As we enter December, one of the most chaotic shopping holidays in the world has finally come to a close. It wasn’t enough to just move the chaos of Black Friday online. We now have Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday (yes, it’s a thing), Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. If you browse the internet, many of these deals are still running, essentially training consumers never to pay full price for an item ever again.

Black Friday is used to conjure images of pure chaos breaking out at your local big-box retailer. Someone even created a website to track the injuries. Fortunately, it seems we have moved on from the occasional stampede to the more benign server crash in recent years. But it begs the question, what do Black Friday sales aim to accomplish? And are the results sustainable?


Billions of (unread) emails

Even though the tradition began in America as a post Thanksgiving shopping holiday, no matter where you are in the world, you were likely greeted with a rather overstuffed inbox Monday morning.

According to CloudHQ, over 20 billion emails were sent over the Black Friday weekend. With an average open rate around 22%, that means about 15.8B emails went unread. Great for Google’s server farms, not great for your business.


Reimagining your Black Friday strategy

For many marketers, Black Friday and the holiday shopping season are seen as a climax, a grand finale, if you will. Companies spend the entire fall hyping up their eventual sale, which they hope will bolster their Q4 revenues and get them over the final stretch to their annual goal. The problem with this is it ignores the fundamental benefit of omnichannel messaging.

Omnichannel strategy dictates a program where you provide a consistent communication experience across multiple channels, nurturing relationships and building trust. It is not just a mechanism to jam consumers down the funnel and get them to buy heavily discounted goods. It’s better to think of these holiday marketing blitzes as the beginning of a customer relationship and not the end of a torrid love affair. (Thanks for the purchase, see you next year!)


Black Friday built up your Rolodex; now it’s time to execute

To be fair, there were lots of SMS sent over the holiday weekend as well. Though with a 98% open rate, we can be sure that far fewer of them were unread. But the real win is the new contacts companies built up over the past week. If you were shrewd enough to ask for a phone number at sign-up and request SMS opt-in, you now have an entirely new customer list to play with.

Your Black Friday sales may have gotten them in the door. Now, it’s up to you to maintain the relationship and build up that customer’s lifetime value.

When we think of it like this, the holiday shopping season becomes the opening salvo of the customer journey. Yes, we know that shopping in January and February can be soft, but now is the time to engage with these customers. Holiday sales will end sometime in December. However, retailers can still use omnichannel to push through their winter stock, introduce new product lines, or render service for holiday-related purchases and returns.

Ending your engagement with these customers after the holiday season has wrapped would be a wasted opportunity. Your company is open the other 11 months of the year. Use this time to build the relationship and ramp up towards your other seasonal peaks while maintaining a healthy baseline during the valleys.


But wait, there’s more!

As a reminder, channels such as SMS and chat apps can be used not only for marketing purposes but also for support, two-way communication, and notifications. You want to normalize communication with your customers, so don’t fall asleep at the wheel as soon as the holidays are over.

Remember, 90% of young people are more likely to shop with a brand that communicates with them on their preferred channel, and for two-thirds of them, that channel is SMS.


Building momentum 

We’re here to offer engagement for your brand across SMS, chat apps, social channels, and more to ensure you and your customers remain connected. Set your brand up for success in 2024 by meeting your customers where they are – on their phones.

Contact us today to learn how Mitto can help you continue driving your pipeline into the future.