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Should you offer Black Friday deals? Get these 5 tips now

Prepare now for strategic promotion.

The countdown to the holiday season is on, but first comes Black Friday. Should your business get in on the action?

While it’s very easy to get caught up in all the holiday planning ahead, November presents a unique opportunity for businesses to promote themselves and raise awareness about special offers and promotions. Black Friday is the perfect opportunity for your business to beef up your marketing efforts and piggyback on an already-popular theme.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to come up with some innovative and interesting Black Friday ideas, then you’re in the right place. We’ve got five starters to help you stand out this shopping season.

1. Create a sense of urgency

buy now

When approaching a day like Black Friday, it’s important to remember that the challenge you want to overcome isn’t getting your customers to buy from you, it’s to get them to buy from you right this second.

And in order to encourage them to click the ‘buy’ button right now on Cyber Monday, you need to create a sense of urgency with your marketing message. Make sure to emphasize that the sales and specials that you are promoting are a limited time only and are only available during specific dates (or only on Black Friday, specifically).

Emphasize your message leading up to the date, and stress the savings opportunities by using phrases like, “Save 80% only on Black Friday.”

2. Lean on your newsletter contacts

enewsletter

Now’s the time to take full advantage of your company newsletter and online subscriber lists. Your customers want to hear about amazing savings.

Send out a few updates to your subscribers to make them aware of the savings opportunity coming their way. Remember, your newsletter is the best way to communicate with your customers. They want to hear from you and have given you permission to send them updates to the most personal online space — their inbox.

With this in mind, work with your graphic designer to create eye-popping visual graphics which catch the readers’ attention. Highlight the various kinds of savings opportunities available to them.

In the email subject line, use the words “Black Friday” and other keywords such as “Limited Time,” “Today Only” and “Your Last Chance” to further emphasize that sense of urgency. This will encourage them to open your email and click through to your website.

3. Organize and segment your audience

market segmentation

Creating buyer profiles is one of the essential keys to an effective marketing plan. But when it comes to special promotions it’s important to reassess who you’re trying to sell to and what they care about. Your customers may prioritize differently when it comes to Black Friday.

For instance, if you know that a segment of your newsletter subscribers happen to be located in Winnipeg and you have another section who live in Toronto or Edmonton, create separate email campaigns and landing pages on your website in order to move customers with different interests along your sales pipeline.

This is especially useful if you have brick-and-mortar stores and want to encourage your customers to visit on Black Friday. And even if you don’t have physical store locations, doing this sort of testing can also provide invaluable information about how different sections of your customer base respond to alternative messaging and tactics.

Even if you don’t run out of inventory after the Black Friday buying madness, at least you can walk away with an enhanced understanding of your target market.

4. Promote your specials on social media

social media

No matter what social networks your business uses — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat — use your profiles online to promote your Black Friday deals well in advance.

Create eye-catching graphics that are specific to each platform. An image that works on Facebook may not have exactly the same pizzazz on Pinterest, so look at your audience analytics in each platform to refresh your knowledge of who will potentially take notice.

Articulate the specials (like 80% Off All Shoes and Up to 75% Savings) and make sure that they stand out in your customers' social feeds and timelines. As you get closer to Black Friday, use the analytics from each social network to track which ads are the most successful, and focus your efforts on using those images and text to attract as much attention and engagement as possible.

5. Offer free shipping

shipping

This is a tried and true method of enticing buyers and increasing sales, and it’s worth repeating. Offer free shipping for all online orders placed from 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Black Friday. Likewise on Cyber Monday.

Create incentives on your website’s online store which use phrases like, “You’re only $35 away from free shipping!” to encourage customers to meet a specific, pre-determined (and pre-tax) spending limit in order to qualify.

Of course, this offer only works if you run an online business that ships physical products, but you can replicate this idea for other free offerings. For service businesses, you could include free service assessments, consultations, memberships, next-time discounts or package rates that keep your customers returning well into winter.

Black Friday may be a one-day game, but with some ingenuity, you can turn transactional customers into long-term clients that engage with your brand year-round.

 

Up Next: How to make your e-commerce store stand out.

How to make your e-commerce store stand out

Original image by Diariocritico.

This article was originally published on October 24, 2016.

Alyson Shane

Alyson Shane is a writer and business owner from Winnipeg, Manitoba who has been publishing content online for 16+ years. She runs Starling Social, an agency which develops digital marketing strategies that combine social media, paid advertising and content strategy to keep businesses growing and engaged with their customers. Outside the office, Alyson is a passionate urbanist who loves gardening, riding her bike and thinking about the public spaces that bring us together. She can be reached on social media at @alysonshane.

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