How this small piano supply brand increased revenue 188% through well-timed email strategies during BFCM
Howard Piano Industries
Industry: Speciality Platform: Shopify
About the Brand
Howard Piano Industries is a piano supply company located in Tampa which offers a wide range of piano parts, tools, and accessories as well as instructional videos on piano tuning and repair.
Howard Piano Industries signed up for our BFCM Offer with the following goals in mind:
- Develop a comprehensive plan with offers for the BFCM 2021 Sale
- Build on their newly set up flows and update them to adopt the BFCM strategy;
- Create a comprehensive email campaign plan using a variety of offers for the BFCM 2021 Sale;
- Convert as many list subscribers as possible into paying customers during the BFCM season.
What was holding them back
- They did not have a clear marketing strategy for BFCM (Sends Cadence, List Cleansing, Sender Domain Warmup, Deliverability Check).
- They were not aware that they needed to update their Email automations for BFCM.
- The client had flows running. However, they had zero Email Campaigns and zero revenue from Campaigns.
- The lack of email campaigns meant that Lists & Campaigns Engagement Rate data was not available.
Total Revenue pre-BFCM was $47.4K.
Total Email Deliveries was at 2.4K in October 2021, which is significantly low.
After eCom Maniacs
With the integration of Campaigns in their Email Strategy for BFCM, the client made an additional $6.8K.
Business Revenue also went up 18% from $47.4K to $56.0K month-to-month.
Total Email Revenue grew by 188%, from $4.4K in October 2021 to $12.6K in November 2021.
OUR BFCM PLAYBOOK
As part of our standard BFCM strategy, we focused on the following:
• Using advanced segmentation to improve engagement rates. Doing so ensured each segment received emails relevant to their historical on-site behavior.
• Sending engaging Campaigns to ensure high Open and Click Rates come BFCM.
• Selecting the best-performing subject lines, preview lines, and CTAs, and sending them at the optimal time.
• Reaching out to a larger audience, particularly to lists with less engagement.
• Black Friday pre-launch Campaigns began mid-November with a sitewide sale, so no discount codes were required. 4 Campaigns were sent in total.
Advanced Acquisition Strategy
We used the weeks before the holidays to increase excitement and acquire potential shoppers by using the marketing psychology formula of scarcity, urgency, and a valuable offer.
Some examples include:
● Subscribe to Early Access - Targeted VIP customers or net new profiles and asked them to opt-in to receive BFCM discounts before the rest of the regular subscribers.
● Subscribe to SMS - “Join our SMS list and never miss a deal!” or “Join our SMS list for an exclusive BFCM offer!”
● Subscribe to Exclusive Content - for those looking to educate subscribers before the holidays, “Get our healthy holiday cookbook” or “Get our guide on how to save for the holidays.”
Instead of relying on a typical 50% off discount during Black Friday Campaigns, we provided a range of high-value offers that the client could choose from, in accordance with which option would suit their business best:
• Bundle Deals - This offer is best for businesses with multiple SKUs. A bundle is usually comprised of best sellers or a combination of flagship and new products sold as a single package at a collective rate.
• Long-Term Discounts - Instead of discounting products or services for one-off purchases, customers can be encouraged to sign up for a yearly or monthly subscription at a significantly lower price. This forms the basis for various VIP programs.
• BOGO (Buy One, Get One) - A classic, where the customer gets 2 products for the price of 1.
• Holiday Perks - These perks are often cyclical and seasonal in nature. The offers usually go live in time for major holiday events. Some examples include free shipping, free gift wrapping, and guaranteed delivery date.
• Loyalty Perks - Loyalty offers, such as cash-back and rewards points, provide customers with incentives and benefits and may help foster long-lasting B2C relationships. In fact, 78% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company that offers a loyalty program.
• Creative Offers - Offers that are typically customized to the business' production and inventory pipeline schedule. Some examples include "Kick-off the Season Sale," "Early Bird Sale," "VIP Access Sale," and so on.
Here are other types of offer structures you can use for BFCM:
➔ Flat % off
➔ Flat $ off
➔ Tiered % or $ off
➔ Gift With Purchase
➔ Free Shipping
➔ Buy 1 Get 1
➔ Price Change Offer
A Multi-Channel Strategy
eCom Maniacs recommends a multichannel approach to all our clients as it is the most effective way to engage with prospects and maintain top of mind with consumers through various platforms.
What we recommended:
- Warm-up cold traffic in October and early November before the Cost Per Impression (CPM) spikes as BFCM approaches
- Launch primer Campaigns 21 days prior to Black Friday
- Decide on, and roll out, discount Campaigns
- Host offers on a dedicated landing page
The Dedicated Landing Page
A BFCM-dedicated landing page was essential to converting traffic for this project for the following reasons:
- A clear and concise message allowed us to funnel the audience to a page solely focused on a single message/call to action.
- A straightforward UX design helped visitors stay focused on the goal rather than distracted by numerous links leading them away from the page.
- A focused landing page allowed for quick loading time. The average person takes only 3 seconds to decide whether they will remain on a web page and explore its content.
- The targeted focus on the unique selling points helped highlight the offer's key benefits.
- A countdown timer encouraged a sense of urgency and created FOMO (fear of missing out). This tool grabs users' attention and functions as a highly-effective scroll stopper.
- Black Friday weekend is one of the busiest shopping periods. So, capture customers' attention with bold banners showing off your giveaways, offers, and exclusive deals.
The Email Flows
Otherwise known as the bread and butter of the eCom Maniacs BFCM strategy. Our email Flows are designed to deliver persuasive messaging that helps increase audience engagement.
Here's our simple but effective formula:
- A header that highlights seasonal deals
- A template that you can swap out in high volume/high engagement Flows (Welcome, Abandoned Cart, Browse Abandonment, etc.)
- Decreased time delays for Abandonment Flows (from 2 hours → 30 minutes)
- Updated subject lines to call out deals, add urgency, and highlight scarcity
- Countdown timers
- If someone viewed many pages, appeal to their indecision — if you offer gift cards, consider this option for a Browse Abandonment email: “How about a last-minute gift card?”
The eCom Maniacs BFCM Sequence
Based on our market research and data insights, we predict that BFCM shopping will kick off earlier and last longer each coming year.
With almost half of all consumers purchasing early, we predict that more and more deals will appear earlier and extend well beyond December 24th.
A quick Google search for “Black Friday 2021” serves up plenty of content offering “early” deals to shoppers, many of whom are eager to get their hands on items that were in short supply in 2021 due to the market disruptions of 2020.
In this regard, we strategized and created a 6-Step BFCM Email Sequence:
The Hype Builder
We launched our comprehensive BFCM Campaign in early November, 10 days before the BFCM sale. The main objective of this Campaign was to inform subscribers of the upcoming Black Friday sale.
Additionally, our email copy emphasized the vast discounts available during the sale.
Our email also featured an "Add Items to Your Wishlist" CTA to encourage subscribers to adopt a shopping mindset.
Lastly, Howard Piano Industries followed up with additional BFCM news in the days leading up to the sale. In this way, the audience became conditioned to expect more emails from the client, contributing to greater overall email engagement.
The email was sent the week of the BFCM sale. We added a CTA button prompting the audience to "Add Items to Your Wishlist."
This CTA has a two-fold purpose:
- To encourage customers to visit the site and select items for BFCM. Customers who added items to their wishlist helped us estimate the number of recipients likely to make purchases during the BFCM sale.
- To serve as a subtle hint of scarcity. Instructing customers to "save" their items signals that supplies are limited and that saving items in advance will ensure customers have access to the product on the BFCM sale date.
This sequence was scheduled to go out at least a day before the general launch with messaging that reminded the customer of the sizeable Black Friday savings available.
The email graphics conveniently featured popular product categories for ease of access.
Finally, we provided a holiday-themed discount code with a 15% discount to make the BFCM sale more enticing to engaged customers.
The main launch was released on the sale day.
The client's list was segmented according to interest, price sensitivity, customer value, and level of engagement. We prioritized the client's most engaged segments since they were likely to bring the best results.
The email highlights the offer and duration of the sale. For this sequence, we highly recommend showcasing best-selling products.
Each scored above 25% for Open Rate and well above the benchmark of 2.5% for Click Rate. (Graph 3)
Overall Open Rate for November 2021 maintained a score of 39.1% despite a slight decrease from October 2021's 40.3%.
Conversely, Click Rate increased from October 2021's 4.62% to 5.68% in November 2021.
Total Email Deliveries increased from 2.4K in October 2021 to 23.5K in November 2021. (Graph 5)
This accounts for an 898% increase in Overall Successful Deliveries. (Graph 6)
Successful Email Flow Deliveries increased by 15%, from 2.3K to 2.6K, while Email Campaign Deliveries also saw a 21,649% increase, from 0.1K to 20.9K. (Graph 6 and Table 5)
With eCom Maniacs' Flow setups and BFCM strategy integration, Howard Piano Industries improved email revenue by 188% from October to November.
Even with a conservative Campaign strategy of just 4 email Campaigns over the BFCM period, the client earned an extra $12.K from email marketing.
Additionally, our BFCM plan increased the client's Business Revenue by 18%, earning them a total of $56K from the BFCM sale.