Black Friday has put itself on the map as one of those days that businesses and consumers look forward to.
If you’re a marketer or small business owner, we strongly recommend including Black Friday deals in your marketing campaigns.
Thinking of how to get started?
We’ve got you covered.
In this list post, we’ll present you with some of the best ideas to elevate your Black Friday marketing campaign.
Some of the ideas we’ll cover are:
- Partnering with influencers
- Leveraging social media
- Sending gift cards
So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is Black Friday and Why Should You Care About It?
Black Friday in the US is the day right after Thanksgiving that marks the beginning of the holiday season.
This gives consumers time to start preparing their shopping plans and retailers also get to take advantage of the day to heavily promote their products.
In most cases, they make huge online and offline sales.
What’s more, the tradition seems to keep getting stronger every year despite the COVID-19 pandemic that tried to slow things down, as Black Friday sales were up 18% in 2020 compared to the year before.
Is something similar expected for 2023?
While we can’t be certain, we still expect a similar turnout that will boost sales for online stores.
After all, studies have shown that it’s a highly anticipated day for most consumers so business owners need to have the right plan in place beforehand.
Here’s a graphic showing the percentages of consumers waiting for Black Friday so they can tap the checkout button:
The numbers say it all.
And then we have Cyber Monday – the Monday right after the Black Friday weekend.
They’re quite similar in the sense they’re both holiday sales.
What’s different is that Cyber Monday is mainly for online stores.
In a nutshell, Black Friday needs to be strategically planned so online retailers can make the most of it.
So, when should you start preparing for the big day?
Let’s get into it.
When Is It a Good Time to Start Your Black Friday Promotions?
While there isn't a specific date to start attracting potential customers, we suggest you begin preparations at the start of October.
Studies have shown that over 50% of winter holiday shoppers have plans to begin their shopping in October.
So it will make so much sense if you can start rolling out your Black Friday offers between late September and October.
However, when it comes to creating a Black Friday marketing strategy in general, we recommend starting early in the summer so you can reach your target audience.
How about we take a look at a list of marketing ideas that'll inspire you to create a memorable Black Friday campaign?
Idea #1:Optimize Your Offers for Mobile
Technology has become a part of our daily lives and almost everyone has access to smartphones.
Statistics show that in 2021, 85% of Americans owned a smartphone and the value they get from them keeps increasing.
What does that tell you?
More people are spending time on their mobile devices and there’s a good chance that if they want to shop, they’ll do that on their mobile phones too.
Another study has shown that mobile commerce sales have been growing non-stop since 2016 and were expected to reach a staggering $3.5 trillion in 2021.
Here’s what we mean:
If you want to attract new customers for your Black Friday shopping deals, ensure that your product pages, landing pages, and website in general, are all optimized for mobile.
Why is this important?
Well, statistics show that the average person spends over 5 hours on mobile devices daily.
So there’s a good chance that you’ll be losing a lot of traffic if your offers aren’t optimized.
Idea #2: Partner Up With Influencers and Creators
Influencer marketing has in recent years played an important role in the way businesses run ads.
It’s become a great way for brands to increase their online presence and in-store sales.
Influencer marketing involves collaborating with creators or influencers to create content promoting your store and in this case, your offer.
While you can find influencers to work with all year round, holiday shopping seasons and days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the perfect opportunities for you to feature them in your promotion.
When people see them on your ad creative, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
We’re not just saying that, millennials believe that creators and influencers understand them way better than their friends.
Let’s look at an example.
Example: Amazon Fire TV
When Amazon was about to release the Amazon Fire TV Cube, they realized that it was just a few weeks before Black Friday.
Considering the kind of product in question and the timing of Black Friday, they decided it was the perfect moment to create buzz around it.
What did they do?
They partnered with influencers and creators to produce content to draw attention to its Black Friday shopping activation in Los Angeles.
Amazon also offered free devices to local influencers who shared the Amazon Fire TV pop-up with their followers.
Have a look:
This is a classic example of an influencer gifting program and an excellent way to promote your products on Black Friday as well.
Idea #3: Advertise Your Promotions on Social Media
Another way to get record sales during the holidays is to run promotions on social media.
Running ads will ensure that your target audience gets to see your content and offer.
It will also help you:
- Raise brand awareness
- Increase your sales
Does it work?
Here’s how we know:
First, the number of active social media users in the world is over 4 billion and it’s expected to go up to over 5.8 billion in 2027.
That means whenever you advertise on social media, you can be certain that there’ll be people who view it.
Also, the annual ad spend on social media is expected to top over $130 billion in 2022.
You know why marketers still pump in so much money?
Because it works!
So you can be certain that you’ll get a good return on ad spend (ROAS) if you decide to run ads.
Here’s an example:
Example: The Little Avocado
This small business took to Instagram to promote its latest Cyber Week deals to its audience.
Depending on the nature of your brand and the social media platform, you can come up with multiple content formats to announce any Black Friday-related activity you may have.
Idea #4: Organize Flash Sales
Flash sales are promotions and discounts that last for a limited period.
As a result, they create a sense of urgency for shoppers or fear of missing out (FOMO) so they’ll want to take advantage of the discounts while they can.
Makes sense, right?
Considering the Black Friday – Cyber Monday period only lasts for a few days, organizing flash sales can increase the number of people buying from you.
BrandCrowd is a good example when it comes to organizing flash sales.
By offering discounts via email marketing, custom logo maker BrandCrowd took great advantage of the flash sales technique.
More specifically, they offered existing users a 66% discount if they purchased a new logo within three days.
As you can see, this creates FOMO so they feel compelled to claim the offer while it’s valid.
Words and phrases such as “Hurry!”, “Limited-time Offer”, and “Last Minute” can do the job of urging users to make a purchase.
Author’s Note: You can add a countdown timer showing visitors that your offers end soon as a way to create even more urgency.
Idea #5: Offer Minimum Spend Rewards
Another thing you can do to get more sales is to reward your customers whenever they spend a certain amount of money in your store.
This is similar to the loyalty programs many companies use to thank their customers for trusting them.
“I want them to buy from me, why do I have to add to my expenses?”
Well, offering spend rewards can get them to spend a little extra for a chance to gain a coupon code, gift card, or any other reward that fits your business model.
Idea #6: Give Free Shipping
Add free shipping to the equation and you’ve almost practically won the hearts of your customers.
With 90% of consumers saying that free shipping is one of the top reasons they shop online, you’d be subtly compelling people to buy from you if you give them free shipping.
This idea can be used at any time of year or during Black Friday when shoppers are bombarded with promotional offers.
Offering free shipping on such occasions can stand out.
Let’s look at an example.
Sephora, a cosmetics company, informed their audience via social media that they were offering discounts and free shipping during the Black Friday weekend.
What happened then?
The post got over 14k engagements.
Irrespective of the channels used to communicate your offers, free shipping serves as a great incentive to get your users to take advantage of your Black Friday offers.
Author’s Note: You can combine the free-shipping technique with upselling or cross-selling another of your products.
Idea #7: Create Discount Coupons and Codes
Generating discount coupons and codes is another classic way to get more sales during your holiday marketing campaigns.
You’ll be slashing the prices of your product without reducing its quality and that’s one thing people love.
Also, by offering customers discounts when they want to leave your website, you’ll be avoiding cart abandonment which can lead to an increase in sales.
Idea #8: Set Up a Black Friday Email Campaign
Launching an email marketing campaign is a digital marketing technique you can also use on Black Fridays.
Reports show that for every dollar spent on email marketing campaigns, you get a $36 return on investment (ROI).
Let’s see an example of an email marketing campaign for Black Friday.
Example: Classic Football Shirts
Classic Football Shirts is a UK-based ecommerce business that specializes in selling soccer (‘football’ in the UK) shirts.
Every year in November they send out an email campaign to inform their customers of their Black Friday offers and discounts.
This is how straightforward and engaging promotional emails can be integrated to boost your Black Friday activities.
Author’s Note: Remember to pay extra attention to your email subject line; it can help determine your open rate.
Idea #9: Set Up Black Friday Referral Awards
Referral marketing can work wonders for your business.
If you’re able to get your loyal customers to refer their network to you in exchange for a reward, there’s a very good chance that you’ll increase your customer numbers.
This technique can be applied to promotional Black Friday initiatives as well.
By offering your users incentives such as:
- Gift cards
- Discount codes
- Free trials
- Giveaway entries
Or anything else you’d like to give.
Referral marketing can be particularly useful for ecommerce stores but any online business can take advantage of it.
Let’s see how one brand leveraged referral marketing.
Feelunique is an online store that sells all kinds of beauty-related products.
To promote its Black Friday event, it prompted existing clients to tell their friends and family members about it in exchange for a special discount and other combo deals.
It was a two-sided referral program so the referred clients also got a discount.
Plus, referral programs can be used as a way to retarget your website’s visitors and incentivize them to spread the word about you.
Author’s Note: Add a personalization element such as adding your customer’s name to create a relationship with them.
Idea #10: Run Social Media Exclusive Discounts
As stated earlier, social media is a great way to promote your business.
Now, what if you had offers exclusively for your social media followers?
You know, provide them with benefits for Black Friday exclusive to them alone.
This way, you’ll get to promote your business so you make more sales and gain more followers who want a piece of your exclusive discounts.
Idea #11: Live Stream Black Friday Events
Live streaming is yet another way to build a close relationship with your audience and have them engage with you in real time.
When potential customers see your brand on a live stream, it increases their chances of trusting you.
As such, they’ll be more inclined to do business with you.
Is live streaming worth it?
The short answer is yes and here’s why:
During an online shopping event in China known as Singles Day, ecommerce giant Alibaba generated 7.5% of all sales, around $3.1 billion, from live streaming alone.
After all, the holidays offer a short CLV (customer lifetime value) and what you ideally want is to keep your new customers after that period as well.
According to a study by Shopify, 64% of shoppers acquired during Black Friday and Cyber Monday have a lower CLV than those acquired at any other time of the year.
By going live on social media for your Black Friday events, you’ll get more deals and also increase the CLV of your customers.
Idea #12: Make Sure to Use Black Friday Hashtags
Hashtags are very helpful when it comes to organic discovery on social media.
Social sites such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook allow users to find what they’re looking for based on the right hashtags.
The Black Friday hashtag on TikTok has over 3.5 billion views at the moment.
That means by adding Black Friday-related hashtags to your social media posts, you enable people to find them easily.
Example: Pretty Little Things
This fashion brand collaborated with a TikTok creator to produce content about their upcoming Black Friday sales.
The creator used the hashtag #blackfriday in the post promoting a Black Friday offer.
We were able to find Pretty Little Things by doing a simple hashtag search on TikTok and the company appeared in the top results.
Here’s something else you can do if you run a small ecommerce business:
Use Black Friday-related hashtags so anyone searching for #BlackFridayDeals, #BlackFridaySales, #BlackFridayShopping, etc., can find you.
Idea #13: Offer a Flexible Return Policy
Customer satisfaction is key to a successful business.
And with over $640 billion in returned goods each year, offering consumers the option to return a product will keep them happy.
People return products for various reasons. It could be:
- They’re not satisfied with the item
- That it’s the wrong size
- That it was made with poor materials
As such, you need to have a flexible return policy that can allow customers to return a product within a month of purchase.
If you do decide to offer one, keep the returns policy simple so customers know whether they meet the requirements to return an item.
Add this offer as part of your Black Friday marketing campaign so customers will be more compelled to buy from you.
This can be combined with generating discount codes or gift cards too.
Idea #14: Bring in New Products and Services
Everyone gets excited about new products – your loyal customers included.
If you want to generate sales during your Black Friday event, announce the launch of the new product just before the event and there’s a good chance that you’ll boost sales from day one.
This approach is what IKEA used in their 2020 Black Friday event.
To save old furniture from being thrown away, the Swedish company decided to buy back any unwanted furniture and give it a second chance by reselling it.
This was all part of its Black Friday campaign called #BuybackFriday and is a great example of how sustainability can be integrated into such campaigns.
Overall if you’ve got new products coming up, try timing the launch with Black Friday and Cyber Monday so you can take advantage of those days.
Author’s Note: You can offer your new products in product bundles at a better price.
Idea #15: Send Gift Cards
Gift cards are a great way to attract new customers and motivate your existing buyers to make more purchases.
A gift card can either be valid for your store or an external one.
Although you probably want it to be yours.
They’re perfect for Black Friday campaigns and can be combined with all sorts of other offers.
Let’s look at an example so you can see what we mean.
Themify, a WordPress theme and plugin provider, launched their 2019 Black Friday event by offering three Amazon gift cards, 40% off all purchases, and 75% off the lifetime club.
See what we mean?
This kind of offer will be very difficult to overlook when customers see it. It can incentivize them to buy from you.
Simply put, gift cards are a good fit for any marketing campaign and can be integrated with other marketing tactics as well, like user-generated content.
Idea #16: Create a Black Friday Gift Guide
Consumers are often overwhelmed before Black Friday comes, with a plethora of brands using ads and other ways to promote their offers.
You should make your marketing activity unique to stand out from the crowd.
Something that usually works is gift guides.
It’s a win-win situation since you get the chance to promote your products and consumers get informed about the best options out there.
Sounds good, right?
Here’s an example.
Example: The Verge
That's what The Verge did in their 2020 event. They created some detailed gift guides for Cyber Monday, regarding a wide range of products, such as laptop and phone deals.
What you can do is add your products to a high-quality guide for users to explore your business.
Idea #17: Create Black Friday Facebook Events
Community building is essential for creating long-lasting relationships with customers.
How do you do that?
By creating Facebook events.
This will help you get together with your most loyal customers and exchange views and opinions.
It’s also a great way to promote your business for Black Friday or Cyber Monday by presenting what you have to offer for the shopping season.
When a user signs up to attend a Facebook event, they’ll get notified of your activities so you can reach them much easier.
Events like this help you create real-life relationships and build trust which is good considering 83% of consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know.
So the more they trust you, the more chances of them buying from you and referring others.
Idea #18: Organize Black Friday Social Media Contests
Did you know that social media contests have a conversion rate of 34%, which is higher than any other content type?
This is exactly why brands love using them.
Users get to interact with them since there’s a good chance they’ll win a reward and, as a result, the contest gains more exposure, to your benefit.
Another advantage of contests is the fact that they can be set up anytime – whether it’s during Christmas or Easter, Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
As long as you pour all your creativity into them and offer your audience something irresistible, the benefits can be stunning.
Idea #19: Create Offers with a Sense of Urgency
Just like we mentioned above, creating a sense of urgency works well in marketing campaigns and Black Friday is no exception.
You can use it alongside your social media or email marketing campaign.
There are countless ways to leverage that FOMO and boost your sales.
Here’s a good example.
Superdrug used a limited-time discount to get its Instagram followers to take action.
By adding the phrase “Today Only”, it managed to urge its users to take immediate action to benefit from the 15% discount.
If you’re thinking of ways to get your sales off the ground, this psychological tactic can work wonders!
Idea #20: Extend Your Deals and Discounts Beyond Cyber Monday
As a business owner, you definitely want sales beyond these holiday marketing deals.
To do that, you want to extend your customer relationship beyond the holidays and keep your customers engaged by reminding them.
That’s what Walmart did in 2020 before their Cyber Monday deal came to an end.
In the following Instagram post, Walmart made sure to remind its audience about its Cyber Monday deals.
This way, all new customers acquired on Black Friday can still revisit the retailer for its Cyber Monday event as well.
You can also take this a step further by creating a Cyber Monday Week instead of one day.
That’ll help you increase your sales and your CLV significantly.
Idea #21: Do Something for Those Abandoned Carts
The average abandoned cart rate is just under 70%.
While this is an interesting stat, it’s also a huge loss for online stores, which lose sales at the last minute.
There are many ways to prevent this, some more efficient than others, but finding the right ones for you is crucial.
One great method is to apply an exit intent pop-up that'll detect when users are about to exit your page and offer them a discount if they complete their purchase.
Whether it’s Black Friday or not, this can potentially lower your cart-abandonment rates and boost your sales.
Idea #22: Give a Free Gift with Every Purchase
Everyone loves a gift. Whether it’s a free product, a free trial, or even free money to spend, users love receiving gifts.
You need to jump on this if you haven’t yet done so.
Simply make sure to offer something that you can afford to give and watch new sales pouring in.
After all, once a new client gets to know you through this tactic, it’s likely that they’ll stay around and even refer others to you.
Gifts can easily be promoted through social media, emails, your website, and any other marketing tactic.
Here’s a good example of what we mean:
Online fitness retailer SHEFIT offered a gift with every purchase over a certain amount.
From the screenshot, you can see they extended their deals and added a gift to their customers.
Deals like this have a way of appealing to customers so they want to buy more.
Idea #23: Have a Catchy Black Friday Slogan
Some phrases have been associated with a certain company. When people see or hear them, they think of that company.
That’s something you can try for your brand as a good slogan tells customers what the brand stands for.
It doesn’t have to stick with your brand in general, you can just create one for the Black Friday event alone.
Something like that is what Patagonia did.
They displayed a poem that at first glance looks pessimistic but when read backward, becomes a call to action with a cause.
The point here is that Black Friday actions don’t have to be all about offers and promotions.
You can get creative and stand out from the crowd by putting out something no one expects.
If you want, you can create something controversial, the results may be great for your brand.
Alright, let’s wrap up this post.
Now Over to You
Welcome to the end of our list post!
We’re pretty certain you’ve learned a thing or 23 🙃 so far.
And you now know what to do to get those sales coming in on Black Friday.
We’ll let you go and put those ideas into practice now.
And if you’d also like to prepare for Cyber Monday, we’ve got an insightful blog post that can set you on the right path.
Feel free to check it out and hopefully we get to see you soon!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We’ve added this section to help you answer questions you might have regarding Black Friday marketing.
If you have more questions that aren’t answered here then don’t hesitate to contact us so we can provide you with the answers you need.
Q1. How do I prepare my business for Black Friday?
Here’s a checklist of what you can do to prepare your business for Black Friday:
- Check out what your competitors are doing
- Develop a plan for promotions
- Decide on the offers you want to give
- Have multiple payment options
- Take stock of your inventory
- Create a pleasant buying experience for your customers
- Keep your policies simple
Q2. What are some strategies for Black Friday marketing?
The competition is always high during Black Friday events and as such, you want to have a solid marketing strategy to help you get more customers.
Here are some helpful strategies for Black Friday marketing:
- Optimize your website and ads for mobile
- Launch an email marketing campaign
- Offer long-time customers an exclusive deal
- Sell directly on social media platforms
- Run social media contests
Q3. How do I get my customers to come to my store on Black Friday?
You can get customers to come to your store on Black Friday by:
- Running promotions through social media with influencers and creators
- Featuring creators in your events
- Launching referral programs
- Offer gifts and discount coupons
- Retarget customers who abandoned their carts with a better offer
Q4. What are the benefits of Black Friday for my business?
To begin with, it’s the one time of the year customers are planning to make multiple purchases.
More specifically, Black Friday will help you get:
- New customers
- More traffic to your website
- Increase in sales
- Awareness of your business