Alegria Adedeji
Alegria Adedeji
Posted 24 October 2018

Have a winning Cyber Weekend: Lessons learned from Black Friday 2017

As with most things in life, great results come from assessing what happened before and improving it. The annual Black Friday retail bonanza is no different.

As this is one of the busiest periods for retailers, it’s easy to resort to old ‘batch-and-blast’ habits for the sake of increased revenue. A few minor tweaks can be all that’s needed to achieve better engagement, standing out from the Cyber Weekend crowd and positively impact long-term relationships with customers.

We analysed hundreds of thousands of marketing interactions for Black Friday 2017 to spot the biggest trends. In this post we’ll take a look at how you can use those trends to your advantage; applying last-minute changes that take your campaigns from mass send to mass appeal.

Black Friday 2017: an 150% increase in on-site visits across the four day Black Friday period compared to the rest of the year


New call-to-action What that means for you this year: As customers swarm to your site, you want to ensure you capture as many details and as much marketing consent as possible, so you can continue to market to new visitors after the festive hype has died down. 

  • Have a prominent sign-up overlay with clearly marked CTAs to capture opt-in from first-time shoppers with you.
  • Increased visitors on-site means you’ll likely be sending more browse abandonment campaigns. Whether it’s incorporating personalised product recommendations, segmenting by lifecycle stage or adding cross-channel retargeting for those that don’t engage with your emails, this post will walk you through how to take your abandonment emails to the next level.
Black Friday 2017: Many Black Friday 2016 shoppers didn’t return in 2017 (but did shop throughout the rest of the year)

What that means for you this year:

  • Create opportunities to reactivate your past Black Friday shoppers with targeted emails. Those who have shopped with you in previous years are likely to be easier to engage than those who have never shopped with you before; create a targeted email to those who have previously shopped in the festive season reminding them of why they shopped with you before. If the past shoppers aren’t as engaged on email, nudge them back towards making a purchase using targeted social ads, SMS or, if you have time, direct mail.
Black Friday 2017: Number of orders continued to rise year on year compared to previous Black Fridays

What that means for you this year: A purchase – whether from a new customer or someone who has purchase before – is a vital step in the customer journey, and the perfect opportunity to set up many future purchases to come. As a result, ensuring your post-purchase campaigns are up to scratch is really important. It’s a perfect time to rethink your strategy for the season and make the most of the surge in sales . Tweak your timings so that you engage with shoppers more frequently, incentivise a festive follow-up purchase or encourage loyalty in a VIP shopper with ‘free delivery’ or other perks.

Black Friday 2017Email was one of the most lucrative channels

What that means for you this year:

  • Automation: By tweaking your automation campaigns around the festive season, you can increase engagement and revenue during the Black Friday period. Whether shortening the times between cart abandonment follow-ups, ensuring that you communicate key festive dates and deals in your welcome campaign, using dynamic content like product recommendations to truly personalise the Cyber weekend experience for existing customers (as it often can suffer during the busy period), a well thought out automation campaign can make a huge difference. Don’t shy from segmenting marketing messages to specific customers to encourage them to spend more or again with you.
  • Newsletters: This is an opportunity to maximise segmentation (sending loyal and returning Black Friday customers different messaging), using product recommendations to cross-sell and up-sell and offer incentives prior to the Cyber Weekend for VIP customers.


Black Friday, and the Cyber Weekend, continue to be huge winners in the retail calendar but this doesn’t mean that the customer experience should suffer, nor should you presume that last year’s shoppers will be making a swift return – unless you engage with them.

Starting your Cyber Weekends campaigns even a week before the shopping surge may make all the difference for customer experience – especially if aimed at your most loyal and VIP shoppers. Preparation is the key to success during this time, so whether you tweak your automated campaigns to suit the fast pace of the weekend or take a bit of extra time to craft broadcasts for newly-signed up members – these small changes make a huge difference.

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