The two biggest shopping days for online retailers are quickly approaching: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s your opportunity to join in on the frenzy and make more money. This article will outline 11 different Black Friday marketing ideas to help you drive more traffic and sales during the biggest shopping season of the year.
1.Have a Deal of the Hour
A Black Friday marketing idea that works best for high traffic stores is having an hourly deal. Keep the deals a surprise for your customers to keep them coming back.
Remember to offer deals on all items in addition to the Deal of the Hour. For example, if you offer 40% off everything, then your Deal of the Hour could be 50% off or higher. Don’t forget to create a homepage banner for each hour you’ll have a deal.
To run a sale like this, I recommend using an app that allows you to schedule sales such as Product Discount by Bold.
When promoting your Deal of the Hour, consider having a product post created on all social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Since you’ll be busier than usual that day, I recommend automating your social media posts in advance with a tool like Buffer. Managing a Deal of the Hour requires the efforts of a team to manage social media, graphics, customer inquiries and administrative work. If you’re currently a solopreneur, this may not be the best Black Friday marketing idea for you.
2. Create a Gift Guide
Gift guides allow customers (and people buying gifts for your customers) to find you during the holiday season. For example “Gifts for Crossfit Lovers,” “Crossfit Gifts for Her,” “Crossfit Gifts for Him,’ ‘Funny Crossfit Gifts,’ and ‘Crossfit Gifts for Coaches’ are all examples of gift idea searches a Crossfit lover or a friend of a Crossfit lover might search to find you if you were selling Crossfit gear.
There are two ways you can easily create a gift guide: by creating a collection, or by writing a blog article.
To create a collection, create a product tag with the same name. Then, go to all of the product pages that you want featured in this gift guide and add the ‘Gifts for Crossfit Lovers’ tag. It’ll automatically populate to that collection.
For an article, create a blog post or page. Creating an article for your gift guide is a little more work but can be a more effective SEO play.
For your article, consider making it a list. For example, i.e. 40 Gifts for Crossfit Lovers. If you want to outrank the competition on Google for similar gift guides, look at what they’re doing. Google ‘gifts for crossfit lovers’ and look for the highest numbered article, then write a post that features more products to help encourage a better click-through.
To get more traffic to your gift guides, feature them on your homepage or other places around your website where they’d get visibility. You can also email the gift guides to customers. If you chose to make your gift guide a blog post you can share it on social media. I recommend boosting the post on Facebook to drive more traffic to it.
3. Offer a Free Gift
Offering a free gift is a fun reward for shoppers on Black Friday. AliExpress has several products under $2.00. With each order, you can give away a free gift to every customer who orders on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Items that work best for this have free or cheap shipping.
You’ll want to feature the free gift on your homepage banner to ensure visibility. You can set minimums such as ‘with every $50 purchase get a free gift’ or you can provide it to every customer who orders if you have high margins.
If you sell women’s fashion you can give away a free bracelet or earrings. If you sell men’s fashion you can give away cufflinks. If you sell home decor products, you can give away a free vase. If you sell beauty products you can give away a makeup brush.
To automatically give customers a free gift, you can use a Shopify app such as Free Gifts by Secomapp. They have a free 14 day trial for new users which is perfect for the holiday season. The app will allow you to set purchase minimums, have product X come with a free gift, and more.
4. Extend Your Sale
An effective marketing idea for Black Friday which has become much more common is extending your sale. Black Friday used to be the main day for retailers to have their best sales. However, with the growth of ecommerce, Cyber Monday emerged. As a result, most ecommerce retailers extend their sale to the full four days. By extending your sale, you’ll be able to draw in more customers and sales by having sales all weekend long. You can even start earlier like Best Buy did.
Since Black Friday tends to be the most popular you’ll want to focus your energy on that first. You might want to offer great deals on your best selling products on Black Friday. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday you can offer themed promotions. For example, if you’re a women’s fashion retailer you might offer a buy one get one 50% off on dresses all day Saturday. On Sunday, you might offer buy 3 pieces of jewelry get one free. On Monday, you could offer a special discount on winter boots or sweaters.
5. Email Marketing
When it comes to email marketing, there are two approaches. First, if you don’t have an email list, contact all of your former customers and offer them a special VIP discount code that gives them additional savings when they buy. Since they’ve already bought from you before they’ll be more likely to buy again. If they’ve bought within the past 30 days, your brand will be fresh in their mind so be sure to include those people as well. If you don’t have an email list you may want to run some ads to build out your list before Black Friday so that you can email them during the weekend.
When it comes to sending emails to potential customers email them the deals you’ll have that day so that they keep checking back online. If you promote specific products make sure the products are clickable so people can go directly to the product pages to make their purchases. Be sure to mention how steep your discount is in the email subject line to help incentivize click through. For example, ‘50% off all dresses today only.’
6. Add new products
Customers love browsing through new products. You can add new products in two different ways. First, you can add several new items a few days before Black Friday to ensure your store looks fresh with new products. This allows former customers to have a new experience when returning to your store.
Second, you can add new products that are exclusively available on Black Friday to boost that day’s sales. You can add a countdown timer that counts down until the end of the day. You can also add a graphic on top of the image that reads ‘Black Friday Exclusive’ so that people know the product will only be available that day. This will help create urgency and get people to buy the product right now rather than later since it’ll no longer be on the store.
7. Offer a Sneak Peek
An easy Black Friday marketing idea is to create a gif or video of products that will be on sale while mentioning their promotion before the big day. This will help build anticipation of the promotions you’ll be having on Black Friday to get people excited about the type of discounts you’ll offer. The video doesn’t need audio to be effective, you can create it without sound or you can add some royalty free music if you’d like.
One idea is to create a slideshow on Flipagram. You can create images in Canva or Photoshop to create a consistent brand look and upload the images to your phone to create a slideshow with Flipagram. If you’re up for a challenge you can create some really unique and effective videos on it. Here’s an example of a product feature you can create on the platform:
Promote the sneak peek on your social media accounts. Flipagram allows you to share it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more. By giving people a sneak peek, you’ll get them engaged before the sale happens so that people are ‘lined up’ at your online store on the day of ready to make a few purchases.
When marketing for Black Friday you should be taking advantage of Black Friday focused hashtags in addition to your regular hashtags. You’ll want to include hashtags such as #blackfriday #blackfriday2016 #cybermonday #sale #blackfridaysale #blackfridaydeals. This will allow you to reach customers who are specifically looking to score a deal.
Using these types of hashtags works well for everyday type of products like fashion, home decor, and electronics. If you sell really niche products this may not work as well as people wouldn’t search for those types of products under Black Friday hashtags. You’ll want to ensure the products you’re selling appeal to a larger audience. If they don’t, consider focusing on the hashtags you normally use.
9. Increase your Ad spend
During Black Friday weekend, advertisers will be spending more than usual. The cost per click will also be higher than usual. If you plan to advertise on Facebook, consider increasing your ad spend a few days out from Black Friday. This will give the ad enough time to optimize for conversions, and allow you to adjust and tweak along the way before the big day.
By spending more money than you usually do you’ll be more likely to get noticed by potential customers. Be sure to mention Black Friday or have appealing discounts in your ad copy to catch people’s attention. People will be ready to buy if they’re presented the right offer at the right price at the right time. Black Friday weekend is the right time. A steep discount will help you attract customers with the right price. Focus on your best selling products to promote the right offer.
10. Create a content calendar
Since it’s now crunch time, you’ll want to create a content calendar with what needs to get done and by when. On your calendar be sure to include the following:
- Create new graphics and banners: You’ll want to create graphics for social media posts. You’ll need to create a new homepage banner graphic.
- Plan out social media posts: Automating your social media posts ahead of time will make your life easier. Write out the copy and relevant hashtags in advance. Use Buffer to automate your posts in advance to ensure they go up at the exact time they need to be up.
- Plan out creative and copy: You’ll want to have your creative and copy completed for emails, social media, ads and more.
- Plan out promotions: Run the numbers to figure out how much of a discount you can offer your customers without affecting your margins too greatly. If you offer VIP discounts to former customers for additional savings you’ll want to ensure that you’re still making a profit. Keep in mind that you’ll be spending more money on advertising and paying for the actual products so be sure to take those costs into account as well. With dropshipping you don’t carry inventory so breaking even doesn’t benefit your business.
11. Install Apps
There are several Shopify apps you should have installed on your store that work best for Black Friday promotions. First, a countdown timer app would be beneficial for your store. There are a few in the Shopify app store such as powr, Hurrify, and Hextom. They each fill a different need with a similar result. You can choose the one that suits your needs best.
Next, you’ll want to have a live chat on your store. You can use an app like Tidio chat to allow customers to contact you live with any questions. This is really important in helping customers convert on Black Friday. While live chat apps are always great, on Black Friday you’ll likely have an influx of customers contacting you and it’s important to respond to their inquiries before the bounce off your website.
You’ll also want to ensure that you have the ‘Free Shipping Bar’ by Hextom on your store. People love knowing that free shipping is offered. You’ll want to have that made clear to everyone when they shop on your store. It’ll help with conversions.
Like mentioned earlier in the article, remember to install ‘Free Gifts’ by Secomapp if you choose to offer a free gift or a special type of product discount.
You might want to install the ‘Product Upsell’ app by Bold on your store. Upsell apps work well all year round. However, during the holidays since you’ll have more people buying having upsells will increase the average order value which will allow you to make more money. This is especially helpful when offering big discounts.
It’s now time to get started on these Black Friday marketing ideas to ensure that your store is ready for the boost in sales on the biggest retail weekend. Implement the tactics that suit your store best to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the weekend.
Have any other Black Friday marketing ideas that you’d like to share? Or maybe you need help preparing for the Black Friday weekend? Leave a comment below.