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Have you ever decided to stay home instead of heading out to a party, only for it to be the best party of the year?
That’s kind of what it’d be like to miss out on Black Friday.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest shopping events in the world. The days generate billions of dollars in revenue – here are the stats:
So for eCommerce businesses, missing out on Black Friday means missing out on a huge slice of the revenue pie.
Suddenly feeling unprepared?
Don’t panic. There are loads of things you can do to capitalize on Black Friday promotion, even when you have limited time.
Here’s a list of our top 20 Black Friday marketing ideas to help you join the party.
Before you start marketing your Black Friday deals, here’s a quick history lesson on where this shopping extravaganza came from.
And Thanksgiving in the US happens on the fourth Thursday of November every year, so Black Friday is – helpfully – always on a Friday.
The shopping event is the country’s biggest, with customers often taking a day off from work to take advantage of in-store Black Friday deals.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving was match day, between Philadelphia’s army and navy college teams.
Football fans spent that Friday descending on stores to stock up on goods for the holiday season. Local police referred to the excess crowds and traffic as ‘Black Friday.’
Despite its connection to the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now annual shopping events in many countries around the world, including the UK, Germany, and Australia.
Cyber Monday happens the Monday after Black Friday. In fact, a lot of places connect the days into one long Cyber Weekend.
Thanks to the growth of eCommerce sales, this extended selling period is a chance for online retailers to continue that discounting frenzy.
With any luck, Black Friday will be one of the biggest events your online business has seen. So, you need to make sure it’s ready for anything.
Marketing some killer Black Friday deals is great, but if your website can’t handle the heat, then all of your efforts will be worthless.
What you need to do is this:
Ready to get involved? You should be – no matter what your business is selling, your customers will love a discount.
Here are our top tips for marketing your Black Friday deals in no time.
Customers know that Black Friday is coming and they’ll be expecting emails from their favorite retailers. Start by getting in front of them with a dedicated discounting newsletter.
One of the easiest Black Friday marketing ideas is to launch an email campaign in the run-up to the sales.
It’s a valuable channel to use – your customers have given you their contact details and you can reach them on any device.
Be effective with your email marketing:
Take your email marketing tactics a step further and identify your most loyal customers. Why not reward them with a unique discount code?
While you want as many people as possible to take advantage of your Black Friday deals, it pays to treat a select group of shoppers as VIPs.
Whether you already have a loyalty program or you’re using VIP discounts just for Black Friday marketing, rewards are great for incentivizing customers to spend more.
You could even offer unlimited use of the VIP discount. If you’re planning to run offers over the whole Cyber Weekend, encourage shoppers to use their code multiple times.
Social media marketing is often the cheapest and quickest way to reach thousands of potential customers, whatever it is you’re marketing.
When it comes to Black Friday marketing, social media should become your best friend. You could even start using it right now.
But hold on – first, put together a posting schedule. Make sure that you prep a few weeks of content to get customers excited about the big day:
As a small business, you might already have a budget for advertising on sites like Facebook. You probably also know exactly how to communicate your brand to customers.
With that in mind, consider upping your spend in the run-up to your Black Friday sales. After all, you’ll most likely be getting a higher return on investment for your efforts.
This is a great short-term solution for capitalizing on the frenzied start of the holiday season. You only need to increase spending for a few days for your ads to be effective.
Giving them just enough time to optimize for conversions, you can increase your store’s visibility on social media and feel confident that you’ll earn back that spend.
Don’t forget that Black Friday is the gateway into the holiday season. Monetize that to the max by creating a gift guide for your customers.
Gift guides will help contextualize your products and incentivize people to buy. It’s the perfect problem solver, whether shoppers are lazy, confused, or just tight for time.
Make sure that you’re thinking about your customers’ needs while pulling together a Black Friday guide.
Then, start marketing it on all of your channels, including:
Back in the day, brick and mortar stores would dress their windows in preparation for the Black Friday queues. After all, the term ‘window shopping’ has very literal origins.
So, think like a brick and mortar store with your marketing efforts, and show customers what deals they can expect to find during your Black Friday promotion.
One great way to give shoppers a sneak peek is with social media posts. You could upload short clips or slideshows on Instagram in the week before you start discounting.
Sites like Animoto can help you create promotional content which will dazzle your followers. It’ll help your business look super professional and slick, too.
There’s a great community buzz around small businesses and it’s not all about the competition.
Sometimes, another business can really help you out.
If you’re looking for creative Black Friday campaigns, one of the coolest ideas is to collaborate with another eCommerce retailer that complements your brand.
Of course, there’s got to be something in it for both of you.
Make sure that the deals you’re promoting will add value. Here’s how you could collaborate:
Black Friday is often criticized for being too consumerist. After all, it is a global shopping event generating billions of dollars for retailers.
So, make your customers feel extra good about their purchases and promise to donate a portion of your sales revenue to a charitable organization.
Of course, you have to stay true to your words. Falsifying charitable donations is about as immoral as it gets, and will only push shoppers away – the opposite of what you want.
But if you can afford to give some money from your Black Friday sales to a good cause, it’s worth doing. Make sure you’re marketing your charitable efforts throughout the event.
Shoppers usually want something in return for spending money with your business, more so than the product that they’ve purchased.
If you want your store to fight for attention amidst all the Black Friday marketing efforts, consider what else you can offer to incentivize your customers.
This is a great option if you’re looking for alternative ideas to discounting goods. After all, not every small business can afford to be so generous.
You could try:
When it comes to ideas for growing your customer base, this is arguably one of the most effortless ways.
With a referral program, you can incentivize your existing customers to tell their friends about your business. Their friend makes a purchase, they get a discount code.
It’s a fun way to diversify your Black Friday deals, plus you can leverage the increased attention your site will be getting during the shopping event.
You could encourage customers to use their referral discount during the Cyber Weekend only. Or, you can maybe even incentivize them to invite multiple friends with multiple discounts.
One of the most important marketing messages to convey for Black Friday is that the deals you’re offering are strictly limited.
Customers know that they’re shopping against the clock, so buy into that sense of urgency with your marketing efforts.
There’s a couple of easy tactics that you can implement during Black Friday to ensure shoppers are ready to spend right away:
Participating in Black Friday doesn’t mean you should just add discounts to the products or services you already sell.
If you’re after some more creative ideas on how to excite and engage your customers, think about what you could offer exclusively for the shopping event.
For example, if you sell digital downloads, maybe you can give all Black Friday purchasers a free user tutorial.
Say you sell homewares – could you stock a Cyber Weekend exclusive?
Just be aware of local trading laws. Often, you can’t immediately launch a product at a discounted price, so don’t fall foul of your country’s rules.
Feeling brave? This is one of the boldest Black Friday marketing ideas we have.
It takes preparation and effort, but daily discounts can be a huge success.
Also known as flash sales, the practice of releasing daily deals in the run-up to Black Friday is a great way to encourage impulse purchases.
You can run each event for a few hours, switching the product or service every day.
If you know your site is ready for the influx of demand, remember to:
Retail is all about surprising and delighting customers. And what better way to do that than with an interactive mystery offer?
This roulette-style way of adding extra discounts to individual purchases is a super innovative technique for getting shoppers to stick around a little longer.
You can use tools like BeeLiked to install interactive games to your website, for example peel-off and scratch card features.
It’s a fun way of marketing your business during Black Friday, when everyone will be fighting for attention. It should also incentivize people to explore your site a little more thoroughly.
A lot of our purchasing decisions are psychological and influenced by value perception. That’s why bundling is such a lucrative tactic for eCommerce retailers.
In a nutshell, the business bundles a handful of its products or services into a package, and sells that package to customers with either a discount or as a problem-solving solution.
Black Friday is the perfect time to implement bundling: the holiday season is approaching and customers need gift ideas.
Here’s what you could do:
This is a sales tactic that you could use all year round. That said, cross-selling is an incredible tool to put into action during Black Friday and the Cyber Weekend.
In simple terms, cross-selling is about encouraging customers to buy something that will go with the product they’re already about to purchase.
It’s like selling fries with a burger or gloves with a hat.
Typically, the add-on product is cheaper but also useful, so that customers think ‘why not?’ and throw it in their basket.
Make use of your store’s increased popularity during Black Friday and prepare some items to cross-sell with every purchase. Your AOV will go up, and so will customer satisfaction.
Black Friday marketing doesn’t need to end as soon as the big day begins. Some of your efforts will need to continue until your sales have ended.
Say your store is suffering from cart abandonment issues. The customer has filled their cart, but they leave your site before making a purchase – disaster?
Not so, if you’re prepared with a charming email.
Help shoppers re-engage and complete their transaction:
If you have a team ready to help you out with your Black Friday marketing efforts, this function is a great little add-on service.
Think of a live chat feature on your website as the eCommerce answer to store assistants. Your customers will have questions, and the chat function is there to help them.
Customers often like to make considered purchases, which isn’t exactly possible on Black Friday, particularly if there’s a countdown clock piling on the pressure.
By using an app to help answer any immediate queries and direct customers to other products, you’ll certainly boost user experience. Just make sure you can handle the demand.
If you’re only thinking of launching sales for Black Friday, consider extending your generosity to Cyber Monday, too.
Remember the stats at the top of the page? Last year, Cyber Monday earned online retailers around $9 billion dollars in the US alone.
These days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday go hand in hand, so it’s well worth monetizing both events if your store can handle the demand.
There’s plenty you can do right now to get ready for this year’s Black Friday event. One step that’ll really set you apart from the competition, though, is to prep for next year as well.
Feel like you’ve been cheated out of a tip? Don’t worry, this will help your immediate Black Friday marketing efforts, too.
All you need to do is create a Black Friday landing page for your website. Shoppers start searching for deals in advance, so it’s great to have a space ready for your offers.
Plus, you’ll want to ace your SEO game in order to show up first in Black Friday searches. Implementing a landing page way ahead of time will get you into a prime position for next year.