As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent national lockdown, the UK celebrated its first digital Black Friday in 2020. With this, and the impact of Brexit, the last couple of years have undoubtedly been a challenging time for businesses, and many UK SMEs are looking for ways to capitalize on what is usually the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
Research reveals that while over a third of businesses completely cancelled their Black Friday activities in 2020, 55.4% continued with Black Friday campaigns either as planned, or with additional investment. With this in mind, we’re sure there are many SMEs looking to pivot their campaigns to prepare for an online Black Friday this year. To help, we've outlined some tips to target high-quality Black Friday leads.
The importance of personalization
When prospecting high-value leads during the Black Friday period, it's important to remember that it's unlikely these people are being targeted solely by your brand. To ensure your campaign encourages engagement from your target leads, it's vital that your brand is able to demonstrate that they know which topics and products are relevant and of interest to them.
In these situations, while a blanket offer may seem like a tempting solution, more specific, personalized offers are far more likely to be effective. In order to do this successfully, SMEs will need to research their leads, create relevant content and segment campaigns appropriately. The most effective campaign will grab the attention of your target leads and encourage them to open your messages, because you have offered them something above and beyond just a cheap price. While a simple discount may be effective in the short-term, it’s unlikely to lead to a long-term relationship.
Make it less about the hard sell
Black Friday can be a frenzy of sale messages but, ultimately, for a customer to make a purchase, businesses need to demonstrate the value of their product or service while giving them a reason to select their brand over that of a competitor. As deputy editor of insight specialist Bite, Izzy Ashton, states – “Marketing is now less about the hard sell, and more about pulling customers into a brand’s community”.
When targeting high-value leads, it’s essential SMEs create campaigns which sell the brand as well as the product or service. SMEs that are able to communicate why potential customers should choose their brand over competitors place themselves in the best position to secure those all important conversions. This is something that should be consistent across all of your marketing channels, including social media and email.
Create 'mobile first' campaigns
Black Friday is increasingly becoming a mobile affair - with 76% of all online traffic and 54% of all online orders being placed via mobile. Given that 46% of Statista survey respondents reported that their smartphone usage had increased during the pandemic, it’s crucial that campaigns are not just online friendly, but that they are specifically created for mobile.
Furthermore, SMS is rapidly proving a more popular communication channel, particularly over periods which are more competitive. After all, with texts, businesses can send messages directly to their customers' and leads’ mobile, which on average they pick up x58 a day. Consequently, it's unsurprising that customers are x35 more likely to see a brand's text message than their email. Bear this in mind when setting up your Black Friday marketing campaigns, as switching to a mobile-first campaign may well prove more successful.
Use retail trends to your advantage
The pandemic has undeniably impacted the way consumers shop, but a few of the trends emerging actually place small and independent businesses in a unique commercial position. Executive Editor of Retail Week, George MacDonald, has detailed how he believes we may be entering the ‘golden age’ of retail localization; the way this ‘golden age’ is described is as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for independent stores and SMEs to strengthen their unique place on the high street.
This is partly due to a huge surge in consumers embracing and supporting their local economy by choosing to shop at local delis and independent businesses during lockdown. Including messages and campaigns around shopping local could prove very valuable this Black Friday, especially for smaller businesses.
Adopt a creative and multichannel approach
In 2019, on Black Friday alone, retailers sent over 3 billion emails to prospects and customers. Combine this with text messages and social media marketing, and your Black Friday marketing campaign will likely cover all bases. A multi-channel communication approach is key for SMEs wanting to make an impact and really engage with their high-value leads.
Ultimately, the buzz around Black Friday presents a great opportunity for SMEs to convert high-value leads and this can be particularly fruitful for those in the retail sector, as it’ll help build momentum in the lead up to Christmas. As is the case with any sale, brands willing to get creative with their campaigns and produce content and offers which truly provide value to potential customers are the most likely to be successful.
About the Author
Demi Edmunds is a Specialist at leading SMS business communication services, TextAnywhere. TextAnywhere empowers organisations in the private and public sectors to communicate better with their customers and colleagues through their simple and intuitive online platform.