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The Marketing Behind Black Friday

Black Friday is just around the corner!

Most of us don’t remember Black Friday growing up. It seems to have exploded over the last five years and is now spoken about for the whole of November. Where did it come from? What are we actually celebrating? Is Black Friday marketing important?

What Is Black Friday?

Black Friday is an American annual shopping day that falls the day after Thanksgiving. As Americans have it as an extra day off, for most people, it’s the start of the holiday season and a great time to start buying Christmas gifts now that Thanksgiving is over. The name ‘Black Friday’ comes from earning a profit being referred to as ‘in the black’ rather than ‘in the red’. As Black Friday is now the biggest shopping day of the year, with many customers seeing their biggest profits that day, it is understandable why it would be named after the profit.

Here in England, the term Black Friday used to refer to the Friday before Christmas as that was the biggest night of the year for office parties and was a busy time for the NHS and the Police. Amazon introduced Brits to the American version of Black Friday in 2010, but it wasn’t until Asda (owned by American company Walmart) took part in 2013 that it started to be successful in the UK.

The following year, many big retailers began introducing their own offers for Black Friday, and it has grown bigger and better year-on-year since. Without these first companies marketing it well, Black Friday would have never become what it is in this country. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving here, yet the following shopping day has become very popular due to clever marketing, and it is now the biggest shopping day of the year. Black Friday in the UK is simply born through and for marketing.

Black Friday Marketing - a neon style sale sign

What Are The Black Friday Marketing Opportunities?

Despite being the most popular shopping day of the year, it does not mean Black Friday marketing and sales will be easy. When large companies spend thousands and thousands of pounds on Google Ads and Adwords such as ‘Black Friday Sale’, you have little to no chance of standing out on search engines and attracting new customers. This does not mean all hope is lost. You can see significant profit by focusing your Black Friday marketing efforts on pre-existing customers rather than trying to attract new ones.

You need to start early by sending out eshots (email marketing) to your mailing list with warm-up emails that tease deals and create anticipation. All your email marketing should be branded the same, and you should have graphics designed for your Black Friday marketing that you use consistently across all promotions. A well-designed email will help you stand out from others that your customer will no doubt receive.

As the day approaches, you should be thinking about SMS marketing and social media campaigns, again all targeting your pre-existing customers and followers in your consistent Black Friday marketing branding. Your social media posts should tell a unique story and stand out. If your customer scrolls past ten different Black Friday posts, what can you do to be the one that is remembered? Consider alternative branding away from the typical black and red associated with the days and sales, or why not try marketing using TikTok?

On the day of the sale, whether you choose to do a 24-hour sale or start it early, you need to ensure your website runs on a stable, powerful and reliable platform. If you manage to drive a good amount of traffic to your site, the last thing you want is for the website to crash before customers complete their purchases.

Getting a customer to the website isn’t the end of the marketing for them. You can offer them add-ons at the checkout (called cross-selling) or recommend a more expensive version of what they have in their basket (upselling); you can also encourage sales with automated emails for abandoned carts and a thank you series following a sale.

Best of luck with your Black Friday marketing!

If you would like help with getting your website, social media or marketing ready for Black Friday, give us a call today.
01473 823700

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