15 Black Friday Marketing Strategy Ideas & Planning Tips
With sales, limited-time deals, and lines starting at midnight, Black Friday is the time to make the push for end-of-year performance. What is Black Friday? Black Friday is the busiest and most chaotic shopping day of the year. It falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving and typically marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
Having a Black Friday marketing strategy is necessary if you want to tap into the increased spending behaviors of consumers during this time. A well-thought-out campaign can boost sales volume and put you ahead of the competition.
Black Friday also serves as a magnet for new customers and boosts brand visibility during a key shopping event. Your campaign can reveal consumer data that can template future business strategies.
Understanding the Modern Consumer
The way people shop has changed dramatically over the last decade. Consumers are going digital and looking for convenience. They can compare prices and deals of different ecommerce stores with minimal effort.
But the digital age of shopping has its benefits for merchants too. Your audience is no longer limited to those who can walk through your doors, so you need to be prepared with a Black Friday sales strategy that extends beyond brick-and-mortar retail.
Is Black Friday a good marketing strategy? Black Friday can be an effective marketing strategy due to the increased consumer traffic and purchase intent. It allows you to test new products and clear existing inventory. However, the strategy must be carefully planned to avoid profit loss from the deep discounts of Black Friday deals.
Businesses should plan for online incentives even if they have a physical location. According to virtual waiting room provider Queue-It, 87.2 million American consumers (opens in a new window) engaged in online shopping on Black Friday last year. That's more than one-third of the adult population! If you want to get the best result and capture the most potential customers, you'll want to provide online options.
15 Black Friday Marketing Ideas to Optimize Your Sales
The best Black Friday marketing campaigns target the correct audience and set you apart from your competition. You need to provide incentives and a sense of urgency if you want to be THE retailer of choice at the official start of the holiday shopping season. We’ve got 15 Black Friday Marketing Ideas to boost online sales and maximize conversion rates this year.
1. Use Sneak Peek Promotions for Your Social Media Followers
Using social media to tease your sales can be used to start building an email list and grow your organic presence. You can entice your followers to and gain new followers by giving them first looks at some of your best deals.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, X, TikTok, and YouTube are all prime places to announce Black Friday deals and share coupon codes. You already know your followers are part of your target audience and this will get them excited for the big day.
Using social media marketing as the advantage of dialogue with your audience to help identify and address any questions the public may have about the discounts you plan to offer.
2. Have an Early Access Sale for Your Email List
Creating and maintaining an email list is a sound strategy not just for Black Friday, but the whole year through. Let your customers know the sales you plan on having for Black Friday. Make sure subject lines are clear and concise, leaving no doubt as to the topic.
Then, surprise your VIPs and most loyal customers by offering early bird discounts before Black Friday arrives. Email is among the most effective marketing channels, even outpacing affiliate marketing and social media marketing (opens in a new window).
3. Have an Abandoned Cart Email Flow
Email automation is a great tool to make email marketing campaigns more efficient. Every e-commerce store should set up a special email that is triggered to send out to users when carts are abandoned.
You can also include pop-ups to help retain customers who accidentally click away from their orders. Mentioning the possibility of stock running out or the limited-time nature of your sale in a Black Friday abandoned cart email flow can create a sense of urgency to buy.
4. Try Flash Deals or a Deal of the Hour
Some Black Friday offers are announced weeks ahead of time, others can work well in a time-sensitive manner, like flash deals. Your online store can offer discounts on an hourly basis, opening a narrow window of time to save money on specific products or product categories.
A flash sale is a great idea when quantities are limited and demand is high. They have many benefits (opens in a new window), including creating more space for inventory, increasing customer loyalty, and driving FOMO (fear of missing out) sales.
5. Offer Free Promo Gear and Swag With Purchase
Everyone loves a free gift. That's why we recommend including a swag giveaway or a branded promo product with your Black Friday deals. They can be added to an order as a reward when customers accept your upsell or announce that free swag will be included with purchases your Black Friday email.
You can choose the type of swag to give away. It can range from anything from a t-shirt to a stuffed animal or a travel tumbler. A small free gift can go a long way in building relationships and swag gifts like beanies are free advertising for you when they’re worn around town.
6. Launch a New Product for Black Friday
Releasing a new product for Black Friday will certainly drum up interest in your brand. It also provides an opportunity to cross-sell by encouraging existing customers to consistently turn to your business for additional products.
New item introductions are a way to make holiday marketing exciting and to expand your audience. Be sure to include these new products in social media posts and feature them on your homepage. Great copy and memorable hashtags to spread the word even faster.
7. Try a Spin the Wheel for Prizes and Discounts
One of the most popular and trending promotion ideas for e-commerce sites is to include a virtual spinning prize wheel. It's a fun way for customers to get a little something extra for choosing your business over the competition. Potential prizes can include gift cards, company swag, order discounts, membership discounts, free shipping, and more. You can offer the prize in exchange for their email address to further develop your email lists.
8. Have a Landing Page for Your Black Friday Sales
It's important that customers have some sort of central hub for accessing all of your Black Friday sale items. A landing page specifically for the sales event will help customers navigate and intrigue them with enticing visuals.
A landing page can increase visibility for users who find your site via search engines and create a direct route to conversion.
9. Offer Bundles With Savings or Freebies
Consider offering multiple items together in a convenient and appealing gift set package. These can be related products that all complement each other, sold at a lower price bundled together than they would amount to individually.
Make sure customers realize the exact level of savings the offer includes. You can also offer discounts for higher order volumes. These practices can both increase average order value and expose customers to products that they may not have otherwise considered.
Incorporate free add-ons for your Black Friday sale, such as product embellishments and enhanced personalization. Make a point of how much the savings are to be had so your customer feels confident they are getting the best deal.
10. Hire Social Media Influencers To Build Hype
Social media influencers are becoming a big part of marketing in our new digital world. Influencers on TikTok or YouTube are known for their social media posts, like unboxing videos where they gush about how much they love an item they've just purchased.
This type of video will put your brand directly in front of their audiences. When choosing an influence to work with, be sure their audience is a good fit for your brand and has plenty of engaged followers. You can offer to send them items for free that they can review to build excitement and curiosity among their followers.
11. Create Urgency With a Countdown
When there is a sense of urgency, people have a higher likelihood of buying a product. Countdown timers help to create the feeling when they display exactly how much time they have left to take advantage of your sale.
Knowing there is a limited time to shop around on other sites or browse around forces the consumer to act fast and not second guess their purchase. It also adds excitement and an endorphin boost when they beat the clock and get a great deal.
12. Have a Gift Guide To Help Your Customers Make a Purchase
A gift guide can be a great resource when your customers have specific recipients in mind. For example, you can separate products into categories such as "For Teachers" or “For Soccer Players”. This makes it convenient and gives ideas to your customers when they are shopping for a gift with a certain person in mind. You can also branch out and include categories for occasions, such as Christmas, New Year, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
13. Give Your Loyal Customers Exclusive Offers
A loyalty program that extends exclusive offers to your best customers will ensure that they keep coming back. Provide a discount code or coupon that they can use to access savings on their Black Friday shopping sprees. Sending out gift cards and/or a free gift will grab their attention and have them rushing to your site to snag special offers that aren't available to the general public.
14. Create a Referral Code to Promote Sharing
Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to attract new customers because everyone is shopping. Referral codes encourage customers to share links to your site and special promotions. This brings more eyes on your products and your customer gets a reward when their link leads to a purchase. The new customers these programs net can also get a referral code, creating a wave of brand awareness and program participation.
15. Audit Your Website for Technical Issues
Whether you run a strictly e-commerce business or one that's a hybrid between online and in-store, your website needs to have the best user experience at all times. Don't lose Black Friday sales because pages are loading slowly or links aren't working.
Perform a technical audit of your site to find potential issues that can slow your site or make it difficult for potential customers to find.
Screaming Frog (opens in a new window) is an excellent auditing tool that can help with technical SEO (search engine optimization) and functionality issues.
Tips for a Successful Black Friday Marketing Campaign
Careful planning is one of the most important steps to a successful marketing campaign. What can I do to prepare for Black Friday? You can prepare for Black Friday by prepping early and addressing areas of your website and business operations that can cause problems or slow sales during this busy holiday sale.
Proactively preparing for a successful Black Friday starts before the campaign is launched and will help everything run smoother the day of. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make Sure Your Website is Easy to Navigate - Make sure your users can get to the categories and products they want with ease. Have an intuitive and hierarchical organization.
- Check Your Load Times - Many online shoppers are on mobile devices. If your page loads too slowly, they'll leave for a more convenient experience.
- Start Building Your Email List Early - Don't wait until the last minute or you’ll lose opportunities. Use teasers, urgency, social, and a compelling landing page to build lists ahead of time.
- Tailor Your Email Marketing with Segmented Lists - Analyze your customer base and create segmented lists based on product preference, buying habits, and past conversions.
- Remove Friction From the Checkout Flow - Don't choke in the home stretch. Make sure your checkout flow has a minimal amount of steps so you don't end up with abandoned carts.
- Be Optimized for Mobile E-commerce Shopping - It's a mobile-first world now. You need to make sure your site performs well on mobile devices and is visually appealing on smaller screens.
- Have a retargeting follow-up - Prepare to re-capture customers that have visited and resulted in cart abandonment.
Are Black Friday Promotions Better Than Cyber Monday?
The "better" event between Black Friday and Cyber Monday depends on the strategic fit for your business and customer base. Traditionally, retailers saw more benefits from Black Friday due to in-person sales, while online shopping platforms had the advantage on Cyber Monday, but these lines are blurring.
Retailers tend to make more money on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday. In 2022, Black Friday saw $9.12 billion (opens in a new window) in sales, but Cyber Monday pulled in $11.3 billion (opens in a new window). In part, this is due to fewer people having the day off from work, so business-to-business purchase rates have a greater opportunity to transpire.
What is BFCM? BFCM stands for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Nowadays it is becoming coming for online shopping sales to extend from Black Friday through the weekend to Cyber Monday.
The deals on Black Friday tend to be broad and span most categories, while Cyber Monday deals are more targeted and historically leaned towards tech deals. Black Friday is a day that shoppers tend to plan far in advance for a big item like a TV.
Cyber Monday consumer behavior is more opportunistic and spur-of-the-moment. Urgency makes shoppers a little more impulsive about buying.
Make Sure Your Business is Prepared for Black Friday
Black Friday is all about the potential to boost your sales and customer engagement. Tailoring your approach to your target audience, and ensuring that your business stands out from the competition is a must. Start planning early to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re a local business, you can also rev up sales for Small Business Saturday!
Make sure to order your custom promotional swag and giveaway items to include in your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday campaigns. You can use our promo gear to foster brand loyalty or get your logo in front of more eyes. Get your promotional products today!
Queue-It. (2023, October 5). 115 Black Friday statistics every retailer needs to know in 2023. Queue-it. https://queue-it.com/blog/black-friday-statistics/#:~:text=18.,%2C%20a%209.8%25%20increase%20YoY (opens in a new window)
Moyers, S. (2023, August 22). Why Email Marketing is Best Marketing Channel in 2023. SPINX Digital -. https://www.spinxdigital.com/blog/next-gen-email-marketing/#:~:text=Email%20marketing%20ranks%20as%20a,is%20simple%20%E2%80%94%20emails%20are%20personal (opens in a new window).
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Schwartz, A. (2023, August 24). The Big Sale Days: An E-Commerce Guide to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Total Retail. https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/the-big-sale-days-an-e-commerce-guide-to-black-friday-and-cyber-monday/#:~:text=In%202022%2C%20in%20the%20U.S.,both%20breaking%20all%20previous%20records (opens in a new window).
What are Flash Sales? Examples and Guide (2023). (n.d.-b). Shopify Plus. https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/flash-sale#2 (opens in a new window)