The final stretch of the year, the big Q4, is like the World Cup for online shops! You’ve got Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the festive fun to look forward to. And let’s not forget, email is still your go-to striker for smashing those sales goals.

But it’s not as easy as firing off a quick promo email and crossing your fingers. You’ve got to get your game plan sorted.

So, here’s your October to-do list for optimising those email marketing strategies, just in time for Black Friday.

(For September’s list, read it here).


1. Segment your list

Don’t send the same message to everyone.  It’s like throwing everything at the proverbial wall and seeing what sticks.  Instead, divide your list into buying history, engagement levels or demographics and then tailor your message to fit these segments for a more personal touch.

Now is also a good opportunity to invite people, current contacts and via your website, to subscribe for VIP early access to your Black Friday deals.

2. Plan your promotions

In September you will have sketched out a rough content calendar.  Now it’s time to get into the detail with your Black Friday/Cyber Monday goals and decide on your offers.  When will the offers go live?  Will you do a week-long build up or a one-day mega sale.  Make sure your offers are clear, easy to understand and, most importantly, tempting to your audience.

3. Inventory check

The last thing you want is to promote a product that sells out in two seconds flat. 

Do a stock take and make sure you’ve got enough of the items that are likely to sell like hot cakes. Consider setting up back-in-stock notification emails for items that could sell out. 


4. Tech check

Tech has a nasty habit of letting us down at the most inopportune moments.  Towards the end of October, particularly if you are planning a long BFCM campaign, get a check up on your website.

Speak to your website hosts to ensure it can handle increased traffic.  Also, double check your payment processors and ensure everything is running smoothly.


5. Test and optimise ad spend

Now is a great time to test your ads including audience, different types of content and ad spend.

What’s working for your audience?  Do they respond to user generated content, how-to videos or behind the scenes?  I highly recommend working with an expert Ads Manager if you’re new to ads.


6.  Draft emails

Start to draft compelling email content and eye-catching designs.  Consider testing these emails by sending to a small segment of your most engaged contacts.  You can test subject lines and calls to action to see what resonates with your audience.


7. Clean your email list

If you haven’t already done this then now is the time to clean your list so that you are only sending to active, engaged contacts. Remove contacts who have not engaged in the last year as these addresses may now be invalid (old work addresses for example) or might even have been taken over as a spam trap. Use a validation checker such as Mailercheck.  

A lean, engaged list has a better chance of converting than a larger, uninterested one.




Get these things nailed and you’ll be in a strong position come Black Friday.

Don’t leave it too late, start planning now.

Need some help and guidance with your email marketing?  Whether it’s starting from scratch or your need an overhaul, I’d love to help you. Contact me to get started.



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