Black Friday is right around the corner and there is much to do before the big shopping day. Each year, eCommerce businesses try to find the best ways to plan and strategize the best Black Friday campaigns to maximize sales. Every year is different. So we are here to help you build the most effective 2021 marketing campaign strategy for your business. It’s never too early to start planning your campaign. Just like anything else in 2021, we recommend starting earlier than usual to get ahead of the curve and allow preparation for any potential bumps that might lie ahead.
In this article, we give you 9 of our most encouraged Black Friday marketing tips and strategies to maximize your campaign sales. We may even throw in a few pro tips along the way so let’s dive in!
1. Build a Black Friday email list
If you’ve been following our holiday marketing blogs, then you know how effective email marketing campaigns are in driving sales. In terms of Black Friday, building a Black Friday email list can be a great way to generate hype around your upcoming offers. A few weeks before the big day, try creating an email popup that targets new site visitors who may be interested in your Black Friday deals. In your popup make sure to include an intriguing call-to-action (CTA) button to incentivize new sign-ups. Some examples of these can include messages about getting the best offers, additional discounts, gifts, or free shipping. As the holiday gets closer, you can even offer subscribers an extra discount in addition to the ones that will be offered to everyone to show appreciation for their loyalty.
2. Strengthen your social media presence
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools as it’s a cheap and easy way to directly engage with your target audience and reach more potential customers. Studies have shown that social media can influence customers’ purchasing decisions by 71 percent. Social media is always beneficial to use year-round but here are a few tips to follow in regards to Black Friday marketing:
- Utilize Black Friday Hashtags. This will increase your chances to reach more users with your Black Friday deals. It’s good practice to include 5-7 hashtags per post but make sure each hashtag is themed around Black Friday and/or your products/services.
- Don’t overdo the Black Friday content. You don’t want to come off too pushy and salesy.
- Plan and strategize when to post Black Friday promotion posts. Post consistently to build hype around the event.
- Respond to comments and messages. Buyers may reach out to you with concerns, questions, or requests for help. Addressing these inquiries will maintain a good relationship with your customers and make them more opt to promote your business.
- Leverage the social shopping feature. You can connect your online store on the Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest platforms to allow for a seamless shopping experience.
3. Optimize your website performance
This may seem like a no-brainer, but having a strong-performing website is a crucial element for any eCommerce business. In an event such as Black Friday, it is more important than ever to have a fast-loading website so that customers can easily find deals and make purchases. There is a lot of competition around Black Friday as almost everyone is offering some sort of deal, so if your website isn’t fast enough, that could be a make or break for many consumers. The sweet spot loading time is between zero to four seconds as it has a 12 to 30 percent conversion rate. Any second after that users begin to abandon their carts and transactions will decrease by 1 percent every second after. The ideal website should have plenty of bandwidth, memory, storage, and processing power to support your products displayed, amount of anticipated traffic, and a frictionless shopping experience. We recommend using a website speed tester in the weeks leading up to the event to measure your pages’ loading times.
4. Optimize your product pages
Your product pages are where your customers are going to spend most of their time looking for items to purchase. Therefore, it’s important that your product pages are optimized to ensure customers have an easy and pleasurable shopping experience. These are a few strategies to utilize when preparing for the big shopping day:
- Audit your product descriptions. Use sensory words so that the consumer can get a clear and straightforward image of your product. Include relevant (or long-tail) keywords for SEO. Create an FAQ section to address frequently asked questions.
- Include 6 to 8 product pictures. People want to see the angles!
- Show user ratings and product reviews. These heavily impact whether or not a customer will buy a product. Make sure to show both positive and negative reviews though so you don’t come off biased.
- Create gift guides. Many Black Friday shoppers are looking for gifts for upcoming holidays. Create product groups based on recipients and themes to allow for an easy shopping experience. Some groups include “Gifts for Her” and “Home Decor Gift Guide”.
5. Reduce customers abandoned cart rates
An abandoned cart is when a customer adds items to their cart, proceeds to checkout, but exits the pages before completing the transaction. ECommerce stores experience their highest abandoned cart rates in October and November, which is when most businesses have their Black Friday sales campaigns. Many believe this is due to customers trying to get the best deal at the peak of the event, so it’s up to the business to urge them to return to complete the purchase. We recommend sending out abandoned cart reminders using email and/or SMS marketing. In the subject line make sure to remind them that they have left something behind and include the items forgotten in the message with a quick link back to purchase the items.
Pro tip: If your budget permits, you can also include a discount code to increase the chances of them completing the purchase – a.k.a give them the best deal.
6. Make your sales memorable
Since you will not be the only business participating in Black Friday, you’re going to have to make your offers stand out to avoid drowning in the rest. Using your new and handy email list, send out a preparation email so that they can prepare for the big shopping day. In this email, include the sales beginning and end time and date and encourage them to make a wishlist of their desired items. You can also include an “add to calendar” button to give them a reminder for when your event begins and include a link to your site for easy viewing. This email will also help you to increase your email conversions which are great for your overall email marketing campaign strategy.
7. Create urgency to increase Black Friday sales
With so many different sales going on at the same time, offering discounts alone is not enough to bring customers to your site. Hence, this is why you have to urge them to rush to the site. Holding a flash sale can be a very effective way to make buyers purchase faster. Display a countdown timer on your site to urge shoppers to buy quickly, and include a start and end time for the promotional offer. Also, it’s good practice to display when stock and quantity levels are low on product pages so that it urges shoppers to buy these items as well as informing them when they have run out. We recommend utilizing time-sensitive language such as “today only,” “final sale,” and “last chance” to create urgency around the promotion. These key phrases are also good to include in your email subject lines to increase open rates.
8. Tease your next campaign
Black Friday is not the end-all-be-all for holiday sales, so try teasing your next big shopping days after your Black Friday event ends. Cyber Monday, Christmas, and other holidays are not too far behind so hint that there are more compelling offers coming soon to keep your customers on their toes. In doing this, you are attempting to convert shoppers that didn’t purchase during your Black Friday event and increase your overall sales. Be careful not to expand your sales too much though. This will lead to your promotions losing credibility and urgency.
Pro tip: To make your following promotions stand out, try using a less popular holiday to promote your following promotion. For example, if you are a smaller business try celebrating Small Business Saturday instead of Cyber Monday to better fit your brand personality!
9. Experiment with timing
As we’ve mentioned above, Black Friday comes with a lot of competition since almost everyone is holding some kind of an event. This causes many shoppers to become numb to promotional deals around this time since there are just too many to keep track of. To make your promotion stand out, try experimenting with timing to catch more customer attention. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here, so it’s up to you to determine how you want to go about this. You have two options: are you going to be late or early to the party? If you decide to go the late route, hint that your sales are “too good to miss” and that you may be bringing your great offers back after Black Friday. This will encourage your customers to keep checking back and anticipate an even better offer. However, if you decide to go the early route, change your promotion from Black Friday to Black Thursday or Wednesday to catch the crowd early.