A Marketer’s Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Black Friday Sales

black friday marketing plan

Any successful Black Friday campaign takes place in three stages: before, during, and after Black Friday. Below we’ll walk you through each of these stages so you and your team can enjoy a Black Friday filled with sales!

Before Black Friday

A profitable Black Friday campaign begins well before Black Friday – heck, even well before November. In the weeks to months before Black Friday, here’s what your team should be getting up to.

1. Decide on your Black Friday promotion

First, you’ll work out the details of your campaign.

What will your Black Friday deal actually be?

This should be your best promotion of the year for two reasons: one, there’s a lot of noise out there so you have to offer something really stellar if you want to stand out; and two, you want your customers to get in the habit of coming back to you every Black Friday for the best deal.

Need some inspiration? Look to your competitors and analyze what has worked for you in the past and brainstorm how you can adjust it for this year’s sale. Think of your favorite Black Friday sales in comparable verticals. Experiment with flash sales during the day. People will have to keep checking in if they want to enjoy the highest percentage off or get the best deal on a specific type of item.

Which team members will be involved, and what will they be responsible for?

Get all the approval you need weeks before so that you’re all set for promotion. Besides the staff members responsible for their individual channel, inform all the sales, marketing, and customer service teams on what they can expect.

How long will the Black Friday sale last?

Most consumers expect a sale of some sort throughout the weekend until Cyber Monday. People have several sites and businesses to shop at during this time, so run yours for more than one day to capture the most sales.

black friday website banner

Source: Shopify

2. Build your Black Friday email list

A large email list is the marketer’s best friend during a Black Friday promotion. Why? An email list is full of customers who are already familiar with your brand or purchased from you before – in other words, it’s a long list of people who are primed to buy.

Do what you can in the weeks prior to build your list so you can cast the widest net come Black Friday.

  • Promote email subscriptions using your social media channels. Offer people a special ebook or promo code in return for signing up.
  • Tell people the best way to stay in the know for your Black Friday sale is through your email list. Tell them on social media, on your blog, and anywhere else you encourage signups.
  • Send Black Friday reminder emails once the sale begins and before it ends to drive traffic and additional sales. We recommend creating segments so you aren’t sending too many emails to your whole database. For instance, only send a reminder email to those that opened your first email or to those who clicked through but didn’t purchase. The more segmentation and tailored experience you can provide, the more likely your sales will increase.

3. Finalize your marketing channels

Besides email, now is the time to determine which other marketing channels you are going to use to promote your Black Friday sale, as well as the individual strategy for each one. Now is also the time to ensure these channels are set up properly so you can avoid any issues on the day of the sale.

Here are our top recommendations, based on what we’ve seen work well in the past for our clients:

  • Google Shopping: Add the promotion to your feed to increase CTR and your conversion rate.
  • Google Paid Search: Add a sitelink that runs for the length of your Black Friday promotion or update your ads to include the sale. *Please note, when you update your ads, there is an approval period that may take a couple of hours. Make sure you are prepared for that downtime by continuing to run your current ads.black friday sitelink in ppc ad
  • Website Banner: It seems obvious, but the website banner is a tried-and-true tactic marketers often overlook. Add Black Friday sales on your homepage or as a hello bar on every page of your website. Create urgency with copy like “the biggest sale of the year” or a countdown that shows people how little time they have left before they miss out on the deals. And don’t forget to cross-sell on your cart pages. Before they check out, offer additional products that are discounted on Black Friday to get them to purchase more.

During Black Friday

Stretch your fingertips and your back, because you’ll be spending a lot of time hunched over your computer on Black Friday. You may want to have some Red Bull or coffee on hand, too.

Stay connected with your team via Google Hangouts or chat so you can keep each other company and troubleshoot as problems arise (no matter how well you prepared, expect at least one issue to come up). Here’s what you’ll be discussing:

Watch the Black Friday sales numbers.

Do you like what you see? If it’s lower than anticipated (i.e. looks like a normal sales day or worse), then it’s time to troubleshoot.

Start with your website. Make a test purchase to ensure it’s working properly.

Once that’s confirmed, review each of your marketing channels one by one to ensure the promotions are working as scheduled.

Finally, check your Google Analytics to see if you find any surprises from your typical traffic sources.

Keep an eye on your competitors.

Just as you used your competitors as a source of inspiration to plan your sale, you’ll rely on them now to confirm your sale is good enough.

If everything is working properly and you’re still not getting sales, it could be that a competitor underpriced you. You may need to increase your discount or otherwise up the ante if you want to tempt customers back towards your site.

Even if your competitors aren’t offering better deals, keep an eye on them anyway. They may use a marketing channel you didn’t think of or do something creative that you can copy for next year.

Run additional Black Friday marketing channels.

Ideally, your team sufficiently prepped beforehand so you don’t have to scramble the day of. But things don’t always happen that way. If the sales numbers are way lower than you planned, spin up another marketing channel or send a few more emails.

One of the best, last-minute options is a paid Facebook campaign. We recommend highlighting the discount or increasing your bids for your current campaigns. Definitely up your spend in your remarketing campaigns – remember, these are the people who already visited your site, so they’re easier to persuade to come back and make a sale.

facebook retargeting campaign for black friday

Source: AdEspresso

After Black Friday

After you’ve recovered and finally indulged in some turkey, it’s time to review your efforts and find your Black Friday takeaways for next year.

Don’t just count the money. Perform a full analysis and review:

  • What were your top-selling items? Was it a certain category or brand? Would it be worth offering a special promotion for just these items in the future?
  • What time of day (or which days, if you ran a multi-day campaign) brought in the most orders?
  • Which marketing channel brought in the most sales? Which one brought in the least?
  • What did your competitors do? Which marketing channels did they use? Is there anything you would “borrow” from them for the future?

Essentially, you want to figure out all the factors that made a person click “buy.” You’ll use this information to plan your future sales and channel spend.

Finally, make sure to thank the team, especially those who worked during the holiday. Black Friday is stressful for everyone involved, and this is the season of giving thanks, after all.

Next Year

We hoped this guide walked you through a successful holiday promotion. Now on to the next Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or holiday sale promotion!

Your Marketing People is here if you need help with any part (or all) of this process. Contact us for your next sale!