It's almost the best time of the year for business owners: The holiday shopping season! And the day that will kickstart your store's busiest season is, of course, none other than Black Friday.
You obviously heard about it before, and I'll bet that as a customer, you've also secured some pretty amazing deals during a Black Friday sale. Or maybe you're one of those customers who is also on the lookout for Cyber Monday deals because you know your favorite stores usually have great prices around that time.
But while it's all fun and games when you're the customer, things can get pretty scary once you're on the other side.
If you're the business owner in charge of making all of your online store's Black Friday campaigns, you likely have a lot on your plate: You're worried about how to attract customers. You're thinking hard about how to offer an exclusive deal for loyal customers so they feel acknowledged even during such a busy time. And you're trying to figure out how to assemble sustainable Black Friday marketing strategies that won't leave you exhausted and begging for a vacation.
With so much on your plate, I'll bet you're also probably clicking wildly on the internet to find some Black Friday marketing ideas to replicate in your store because you and I both know there's no way you're waiting for the muse to come knocking. There isn't enough time for that!
The good news is that you don't need to panic like Rachel. This year, Black Friday is on November 24 — meaning we've still got plenty of time to walk you through some of the best tips, do's, and don'ts to help you create a killer Black Friday marketing strategy.
Oh, it also means Cyber Monday will happen on November 27, so mark that date on your calendar, too!
How to build a Black Friday marketing strategy
Many first-time entrepreneurs tend to think that creating a Black Friday marketing strategy is mainly about creating interactive posts that engage on social media, posting some eye-catching photos, and investing all their manpower into email marketing.
But that's not true, though. While social media and email are unquestionably the two battlegrounds where your Black Friday marketing campaigns will compete to attract customers, Black Friday campaigns are a business-wide operation that involves a lot of planning and strategic work on the store's website.
With that in mind, let's look at four of the most basic elements you need to consider once you start building your Black Friday marketing strategy.
Decide how long your Black Friday deals will last
Black Friday started as a day-long event, but over the years it has become increasingly common for ecommerce stores to run longer sales.
Some businesses run four or five-day campaigns to get some Cyber Monday sales, while others try to extend sales until December to hook some holiday shoppers.
It’s also becoming increasingly common for online stores to conduct flash sales during the weeks leading up to the Black Friday weekend — a great strategy to consider if you’re searching about how to increase sales.
The important thing to note here is that The first thing you'll need to decide when you start a Black Friday marketing strategy is how long your Black Friday sale will be. To make this decision, you'll need to factor in elements like:
- Your marketing budget. Will it last until the end of the holiday season?
- Shipping fees and delivery times. Can you sustain your promotional shipping fees for a longer period?
- Paid marketing strategies. A longer Black Friday deal will also mean paying for ad placement longer.
Canadian-based Urban Beard, for instance, decided to run a joint Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale.
To get shoppers to go to their online store, they extended the deal a few days past Cyber Monday. That way, customers had two extra days to get their beardy products.
✅ A Black Friday DO: When addressing your customers directly, always highlight your store's exclusive discounts right from the get-go. You can see that Urban Beard's email message is only five lines long and that the deal is easy to locate inside the text.
SEO is another must-have for you to consider when crafting Black Friday marketing strategies because standing out amongst a sea of competitors can be tough.
Luckily, you can boost your store traffic with the right SEO strategy. Be sure to spread that SEO love throughout your online store, populating your headers, meta descriptions, and product descriptions (more on this last one later!).
Just keep in mind that the key to SEO is finding that sweet spot between a keyword that reflects your business and a term that users would look for in Google. Urban Beard, for instance, has a stellar SEO strategy that earned them a coveted spot on the first Google Search page for “beard products canada.”
Get that Black Friday buzz going
You're still hunting for Black Friday marketing ideas but unsure which products you'll include in your Black Friday deals.
That's understandable. As we mentioned earlier, creating a Black Friday campaign involves going through a long list of errands. However, this doesn't mean that you should avoid mentioning some potential Black Friday deals for your followers and customers on social media.
Here's why: It's always nice to get a little bit of a buzz going, even if, at the end of the day, you decide not to go overboard and just launch the standard "free shipping + 25% off" deal. This buzz, after all, will help you attract followers and increase your engagement metrics.
Write descriptions for the holiday season
Remember that we mentioned product descriptions a couple of paragraphs above? Well, now we’re diving a little bit deeper into them, especially since they can make or break your Black Friday deals.
We’re not being dramatic here: Pricing is, obviously, super important when it comes to closing Black Friday sales. But the product description can be just as important.
Keep in mind that while you might very well have some loyal customers who already know which products they’re getting and which deals they’re taking advantage of, there are also potential customers who aren’t really familiar with your store or with your products. And those are the people you need to convince and engage.
Moscot's product pages are filled with bite-sized information about their products, and users can even decide which type of info they want to read through Story, Details, or Shipping & Returns.
⛔A Black Friday DON’T: Don’t be stingy with your product photos. Depending on the kind of product you’re selling, it’s best to showcase the item in a wide array of scenarios. Moscot, for instance, has an abundance of product photos because they sell glasses, and people need to picture themselves wearing them.
Integrate store and social
Black Friday sales are about getting customers to click "Add to Cart." But to ensure people get there, you first need to offer them a customer experience that will help them find what they're looking for.
✅ A Black Friday DO: Remember that a lot of potential customers might reach your store after finding out about you on social media. To make sure they can purchase whichever item they're looking for with just a couple of clicks, you can take a page from Dime Optics.
Their "Shop Insta" section is filled with their Instagram posts but redirects the user to the specific product page. Pretty cool, right?
🔥 Black Friday marketing bonus tip
Another thing to keep in mind when creating your Black Friday marketing strategy is that speed is key. You'll only have a couple of minutes — nay, seconds — to hook shoppers and get them to click on your email message, social media post, and product page.
This is why streamlining the online shopping experience is a great move for an online business. Try to create a seamless, hassle-free environment in your checkout, sign-up, and FAQ pages. The easier they are to navigate, the smoother the experience you'll offer to returning and new customers.
9 Black Friday marketing ideas to inspire you
Now that we covered the basics, it’s time we catch some Black Friday marketing campaigns in action. You’ll see that each of the online retailers we listed below offers different ideas and solutions to reel in their Black Friday shoppers, whether it’s via email marketing or social media.1. Offer a gift
Few things excite a customer more than a gift — especially in the world of online shopping, where a customer can close a store's website and move on to the next one without ever giving it too much thought.
This is exactly why offering a gift is a great way to get your Black Friday sales to take off. You can either offer a gift with every purchase or do something different depending on your product.
If you're like Frantastique and have digital products to sell online, why not offer partial access to your products for a limited time? This is an excellent strategy to take if your business sells online courses, for example, since it’ll get people more interested in your store.
2. Gamify your Black Friday deals
We already talked a bit about the struggle of creating Black Friday marketing campaigns that stand out among the sea of email messages your customers will receive in their inboxes.
However, you can (and should) try to spruce things up a bit and aim right at your target audience’s sense of curiosity — this is where a gamified Black Friday marketing strategy comes into play.
You can do something similar to what Ruggable did with their email marketing last year. In their “Mistery Savings” campaign, customers had to click on the image to reveal the exact discount they would get.
You can also bring some of that gaming inspo to your Black Friday campaigns on social media. Citrus & Cane, for instance, did a whole “Mistery Candle” promotion during their last Black Friday.
3. Black Friday sales start with a header
If you’re concentrating your Black Friday marketing strategies on email, keep in mind that you’ll need to create an unmissable header for your messaging.
And by unmissable, we mean unmissable — not least because the header can sometimes be your only chance to get people to check out your offer.
No pressure whatsoever.
But here's the thing: You don't need to go overboard and shout "Here's a Black Friday Deal" in all caps and bold lettering to attract those Black Friday shoppers.
Instead, you can take a look at the email header that Canadian brand Felix Health put out on their last Black Friday marketing campaign and try to mix and match the elements below:
- Two sentences or even shorter
- Time-sensitive promotion
- How big are your Black Friday discounts
- An emoji that’s consistent with the message
4. Offer a Black Friday deal that only you can offer
You can also go into a different direction with your Black Friday marketing strategies and offer as your main selling point a thing that only you can offer to customers.
This will, of course, depend on your products, niche, and customers — but ideally, it should be something like what Skip Express Lane did on their previous Black Friday campaigns.
Just take a look at their email below. Yes, they are offering a 50% off deal to encourage customers to buy. But they are also offering something only they can offer, which is to deliver those items to the customer’s door in 25 minutes or less.
5. Offer new customers an exclusive deal to boost sales
If you have a subscription-based business, you’re likely wondering if building a Black Friday marketing strategy is actually a good idea.
This is a reasonable question to ask yourself. At the end of the day, you probably have very limited chances to sell to customers who have already subscribed to your business.
How about focusing on those people who follow you on social media and have subscribed to your mailing list but have yet to make the purchase? This is exactly what Book of the Month did in their last campaign:
6. Rebrand it
If you're catering to a more cool or hip audience, then it's likely that you're steering away from the obvious in some (if not all) of your marketing moves. So why not do the same with your Black Friday marketing strategy?
Just take a look at what Catbird, a NY-based brand that specializes in selling jewelry online and in-person, does. Their Black Friday sale was rebranded and is now an all-store annual sale.
7. A gift guide for the holiday shopping season
Gift guides are always a powerful tool to boost Black Friday sales and those holiday sales too, especially when you consider the fact that quite a lot of people start to shop for Christmas presents during Black Friday.
You can take advantage of this and build both an email marketing campaign and a social media strategy that centers around Black Friday gift guides like Analuisa does.
8. Partner with influencers
Influencer marketing has become a mainstay of social media, and online retailers have now been partnering with more and more influencers of every niche and audience size.
One of the great things about working with an influencer is that you’ll be able to generate great quality content for your brand without having to put in the hard work since most of that will be under the responsibility of the influencer.
Just make sure that you're partnering with someone that's aligned with your store's values, and that has something in common with your customers and intended audience.
9. Less can be more during the Black Friday weekend
If you're intent on creating a robust Black Friday marketing strategy for your social media, keep in mind that less can be more.
Unlike email, where you have few chances to connect with customers, social media allows you to post different content in different formats and post them before, during, and after the big day. This means that you can get creative and try out different content ideas, from the really over-the-top posts to ones with a more minimal approach.
Tips to take your Black Friday campaigns to that next level
Before we leave you to sketch out your Black Friday marketing strategies, there is just one last topic to cover: some quick tips and fixes that you can make to your store and daily operations.
Those will help you get organized and ensure you're not spending an inordinate amount of time on small details when you should instead focus on the bigger picture.
Automate what you can
While it’s always a big plus to have top-notch customer service skills, you should also bear in mind the fact that customer service takes a lot of time and effort.
A great way to free up your time is to automate this part of your online store — and do it without having to compromise the quality of your service. Here at Shoplazza, you can count on stellar apps like JivoChat to help you offer automated, personal, and efficient customer service.
Hashtags are your friends
To make sure your Black Friday marketing campaigns really stand out on social media, you can add hashtags to everything you post on both Instagram and TikTok.
Hashtags can help you get likes and attract customers, but they can also make your content more discoverable inside the platform — which means that you’ll up your chances of catching some potential customers.
Get paid ads for an extra boost
Paid traffic sources can boost your Black Friday campaigns, especially if you're keen on standing out on coveted spots like Google Ads, YouTube Ads, and Google Search.
Just remember that committing to a paid ad strategy will mean that you’ll also have to spend a lot more, which might compromise your overall budget.
Before we leave you to it, it's essential to keep in mind that while joining in the Black Friday run can definitely reap some good results, you should also think about how you can optimize your campaigns to make them sustainable in the long run.
Here’s why: You shouldn’t be moving mountains to catch new customers every single year. You should, instead, take each Black Friday opportunity to build a long-term relationship with your new customers.
That way, you’ll be building a nice, organic following that’ll always engage with your store.
And you can start putting this strategy in place right now. How about offering a special deal for a second purchase right after a customer makes their first purchase?
Remember: Black Friday is about sales. But it’s also about turning one-time customers into life-long partners.
So, best of luck!🍀