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The 5 most important Black Friday marketing strategies

November 22, 2022 / 5 min read

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If you are going to read one article about the Black Friday strategy, let it be this one. In this 5-minute easy read, I cover the basics of making sure your Black Friday campaign has strong foundations. Forget about these and you could just as well jump headfirst into a paddling pool (from 10ft and with a burning collar around your neck).

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With proper Black Friday marketing strategies, you will be able to make the most of your Black Friday sales, attract more customers and close more deals. In this post, I want to list five proven Black Friday marketing strategies that are useful in almost every situation and market sector. 

Make sure your store will handle the expected traffic (and more)

Crashes are always a pain, but they might turn into disasters when a crowd of heavily motivated visitors tries to convert on your site. Make sure you perform a stress test with a few hundred percent more users in mind than your average day traffic. Read more in our article: Automation and centralisation of application monitoring – best practices.

Be especially cautious if operating in one the following industries: apparel, general merchandise (marketplaces), and consumer electronicsaccording to SimilarWeb, during Black Friday in 2019 (so before the pandemic made the numbers go bonkers) these were most heavily impacted by increased traffic generated by Black Friday shoppers. Ugg’s website attracted a staggering 909% more visitors than usual, with Bestbuy’s 600%, Hollister’s 539% and Kohl’s 507% also hitting record numbers.  

Lose weight (decrease website loading time)

This tip is connected to the previous one. The shopping experience your Black Friday shoppers will be provided with should be easy, lightweight and free of unnecessary distractions that add to both the loading time of your store and the frustration of your prospective customers. On Black Friday your visitors would have already seen some form of communication from you, and it must have sparked up a form of shopping intent if they decided to shop with you while being bombarded with ads and offers from everybody else at the same time. With this in mind, think:

  • Do your visitors really need to see a pop-up with another offer since they would have already arrived on the site with a purchase in mind?
  • Do you really need to monitor your visitors on each page of your store? Tracking codes of Hotjar, Crazyegg and the like can have a strong impact on loading time and, as a result, you could see more people abandoning the process. Leave the tracking only there where absolutely necessary. The same goes for all java script elements on the BF customer journey of your store.
  • On that note, are you absolutely certain that your tags and pixels are up-to-date? You may need to do some cleansing, removing any broken tracking snippets or those linking to software you stopped using.

If you are unsure what else could be improved, try using the all-time-favourite: Page Speed Insights for a quick audit with recommendations attached. A quick and fully functional website is undoubtedly one of the best Black Friday tactics. 

Test your promo

This is every e-commerce manager’s worst nightmare: a coupon code that works differently than expected, and goes viral. I still remember this fantastic deal from 2014, when the Italian national airline, Alitalia, had launched their Japanese website with an introductory offer of 250 euro on all flights. Presumably, the deal was meant for Japanese customers only, but they did not specify this in their T&C, nor did they limit the code to routes to or from Japan only. This resulted in thousands of people all over the world booking flights for peanuts (even though they all had to do it in Japanese as the code would only work in that was not available in any other language version). To avoid a similar financial disaster – or simply fraud - make sure you test your special offer: 

  • do you offer a discount code? If so, has it been properly set up so it does not combine with any other code or discount (unless intended and specifically communicated)?
  • do you offer reduced price on some or all of the items in your store? If so, are they accessible to everyone or not? If not, have you tested all possible ways your visitor can go around the restrictions?
  • are you promoting a promo code for a newsletter signup? If so, try changing the offer for the time of your Black Friday sale so people would still feel encouraged to sign up regardless of the BF discounts. 

Consider adding an extra note to checkout in case someone tries to redeem a code they had obtained earlier. Since Black Friday calls for heavy discounts, to protect your ROI your promo codes should not be stackable, but this does not mean you should ignore the potential disappointment of visitors who were hoping to getting a little extra off. The note could inform visitors that promo codes (or other promos) cannot be used in conjunction with each other, but the code they obtained earlier can be still used on their next order. You could even offer something extra on top of this repeat purchase, like free shipping if they decide to redeem their code within a given timeframe. 

Make it easy for users to return to payment 

Imagine all the trouble you went through all go to waste due to problems on the last step of the journey: the checkout. There is a number of ways things could go wrong at this stage but the ones that could cost you the most are crashes during payment process. You cannot fully prevent it from happening since the problem might be occurring on the client’s side (e.g. their network connection being down) but you can make sure there is an easy way to re-do the payment and therefore complete the order. Set up an automated message with a unique payment link to be sent to all customers who have for some reason failed to complete the payment. You may also consider setting up an “almost-thank-you” page that would display link to payment in an event of connection issues on the last step. This way, customers will be more eager to hunt for Black Friday deals on your website. 

Automate or cry – set up your automated sequences for your Black Friday sales funnel

The idea of a separate funnel for Black Friday is further explored in the previous article of our Black Friday series, but it is worth mentioning here that the technical preparation should be done well in advance. Since you are likely to be dealing with a different crowd of visitors – the bargain hunters, those who are motivated to buy rather than browse – you should make sure they stay in the loop of what has been happening on your site before, during and after the promo

To make sure they won’t forget about you on Black Friday, set up a special Coming Soon page with a signup form that would collect your new segment of clients for your database – the Black Friday interest. Contacts from this database should receive a notification once your Black Friday deals go live.  

You may even want to alter your transactional emails for this event so those who buy from you in a week or two before Black Friday would get a chance to sign up for this database segment and receive a notification as well. Simply put a link to the Coming Soon page in your Thank you For Your Purchase email. 

Once you are done with the technical preparation, it is time to take a look at your plan of promotional activities. Setting up a promo code is far too little to trigger your customers’ interest. How can you make sure you prepare your marketing strategy right this Black Friday? Stay tuned for the next article of our Black Friday strategy series. 

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e-Commerce Strategist at NoA Ignite

Małgorzata Radkiewicz

e-Commerce Strategist

Małgorzata’s 15 years of experience have seen her delivering effective solutions to ecommerce brands of all shapes and sizes across the EU and UK. Małgorzata is experienced in brand positioning, traffic and ecommerce sales analytics and leading ecommerce teams and projects for B2B and D2C businesses.

+44 7930 140 293


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