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From Cyber Monday to Black Friday

Holiday Online Marketing

T-Minus 2 Months & Counting
It was traditional to wait until after Thanksgiving to launch your holiday advertising campaigns, but this date has been creeping back year by year until the majority of e-tailers now begin well before Halloween. Whatever date you launched your holiday messaging last year might merit being pushed up by a week or so to reinforce the value of your seasonal promotions to your subscribers and followers. Some major e-tailers are even taking the momentous step of expanding Black Friday to a Black November where the traditional super-discounted deals of that hot sales day are extended weeks earlier.

As with every other aspect of online marketing, you must strike a balance between dilating Black Friday to the entire month (at the prospect of increasing sales) and diluting the impact on the consumer of the ultra-special deals to be found on that day only. For all the valid reasons for keeping your holiday campaign short, sharp and to the point, there are e-tailers that completely ignore this logic and find extremely long holiday strategies highly successful. Hallmark actually launches its holiday campaign in July!
Schedule to Follow or Buck the Trend?
Cyber Monday is traditionally the day when the highest number of email newsletters are sent, considerably ahead of Black Friday and the days leading up to it. The pre-Christmas Fridays follow in popularity as e-tailers have found that this schedule prepares the subscriber for purchasing over the weekend. The determination is yours as to whether you decide to follow or buck that trend. There are many superlative reasons why adhering to this schedule equals online sales success, but you can be certain your competitors are considering the same factors. There is a flurry of incoming email piling up in your subscribers' inboxes on those dates, which may crowd out your message. Choosing to send on the previous day, such as Cyber Sunday and on the Thursdays in early December, could help your email stand out among the throng.

The weekend after Thanksgiving has been allocated the Cyber moniker, but the boost in sales is emphatically not limited to purveyors of netbooks and hard drives. This "black weekend" may have its roots in electronics merchandising, but with the adoption of these dates for heavily discounted holiday events by literally every major online and brick & mortar re-tailer, the proper marketing strategy will see shoes, toys and cosmetics flying out of your warehouse just as fast as tablets and monitors.