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November 10, 2017

How to measure your success on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Mike Sędzielewski
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Substantial coupon campaigns are a key to seeing how your Black Friday promotion strategy turns into both profits and losses. In this post, you’ll learn how to leverage the versatility of coupons to successfully measure your BF performance and turn insights into action for future events.

With our tips, you’ll be able to build up tactics which will help you improve the credibility of your marketing content and ultimately drive more conversions.

Choosing your offer

Keeping in mind that 40% of consumers start searching for deals with the arrival of November, you can leverage this movement for a/b testing and final optimization of your BFCM offer. To start a/b tests, delve into your customers' segmentation and ensure all your lists and target groups are updated. Testing different discounts combined with various constraints defines the expectations of particular segments in those minutes before Black Friday and enables you to reduce the unpredictability of results.

“Big companies spend lots of resources testing ad campaigns and hiring focus groups, but you can do a lot more effective research on your own by simply starting small -- then testing and measuring everything you do.

Read on to see what kind of Black Friday campaigns and techniques are worth testing while choosing your offer.

Coupon techniques for your 2017 BFCM strategy

Digital coupons have many attributes which can be a goldmine of marketing knowledge when properly used. Let’s take a look at coupon code for example. Coupons with unique codes can be easily tracked and analyzed, meanwhile coupons with a fixed-code are easy to distribute and therefore acquire new customers on scale. Furthermore, in the following paragraphs, you’ll see that digital coupons allow for much more, including sophisticated personalization. Based on the effort required for implementation, all BFCM ideas are divided into 3 categories ranging from easy techniques to advanced.

Easy techniques

TRACKING WITH COUPON PREFIX

A prefix is a word placed at the beginning of a coupon code. Whether it’s a unique or fixed-code campaign, you can tag each type of coupon with an extra 2-3 characters in the code which carry specific data. For example, you can assign distribution channels to different prefixes and as a result, you'll be able to compare their performance.

The analysis is easy if you can filter out coupons by using their prefix.

TRACKING WITH COUPON CATEGORY

If you’re running multiple BFCM campaigns at the same time, categories give you fast insights into current performance. Let's imagine you can tag coupons attached to a type of delivery channel, a segment of customers (receivers) or area of campaign reach. After the sale, you'll be able to filter out coupons with a particular category and compare the performance of a specific discount combined with diversified params.

COMBINATION OF PREFIX AND CATEGORY

Prefixes and categories are a very useful and easy tracking solution if your coupon platform supports these features by default (both can be problematic to manage in hand-made excel sheets).

Intermediate techniques

UTM AND COUPON DATA

UTMs are a simple yet effective tool to measure digital traffic. UTM is a specific string which you need to add at the end of a URL to track visitors. Each channel, type of coupon or campaign can be tied to a different UTM. You can also append UTM’s to corresponding landing pages where you publish your coupons.

After the sale, you’ll be able to see the direct impact of all links on generated traffic and sales results. Moreover, traffic defined by UTMs can be easily confronted with data from a coupon platform. For example, you can compare numbers of all visitors with total number of code redemptions.

bfcmFM.png
Catchy referral ideas can leverage the fever of waiting to bring more traffic and shape your final offer by captured insights.

FIRST-MINUTE REFERRAL PROGRAM 

A referral program fired off 1-2 weeks before BF extends your potential reach. Consider launching a campaign which rewards with BFCM discounts according to the number of referred customers, e.g., “25% off during the Black Friday sale if you bring 2 friends to the store” or “50% off if you encourage at least 3 friends to purchase.”

TRACKING WITH REFERRAL PROGRAMS

After you scratched the surface, it’s time to introduce more advanced forms of tracking with multiple referral programs and highly-personalized coupons. A coupon and its features decide about the tracking potential because it accompanies your customer through each phase of a sales funnel. They keep attributes representing all endpoints and crucial data (location, delivery channel, customer’s data, purchased items, payment method, etc.).

Trackable referral programs, started with the beginning of Black Friday, capture the source of new customers acquired during BFCM campaigns. Tracking enables you to estimate which delivery channels and locations generate the biggest traffic:

bfcmFirst.png
  1. Run referral programs in a number equal to a number of delivery channels.
  2. During program creation, associate coupons with customer segments based on postal codes, cities or counties (during the redemption, customers will have to provide their location next to the order details).
  3. You can distribute referral codes from each referral program to particular areas by social media, email campaigns, SMS, brick and mortar stores, widgets on landing page or blog, third parties, etc.
  4. After campaigns end, you’ll get an overview of how many of the coupons delivered through each particular channel were redeemed in particular locations.

Advanced techniques

bfcm02.png

TRACKING DIFFERENT LOCATIONS

Geo-segmentation is one of the most important attributes which impact sales results recurrently. Tracking your success geographically and delving into data from different segments helps you to define patterns characteristic for each area and test the quality of a current segment.

Ultimately, with great Black Friday traffic and plenty of utilized coupons, you can capture significant clues and define what’s catching on and where.

From a technical point of view, we placed segmentation analysis in advanced techniques because campaigns based on CRM geolocation data need to be equipped with solid limits which secure your coupons from misuses and fraud, e.g. you need to ensure that NY Black Friday coupon can be redeemed only in New York.

“By segmenting your customers, you may be able to identify the opportunities where you should be investing the most effort and resources into future marketing and customer retention initiatives.” Forbes

EMAIL MARKETING & COUPON DATA

For most businesses, emails with coupons are the most relevant way of reaching customers with their Black Friday offers. The combination of email and coupon expands a tracking path from the moment customers receive an email to the end of the sales funnel when they make an action. For the most important email campaign params, i.e. Open Rate and Click Through Rate, coupon data show how email content affects revenue. For example, if you noted high OR and CTR with a poor number of utilized coupons, you probably need to focus more effort on a discount. Likewise, complex email tracking helps you to define reasons and hacks for future reference if any of your campaigns did not perform well this year.

WHITE PAPER: Coupons in email marketing

Summary

After the Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales, you can eventually define how people were consuming your content and follow the bright spots in your future marketing strategy. To make the analysis easier, we summed up all crucial data trackable with digital coupons:

  • Knowledge about channels and third parties which generate the biggest traffic let you optimize the distribution process in terms of building brand awareness.
  • Redemptions metrics show you real sources of new customers which you should focus on in the future.
  • UMTs results compared with coupon numbers show how traffic generated in a particular coupon location impacts on sales results.
  • Email campaigns which noted the highest CTR show you what kind of discounts and promotions are the most wanted amongst your opt-ins.
  • Customers data acquired during BFCM redemptions enables you to extend your regular audience and define new target groups (new locations, subscribers, etc.).
  • Field-tested Black Friday campaigns show you which combinations of buying rules and discounts (cross-selling, flash sales, etc.) bring the highest levels of interest.
  • Eventually, comparing final sales results with achieved traffic enables you to estimate the efficiency of your coupons in terms of turning interest into actions.
  • Mobile app and QR codes enable you to track offline redemptions and cover the omnipresent demand for mobile technologies.

According to H.J. Harrington “measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement.” As soon as you catch a breath after the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush, start digging into achieved numbers. Modern coupon platforms with trackable coupon campaigns support Google Analytics data or MailChimp stats which, together, allow for the most accurate reactions during the extraordinary BF traffic and for scheduling your field-tested strategy for the future.

Tagged:
coupons
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best practices
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coupon strategy
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referral program
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