9 Marketing Agency Leaders Reveal Their Top Tips for BFCM

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SMS Marketing
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Sep 28, 2023
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The moment e-commerce and retail marketers plan for all year is almost here. Check out some of their favorite strategies to deliver your best BFCM yet. 

Last year, Cyber Monday became the biggest online shopping day ever, with shoppers spending a record $11.3 billion. That spending made up nearly a third of the $35.3 billion consumers spent during Cyber Week. Mobile was a major driver of this growth, driving a record 51% of online sales during Cyber Week.

With so much potential revenue on the line, it’s important to look back to what’s worked before, as well as how others are thinking about their future strategies. We tapped a few of our innovative agency partners to share their tips for holiday marketing success. Here’s what’s top of mind for them this season.

Be sure to explore our 2023 BFCM Planner to get SMS message templates, sign up for our planning webinar, and get inspired by how other brands have achieved holiday success with SMS and email.

Grow your list ahead of the holidays

We’ve said it before: A healthy subscriber list is key to your BFCM success.

“Start growing your subscriber list now, and let your subscribers know they can expect increased communication during the holiday season.” 

- Abby Siciliano, Sr. Director of Business Development at Tinuiti
“In the lead-up to Black Friday and Cyber Money, target lookalikes of your highest-lifetime value (LTV) customers in ads to bring similarly engaged shoppers to your site and into your marketing funnel. Then, launch sign-up units teasing exclusive access to convert them into subscribers."

- Emily Roberts, VP of Retention Marketing at Roswell NYC

Implement strategies to increase LTV

True BFCM success isn’t just acquiring new customers—it’s getting your existing ones to keep coming back. The leadup to BFCM is an ideal time to learn more about your customers’ preferences so you can engage them with relevant offers and content during shopping prime time

“Use bounceback offers, giving shoppers a discount to use the next time they shop after they make a purchase. This will incentivize subscribers to shop now for the people on their list, and come back later to treat themselves.” 

- Abby Siciliano, Sr. Director of Business Development at Tinuiti
“Make sure you set up loyalty program touch points throughout your customer journey ahead of BFCM. That way, shoppers can build their points over the holidays, and they’ll be encouraged to come back and redeem their rewards in the new year.” 

- Emily Roberts, VP of Retention Marketing at Roswell NYC
“Monitor why shoppers are coming to your brand during the holidays by collecting first- and zero-party data. Then, tailor your marketing to their preferences in the new year to keep them coming back.”

- Elizabeth Krupka, Owner at Nomadd Marketing

Personalize your shoppers’ experiences—and support their buying journey

Consumers have raised their expectations of brands when it comes to personalization. The more you can customize their experience (at every stage of their shopping journey), the more likely you are to increase conversions and repeat purchases. 

“Personalize your offers based on your customers’ historical buying patterns. Track when they need to replenish an item or when they're primed to purchase a complementary item.”

- Jacob Paduch, Cofounder at Aplo Group
“Create a more personalized experience for subscribers by leveraging first- and zero-party data. You can tailor campaigns based on the segments, messaging, and cadence that’s best for a given segment. You can also use dynamic content to further personalize emails and text messages, such as pulling product information into your abandoned cart reminders and win-back campaigns. Not only will this help drive more conversions, but you’ll be able to avoid an uptick in returns.”

- Emily Clarkson, Sr. Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Tinuiti
“Audit your checkout experience. Make it smooth and easy for customers with features such as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), express pay, and more so they can choose the payment option that’s best for them.”

- Sarah Makinaci, VP of Strategy & Integration at Power Digital Marketing
“Launch alternative versions of cart and browse abandonment flows that match your holiday messaging to remind shoppers of the limited-time BFCM promotions. You’ll create FOMO without having to do any manual work.” 

- Emily Roberts, VP of Retention Marketing at Roswell NYC
“Create a digital catalog to showcase your best-sellers. It'll help you engage shoppers and support product discovery, so you can drive more conversions.”

- Becky Kohberger, Head of Partnerships at Irish Titan

Drive first (and repeat purchases) with strategic messaging

The right messaging strategy will help you attract new and returning customers by making your offers stand out and educating shoppers across channels.  

“Over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, build an engaging and increasingly exciting series of promotions to keep subscribers coming back to see what's new. Start by offering discounts on specific products or categories, and then expand that discount to the entire site. You’ll be able to build momentum and encourage multiple purchases.” 

- Emily Roberts, VP of Retention Marketing at Roswell NYC
“Use all of your lifecycle channels—including email, SMS, and on-site banners—to meet customers where they are. You’ll be able to create a 1:1 relationship, and make shopping easy with one-click purchases.” 

- Emily Clarkson, Sr. Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Tinuiti
“Ensure your emails and SMS work together to engage your subscribers on their preferred channel. For example: Send an email sharing the details about your sale. If a subscriber doesn’t open that email, nudge them with SMS.” 

- Abby Siciliano, Sr. Director of Business Development at Tinuiti
“Avoid complicated, tiered promotions. Instead, use site-wide discounts so consumers don't feel like they were bait-and-switched.” 

- Sarah Makinaci, VP of Strategy & Integration at Power Digital Marketing 

Look forward and back for this year’s success

Don’t forget to reflect on what’s worked in the past while planning for the upcoming holiday season. Use the lessons you’ve learned to set the groundwork for future success. 

"Start earlier than you think you need to. You should build your creative assets and content plan ahead of time, to engage shoppers well ahead of Black Friday. You'll be able to warm up shoppers and capture early holiday revenue in October."

- Lolita Petrossov, CEO at Evestar 
“Don't forget to do a postmortem! This is an invaluable chance to discuss as a team your wins and challenges, helping you prepare for the next big seasonal moment. Then, send yourself a calendar invite for June with all your holiday learnings to help you kick off your next holiday planning cycle.” 

- Sarah Makinaci, VP of Strategy & Integration at Power Digital Marketing 
“Measure repeat order rates for all the new customers you acquired during the holiday season, and focus on driving second purchases. It's one thing to convert new customers during the holiday season, when they’re in shopping mode. It's another to get them coming back and reordering in 2024.”

- Brandon Amoroso, Founder & President at Electriq, a DRINKS Company

Whether you’re focused on attracting new customers or retaining loyal ones (or both) this holiday season, your success will come down to tailoring your BFCM marketing strategy to their preferences. Delivering more personalized experiences won’t just make your holiday marketing efforts pay off—it’ll set you up for success in 2024 and beyond.

In need of some more holiday planning inspiration? Explore our BFCM planner

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