Planning a Black Friday marketing strategy is the key to standing out in a large crowd of advertising. Think about it. Every store, whether brick and mortar or eCommerce, are advertising deals. Customers are actively searching for them. So how do you catch their eye?
By being prepared and rolling out some killer tactics.
Don’t let planning your Black Friday marketing strategy frustrate you. It’s easier than you think to stand out from the crowd on a busy sales day.
Here are 19 tried and tested marketing strategies to try for Black Friday!
19 fool-proof Black Friday marketing strategies
Bonus: Learn how to sell more products on social media with our free Social Commerce 101 guide. Delight your customers and improve conversion rates.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the Friday following American Thanksgiving. It’s notorious for slashed prices in eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores, causing a surge in consumer spending.
Black Friday typically kicks off the holiday shopping season. You might have heard stories of the pandemonium that brick-and-mortar stores face.
The term ‘Black Friday’ originated in Philadelphia in the 1950s. Police officers used it to describe the heavy, disruptive crowds that would flock to the city the day after Thanksgiving. Suburban shoppers and tourists would flock to the city before the infamous Army-Navy football game.
Later, retailers adopted Black Friday. They depended on holiday shopping to put them “back in the black” before the fiscal year ended. Back in the black just means earning profit instead of operating at a loss or “being in the red.”
Today, Black Friday has extended from brick-and-mortar stores to online sales, with eCommerce stores jumping on the holiday. It’s also extended its timeline. Now Black Friday isn’t just a day, it’s a weekend of sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
eCommerce stores are reaping the benefits of online sales, even during a time when global buying habits shifted in an unpredictable market. In 2021, Shopify store owners collectively made a whopping $6.3 billion USD in sales globally between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a 23% increase from 2020.
During this time, sales were attributed to 47 million unique shoppers who made a purchase from a Shopify merchant. These weren’t your classic bargain bin deals either. The average cart price was above $100 US!
These are opportunities that your business can get in on too. All you need is a stellar marketing strategy to help you stand out from the crowd.
19 fool-proof Black Friday marketing strategies
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to Black Friday marketing strategies. You know your customers and what will work best for them. But, there are some tried and tested strategies that can help with your Black Friday marketing strategy.
Take a look below at these 19 fool-proof Black Friday marketing strategies.
Some shoppers enjoy the thrill of the hunt; others prefer to plan ahead and take advantage of early bird sales. You can entice both kinds of shoppers by using social media to promote your sales. You can tease out sales on your feed by offering ‘mystery deals’ or post exactly what your promotions will be.
By sharing previews of exclusive deals, countdown timers, and other engaging content, businesses can build anticipation and drive traffic to their stores on Black Friday. And social media is a great way to connect with customers and answer any questions they may have about your Black Friday sale.
Browse our collection of Black Friday social media posts for inspiration.
2. Create a sense of urgency
To get customers excited about your sale items, write copy that conveys urgency. Creating a sense of urgency or scarcity in your Black Friday marketing encourages customers to take action.
One reason why creating a sense of urgency is important is that it helps to capture attention. In a busy inbox, for example, an email that stands out and creates a sense of urgency is more likely to be noticed than an email that doesn’t.
You can encourage customers to act now rather than wait. By offering a limited-time discount or exclusive access to sale items, customers will feel compelled to take advantage of your Black Friday deals before they disappear.
3. Email marketing campaign
Set up an email marketing campaign and watch your ROI grow, and grow, and grow. When you average it out, email drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent. That’s higher than any other channel.
Who doesn’t love receiving discounts and deals in their inbox every day? Set one up a few weeks in advance of Black Friday with offers for your subscribers.
4. Optimize your website for shoppers searching on Google
Black Friday is swollen with eCommerce sites vying for a spot on Google’s front page. To rank, you need to optimize your website for online shoppers.
One way to do this is to use keywords that shoppers are likely to use when searching for holiday deals. Do some keyword research, then float those words throughout your site. Make sure you sound natural and don’t fall into the habit of keyword stuffing.
In addition, you should also make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are using their phones to do their holiday shopping.
5. Install a chatbot on your website to make customer support easier
With more shoppers comes more customer support inquiries. You can’t avoid it. Consumers are going to be reaching out with FAQs about orders, shipping, and returns. You name it.
By installing a chatbot on your website, you can streamline and automate your customer support services. The chatbot can handle the easy FAQs, and when a customer support rep is needed, they can step in and take over the conversation. This process can remove the repetitive work weighing down your team and give them time back to focus on larger-scale issues.
6. Install a chatbot on your Shopify site, too
You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to convert. So, if you use an eCommerce site like Shopify, consider installing a chatbot.
Shopify chatbots can pull data from your store to automate tasks. These include necessary customer communication, checking store inventory, performing returns, and encouraging sales.
During a rush like Black Friday, it’s important to give your customers the support they need. A chatbot helps you do so.
7. Use a chatbot to help shoppers find products faster
Besides automating customer service inquiries, AI chatbots like Heyday can also help with sales. If you find the right one, a chatbot can help shoppers to find the products they need quickly and easily.
This can work if you program your chatbot to ask shoppers a series of questions. From there, they can narrow down the search to a few specific items. Then, shoppers can either purchase the product online or find it in-store.
Chatbots can also provide personalized recommendations based on previous purchases. And, during the chaos that is Black Friday, you’ll want all the help you can get.
8. Offer long-time customers exclusive deals
People like to be acknowledged, especially when they have a relationship with your brand. Black Friday offers you a chance to show appreciation for loyal, long-time customers.
Offering exclusive deals and discounts to these customers is a smart marketing tactic that can help to build customer loyalty and drive repeat business. By showing your customers that you value their loyalty, you’ll encourage them to keep coming back on days that aren’t Black Friday.
People often use social media to research a product or look up a brand. Close to 1 in 2 people have reported looking up new brands, products or services on Instagram.
On Black Friday, everyone will be searching for deals and promotions. By selling directly on platforms like Instagram, you can put your products right in front of your target audience. Selling your products directly on the app means it’s even easier for your consumers to convert.
And you can reach a global audience on social media. People on Instagram, for example, expect to be marketed to. 90% of people follow a brand, after all.
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With Hootsuite, you can schedule your shoppable Instagram posts well in advance so you can focus on other brilliant Black Friday marketing ideas. Be sure to set your shop up properly first.
Black Friday gives you an opportunity to reach new audiences on social media. By using hashtags, you can connect with people who are interested in Black Friday deals and help them find your products and services.
If you’re a retailer, you can use the hashtag #blackfridayshopping or #blackfridaydeals to reach people who are looking for bargains.
11. Follow up with customers after Black Friday
It’s great that you can sell a ton of products on Black Friday. But, a customer’s value to your brand grows over time. You want to turn those one-off purchasers into loyal, lifelong customers.
A study by Shopify notes that customer lifetime value is the lowest on holidays like Black Friday. It showed that for a whopping 64% of retailers, shoppers acquired during Black Friday or Cyber Monday have a lower lifetime value than shoppers acquired at any other time of the year.
Follow up by sending a quick thank-you email, a customer service survey, or by asking for feedback on their experience. You’ll be improving your customers’ experience, which can pay off in future dividends.
By taking the time to reach out to customers, you show that your brand truly values their business and that you’re committed to providing a positive customer experience.
12. Referral codes
You know that referral marketing can work wonders for your brand. It’s also effective in promoting Black Friday deals.
Send out referral codes to your email subscribers. Offer them gift cards or deeper discounts as incentives. Their referrals have the potential to pull in new customers with the added bonus of showing love to your loyal customers.
13. Minimum spend rewards
Offer minimum spend rewards on certain amounts. For example, if customers check out with a $100 cart, they could be eligible for free shipping.
Minimum spend rewards are a great way to increase your conversion rates and encourage customers to spend more money with a business. It can be even more effective if the rewards are tiered. For example, a customer who spends $50 might get a 10% discount, while a customer who spends $100 might get a 20% discount.
14. Give a free gift with purchase
People love feeling like they’ve been rewarded.
Giving your customers a free gift with their purchase will incentivize them to act. And they create a sense of goodwill that can keep customers coming back.
Of course, you want to make sure that you’re gifting something that your customers will actually want. It’s important to take your customer base into account when choosing what to give them.
15. Focus on your abandoned cart rates
Have you ever gone to do a bit of online window-shopping and moved to abandon your cart, only to be stopped short by a pop-up? Whether it’s an offer for a discount code or a survey about your shopping intentions, those pop-ups can be very annoying, which is kind of the point.
Pop-ups are meant to grab your attention and reduce abandoned cart rates. Give shoppers a chance to express their intentions or provide them with an incentive to complete their purchase. You’ll likely decrease your abandonment rate.
Be sure to get that pop-up to express your limited-time Black-Friday-only offer.
16. Make a gift guide
Oh, how we love Black Friday gift guides.
A gift guide is essentially a curated selection of your products, categorized in a way that makes it easy for shoppers to understand. For example, you could create a ‘For your fashionable friend’ guide that highlights unique clothing pieces you’re selling.
Gift guides help to promote specific products, drive traffic to your website or store, and generate excitement for your brand.
A social media contest can drive traffic to your website or store, generate leads, and increase brand awareness.
Offer a prize that your target audience wants and encourage people to take part in the contest and share it with their friends and followers. It works as social proof.
When one of your friends recommends a brand, you’re more likely to trust that brand. Get your followers to tag their friends or repost your content on their story for entries.
Schedule your contest and posts ahead of time with Hootsuite so you’re organized for the big day.
18. Get weird with it
Listen, you already know how murky the marketing swamp is going to be on Black Friday.
Retailers are going to be shouting about their low prices, hot deals, and fast delivery from every corner of the ring. If you want to stand out, you’ve got to grab attention. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Deciem, for example, canceled Black Friday completely. They shut down their site and closed their stores as a way to reject the impulsive selling Black Friday is known for. Then, they announced they’re extending their sale through November.
19. Take a stance
Instead of promoting Black Friday sales, how can your company take a stance? Independent retailers around the world have started taking a stance against Black Friday and its overconsumption, whether that’s through donating profits, shutting down websites, or closing stores.
UK-based sustainable underwear brand Pantee turns off its website on Black Friday to the public and only allows access to those on its mailing list. This tactic is used to fight against the huge amount of unsustainable impulse buying driven by Black Friday promotions. They don’t do sales, and they don’t promote impulse buying.
Their message is to stop and think before you buy.
Engage with shoppers on social media and turn customer conversations into sales with Heyday, our dedicated conversational AI chatbot for social commerce retailers. Deliver 5-star customer experiences — at scale.