Nothing says “holiday shopping frenzy” quite like Black Friday. Although Cyber Monday has become its biggest competitor in the last 15 years or so, the day after Thanksgiving is still consumers’ main association with doorbusting deals, massive discounts, and of course, people fighting over TV sets on sale.
And of course, no matter what service or product your business markets, it’s probably the most important day of the year for you.
That’s because Black Friday is a revenue gamechanger.
Did you know that sales on Black Friday account for 30 percent of all sales for the entire year?
That alone should be enough to motivate you to up your game when it comes to the kinds of promotions you offer the day after Thanksgiving.
Ideally, the best Black Friday marketing is put in place long before November hits—often even during the summer. This is because when you think about it, the holiday season is one giant sales funnel.
You want to create awareness and engagement with prospects early in the year so that when the holiday season hits—the biggest shopping event of the entire year—they’re buying your core offer like crazy.
You want them to have reached the Advocate level of the Customer Value Journey so that your brand is their go-to for getting their holiday shopping done.
However…if your business is a little behind in its preparations, no worries. There’s still time before Black Friday to get the attention of new prospects and loyal customers alike with Black Friday sales ideas that are as juicy as that turkey they’ll eat before taking advantage of your discounts and deals.
Find out how to raise your game with special discounts, sales funnels, email and Facebook and of course, free stuff.
Create a gift guide
If you run an ecommerce business, a holiday gift guide is one of the best Black Friday sales ideas you can put to work. It’s a document that you give out to customers and prospects detailing what products you are featuring this holiday season, special discounts and other favorites you want to promote.
Gift guides also create the opportunity for people to buy instantly by linking the products directly to their corresponding pages on your website.
Gift guides take a number of different forms. The easiest way to build one is to set up a page on your website featuring your Black Friday promotions and items you want to showcase for the holidays.
It’s also convenient and easily accessible, even by people who may be casually browsing your site and may still be in the awareness stage of your funnel.
Another option is to set up your gift guide in the form of a blog post. The advantage of this format is that you can optimize the post with keywords prospects might be searching for as part of their quest for the right gift.
For example, if you run an online store that sells thermal workout clothing, you might write a post titled “Best Gifts for Athletes in Your Life” and link to various products from your site throughout it.
Another choice for formatting your gift guide is to actually create one in the form of a clickable PDF, with the product images linked back to the product pages on your website. While it requires a little extra work, a PDF guide can do something a blog post or webpage can’t: generate leads.
You do this by using the gift guide as a lead magnet, an irresistible free offer given in exchange for someone’s contact information. A gift guide makes a perfect lead magnet because it presents immediate value and can be quickly and easily consumed.
By opting in for the lead magnet, they get a slew of possible gift options for their loved ones and inside information about your Black Friday deals…and you get to add them to your email list.
Be strategic about your timing.
Great Black Friday deals are all about when you make your offers available and how long customers have access to them. Whatever your Black Friday sale ideas may be, you can’t just make your promotions active at a particular time based on instinct or feeling.
You need to consider the timing of your deals in a way that creates urgency and scarcity.
In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, one of the classics of marketing literature, Robert Cialdini writes that scarcity is one of the principles that triggers people to buy. They may see value in the product or understand a way it will benefit them, but ultimately, if they are told to ACT NOW, “fear of missing out” kicks in and they are triggered to make the purchase.
Black Friday is one day. Most business’s promotions are active for less than that—sometimes only a few hours. It’s why people camp out outside department stores so they can be there when they open at 5 AM. It’s why they’re willing to fight to the death for a TV set. Time is short, but so is the quantity of items available.
To start with, build hype about your promotions by advertising your Black Friday deals weeks in advance. This helps people to plan ahead and also gets them excited about their purchase opportunities. Better yet, send coupons and discount codes through email so they can prepare.
However, your use of time and scarcity shouldn’t stop there. One expert trend for creating scarcity is the flash sale—a short sale with high discounts that often offers free shipping in addition. The idea is to give as much value as possible to customers for the lowest price you can offer.
Not only will the 2-3 hour time limit induce customers to buy more immediately, but flash sales are a great opportunity to test out what offers work best for your customers.
Most of all, don’t limit your deals to solely Black Friday. Thanksgiving weekend has always been notoriously heavy on holiday shopping traffic, but with the addition of Cyber Monday, people shop from Friday all the way through Monday. Therefore, it’s important to offer promotions consistently during this time frame.
Give exclusive access to sales
The key to acing your Black Friday sales ideas is deep discounts, and granting your customers access to secret discounts and sales not available to the general public is a great way to do it for a couple of reasons.
First, you get to tap into exclusivity—making customers feel like they are a part of an elite group that the average shopper isn’t a part of. Second, you build loyalty through these special discounts and sales, exciting your customers and making them more likely to become advocates for your brand.
One example of this is the Velvet Rope formula, a type of sales funnel that gives customers the chance to opt in to a secret sale or discount club. By opting into the discount club, they’ll receive early-bird access to sales or notifications about exclusive deals.
They’re then taken to a page featuring items that are a part of the sale, and after purchasing, they are presented with an upsell, which lets you average out the amount of their transaction.
Offers like this are successful because they appeal not only to scarcity and exclusivity, but also value. By the time they take advantage of the upsell offer on the back end, your customers will feel that they’ve gotten the most for their money, giving them the positive experience and excitement that keep them coming back.
Beef up your email campaigns
Automated email marketing is one of the powerful tools you have at your disposal to put your message in front of customers. During the holidays, it becomes even more critical, as it’s the best channel for getting the word out to your leads and customers about Black Friday promotions, flash sales, deals, and coupons.
Simply put, amping up email marketing is one of the best ways to promote your Black Friday sales ideas.
To make sure you get the word out in a way that makes people pay attention, you have to get creative and personal, and that means finding ways to get them to open your messages.
In a previous blog post, we talked about why email open rates are so important and some basic ways you can get that number to increase. Personalization is a big one—use your email marketing software to insert your customer’s name in the subject line or greeting.
You can also get creative with subject lines. This is where you present your promotion, discount, or deal in a way that is appealing and persuasive by emphasizing urgency and value.
Another email marketing strategy to use to promote your Black Friday sale ideas is segmentation—breaking up your list into categories based on previous purchasing behavior or their stage in your Customer Value Journey.
This will ensure that you’re targeting the right members of your audience with the right promotions. You can literally pinpoint which of your holiday offers would best fit different groups of customers based on what they’ve bought or how they’ve interacted with your brand in the past.
Pay attention to Facebook ads
We’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is that with Facebook ads, there’s a lot of opportunity to get your holiday products and Black Friday sale ideas in front of people.
The bad news is that around the holidays, there’s a lot of competition.
Let’s review how Facebook ads work. When you build an ad campaign, you’re joining a massive advertising auction that spans the entire world. Your ads go up against all other ads submitted to Facebook, which then shows the winning ad to the target audience.
This is because during periods of high demands—like the holidays—there often isn’t enough space on Facebook to accommodate all advertising requests. And when that happens, the businesses that are willing to pay the most for ad placement are the ones whose ads are seen.
When the number of advertisers go up, costs go up. So, to ensure that people see your ads, the best strategy is to experiment with different audiences. The Facebook platform has an Automatic Placement option that you can use if you aren’t sure how to position your ads, but be sure to play with this over a period of time and test different audiences to find what works.
Timing is also important. One strategy is to increase your ad spend a few days before Black Friday. By spending more money ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to have your ad viewed.
Also, don’t forget about retargeting. Retargeting uses Facebook pixels for keeping track of the people who visit your website so you can continue marketing to them after they leave.
This strategy is critical because with so many sales and promotions active online during Black Friday weekend, abandoned shopping carts are inevitable. Retargeting lets you remind these people to check out so they don’t forget their purchases and you don’t miss sales.
Bundles, free stuff, and more
Make your Black Friday promotions a little merrier and brighter by adding some extra items to your customers’ purchases. Free gifts and bundles are great ways to add value to their orders and persuade them to buy more.
For example, if you own a homemade soap shop, create a special limited quantity package that contains three bars of soap, potpourri, and a candle. Or, create themed packages of different scents and products.
Another option is to offer a free gift. Give away a tote bag, t-shirt, gift card, or other extra items to anyone who makes a purchase of a certain amount or buys particular items.
Want to learn more about how to amp up your Black Friday sale ideas? Cirius Marketing is ready to partner with you to double the size of your business. Our Double Your Sales Review strategy session will help you find out what strategies are currently working for your product or service and discover others that could help you get even better results.
Click here to schedule your complimentary 30 minute session now.