Why are Black Friday Marketing strategies & Cyber Monday promotions crucial for your business success? Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just regular shopping days; they’re the biggest shopping events of the year. For many businesses, the sales they make during these days can be massive.

To put it in perspective, some companies have reported that up to a fifth of their entire year’s sales come just from the short span of 2-3 weeks in November, centered around these two days. That’s how big of a deal it is, and the reason business owners should put Black Friday Marketing efforts at the top of their to-do list.

The image below is what a common Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales trend looks like for SaaS and e-commerce companies. The spikes you see are 2 weeks during November.

Black friday sales trend graph

What is Black Friday marketing?

Black Friday, originating in the United States, marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, occurring the day after Thanksgiving. Retailers and online stores offer significant discounts, enticing consumers to make purchases. Black Friday marketing is a strategic promotion plan that businesses use to capitalize on this shopping frenzy.

Which marketing strategies are best to use for Black Friday?

Companies employ a combination of early-bird specials, flash sales, and extended store hours, often backed by aggressive advertising campaigns & a combination of marketing activities such as email marketing, Organic posts (SEO), PPC (Paid media), Social Media Marketing, Influencer marketing plus TV and billboard ads.

Learn more about ATL, TTL & BTL marketing and advertising techniques and digital marketing strategies for your Black Friday sales boost. Done well, your Black Friday campaign can account for 25% of your yearly revenue and more.

TIP: Extend your sale from Black Friday to Cyber Monday

For the past 15 years, Cyber Monday has become the de facto continuation of the Black Friday sales that have been going on for decades. Cyber Monday was created in the mid-2000s to get consumers to buy things from online stores. It’s become an incredibly popular shopping holiday, especially when it comes to digital goods. You can take advantage of the entire four-day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That means extending any sales and offers you may have from Black Friday all the way to Cyber Monday.

Short answer

When and how did Black Friday begin?

From 1960s Philadelphia traffic to global shopping phenomenon. Black Friday originated in the United States in the 1960s. The term was used in Philadelphia to describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic the day after Thanksgiving. Retailers began using the day to launch big sales, marking the start of the holiday shopping season. Over time, it became a nationwide phenomenon with massive discounts and has since spread to other countries.

21 Black Friday promotion ideas that make your offer irresistible

In the super competitive landscape of black friday deals and offers it is sometimes hard to keep up. How can you ensure your brand stands out and captures the attention of eager shoppers? Fear not! We’re here to arm you with a list of innovative and compelling Black Friday promotion strategies.

Dive into these top 21 ideas tailored for 2023, and set the stage for a record-breaking sales season. Whether you’re a seasoned retailer or a budding e-commerce site, these tips are sure to make your offers absolutely irresistible to your audience.

Ready to dive in? Alright, let’s get right into it!

1. Create a sneak peek

Revealing just a bit can often spark greater curiosity. For e-commerce businesses, consider teasing a selection of top products that will feature in your Black Friday sales. For those in the SaaS sector, a short video or a GIF highlighting the core features of your product can be a tantalizing preview.

Regardless of the approach, it’s essential to frame the sneak peek within the Black Friday theme, ensuring that potential customers are aware of the impressive discounts that await them. This strategy can build anticipation, driving traffic and interest as the big day approaches.

Whatever you do, keep it in the context of Black Friday, and make sure you specify the deal details with an emphasis on your significant discount.

Ways to promote your sneak peek

  • Add it to your newsletter
  • Send it out in an email blast
  • Promote it on social media
  • Publish a YouTube video
  • Add pop-ups on your website
  • Create Search and Display ads
  • Create a radio or podcast commercial
  • Make flyers and spread the word around
  • If you are a big company: create television and billboard ads

Incorporating Black Friday banners into your email signature is a subtle yet effective way to boost awareness and anticipation for upcoming sales and is a way to give customers a “sneak peek” into your sale offers.

Given the frequency and reach of daily email communications, a strategically designed Black Friday banner serves as a constant, unobtrusive reminder, ensuring that your deals remain top-of-mind for recipients.

Learn how to create a Black Friday Email signature and browse Email signature templates.

Make it yours
Digital marketing email signature with black friday banner

2. Unveil a new product

Capturing the spirit of Black Friday requires more than just discounts; it’s about creating buzz and offering something truly unique. This year, consider unveiling a product that’s exclusive to Black Friday. Such a move not only entices shoppers with the allure of something fresh and limited but also sets your brand apart in a sea of generic sales.

By showcasing a novel item available only on this special day, you instill a sense of urgency and exclusivity, compelling customers to make a purchase before they miss out. In an age where consumers are always seeking the next big thing, a Black Friday-exclusive product could be your ticket to a memorable and successful sales event.

There are 2 major ways you can unveil a new product.

  • First, you can add it a few days before the big day. Who knows, this may even lead to more sales before Black Friday proper.
  • The second way is to add the product on Black Friday.
  • A countdown timer can help make things more exciting as well. This product may be something that you decide will only be available on Black Friday. That creates a sense of urgency, which leads to action.

3. Spin the virtual wheel

You can gamify your Black Friday campaigns. One popular method is to spin a virtual wheel. This tiny added feature to your store’s website will drive your current and potential customers to stop by your website for a chance to win prizes, discounts, and coupons.

This Black Friday marketing strategy is less about giving away great prizes and more about providing a fun experience. It indirectly creates a positive experience for both your brand and website.

virtual week idea fro black friday marketing

4. Offer a VIP early-bird discount

The early bird gets the worm, or discount in this case. Use your email list to send out an update on your latest featured products that will be discounted for Black Friday. To enhance the appeal of a VIP early-bird discount, employ strategic wording that evokes a sense of urgency.

Using phrases such as ‘limited availability’ or ‘nearing sell-out’ instills a perception of scarcity, making the offer seem even more exclusive. Research consistently shows that consumers are more inclined to act swiftly and decisively when faced with potential scarcity, often perceiving such limited-time or limited-stock offers as more valuable.

By tapping into this psychological principle, you can drive more immediate responses and higher engagement from your target audience

black friday promotion ideas

5. Create a countdown promo video

Another neat idea you can use that involves a countdown timer is creating a promo with one. This video will feature all of the products you will have on sale, but a week in advance. This can help generate more hype that will get people lining up on Black Friday to make their purchases. Once you’ve made a fantastic promo video, go ahead and promote it on your Instagram page.

In an example I really like, Chubbies created a viral “anti-Black Friday” promo video, that subversively uses the Black Friday context to create their own sales holiday named jokingly “Thighber Monday” (formulated on Cyber Monday) that promotes their products.

Watch this Video example for Black Friday marketing: “anti-Black Friday” promo by Chubbies:

6. Create a “Black Friday exclusive” post

Leveraging Facebook’s dynamic marketing features can significantly boost your Black Friday sales. One particularly impactful method is to create a “Special Black Friday” carousel post. This visually engaging format allows you to prominently display a selection of your top sale items for the big shopping day. But it’s not just about showing the products — it’s about creating urgency.

By emphasizing that these deals are limited or available only for a short time, you tap into the principle of scarcity. This encourages potential buyers to act quickly, fearing they might miss out. Not only does this heighten anticipation for Black Friday, but it also drives consumers to mark their calendars, ensuring your offers remain top-of-mind as the day approaches.

black friday marketing social media campaigns

7. Partner up With a TikTok influencer

TikTok has firmly cemented its status as a cultural phenomenon, particularly among the Millennial and Gen Z demographics. Gen Z, in particular, is a dominant force on the platform. With TikTok influencers consistently racking up views in the millions for their engaging content, it’s a marketing platform that can’t be ignored, especially when gearing up for Black Friday.

As you embark on the journey to find the right TikTok influencer for your brand, it’s essential to choose someone whose style and audience align seamlessly with your brand’s ethos and target market. Once you’ve pinpointed the ideal influencer, design a captivating promotional campaign that encourages viewers to ‘swipe up’, leading them directly to your exclusive Black Friday deals.

The combination of the right influencer and a compelling offer can be a game-changer for your brand’s visibility and sales.

Watch this Video example for Black Friday marketing: TikTok influencer Black Friday campaign:

8. Hold a different sale every hour

If your online business has a more extensive following, you can take advantage of an exciting, fast-paced idea involving holding a different sale every hour. You can start at Midnight on Black Friday and have 24 separate sales. That’s going to potentially skyrocket the number of sales you get, especially if some products aren’t even available until a certain time.

black friday marketing strategy

9. Give away a free gift with every purchase

Who doesn’t like free stuff? When you give away a free gift with every purchase on Black Friday, people are more inclined to buy your products. A common tactic used by small businesses is to give away something that’s worth under $2.

To help spread the word about your freebie giveaway, feature it on your store’s homepage. This gives it maximum visibility. You can place an ordering requirement on receiving the gift, such as requiring people to spend $75 or more to receive it. If you’re running on high margins, you can also simply give away a free gift with every purchase.

10. Offer a Buy-One, Get-One 50% Off

Another Black Friday marketing tactic that works wonders is buy-one, get-one 50% off. This is basically upselling people to buy more than they would have originally. You can even make a variation of this, such as offering 50% off everything on the morning of Black Friday, then buy one, get one 50% off during the afternoon.

11. Offer bundle deals

Bundling products together can lead to increased sales, as customers perceive they’re getting a better value. For Black Friday, you can offer a special bundle price for products that are typically purchased together. Highlighting the savings compared to individual product purchases can also drive home the value of the deal.

12. Loyalty program boost

Offer enhanced loyalty points or rewards for purchases made on Black Friday. This not only incentivizes the immediate purchase but also encourages future shopping. A double or triple points day can make your loyal customers feel appreciated and valued.

13. Utilize flash sales

Flash sales are a dynamic tool in the world of Black Friday promotions, effectively instilling a sense of urgency in shoppers. By offering enticing deals that only last for a few hours throughout the day, you not only encourage prompt purchases but also keep the excitement alive. It’s vital to harness the power of social media in this strategy. A timely post or story on platforms like Instagram or Facebook can alert and remind your followers of the imminent start times, ensuring they don’t miss out on these exclusive deals.

14. Offer gift card specials

One highly effective promotional strategy is offering gift cards at a reduced price. For example, presenting a $100 gift card for just $85 can be a compelling proposition for shoppers. This tactic achieves multiple objectives.

  • First, it guarantees that the consumer will return to your store or platform for a future purchase, ensuring continued engagement with your brand.
  • Second, by providing immediate monetary value, you’re appealing to the customer’s sense of getting a great deal, which can be a strong incentive to make a purchase.

Furthermore, consumers often end up spending more than the gift card value when they redeem it, leading to increased sales for the business. It’s also worth noting that some gift cards never get redeemed fully or at all, which further benefits the company’s bottom line.

15. Lavarege interactive Social Media challenges

Leverage the power of social media by launching challenges where followers can participate to win discounts or freebies. For instance, they might share a post, create a Black Friday wishlist from your products, or even post a photo using your product.

16. Collaborate with a cause (Non-profit)

Partner with a charitable organization. For every sale made on Black Friday, pledge a small portion to the cause. It adds a feel-good factor to the purchase and often sways buyers who are on the fence.

Teaming up with a charitable organization is an excellent strategy for businesses looking to blend commerce with cause. In the days leading up to Black Friday, promote your partnership extensively across all channels.

Inform your audience that for every sale made on Black Friday, a certain percentage or fixed amount will be donated to the chosen cause. Incorporating non-profit marketing strategies, such as sharing stories or missions related to the charity, can provide depth to the campaign, allowing customers to connect emotionally.

17. Offer exclusive member sales

If you have a membership or subscription model, provide these customers with an exclusive sale or an extra discount. It rewards them for their loyalty and may incentivize others to join the membership. Such exclusivity not only acknowledges and rewards their ongoing loyalty but also amplifies the perceived value of being a part of your membership community.

By spotlighting these special privileges, potential customers can see firsthand the benefits that come with subscribing or becoming a member. Furthermore, it encourages current members to renew or maintain their memberships, knowing that they’re privy to unique perks. This approach fortifies customer loyalty, ensures sustained revenue from memberships, and acts as a compelling marketing tool to attract potential subscribers.

18. Make use of augmented reality (AR) experience

Incorporate AR technology to offer a unique shopping experience. For fashion retailers, this could be a virtual try-on. For others, it could be an immersive product demonstration. It not only enhances the shopping experience but also creates buzz.

For fashion retailers, imagine the possibility of allowing customers to engage in a virtual try-on session. Rather than grappling with the tedious process of physically trying on multiple outfits, shoppers could effortlessly visualize how different garments look on them through their digital devices. This not only streamlines the selection process but also minimizes the hassle of returns due to fit or style dissatisfaction.

Beyond the realm of fashion, the potential applications of AR are vast. Retailers across various sectors can harness this technology to offer immersive product demonstrations. For instance, a furniture store could enable customers to virtually place a piece of furniture in their living space, assessing size, aesthetics, and fit before making a purchase decision. Similarly, a toy store could bring a toy to life, allowing children and parents to witness its functionalities in real-time.

19. Utilize referral discounts

One of the most powerful tools in a retailer’s arsenal is the trust and loyalty of its customers. When harnessed properly, this trust can be translated into tangible growth for your business, especially through the mechanism of referral discounts. As we approach major shopping events like Black Friday, leveraging referral-based promotions can be the difference between a standard sales day and a record-breaking one.

Referral discounts operate on a simple premise: reward your existing customers for bringing in new ones. By offering your loyal clientele an incentive to share their positive experiences with friends and family, you’re essentially multiplying your sales force without incurring the traditional costs of advertising. When a current customer refers a new buyer who then makes a Black Friday purchase, the referrer is granted a special discount on their subsequent buy. This not only encourages the initial referral but also ensures repeat business from your existing customers.

Encourage your customers to refer friends and family. If their referral makes a purchase on Black Friday, they get a special discount on their next purchase. This word-of-mouth promotion can exponentially increase your reach

20. Offer extended shopping hours or early access

Especially for brick-and-mortar stores, extending shopping hours can attract a larger crowd. Opening doors earlier than usual or keeping them open later can cater to different customer schedules. For online platforms, offering an “early access” window for a select group or even the public can generate buzz and initial sales momentum. Make sure to promote these special hours or access periods well in advance through various communication channels, allowing shoppers to plan their day accordingly

21. Hold an interactive Live-Stream shopping event

In the age of digital connection, harness the power of live streaming to engage with your audience in real time. Host a live-stream shopping event on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or specialized shopping apps. During this event, showcase products, offer live demonstrations, answer customer queries, and provide exclusive flash deals only available to those tuned in.

This interactive shopping experience not only highlights your products but also personalizes the shopping journey, fostering a stronger bond between the brand and the customer. To enhance engagement, consider having a popular influencer or a knowledgeable staff member host the session, making the event both informative and entertaining.

Incorporating a mix of these 21 Black Friday marketing promotion ideas, tailored to your target audience and product or service, can lead to a successful Black Friday marketing campaign that drives sales and enhances brand loyalty.

Black Friday marketing strategy examples by top retailers

Now that you know the best Black Friday promotion ideas, it’s time to take a look at an example of a winning Black Friday marketing strategy.

1. MeUndies is always on top of its Black Friday marketing game

The company created a unique Black Friday marketing strategy that involved an exclusive Facebook Live party that garnered over 13,000 views, with a 25% conversion rate. There was even a live DJ and a dance contest!

This marketing strategy led to a lot of word-of-mouth promotion because of how unique it was. In the end, over 660,000 people found out about the event.

black friday marketing strategy example

2. Amazon’s “Countdown to Black Friday”

Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth, has mastered the art of extended Black Friday sales with its “Countdown to Black Friday.” Weeks before the actual day, Amazon begins offering “Deal of the Day” discounts on a range of products, building anticipation and ensuring that consumers check their site daily.

amazons black friday and cyber monday marketing cardboard robot

This strategy not only keeps Amazon at the top of shoppers’ minds but also spreads out the shopping frenzy over multiple days, reducing the strain on their logistics and ensuring a smoother customer experience.

countdown to black friday example

3. Target’s Doorbusters and “Black Friday Preview Sale”

Target, a giant in the retail industry, often rolls out doorbuster deals, which are significant discounts available for a limited time, often when the store first opens. These deals are designed to attract large crowds, ensuring a surge of shoppers the moment doors open.

Additionally, in recent years, Target has also introduced a “Black Friday Preview Sale.” This event, typically held a couple of weeks before Black Friday, gives shoppers a chance to snag some Black Friday deals ahead of time. It’s a clever move that builds excitement and gives a taste of what’s to come, all while potentially spreading out in-store traffic.

black friday marketing strategy by target

Final words

In today’s competitive retail landscape, Black Friday marketing plays a pivotal role in driving holiday sales and consumer engagement. As shoppers eagerly anticipate the day to avail of hefty discounts, retailers must craft innovative and impactful marketing strategies to stand out.

Black Friday is a once-a-year opportunity that every small business should take advantage of. In fact, it’s likely that you will make the majority of your annual sales during Black Friday, or between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With these top inspirational marketing ideas now in your possession, you can boost your sales even more by creating hype and offering incentives to your audience.