How to run a successful Black Friday marketing campaign as an online business

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Now that it’s October, it’s time to start thinking about that important holiday in November.  No, not Thanksgiving; Black Friday!  Black Friday can be a huge boom to ecommerce businesses.  Black Friday is a great way to increase sales, gain new customers, get more traffic to your website, etc.

But Black Friday will only help you if you have an effective strategy.  But don’t worry!  We’ve got great tips that can help you run a successful Black Friday campaign.

1. Make Sure Your Offer is Good

Now, this may seem self explanatory.  I mean, no one comes up with a sale thinking it’s a bad sale, right?  But what I mean by this is that a lot of businesses go all out on Black Friday.  Consumers expect to find amazing deals.  So if you are just saying offer $1 off your service, it may seem really weak in comparison to other sales.  So make sure your sale really seems like a good deal.

2. Choose Your Offer Wisely

At the same time, you can’t make the offer too good.  And what I mean by that is you don’t want to offer so much off that you end up losing money in the sale.   You also don’t want to ruin the perceived value of your product.  For example, if you sell luxury jewelry, you don’t want to make your price so low on Black Friday that it sets a precedent that people expect to not pay much when they visit your website.

But there are ways around hurting your product while still offering a good sale.  It really depends on what you’re selling.  If you run a website where people have a monthly bill, such as a membership website or subscription box service, then perhaps give customers some free months as part of your sale.  The idea here would be yes you would lose money upfront, but you could get customers hooked on your product.  Then they would start paying full price once the sale ended.  Another thing you could do would be to bundle items together.  By buying multiple items at the same time, the price could still be high enough to not ruin your company’s value.  But you could still offer a significant discount.  You could also look for products you sell that you could afford to sell a steep discount and still make money.

3. Keep It Simple

But when you think about doing things like bundles, make sure it is still simple enough to understand.  No one likes a confusing sale.  Or a misleading sale.  So if you are offering free or discounted months of membership, make sure you’re clear about the cost going forward.  And if you do bundle items together, make sure it’s not so much that’s confusing.  You don’t want to overwhelm customers.

4. Collect Emails Before Your Sale

So once you figure out what sale you want to do, you have to start thinking about how you’re going to promote it.  One way is through email marketing.  If you have an email list, you can email everyone that list when the sale goes live.  So leading up to Black Friday, make sure you are collecting emails so you’ll be able to contact a large number of people on Black Friday.  If you aren’t already doing email marketing, consider starting with Constant Contact.  They offer a great free trial.

5. Mention Sale Ahead of Time on Social Media

You can start previewing the sale ahead of time on social media to get people’s interests up.  What I mean by this is say something like “We’re having our biggest sale yet on Black Friday!”. You can then ask people to sign up for your newsletter so they’ll know about it right away.  This may get people to sign up for your newsletter, which is great for the sale and for beyond the sale.  This can work especially well if your sale has a limited number of users.  Like, let’s say only the first 50 people can get the discount.  You could say on social  media that only a limited number of people can take advantage of the sale.  And that it will open up sometime on Black Friday.  Then people might feel the need to sign up for your newsletter to make sure they get the sale.

6. Make Graphics About the Sale on Social Media

Help your ad stand out on social media by creating a colorful graphic for Black Friday.  You can do that easily without experience by using something like this.

7. Make a Promotional Video About The Sale

Another great way to get noticed is with a video.  Videos typically get more notice than other types of posts on social media.  And you could put the video on your website, too.  You can do that even as a beginner with software like this.

8. Pay for Ads

Another way to let people know about your sale is through ads.  Online ads can be very effective.  I have run both Google and Bings ads, but had the most success with Black Friday sale ads run on Bing.  Facebook ads are another good idea because they cost less than Google ads.  Here are some tools you can use for Facebook ads.

9. Create a Landing Page for Your Sale

In some cases, you may want your ads and social media posts leading to a specific landing page about your sale.  The advantages of this would be if you wanted to limit distractions from the rest of your website and really get people to buy the product as soon as possible.  If you are looking for more places to share this landing page, here’s a list of creative ways to share a landing page.

10. Make Sure Your Web Host Can Handle Traffic

If you’re getting the word out about the sale, you may be getting increased traffic.  And the increased traffic may mean you need a better web host.  If your website crashes, then the sale could end up hurting your business more than helping.  You don’t want someone’s first impression of your website to be a page load error.  So, if you use WooCommerce, for example, now may be a good time to switch to a better WordPress host likeWP Engine, Kinsta, A2 Hosting or Flywheel (which will migrate your website over from your current web host for free).