Five Strategies to Optimize Your Black Friday Marketing Campaigns

Sarah Pendleton-Moorhead
Sarah Pendleton-Moorhead
November 4 | 5 min read
Five Strategies to Optimize Your Black Friday Marketing Campaigns

Black Friday. The most infamous of shopping days. Synonymous with huge crowds, long lines, drama and deep discounts, Black Friday is kind of like pineapple on pizza or the New England Patriots; people either love it or hate it.

For most retailers Black Friday is a huge deal. There’s plenty of money to be made, but it can also act as a springboard to help set them up for the other 364 days of the year.

The average consumer plans to spend around $738 on Black Friday, down from $801 according to a recent RetailMeNot survey of 1000+ consumers and 200+ senior retail marketing leaders.

This year, the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas is almost a full week less than previous years. In response to this shortened window, 55 percent of retailers will offer deeper discounts than they usually do.

Smaller budgets and less time to sell mean that not only is there added pressure, there’s more noise and competition than ever. In order to cut through the cacophony, you’ll need a marketing campaign that both stands out and converts.

Whether you’re putting together a last-minute campaign or looking to optimize a campaign you’ve already got set up, we have five strategies to help you make the most of your Black Friday marketing bucks.

1. Create a Sense of Urgency

Let’s be honest, Black Friday is all about FOMO. As such, it’s incumbent upon retailers to cultivate a sense of urgency if they want to stand out and get the sale. Remarketing company, SmarterHQ, recommends adding dynamic, real-time content to your messages. “Consider popping up in real-time countdowns, live pricing, low inventory messages and shipping cut-off updates directly into your campaign content.”

This kind of interactive, dynamic feature serves as both a motivator and a value-add for the customer. It also helps you stand out from the crowd and provides some transparency. Customers appreciate knowing where inventory levels stand. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the point-of-sale only to learn the item you were so excited about is now sold out.

2. Think Outside the Calendar Box

Due to the shortened holiday season, 34 percent of consumers say they will start searching for deals earlier. Roughly 35 percent of shoppers start their holiday shopping before November, another 26 percent start in November (pre-Thanksgiving) and just 25 percent wait until Black Friday or later to start their holiday shopping.

What we’re saying is, you can make Black Friday sales whenever you want. Starting early gives you a jump on the competition and takes some of the stress off the customer to hit your sale on the big day.

This year, Michaels started a full month before Black Friday with an email campaign for their Christmas trees going out on October 24th. The subject line, “Drop. Everything. Shop Online Today for Black Friday Prices on Our Top Trees!” invokes a sense of urgency, and the mere mention of Black Friday makes people feel like they’re getting a great deal. The body of the email makes use of eye-catching, festive colors and copy that is simple, direct and appropriately bombastic. They’re effectively targeting the folks who like to start decorating for Christmas the second Halloween is over.

Michael's Black Friday marketing campaign

3. Reward Loyalty

Exclusivity is a heady perfume. It’s the reason Amazon’s Prime Week does so well. When people feel they are getting something no one else has, or when people are envious of the access others have, sales skyrocket.

Now is the time to celebrate your most loyal customers. Make them feel valued and celebrated by giving your VIPs early access to your biggest sales, offering extra discounts exclusive to VIPs and/or free or upgraded shipping.

It’s critical to make sure you’re communicating these opportunities clearly and abundantly. Your VIPs aren’t going to feel “Important” if they miss a huge deal because they didn’t see the lone email notifying them of your sale until it had passed.

4. Be Multichannel

It is more important than ever to meet customers where they’re at, and that means mastering the art of multichannel marketing.

A recent story in Adweek puts the significance of multichannel marketing in perspective: “The National Retail Federation found more than 89 million consumers shopped both online and in stores – including mobile click-and-collect-orders – which was up nearly 40 percent from the year prior. What’s more, these particular shoppers spent an average of $93 more than the shoppers who stuck to a single channel.”

To make the most of this, you need to stay multichannel in your approach to data, personalization and marketing. Pull and combine data from both online and in-store behavior. Track app and website data along with in-store purchases.

It’s also important to execute your campaigns across multiple channels. Email, push-notifications, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Ads – figure out which platforms your customers are most likely to engage with and be there.

5. To Thine Own Self Be True

You don’t have to go along with the herd and just be a mindless price-slasher to have a successful Black Friday promotion. In fact, marching to the beat of your own drum will help you stand out from the crowd. Running a campaign that jives with your brand identity and corporate culture also strengthens the customer/brand relationship. They know who you are and what to expect from you and you’re showing them that you don’t compromise who you are as a company to fit in with the crowd. People, especially Millennials and Gen Z, appreciate that authenticity.

Take Patagonia, for example. Known for making exceptional outerwear and being extremely dedicated to environmental activism, in 2016 Patagonia pledged to donate 100 percent of their sales to environmental groups. With that tactic, they expected to reach $2 million in sales but ended up with a record-breaking $10 million. In addition to the obviously awesome benefit to the planet, the move was true to their corporate culture and core values. It garnered Patagonia plenty of press and a huge amount of credibility and loyalty from their customer base.

Patagonia Black Friday marketing campaign

Design Drives Conversions

None of these campaigns and strategies would be worth a thing without a solid design team backing them. In order to get consumers to read your message, you first have to get their attention in a positive way. And you can’t do that without show-stopping design work.

The best Black Friday ads are simple, bold and eye-catching. Our internationally renowned, global design team and dedicated account managers are here to help you conquer Black Friday and the entire holiday season along with it.

Schedule a call today to see how we can help you Superside your campaign.

Sarah Pendleton-Moorhead
Written by
Sarah Pendleton-Moorhead
Sarah Pendleton-Moorhead is a writer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. But that’s not all she does: She’s also an artist, singer, mom, wife and self-described sci-fi and fantasy nerd.

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