When I got my first “Spring Black Friday” email from Lowe’s on May 1, I tensed up a little. Is this really a thing? Am I going to start getting Spring Black Friday emails on top of the 40 Mother’s Day emails I’m already getting every day too? Over the next few days, I kept my eyes out for Spring Black Friday emails from other brands.
Like it or not, Black Friday is powerful and works because just about every brand participates. They pretty much have to. Even brands that don’t do promotions (like mine) still have to send some sort of counter Black Friday email to stay relevant.
But Spring Black Friday? I’m sorry Lowe’s, but this is the Fetch to your Gretchen Weiners. As in, stop trying to make it happen. It’s not going to happen.
Don’t worry, marketers. Spring Black Friday isn’t a thing. Lowe’s is the only brand I saw sending emails about it. And it wasn’t even a Friday. It was two whole weekends. The whole campaign was executed so poorly they’ve pretty much guaranteed this will NEVER be a thing.
First up, the subject lines I received:
May 1: Heads Up, New York! Spring Black Friday Starts Today
May 2: Spring Black Friday Is in Full Swing
May 3: Amazing Spring Black Friday Offers Continue
May 4: Don’t Miss Spring Black Friday Savings
May 8: Final Days! Spring Black Friday Savings!
May 9: Hey New York! It’s the Final Spring Black Friday Weekend
May 10: Spring Black Friday is Almost Over!
May 11: Don’t Wait! Spring Black Friday Ends Tomorrow.
S0, of these days, May 2 and May 9 were the only Fridays. Yet this one “Friday” seems to extend Thursday-Sunday, for two weekends in a row. Why call them Black Friday at all? For me (and this may be the extreme introvert talking), “Black Friday” conjures up thoughts of getting up way too early, cold weather, stampedes, extreme crowds, and a lot of anxiety. However, Spring, gardening, and working on making my apartment nicer… don’t. I don’t want to make a sexist generalization here, but I’d imagine their target demographic is men. Men probably don’t react to Black Friday the same way women do (other than camping out at Best Buy, I guess), and I bet they care about Black Friday even less.
Then there’s the personalization by city thing. Lowe’s has a few locations in Brooklyn and eastern NJ, but they’re way too far away for most people in New York City to want to shop at. Most purchases at this type of store are generally bigger and require a car (or, you know, owning a home or yard that needs improvement). We have several Home Depot locations in Manhattan (near subway stations, no less!), and a few in Queens.
Since this campaign was a pretty big deal for Lowe’s (I guess?), and they sent eight emails about it, surely the emails were at least really good, right?
Meh. Granted, I’m not exactly their target market (despite my NYC location. Or something). I have no idea if these are even good deals, since I never really purchase any of these items, and won’t need to for the forseeable future. Lowe’s emails always have a very – basic design that just screams “I was built in in a WYSIWYG.” I don’t even mind that it’s simple. Really simple.
I’m a little curious about the language of the green buttons – some say “Shop now” and some day “Buy now.” Was that an A/B test within the email (which wouldn’t work, since it’s totally different products and price points), or just inconsistent copy editing?
I’m just glad we all survived another Black Friday.