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Black Friday Marketing Tips: 7 Expert Tips to Elevate Your Holiday Sales

Black Friday is just a few weeks away! But, if you haven’t started planning your Black Friday marketing strategy yet, don’t worry. There’s still time! Here are the top tips from leading influencers in the digital marketing industry:

Whether your goal is to get more visitors to your retail store or increase online sales, promotional email campaigns provide a cost-effective avenue for engaging with shoppers. In fact, the average ROI for email marketing is estimated at approximately 4300%, making it an obvious choice for the holiday season to increase year-end profits.

But it doesn’t stop there!

Black Friday marketing requires more than just a few last-minute emails if you want to see the true benefits of the holiday. To cut through the noise and stand out from the competition, you’ll need to think about your:

  • Promotional Emails and Newsletter
  • Landing Pages
  • Transactional Emails
  • Marketing Automation Workflows
  • Website
  • Physical Store (if applicable)

Whether this is news to you or you’re already on top of it — we wanted to help you out. Here are 7 Black Friday Marketing tips, complete with quotes from marketing industry experts including Chad White from Litmus, Jordie Van Rijn from Email Monday, and more!


In-Store Marketing Tips

Many business owners mistakenly believe that digital marketing and the in-store shopper experience are completely separate from each other.

While it’s true that digital marketing tools like ads, social media, and email make it easy for online stores to reach out to customers and drive traffic directly to their store, you can also use them to enhance your in-store experience and vice-versa!

If you have a local business, the holiday shopping season is a prime time to start thinking about how you can link your digital marketing with your in-store experience (or ramp up your existing efforts).

1. Use Digital Tools to Encourage Visits in Person


Consider offering special in-store Black Friday marketing promotions for your digital subscribers. This gives them more reason to engage because it’s more exclusive to them, and it’s a great way to increase store visits!

Promotions can take the form of coupons, free gift wrapping, bonus giveaways, discounted delivery, or anything else that you can think of to excite shoppers and generate interest.

Advice from the experts
Jeet Bannerjee

Create an extremely unique deal or discount that really catches people’s attention. The reason why the biggest retail stores in the United States do so well on Black Friday is because they come up with an attention grabbing deal such as “60 Inch TV for sale for ONLY $99.99 on Black Friday” and then you read the fine print and it says the first 5 customers only get this deal. However, what this has now done is that it has caught the attention of everyone and people will go into these stores to shop.

Make sure your emails specify when promotions will run to clearly communicate with shoppers — you don’t want to waste their time during the busy season. Plus, being specific about incentivizing shoppers to visit on a particular day, weekend, or week creates the kind of engagement that will increase foot traffic and sales.

Local Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

If you have multiple locations, include a local-friendly CTA to help orient subscribers and make their visits smoother. You can do this by including a button that takes recipients to the section of your website where you list locations and then optimize this page for mobile-use.

local optin CTA for Black Friday

In-Store Events

Highlight in-store holiday events through your emails, announcing upcoming happenings and reminding subscribers when events are approaching.

You can also include social media profile buttons to give recipients an easy way to follow your brand on social media for the most up-to-date information regarding these events.

This also allows you to promote awareness of your event in the community, giving shoppers a simple way to share the event with friends and family.

If you use an SMS marketing solution, you can also give email subscribers a way to sign up for text communications and reminders from your emails. Uniting these digital marketing efforts creates an unstoppable cross-channel bang that reaches shoppers on the devices they use most frequently to ensure they get the right message at the right time.

New Products or Feature Arrivals

Give digital subscribers the most up-to-date information about which products you have in-stock or the latest features and updates to your product.

This is especially important for the season’s hottest products. It allows you to build brand buzz and encourage more visits.

new black friday products

If you run out of stock for a popular item, you can also post any information about possible new shipments that are coming in to replenish the inventory. This is a great way to encourage customers to come back for a product if they really know what they want.

2. Give Shoppers the Option to Sign Up for Emails

Set up a Sign-Up Sheet

It may sound silly to advise putting out a basic sign-up sheet, but simply offering a way for shoppers to sign up for your emails is always more effective than not asking! You may be surprised how many shoppers will sign up for emails (even shoppers who may have just been casually browsing).

If you have an internet connection and a tablet or computer, you can make it even easier for customers. Just leave your device open to a page with your email subscription form available so users can type their email address straight into the form field.

Create a Raffle

Free raffles are an easy way to collect a lot of email addresses that you can use to market to over the holidays and throughout the year afterward.

But, you should make sure to disclose that signing up for the raffle also signs shoppers up for your emails. Otherwise, you may end up with some grumpy recipients and unsubscribes after the holidays.

Ask at Checkout

Existing customers are far more likely to sign up for emails than window shoppers, which means that asking for an email address at checkout can be a lucrative way to build your email list.

Talk up the benefits of signing up without being pushy to give shoppers a reason to provide their personal information. You can even give them a coupon for their next visit if they sign up.

Digital Strategy and General Marketing Tips

Black Friday marketing doesn’t differ much from your normal year-round best practices, except that it concentrates more effort into a smaller time frame.

So, if you’re already dominating the email game, keep doing what you’re doing. Otherwise, take some time to find clever ways to target subscribers more effectively and create the kinds of communications that will get them to make a purchase.

But it’s not just email that you need to worry about…

Think about your marketing campaign more strategically and work in as many channels as you can to get your message out to the right audience in a timely manner.

If you’re at a loss for ideas on how to optimize your overall marketing strategy for Black Friday, here are some suggestions:

1. Send Targeted Promotional Emails

Email always works better when you tailor the message to the recipient.

Advice from the experts
Neal Schaffer, Social Media Author at

Like any other marketing campaign, Black Friday engagement really comes down to understanding your email list. You need to divide and group contacts into several different segments according to their interests and engagement. I think through segmentation, through personalization, and through really finding your true fans — both on social media and in your email campaigns — you can get the most engagement with people who are most likely to buy from you.

Segmenting your email list is the number one way to get this done. Target a smaller subset of your email contacts that share certain characteristics and align the content of the email with exactly what they need.

So, where do you start segmenting contacts?

Past Purchase Data

Use purchase history to segment customers and then customize emails to appeal to their purchase behaviors.

Targeting subscribers based on what they’ve purchased before allows you to promote complementary products and suggest other types of products that may interest them.


Using customer-defined preferences as a basis for segmentation is a surefire way to create email content that will appeal to subscribers. To do this, give subscribers a chance to tell you a bit about themselves at the time of signup. Usually, this entails specifying a gender preference, but you can also add other fields as well.

gender preference in opt-in form

If you allow subscribers to set topic and frequency preferences at initial sign-up and respect these preferences, the engagement rate will be much higher than sending generic emails to your entire list of contacts.

Previous engagement

Depending on the past level of engagement with your other marketing campaigns, you might want to adjust your message to make the content more relevant.

Not only does this allow you to reward subscribers who have shown a higher level of interest in your brand, but it also lets you take a softer approach to less engaged subscribers. It can even help your email deliverability:

Advice from the experts
Chad White, Research Director at Litmus and author of “Email Marketing Rules”

Email volume skyrockets during the holiday season, which can lead to deliverability problems. Take a look at your list hygiene now. If a big portion of your subscribers haven’t opened or click one of your emails in the past 14 months, you should seriously consider not mailing those subscribers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This is a great practice because it keeps your email list clean and improves overall engagement rates for all of your campaigns.

2. Create a Sense of Urgency

Urgency is a very powerful marketing tool. This is especially true when talking about email promotions. In fact, creating a sense of urgency in your emails can increase sales by over 300%!

Now there’s a number to write home to Mom about!

But, how exactly can you achieve this?

Compelling Language

Utilizing limited-time language in email subject lines and CTAs (calls-to-action) is a savvy way to create urgency with recipients to increase sales. Mirror this language with an action-based tone to create a seamless experience.

In-Email Countdowns

Advice from the experts
Philip Storey, Email Marketing Consultant at Enchant Agency

Countdown timers and time-based offers work really well at this time of year.

Including countdown timers in your emails to let recipients know how much time is left until sales end and important dates arrive is a sophisticated way to create urgency.

In-email countdowns can tick down the hours and minutes left on flash sales and display the amount of time remaining until shipping cut-offs for major holidays like Christmas. The psychological effect of seeing a ticking countdown clock is a very powerful incentive for shoppers to take action and make a purchase.

Fear of Missing Out

FOMO (fear of missing out) is powerful marketing tactic that you can reiterate through your use of language.

Including phrases in your emails like “biggest sale of the year” or “best prices of the season” encourage recipients to shop before it’s too late.

Re-engaging Shoppers that Abandon Carts

Abandoned shopping carts are an unfortunate, yet inevitable reality in the eCommerce world.

That doesn’t mean that they have to be missed opportunities though! Emails are a great tool that you can use to re-engage consumers after they abandon shopping carts.

Offering discounts and other promotions is a surefire way to bring shoppers back, especially during the holidays when shoppers tend to browse more before pulling the trigger on purchases.

But, don’t forget that Black Friday entails a much tighter window of opportunity than typical shopping periods.

Advice from the experts
Chad White, Research Director at Litmus and author of “Email Marketing Rules”

Don’t wait hours and hours to trigger a cart abandonment email flows! During Black Friday there NO time to waste!  decisions are made more quickly than usual.

3. Increase Average Order Value

It’s great to have people making purchases at your online store, but you know what’s even better?

That’s right! Having those people order more things at the time of purchase. There are a few ways that you can do this:

Free Shipping

Providing a free shipping threshold is the most common way to increase average order value (AOV). Just be sure to set the threshold enough above your average product price that shoppers must purchase another product to hit it instead of just opting for a small add-on to meet the required minimum.

free shipping offer for Black Friday

For example, if your average product is $45, don’t offer free shipping on all orders over $50. Instead, offer free shipping for orders over $75. This will ensure that customers will buy more than one large good to satisfy the free shipping threshold.

Percentage Off Discount

Giving a percentage off orders over a certain dollar value is another way to increase AOV. You can either set one threshold to receive the discount or create savings tiers (e.g. 10% off orders over $100, 15% off orders over $150, and 20% off orders over $200).

Customers who are on the fence about spending more will be driven to do so by the prospect of getting a larger discount on those goods.

4. Stand out with Your Subject Lines

The number one factor that determines whether or not a subscriber will open your email is the subject line.

However, Black Friday is one of the busiest (if not THE busiest) times of year for customer email inboxes. If you stick to the same old strategy and copy that you usually use, you’re going to get the same old engagement as well.

Advice from the experts
Time Watson, Email Marketing Consultant at ZettaSphere

Write with style; enjoy results better by a mile.

Keep the clarity of offer but pick words different to the norm. Don’t look like everyone else with; ‘Cyber Monday treats’, ‘Don’t miss our..’.

Try stylish word structures, periodic or parallel forms – perhaps even a rhyme.

While you should definitely be trying to stand out with your copy, you also want to make your offer sound enticing enough to open the message. For this, a little intrigue can go a long way.

Advice from the experts
Jordie van Rijn, Email marketing and MarTech Influencer at Email Vendor Selection & Email Monday

The best subject lines are intriguing with some element of mystery. Don’t be overly specific.

5. Go for branding instead of sales

If you’re not into seasonal promotions or you don’t think it makes sense for your business to partake in Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you can skip the occasion altogether while still getting some brand value.

Advice from the experts
Sarah Evans, Founder & CEO Sevans Strategy

Black Friday is a great time to offer deals, discounts and offers, but it’s also a great time to share a meaningful message. In previous years, we’ve seen companies launch messages saying they won’t participate in Black Friday, or that they’re giving employees holidays off to celebrate with their families. You don’t need to only think in terms of what you’ll give away as a discount, but also how you can showcase your company’s values in action.


There you have it! 7 tips to make the most of your Black Friday marketing this holiday season. Now you’re ready to take your own Black Friday marketing campaign to the next level. 🙂

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Black Friday Marketing Tips: 7 Expert Tips to Elevate Your Holiday Sales

time to read: 10 min