25 Oct 2021 By By Alice Davies
Black Friday starts one of the largest shopping weekends of the year - and although not every brand chooses to get on board with sales and discounts, it’s still a great opportunity to promote your products and sell online. In fact, more people than ever are now choosing to shop online for Black Friday deals than go in-store, not only to get great deals, but also to avoid crowds.
But when exactly should you start activity marketing for Black Friday? And what kind of tactics should you use? Below, we’ll outline not just when you should start, but how you should start too.
Ideally, you should have a robust marketing strategy in place all year round, allowing you to ramp up certain elements and tactics for when busier periods occur. Building on your email marketing database throughout the year will ensure you have a healthy amount of consumers to market to, in an effective manner.
The same goes for your social media channels - having healthy numbers of followers, who actively engage all year round, will enable you to market much more effectively to them during Black Friday sales.
A great way to start promoting your Black Friday offers is a few weeks before the big day. Tease your customers and followers with social media posts, as well as updating your channels with headers and profile pictures. Black Friday falls on November 26 2021 - starting your sale promotion at the start of November is the ideal time to interest consumers and start slowly introducing offers and discounts. Any earlier and you might find that you lose that interest.
When it comes to email, use this as your main tool for promoting your offers. Encourage visitors to your site, or social media channels, to sign up to your email list to receive exclusive access or early discounts to your Black Friday sale.
You could even offer a further discount if they sign up. Use both the time before Black Friday, and the time after that weekend, to generate as many sign-ups as possible. If users consent, you can then keep them in your marketing database for the long-run, promoting other offers down the line. Winner.
Use email marketing effectively in the weeks running up to Black Friday too. Make sure you send reminders to recipients about any sales and exclusive offers coming up. There’s a fine line between bombardment and keeping them interested, so try not to cross that.
During Black Friday sales, you can expect to see a high volume of traffic to your site that comes from brand new visitors. These are consumers who may never have shopped with you before, but have been tempted by an offer of discount discovered via an ad or word of mouth.
You can lose a vast amount of this traffic the minute they land on your site, especially if they can’t see any decent offers or discounts. Utilise pop-ups to avoid losing this traffic. Although you may not have implemented them before, now is a great opportunity to test it out, grabbing the attention of potential customers and keeping them engaged.
Examples of great pop-up ideas include:
- Instantly greeting customers who land on the site with a discount code - which is higher than the sitewide code you’re offering. Ask for their email address in return
- Offer additional discounts at checkout, especially if a consumer has more than a certain amount in their basket
- Sensing when a visitor to the site is about to leave - and tempting them back in with a great new offer
- If a consumer has been on the site for a while, with items in their basket, use a pop-up to remind them of their items - and potentially even offer a bigger discount, if they purchase within the next ten minutes.
Consumers have a wealth of options and brands to choose from, especially on Black Friday when the discounts seem endless and bigger from one store to the next. Your brand needs to act fast and pop-ups can be a great way to do that.
Pop-ups can be used to avoid consumers leaving the site, or abandoning baskets - or even encouraging them to come back after a purchase. There’s a sense of urgency around Black Friday and pop-ups can entice customers in, without them wanting to leave and shop elsewhere.
Site-wide discounts are great - but if everyone is getting the same deal or there’s no urgency to act to get the discount, you could very well lose customers.
This is why it’s so important to implement a range of eCommerce discount strategies, ones that might be exclusive, ones that are timely, and ones that maybe help you shift some unwanted stock.
Consumers buy more during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales because they have a fear of missing out - it could be another year until they can find such a great deal or discount again. This sense of urgency and exclusivity works, helping your eCommerce business sell more, gain more customers, and potentially move on old stock.
With such a huge influx of traffic during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and general Christmas / New Year period, it’s important to update you customers (and your shipping provider) on any shipping restrictions you may have to put in place - or if there could be delays on orders.
You need to ensure you can fulfil delivery expectations, as well as meet demands when it comes to stock levels. Keeping your website updated and in check during this period is a must - as well as having an organised fulfilment partner.
Having an unruly website during the run up to Christmas is not ideal, especially if you’re an eCommerce business. Your site needs to be able to cope with an increase in traffic, as well as the ability to add new discount codes and pop-ups.
Make sure you load and test your website speed before you start your Black Friday marketing, as you don’t want things to fall over before you’ve even begun.
You also need a fulfilment partner who can automatically add discount codes and vouchers to orders (such as ourselves).
Yes, we might have told you WHEN to start your marketing for Black Friday, but you also need to have a plan in place for when to END your Black Friday sale. Cyber Monday comes just a few days after Black Friday, so it’s important to make sure your marketing doesn’t just blend into one.
You also don’t want to keep your discounts extended for a prolonged period of time. This can leave consumers feeling like you always have offers on and these aren’t actually that special. A great idea to bring back customers and promote products just after Black Friday is to surprise customers by announcing that your Black Friday offers still stand - for one more weekend only before Christmas. This means you capture consumers who missed out on Black Friday deals, but still need to purchase anyway - as well as any other Christmas shoppers.
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