The week of Thanksgiving is the official kickoff to the holiday season, and for retailers, that means increasing their digital marketing game. Through some people choose to avoid offline shopping on Black Friday, the entire time period between Thanksgiving night through Cyber Monday, has now been named "Cyber Weekend." This allows ecommerce brands to advertise sales and discounts to their customers online throughout the entire weekend, rather than just waiting for Monday to come around. And for shoppers, it means enjoying all of the benefits of Black Friday discounts from the comfort of your own home, without feeling pressured to complete all of your purchases on one single day. We are always big fans of seeing how digital marketers harness email opportunities as a way of reaching their audiences during this busy season. We seem to get more emails from certain brands during that holiday weekend, than we do throughout the rest of the month of November. However, it is the creative emails that always stand out to us. The ones that capture our attention as both consumers, and fellow marketers. Here are some of our favorite email marketing campaigns from this busy Cyber Weekend.
This year, LOFT used a festive GIF to promote sales on Thanksgiving. The campaign itself highlighted the perfect balance between creativity and simplicity. As seen above, the copy provides the user with all the information they need to know about the sale without bombarding them with too much text. As the user scrolls down they can learn more about additional savings and promotions, however since it's separated from the core messaging, it is far from overwhelming. Best of all, the messaging doesn't just promote the sale, but highlights how the savings could help a customer "squash nothing-to-wear-on-Thanksgiving stress." Fall color scheme, and fall imagery keep email relevant to the holiday itself. However, even with colors that don't fit the brands normal palette, and without any product images at all, customers familiar with the brand can undoubtedly identify that the email is sent from LOFT (even if the brand name wasn't in the top corner).
Gray Malin is a fine art photographer who specializes in unique aerial shots and whimsical views of beautiful locations throughout the world. From famous beaches to strange landmarks, his colorful take on the world is embodied in his prints that he sells through his website. Just like any ecommerce website, Cyber Weekend was a great opportunity for Malin to discount his prints and bring in traffic to his site. His email marketing campaign had a clean design that showed a living room, with a gif that highlighted multiple different images of his. This took advantage of the real estate within an email design, allowing him to show the reader multiple products within one layout. The background did not change, but the rotating print on the wall did. This is a great example of how you can show off many products, without having to create a bulky or crowded email design. It can be sleek and clean and still get the job done for you.
Audible used their Cyber Weekend campaign to remind audiences that its ok to shop for yourself this weekend. Yes its a good idea to get a jump on your holiday shopping, but its ok to "treat yourself" too. Surrounded by some Thanksgiving treats, a tablet in the middle of a table showcases the special deals they have for the weekend. Better yet, the sale goes all the way through Cyber Weekend into Tuesday of that following week. We might as well just turn the entire week after Thanksgiving into a shopaholics dream at this point.
We are big fans of brands that incorporate gifs within the designs of their email marketing campaigns. Especially when it is done in a way that is not just flashy, but is actually used as a strategic element within the campaign. Poppin loves a good gif too, and they incorporated them into a variety of different email designs throughout Cyber Weekend. My personal favorite (see below) was both aesthetically pleasing, while making the most of the email real estate, and attention span of the recipient. The gif includes a decent amount of the Poppin products, allowing readers to see a many more items than they would in a static image. The gif also showcases the variety that Poppin prides itself on when it comes to their color and customization options. The quirky gif is on brand with the rest of their emails throughout the year, yet was unique in the sense that it matched the specific campaigns they sent out during this holiday weekend. Its an important example of showing how you can stay on brand during these timely events, while still putting a unique spin on your usual marketing efforts.
At first glance, H&M's email campaign is nothing special. However this year, the fashion brand actually curated a specific "Black Friday Collection" that would go on sale on...you guessed it...Black Friday. In the weeks leading up to the holiday weekend, H&M worked with social media influencers to help promote the upcoming collection. This generated a lot of interest and traction for the monochromatic and very reasonably priced pieces, and gave shoppers something specific to look forward to when Black Friday came around. Rather than just waiting for deals, customers were waiting to the launch of specific pieces. This was a great way to invite audiences to the H&M website so that they could shop for other Cyber Weekend deals in addition to the Black Friday collection itself.
Notable Mention: Catchy Turkey Day Subject Lines
One of the most difficult aspects of email marketing is getting your customers to...well...open the email. Only the catchiest of subject lines were opened when our inboxes were overflowing more than our plates of food last week. Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving-themed subject lines:
Subject: We can't make it to dinner, but we wanted to say...
Subject: 1. eat the pie 2. shop 50% off
Subject: (Hides from family. Shops Black Friday Sale.)
Subject: Leave room for BOGO 70% off! Did we miss any of your favorite email marketing campaigns from this Cyber Weekend? Let us know which ones you liked and why in the comments below, or tweet us @BFMweb.