Black Friday Email Marketing Tips For WooCommerce Stores

WooCommerce is great at a lot of things, but email marketing isn’t one of them. Yes, it can collect email addresses when your customers register an account or create one at checkout. But you really can’t do much with your email list apart from sending them basic transactional emails (e.g. new account, processing order, completed order, refunded order, reset password, etc.).

The good news is that there’s no shortage of email marketing platforms that seamlessly integrate with WooCommerce. Features and pricing vary from one provider to another, but at the very least, choose a platform that offers user segmentation and email automation. Doing so will allow you to send the perfect Black Friday deals to the right group of people!

One such platform is Blue Odin. Designed for WooCommerce sellers, Blue Odin combines user segmentation, email automation, and a user-friendly sales dashboard to help you manage your WooCommerce store. It’s perfect for your flash sales, holiday sales, and Black Friday campaigns – just add your WooCommerce store to Blue Odin and start planning your next campaign!

Screenshot of Blue Odin's homepage hero block

 

Why is it important to prepare for Black Friday RIGHT NOW?

Black Friday falls on 26th November this year. It’s still weeks away, but you need to gear up as early as now.

Here’s why:

If you don’t act now, your competitors will steal your customers – and all your potential profit from the biggest sales event of the year!

Email marketing tips to boost your Black Friday sales

Apply these tips below and watch your WooCommerce profits grow not only during flash sales but year-round as well!

1) Start collecting email addresses ASAP

The old cliché “the money is in the list” is true. According to Campaign Monitor, a $1 investment in email marketing can generate up to $38 in revenue - that’s a mindblowing 3700% ROI!

Once you get people signed up to your list, you can market to them over and over again at no extra cost. You also have full control over the type of content you can send to your subscribers.

But since no one will give up their emails voluntarily, you will need to get creative with your ‘lead magnet’ to convince them. You can use an eBook, a discount code, case studies, trial subscription, etc. as your lead magnet.

Here’s Convesio’s lead magnet, a free 30-day trial sign up form:

Screenshot of Convesio's free trial sign up page

 

Remember, the more people you have on your list, the higher your potential profit on mega sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and more.

So, add your email opt-in forms to your sidebar, header, footer, in the middle of your blog posts, and pop-ups, and start collecting those precious email addresses!

7 Ways To Make WooCommerce Faster Before Black Friday

WooCommerce-powered websites have advantages over Shopify and other e-commerce platforms because you can tweak and fine-tune your site to your needs.

Out of the box, your site can run fine. But your website visitors have a high bar for shopping. We know customers expect free, fast shipping and fast page load times, and detailed product photos and videos. We know this because you and everyone else expect the same.

There are seven steps you can do to make your WooCommerce website faster and increase WooCommerce speed:

Measure your site with GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed for more information

Before we get started, head over to GTMetrix.com and Google PageSpeed. Put your domain name in the box and get a free report of how your site performs. Both will give you a letter or number grade. This will tell you a lot of why your pages or WooCommerce are slow to load.

This score is your starting point and can be a great way to find images, scripts, styles, and more that are taking up the most time to load.

Write these scores, their load times, and page size down to compare against later.

Clean up your WooCommerce database, fragments, styles, and scripts

Most WordPress sites use WooCommerce in addition to all the other pages, blog posts, contact forms, return policies, and information your site needs to host. WooCommerce’s cart fragments are a small snippet of code that activates site-wide to keep the cart updated. This is handy because it does it through AJAX, meaning it doesn’t need to refresh the whole page. The downside is it loads on every single page. A person reading a blog post or your homepage probably doesn’t have anything to add to their cart. The cart fragments can add up to about 500KB or 1MB per page of bandwidth.

You can safely disable cart fragments by adding this function to your functions.php file:


/** Disable Ajax Call from WooCommerce */
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'dequeue_woocommerce_cart_fragments', 11);
function dequeue_woocommerce_cart_fragments() { if (is_front_page()) wp_dequeue_script('wc-cart-fragments'); }

You should consider doing this if:

You can go further by adding this script to your functions.php file to prevent WooCommerce’s 3 default stylesheets from loading on non-WooCommerce pages:


if ( function_exists( 'is_woocommerce' ) ) {
if ( ! is_woocommerce() && ! is_cart() && ! is_checkout() ) {
remove_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', [WC_Frontend_Scripts::class, 'load_scripts']);
remove_action('wp_print_scripts', [WC_Frontend_Scripts::class, 'localize_printed_scripts'], 5);
remove_action('wp_print_footer_scripts', [WC_Frontend_Scripts::class, 'localize_printed_scripts'], 5);
}
}
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts','wpb_load_woocommerce');
function wpb_load_woocommerce() {
if( is_page(array( 'shop', 'cart', 'checkout' ) ) or 'product' == get_post_type() ) {
wp_enqueue_style( 'wpb-woo', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/css/woocommerce.css', ”, '3′, 'all');
}
}add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'wp_enqueue_woocommerce_style' );
function wp_enqueue_woocommerce_style(){
wp_register_style( 'mytheme-woocommerce', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/css/woocommerce.css' );
if ( class_exists( 'woocommerce' ) ) {
wp_enqueue_style( 'mytheme-woocommerce' );
}
}
// Remove each style one by one
add_filter( 'woocommerce_enqueue_styles', 'jk_dequeue_styles' );
function jk_dequeue_styles( $enqueue_styles ) {
unset( $enqueue_styles['woocommerce-general'] ); // Remove the gloss
unset( $enqueue_styles['woocommerce-layout'] ); // Remove the layout
unset( $enqueue_styles['woocommerce-smallscreen'] ); // Remove the smallscreen optimisation
return $enqueue_styles;
}
// Or just remove them all in one line
add_filter( 'woocommerce_enqueue_styles', '__return_false' );

You can also disable WooCommerce scripts, which includes a lot of jQuery elements, by using this script:


/**
* Optimize WooCommerce Scripts
* Remove WooCommerce Generator tag, styles, and scripts from non WooCommerce pages.
*/
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'child_manage_woocommerce_styles', 99 );
function child_manage_woocommerce_styles() {
//remove generator meta tag
remove_action( 'wp_head', array( $GLOBALS['woocommerce'], 'generator' ) );
//first check that woo exists to prevent fatal errors
if ( function_exists( 'is_woocommerce' ) ) {
//dequeue scripts and styles
if ( ! is_woocommerce() && ! is_cart() && ! is_checkout() ) {
wp_dequeue_style( 'woocommerce_frontend_styles' );
wp_dequeue_style( 'woocommerce_fancybox_styles' );
wp_dequeue_style( 'woocommerce_chosen_styles' );
wp_dequeue_style( 'woocommerce_prettyPhoto_css' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc_price_slider' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc-single-product' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc-add-to-cart' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc-cart-fragments' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc-checkout' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc-add-to-cart-variation' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc-single-product' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc-cart' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'wc-chosen' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'woocommerce' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'prettyPhoto' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'prettyPhoto-init' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'jquery-blockui' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'jquery-placeholder' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'fancybox' );
wp_dequeue_script( 'jqueryui' );
}
}
}

Optimize your product images

This is widely known to every website manager who runs an online store. You can’t just upload photos straight off your phone or DSLR camera. The images are too big. For a WooCommerce store, images will always be among the most bandwidth-gobbling parts of the page.

WooCommerce preview images are almost always square. 1200x1200px is perfectly adequate for most stores. Taking an image straight off your phone is likely 3x larger than they need to be. This doesn’t improve anything for the customer. It just slows them down. And mobile users will eat through their data plans loading images that are 3-4MB when they could be under 1MB. That’s not just bad for customers, it’s also rude and costs you and customers money!

You can automatically optimize your images using a service like ShortPixel. It’s not free, but it’s worth the price. For most stores, $10 will get you enough credits to fix all of your images.

As a bonus, it’ll optimize every image in your WordPress media library, not just store photos. Enable the “make .webp” (pronounced like “weppy”) and all of your JPGs will become this new format. As of 2020, every major desktop and mobile browser supports .webp. They’re indiscernible from JPGs, have a smaller file size, and a single checkbox in ShortPixel’s settings will convert almost all of your images automatically.

Increase or improve your website’s server resources

If you’re using a shared hosting provider with legacy technology, like GoDaddy or Hostgator, you should move. The prices are cheap for a reason. The single best money you can spend is on solid WordPress hosting. Better hosting and hosting plans mean everything loads faster.

Modern next-generation hosting providers like Convesio can improve a website’s performance by doing almost no other work by 150%. Hosting with Convesio also opens up our new Pro Services. Meaning we can migrate your site, measure the results before and after, and help you optimize your site using the items shared in this guide, all automatically.

Convesio’s platform scales automatically, so you don’t need to mess with memory limits, storage, or other arbitrary technical measures. Hosting with Convesio is as straightforward as publishing a blog post or new product to your WooCommerce site.

Short of that, if you want to free up some database resources head into Your WooCommerce Settings > Tools > and “Clear customer sessions”. Do this before the holiday rush. Likewise, clear the WooCommerce Transients and Expired Transients cache, too. This will flush out old carts that have expired and customer sessions that never converted into paying customers.

Take a hard look at your website’s third-party scripts

We see this a lot when clients ask about improving website speed. A glance at GTMetrix or Google PageSpeed shows dismal scores. Often the top suggestion is “Remove third-party scripts”.

Those third-party scripts include Google Analytics, the Facebook Pixel, ad networks, and ad trackers, Twitter widgets, Facebook widgets, and other social media add-ons.

The truth is almost no one clicks on those “Share this page” widgets. You can verify this yourself using services like HotJar (temporarily, since it’s also a third-party script) to record users anonymously. Twitter streams, Facebook “Like this page” boxes, and other widgets add a lot of bloats. If you want to encourage users to Follow or Like you, consider a simple widget or block that uses an image, some CSS, and a little text with a link to your profile.

If you’re not using the Facebook Pixel, maybe because you tried it once and haven’t come back to it since, consider removing it. You can always add it back later.

Google Analytics is likely still important to your business, but if you’re not using Google Tag Manager to install the script, you should. The new method promises reduced script usage and improved load times.

Your internal plugins may also be running heavy scripts that do nothing but slow sites down. Some common ones include:

Use a solid site and platform caching plugin

Your website host may already have built-in caching. Convesio does and the performance gains can be as much as 2-3x faster. But you can also run a local caching plugin like WP Fastest Cache or WP Rocket. WP Rocket is $49, but it’s well worth it and we often include it as part of our Pro Services optimizations (free of charge).

Configuring WP Rocket is almost automatic during setup. Just be sure to test your site before, during, and after setting up in a private window so you see your site how users are likely to see it. Things like “defer Javascript” and “Minify scripts” can cause your site to break.

How to Load Test WooCommerce For Black Friday

Black Friday is coming up and you need to act now to make sure your store can handle the rush. Web developers tend to focus on page load speeds using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix but rarely do they test for concurrency. Don’t let your WooCommerce store turn your black ink red during the busiest shopping day of the year. Prepare your site now.

In this blog post, we’re going to explore the ways you can speed up WooCommerce for Black Friday and survive the Shark Tank Effect:

Let’s start with how to load test WooCommerce store with Supervisor.com.

Meet Supervisor.com: AI-powered load testing for eCommerce and SaaS

We picked Supervisor.com because it’s easy to use and it’s based on bots using real browsers to simulate users. The use of real browsers creates a test environment that’s very similar to the loads created by concurrent real-world users on your site. The AI ensures that the simulation is realistic and not just a script being run to replicate the same behaviors over and over again.

The process

Go to Supervisor.com’s website and start off with the free test on offer, so you will familiarize yourself with the process. Before doing so, there’s a little prep to go through:

Understanding the results

As an example, we’ve looked at the results of a WooCommerce site in the marine tech space.

WooCommerce Load test

Here’s a breakdown of what you see in the graph: