Black Friday is almost upon us, and it's the one day when savvy brands can genuinely anticipate ramping up their sales with a smart marketing campaign. Black Friday originated in the United States and occurs on the Friday after Thanksgiving, marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. This year it falls on 24 November 2017.
For brands, it is the perfect time to dramatically increase sales through clever marketing. But what are the best approaches to scale a campaign for the fast and furious sale?
You can bank on there being a ton of marketing leading up to Black Friday, with a billion marketing messages expected to be sent out on the day. Ensuring that your brand’s message does not get lost in the fray is key. I recommend sending out compelling offers that provide real value. Also essential is marketing at the right time. Nobody wants to be too late with their messages, but being too early is not ideal either – especially if you’re running expensive SMS campaigns. Generally, anything more than two weeks in advance is probably too early.
Reach out selectively
“Database warming” is a good strategy leading up to Black Friday. With this, potential customers who have not been contacted in a while are alerted to forthcoming specials on a product or service. Another good approach is to create subsets of people who have previously expressed interest in your brand and send them a “warmer” email, which invites them to be part of an elite group of customers who receive advance notice of a Black Friday sale.
This approach offers targeted customers a chance to get ahead of the crowd, especially when there are a limited number of items being sold at a reduced price. This also spares brands the expense of blanket marketing to their entire database.
Scale up over time
When scaling a campaign for Black Friday in particular, it’s best to use a system that provides exceptionally nimble reporting and campaign management. Marketers can then target certain times of day aggressively or change their campaign topic based on customer feedback. It can also work well to start a small-scale campaign well ahead of time, and tweak it based on responses, then scale it up as Black Friday approaches. Embedding click-to-call functionality on email, especially for high ticket items, enables customers to click on an embedded link in the marketing email to immediately receive a call from a sales agent.
Learn from what works
Beyond the Black Friday sale itself, I encourage marketing companies to learn from any campaigns they run and implement those lessons into subsequent campaigns for one-day only events, such as Cyber Monday (27 November), Christmas and Valentine's Day. This is where a good campaign management tool really demonstrates its value, as it enables marketers to see what worked well - and what didn’t.
Each Black Friday is a teaching event for marketers and the learnings can be used to boost sales throughout the year.