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What began as a one-day online shopping holiday called Cyber Monday has now grown into a five-day retail marathon known as “The Cyber 5”: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Saturday, Cyber Sunday, and Cyber Monday. The Cyber 5 represents a huge sales opportunity, but your brand needs to stand out to make the most of it.

The holiday season gets longer and more complex every year, especially when it comes to digital marketing. What began as a one-day online shopping holiday called Cyber Monday has now grown into a five-day retail marathon known as “The Cyber 5”: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Saturday, Cyber Sunday, and Cyber Monday.

These bargain-focused shopping days are among the holiday season’s most important, representing 19.2% of all online holiday sales. The related surge in online traffic means that consumers are searching for deals earlier and over a longer period of time, making it possible to build momentum over the weekend.

The Cyber 5 represents a huge sales opportunity that’s not only reserved for corporate giants like Amazon. To make the most of it, your brand needs to stand out among the noise in this year’s highly competitive holiday landscape. Here’s how to do it.

Step One: Let Your Customers Plan in Advance

Nothing builds anticipation like knowing that there’s something to look forward to. If you want to increase your sale’s conversions during the Cyber 5, one of the best ways is to use messaging channels—think email or push or Content Cards—to give your customers a preview or sneak peek of your sale in the days and weeks leading up to the holiday weekend. This campaign allows you to not just sell but to actually serve your customers who want to make easy (but well-informed) purchase decisions.

The Cyber 5 can be a frantic and overwhelming experience for shoppers, by offering a preview of your sale and product selection you are enabling them to create a game plan that results in a more relaxed and enjoyable bargain shopping experience. Planning early can accelerate your consumer decision journey and increase your purchase conversion rate once the sale is live.

Step Two: Identify Your Most Engaged Audience To Determine Message Frequency

Looking to maximize the impact of your Cyber 5 outreach? Target it to the right people. If you start out by identifying the people in your customer base who are most likely to make a purchase, you can engage them early and often to keep them buying throughout the holiday weekend.

Send customers an in-app or in-browser message asking if they would like to “opt-in for early access or alerts about the sale”. This allows you to increase the frequency of your messages to those customers who demonstrated interest by opting-in. By using a customer journey management tool like Braze Canvas, you can seamlessly enter selected customers into a messaging flow with countdowns, recommended items, and sale alerts, boosting the chances that they continue engaging throughout the Cyber 5.

Step Three: Talk to them when they’re ready to shop

Email volume has steadily increased alongside holiday sales—with more emails being sent from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday than any other period throughout the year. That makes it essential to promote your sale in the weeks ahead of the Cyber 5, starting around November 1 to the 15th in the US. The night before the Thanksgiving holiday is also a great moment to capture your customers’ attention. This allows you to talk to them during their downtime when they’re ready to shop to stay top of mind as they march into the weekend. Remain competitive by launching campaigns on “Thanksgiving Eve” to capture your audience’s attention with early access or sale highlights for the days ahead. Or use intelligent delivery to send when they’re most likely to engage with your message.

Step Four: Leverage behavioral data for personalized product recommendations

Increase your revenue during the Cyber 5 by leveraging your customers’ historical purchase and behavioral data to surface discounted product recommendations. Encourage customers to save products or brands during non-holiday periods that can save them the hassle of searching your site for their bargain shopping. This data can be used for a product recommendation-focused campaign during the Cyber 5 or for alerts about low inventory to create a sense of urgency. You can also use Braze’s dynamic content tool, Connected Content, to dynamically insert personalized product suggestions into your messages for ease of access.

Step Five: Convey a Sense of Urgency

Your customers are busy people and during the holidays they’re busier than ever. If you want to capture their attention, you need to engage with them as people. How? According to the Braze Brand Humanity Index, 33% of brand humanity comes from activating emotions in your customers. If you can find ways to activate them on an emotional level, you can boost the chances they take action.

One smart way to approach this goal during the holidays is by choosing copy and creative that projects a sense of urgency. Think attention-grabbing headlines that mention gifts, savings, shipping deadlines, limited availability, and other signals that they need to engage with what you’re saying now. Great words to use include discount, savings, free shipping, limited time, today only or exclusive. Launch a campaign to alert users when an item that they’ve saved has low inventory.

Final Thoughts

Every single day within the Cyber 5 is a big deal for marketers—and as a whole, it’s one of the most important periods of the whole year. Knowing how to make the most of it is key, but it’s just as important to lay a foundation for holiday success in the weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. Make sure your email program is ready for the spotlight when the holidays arrive with our exclusive primer.