Marketing Techniques to Boost Your Black Friday Sales
November 7, 2018
By: Danny Bradbury
With a few weeks to go until Black Friday, retailers have everything to play for. Last year, 174m Americans shopped in stores and online during the five-day period after Thanksgiving. With the economy still in good shape, this year’s holiday sales promise to be just as successful for small business owners.
With that in mind, companies should be thinking about building a marketing strategy to drive as much business their way as possible during Black Friday and the crucial days around it. Here are some marketing tips:
For smart marketers, Black Friday doesn’t start on November 23. Data shows that customers want holiday sales content as early as Halloween, Weeks ahead of time, develop a plan that includes content, deals and promotions to help build interest in your Black Friday initiative ahead of the event. You can create a budget so that you know how to spend your marketing dollars. You can coordinate activities with each other using a schedule for the maximum marketing effect.
The competition for holiday sales is intense. Try to get into the fray by communicating with your audience across multiple channels using a synchronized set of campaigns. These can include:
Direct mail. You can send coupons to highlight your big-ticket deals ahead of time.
Email. This is a cheap way to hit a segmented audience more frequently than direct mail. You can use it to highlight a range of forthcoming deals, but try not to overdo it with too many mails.
Social media. You can build a social media strategy that includes Black Friday campaigns featured around product selections.
Website. You can point to more detailed, flashier promotion material on your site such as gift guides using the other channels.
Paid advertising. If budget allows, consider search or social advertising.
Crunch the numbers
As customers access your omnichannel content, they will generate a lot of data. Remember to monitor visitor sessions and tie them into your customer relationship management (CRM) system to get better intelligence on each customer’s interest over time. You can use this, along with demographic and previous sales data, to segment your email and advertising campaigns.
With so many retailers competing for Black Friday custom, credibility is key, and social proof is a valuable tool. Try to work far ahead of time to build a solid base of legitimate customer reviews for your products and services, and can make it easy for customers to like you on social media. How about creating entertaining videos of satisfied customers explaining how to use your products and services, and sharing it on social media?
Smaller retailers may not be able to slash prices as much as the big players. You can be creative in your marketing offers. Consider offers including:
Specialized coupon deals for segmented customer groups
Free shipping (for online stores)
Gift cards with minimum purchase
Sneak peeks for loyalty card holders
Stoke the fire
Mid-November is the time to take your Black Friday marketing up a notch with a range of activities designed to introduce a sense of urgency and get them stoked to visit your store.
You can create a countdown to Black Friday on appropriate channels, and punctuate it with promotional offers every day leading up to your big Black Friday sale. As the countdown continues, consider upping the frequency to each hour. Complement this with social sweepstakes campaigns that can help your long-term marketing efforts by gathering customer emails.
If you’re a mixed bricks and mortar/online vendor, you can hold some online products back. Highlight products that will only be on sale in-store to encourage shoppers to turn out in person.
By combining these techniques, you can supercharge your Black Friday campaign and be sure to draw new and existing customers through your doors, both online and on foot. With the average customer spending $335 over the five-day period last year, every person you attract could provide a significant boost to your revenue.
About the Author
Danny Bradbury has been writing about technology and business since 1989. His clients have included the Financial Times, the Guardian, and Canada's National Post.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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