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It's time to start making those final touches for Black Friday!

Resources & Blog

It's time to start making those final touches for Black Friday!

It's time to start making those final touches for Black Friday!

With Black Friday right around the corner, it's time to start making the final touches to your marketing campaign. And, if you haven't started already, then you still have plenty of time to get started and create a great campaign.

This year, due to the pandemic, it is more crucial than ever that businesses have a solid online campaign as almost all businesses have no other option but to go all digital. This means that consumers will have more opportunities, better discounts, and see a crowded marketplace. So, the value of getting things right during both Black Friday and Cyber Monday is hugely important.

If recent history is anything to go by, then we should see another record this year. In 2019, online sales in the US reached $7.4 billion during Black Friday weekend. The current record was last year when sales in the US increased to $7.4 billion compared with $6.2 billion in 2018. And Cyber Monday was even bigger, hitting $9.2 billion, so marketers need to consider both events.

Why this year will be huge

While 2020 has been bleak for business, there have been two major sales events recently that can provide insights for what is in store when Black Friday comes along.

The first event that we can look at is Amazon Prime Day. The exclusive, members-only event, has become a major sales event in the calendar since launching just five years ago. It has grown in size every year by around 50% since launching in 2015. This year, the Prime Day sales record was shattered and came close to hitting $10 billion for the first time.

Secondly, Single's Day recorded huge numbers just a few weeks ago. The event, which is hosted by Alibaba, is a huge event in China and Southeast Asia. Forbes reported that the event hit $74 billion this year, making it the biggest sales event in history. With a year-on-year increase of 26%, it's clear that consumers are looking to treat themselves and loved ones.

Therefore, despite the economic downturn, consumers are still turning up in big numbers to grab a discount. In part, this increase is likely because physical stores have been forced to close, and consumers are heading online to make purchases. So, we should expect Black Friday to post similar results and see an increase compared with recent years.

Things to consider

Since things have changed considerably this year, there are several things to consider before launching your Black Friday campaign. Firstly, offers and promotions are likely to run for an extended time. Don't be surprised to see multinational companies and industry leaders running campaigns from the middle of November right through to early December. So, don't limit your sales campaigns to just the Black Friday weekend.

Secondly, there is likely to be a noticeable contrast in consumer spending. As many as 8.9 million people were placed on furlough during the peak of the first wave in May. Many of these people have suffered from a loss of income and may not be looking to invest heavily during the event.

However, there is then a second group of consumers that have worked as normal this year but haven't been able to spend big on vacations and events such as music or live sports. These consumers are likely to have saved money and may be tempted to make larger than normal purchases this year. So, businesses should try to be delicate with their approach this year while trying to target both consumer groups.

Going Digital

One of the challenges that Black Friday will present this year is that almost everything will be digital. Businesses that typically run in-store campaigns will be forced to focus on e-commerce as their shops are closed. This means that there will be much more online noise than in previous years, so brands will have to get creative to stand out.

A great way to increase your Black Friday success is by using social media platforms to gently push your customers down the marketing funnel. Popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter can be used as a base point to raise brand awareness and encourage followers to make a call-to-action.

Running competitions is a great place to start on socials. They allow you to increase your reach by requiring fans to follow your account to be eligible to enter. You could also provide fans with an opportunity to win prizes by opting into your SMS marketing or email list, which is what the US fast-casual restaurant, Chipotle, did recently.

When we look at how Chipotle uses SMS marketing to engage with fans, it's clear that they have a great digital strategy. During Halloween this year, they gave out free burritos to fans that texted them with specific keywords. The campaign was initially promoted on social media, where they have over 5 million followers.

Fans that participated in the event would be opted-in to receive future offers via SMS from Chipotle in the future. This is a great strategy because while social media has great benefits, brands will always be fighting with competitors and algorithms to be seen. But, by texting fans via SMS, businesses can expect to reach almost all recipients since 97% of texts are read within 15 minutes.

Therefore, it's important to consider a cross-channel strategy that allows you to reach customers using several different channels. Social media is a great starting point, but try to push customers down the funnel and collect your data, like telephone numbers, that you can use at your own will in the future.

Ways to stand out

Whether you're planning a last-minute Black Friday campaign or thinking ahead to the future, there are lots of unique channels available. Try to think outside of the box and find opportunities that your competitors haven't identified. You'll also be able to connect with different user groups, as avid podcast listeners might not be using channels like TikTok, for example. Some ideas to consider are:

Run paid ads

A great way to boost success is via Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, or another alternative. Be sure to have a defined goal for your ads otherwise you may be burning cash with no reward. Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Are you trying to sell products? Or, are you trying to remarket to existing customers?

If you are running a Black Friday campaign, make sure that you include a clear call-to-action that makes it easy for prospective customers to determine your offer. Try to include a deadline date too, so they are aware of when your offers expire. Finally, set a realistic budget and try to spread it evenly across several so that ad platforms can understand your campaign and show it to the right audience.

Podcast marketing

With over 15 million people listening to podcasts in 2020, they are quickly becoming a great way for businesses to promote products and services. Whether you start a podcast show, join established shows as a guest, or advertise on episodes, podcast marketing can help you reach new audiences quickly. Plus, having a show host talk about your product can sound much more organic.

Influencer marketing

Using influencers provides businesses with a way to reach prospective customers via a trusted source that they follow. While influencer marketing can often get a bad rep, it is a very effective marketing strategy when brands align with the right influencers that have similar values. Be sure to check for credibility by looking at engagement levels and if any brands have worked with the influencers you are considering in the past.

SMS marketing

One of the best ways to send promotional offers to your customers during Black Friday is via SMS marketing. Texting customers allows brands to be both personal and direct while cutting out the noise on social channels from competitors. Additionally, it's great for smaller businesses that do not have the budget to compete with large brands financially. All you need to do is type up a 160-character message and hit send. Providing that you have an interesting offer or call-to-action then you are competing on an even playing field. Find out how to get started with SMS marketing.

Email marketing

Another great way to promote your offers is by sending out an email campaign. Using a platform such as MailChimp makes it easy to design a campaign and is free to use if you have under 2,000 contacts. It's also important to use an engaging subject line and preview text.

Social media

If you have a low budget, then you can work your magic organically on social media. Make sure you post several updates across all channels and make use of video, stories, and live streams when possible. A great tip is to research hashtags that are regularly searched but aren't too popular. Additionally, search for private groups that may allow you to share your Black Friday deals, which is a great strategy if you are a local business. social media. Make sure you post several updates across all channels and make use of video, stories, and live streams when possible. A great tip is to research hashtags that are regularly searched but aren't too popular. Additionally, search for private groups that may allow you to share your Black Friday deals, which is a great strategy if you are a local business.

Going traditional

There are plenty of marketing channels that we haven't mentioned. If you can think of something outside of the box that your competitors aren't doing then it's worth taking a gamble and trying it. Some traditional methods that are still effective range from radio ads to direct mail and billboards.

Adding value

One thing that will determine the success of your Black Friday campaign is how much value your offers provide to prospective customers. They will be exposed to many different offers during the event, so make sure yours stands out. For example, there's little value in a 20% discount on a product that costs £2. Similarly, offering free delivery to someone that spends over £200 isn't that enticing either. So, think about different offers such as buy-one-get-one-free, percentage discounts, volume discounts, free delivery, or matchmaking discounts

Additionally, selecting the right products or services to discount is important. You may want to focus on recently released products, high performers, or clearance stock. Whichever you choose, make sure that you determine the right margins and volumes.

Finally, don't overcomplicate it. Make it easy for your prospective customers to identify which items are on sale. You can do this by either creating a sales category page on your website or by making a clear list. If this isn't possible, you may want to set a flat discount across your entire store to make things easier.

Monitoring your success

Once your Black Friday campaign is up and running, be sure to monitor success. This will give you a chance to make changes and either increase or decrease ad spend when applicable. You'll also want to interact with prospective customers that engage with your social posts, SMS messages, or emails, and reply to them as quickly as possible. Plus, don't forget to monitor competitor activity and check to see if they have created any counter offers that may undercut you.

Naturally, different marketing channels won't bring success to every brand. So, it's important to find out which ones work best for you by trials and testing. Once you've found one or some that work for you then you can invest in those more. One way to do this is by setting up UTM tracking codes that help you to track the performance of campaigns and identify which channels have been the most successful. Then, you can use this data to plan future campaigns.

Cutomer Account manager
by Liam Quinn | Marketing Executive

Hi, I'm Liam, Marketing Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international marketing and love branding, social media and seeing how companies communicate with their customers.


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