Black Friday is coming. Are you ready for it?

You know that Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) is a highly profitable time for your business. It might even be the most profitable time all year. So, you’d better get your marketing right, right?

If you’re ready to have your most successful holiday season ever, keep reading for our top three BFCM marketing tips for 2021.

1. Plan early (and strategically)

Think it’s too early to start planning your 2021 holiday promotions? Think again. We recommend having your Black Friday details in place as early as August or September to give your operations and marketing teams ample time to prepare.

However, that doesn’t mean you should launch your BFCM campaign months in advance. Although “Black Friday” has come to mean more than just “Friday,” you don’t want to extend it a whole lot longer. By announcing your sale too early, you risk losing the urgency factor that compels customers to buy.

On the flip side, a sale that’s too short isn’t ideal, either. You want to run your BFCM ads long enough to prime people to buy (and to season your Facebook pixel, so you show ads to the most relevant audience). Plus, if your campaign lasts only a couple of days, you don’t have time to adjust to unexpected outcomes, like underperforming ad creative or a major weather event in your customers’ area.

So, what’s the sweet spot for how long to run your Black Friday campaign?

We suggest starting a general Facebook and Instagram ad campaign at least one month before BFCM to warm up your audience. Then, we recommend promoting your BFCM campaign for at least two weeks (up to a month) before the sale.

Don’t forget what happens after the sale, too. 

Have a post-holiday ad campaign ready to nurture new prospects who have joined your audience since Black Friday. Since you just ran a big promotion, this campaign can be more evergreen or educational in nature—maybe directing traffic to a blog post or lead magnet that informs your audience while keeping your business top of mind when they’re ready to buy again.

Also, be sure to use your BFCM results to inform your evergreen campaigns long after the holiday season ends. For example, if you found that a certain product vastly outperformed others, consider focusing your efforts on promoting that product in 2022. If you discovered that your video ads got much higher click-through rates than your static-image ads, consider putting more effort into video creation in the future. 

2. Go big or go home

News flash: consumers are ready to buy on Black Friday. In fact, we found that purchase intent increased by about 300% during BFCM in 2020. So, give your customers a place to put that cash!

Exactly how much should you discount your products, though? That depends on your business, but you’ll definitely want to provide your biggest discount of the year. If you’ve been in business for a while, your audience is likely familiar with your typical offers and expects your Black Friday offer to take the cake. 

That means you probably can’t get away with “30% off” if you just offered “40% off” during Labor Day. On the flip side, if your business never offers discounts throughout the year, you can probably get away with a smaller BFCM offer, since your customers aren’t used to it (and want to grab it while they can).

There’s no need to get too creative with your Black Friday sale, especially on Facebook and Instagram. People have short attention spans, after all. They want to be able to understand your offer immediately, or they’ll get confused and just keep scrolling. 

That means “20% off” is better than “10% off + free gift with purchase + free shipping on orders of $50 or more.” It may seem counterintuitive, but your customers want the path of least resistance. They want the most savings—not the most incentives.

3. Don’t forget email marketing!

Advertising is just one piece of the BFCM puzzle. If running ads to cold audiences is all you do, you’re missing out on many important touchpoints with potential buyers!

There are tons of marketing channels to employ during Black Friday. We encourage you to use all platforms that are currently part of your marketing strategy to connect with your audience in multiple places.

One channel you absolutely must not miss is email marketing. Whether you have a huge email list or a small number of loyal subscribers, your audience wants to hear from you leading up to the holiday season—and their inbox is the first place they’ll look!

While a Facebook or Instagram ad can catch someone’s attention, an email allows them to connect with you on a deeper level. With email, you have more time and space to inspire, educate and ultimately nurture your customers toward a sale.

Don’t be afraid of sending too many emails during the holiday season. After all, your competitors are doing the same. You want your emails to stand out in the inbox, don’t you? And while you may get a few more unsubscribes than usual, you’ll also get a lot more purchases. That’s a worthy tradeoff!

We recommend using Flodesk to create a workflow that sends a series of emails to relevant segments of your audience at strategic points leading up to BFCM. You can even export your list, upload it to Facebook and run targeted ads to those email subscribers to warm them up even more (and/or create Lookalike Audiences to show ads to people just like them!).

Design Black Friday emails people love to get

Try Flodesk, the email marketing tool for small businesses.

By integrating your advertising and email marketing strategies, you’ll give your BFCM profits an extra boost.

Cheers to your best Black Friday yet

So, are you ready to conquer Black Friday this year? 

If you put these holiday marketing tips to practice, your business will be ready for your best Black Friday ever. Best of luck, and happy BFCM season!