Black Friday UK online sales increased 35% in 2015, and 2016 surpassed the estimated £337 million UK online sales expected. Couple that with the sharp rise in US Black Friday spend and it’s a safe bet to say 2017 is going to be another bumper year.
So out of all the channels marketers have at their disposal what has been the the most effective to drive results on Black Friday?
Email drove a massive 25.1% of all Black Friday online sales in 2016, according to a report by Custora, the largest percentage of any channel.
Advertisers clearly recognise the value of a channel offering opted-in customer data, and email tends to play a key role in Customer Relationship Management activity, but email as a primary customer acquisition channel is somewhat more unfamiliar territory. Maybe it’s because, for many, the email channel somehow feels a bit ‘old school’. There are many reasons why this might be; perception of untrustworthy data, legacy SPAM issues, email advertiser interfaces that are perhaps not as familiar or user-friendly as other online channels, and simply the fact that it’s been around a very long time (almost 40 years to be exact).
These issues have all been addressed head on and overcome by the email industry, but we need to do a better job as an industry of challenging advertisers’ misconceptions. Email needs to step forward and spell out more clearly to advertisers exactly why it is in fact a key customer acquisition channel. No other channel has the power to connect brands directly with engaged, opted-in, and recently active potential customers in their millions.
Email is also consumers’ most preferred channel to receive marketing messages, by a very long way.
Over 70% of consumers cite email as their most preferred marketing communication channel in several recent reports, including reports from Marketing Sherpa and ExactTarget.
The next highest channel was Direct Mail at 9%.
This is largely down to the fact that, in a world of interruptive, always-on digital channels, email is the one channel that consumers can engage with on their own terms, when they are in the right frame of mind to do so. And email delivers results. In a direct comparison with other channels, email delivers highest on customer engagement with an average targeted email campaign Click Through Rate of 7%, over 100 x higher than an average display Click Rate of 0.06% for example.
Email is the number one preferred channel for marketing messages by consumers. They like being in control of how and when brands communicate with them. They don’t like being interrupted consumers are already opted-in to email. They have given their prior permission for the brand to communicate email can now be bought programmatically and integrated with all other digital channels for dynamic retargeting, in line with advertisers’ preferred media buying strategySo here’s why email is so effective email is the number one preferred channel for marketing messages by consumers. They like being in control of how and when brands communicate with them. They don’t like being interrupted consumers are already opted-in to email. They have given their prior permission for the brand to communicate email can now be bought programmatically and integrated with all other digital channels for dynamic retargeting, in line with advertisers’ preferred media buying strategy.
It may not be as in vogue as many other mediums, but here at Digital Fire we focus on what works best and what drives the most successful results for our clients and once again well managed email marketing is king and Black Friday will demonstrate its power to drive clear and accountable ROI.
* With thanks to sources the DMA and ESB Connect.