BFCM Email Marketing: How-to and Starting Your Campaigns Early

Ava
Shopify Staff

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The Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) rush is the perfect time to showcase your store to a huge audience. Between BFCM 2019 and 2020, there was a 76% increase in shoppers online; and it shows no sign of slowing down for 2021. How do you become a part of that? How do you grab the attention of online shoppers now in time for BFCM sales? And how do you turn BFCM shoppers into long time repeat customers? 

Email marketing is a great way to set this up! You can get your current customer base ready for upcoming offers you’re running, plus get your new visitors signed up so you can reach out to them throughout the rest of the year. We’ll share some tips here on how to gather emails, create your content and decide on a schedule. You’ll be a pro in no time!

Gathering your base

First things first - getting people to sign up for email marketing. The best way you can convince a customer to hand their information over to you is to give them something in return. You can offer customers a discount code once they sign up, or (depending on your business) offer a downloadable PDF/style guide/exclusive content. Offering something of value back will make it more likely that your customers will sign up for your newsletter.

You could hold an exclusive multi-day workshop or challenge too! In exchange for your customer's name and email, you would be providing them with something of value. This is usually a free training video or guide, but you can put your own spin on this. For example - if you’re a crafter or maker, you can offer your customers a ‘how to’ guide to how you make your products, or how you use your materials. 

If you aren’t sure about creating free guides or PDF downloads, you can instead offer a regular blog or newsletter! You’ll be providing information for free as a way to build relationships, build your authority, and gently entice people towards your business. For your blog, you can focus on writing topics that focus on your business and offer some industry insights you can share with your customers. Things like top 10 lists, tips, behind-the-scenes info on your business, how you pack your orders - whatever you think is interesting to your audience! And once you’ve got the inspiration you need, you can get started with writing the blog itself.

These names can be gathered from your site in a few different ways. The most common is the newsletter signup on the footer of your store, but you can also collect them at the end of the checkout process. Customer emails can be managed from within the admin. You can head to Customers > Email Subscribers to see who has signed up for email marketing. Be sure to check out our guide on the different ways you can collect customer info for your newsletter and email marketing campaigns. 

Types of Newsletter Content

There are a couple of different kinds of content you can create for your email marketing campaigns. Some of this content you can save as templates so it’s easy to send when you need it. For example, when a new customer signs up, you can send them a welcome email to introduce yourself. This can be one welcome email, or a series of up to three emails spaced two to three days apart; whichever fits best for you and your brand. In these welcome emails, you can introduce yourself and your brand while linking to your social pages so they can follow you across platforms which would allow you to thank them for signing up.

Newsletter content is the backbone of your email marketing - this is how you keep customers up to date with current announcements, new products, and allows you to storytell to maintain your brand and share your message; basically anything worth sharing! Creating a different template for each type of newsletter you will share (announcements/storytelling/updates), will make it easier to edit to your needs and ship quickly.

Sales emails are the most common type of email marketing - you probably have some in your own inbox right now! These are intended to sell your brand, your products, your services to your customers and entice them to visit your site to make a purchase. These work best when they are strategically sent once or twice per month in addition to your weekly content. You can share things like testimonials or reviews from past customers, or highlight a product you sell that could solve a problem for them. Try not to overwhelm customers with sales pitches; they are most likely getting promotional emails from other brands too, so contacting them too often could lead them to unsubscribe.

Crafting Content: Subject Lines

The subject line of the emails you send can be a crucial part of the customer deciding if they will even open the content you share. You can go with something simple like ‘Let’s get to know each other', or something funny to stand out in their inbox, or add some urgency with lines like ‘Discounts for tomorrow only’. Asking questions can also capture attention, so you could try lines like ‘Do you need something to brighten up your home decor?’ or ‘Can’t decide on an outfit for your next big event? We’ve got you covered!’. Anything you can think of that will make your emails stand out in your customer's inbox would be great. This may take some experimentation on your part, you can try different examples to see what works best.

Crafting Content: Writing Copy

The main body of your email is where you’ll get your most important points across. Try your best to make this sound conversational rather than an advertisement. Think of how you speak with a friend or colleague as if you were updating them on your store, or telling them about a new product you want to stock; letting your personality shine through while maintaining your brand voice will help foster relationships with your customers over time! 

One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you add a Call to Action button at some part of your email. This is crucial in whether or not your customers decide to click (convert) and continue to follow your brand. It’s best not to be too pushy here! Some examples you can use would be ‘Show me more’, ‘continue reading’, 'click here for the next step’, ‘take me to sign up’, whatever you think works best for your needs.

Now that you have a better idea of what you should write, here are some things you should avoid to make sure your email doesn't get marked as spam by your customer's mail server and all your hard work goes to waste! Avoid using too many gifs or emojis, and keep exclamation marks to a minimum. You should avoid sounding too sales-y by removing words from your subject line like:

  • Urgent
  • Click here
  • Offer expires
  • Limited Time
  • Cash or money
  • Winner
  • Free or Free Gift
  • Instant Access

This is not an exhaustive list, but it will help get you started. Be sure to include a physical address for your business (PO boxes are also accepted), and an unsubscribe button on all emails. The CAN-SPAM Act requires that all email marketing must include a clear unsubscribe link and physical address, so these are important to include in every email. 

Be sure to check out our Best Email Practices guide for a more in-depth look at what you can do. 

Shopify Email

Now that you know how to approach crafting your emails, you can get started with the actual crafting! A great resource you can use is Shopify Email! With Shopify Email, you can send 2,500 free emails per month. You can send additional emails beyond the 2,500 free emails at a cost of $0.001 USD per additional email. For example, sending 1000 additional emails would cost you $1 USD.

There are a few different mail apps you can use like Klaviyo: Email Marketing & SMS or Privy ‑ Pop-Ups, Email, & SMS to collect customer info, plan your campaigns or create newsletter pop-ups. 

There is a full walk-through of how to use Shopify Email to set up campaigns here, as well as additional information if you click the relevant links in the guide I’ve mentioned. Be sure to check out the FAQ guide here if you’re not sure about any part of the process so far. 

Happy Selling!