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Nov 22

Category: In the News, Marketing & Business Development, Marketing Tips

With the Halloween decorations tossed back in the loft for another year, Guy Fawkes set alight across the country, consumers are now turning their sights to the next big calendar day ahead of Christmas, Black Friday. This American tradition has wiggled its way into British culture, sending bargain-hunters stir-crazy!

On what is considered to be the most chaotic annual shopping day in the US, the last decade has seen more and more retailers in the UK jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon, with Amazon and Apple being the original, early adopters. Since then, sales have soared. It is estimated that Brits plan to spend more than £7 billion across Black Friday and Cyber Monday, spending on average £220 each.

With shoppers already awaiting the anticipated discounts, can it be put down to clever marketing that has enticed us to shop both instore and online on this annual day?

The rise of online shopping in recent years has opened the gate for email marketing to directly target retailer’s customer base. The emergence of the latest trend, “pre-Black Friday” sales have seen an influx of emails being sent across the country within this short period, offering exclusive deals premature to Black Friday itself.

With consumers today being inundated with hundreds of emails daily, marketers need to ensure their emails convey something notably different to stand out from the backlog of work and junk mail. Below are two clever ways brands are grabbing their recipient’s attention.

1.    No Subject

Ever opened an email because you have no clue who it is from or its intention? A new tactic being used over and over again by marketers is spamming consumers inbox with a blank subject heading. In fact, in 2017, emails being sent to shoppers across the nation with a blank subject heading had the highest open rate in 2017 at 15.1%. Once opened, if the content of the email is engaging, fun and relevant to the recipient, conversion rates will inevitably soar.

2.    “FWD”, “RE”

The crafty technique of including the above terms in the subject line has also proved a growing success. Despite this seeming a very simple idea, the thought process behind it is actually very rational. By making it seem the email is in response to a previous message, recipient’s instantly think they have previously been engaged in conversation, and therefore are more likely to click into the email.

The rise of automation and segmented targeting is the latest venture marketers use across emails. And its impact on revenue has been extortionate. But why does it work? Grouping contacts by location, gender, age, buying history or viewing history gives you the opportunity to send emails that are more in touch with what subscribers are interested in. This personalised approach is likely to result in opening the email, clicking through and converting.

Year on year, e-commerce channels are on the rise, so large retail companies are stepping up their game to fight for a bigger piece of the market. All the stops are pushed out to over-step the big online giants, such as the likes of Amazon, who claim to have sold over 200,000 toys in the first five hours of Black Friday last year!     

Statistics are in their favour, revealing consumers are still prepared to tackle the crowds and run into the physical stores to find their best buys. 29% of consumers shop mainly in-store, with a little online shopping, compared to 16% of consumers shopping entirely in online stores.

So what is it that makes consumers fall into the trap of shopping in-store?

Marketers riddle stores with hidden techniques that entice a shopper inside, and once in, take complete advantage of all their senses to ensure you leave with a carrier bag in hand (eco-friendly of course). With Black Friday around the corner, stores will be turned upside down, inside out, to hit every consumer with the latest movement – FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out. The likes of Zara and discounted food retailers, such as Lidl, expertly position this, installing the impression that “when it’s gone, it’s gone” and therefore exclusive to their stores. This is also embedded across online stores with the dreaded countdown timer.

The harsh reality of Black Friday will be a contrasting parallel to the relaxed, open space of Apple stores. Allowing customers to spend untold amounts of minutes on their devices portrays a sense of exclusivity and innovation to consumers, making them want to carry this on in the comfort of their own home.

Without a doubt, the floods of emails over the past couple of days have already been putting Christmas present ideas in your head. With the feeling of completely missing out on the biggest deals of the year, we know you’ve already fallen into the trap of splashing the cash on Black Friday and therefore marketer’s tricks of the trade have successfully worked.

Times such as these are a marketer’s paradise, and without the ongoing reminders every hour of the day, from emails, to TV ads and flashing billboards, you would be silly to miss out!

Happy Shopping!

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3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, strategy & transformation, and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at 3search.co.uk