics, November (the month when BFCM campaigns are sent) have an average open and click rates that are lower than usual. Many reasons cause this, but one of the most obvious is that hundreds of emails will bombard subscribers’ inboxes. Even if people want information, this flood is just too much. Therefore, you need to be ready to face the harsh reality where your email newsletter will go unnoticed, and your rates see a decline.
However, it does not mean that something is wrong with your strategy. It just indicates that you need to be tougher and more creative. One email newsletter is not enough to get through the door, to say nothing about encouraging subscribers to open the email and click the call-to-action button. You need more to do the trick.
Several strategies imply sending out more than one or two emails. Let us consider the most popular ones.
The first strategy covers the period from early November to early December. It aims to:
- Nurture your audience
- Build momentum
- Create engagement
It primes subscribers long before the big day. Send teasers the week after Halloween. During the entire month of November, including Thanksgiving Day, drums up interest and butter up the audience.
Consequently, by BFCM weekend subscribers are truly excited and looking forward to an email from you. Numerous retailers, some of whom are the goliaths of industry, adopt it from year to year. And it works.
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The second strategy bets everything on the BFCM weekend. It implies sending out emails during the sale window that is from Friday (or one or two days before Friday) to Monday (or two days after it). Here you can send two emails a day. As a rule, they will be packed with psychological tricks. So be ready to:
- Stress urgency
- Underline scarcity
- Use magic words, such as “Exclusive” or “VIP”
- Place huge bold “SALE” message
What’s more, you should make the most out of the transactional emails such as abandoned cart notices or follow-up emails.
Note both these strategies involve sending multiple emails. While it may seem like overkill, however, bear in mind customers will be hit with hundreds of newsletters during BFCM weekend so this will increase your chances of success.
The Best Day to Send BFCM Emails Is…
There are several strategies designed to improve BFCM email campaigns, and one of them implies sending out email newsletters as early as possible. Many experts and skilled marketers adhere to this scheme since they will be able to build anticipation and generate excitement.
If this is your strategy, the best day to start sending out BFCM email blasts is a week after Halloween. The day after All Saints’ Eve is often regarded as the start of the holiday season, but wait until the fuss around it settles down. By then, subscribers will be ready to receive another dose of offers. Do not bombard your contacts with teasers. Drop them a line once or twice a week building anticipation unobtrusively, preferably on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (the most favorable days of the week to send out the email newsletters, according to stats published by Mailchimp).
Source: Mailchimp Insights
What if you are not a fan of premature campaigns? In this case, you start sending BFCM emails right before Thanksgiving Day and consider combining it with a gift card. Note sending out the first email newsletter directly on the big day is considered a bad practice and leads to little or no results.
Best Time to Send an Email Newsletter
If you send an email too early, chances are your best offer will sink in inboxes. If you send it too late, it will sit unopened and may be forgotten.
With the busiest shopping weekend of the year, you will not have many opportunities to be heard. Knowing the time of the day when subscribers will be waiting for your email is the way to success.
To determine the best period for sending out BFCM email blasts, you need to analyze open rates and click-through rates since they give insights about the time when your contacts are mostly engaged in your emails.
According to recent studies that analyzed the period from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., there are two absolute winners. The best times to send out emails are 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. These times show the highest open rates. The reason for this is that usually at that time people open their inbox and go through them. Some evening hours can also be regarded as an alternative; 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. are other options.
Source: Mailchimp Insights
These studies are based on the open rate. However, what about click-throughs? After all, it is a more important number. The situation is no different. These four times still show the best CTR with 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the lead.
To sum up, there are four most convertible times – 10 a.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. – that are recommended and statistically proven to send out email newsletters for Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. However, 4 p.m. sees an uptick in both open and click rates. Therefore, if you want to bet everything on just one email, then you should probably go for this time.
If you are eager to send more than one eblast then you should make a small interruption between these two. For instance, send the first one in the morning and the second at 4 p.m.; or start at 4 p.m. and then send a reminder in the evening. In this case, you will have a better chance to get the attention of subscribers and drive traffic to your website.
Use A/B Tests to Polish Timing
We have determined the best hours to send out email newsletters. But there is a catch. There is not, and never will be, a one-size-fits-all answer.
The Mailchimp team has analyzed thousands of campaigns and found that optimal send times by hour of day differ for various groups of people. For instance, if you are targeting Egyptians, then the best time to send an email blast is at 1 p.m., whereas those who want to reach Spaniards need to send at 10 a.m.
Source: Mailchimp Insights
Your target audience is unique therefore the best time for sending out email newsletter may vary a bit. The weekend after Thanksgiving Day may also bring changes in behavior patterns and preferences. To draw conclusions about the best delivery times, conduct A/B tests during the year and right before the event. What’s more, if you have been running email marketing campaigns for a number of years, then you should use data from last year since it can provide helpful insights.
Use A/B tests to determine a specific delivery window and properly segment your audience based on preferences in time. Moreover, clean your subscription list to check who is still active, retarget customers who abandon their carts, and send out the offer on a schedule that works best for your subscribers.
Finally, yet importantly, keep in mind that BFCM weekend is a holiday period. People will be engaged in shopping and various social activities. Therefore, stats collected during past events will help you polish your tactics.
Thanksgiving, as well as the weekend after it, are massive email days. Subscribers’ inboxes will be flooded with deals and offers. It is a noisy time with the toughest competition ever, so everything should be perfect. For that reason, do not neglect timing.
Much like the subject line is the first impression of your email, it is also responsible for open rates that may lead to better CTR and growth in revenue.