Email & paid campaigns are scheduled, website is optimized, and team is aligned with your campaign calendar. Now what? Optimize, troubleshoot, and scale.
Don’t just sit there… stay on your toes with paid media optimizations and make sure your customer support team has lots of resourcing, guidance, and a steady stream of caffeine.
We’ve gone over how you’ll want to prepare for BFCM by investing in prospecting early, then retargeting those new audiences with your offer when it launches in our post on preparing your paid ads strategy for Black Friday.
Start with budgets, goals, and timing
When it comes to turning that strategy into action and optimizing campaigns over the course of your sale, start with your budget and work backwards. Plan on doubling or tripling your spend for BFCM compared to your evergreen campaigns, increasing gradually starting in October all the way through to the big Black Friday push.
Refer to your campaign calendar to plan timing around when you think budget pushes would be most effective. You can map out your spend in as much or as little detail as you want depending on how you approach paid ads during the year.
We typically like to work with budget floors and ceilings based on performance thresholds and goals. That approach allows us to push more aggressively when we see great results (which we will) and pull back if something goes sideways (which it won’t).
An approximate layout of your Q4 budget approach could look something like this, with an approximate budget of $1k per day during the year and the ability to scale up to $5k per day during the holidays:
October: from $1,000/day to $2,500/day
Early November (pre-sale):from $2,500/day to $4,000/day
BFCM Sale: pushing for $5,000+ as client and performance allows
Early December (after sale, before shipping cut-off):down to $1,500/day
Last minute gifting & shipping cut-off: up to $3,000/day
Build your dashboards, know where to look, and check often
As the clock strikes midnight on Black Friday, you need to know how you’re going to measure all the success you’re about to experience.
Build out your dashboards across all relevant platforms with the key metrics to gauge performance and make optimization decisions. Our typical tech stack we use for dashboards includes the ad platforms themselves, Google Data Studio for custom reports, Google Analytics, and Triple Whale.
Within your ad accounts, create a custom column view that reflects the most relevant metrics to your brand’s success on BFCM. The custom columns we use at Kulin are:
One in three customers are willing to pay more to receive a higher level of customer support. 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching after just one instance of poor service. Providing great customer support similar to what’s expected from a brick and mortar experience can be a challenge for online retailers during BFCM, but it’s not impossible. And it can be the key to how you win the holiday shopping season this year.
Pro Tip 💡 use dynamic coupon links for emails and ads promoting your major BFCM offers to make a more seamless shopping experience for your customers and cut down on customer support headaches.
Make sure your Customer Experience (CX) tech stack is ready for BFCM
Customer service is a critical component of your store’s success, and offering round the clock support is becoming more and more of an expectation for retailers in 2022. That can feel like a daunting task, but there are many tools out there that can help you streamline your team’s customer experience efforts.
Before signing up for all the free trials and loading up with a ton of apps that can slow down your site, consider the biggest pain points for your customer (and customer service team).
Are clunky customer service processes slowing down your response times? Are common complaints on paid social slipping through the cracks and bringing down conversion rates? Do you recognize opportunities for personalization and more streamlined data collection to improve overall customer experience, but don’t have the tools to execute?
Start wherever there’s the greatest friction between your ideal customers and their first purchase, and your returning customers and their next purchase.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software can combine capturing customer data with a wide range of marketing automation and analysis features. One of our favourite CRM solutions is Klaviyo for email and SMS, which works really well with customer service platforms like Gorgias for two-way conversational marketing. We also love Retextion to manage subscriptions and improve LTV.
It’s worth paying special attention to SMS this year as it can have as much as a 2000% ROI during BFCM. We’ve heard great things about Attentive or Cartloop for SMS specifically, although Klaviyo is catching up on features and functionality, and streamlines effort for brands already using the platform for email.
For most brands that drive online sales, it’s worth investing in a customer support platform that can centralize and manage inquiries from all platforms that customers can reach your brand through.
These customer service tools can integrate with your CRM software and allow your team to manage interactions across the entire customer lifecycle in one place, from first question to first sale to retention.
A few of our favourite customer service tools are Gorgias and Zendesk, which integrate very well with Klaviyo. Gorgias specifically has a flawless integration that can turn a text into an open CX ticket and manage a two-way SMS conversation between team and customer.
Another key customer experience opportunity is in personalization; capturing customer profile data to create individualized experiences and improve engagement.
One of our favourite tools to leverage ahead of BFCM is Octane.AI, which captures leads through engaging on-site quizzes that collect insights to use for greater personalization. Octane can share that data with Klaviyo and other integrations for more personalized experiences on your website, email, SMS, and other marketing channels to improve conversion and retention.
Prepare and empower your customer service team to go above and beyond
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth re-emphasizing: you need to proactively prepare your team for the biggest sale period of the year where customer inquiries will hit its highest point.
Set notifications to make all teams aware of any website issues and products going out of stock. Establish a communication plan to avoid wasting ad spend and avoid customer frustration while you address any issues.
Customer inquiries from all platforms will reach new heights during BFCM, so make sure your customer service team is equipped with answers to common questions to keep response time quick and conversion paths as smooth as possible.
Keep in mind that people are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones, and human-to-human interactions are still valued over automations. Here are a few customer service tips you can share with your team ahead of the holiday season:
Avoid additional stress on your customer service team during the busiest time of the year by ensuring that your website has clear instructions for how to use your product and an easily accessible frequently asked question (FAQ) section.
The more you design your website to answer common questions, the easier life will be for your customer service team, and the more seamless the path to purchase will be for your prospective customers.
Congrats! You and your team have made it through Black Friday Cyber Monday. But the work doesn't stop there... learn how to make the most of the post-BFCM period here.