Black Friday and Christmas Marketing Tips

Feature image for Black Friday and Christmas Strategy Blog

Black Friday and Christmas Marketing Tips

The holiday season is upon us! But it is true. Christmas is under 100 days away, and Black Friday is just around the corner.  

For retailers, it’s the busiest time of year. Holiday period sales have grown year-on-year since 2016. 2020 saw a slip dip, attributed to the pandemic. 

Blog bar chart showing UK sales over past festive periods

This period generates significant sales for many sectors, with the largest portion being in B2C. Businesses are provided with essential customer data that detail customer buying behaviour. This presents an opportunity for retailers.  

Customers start thinking about Black Friday in October. There is increased competition with online and offline stores. Standing out can be difficult, so getting your marketing strategy right is vital.  

To get this right, marketers should start planning campaigns early in the year. Starting with reviewing and analysing past campaigns (no point in hammering a poor performing campaign type again). As a marketer, you’ll need to understand customer behaviour to make informed decisions.  

Decisions including: 

  • When should I schedule my campaigns? 
  • What channels are suitable for my business? 
  • What messages should I communicate? 

 

So how do you stand out from the crowd?  

Here are some marketing tips to help your marketing stand out and get ready for the silly season. 

1. Evaluate last year’s campaign performance 

Evaluating previous campaigns will help inform you about this year’s strategy. The analysis will provide answers to questions such as: 

  • Which marketing messages resulted in the most clicks?  
  • When did conversions peak?  
  • What emails resulted in the most sales?  
  • What deals performed the best? 
  • Peak traffic times 
  • Peak conversion times 

This also helps you schedule your campaigns effectively. 

 

2. Prepare your website

How often has a customer been on a website on Black Friday? They choose the deal they want? As they check out, the website crashes. It is an all too familiar customer experience. It may cost you a sale on the day and repeat business in the future. 

With Black Friday, there is always going to be a surge in traffic. Ensuring your website can handle the load will reduce interruption to sales. This increases customer confidence.   

Most servers can handle the increased traffic. But always check that your server can handle the load. This ensures that there is enough time to upgrade your server and test it. 

3. Get mobile ready

I have spoken about load testing your website to ensure it can handle the surge in traffic. You shouldn’t ignore the mobile experience. More people are using mobile devices to browse or shop. Google takes this seriously, and it reflects in how they rank your website.   

If your mobile site performs poorly, this will push you down the rankings, costing sales. Google runs a mobile-friendly test that allows you to evaluate your site. 

Graphic for Black Friday and Christmas strategy blog

4. Build an email list 

An email is a powerful tool, especially for promotional campaigns. Fresh and loyal subscribers are needed for a successful email campaign. They have to be interested in what you have to offer. 

Create a popup on your website to collect email addresses. Either at the entrance or exit stage when the customers browse the website.  

You may offer an extra discount or a gift to entice new subscribers. There are a variety of options available to help you grow this list. Thank you emails could be an option. When a subscriber has subscribed to your list, you may consider an extra incentive.  

It’s more than adding a name to the email. You have to ensure content is reflective of the subscribers browsing history. For example, a customer searches a sports shop for Liverpool Football Club apparel. You wouldn’t email them with discounts or new styles about Manchester United apparel. Understanding their preferences helps you personalise the experience.  

Emails are also an excellent opportunity to promote popular in-store items. Customers are pretty savvy about current trends. The number of digital platforms means there’s plenty of discussion about what’s hot and what’s not for the year.  

Promoting popular items in-store reinforces this. If certain items are constantly browsed and sold, tell the customer. This tells them that the buzz is genuine. It creates a sense of urgency and that they shouldn’t hesitate to buy as the stock could run out. 

 

5. Assess the channels to use

Marketers are lucky. There have never been more ways to engage with customers and promote your messages. It’s crucial to ensure campaigns are delivered consistently across the channels. This builds a seamless experience that will increase conversion rates. 

 

6. Decide on the offers and discounts

During the year, research departments collect data about trends. Add this to the insights from previous campaigns; you will have the information needed to decide on the offers and discounts for the period. 

Choosing the right offer or discount can make or break a campaign. It is essential to consider; what will tempt a customer to buy, discounts, free delivery or a gift?   

With the pandemic, this is vital as consumer behaviour between 2019-2020 changed. An important consideration is an increase in online shopping. Are you able to deliver on the offers that you advertise? If you promise delivery in time for Christmas and fail, you’ll lose consumer confidence. 

Discount image for Black Friday and Christmas strategy blog

7. Focus on copy

Stand out from the crowd, don’t rely on the same tactics as everybody else with time-sensitive deals. 

Focusing on your messaging and writing unique copy will ensure that you stand out from the crowd. Clever and engaging copy is a great way to launch campaigns and attract customers.

It is important to remember customers will be bombarded with messages during this time. Adverts will appear both online or offline, so it’s important to get noticed. 

 

8. Schedule popups

There are two challenges faced during this period for retailers: 

  • Customers abandoning their basket 
  • Customers who leave after a short time browsing 

 

Exit-intent technology can help mitigate this. Using a popup when someone exits your website or abandons their basket can help complete a sale. Options can include offering a better discount, a gift or even free delivery. 

Adding a time limit to these promotions can increase effectiveness. This creates a sense of urgency and a fear of missing out on a deal.  

 

9. Make discounts and offers visible

During the festive period, consumers expect to find items quickly. They will spend a lot of time on the internet, whether this is to buy or browse.  

Ensure your offers and discounts are easily visible. This helps the consumer to search inventory and access the offers easily. 

Every part of your website should have these promotions at the forefront. As soon as you click on a website, it should be easily seen via popup or banner. Use these tools to emphasise your offering. The experience should be as seamless as possible. 

 

10. Review automations

Before launching any campaign, you should consider your automation. Do your messages align?   

Time to check them! 

This will allow you to see if anything needs amending:  

  • Does your thank you email need a makeover to keeping with the time of year?  
  • Should you theme your abandonment email?  
  • Do the social media adverts copy need amending or are there any mistakes?  
  • These small details will enhance the customer experience. 

 

11. Dont ignore returning customers

Your efforts will focus on enticing mainly new customers. Ignore returning customers at your peril. It’s an excellent opportunity to show your appreciation for their loyalty and make them feel valued. 

An excellent way to do this is by offering them a loyalty bonus offer. There are several options available to you; incentives include:  

  • Offering free shipping  
  • Double loyalty points 
  • Extra discounts  
  • Discount codes to use in future 
  • Give one, Get one  

You will have insights into their shopping behaviour. This means you can offer recommendations tailored to their interests. 

Blog image of Returns Policy

12. Highlight returns policy

One of the most frustrating parts of shopping is the returns policy. This can be a barrier to buying items if it’s not easily visible or understood. Especially high-priced ticket items. 

Customers during this period often make purchasing decisions in a hurry. They then reflect and decide the purchase wasn’t the right one. As a retailer, you should make them comfortable making a snap purchase decision. Your returns policy will do this.   

Make it visible. You can do this by highlighting a link when viewing an item or ensuring it is seen at checkout. 

Transparency and language will aid the buying decision. Make sure you are open and honest and that your policy isn’t filled with jargon. 

 

13. Retarget

Customers spend an extended amount of time comparing offers. This often means that they don’t spend as much time on websites as they usually do. This is especially true of shoppers during Black Friday. The result is that lots of baskets are abandoned.  

This doesn’t mean you’ve lost that customer. By retargeting them, you give them every opportunity to conclude their purchase. A paid advertisement through Facebook or Google can help rescue the purchase.  

 

The Takeaway 

The build-up to the festive period is a stressful time of year for marketers and retailers. These tips will give you some ideas about what to think about to create festive marketing campaigns.   

It is always better to start planning as early as possible. You’ll be able to create a comprehensive plan that is integrated across all channels. Starting your planning late in the year doesn’t mean you can’t run effective campaigns. Keep it simple; often, simplicity is better. Customers like an experience that is as stress-free as possible, and simplicity offer this. 

 The key things are to ensure that you stand out from the crowd with your messaging and content are: 

  • Ensure messaging is consistent 
  • Use personalisation in your campaigns. It is a highly effective tool to engage with customers  
  • Don’t be afraid to be a little bit different 
  • Ensure your website can cope with the surge in traffic 

 

 These tips are interchangeable for the key dates in the holiday calendar. Just tweak them to your campaign goals. 

Need help with your Black Friday and Christmas strategies? Contact us we’d love to see how we can help you maximise your efforts. 

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