A Very Black Friday


A Very Black Friday

As a brighter Friday returns this week, it left me thinking about what we can learn from the lessons of Black Friday.

This is the story of Black Friday, I’m afraid a very bleak day indeed where I nearly threw my phone out of the window – before I remembered there were no good deals for a new one!

Not only were emails from retailers coming thick and fast, I was pretty astounded at how many non-retail businesses hopped right on the bandwagon trying to get a piece of the action. Utility providers, support services , charities, all decided that they too would get involved in the Black Friday shenanigans.

I’m loathed to name names (because you just never know who’s going to be signing your next invoice), but one major high street clothing retailer sent me no less than 8 emails between the 24th and 28th Nov – the night before Black Friday until the Monday after (don’t get me started on ‘Cyber Monday’). I finally relented and was lured in by the promise of a 40% discount, only to get to the checkout for the items which were “in stock” to be unavailable. It was a super frustrating, disappointing user experience.

My own disappointment aside, there are some lessons to be learned from the emails received during this depressing period.


Tempting and cute as it may seem to bung a heart, a pumpkin or a jauntily placed sprig of holly on your emails… I’m begging you, just don’t do it!  Tenuous emails are against all the principles of email marketing best practice and what’s more, us consumers are a savvy bunch and sending emails that aren’t well-written and targeted can be damaging to your brand.

If you’re thinking “Gosh, what a misery Emily is – there’s nothing wrong with that!” send me an email and we can discuss it further over a coffee.


Hitting up your customers with too many emails in a short space of time may see your unsubscribes go through the roof, as you become little less than a fly to be swatted by your recipients. If you have a fantastic offer and want to tell your customers about it, feel free to send them a well-crafted email or two but don’t go overboard.


If you’re sending out an email to a large database and are expecting lots of traffic to your site for goodness sake test, test and test it some more. Another large retailer’s website was down for much of the weekend and their password reset emails were being sent at 4am. This retailer went big with their Facebook ads (as well as on other channels) which were consequently flooded with comments from unhappy customers. To avoid getting a reputation as a retailer who doesn’t have their digital ducks in a row, preparation is key during busy periods. There is a whole raft of tests and checks you need to do on your forms to ensure you don’t miss out on precious potential customers and give them the easy, positive experience they deserve.

If you’re struggling with ideas on how to make email for your business work better and want to add some smart thinking to your campaigns give me a shout, I would love to have a natter and help you join the dots.

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