With Black Friday and Cyber Weekend fast approaching, marketers are busy preparing for one of the busiest weekends of the year. However, in recent years Cyber Weekend has become more competitive than ever and trying to stand out in a highly saturated market is difficult.
Consumer’s inboxes are flooded with promotional emails from brands all offering a discount for the weekend. Research from Campaign Monitor revealed that in 2019, 116.5 million emails were sent on Black Friday and an additional 106 million on Cyber Monday, proving the enormous task facing marketers as they try to cut through the noise and gain their share of consumer spend.
However, it’s not just the volume of emails that causes difficulties for marketers at this time of year. Consumers no longer believe that Black Friday is as beneficial as it used to be. A simple Google search of their favorite brand + promo code will unveil a long list of discounts, meaning that a simple email offering them 20% off their purchase is unlikely to fuel much excitement or engagement.
Don’t be alarmed, though, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are methods other than bombarding your customers with capital letter-filled subject lined emails that can help boost your customer engagement during Cyber Weekend, specifically interactive contests.
Interactive contests are great for encouraging user participation and will help you stand out from the crowd. By running a contest and incentives for participation, you will achieve two things:
- Better customer engagement
- Advance your first-party data
Boost customer engagement
As mentioned, consumers are now blasé to promotional Black Friday emails, however, they react well to interactive contests and giveaways. When there’s a prize up for grabs, consumers tend to become much more engaged. For example, if you’re a restaurant, rather than sending a basic email offering 10% off their visit, which is likely to get lost in their inbox, running a contest asking them to submit a photo of their favorite dish for a chance to win an exclusive offer is more likely to pique their interest.
Interactive contests also offer an element of exclusivity that instantly strikes a chord with consumers. If there’s only 20 prizes up for grabs, they’ll be more inclined to engage with your contest than they would a batch-and-blast email.
To maximize engagement, you could go one-step further and include the chance for them to win additional entries by sharing it on their social media accounts or inviting a friend to participate. This not only encourages customer engagement but also maximizes the organic reach of your campaign.
Another key method to increase the success of your interactive contest is by running it across multiple channels, including email, SMS, and social media. By promoting your contest via social media, you’ll be able to expand your reach and target not only your existing customers, but also new ones. Furthermore, you’ll increase your chances of participation from the customers of which you don’t have permission to communicate with via email or SMS.
Advance your first-party data
The benefits of interactive contests don’t end with Cyber Weekend. The information you’ve collected through your contests will also supercharge your first-party data ready for future campaigns.
All marketers are striving to achieve personalized customer experiences; however, for many, the main barrier to achieving this is a poor understanding of their customers. Enter first-party data…
Building first-party data of your consumers is key to developing a deeper understanding as it allows you to derive meaningful insights into your relationship with a consumer and their journey with your brand. It’s also key to continuing that development as with each interaction or transaction, you’ll be able to gather more data on a consumer to paint a clearer picture.
With interactive contests, you can include lead-generation questions relevant to the contest which will help build out your first-party data. For example, if you’re a clothing retailer, asking questions such as ‘who do you buy for most often?’ or ‘which store have you frequented the most in the last 6 months?’ will enable you to improve your personalization in future marketing communications. Or, if you’re a restaurant, you could ask if they’ll need catering services within the next 6 months or whether they knew you offered a special gluten-free menu.
Whatever your industry, interactive contests are an effective way of gathering the information you’re unlikely to have collected during the consumer’s first interaction with your brand and will improve your ability to deliver personalized and relevant experiences tenfold.
For more information on how you can use contests and interactive content to delight your customers, strengthen your database, and increase your revenue, register for our upcoming monthly demo.