Plan a Black Friday marketing campaign

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Business Benefits

Generate more sales during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year.


Set your revenue objectives and marketing goals.

Work backwards and ask:

  • What’s my total revenue goal for Black Friday? Your top-line revenue target should be forecasted on historical sales data.
  • How many sales must I make each day to hit my goal? Black Friday typically encompasses the Friday itself, as well as the full weekend and sometimes even the preceding Thursday evening and the following Monday.
  • How much traffic do I need to meet this daily sales target?

Test your website’s traffic capacities and system limitations to ensure that it can handle significant spikes in web traffic and server load.

Talk to your web host and other service providers. Ensure the following systems are capable of handling the amount of traffic you expect to receive:

  • Your marketing funnels, if you’re using a third-party service or platform.
  • Your website.
  • Your checkout pages.
  • Your payment processor.
  • Your email system that you use to send order confirmations and receipts.

Define and segment your target audience, and tailor your Black Friday offer to the unique needs and desires of that audience.

Your Black Friday promotions might be aimed at:

  • New customers who’ve never bought from you in the past; acquisition.
  • Current customers; retention.
  • Past customers; reactivation.

Look at historical data, such as past audience behavior, most active user engagement, and channels that generated sales in the past, to prioritize your marketing channels.

Pull up your social media, website, email and ecommerce analytics and look for trends that identify:

  • Where your users are most active.
  • Which channels led to the most user activity or visits to your website.
  • Which channels led to the most leads or sales.

This may include pay-per-click advertising, social media, and your email list. Prioritize the channels that have historically performed well during Black Friday.

Choose a Black Friday offer that encourages a high average order value, like a buy more save more offer.

The higher your average order value, the greater your profit margin. In the past, many brands offered blanket discounts site-wide. Today, more use offers like:

  • Get X percent off when you spend X dollars.
  • Receive a free item when you buy three items.
  • Earn a gift card for the future when you buy a certain dollar amount.

Tease your promotions early while keeping the sale specifics a secret.

Shoppers are conditioned to look for Black Friday sales. Tease your Black Friday marketing offer several weeks in advance. However, don’t mention the exact discount or promotion specifics. For customers, part of the allure of Black Friday is the anticipation and surprise.

Promote your Black Friday offer with a focus on limited time.

Starting at midnight Eastern time or your local time if you’re a regional-based business, begin heavily promoting your Black Friday offer on every owned marketing channel. Aim for at least three time-based marketing messages, such as:

  • Your launch and telling people your Black Friday sale is now live.
  • A mid-campaign reminder.
  • A deadline email warning people that Black Friday is ending soon.

Add an element of surprise or an unexpected marketing twist to stand out in the crowd.

You are not the only brand that’s pushing its products or services during Black Friday. As audiences become more conditioned to Black Friday sales tactics, find ways to surprise and delight your audience and catch their attention:

  • Last-minute sales extension: A day or two after Black Friday is over, promote a last-minute extension of your Black Friday promotions to re-engage users who procrastinated or didn’t take action in time. You could use messaging such as, “We sold out so fast that many people didn’t get a chance to buy, and our customer service team was inundated with emails. We decided to bring back our sale in case you missed out.”
  • Shorten the timeline unexpectedly: Use countdown timers and low stock alerts to hint that time is running out faster than expected. This triggers your audience’s worry that they’ll miss out on a great deal. Use messaging like, We’re almost sold out, and we won’t restock this popular item until next year.
  • Remarketing: Use paid ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and any other channels you are marketing on. Promote a special offer to people who visited your store but didn’t buy.