If you’re in the world of digital B2C, your Superbowl is just around the corner: Cyber Monday. Marketing during this critical time of year can be the difference between success and failure for many online retailers — if you don’t start the season with a bang, you can end on a whimper.
What makes Cyber Monday such a beautiful thing (in my not-so-humble opinion) is the complete and utter lack of stores, other human beings, and their accompanying madness. I’ve done the Black Friday thing precisely once, and I understand completely why most people aren’t interested.
The problem with Black Friday is simple — the really crazy deal seekers are out in droves. They care nothing for your brand, your business, or really anything but getting a nutty deal.
Cyber Monday is different. You get to sit in the comfort of your home and, basically, get wooed by online marketers left and right. You can do it from home, you can do it at work, you can do it while your kid does curling or crossfit or whatever it is the kids are doing these days…
You get the idea. My point is that, for most normal human beings who just want to save a little money, Cyber Monday is the place to be.
For you, the business owner, the entrepreneur, the marketer, that means a larger potential audience who is a little less interested in saving the absolute maximum possible and is a little more open to your efforts to make an impression, make a sale, and, hopefully, make a new lifelong customer.
Email and PPC Are Your Cyber Weapons of Choice This Monday
This Cyber Monday, your marketing has to be on point like never before. Year after year, the internet landscape becomes more crowded, more vicious, and more difficult to crack. While opportunities abound, while there are still methods of reaching potential customers and selling to current ones, keep in mind that your competition is doing the same.
And they’re good at it too.
While I could wax poetic about the great tragedy of attempting to market against the likes of Ebay and Amazon, I’d like instead to give you some actionable tips to make the most out of this coming Cyber Monday. Marketing efforts that focus on a digital audience (and are successful) fall into two general categories:
- Email marketing
Email marketing targets your current customers. PPC targets the droves of questing deal-seekers in search of the latest, greatest Cyber Monday find.
And let me just make a quick aside here — none of this works without awesome deals. Take a day or two, look at what discounts, bundles, freebies, promotions, coupons (etc., etc.,) you can offer, look at what your competition has offered in the past, come up with a solution that fits with your products and services, and pair those deals with your marketing efforts.
No one gives a hoot about an email on Cyber Monday that says, “We’re open, as usual, with the same great low prices!”
But many hoots will be given for an email that says “40% off all new PCs!”
(Come on Newegg! Hook it up!)
Let’s dive in briefly to each form of marketing.
Email Marketing on Cyber Monday
Thanks to the last decade of efforts by marketers to make Cyber Monday a thing, the public is primed and ready to buy on November 27th.
Assuming you’ve been curating an email list (and you’d better have been!), email is going to be your primary method of letting your best customers know about the deals you have available.
If someone is on your email list, that means you’ve been doing all the right things throughout the year — sending emails with value, avoiding spam emails, building up your rapport with your subscribers, and on and on…
You’ve primed the pump, so to speak.
Now is the time to release the floodwaters.
Your email list… look… yeah, OK, you gotta be nice to these people throughout the year so they don’t unsubscribe, but darn it, the whole point of your email list and all the work you’re putting into it (not to mention all the value you’re providing these people for free — all freakin’ year long) is to get some business!
Don’t be afraid to sell to your list a little bit this year — you’ve earned it (and if they unsubscribe because you’re selling to them, they’re not much good to you anyway).
Come up with some awesome deals and start sending out targeted emails to segments of your email list who might find them oh-so-tasty. Provide value, show them why they need to make a purchase, and don’t be afraid to hit them at least once a week leading up to Cyber Monday, if not more often.
If you want some ideas on what those campaigns should look like, you can read this fantastic article by the awesome folks over at Shopify.
Cyber Monday Marketing and PPC
PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is where you’ll really have a chance to bring in some new customers.
Adwords (and other search-based PPC services) are awesome because of the sheer number of people who are simply going to be looking for deals on their search engine of choice.
But remember, some of the largest search engines in the world exist inside social media platforms, not to mention the fact that social advertising often provides:
- Extremely niche targeting of customer types
- The ability to reach customers on their network of choice, a place they might spend 135 minutes a day
Both of these cyber hangout spots are rife with opportunities to reach new customers, but Cyber Monday provides a unique opportunity — crazy deals will be expected, customers will be ready and willing to check out said deals, and, if you provide a deal that’s enticing enough, you may be able to introduce many new customers to your business, while still making a tidy profit.
For PPC to work properly, you need to do your research. You have to have great landing pages, great images, and great ad copy. If you’re using Adwords or similar, you need to spend some time nailing down keywords and ensuring that your ads are not just targeting the keywords properly, but are also accurately fulfilling user intent.
It’s All About the Deal — Take Advantage of the Opportunity
I’ll leave you with this — just as with Black Friday, Cyber Monday is the realm of deal seekers, period.
This may be the first and last time you ever have these folks on your website, especially if they came because of a PPC ad. For those you emailed, this might be the first time they’ve actually considered buying from you.
Don’t waste that opportunity. This is branding as much as it is sales. Make sure that the entire process — from the quality of the ad and the value of the deal to the shipping price, the customer service, and the handling of any complaints — make sure all of it shows these folks the best side of your business that you can show them…
And you might just end up with a new customer (or ten).
And then, when the holidays pass and you can get back to business as usual, you’ll want to follow the fantastic Clement Lim’s tips on how to generate leads for your business.
Good luck out there, marketer.