3 min read

#68. Black Friday Cyber Monday Strategy: The Early Bird Opt-In

Written by Vira and Alissa
3 min read

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Black Friday sales are starting earlier this year. With supply chain woes and potential postal service backups on the horizon, experts are saying an “earlier-is-better” mentality is recommended this year.

The early bird opt-in is a great way to get your list primed and ready for the big shopping days, but it’s also a really good strategy when you want to get them on board before the holiday season starts!

Listen to the episode and leave us a review! Then, take a screenshot of your review, and send it to us and we will send you customized Flowium socks 🙂

You’ll learn

  • The idea of Early Bird Opt-In strategy
  • What should you offer to opt-in?
  • What is VIP automation and what to send in that flow? 

Links mentioned in this episode

Andriy: Hi, thank you for listening to Email Einstein. This is Andriy, the founder of Flowium. I have a quick announcement to make. We got great news for you. Now, listening to our podcast comes not only with practical advice from our host and valuable insights from our guests, but also prizes. If you enjoy our podcast, take a moment to leave us review you on Apple Podcast, and we will send you a pair of coolest Flowium socks. And since we know you may be busy later, post this episode now, go to Apple Podcast and share your review with our community. After you do go to flowium.com/socks to request the prize.

Vira: We do have a little fun strategy for you to try this Black Friday, Cyber Monday season. That's something that we are using already for our clients.

Alissa: Welcome to Email Einstein, a podcast by Flowium. It's time to start honing your inner marketing Einstein. Tune in for the data-driven tips, that'll make you a marketing genius. Here you'll find email marketing formulas and tips, straight from brilliant, mad scientists at Flowium. It's time for your emails to start earning more money. It's time to unleash your Einstein. Hello. Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of Email Einstein. Vira and Alissa here as always. We are two email marketers at an email marketing agency called Flowium. If you guys don't know how this goes by now, I don't know what to tell you. We say the same thing every week. So I hope you're saying it along with us whenever we say it.

Alissa: Vira and I are super passionate about email marketing and because we love what we do. We want to share our insights with you. Flowium am is one of the fastest growing email marketing agencies in the world. We specialize in providing a premium, full service e-commerce email marketing experience for all of our clients. Our service is tailored specifically for your business and is designed to help increase your online retail revenue, deliver the right message to the right person at the right moment. That's what we're all about here at Flowium, and we are continuing with this Black Friday trend. So Vira, take us away with episode number 68.

Vira: Yeah. We're going to talk about the most awaited day of the year for all of us in e-commerce. Well, technically don't be fooled by the name that suggests that Black Friday is a single day. It's not, not anymore anyways. Maybe five, six years ago, I still remember it being like the day, like one day. They start the sales like early in the morning, like 5:00 AM and they end them at 10:00 PM. Well, it's not like that anymore. Black Friday sales are starting earlier every year. And we've always seen like pre-Black Friday events, like in early November, maybe some stores that the featured product of the week, or like some lower discount or something, but this years retailers have started doing promotions, honestly, as early as October.

Alissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Vira: And some of it is because of the COVID pandemic and like delays with all of the shipments and everything, and there are a lot of issues with supplying chain these days, right? So everyone started doing them earlier. So earlier is the better. The earlier the better mentality is recommended this year. Maybe it's going to change next year, we don't know but we do recommend to start your Black Friday, Cyber Monday promotions earlier this year. And actually, Amazon has already begun offering some Black Friday worthy deals literally weeks ago in October, they did have the sale for their AirPods, not for their, but for the AirPods. They had some TVs on sales, blenders, all that good stuff. And Best Buy is doing them already so I know that new and epic deals are reportedly dropping daily. So if you guys are on Amazon, watch for the new deals, because they have started doing them in like early October and they will continue doing them until probably like mid December or so.

Alissa: Wait, Amazon is doing them too. You're kidding.

Vira: Oh yeah. Some Amazon sellers are doing them too. So there are some products said Amazon sells as a brand, right, or as a platform, they have their own like stuff, but there are also like smaller vendors that are selling their products on Amazon. So everyone kind of started doing some discounts earlier this year-

Alissa: Oh my gosh! Don't tell my husband.

Vira: Best Buy, they do have a lot of good stuff as well. Yeah. I think even stores like Walmart has already started doing some promotions, at least. I remember in the past it was always, the promotions were starting like after Halloween, but early November. But this year and even last year, we've seen a lot of brands who were doing it as soon as October, right?

Alissa: Gosh, at the earliest too, it's aggressive right now. It's really aggressive.

Vira: I mean, honestly I don't mind, because I hate the Black Friday craziness so I would rather purchase things that I need earlier, like before Christmas, months before Christmas so I am sure that they will deliver them in time for the holidays because it's crazy, last year I ordered a freaking sweater or sweatpants from H&M. My shopping is not as exciting as it used to be back in the day, sweatpants it is. I ordered my sweatpants at H&M and I was waiting, I'm not kidding you, until Christmas. After the Christmas was when I received my sweatpants. I was like, I could have literally walked 200 meters to the mall, because I was living 200 meters from the mall. But no, I decided to online shop and I've been waiting for months. And I don't think this year it's going to get better, honestly.

Alissa: It's worse this year.

Vira: All of my clients are saying that there are some supply chain issues and yeah, so be prepared guys. And we have a little fun strategy for you to try this Black Friday, Cyber Monday season.

Andriy: Are you ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holidays? Is your marketing strategy set and up to speed with new trends? I'm excited to announce that we released our first Flowium book, which covers the latest email marketing strategies for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holidays. You can grab your own copy today at flowium.com/holiday. This book will help you to maximize customer growths and revenue through the busiest season of the year.

Vira: Alissa, share the fun strategy that we have prepared. That's something that we are using already for our clients.

Alissa: Yeah. So we have this strategy called the Early Bird Opt-In. This is a fun, different strategy for you to offer to your clients if you're an email marketeer and also for you to do for your own business, if you have your own e-commerce business. So we actually first kind of discovered the strategy in 2017, which is a long time ago. So you're probably thinking why the heck didn't you mention us the strategy last year. We had other things right? A bigger fish to fry last year, that fish being COVID. So there was a lot of distraction last year, but with the help of Ezra Firestone, which a lot of you know, is a big name in the email marketing world. I actually follow him on Instagram. Well, I watch his stuff through the Flowium Instagram. I don't have Instagram, but... and he's a very cool dude to follow so, he may or may not have invented this strategy, but he is the person who we know does it every year for his brands and he humbly shares with others how to do the same.

Alissa: So let's talk about the what and how behind this Early Bird Opt-In strategy. So the idea behind it is to create a buzz about your Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals long before the actual days. So what Vira has been talking about to kind of start us off is, a lot of these promos that we see, they're happening a lot sooner in the year, a lot earlier in the year. I think Macy's even did Black Friday in July or something crazy like that.

Vira: Oh yeah.

Alissa: And yeah, as I'm talking, I'm saying when you talk about the buzz around these big promos, you're doing it weeks or even months before the holidays actually take place. And the reason why you want to do this is you want to do it to build anticipation like they do in movies with the teasers. So Apple, for example, is a great model behind this anticipation. They build anticipation and curiosity for all their product launches. So people get absolutely obsessed with what's going to happen, what's Apple going to release, what's going to go down, what's the new iPhone going to look like, what's the new MacBook going to look like, the new desktop going to look like? And even though for the most part, nothing gets Apple, an apple girl through and through, I always will be. But for the most part, a lot of their launches are a little bit underwhelming, recently anyways, but we still get obsessed, right? We hear about a product launch and we still freak out in the anticipation that maybe something big will launch. So you can, and you should absolutely leverage the same technique for your store.

Alissa: So the best way to do it is creating a simple landing page that has an opt-in form embedded into that landing page. And on that page, you should tell customers exactly what it's about, what customers will get by opting in and what they should expect once they have already opted in. So this is like very straightforward, layman's terms. We're talking through this, like in a very simplistic way. So if this is the first time you're ever listening to the podcast, I hope that we're using words that are simple enough for you to understand, very straightforward to start this off. The other thing is there are always hacks if you are not a developer or not a website builder.

Alissa: So if building landing pages isn't really your thing, you can use a tool like a Shogun, or Zipify. Zipify even has a template for this Early Bird Opt-In strategy. And funnily enough, Zipify is actually owned by Ezra Firestone who introduced the strategy to us. So that's not coincidental, I'm pretty sure that was intentional. And just as a note, this episode is not sponsored in an any way, shape or form by Zipify or Ezra Firestone.

Alissa: So the next step is, so now that you understand kind of the what and the how behind this strategy, then we want to focus on what you should be offering for customers to opt in. So a typical offer is in the form of early access to the pending sale, right? The promotion that's coming up and it's generally one or a few days earlier. So you don't actually have to disclose the discount amount you plan to give your customers during the promo period. So all you say is you give them an offer that is sooner than what most other people would receive, whether or not it's higher, lower, that's up to you. And after the customer opts in, they should receive some kind of confirmation email from your brand that shows that they are in and they'll be the first ones to know about the upcoming sale.

Alissa: So once this is all set up, right? So now we're kind of going backwards. Once you set up the landing page before someone even kind of opts in, you'll want to promote the landing page as much as possible to get as much traffic and traction on that page as possible. So here are some suggestions on how to kind of do that. You can send a dedicated email to your existing email subscribers that announces the early bird sale and then sends them to the landing page, of course. You can add banners to your campaigns and automation emails about the early bird offer and a little quick side tip here is to make the banner disappear for anyone who has already opted in for the early bird sale, that's really easy to set up in a platform like Klaviyo.

Alissa: You definitely want to promote this early bird option to everybody on all your social media channels. So Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, whatever it is that you're using, you want to promote it in your, if you have a private customer Facebook group or like a VIP Facebook group, you want to promote it in there. You want to create popup CTAs on your website and redirect people to that landing page. And honestly, if you have the budget for it, we'd recommend running some paid ads to audiences based on those who opted in above as well. So those are just some very high level, easy peasy, ways that you can promote the landing page as much as possible. But again, you want to promote it as quickly and as soon as possible, mainly you want to get people to opt in, get, build that anticipation, build the excitement.

Alissa: Best timeframe would be first few weeks in October. So again, you can get as many leads as possible and there's a bit of a statistic that, so from Ezra Firestone himself, that based on his two year test with clients, the early bird opt-in email subscribers have the highest ROI.

Vira: That's insane, yeah.

Alissa: Which is very telling. So this is a great strategy for you to put in place. It's very straightforward to put in place, and it's a nice way to make your customers give themselves an opportunity to feel VIPs, which is kind of the next step that we'll get into, that Vira will walk us through so...

Vira: Well when it comes to your real VIPs people, meaning the customers who are the most loyal to your brand, right? The customer who come back to your store to purchase more and more and more from you. It's the time to roll out the red carpet for them, honestly. Why not treat them to a special VIP deal or a special VIP holiday flow. So, just to remind you about the VIP flow. So to enter the VIP flow, the customer should reach a certain historic revenue or certain amount of purchases. Say, you can define a VIP as someone who have placed, I don't know, five orders with you or who have reached certain historic revenue of five orders. Alternatively, if you don't want to be doing the entire flow, you can send a campaign to your VIPs and offer them an early deal for the holidays. Just because they are your loyal customers, why not give them like a little bit of a special treatment?

Vira: So if you decided to do the VIP automation, usually we recommend doing something like a simple welcome email. The second email can be something as simple as the holidays are coming, be prepared. Here is a little discount for you to shop sooner. Then you can also do buy yourself a gift, or you can create a gift guide for your customers. But also if you have a good referral program in place, the VIP flow is an excellent place for you to basically mention that you have a referral program in place. So you can do something like "here's the $10 off for you and $10 off for your friends", refer a friend and you both will save on your purchase.

Vira: So during the week of Thanksgiving, we also do some sort of special campaigns for this people, right? So last year we began our main campaigns for Black Friday, Cyber Monday on Monday. So basically like four days before the actual holiday. But as we already mentioned this year, we'll be doing them even sooner. So yeah. So here are a few ideas for you guys. The big idea here is to be targeting those people as soon as possible. Believe us, people wouldn't mind to be receiving those promotions sooner and this way you can show them that you are also not just one of those brands who are all about the Black Friday. You can show them that, "Hey, okay, we're here for you. Take as much time as you need. We are giving you more than enough time for you to shop just so you shop and get everything you need just in time for the holidays".

Vira: So that's basically like two little strategies that you can use this Black Friday, Cyber Monday. This is just like one of many strategies that we have and one of many, two, of many actually strategies that we'll be discussing in our podcast. But yeah. What do you guys think? Let us know when you will be starting your Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales this year.

Alissa: Hmm. Yeah. Some of our clients are wanting to start like yesterday and I'm like, we're a little late for yesterday, but maybe we can start on Black Friday.

Vira: Yeah, no we're doing as early as early-November and launching one VIP flow for one of my customers in late October as well, so next week.

Alissa: Oh, nice.

Vira: Yeah. Yeah.

Alissa: If you're not getting started or if you haven't started already, you're behind. So make sure that you get started. So with Black Friday in mind, we actually just recently released a book. Well we didn't, our founder did, Andriy. It's called Black Friday Cyber Monday and Holiday Email Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Stores selling through emails from October to December.

Alissa: So it's actually got a lot of information, like what Vira and I talked about last week and then this week's podcast as well, but it's super, super useful. Vira and I actually got a chance to kind of collaborate a little bit and contribute to the book. So that's really cool and very exciting. It's actually a number one new release in the retailing industry on Amazon, which is super exciting. So if you hop on Amazon and you look up that book, we'll put a link in the description box below, I guess that will link you to the book directly and you can actually get it on Kindle as a Kindle edition for 99 cents for now. I know that's a very limited promo but it's a number one new release so make sure that you get it while it's hot. It's got a ton of really good insights, not only for the holiday season, but for the rest of the year too. There's a lot of just really interesting promotional information in there for you to kind of get through and eat through and it's really useful.

Alissa: The other thing just to note is any and all profits that are made, all proceeds are going for this month, I believe for the month of October, they're going, 100 percent of them are going to a nonprofit organization that helps support breast cancer awareness and research. I'm not 100 percent sure what the name of the nonprofit is, I'm sure we'll announce it soon but every month that this book sells, any profits that we make will always go to a nonprofit. We don't release this information because we're trying to make money off of it. We're releasing this information because we want people to get access to it. So if you have a chance, click the link, download the book. Again, it's 99 cents and any, and all downloads, all the proceeds will go to a nonprofit organization. So again, this month it'll be to a nonprofit for breast cancer awareness and research. So yeah, that's our little, that's our little pitch at the end of our-

Vira: That's our little pitch podcast.

Alissa: And as always, don't forget to subscribe, share this podcast with your friends, leave us a review. You get some free socks. We just sent some free socks over to our friend, John, over in California, who's been listening. He actually sent me an email today and he was like, "Hey, thanks for the shout out that I got last week". So you're getting another one this week John.

Vira: You're getting one this week too, John.

Alissa: And who knows, maybe we'll even be able to feature John as a guest in our podcast soon. He's got some really cool ideas in terms of email marketing, so...

Vira: That's awesome.

Alissa: That's how we like to roll here. So if you have any questions, any ideas, you want to be a guest and you have some good insights on email marketing, reach out to us. We'd love to touch base and connect and see how we can kind of collaborate together. So, but as always, thank you guys so much for listening.

Vira: Yeah. Thanks so much for listening and come back next week because we will be discussing some fun bounce back strategies and honestly bounce back emails are so underrated. Not many people know about them but I'm kind of excited about that one. So come back next Tuesday and thank you so much for listening. See you next week. Thank you guys.

Alissa: Thanks for listening to Email Einstein. Can you feel that? Your marketing brain just got a little bit bigger. We ask that you please use it wisely. You've got all the theory you need to get out there and start boosting your sales because great emails equals revenue squared.

Andriy: You just listened to an episode of Email Einstein. If you enjoy it and want to continue getting valuable insights from our hosts, let us know. Go to Apple Podcast, find our podcast by searching email marketing, leave us a review and we'll send you a pair of Flowium socks. We know you may be busy later. So take a few minutes to pause this episode now, go to Apple Podcast and share how you are enjoying this podcast with our community. After you do, go to flowium.com/socks to request the price. Thanks and come back for more e-commerce email marketing knowledge next Tuesday.

Meet your hosts

Vira Sadlak​

Vira Sadlak​

Podcast host, marketer, traveller and a life lover from Vancouver, Canada

When she’s not at her computer, conquering the world of e-commerce email-marketing, you can find her climbing one of the Pacific Northwest Ranges.

Alternatively, try her email at vira@flowium.com, and she’ll probably shoot you back a list of her favorite cat videos.

Alissa Horta

Alissa Taggart

Alissa is an email marketer that is passionate about relevance!

Her main goal with all clients is to create a strategy and campaigns that are unique to the customer-base. Her favorite part of her role as an account manager with Flowium is to meet with her clients as she loves people. She lives with her husband and growing family in Boca Raton, FL.

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