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11 Marketing Strategies for Black Friday 2023

Marketing

03 Nov 2021 • 12 min read • The loomly team

11 Marketing Strategies for Black Friday 2023

Black Friday is the busiest shopping weekend of the year. What started as a one-day event after Thanksgiving has become a four-day shopping event ending on Cyber Monday. And campaigns have been starting earlier each year.

Spending is going up, too. Last year, consumers spent a record $9.12 billion online shopping on Black Friday alone, up from $8.9 billion the previous year, a rise of 2.3%.

As brands worldwide gear up for the busiest shopping day of the year, here are eleven Black Friday marketing strategies you can use to maximize sales.

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1. Establish your goals

Before you jump headlong into planning your Black Friday marketing strategy, Tim Cameron-Kitchen, author and CEO of Exposure Ninja, advises taking some time to determine your goals. For example, do you want to:

  • Acquire new customers: You might want to use the opportunity of Black Friday to grow your long-term customer base by attracting customers who haven’t shopped with your brand before.
  • Shift old stock: Maybe it’s time to clear out some of your old products and make room for fresh stock. Black Friday is an excellent opportunity to clear your shelves by giving generous discounts on some of these older items.
  • Re-engage old customers: Previous customers are well worth targeting because they’ve already shown interest in your brand. So there’s a good chance they like what you offer. Your existing email list is an ideal way to reconnect and strengthen customer loyalty.
  • Build multiple segmented email lists for different cohorts: This long-term strategy grows your pool of potential customers for future marketing campaigns.

Be clear about what you want your campaign to achieve, then build your campaign around these goals.

2. Collect and analyze data

Georgia Watson, senior paid media executive from Media Works, recommends an analytical approach to your campaigns. For instance:

  • Review your past performance: What worked well for you in 2022? Review the numbers and find out your most liked posts and which platforms saw the most engagement and conversions.
  • Test in the run-up to Black Friday: Use A/B testing to pinpoint what works best. Test various versions of your emails, web pages, ads, and posts for their engagement and conversion rates. With this information at your fingertips, you’ll be several steps ahead before your Black Friday campaign starts.
  • Collect more data: Collect data throughout your social media campaign to determine what works best.
  • Use the built-in analytics tools on social media platforms to gather data about your campaign’s performance.

Loomly Tip: Loomly also has an analytics feature that can give you detailed information about the performance of all your posts, and you can schedule automatic reports.

  • Track user engagement by monitoring likes, comments, shares, retweets, and mentions.
  • Analyze click-through data to assess the effectiveness of your calls to action. Track which links got the most clicks and conversions.
  • Set up conversion tracking on your website using tools like Google Analytics. This helps you measure the impact of your social media efforts on actions such as form submissions, product purchases, or newsletter sign-ups.

Once you’ve collected all the data, write a report so that all your data is conveniently compiled in one document. Then, use your report to plan an even better campaign next year.

Collect Black Friday campaign data

3. Prepare and plan ahead

Optimize website performance

Slow website load times test people’s patience, meaning they’re less likely to hang around long enough to make a sale. Research examining data from 10 million visits to Renault’s website found that slower load times led to significantly lower conversion rates. So make sure your website is fast and reliable at the start of your campaign to give visitors the best experience when shopping for Black Friday deals.

To improve your website and user experience further, you could add a chatbox to help deal with queries quickly and efficiently.

Strengthen your social media presence in advance

Get active on social media several weeks in advance of the start of your campaign. This way, you can increase your followers and extend your reach, ready for campaigning to begin.

Plan and schedule social media posts in advance

Don’t be tempted to make it all up as you go along. Plan your social media content well ahead of time based on your established goals and the data you’ve previously collected. Make sure ‌you know which posts will go out when, and automate everything where you can. This will reduce the risk of errors and give you more time to deal with messages and requests.

Plan your budget

Plan how you’re going to allocate your budget for ads and social media management. And don’t forget customer support costs, too. With the increased activity on your website, you’ll need extra customer support in place to respond to messages and requests in good time.

Build your email list

Your email list is a valuable marketing asset that gives you a direct and personal channel to reach your audience. So, build your email list ahead of time by encouraging your social media followers to sign up with a subscription box. You can promise them early access to deals and exclusive deals as an incentive to sign up. Or you could use other lead magnets such as a voucher, free trial, or sample.

You can use your existing email list to create a Facebook Lookalike Audience that resembles your existing customer base. Then, when creating Facebook ad campaigns for Black Friday, you can target this audience, knowing they’re more likely to be interested in your products or services.

It’s well worth taking the time to build your email list before the rush begins. Not only will it be helpful for your Black Friday campaign, but it’ll be a valuable asset for Holiday Season email marketing campaigns and the rest of the year, too.

Black Friday email list

4. Use email to engage and differentiate

Email marketing gives you the perfect opportunity to reach, engage, and differentiate your audience based on historical data.

Make your subject line different

People are going to get flooded with emails leading up to and through the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. The only way to ensure your email gets read is by making your subject line stand out.

Most email subject lines will contain “Black Friday.” So do something different that immediately gets your readers’ attention and intrigues them to find out more, like Chubbies did with “Black Friday is CANCELED”:

Black Friday marketing strategies subject line(Image Source)

(They even added a cheeky email address: Liar@chubbies.com).

Suspend non-Black Friday emails temporarily

With all the Black Friday emails flying around, it makes sense to suspend other emails temporarily so they don’t get lost in your subscribers’ inbox.

Send personalized deals based on past purchases

Personalization is another way to differentiate your emails and ensure your subscribers get the email suited to them.

For example:

  • Past customers — offer loyalty discounts
  • Potential customers — offer limited-time offers

Encourage sharing the email with a referral program

You can encourage your existing subscribers to share your Black Friday email with their friends and family by introducing a referral program or giving them a store discount.

5. Offer enticing deals

There’ll be tens of thousands, probably millions, of deals around Black Friday, so how do you get yours to stand out?

Doorbusters

Doorbusters are those special deals traditionally used to get people through the door and into the store. Nowadays, you can use the same principle for in-store and online shopping.

The third type of shopper is the buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS). This is especially popular when shoppers realize that standard shipping isn’t free or the goods won’t arrive in time.

If you’re offering different shopping experiences, create unique deals that appeal to each type of shopper.

Deals bring out shoppers

The size of your discount matters.

Black Friday statistics from 2021 showed that it takes a 58% discount to coax Americans to shop on Black Friday. Almost one in five adults (19%) said it would take a 50% discount, while 15% said it would take a 90% discount.

Black Friday statistics

(Image Source)

Lead with attention-grabbing deals

Naturally, all deals should be attention-grabbing, but some will be more contextually appealing. For example, if you’re marketing to previous customers, you could personalize the offer to their purchase history. But if you can’t personalize the deal based on previous purchases, lead with your biggest or broadest discounts first.

Offer free shipping if you can

Black Friday isn’t just about discounting.

You can go beyond discounts and offer benefits like free shipping and returns, bonus points, cash backs, rewards, or gift cards.

For example, Estée Lauder offers double loyalty points plus free shipping and returns.

Estée Lauder Black Friday deals

(Image Source)

Another option is to offer free shipping with a minimum value order — like $25 — to increase your average order size.

Follow up after purchases with free gifts or extra discount codes

You can keep your latest customers coming back for more with free gifts and extra discount codes.

Remarket to abandoned carts

Don’t forget to remarket to those shoppers who abandoned their shopping carts. In the mad shopping frenzy to get all of the deals, some customers will likely add products to their cart and then get side-tracked. These potential customers are almost there and just need a little nudge to get over the line.

6. Take a stance

Some businesses take a different stance altogether on Black Friday and use the occasion to affirm their values.

This could be a good move to create a positive brand image. Customers appreciate and remember companies that give back to the community. It shows your business is socially responsible and cares about more than just profits.

Many customers prefer to support businesses that align with their values. If they know that by buying from you, they’re helping to support a good cause, these customers will be more likely to choose your products over your competitors.

Donate to charity

If you want to show customers your more caring side, you might give some or even all of your profits to charity. For instance, Davines, the high-end hair care brand, invented Green Friday, in which they donate 100% of their online profits to charities that support environmental causes.

Davines Black Friday campaign

(Image Source)

Opt out altogether

Some businesses choose to opt out of Black Friday altogether. Since 2011, Patagonia has chosen a different strategy, encouraging people to slow down and reject overconsumption.

Patagonia Black Friday campaign

(Image Source)

7. Update existing landing pages

Our next marketing strategy is all about SEO. But don’t panic — these are straightforward tips you can implement with some planning and foresight.

Little time to rank new pages

Throwing up a new page just before the Black Friday holiday period isn’t a good idea if you want it to rank on search engines. A better strategy is to keep a Black Friday page updated throughout the year.

A 2022 survey revealed that shoppers preferred Black Friday sales to start between a week and a few days before Thanksgiving.

So it pays to have a regular Black Friday page, like electrical retailer Currys:

Currys Black Friday sales page

(Image Source)

Or beauty retailer Estee Lauder:

Estee Lauder Black Friday sales page

(Image Source)

Notice how they encourage visitors to sign up so they can hear about the Black Friday offers first.

Add popups or banners to your best-performing pages

Another option is to use your best-performing pages and guide visitors to your Black Friday offers. For example, you could have a popup or banner that makes visitors aware of your upcoming Black Friday sale with a button to tap that takes them to your landing page. From there, you can introduce your offers and ask them to sign up for reminders.

Update existing content

If you already have ranking content, like a list or comparison post, you could modify it to highlight your Black Friday sale.

For example, say you have a list of “Top Holiday Gifts 2022” that ranks well — you could update it to “Top Holiday Gifts 2023” and refresh the content with some of your current Black Friday Deals.

Note: this only works if your existing page URL is dateless, e.g., www.example.com/top-holiday-gifts/

Or, if you have a non-Black Friday comparison article that’s already ranking, you could update the pricing section to show how your Black Friday special deals are better than your competitors.

8. Create a sense of urgency

You can create a sense of urgency and build up to the annual shopping frenzy with countdown timers, limited quantities, and surprise discounts across all your marketing channels.

71% of customers prefer different channels depending on the context, whether browsing, seeking advice, or making purchases.

Run flash sales

You can run flash sales at any time leading up to Black Friday. The idea is to create some extra hype and anticipation before your Black Friday sale kicks in.

Chico's flash sale

(Image Source)

To make it a success and protect your margin, you need to limit the flash sale’s timing and offers. If it runs every day leading up to Black Friday, there’s no need for customers to jump in and grab a bargain.

To add more urgency, you can limit the sale to specific items or limited quantities.

Use timers and limited quantities

Using timers or limited quantities encourages customers to make an immediate decision. Shoppers like to hunt around for the best price and compare products before deciding. But if you include a countdown timer or list the quantities of items left, shoppers know they need to hurry and buy now before the sale ends or stock runs out.

Here’s an example from Walmart:

Walmart flash sale

(Image Source)

And another from SkinStore:

SkinStore flash sale

(Image Source)

Surprise discount codes

Everyone loves a surprise. And you can use the element of surprise in your marketing.

For example, you could send your email subscribers a unique, random-generated gift code. Shoppers enter the code at the checkout to see what discount they get. Here’s what Death Wish Coffee did in 2019:

Death Wish Black Friday Marketing Strategies

(Image Source)

It’s a great way of building surprise and intrigue as shoppers have to wait until the final moment to see their discount.

9. Experiment with your timing

You don’t have to keep all your products on offer the entire Black Friday weekend. Try introducing special deals at different times to encourage people to visit your store more frequently.

Don’t limit yourself to one weekend

Instead of limiting offers to the holiday shopping weekend, try extending the sale for a weekend or two.

Tease with pre-Black Friday sales

You can also whet people’s appetite with a pre-Black Friday sale, like the retailer Kohl’s did in 2022 with their early Black Friday deals:

(Image Source)

As did Target, with their early Target Deal Days:

(Image Source)

Extended sales after Black Friday

Why not add some different offers after the Black Friday weekend for those shoppers who missed out, like this offer from NWJ Fine Jewellry:

(Image Source)

Or this offer from Leatherwear:

(Image Source)

Experiment with email and social media deal timings

You can plan your Black Friday marketing campaigns for email and your social media channels well before the sale starts and schedule messages accordingly.

Loomly Tip: Scheduling Slots allow you to set your preferred publishing schedule and save time when creating new posts in Post Builder:

Loomly scheduling slots

(Image Source)

Check your social media analytics to discover the best publishing time for each channel.

Loomly Tip: Advanced Analytics is a powerful tool, jam-packed with features like account-level statistics, engagement metrics, and Loom.ly click counts, sources, and locations:

Loomly advanced analytics

(Image Source)

The same applies to your email campaigns, as you can create and schedule your messages in advance. Experiment with timing in your email marketing tool, so your offers can land in people’s inboxes at different times.

Pre-order

Another experiment you can try is running a pre-sale. In this case, you run a Black Friday online sale in which items are available for pre-order so customers can reserve them in advance and avoid the rush.

10. Use shoppable content

With more people shopping online, you need to make the most of every available channel, including social media.

53% of customers prefer to engage digitally, and this figure is higher in younger age groups. Moreover, 71% of customers prefer different channels depending on where they are and what they’re doing, with Facebook being the most popular social network.

Social commerce lets you sell your products directly through social media networks. Rather than redirecting users to an online store, you’re enabling customers to checkout on the social platform, which reduces friction

From Instagram shoppable posts to Facebook product tags, Pinterest rich pins, YouTube cards, and TikTok shoppable ads, it’s never been easier or more efficient to sell on social media.

11. Grow your following

It’s not all about selling — you can use Black Friday as an opportunity to grow your following and get repeat customers.

Take advantage of Black Friday to get repeat customers

One way to get customers coming back to your store is to introduce them to your Loyalty Program or VIP Club. Make them feel special by inviting them to your exclusive club for loyal customers, where they’ll receive special offers throughout the year.

58% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand with a loyalty program.

Extra discounts for signing up to your email list

One way to encourage online shoppers to sign up for your email list is to offer an extra discount. For example: “Take an extra 10% off any sale price when you join our mailing list.”

Special deals for followers on social media

Another way is to offer exclusive discounts to your social media followers. For example: “Like this post, and follow us on Instagram to get all-year-round special offers.”

Take advantage of hashtags

One of the best ways to expand your reach on social media is by using hashtags.

Use a mix of popular, trending hashtags — like #BlackFriday, #CyberMonday, #BlackFridayDiscounts, #ThanksgivingSales, #WeekendSales, and #FreeShipping — with some unique, branded hashtags — like Nike’s #JustDoIt or GoPro’s #GoProHERO9.

Loomly Tip: Hashtag Suggestions recommends trending #hashtags that are relevant to the copy of your post and lets you use them at the click of a button. Hashtag Collections lets you save collections of #hashtags, such as your branded hashtags, and include them in a few clicks in your posts.

Collaborate with other influencers, creators, and brands

Use Black Friday as a time to collaborate with other influencers, creators, and brands. For example, you could partner with an Instagram influencer who complements your brand and lets you reach a wider audience.

Ask the influencer to promote your popular products via Instagram Stories or host an Instagram Live to unbox or model your items and offer a unique discount code.

Black Friday Marketing strategies, in a nutshell

It’s easy to get wrapped up in a Black Friday discount frenzy. But above all else, your brand should focus on providing value and a good customer experience.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Choose a few of these tips and get them right rather than trying all of them at once.

And lastly, make sure you plan your campaign in advance to make this Black Friday your most successful ever.

Loomly is the Brand Success Platform that helps social media consultants streamline client collaboration:  start your 15-day free trial now.

 

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