The start of the holiday sales season, Black Friday, is a time that can make or break a successful year for small businesses. With Black Friday just around the corner, most teams already have a marketing plan for Black Friday in place. Companies who don’t have a marketing strategy for Black Friday created may want to rethink their decision. Here’s why:
- About 20% of all sales for the year happen between Black Friday and the end of the year.
- In 2019, over 189 million people went to stores over the four-day Black Friday weekend.
- On average, shoppers expect to spend about $1000 or so on holiday gifts.
If you’re running a B2B and/or B2C company, consider utilizing the following tips to prepare for the holiday season shopping extravaganza.
Black Friday Marketing Tips
Use or, two, or more of the tips mentioned here to boost your Black Friday sales. Get creative and choose ideas that fit in with your customers and your business.
1. Make It All About The Customer With Customer Appreciation Events
Customer appreciation events can give a serious boost to your Black Friday and other holiday sales numbers. You can host online events or in-person events to show your clients how much their business means to them.
Online events can include social media sharing contests with prize giveaways. In-person events can take on a number of different looks depending on your available space.
- Sleigh rides
- Reindeer appearances
- Cookies and cocoa for customers who visit the store
Be creative and search for customer appreciation ideas that fit in with your business and your clientele. The goal is to put the focus on the customers and be sure they are fully aware of your gratitude for their business.
2. Create And Advertise Black Friday Deals Early And Often
Start creating your Black Friday deals early. Put together a number of different specials that can cover a variety of products and/or services so you can reach every customer.
Do you have new products or services coming in? Create specials that entice clients to try them. Are there long-held products and/or services that stand the test of time? Create deals that will appeal to clients who haven’t tried them or get regular users of the product or service to stock up.
Advertise them often so that there’s no doubt your clients know what you’re offering. Make it a point to create an advertising plan that covers all of your potential market in some form or other, and send out updates at least weekly.
3. Create Separate Cyber Monday Deals
Cyber Monday is often a more popular shopping day than Black Friday is. For example, 2019 Cyber Monday sales came in at $9.4 billion whereas Black Friday sales in 2019 “only” came in at $7.4 billion.
In other words, brushing off Cyber Monday as an unimportant shopping holiday can be a costly business mistake.
So when you’re planning your Black Friday deals, be sure to create some completely separate Cyber Monday deals. Your Cyber Monday deals should only be available for those shopping on Cyber Monday.
And they should be new and different from what you offered on Black Friday and in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. As an example, let’s say you’re introducing three new services in the year’s last couple of months.
Introduce one in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, one specifically on Black Friday, and leave one as a special introduction on Cyber Monday. In other words, make Cyber Monday its own kind of special.
4. Have Deals For New Customers And Existing Customers Alike
And as you’re planning your deals, be sure to create specials for both new customers and existing customers. Enticing new customers with special deals is vitally important to expanding your client base.
However, rewarding your existing customers for years of loyalty is equally important. You don’t want existing clients to feel as if they don’t hold the same value as new clients. This is why giving them their own special deals is important.
Give them discounts for early payments. Enter all existing customers who make a purchase into a giveaway drawing. Give increasing price breaks each time they spend more. Just do something different for existing clients so that they’ll know they’re equally important to you.
This tip applies to marketing as well. New customer deals will be marketed everywhere. You’ll want to advertise to existing customers in a way only they will see so that they know they’re special. Send them advertisements via mail or send them emails. Make it personal and special, customized specifically for existing clients.
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5. Offer A Special Deal That’s Not A Discount
Discounts are great during Black Friday sales. But what about having a special that stands out from the rest? As an example, you could partner with a neighboring business and do a gift card promotion. If a client spends or buys “X” at your business, you’ll give them a $50 gift card to your neighbor’s or buddy’s business.
They’d do the same in the interest of reciprocity. Or you could introduce clients to new services by offering the new service as opposed to a discount on another service. Example:
“Get three rooms carpeted and we’ll add in a fourth room for free.”
The goal is to add a bonus gift of a product or service as opposed to a discount on a service from you. Get creative and use this technique to introduce clients to new offerings in your business or to grow your client list by partnering with another business.
6. Create A Gift Giving Guide
A Gift Giving Guide can be a great way to help your clients find that perfect gift quickly. You can advertise your gift-giving guide as a mailer, or do it all online.
Creating a tag for gift ideas will ensure your website auto-populates your gift ideas. Or you could send a list of gift-giving ideas to your email list. Another idea is to put your gift-giving ideas into a website or blog article and share the article on social media.
Gathering a list of great gift-giving products and services is a great way to make shopping easier for both new and existing customers.
7. Create A Landing Page On Your Website For Black Friday Deals
Creating a landing page on your website specifically for Black Friday deals can really help shoppers find them fast. After you create your Black Friday Deals landing page, promote it on your home page using top and side banners as well as other web tools like popups.
The goal is to make your Black Friday deals front and center on your website for easy viewing and alluring promotion. You want to make sure that when customers visit your website they find it nearly irresistible to learn more about your Black Friday promotions.
8. Advertise Those Deals On Social Media
Social media sites aren’t going away anytime soon. You may as well use them as a source of cheap or free advertising for your Black Friday and other holiday deals.
Promote your specials on social media, and use tags so that clients can get in on the game. Encourage your clients to tag deals they’ve taken advantage of and share their experience using the product or service.
Then reward your clients for helping spread the word about your business when they use social media to do so. Add them into a contest for a free gift or give them a shout out on your social media channels. Recognition goes a long way in retaining customers.
Related Article: 9 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses That Really Work
9. Do Flash Sales Leading Up To The Event
Flash sales are another great way to increase Black Friday and other holiday sales. Plan a short flash sale (two or three hours at most) on the days leading up to your Black Friday sale.
Give deep discounts or offer free shipping. Look at competing retailers and mimic their sales, giving an equal or deeper discount so you’re not left in the dust by bigger companies.
Oh, and be sure you’ve got the bandwidth to accommodate all of your flash sale purchases. Try to avoid having to tell a client you’re sold out and the product isn’t available.
10. Make A Cross-Selling Plan For Black Friday Deals
If you do Black Friday right you’re bound to have a hefty customer response to your deals. This is the perfect time to cross-sell your customers into more goods and services.
Create your cross-selling plan well in advance of your advertised deals. In fact, you may want to plan your deals around the ability to cross-sell other goods and services. As you plan your deals, work to think long-term and big picture.
Then be sure to make clients aware of complementary products or services that will enhance what they’re purchasing on Black Friday.
11. Tie A Charity Event To Your Black Friday Sales
The holidays tend to bring out the giver in people. For that reason, you may want to consider tying your Black Friday deals to a charitable event.
As an example, you could ask customers to bring non-perishable food items into your store as they shop. Or toys for a Toys-for-Tots or similar charity.
Another idea is to donate a portion of all sales on Black Friday to a popular non-partisan charity such as a local food shelf. Show your company’s commitment to the community and encourage them to partner with you as you do good for those around you.
12. Be Mindful Of “Mega-Deal” Overload.
Black Friday is a great opportunity, but naturally, there’s quite a bit of competition. Companies aren’t just competing for the consumer’s purchase; they’re fighting for their attention as well.
For marketing to stand out from the crowd, it needs to be creative and genuinely valuable. Offering a great deal in a straightforward, easy-to-understand format is one key to improving conversion. Additionally, ensure your marketing is mobile-optimized.
With so many deals and communications sent in this short period, most companies only have one shot for their messaging to noticed. Stand out marketing often implements a combination of the following ideas:
a. Deal of the Hour – For companies offering a wide range of products, varying the discounted product or offer by the hour creates a sense of urgency and scarcity around your promotion.
b. Bundles – Bundles are a great way of increasing the average value per sale and can enable deeper discounts on well selling items through blended margins.
c. Attached downloadable coupons – Attached downloadable coupons can help promotions from getting lost in a sea of Black Friday emails, saving a file directly to the potential customer’s computer. Naming the coupon appropriately so that the brand name reads easily is essential to making this an effective tactic.
*Don’t forget to increase your budget and maximum bid amounts for pay per click advertising. An increase in the quantity of advertising occurring results in an increase in the average bid amount, meaning if left unadjusted current campaigns will demote as competition bids higher.
13. Be Accessible To Customers With Extended Store Or Customer Service Hours
The holidays are a busy time of year, and that makes holiday shopping extra stressful. Make your business more attractive to busy shoppers by offering extended store or customer service hours.
Have the extended hours advertised visibly on your website and in any store doors or windows. Send out emails letting clients know that you’re here for them and available.
This is especially important for last-minute shoppers or those with non-regular working hours. Having extended hours of business is a great way to let clients know you’re here for them when they need you.
14. Have A Generous Return Policy
It’s easy to make spur-of-the-moment purchases on Black Friday and other holiday shopping days. Clients are in a hurry and they don’t want to miss out on great deals.
However, the days following the purchases can bring some serious buyer’s remorse. Help calm client fears by ensuring your company offers a generous return policy. Consider opening returns up all the way into January. That way the item can be returned even after the holiday.
Great customer service is crucial in any business. Competition is fierce and you want to do what you can to be sure your customers are happy with your company. Create a return policy that is good for business but also generous to customers.
15. Take Advantage Of The Entire Season
It all started with Black Friday, but the “mega-deal” season has grown to nearly a week and often longer! Many companies plan 10, 15, or even 30-day campaigns around Black Friday alone.
That can seem like communication-overload to clients. However, there’s a good reason the most successful brands err on the side of over-communication.
According to Salesforce, it takes nearly 6-8 interactions with a company before a potential customer makes a purchase.
You’ll want to balance staying away from mega-deal overload with ensuring people know you’re there. Successful brands take advantage of all the following opportunities to connect with their customers:
- Presale – Some companies start a week early. Consider taking advantage of pre-Black Friday opportunities.
- Black Friday – The day that started it all! Despite the growth of presales, most consumers expect to see the best deals starting only on Black Friday.
- Small Business Saturday – This day is exclusively for small businesses. There’s a segment in every market that merely prefers to work with a local company, and small business Saturday is one of the best days to connect with them. Small businesses can capture their attention by highlighting their story in addition to a deal.
- Cyber Monday – Cyber Monday is primarily focused on online transactions. For eCommerce businesses, Cyber Monday is nearly identical to Black Friday. Companies who don’t sell online can still offer a deal by creating a designated landing page or form, allowing exclusive access to a Cyber Monday deal.
- In case you missed it – With so many communications sent, it’s reasonable to expect that some people, who very much would have appreciated receiving an offer, just lost it in a flood of other marketing. Sending out another blast with an extension on the deadline “in case they missed it” drives additional sales and provides genuine value.
Wrapping it Up
Black Friday is a critical season for companies to reach their customers and drive revenue results for the year, yet it’s certainly no blue ocean. Crafting a successful marketing strategy for Black Friday requires mindfulness about other offers, taking advantage of the entire season, and careful consideration regarding how an offering impacts a company’s current customers.
With that said, there are numerous options for creating a unique campaign that resonates with customers and stands out from the crowd, and the size of the opportunity is indeed worth pursuing.
Be sure your clients, both existing and potential, know that you’re on your game when it comes to Black Friday and other holiday deals. Use the marketing tips here to reward existing customers, bring in new customers, and increase sales this year and in years to come.