I received some great Black Friday deal notifications and love it because like most, I know what I need, what I’m willing to pay, and when I need it. But anytime between November and Mid-December when any particular item is not time sensitive, I wait and hold out for the deal.

I also temporarily subscribe to email newsletters for those companies that carry products I might be looking for, as a shortcut to the online search for it.

I did receive that Black Friday deal in my inbox, and goody! Just what I was looking for!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t buy anything…

The story:

I received a great “secret” black Friday deal which starts tomorrow (2 days before the official day) – Excellent! I open it. I see the item on my list (2TB backup drive) which I was already planning to purchase at some point in the near future. Bonus, this one is $70 — you have my attention and I’m ready to buy it right now.

But wait, I can’t buy it yet.

There’s no click-through link to the item on your website (drat), so I go there and I search. I give it a good 7 minutes (that probably makes me a unique user, except I know I want it). Your newsletter statistics will show a high success open rate. They’ll show a high up-side on web traffic. They won’t show purchases associated to the announcement and likely, they may never be converted to a sale if a competitor also offered a similar deal.

What you did well:

1. Let me know I have a secret no one else does so I’m checking out your list, plus anything else I might need. Yay. (And ok, I know it’s me and 10,000 others but that doesn’t really matter — what does is that you accomplished the first mission – get my attention to a click).

2. Push it out before Black Friday when you’re competing with everyone else around that event and particularly for electronics, first one out usually wins.

3. You gave me a very nice selection of options around your core business and product lines. So, you were right, it was relevant and I did read your entire newsletter looking for other things I might need.

What was not so great:

1. I could not access the product through a link in the email, I could not buy it, I could not even put it in my cart to set my alarm to hit ‘send’ according to your ‘start hour’ for the impending sale.

2. I could not even research the item (after that 7 minute search) to make my final buying decision (there was no model number so it was a guessing game). If I were only price driven, it wouldn’t matter, however I’m probably like others who research electronics obsessively since I have them for awhile before upgrading.

3. Where is the option to share and talk about your ‘secret’ sale? I know you want me to tell all my friends, but surprisingly, there was nothing to help me do that (share, secret link, product info, referral deals, etc.). I wanted to tell my friends, but what shall I tell them?

Next Time?

1. I would like to purchase it when I find it — a good deal for both of us

2. I might know someone who might need “that” item too, so sharing would be handy. Even better, I would love to receive just a little something for doing that if they buy something from my referral.

3. If there’s a reason that I can’t purchase anything on the list at the time I receive the email, I would still take a few extra minutes to create an account and put it in my cart. Even better if there’s limited supply — a simple click to “buy now” and I’d wake up the next morning like it were Christmas already! 

We’ll see what happens next year for this very same retailer