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Emotion, not deals, is the key to Black Friday email success

Posted: 23 Nov 2017

The Christmas decorations may already be up, and the yuletide songs may be playing in every store, but there's still one big retail event to hit marketers before we can curl up by the fire and get into the festive spirit. Oh yes, it's Black Friday.

Much like Halloween, Black Friday is adopted by more and more British businesses every year. It's becoming a significant part of pre-holiday sales and consumers love it. However, the key to reaching them during this period requires more than just rock-bottom prices. In fact, if a recent study by Persado is anything to go by, it's emotion, not deals, that drive consumers to buy.

Using email subject lines from 50 UK retailers recorded during Black Friday 2016, the company was able to identify the five main emotions that customers responded to the best. Persado found that 20% replied to challenge-focused emails, for example, "are you ready?". Elsewhere, intimate and encouraging messages also saw similarly positive reactions.

Another crucial emotion was guilt; brands that played on consumers' FOMO (fear of missing out) fared well on interactions. Meanwhile, fascination and the promise of trying something new also pushed customers to click though.

Persado also shared a few tips for crafting the perfect, holiday tagline. Here's their unmissable advice:

- Be sure to mention the holiday in the email header – after all, customers are on the hunt for deals, so it bodes well to make it as easy as possible for them.

- Include direct language; for instance, using "you will love this" rather than "they will love this."

- Avoid urgent language. It has consistently ranked poorly in more than 3,000 email experiments conducted in the US. Not to mention, it's tacky and customers don't buy it.

- Make the most of emojis – they're eye-catching, fun and engaging. Persado's research found that the most effective emojis were generic ones, while holiday-themed emojis were more hit and miss.

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