Black Friday is a strange phenomenon. The mere mention of it can immediately elicit a range of emotions, from dread to excitement. It just depends on how you’re talking to.
For retailers, it’s a chance to either keep profits going strong, or make up for a lackluster 10 ½ months. Regardless, it’s a simultaneously thrilling and anxiety-inducing time.
To get the most bang for your buck on this tumultuous day, you need an exceptional Black Friday marketing strategy. Here’s how to build one.
When Ben Franklin first said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he was referring to fire safety.
So it can’t just be a coincidence that we refer to resolving unexpected issues resulting from an oversight as “putting out fires,” right? OK, maybe it’s a coincidence. But still — a detailed Black Friday marketing plan can be the difference between fortune and fiasco.
On any other day of the year, you may have at least a little leeway if something goes awry. But during the week of Thanksgiving, there is zero wiggle room. You must know exactly which products you’ll be advertising to which customers on which days with which promotion on which channels. Whew!
That last aspect is especially important. Retailers who invested in mobile, email, and social last Black Friday had an average of 30% more sales than stores who only focused on one or two channels.
See the World Through the Eyes of a Shopper
As you develop your Black Friday marketing strategy, you’ll likely research advice on how best to sell your products. And you should — you’re a retailer, after all. But what you shouldn’t do is skip over articles targeting consumers.
Even veteran Black Friday buyers look for recommendations on how to get the most out of the biggest shopping day of the year. Reading articles written for consumers will give you an idea of where to focus your efforts. For example, Consumer Reports advises shoppers to start early, be loyal, and get social. Use your knowledge of the tips shoppers are getting to develop your Black Friday campaigns. In other words …
- Don’t wait until Black Friday to start sales and promotions. Capture the attention of the early birds with “Pre-Black Friday Flash Sales” and teaser ads
- Encourage loyalty by offering email subscribers and social followers exclusive deals
- Use social media to promote popular products and offer discounts to shoppers who share your posts
If you want even more insight into the expectations and potential behaviors of holiday shoppers, browse sites with “Black Friday predictions,” such as BestBlackFriday.com and DealNews. This information can help you decide which types of discounts and deals will resonate with your audience.
Take Advantage of Email Marketing
Bloggers love talking about the imminent demise of email as a viable B2C marketing option. They claim consumers don’t want to hear from retailers because they receive too many emails as it is. In their opinion, using email marketing is a waste of money.
Email marketing enables retailers to create hyper-personalized, targeted messaging, customizable down to an individual user level. Almost no other channel can offer this advantage. If you want to build better connections with shoppers, you must include email in your Black Friday digital marketing strategy.
To craft powerful personalized marketing emails, segment your audience using these three categories:
- Demographic information (for example, age, gender, geography, level of education, and annual income)
- Engagement metrics (opens, clicks, and conversions)
- Browsing and buying behavior
This data can help you choose which products to recommend and which discounts to include in your Black Friday email campaigns. You’ll also be able to identify the best days to send messages and which language and imagery is most likely to inspire action.
The more customized you can make your email marketing, the more you show your commitment to your audience. And when a consumer feels a store has taken the time to offer the best Black Friday experience for her specifically, she’s more likely to shop there.
Pro Tip: An exceptional Black Friday online marketing strategy means nothing if you can’t deliver orders on time. Make sure your shipping process is as well designed and organized as your marketing.