5 last-minute Black Friday marketing ideas

The mayhem of Black Friday is fast approaching, with just over a month to go until the annual shopping frenzy commences on Friday 23rd November. Recognised worldwide, this shopping holiday can be taken advantage of by all businesses, no matter their industry/sector or size. Whilst many brands will have been ahead of the game in preparation for the largest revenue event of the year, if you haven’t started planning yet, don’t worry – you haven’t missed the Black Friday boat!

It is expected that the Black Friday weekend alone will achieve over £5 billion sales. British consumers’ shopping habits are on the rise; it’s expected that “50% of shoppers are planning to spend more in-store and online this year, with each individual spending £200 on average”.

We have pulled together some last minute Black Friday marketing ideas and actions that can be fairly quickly implemented to help you mark your place amongst the Black Friday chaos.

Email Marketing

Black Friday is a prime opportunity to capture your potential customers through email marketing. From personal experience, we are all aware of how many emails we receive in our inbox across the weekend. From a brand’s perspective, email marketing can prove highly successful, since it is a time where consumers are far more present, waiting in anticipation for the latest deals to arrive into their inbox from their favourite brands. You can use this to your advantage, by enticing consumers with discount teasers and live offers that can be redeemed in-store or online, ultimately helping you to drive traffic and generate more awareness.We’ve addressed the expectation consumers have of deals being dropped into their inboxes before, during and after Black Friday, but how can you stand out from other brands?

  • Ensure your emails are simple yet engaging, get straight to the point and feature clear calls to action
  • Build a sense of urgency in the days running up to Black Friday; incorporate timers and countdown features within your emails to build anticipation
  • Consider the use of cart abandonment recovery emails – attempt to draw customers back by reminding them of products they could have had. These type of emails can have a positive impact on sales; “orders were seen to increase by 106%
  • Reward loyal, returning customers by making them feel special with early bird discounts or additional discounts
  • Incorporate flash or ‘limited time only’ deals – a tactic that can transition consumers very quickly from the awareness/interest stage to the purchase stage of the customer journey, due to the fear of missing out.

If you haven’t already, it may be worthwhile implementing these email tactics, since brands that send multiple emails are far more successful than single emails, generating up to 90% more orders.

Social Media

Social media can be used in a similar way to email marketing. Before Black Friday approaches, consider teasing and tempting your customers, exposing them to real-time offers as and when they launch. Social media can also provide the perfect platform to thank your customers for their business and loyalty once all the mayhem is over.

How can you be more effective on social media during the Black Friday period?

  • Heighten your social media presence by posting engaging content more frequently. Highlight your offers and make sure your deals are irresistible to customers
  • Twitter is a great platform for creating campaigns around hashtags – consider running competitions to spark audience engagement and increase awareness
  • Want to fulfill your customers Black Friday deal expectations? Why not directly ask them what’s on their wish list via Instagram and Twitter poll features?
  • Do you understand the importance of posting frequently but struggle to find the time to do so? Investing in a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Sprout could be a great solution for you, allowing you to schedule posts in advance and ensure you reach your audience throughout the day, without physically posting them yourself each time
  • Make paid ads on Instagram and Facebook your priority. They allow you to target new or existing audiences, and you only pay once your advertisement is clicked on

PPC

If you are planning on running PPC campaigns over the Black Friday period, here are some things you can do ensure they are as effective as possible:

  • Ensure the tracking on your campaign is set up correctly, if you are putting money into Black Friday campaigns you’ll want to know if they’ve been a success. Tracking can be achieved by pasting an HTML code from Google Ads onto your website – by doing this you will be able to retain accurate data around your conversions
  • Again, countdown functions are a great feature to consider using as part of your PPC ad strategy
  • In order to entice individuals to your advertisement, make sure the content is worded appropriately and the creative is eye-catching, for example:
    • Offer expires in ‘x’ amount of time (create urgency)
    • Receive free gifts for orders over ‘x’ limit
    • Extra discounts for existing customers
  • Take advantage of negative keywords like ‘out of stock’ and ‘not available’ – this prevents your advertisement from showing up when your products are sold out

Bespoke Black Friday landing pages

How are you going to entice consumers to your website?

Develop a bespoke Black Friday landing page that your customers will love, the best way to do this is put yourself in their shoes. There are 5 simple things you can look to achieve to aid your customers’ online experience when they arrive on your site:

  1. The product/service value
  2. All the relevant information they need i.e. when the offer ends, current stock availability and number of people viewing the product
  3. An engaging product/service description
  4. Showcase your product with high-quality imagery
  5. In general, ensure the page entices and grabs attention, whilst still being fully functional

It’s been reported that “shoppers are 7% more likely to abandon their cart on Black Friday”. There are a number of reasons for why this might be, such as:

  • The site takes too long to load
  • The checkout process is too complicated
  • The consumer can’t find what they are looking for with ease.

It’s important to be aware that during Black Friday, time is very much of the essence with everyone head hunting for limited offers, so bear this in mind when it comes to reviewing the speed and usability of your own site.Approximately “40% of customers will not return back to your site if they have been exposed to negative experience”. Pop-up offers can be an effective way to stop them leaving in the first place. These can be activated when individuals exit pages or abandon their carts. Pop-up offers could be anything from additional discounts, free shipping or product giveaways – the choice is yours! The intent of these pop-ups is to attract your audience’s attention and persuade them to stay.

Aside from bespoke Black Friday landing pages, you can also create gift guides for your consumers, delivering inspiration and support as they search for the perfect gifts. Examples of gift guides you could create include:

  • Gifts for him/her
  • Gifts under (price)
  • Gifts kids will love
  • Top rated gifts
  • The girl guide to guy buys and the boy guide to girl buys

SMS promotions

The ever-increasing uptake of smartphones and their influence on the shopping experience is changing consumer behaviour when it comes to researching, price comparing and shopping.

SMS promotions are great for connecting with your audience; you can send deals directly to your customers, since “60% of customers are happy to receive a voucher via SMS”  (Black Friday 2018 – How to use SMS to fuel your success). This effectively heightens the awareness of your deals, in turn, driving traffic to your store.

How can you use SMS marketing during Black Friday?

  • Entice your customers with express delivery times. You can even go one step further by sending your customers updates, such as when the order has been dispatched and when it is expected to arrive. To enhance convenience even further, you can also give the consumer the option to re-arrange delivery for a time that suits them better
  • If you find your customers are abandoning their baskets due to stock availability, consider sending them updates notifying them whenever new stock becomes available, starts running low or if it’s about to expire – this should cause them to be much more reactive

Go against the Black Friday grain:

Direct mail

Direct mail can be a creative way to surprise your customers. It’s a clever way to break away from the traditional digital age expectations and directly engage with your customers in a personalised, targeted manner. It has been proven that “87% of consumers who received a direct mail campaign made a purchase”, so in light of this in the run-up to Black Friday, why not deliver your best deals right to your customers’ doors? Or write personalised thank you notes if they purchase from you?

Avoiding discounts and offers

As everyone knows, Black Friday weekend is all about heavily discounted deals, and with everyone slashing their prices, it can be a challenge to stand out amongst your competitors. So how can you break the mould? One approach could be to lower your prices slightly, but in addition to this, emphasise the quality of your customer service by:

  • Extending your return periods on Black Friday products
  • Minimising shipping and delivery time
  • Offering longer warranty periods

Longer promotions

You may have started your Black Friday deals later than some, which puts you slightly behind, but why not flip this on its head and instead extend your sales further? By doing this, you will cleverly and intentionally capture those individuals who choose to steer clear of the Black Friday chaos.

Give the gift of a gift card

Another quick win if you are running behind, give the gift of a gift card. Simply offer a buy one gift card get the second free or allow your customer to pay for a gift card yet receive a higher amount on the card i.e £40 for £50. This approach requires minimal inventory stock – plus who doesn’t appreciate a gift card?

Give back

Black Friday is renowned for its increased revenue and sales, so why not channel this into doing something good and donate a proportion of your Black Friday success to a local charity? It’s important to make sure you share this decision with your consumers across social, email and in-store – you can really tell a story here! This approach could also work as a shopping incentive since your customers will know their purchase has gone some way towards a good cause.

As you can see, there’s still plenty for you to get on board with over the next few weeks. If you find you really are too late to action any of our tips, make note of them for your Black Friday marketing strategy next year and get ahead of the game!

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Written by Sascha Richards

Marketing and Research Assistant