E-commerce

Black Friday Marketing: 13 Strategies, Tips & Ideas

Black Friday is an annual shopping event that businesses and customers all over the world eagerly anticipate. It’s a time for discounts, deals, and increased transaction values.  

But that’s only one side of the story.

In 2020, Black Friday generated $188.2 billion in revenue (Adobe Shopping Insights). However, the increase is largely attributed to Covid-19 restrictions, which pushed many traditional stores and customers online. 

More brands selling online means higher competition. More customers, especially those who are new to the digital retail space, means new challenges and demands.

For many brands, Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend 2021 is going to be make-or-break time and they will fight hard. You’ll need to fight harder. 

The battle isn’t going to be easy. That’s why we have prepared the lucky 13 Black Friday marketing ideas for you to start preparing. Today.

Black Friday Guide to Marketing:

1. Black Friday Marketing Ideas

  • On-site notifications
  • Popups
  • Email marketing
  • Mystery campaigns
  • Flash sales
  • Bundles
  • Guides
  • SMS

2. Black Friday Strategies

  • Descriptions
  • Speed
  • Reviews 
  • Payments
  • Support

1. Best Black Friday Marketing Ideas

Black Friday and Cyber Monday happen only once a year so you need some really clever ways to attract and convert customers in a short period of time.

We collected some of the best ways to capitalize on the spending frenzy and bring more revenue through your doors on Black Friday.

Onsite Notifications

On-site notifications are perfectly timed, highly targeted, and personalized messages that you can send to your visitors as they browse your website. 

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, on-site messaging is especially useful in encouraging visitors to stay on your website, instead of bouncing off to another site.  

You can use these dynamic messages in a variety of ways at different stages of the customer journey. 

Cart value promotions

You could target customers who have already put something in their baskets with a message informing them how close they are to unlocking special offers. 

Depending on their cart value, customers will receive tailored messages to entice them to add more items to qualify their order for free shipping, a discount, or a gift.

This feature will help you maximize the order value for each visitor shopping with you. 

Cart value popup promotion

Returning visitors

You can take your promotion announcements to another level by displaying messages to visitors who left your website and later returned. 

These customers could receive a warm on-site welcome back message to evoke positive feelings. This could be followed by a unique offer to make sure they think twice about leaving your store empty-handed again. 

Returning visitor promotion

Soon-out-of-stock promotions

Time-limited sales can trigger fear of missing. However, some shoppers see the timer and go off-site to “quickly” compare products and prices in other stores, never to return. 

Soon-out-of-stock is different. Customers see that an item is available but that supplies are running low. Suddenly there is an urgency to their purchase. Missing out becomes a real concern.

Soon-out-of-stock promotion

Popups

Black Friday sales popups can be used to engage and convert visitors. But it’s important to remember that you can do more with them than asking visitors to subscribe or offering discounts.

You can use popups to strengthen your Black Friday marketing by improving the overall customer experience.

Here’s how.

Cart abandonment popups

One of the things that plague e-commerce storis is cart abandonment and it can get worse during Black Friday.

One of the reasons is that customers are researching their options and comparing prices before committing. They often treat carts as a place to store their items until they decide to buy them—if at all. Using popups can be an effective strategy to recover abandoned carts. Simply create a popup notification with a discount offer or a reminder about unfinished shopping.

Cart abandonment popup

Adding a timer to the coupon creates a sense of urgency.

Shipping popups

The hidden cost of shipping is among the top purchase killers.

Whether you ship locally or internationally, being transparent about the additional costs will pay off.

Create a few popups that target customers landing in your store based on their location and tailor information about shipping.

This way, Black Friday hunters interested in your deal will be able to determine the true costs and won’t leave your site feeling frustrated.

Shipping popup example

Tip: The best popup software, such as Wisepops, comes with a variety of templates you can use to create beautiful and effective popups for your Black Friday sales.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is still one of the best channels to promote e-commerce Black Friday deals—provided that you have a decent number of subscribers on your list.

If not, don’t worry, you have still got some time to build an email list with social media or by collecting emails on your website.

For the latter, an effective way is going to be a Black Friday subscription popup. It’s similar to a newsletter signup form but, in this case, the goal is to collect emails from new visitors interested in your Black Friday deals.

Black Friday email popup example

And while you’re working on your mailing list, take some time to clean up your existing contacts. Inactive and uninterested recipients can harm your domain reputation in the long run.

You can try to re-engage your latent customers with a win-back email campaign (or a re-engagement campaign).

Win-back popup example

If your recipients respond to it, nurture them with a series of pre-Black Friday emails that build anticipation and excitement. Also, don’t hesitate to remove contacts who didn’t respond at all.

And finally, try to personalize your Black Friday email marketing campaigns and send your audience only offers they would be interested in.

In other words, not every great offer, no matter how discounted, will appeal to every recipient.

Mystery Campaigns

Black Friday marketing can also be effective when you don’t tell your customers what sort of deal is waiting for them.

You can entice your customers to shop at your store on Black Friday by giving each buyer a mystery gift.

For example, customers who spend at least $35 will receive a mystery gift such as a free pair of socks, a coupon, or a $5 gift card to use at your store.

Another way to create a sense of intrigue is by sending your subscribers an offer that would not immediately reveal their discount until they click the link in your email.

Black Friday mystery giveaway popup example

You can promote your Black Friday mystery campaigns on social media and through email blasts. For visitors who are new to your website, you can build a popup that your visitors can click to reveal their deal.

Flash Sales

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is real. Nearly 60 percent of consumers make purchases because of FOMO, mostly within 24 hours.

So why not push it a bit further and limit your Black Friday deals to twenty-four hours to evoke FOMO and encourage your customers to act?

The idea is simple. You keep one main deal active throughout the Black Friday sale and, additionally, offer a much better deal for a limited time only.

For example, your main Black Friday offer is 25 percent off store-wide while the limited deal is 55 percent off a selected item or product category.

When the limited deal expires, you select another product you want to discount. If you want to keep your customers excited, don’t reveal the next flash deal but let them know that a new one is coming up.

Black Friday flash sale popup example

However, the one-hour flash sale can be labor-intensive if you want to roll it out every hour.

Alternatively, you can run it once a day during select hours. Whichever frequency you decide, be sure to announce your Black Friday flash sales on your homepage and social media.

Also, remember to update your banners, popups, bars, and send another batch of emails as your offer changes.

Product Bundles

Bundling similar or complementary products is a great way to increase revenue during Black Friday sales. This way, you don’t need to solely rely on discounting individual products to drive your sales.

To make it work, you need to have a low-cost and high-margin product (or service) you can bundle with your primary offer.

Black Friday product bundle popup promotion

If you sell a limited type of products or services and don’t have anything that would be suitable for a bundle, don’t worry.

You can achieve a similar effect by bundling a gift card or exclusive offer from a partner brand.

Gift Collections and Guides

Gift guides are not just for Christmas. Considering that Black Friday falls in the last week of November, many online shoppers will be hunting for presents during Black Friday already.

That’s why making a guide or two for your customers makes perfect sense.

If you run an online store, you can easily create a product tag that you can add to the products that you want to feature in your Black Friday gift collection.

This way, you will automatically populate any collection you created.

Black Friday gift guide example

You can also create a gift guide in the form of a blog post that will feature a list of products you recommend for someone. Or, create a graphic file for your customers to download or read online.

The blog post, apart from being helpful to your buyers, can be your gate to affiliate marketing. You could also optimize it for SEO to increase your organic traffic.

Your gift guides can be anything that would suit your audience. For example, “X Best Gifts for Cyclists,” “X Gift Ideas for Tweens,” or “The Ultimate Gift Guide for Computer Fanatics”, if you’re ambitious.

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing, or text marketing, can increase engagement, brand awareness, and sales.

You can use it to remind your contacts about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday (flash) sales and send them exclusive coupons.

Black Friday SMS marketing example

Text marketing is very effective. The average open rate for SMS marketing campaigns is 98 percent, compared to a 20 percent open rate for email marketing campaigns.

So, while your competitors will be flooding their subscribers with emails, you can go another route and give your Black Friday marketing campaigns better visibility and engagement with texts.

You should remember, though, that you need to have explicit consent from your contacts before you send them anything via text message.

Tip: If you want to expand your SMS contact list before Black Friday, take a look at our guide on how to collect phone numbers for text marketing.

2. Preparing Your Website for the Black Friday Weekend Sale

With all the focus put on Black Friday ads and sales alone, it’s easy to overlook some fine details that can impact your customers’ purchase decisions.

After all, it would be a shame to waste your Black Friday marketing efforts and miss a sale from a visitor who’s already on your website.

So, let’s talk about the important details hidden on your website that can improve customer experience and your sales.

Product Descriptions

Improving product descriptions is one of the key elements of product page optimization. A good description will inform, engage and excite your customers.

A description of a product usually includes a description body, title, headlines, tags, meta title, and meta description.

Writing great product description copy is not an easy task, luckily, there are some basic rules that you can use as a guide:

Focus on benefits

Tell your potential buyers how the features of your product will benefit them; how the technical product specs can directly improve their lives.

Product description example of Cool Cola Hair and Beard Shampoo

This description nicely combines the technical specs (e.g., “sulphate and silicone-free”) with the benefits (e.g., “leaving hair refreshed and rehydrated”).

The key specs were summarized as keywords under the main description.

Use power words

Copywriting often uses psychology to influence consumers and power words are part of it.

They can trigger a psychological or emotional response in a reader (customer) to make them perform a certain action (e.g., buying, subscribing).

If you know what your customers look for in a product or service (“fast”, “elite”, “irresistible”, “special”, “amazing”), then the power words can help you connect with them.

Another idea is to use words that evoke positive feelings and spark the customer’s imagination.

Power words example for Ginger and Greens smoothie

“Thick and velvety, not-crazy-sweet, perfectly zingy, stomach-soothing” smoothie, anyone?

Optimize for SEO

Product descriptions are a fantastic opportunity for your website to get indexed with search engines.

To make your Black Friday SEO work, you’ll need to rank for certain keywords related to the Black Friday. But before that, you need to find keywords you want to drive traffic from.

Keep in mind that search engines need some time to index your pages, so the sooner you find and add the keywords to your Black Friday pages, the better.

When doing your research, pay attention to the global and local search volume, keyword difficulty, and SERP features.

A few examples:

High-value SEO keywords for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

For more effective work, add a dedicated SEO app that will analyze your store pages, report issues, and recommend fixes.

Tip: Product pages are not the only places that are worth optimizing for search engines. You can create SEO-friendly popups, FAQs, CTAs, and online ads.

Make the copy easy to scan

Nowadays, people have relatively short attention spans. On average, they read only about 16 percent of the text displayed on the page.

Plus, considering the Black Friday sales rush, consumers will have plenty of deals and websites to check out.

For that reason, your descriptions must summarize the best features of the product (or services) in just a few short paragraphs.

You can also add bullet points and emphasis (bold font) to make your text super scannable.

Product description using bullet points

The structure of this product description is good because it’s broken down into only three key points, each starting with a bullet point.

The remaining essential information (“how to use” and “ingredients”) is located under the neighboring tabs.

It’s easy to read and there’s no information overload.

Page Speed

Page speed means how fast your page loads in your customer’s browser. This plays a key role in your website traffic.

Over 50 percent of your visitors will leave if the page they want to view doesn’t load within three seconds. A slow website can cost you sales.

You can test the speed of your website with page speed tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrics, or Pingdom Tools. They will tell you how fast your page loads and suggest recommendations for better results.

To begin, enter your page URL and wait until it’s analyzed for speed and other optimization factors.

Shopify page speed test

The PageSpeed Insights Score ranges from 0 to 100 points. The higher score the better. A score of 85 and higher indicates that the page performs well.

Tip: When sales on Black Friday kick-off, your website is likely to experience much heavier traffic than usual. It means that it has to be able to handle more users without any hiccups or crashes.

Customer reviews

The top three things that people looked for during Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend in 2020 were items on sale (23 percent), local products (18 percent), and customer reviews (17 percent).

Reviews add an important element of social proof and trust. They make customers more comfortable and may become a differentiating factor when customers face buying similar items from two different brands.

But, before you show off how happy your customers are with your products, you need to collect feedback from them.

Thanks to customer review Shopify apps such as Product Reviews, Yotpo, or Loox, you can display your reviews the way you want and elicit feedback through automatic emails.

Example of positive customer reviews

Payments

Payment methods and data security are often a concern for customers.

First, customers want to be sure they can make their payments safely. So, you’ll need to get an SSL certificate that will turn a regular “http://” protocol into a secure “https” one.

Second, you can consider adding Shopify trust badges that will help your customers quickly recognize what methods of payment you accept. Try apps like Free Trust Badge, Ultimate Trust Badges, or Vitals.

Secure payment logos

Badges like these will help put your customers at ease, especially traditional shoppers who normally buy in retail stores during Black Friday—and pay with cash.

Customer Support

Swift and timely customer support is yet another important element of successful Black Friday marketing.

Customers who are new to your brand and products might have questions that, ideally, you should answer on the spot.

With Black Friday sales happening nearly everywhere, it’s going to be easy for an unsure or unassisted customer to leave your store.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Add a live chat to your store. A live chat app is an inexpensive way to communicate with visitors in real-time. Whenever your customer has a question, they can type it in the widget that’s displayed on your website.

You’ll find a wide selection of live chat apps in the Shopify or BigCommerce store.

Example of on-site customer support chat
  • Create an FAQ page. Frequently Asked Questions help your customers answer their questions any time of the day or night.

Make sure that questions truly reflect the issues your customers face or could face and provide clear answers in simple language.

Black Friday Marketing: Over to You

When it comes to Black Friday sales, there’s no magic bullet that will help you cut through the crowds.

But there are quite a few Black Friday marketing strategies you can experiment with to make the most of your sales.

Before you launch your Black Friday marketing campaigns, don’t neglect the details that can make or break the customer experience. Take a look at your store or website and see if there’s any room for improvement.

And when the time for the big event comes, it might be worth taking the road less traveled. Give text messaging a try and have a few popups ready that will do an excellent job of announcements, phone and email collections, and minimizing lost sales.

Good luck!

Pawel Lawrowski Pawel is a Head of Growth at Wisepops and a Lead Generation&Pop-up Expert.

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