Black Friday Marketing: Secret Tips for BFCM That’ll Change The Game

Josh Zhang
April 20, 2022

Already nervous about how your offer will stand out from all the other Black Friday emails sent this holiday season? That's why I wanted to talk through what we're doing at Sharma Brands for our clients when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BF/CM) this year.

With this year being one that has changed dramatically due to the pandemic, shoppers are looking for a deal or promotion for the products that they would've otherwise bought themselves earlier this year. Some shoppers are also looking for extra spicy Black Friday deals that get them across the finish line for gifting for Christmas and the holiday season. Online sales soar during BF/CM, so you need to make sure your Black Friday campaigns are slotted and ready to go months in advance. In addition, you should review your homepage and checkout process to ensure that everything is polished weeks before the holiday.

Rather than discussing these high-level theories, let's just get into exactly what we're doing and review each tactic individually, so when November comes around, you'll have an effective Black Friday marketing campaign lined up. (You know I don't believe in hiding my "secret sauce.")

Black Friday marketing strategy

My Black Friday marketing strategy is all about the bundle. Focus on a bundle (high AOV, high discount) that encompasses products that people already love, so they want to buy it.

Add something into the bundle that you'd like people to sample more. Since the bundle will include the products they already love, this is a great way to get a less popular product sampled and into more customers' hands.

This works really well if you're a consumable brand (food, beverage, cosmetics, creams, etc). That being said, even if you're not, there are ways to make it work in your favor. Take JUDY for example. We're going to be focused on sampling in our smaller kits, while the two main flagship kits sell on their own. It's almost like including a free gift with the products that your buyer really wants.

Weekend marketing strategy

Should you just continue your Black Friday sale through the weekend? Absolutely not. That's such an amateur move. Why? People will remember next year that you're the brand that carries their Black Friday sale extra-long, eliminating the sense of urgency and scarcity that needs to surround the campaign.

If they missed it, cool. If they really wanted it, let your CX team take the ticket and get them the offer. Play the long game, and focus on building the long-term value of your audience during the holiday shopping season. The best Black Friday deal should only be available on Black Friday.

Use Saturday and Sunday to promote something else. If you're Glossier, maybe focus on selling GlossiWEAR (merch). If you're Hint, focus on the sunscreen over the weekend. People are still looking for holiday sales, so this is a perfect opportunity to introduce your lesser popular items. If you're an early-stage company, these create great stories when talking to investors as well.

Cyber Monday marketing strategy

Now this one lasts a whole week, so make it something incentivizing. I like to do a tiered promotional Cyber Monday sale. For example, if you spend $0-100, you'll save 10%. If you spend $101-200, you'll save 20%, etc.

The fun doesn't have to stop there, though. Here's a fun trick to make this spicier.

Some brands just don't want to over-discount, and that's okay. Here's what we came up with for a sauce & a cookware brand, which I'll be sure to highlight once it's live.

For the sauce, here's what you'd get:

  • $0-100 = Free shipping
  • $101-$200 = Free shipping + $25 gift card to cookware brand
  • $201+ = Free shipping + $50 gift card to cookware brand

You might be wondering why the F this makes any sense. It's actually a triple win, though. The sauce company doesn't have to worry about discounting their product. The company just has to focus on the free shipping offer. The cookware brand now has a $25 or $50 gift card in exchange for a purchase, which is the same as saying a $25 or $50 acquisition cost. However, don't forget that is $25 or $50 of retail value, so the COGS on that are the real CAC. Make sense? For the consumer, that's a win-win!

Maximizing BF/CM success

By October, you should have your Black Friday promotion mostly solidified. This includes understanding what you need for your landing page, ads, social media, and email campaign production.

The most successful Black Friday marketing ideas take a while to come to life. The earlier you begin plotting how you can drive online shopping engagement and sales with your campaigns, the more successful they will be.

Ecommerce businesses can use the tactics outlined in this blog post as inspiration to attract visitors to their site and outpace their toughest competitor on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.