Feb 19, 2024
Andzelika V. & Nadia
Black Friday Marketing Tips and Strategies for 2023
With Black Friday nearly here, businesses are getting ready for another record-breaking year. Whether you’re a veteran or first-timer in this shopping event, you need all the best tips and tricks to amp up your Black Friday promotions, gain more customers, and maximize online sales.
This guide will showcase nine actionable Black Friday marketing strategies, so you’ll know exactly what to do to get started. Furthermore, we’ll share five real-life Black Friday marketing campaign examples for your inspiration.
What Is Black Friday?
Black Friday is a holiday sales event in November where businesses launch bold promotional offers, exclusive deals, and significant price reductions to attract customers. It traditionally occurs after American Thanksgiving Day, though many companies offer extended Black Friday sales, evolving the event into a month-long shopping season.
When online shopping wasn’t so common, consumers used to come early and line up at physical stores on Black Friday. Nowadays, online Black Friday sales volume has increased significantly – from $1.9 billion in 2013 to $9.12 in 2022. Meanwhile, in-store shopping on Black Friday has increased by 12% YoY, regaining its popularity after the pandemic.
How long a Black Friday sale lasts depends on the business. Many big-name brands launch Black Friday deals from the beginning of November to entice customers and avoid unpredictable delivery times.
On the other hand, some online retailers start their Black Friday marketing campaigns from Thanksgiving Day until Cyber Monday, which is an online-only holiday sales event. They may also do different promotional offers for each day throughout that shopping weekend.
In addition, small to medium-sized enterprises may participate in Small Business Saturday, an event highlighting local and small merchants right after the main Black Friday event.
Though Black Friday originated in the US, businesses worldwide have taken on the term and date for their marketing campaigns.
9 Black Friday Marketing Ideas to Maximize Revenue Growth
As businesses of all sizes will participate in the campaign, crafting a solid Black Friday marketing strategy is necessary to win potential customers and compete with other companies.
With that in mind, we’ll go over nine of the best Black Friday marketing strategies to help you out.
1. Enhance Your Website Performance to Survive Traffic Surge
In an event like Black Friday, customers expect online stores to load fast, so they can quickly find the best deals and purchases.
The ideal loading time for eCommerce stores is zero to four seconds, as it has a 12% to 30% conversion rate. Longer than that, users begin to abandon their purchases, and the transactions decrease.
One way to prepare an online store for Black Friday marketing strategies is to evaluate its website hosting services. If the website is nearing its resource limit, consider upgrading.
The ideal plan should have plenty of bandwidth, memory, storage, and processing power to support the number of products displayed, the amount of anticipated monthly traffic, and a smooth shopping journey.
Hostinger offers a wide range of website hosting services for businesses of all sizes. With a 99.9% uptime guarantee, your online store will be up at the most crucial times. Our Customer Success agents can also help you choose the right hosting plan for your business if you’re unsure which one to use.
We also recommend using a website speed tester to measure the page loading time. This tool can suggest which areas to optimize for better website performance.
While there are many speed testers on the market, we recommend starting with GTMetrix. This tool can analyze your website’s loading time from different server locations and visualize what happens when a browser opens the page.
Other than that, make sure to optimize the images. These files usually carry significant weight and can slow down the website speed.
Read our checklist of ways to prepare your website for Black Friday to ensure your website can handle the traffic spike.
2. Build an Email List Leading Up to Black Friday
List building is a great Black Friday marketing strategy to generate hype. It involves capturing the email addresses of potential customers and informing them about upcoming Black Friday deals.
Here’s an example by Plufl, a brand that sells dog beds for humans, which offers early access to its Black Friday sale and an extra discount for those who sign up for its marketing email. This can help make customers excited leading up to the main shopping event.
WordPress users can send Black Friday promotion emails using either email subscription or newsletter plugins.
An email subscription plugin will create pop-up forms to collect email addresses, while a newsletters plugin is for creating the message content, customizing the template, and automating the email delivery process.
Offering an incentive is one of the best email marketing campaign practices. People are more likely to sign up if they get a reward for exchanging their information, such as a special discount code or a free gift card.
Other than that, personalize the email content based on the subscriber’s needs. In fact, 72% of customers admit they are more likely to pay attention to a personalized email.
For this, you can segment customers based on their purchase history, using an analytics tool like Google Analytics. From there, decide what kind of offers to entice them in the email.
For instance, one-time shoppers are usually more interested in finding the best Black Friday bargains, so you can highlight how much they can save if they buy from the store. They may also be into flash sales or time-sensitive holiday deals.
For the most loyal customers, consider offering them exclusive discounts to encourage repeat purchases and foster a sense of exclusivity.
Personalization can be as simple as addressing the recipient’s name in the email subject line. Such email subject lines have a 22% higher open rate than average.
To increase the chances further, the subject line should grab the subscriber’s immediate attention. Use words that trigger a sense of curiosity or fear of missing out to get them to open the content.
Here are some examples of email subject lines to use as inspiration.
3. Strengthen Your Social Media Marketing With a Black Friday Campaign
Social media is a powerful marketing tool, which can influence consumers’ purchase decisions by 76%. Use it to promote Black Friday deals and listen to customers’ needs, so you can keep them happy during the event.
Here are some tips and tricks for Black Friday marketing on social media platforms:
- Optimize your business’s social media accounts. Use your business’s logo as the profile picture and a branded cover photo. Include keywords relevant to the company in the bio. Make sure that all the featured links work.
- Leverage the social shopping feature. Merchants can connect their online stores with platforms like Instagram and Facebook. This allows customers to buy directly from their feed, making the shopping experience easier and faster.
- Feature Black Friday hashtags. Users most likely will use them to find more Black Friday deals. This Black Friday marketing idea works best for selling items that generally garner many searches online, like clothing and electronics.
- Encourage user-generated content. Get customers to upload pictures of their purchases or write product testimonials. Then, repost them on your feed as social proof.
- Schedule Black Friday promotion posts. Publish consistently to build anticipation for the event. It’s a good idea to start at the beginning of November to ensure enough time to raise awareness for your campaign. For example, you can begin by offering an early Black Friday sale.
- Don’t overdo the Black Friday content. Make room for other types of social media posts to avoid being too salesy and annoying your followers.
- Use Facebook ads. Allocate some portions of your marketing budget for Facebook ads, as they’re much more targeted than search ads. This type of ads is also results in higher conversion rates, at an average of 9.21%. Make sure to redirect users to an optimized landing page after they click on the ad.
- Work with micro-influencers. While their audience reach is small, they usually have a higher engagement rate.
- Respond to comments and messages. Some buyers may reach out to your social profiles to ask about an item, request help, or express a complaint. Address these inquiries to maintain good standing and relationships with customers.
4. Audit Product Pages
Customers will spend most of their time on the product pages looking for their desired items and purchasing. Hence, optimizing product pages can ensure a quick and pleasant Black Friday shopping experience.
Use this checklist to improve them:
- Optimize the product descriptions. Use sensory words in your product descriptions to visualize how the item looks and feels to the customer. Include relevant keywords for SEO. Also, create a FAQ section to address buyers’ most common questions.
- Create Black Friday gift guides. 86% of Black Friday shoppers look for gifts for upcoming holiday celebrations. However, 64% of potential shoppers also plan to buy gifts for themselves during the Black Friday shopping period. Help them decide what items are suitable for whom by grouping products based on the recipient, like Gifts for Dad, or the purpose, such as Home Decor Gifts.
- Sync the inventory on all sales channels. Save time on manually updating stock quantity and avoid inventory-related issues.
- Prepare an interactive catalog. Use a Black Friday interactive catalog to showcase all your products and synchronize it with your database so customers can buy directly from it.
- Display high-quality product images. Show the item from up to five angles and user-generated content for a more in-depth visualization. Check out the example below by Rent the Runway.
- Display user ratings and reviews. 76% of consumers read online reviews to see if a product is worth purchasing. This proves how positive feedback from existing customers works effectively as a trusted word-of-mouth promotion for businesses.
5. Create a Holiday Marketing Calendar
Navigate the hectic holiday season with a calendar that maps out all of your Black Friday marketing strategies.
What kind of calendar to use and what needs to be in it depends on what you plan to do during Black Friday. Having separate calendars for different marketing channels may also be necessary to organize the timelines.
Create a project timeline calendar to mark dates for brainstorming Black Friday promotion ideas, creating the design and copy briefs, and launching the Black Friday marketing campaigns.
6. Create a Sense of Urgency to Increase Black Friday Sales
Offering discounts isn’t enough to get customers buying from an online retailer. To maximize Black Friday sales, urge them to rush to the website. Entrepreneur Marcus Taylor implemented this Black Friday marketing strategy, skyrocketing his sales by 332%.
There are several ways to create urgency for Black Friday marketing campaigns:
- Launch a flash sale. Flash sales are discounts and deals that last for a short time, typically between a few hours up to a day. To urge online shoppers to buy, highlight the start and end times and display a countdown timer on the website.
- Display the stock level when the quantity is low. Doing so creates the sense that the product will be gone soon. Retail company H&M uses this tactic for their last-chance items.
- Use time-sensitive language. Keywords like now, today only, final sale, or last chance are good examples of this. Consider including them in the marketing email subject lines to increase the open rate.
- Use a color that stands out to highlight the offer. The best practice is to use a color that contrasts with the dominant shade of the web design, such as bright red on a predominantly monochrome website.
- Reward the fastest customers. For example, offer free shipping, early access to exclusive deals, or an exclusive gift for the first hundred customers.
- Show how many customers have bought the item. The purpose is to induce a fear of missing out, prompting visitors to follow other Black Friday shoppers to purchase the product. Below is an example from J. Crew’s product page that shows how many customers have added an item to their cart in the last hour.
7. Upsell and Cross-Sell Your Black Friday Offers
This Black Friday marketing strategy persuades shoppers to spend more, increasing the average order value for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This is an excellent tactic to gain more profit without raising the cost of acquiring new customers.
Apply these Black Friday marketing ideas to increase your average order value:
- Offer conditional free shipping. Give customers free shipping, but with a minimum order threshold. This policy can encourage customers to add more items to the shopping cart to qualify for the promo.
- Cross-sell relevant items on the product page or before checkout. For instance, if the user is shopping for a t-shirt, suggest a pair of pants or accessories to go with it. WooCommerce users can use the product recommendations extension for this.
- Offer bundle deals. For example, create a package of three items for the price of two, or offer a buy one, get one 50% off deal.
- Offer a free gift card for a certain amount of purchase. This Black Friday marketing idea can make customers feel more inclined to make another purchase in the future. Make sure the gift card’s value is not very expensive so that it won’t create a significant loss.
- Show how much the customer has saved with this Black Friday discount. This can make them feel like they’ve found a great deal and prompt them to shop for more items.
8. Update Store Design for the Holiday Season
Design the website using Black Friday colors and elements to get customers in the holiday shopping mood. Make sure the design looks appropriate for the business’s branding so visitors recognize the website.
Besides paying attention to the aesthetics, optimize the user experience and navigation system. Customers should be able to quickly find the product or information they’re looking for and make a purchase.
For some design inspiration, check our list of the best eCommerce website examples.
9. Reduce the Cart Abandonment Rate
Cart abandonment means customers add items to their shopping carts, proceed to checkout, but exit the page before completing the transaction. It’s one of the most common issues eCommerce businesses face, costing them $260 billion worth of loss.
Even though November – when businesses launch their Black Friday sales campaigns – is one of the months that have the lowest abandonment rates, this shouldn’t make us reckless. Keep in mind that users are planning their holiday and Black Friday purchases around that time. Consequently, they want to see if they can get a better deal at the peak of the event, and the competition is fierce out there.
To ensure these window shoppers return and buy the items, implement these tips:
- Send cart abandonment reminders using email or SMS marketing. In the subject line, remind customers they’ve left something behind and include a discount code to increase the chances of them completing the purchase.
- Include the taxes, shipping costs, and other fees in the shopping cart. “Extra costs too high” is one of the most cited reasons for cart abandonment. Be transparent with the price from the beginning, so customers know how much they’ll spend.
- Make checkout fast and easy. People want to complete their purchases quickly and look for more deals during the Black Friday weekend. Be sure to enable guest checkout and only ask for the most relevant billing and shipping information.
Best Black Friday Marketing Campaigns for Your Inspiration
Hopefully, the marketing tips and tricks mentioned have shown you what to do for the upcoming sales event. If you need some inspiration to put them all together, here are some Black Friday ideas from this and previous years:
Hostinger – Up to 81% Off Discounts
For the 2023 Black Friday campaign, Hostinger launched a discount of up to 81% off for all web hosting and domain products. There were several Black Friday marketing strategies implemented to market the offers:
- Black Friday deals to entice every type of shopper. This is an excellent Black Friday strategy to make new and current users happy. First-time clients can enjoy discounts for the hosting plan and free domain registration, while loyal customers can enjoy a deducted price for upgrades and service renewals.
- Black Friday-themed landing page. The design incorporated Black Friday colors to embrace the shopping season spirit, but the overall design remained faithful to Hostinger’s visual identity.
- Countdown timer. This Black Friday marketing tactic can trigger a sense of urgency and get people to purchase the item immediately.
Gymshark – Big Deal Energy Campaign
If you want to target Gen Z and Millennial customers, consider following Gymshark’s footsteps. Their 2020 Black Friday campaign video is still relevant today, demonstrating excellent practices for attracting younger generations.
The fitness wear company collaborated with YouTube influencers KSI, Behzinga, and Calfreezy to gain viral attention. It also hacks the meme term BDE and features some 1980s-1990s elements to cater to the Gen Z and Millennials’ preferences.
To highlight the brand’s products, the video illustrates the positive effects of wearing its fitness clothing, presented in an absurdist style to appeal to the target audience.
Etsy – Holiday Gift Guides
Etsy’s gift guides are great examples of how gift guides can be used all year round – adjust the landing page to fit the holiday vibes, and you’re ready to roll. It has a dedicated menu for the gift guides, categorizing them based on various aspects, such as budgets, recipients, and personalization options.
The DIY marketplace also highlights curated products based on various occasions, like Christmas, birthday, or housewarming gifts – types of gifts that customers likely buy during Black Friday, but they can also revisit some of these guides later in the future.
Etsy also provides more detailed filtering options to help customers narrow down their gift choices. These filters include estimated arrival times, colors, and more item-specific filters, such as the scent filter for scented candles – the options include floral, fruity, and woody.
Customers can then click the Shop This Item button inside the gift guides to add the item to their cart. Alternatively, shoppers can click the heart icon to add an item to their Favorites list to review later, helping them to shop more mindfully.
Allbirds – Pay It to the Planet
In recent years, many businesses have leveraged Black Friday to raise awareness on the causes they stand for. This trend is popular among sustainable brands and will continue to rise in the conscious consumer era.
Allbirds is one of the brands that started to embrace this trend. For its 2020 Black Friday campaign, the shoe company raised its product prices by $1, which it donated to an environmental charity.
Other brands have also taken advantage of Black Friday by encouraging petition sign-ups or launching video campaigns. If you plan to run a sustainability-related initiative for your Black Friday marketing campaign, remember to be considerate in doing it to avoid greenwashing.
Ready for This Holiday Shopping Season?
Black Friday marks the busiest shopping season of the year, so preparing a solid digital marketing strategy is crucial to attract attention successfully and boost sales.
The campaign can last for an entire month or a shopping weekend – it’s all up to your business needs and preferences. No matter what you pick, make sure to implement the following Black Friday marketing ideas to earn more sales:
- Enhance your website performance to anticipate traffic surges.
- Build a subscriber list for a Black Friday email marketing strategy.
- Strengthen your social media profiles with Black Friday campaigns.
- Make the product pages user-friendly and attractive.
- Craft a calendar to guide your holiday marketing activities.
- Trigger a sense of urgency in your Black Friday marketing campaigns to get people rushing to your eCommerce store.
- Encourage customers to purchase more items by upselling and cross-selling Black Friday offers.
- Update the web design to embody the holiday festivities.
- Make checkout fast and user-friendly to reduce cart abandonment.
Other than that, take a look at the creative Black Friday marketing campaigns we’ve listed if you need some real-life inspiration. Best of luck.
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Black Friday Marketing: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions asked about Black Friday.
When Is Black Friday in 2023?
Friday, November 24, 2023.
Why Do We Call It Black Friday?
The term Black Friday most likely originates from how police officers in Philadelphia described the shopping frenzy the day after Thanksgiving in the 1960s. Many tourists and suburban residents came to the city, creating long traffic jams and crowd-related accidents.
What Is the Difference Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Black Friday is a shopping event that takes place at eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores after the American Thanksgiving. On the other hand, Cyber Monday is online-only and occurs on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. In 2023, Cyber Monday will be on November 27.
Is Black Friday Only One Day?
Black Friday campaigns usually last more than a day. Many businesses launch a four-day campaign starting on Black Friday and ending on Cyber Monday. Some large retailers even start earlier, from the end of October or the beginning of November.