Black Friday marketing: 14 step guide for small businesses
What is one step a small business needs to take to prepare its marketing efforts to focus on Black Friday?
To help you make this the best Black Friday ever for your small business, we asked founders, CEOs, and marketing leaders this question for their best recommendations. From coordinating with your webmaster to partnering with other small businesses, there are several ideas below that can set you up for amazing success once Black Friday hits.
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Here are 14 tips for maximizing your small business marketing efforts on Black Friday:
- Coordinate With Your Webmaster
- Install a Chatbot
- Sync Discounts and Countdowns Across All Channels
- Create and Automate Email Reminders for Abandoned Carts
- Pick Which Product You Want to Focus On
- Optimize Your Checkout to Ring in More Sales
- Offer Early Access to Devoted Customers
- Give Rewards for Minimum Purchases
- Research What Larger Competitors Offered in Years Past
- Leverage Email and SMS
- Use Black Friday Hashtags
- Sell Your Hottest Items Directly On Social Media
- Address Last Year’s Shortcomings
- Partner With Local Small Businesses for Marketing
Coordinate With Your Webmaster
As Black Friday approaches, the amount of traffic hitting your website increases. If you’re running special promotions and sending emails on Black Friday, expect a massive increase in traffic.
Make sure you meet with your webmaster in advance so they can get the site prepared. Your site bandwidth might not be sufficient for Black Friday traffic and coordinating with the person responsible for your server and site is crucial.
Having them prepared and aware will save you from potential technical issues that could impact your revenue!
Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity
Install a Chatbot
All going well, Black Friday means you are going to be swamped with customers before, during, and after the sale. You want to make sure that the customers have the best possible experience when they interact with you to turn them from occasional shoppers into fully-fledged super fans.
They are going to have questions for your customer service team, but as a small business, your customer support team is relatively small and may struggle to keep up with demand.
Overcome this problem by positioning a chatbot on your website. Your chatbot will take care of the most common issues in a fraction of the time it would take the customer services team to answer the query, freeing up even more time for the customers to get on and spend on your sales.
Colin Toh, CEO, Headphonesty
Sync Discounts and Countdowns Across All Channels
It is simple to fall behind when using several marketing platforms for advertising. However, it’s more important than ever to make sure that each advertisement for your Black Friday marketing is pushing the same discount or deal.
Be cautious to avoid promoting out-of-stock items. Software like Oberlo can simplify these procedures for dropshippers. Your clients will only see the most recent information as a result, saving you time from manually updating every advertisement and product page.
Steve Pogson, Founder & E-Commerce Strategy Lead, First Pier
Create and Automate Email Reminders for Abandoned Carts
During big sales, 80% of shoppers abandon their carts for reasons like shipping issues, wanting to compare prices from other shops, or simply because it isn’t the right time for a purchase.
As a small business, you shouldn’t leave any value on the table. Sequence a couple of emails to remind shoppers of items left on their cart and nudge them to check out. A successful abandoned cart campaign can increase conversion by 10% and even more depending on how well-crafted the email copy is.
So don’t forgo sending email reminders to get the most value out of every shopper’s interaction with your e-commerce platform.
Daniel Apke, CEO, Land Investing Online
Pick Which Product You Want to Focus On
Pick out which product you want to focus most of your marketing and branding efforts on.
With companies everywhere competing for your attention, your best bet at generating a successful Black Friday campaign is in consolidating the focus on one or two of your most successful products.
Choosing where to focus your efforts can be a difficult but important first step to securing the future success of your Black Friday sales.
Michael Burghoffer, CEO, PicoSolutions
Optimize Your Checkout to Ring in More Sales
Optimizing your checkout process for Black Friday is crucial, as the US alone saw $200+ billion in holiday sales last year. And a seamless user experience better ensures your business rings in those seasonal shoppers.
So before holiday traffic descends, you’ll want to conduct a technical audit of your website to identify holes in your conversion funnel. And you can begin by ensuring speedy shopping cart load times, mapping the journey to conversion, and analyzing the overall experience of your website through user testing.
While most audits focus on the home page and product pages, taking a more holistic view of your visitors’ holiday shopping experience ensures a site is clear for takeoff.
Daniel Kroytor, Founder & Director, Tailored Pay
Offer Early Access to Devoted Customers
Our top tip for Black Friday preparation is to consider offering your best, most loyal customers early access to any sale discounts or promotions—so they can get what they want before everyone else. We see this working fantastically every year with the brands we help, especially if the business has an online or eCommerce presence.
Leading up to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, we like to build some anticipation and let the best customers know to expect something extra special. A “save the date” email campaign works great for this, so they know when their special sale access will start.
Ryan Turner, Founder, Ecommerce Intelligence
Give Rewards for Minimum Purchases
It is a brilliant marketing strategy to offer rewards with a specific minimum spend. For instance, shoppers may qualify for free shipping if they place an order of items costing over $75.
Minimum spend incentives are a terrific approach to boost conversion rates and motivate clients to make larger purchases from a company. If the awards are tier-based, they may be even more successful. For instance, a consumer may receive a 5% discount with a $40 purchase and a 10% discount with a $75 purchase.
Kurt Uhlir, Chief Marketing Officer, Kurt Uhlir
Research What Larger Competitors Offered in Years Past
One important step small businesses can take to prepare their marketing efforts for Black Friday is researching what the larger competitors in your industry have done in the past and what promotions they are planning for this upcoming holiday period.
By scrutinizing your competitors, you will get a better idea of how you can differentiate your own marketing strategy. As a small business, it’s extremely difficult to compete with larger organizations with more resources, so it’s crucial your marketing efforts do not overlap with theirs.
Instead, try to identify the niches and segments of the market where your campaigns and promotions will get the most traction and attention.
Alaina Ross, Co-Founder & Registered Nurse, Sleep Family
Leverage Email and SMS
Many small businesses have a tight marketing budget, but one step they can take that can be very effective is leveraging their email and SMS channels early on. Email and SMS marketing have two distinct advantages in that you can personalize them and can operate nearly in real-time.
By promoting your Black Friday deals a week and a half out through email and SMS, personalizing them to customers, sending updates on inventory and shipping, and offering early access to special deals, you can tailor your marketing efforts to reach your customers in a timely manner.
Haley Wood, Founder, The Look Facial Aesthetic Boutique
Use Black Friday Hashtags
It may seem like an insignificant detail, but including Black Friday-related hashtags in your social media posts can go a long way.
This way, if people searching for hashtags such as #BlackFriday or #HolidayShopping come across your posts, they may consider purchasing from your business when Black Friday comes around.
If you do not include these hashtags in your posts, you will not attract these social media users. So, incorporate as many relevant hashtags as possible to increase your chances of gaining more Black Friday customers.
Nancy Eichler, Senior Vice President of Marketing & eCommerce, iwi life
Sell Your Hottest Items Directly On Social Media
Remove as many steps to conversion as possible during fiercely competitive Black Friday sales. You’re not likely to offer deeper discounts than mass retailers like Amazon, so differentiate yourself by marketing your brand as easier than the rest—that starts with platform shopping.
Time is of the essence—the faster you can convert, the less likely the user will choose a competitor instead. On Black Friday, try selling your deepest-discounted or most popular sale items directly on social platforms like Instagram, elevate your reach with paid ads, and let them move from brand awareness to conversion all on one platform.
Maximilian Wühr, CGO & Co-Founder, FINN
Address Last Year’s Shortcomings
One crucial step when preparing for Black Friday is to review the list of shortcomings and errors from last year and address and eliminate them.
While your marketing campaigns may have changed, or even your list of products and services may have been revamped, you must understand that last year’s mistakes are bound to happen again unless you take corrective measures.
Avoiding strategy pitfalls or campaign missteps is as vital as laying out the correct marketing blueprint, so learning from previous experience will always prove beneficial.
Ashley DeJesus, Marketing Manager, AIS Network
Partner With Local Small Businesses for Marketing
Forming strategic partnerships with other small businesses is a crucial marketing preparation for Black Friday. Standing out during this period can be challenging because of the number of marketing campaigns produced, so working with other brands for your advertising blitz offers plenty of benefits. You can reach out to local business owners and make a joint effort to promote all the businesses involved.
Plan an event with your partners and share resources with them. It’s an excellent way to increase your audience reach during this crucial time. The more partners you have, the more attractive your Black Friday promotions are to consumers.
Josh Tyler, CEO, Giant Freakin Robot