Get Ready for BFCM: Automation Strategies That Increase Conversions

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Published on
Sep 22, 2023
Written by
Kayla Ellman
Kayla is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Attentive. You can find her binge-reading, baking from her (rapidly growing) cookbook collection, or exploring local hiking trails.
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‘Tis the season to automate your marketing strategy so you can save time and maximize your holiday revenue.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) will be here before we know it. It's the biggest—and busiest—shopping week of the year, and for many brands, the frenzy of holiday planning is already well underway.

As you ramp up your marketing efforts, now’s the time to make sure you have a solid automation strategy in place to engage your customers more efficiently, all season long.  

With the right mix of foundational and advanced journeys, you'll not only save yourself and your team valuable time and resources. You'll also be able to boost conversions by sending relevant, personalized messages at the perfect moment.

Read on for our tips to take your marketing automation strategy to the next level for BFCM and beyond.

Turn on all abandonment journeys to engage high-intent shoppers

Abandonment journeys are triggered when shoppers leave your website without moving through the purchase funnel. This happens a lot during BFCM and through December, when people are searching for the best deals.

Having triggered abandonment reminders in place before these peak shopping periods is essential to making the most of the increased activity, driving people back to your website, and maximizing your revenue.

Chances are you already have some of these journeys set up, but if not, now’s the time to launch, test, and optimize them for the holiday season. 

  • Session abandonment: Encourage subscribers who visited your website but didn’t view a product page to come back by recommending your best-selling items or collections.   
  • Browse abandonment: Show subscribers who viewed a product, but didn’t add it to their cart, why it’s worth coming back for by highlighting it’s features and benefits. 
  • Cart abandonment: Create a sense of urgency for subscribers who left an item in their shopping cart to come back and grab it before it’s gone.
  • Checkout abandonment: If you use Shopify, entice shoppers who started checking out, but left your website before finishing the payment process, to come back and complete their purchase. 
SMS abandonment journey examples

It’s always a good idea to consider including an offer that can be redeemed at checkout, like a discount code, free shipping, or another incentive, to help influence conversions. 

Also remember to personalize your abandonment journeys as much as possible to make them more engaging and effective. For example, instead of just reminding someone that they were in the middle of shopping, get specific. Use branching on product data and dynamic variables to include details like the name of the product, plus a direct link back to the product page or to their cart, to increase the chance of conversion. 

Set up product-triggered journeys to help drive urgency

The fear of missing out is real and it's a great way to motivate people to buy something, especially if it’s in high-demand or on sale for a limited time—like around BFCM.

With your e-commerce data, you can build triggered journeys that notify shoppers in real time ‌when products they're interested in have just gone down in price, have low inventory, or are back in stock. 

SMS price drop journey examples

These journeys help you get the attention of high-intent shoppers and create a sense of urgency, so you can drive immediate revenue.

  • Low inventory: Give shoppers a heads up when a product they had their eye on is so popular that it might sell out soon. Maybe they weren’t ready to click “buy” before, but the possibility of missing out (for themselves or someone else) could be the nudge they need to make a purchase.
  • Back-in-stock: Surprise and delight shoppers with the news that a previously out of stock item they wanted is now available again. They were already interested before, so they’ll likely be inspired to click through and convert right away.
  • Price drop: Let shoppers know when items they’ve looked at or added to their carts are available at a lower price. Cost might be the main reason they didn’t complete their purchase initially, so a timely alert could get them to convert. (Note: We typically recommend turning price drop journeys off during BFCM, then turning them on again during the December shopping period, especially if you’re trying to clear out excess inventory before the New Year.) 

Launch a winback journey to re-engage lapsed customers before BFCM

Winback journeys are a crucial part of crafting an advanced automation strategy. They're designed to re-engage subscribers who haven't made a purchase in a while—45 days or longer—and can help you increase customer retention and lifetime value. 

It’s best to have a winback journey set up before the holiday shopping season is in full swing. The more customers you can reactivate now, the more people you'll reach when you drop your best deals of the year, and the more sales you'll drive from Cyber Week through December.

SMS winback journey examples

Think about including a timely recommendation or special offer to incentivize these once active customers to reconnect with your brand. As the holidays get closer, you can also personalize your winback message to highlight your BFCM promotions.

Get creative with joined a segment journeys to target high-ROI subscribers

Joined-a-segment journeys let you send personalized messages to certain groups of customers based on their shopping activity, location, product preferences, or other characteristics (like their gender or birthday). They trigger when a subscriber enters into a specific segment that you choose.

For example, you can use them to reward VIP customers after multiple purchases, or to cross-sell products that are typically purchased together. 

You can even use a joined a segment journey to grow both your email and SMS lists before BFCM. Our internal data shows that subscribers who engage with both email and text are 2-3x more likely to buy than those who engage on just one channel.

joined a segment journey example: engaged email subscribers for SMS upsell

Invite subscribers who demonstrate engagement on one channel to opt in to the other. Include a landing page link in your message to easily collect their email address or phone number.

Enhance your triggered SMS journeys with email touchpoints

85% of shoppers say that when they subscribe to a brand’s SMS program, they also sign up for their email. But, of course, some shoppers tend to engage more with one channel over the other. Being able to easily coordinate touchpoints across both email and SMS—and target shoppers on their preferred channels—is key to maximizing engagement. 

Consider these strategies to make sure you’re reaching subscribers where they’re most likely to click and convert:

  • Send multi-channel subscribers a message on their preferred channel first. If you use two different providers for email and SMS, we recommend sending them a text message first—our internal data shows that 4.5x more multi-channel subscribers prefer text to email.
  • If subscribers are active on both channels, send a mix of follow-up messages on both channels, based on their engagement (e.g., if they don’t open a follow-up text, send an email next). 
  • If subscribers are active on only one channel, send any relevant follow-up messages on that channel.

Tailor your foundational journeys to make them more festive

As you’re thinking about getting your advanced automation strategy in place for the holidays, it’s important to consider how you can level up your foundational journeys, too. Not only to make them more relevant for the season, but also to make them work harder for you. Here are a few ideas for giving them a holiday twist: 

Cyber Week SMS sign-up unit and welcome text message examplex
  • Welcome flow for new subscribers: Customize your sign-up unit and welcome message(s) to promote your BFCM offers and drive more opt-ins. 
  • Abandonment journeys: Use your Cyber Week sales ‌as an incentive to get people to come back and complete their purchases. 
  • Post-purchase: Thank holiday purchasers for shopping your sale, invite them to join your rewards program, cross-sell complementary products, or offer to help them find gifts for anyone else on their list.
Cyber Week triggered SMS examples

Bonus tip: Level up your triggered journeys by adding in conversational steps, to deliver an even more personalized experience and gather valuable first- and zero-party data at the same time. 

Remember: Attentive AI™ is here to help you (and your team)

The holidays are a busy time, and you’ll probably have a lot more on your marketing plate than usual. Attentive’s AI tools can help you save time, maximize your resources, and ultimately, drive better results during BFCM (and after).

  • Use Magic Message to craft high-performing BFCM campaigns, quickly and easily. Or, just use it to come up with ideas. The copy assistant generates messages in seconds that fit your brand voice, target audience, and goals, and you can edit them as much as you like.
  • Write timely email subject lines that drive opens with our Subject Line Assistant. The tool uses your brand’s past performance data to help you get that line of copy just right, without the need for trial and error. 
  • Generate holiday-inspired images for MMS with just a few clicks. Magic Message uses generative AI to transform images from your product catalog for your campaigns—no need to design something new or have a last-minute photoshoot.  
  • Save weeks of planning and maximize your BFCM revenue with Automated Campaigns. The tool can help you create and schedule seasonal campaigns, providing the exact number of messages you need to send, to which segments, and when, to get the best results. 

Set yourself up for success during the most wonderful (and busy) time of year with our 2023 BFCM Planner. With plug-and-play templates for every message you need to drive conversions, tips for becoming an AI pro, creative strategies from our customers, plus weekly content drops—it's the gift that keeps on giving.

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