Back in Black...Friday
What are your best Black Friday experiences?
I don’t have any yet because I haven’t gone to stores on Black Friday in the past.
My wife, her two sisters and her mother venture out each Black Friday to claim their start, and sometimes finish, to the holiday shopping season.
Well, this year the husbands are tagging along, and that includes me. Black Friday, or really any shopping, is not my bag, but I’m interested in the company and comradery.
Plus, as a marketer, I’m always interested in what marketing messages and sale pricing strategies resonate most with people, and are most effective (especially with my sisters and mother-in-law – a.k.a. super shoppers).
One could say it’s an experiment in proving out psychological marketing theory. It will be interesting to observe the female and male (myself and brothers-in-law’s) interaction and reaction to in-store Black Friday sales and marketing messages.
Here’s my thought:
Black Friday has become an event and in many ways a national tradition – it’s really become the opening bell if you will, to the holiday shopping season. That being said, there is a community of Black Friday shoppers – new and veterans – who are brothers and sisters in arms. The “being a part of something larger than one’s self” idea is at play with the Black Friday event.
There’s another part of the event – the truly commerce-focused part. There’s a sense of urgency that is centered on scarcity and attractive price points that will be gone if one is not in the right place at the right time.
I believe folks attend Black Friday to be a part of that tradition and community, or to truly beat the arms race for the best gifts at the cheapest price…whichever one is your main reason, the other ends up being a bonus.
Enjoy Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Be thankful for those you’re with and be safe shoppers.
Posted by Nick Venturella
P.S. Another thought is that Black Friday is the extrovert event and Cyber Monday is the equivalent introvert event.
How can you increase email open rates?
If you're anything like me your email inbox is flooded with messages everyday.
If you're trying to engage your email list as part of your digital marketing mix then you can expect your email recipients' inboxes are just as flooded as yours.
So how do you make your emails stand out from all the noise?
By piquing your readers' curiosity.
Asking a question can be a good way to do this.
It's only natural that when you see a question, you want to know the answer. This is the logic behind the question subject line. The reader sees the question and thinks they want to know the answer, even if they don't think they want to read the whole message. They open the message and are then drawn in by your compelling opening.
But here's the only drawback – you have to actually answer the question! Or at least answer it in such a way that it satisfies the reader.
An example would be something like, 'What's the best way to drive traffic?' Your email doesn't have to answer this question fully, and it can't because there really is no objective 'best' way. However, it can discuss a few of the most common traffic methods and then offer a link to a report that has more.
Another version of this idea is to offer a teaser subject line that leaves the reader hanging until they open the email and read further to resolve the rest of the story that the subject line initiated. Here's an example: 'What you thought you knew about healthy super foods might surprise you.'
Again, you want to be able to resolve the teaser subject line with the content of the actual email message. You see this kind of tactic used in tabloids and entertainment-based magazine. According to Duct Tape Marketing author, John Jantsch, you can pick up a People Magazine and flip through the headlines -- you'll gat some useful ideas.
Ultimately, the subject line is important because it's what gets your recipient to either open your message or throw it in the trash. A question or a teaser subject line is a good way to get them to open the message, as long as you deliver on the subject line's promise. The best way to find out what works for your list is to test. Run two identical messages with only the subject line changed and see which performs better.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
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