3 Essential Steps to Get Black Friday and Cyber Monday Ready Published October 31, 2017 In this blog post, we explore three essential steps eCommerce brands should follow to get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday as this crucial sales period approaches. On a regular day 215 billion emails are sent globally. With strong consistent sales growth figures attributed to Black Friday and Cyber Monday we are expecting that volume to significantly increase. Last year, here at Pure360 we saw a 50% increase in campaign traffic being sent through our servers on Black Friday compared to the preceding Friday, as the graph below shows: Increased traffic means all major domain mail servers, like Gmail and Microsoft, will be under severe load to process your email in a timely manner. Here at Pure360, we are implementing more system resources and setting up specific data analytical tools for our support team to help with your email enquiries. With such a huge spike in traffic, it is important to make sure you are campaign ready. Ensuring your campaign messages are designed and tested well before Thursday 23rd November is crucial. So, what steps do you need to take to make this happen? Read on to find out what you should be doing—and when—to ensure you make the most of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns. 1) Engagement Between ten and twenty days in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you need to start identifying engaged customers. This is crucial to a successful delivery on the day. By sending out to engaged recipients first, you can get your Black Friday and Cyber Monday party started quickly and easily with minimal fuss. How to engage customers? Easy, start with a teaser campaign. Send out a teaser campaign in the run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, give a hint on your offer and maybe include a link to a webpage with teaser details. Using this data can help you identify who to send your campaigns to first. 2) Creative Between five and ten days in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you need to make sure your creative messages are all in place and good to go for the big day. Remember your creative test sends are sent out through the same channels as campaigns. Priority will be set for campaigns first—so make sure all your creative is fully designed, built, and tested in advance. Test sends can show you the creative layout, but the best way to test click through behaviour is sending a mini campaign. Upload a test list which consists of your email address and that of a handful of colleagues and run a baby campaign. Test each and every link. You want to spend the big day processing orders (and maybe even checking out some deals for yourself) rather than sorting out misdirected traffic. 3) List management Between one and five days in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you need to get on top of list management. Not only do you need to upload your list, but you need to segment it down into a number of groups, recently engaged, Hotmail/Outlook based domains, and not engaged. So why do you want to segment based on domains such as Hotmail, Outlook and AOL? Microsoft is one of—if not the—largest email provider. As a result their mail servers will be under tremendous load handling traffic—they will instruct senders to throttle back on sending speed so they can process all the deliveries. By including these domains in your sends straight away you can positively impact the total delivery time of your campaign. Segment your lists down into clicked in the last 20 days, opened in the last 30 days, then build additional segments based on the email domains and long term unengaged. Finally, schedule your campaigns using various lists—but don’t forget to disable ITS (intelligent time sending) due to the delays encountered on the mail servers during this busy period. Takeaway By following these three key steps you can prepare for a successful Cyber Monday and Black Friday period and reap the rewards in increased sales. For any questions on this please feel free to schedule a strategy call with us by emailing email@example.com referencing Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you haven’t got behavioural marketing and personalisation technology in place—or are thinking of switching—find out more about our eCommerce solution.