How to Create a Black Friday Marketing Campaign That Actually Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

You’ve seen them—the endless lists of “Top 50 Black Friday Marketing Ideas” that make it seem like you can just cherry-pick a strategy and watch the sales roll in. But let’s get real. It’s not that simple. Behind every jaw-dropping giveaway or irresistible discount, there’s a well-oiled machine of strategy and planning.

In this guide, I’m cutting through the fluff to give you a roadmap for a Black Friday marketing campaign that aligns with your actual business goals. Forget the one-size-fits-all approach; we’re diving deep into how to tailor your campaign to what you really want to achieve.

Here’s the kicker: it’s all about the “sharpen the saw” principle. Spend 80% of your time strategizing and only 20% implementing. Trust me, that 80% will make the last 20% a breeze, and you’ll see results that actually matter.

Look at it this way — your Black Friday marketing campaign is really designed to set you up for more sales, more ideal customers, and more profits in the new year!

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Define Your Goals: What Do You Want?

black and white round analog clock
Photo by Mauro Gigli on Unsplash

Before you even think about discounts or viral social media posts, let’s get clear on what you’re aiming for. Your goals are the compass that’ll guide every decision you make in this campaign. Here are some goals that I highly recommend you consider:

  • Get New Customers: You’re not just in this for the likes; you want people who will actually pay for your products or services.
  • Sell More to Existing Customers: You’ve got fans—now make them superfans by offering them something they can’t resist.
  • Make Money: It sounds obvious, but let’s not forget the bottom line. You’re in business to make a profit.
  • Clear out Inventory: Got stuff gathering dust? Use Black Friday to make room for new, exciting products.
  • Drive Referrals: Turn your customers into your marketing army by giving them incentives to bring in new business.
  • Get Engagement (and Data): It’s not just about the sale today; it’s about gathering insights for future campaigns.
  • Build an Email List: This is your golden ticket for ongoing marketing. Get those valuable email addresses.

Once you’ve picked your goals, get specific. How many new customers are you aiming for? What’s your target revenue? The more detailed you are, the easier it’ll be to measure your success.

Step 2: Research and Insights: What Do You Know?

eyeglasses with gray frames on the top of notebook - black friday marketing campaign
Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

Alright, you’ve got your goals locked in. Now it’s time to dig into the data. Forget about what your competitors are doing for a second; let’s focus on you and your customers. Here’s what you need to look at:

  • Who Are Your Most Profitable Customers?: Not all customers are created equal. Identify the ones who are driving the most revenue and focus on what makes them tick.
  • What Are They Buying?: Look at your sales data. What products or services are your top customers going for? This will give you clues on what to feature in your campaign.
  • Where Are They Coming From?: Are they finding you through Google, social media, or word of mouth? Knowing this helps you decide where to put your marketing dollars.
  • What’s Driving Them?: What problems are they trying to solve? What goals do they have? The better you understand this, the more compelling your offers will be.
  • Website Traffic: Where is it coming from? What pages are people spending time on? This tells you where to place your most compelling offers.

I know, it’s a lot. But this is the 80% of the work that’ll make the remaining 20% a walk in the park. And hey, you’re not in this alone; there are plenty of analytics tools that can help you gather these insights.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t. This is the foundation that’ll make your Black Friday campaign a smashing success.

Step 3: Know Your Audience: What’s Important to Them When They are Buying What You’re Selling?

person performing heart hand gesture
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Okay, you’ve got your goals and you’ve done your homework. Now, let’s shift gears and get into the minds of your customers. Forget about your business objectives for a moment; this is all about them.

  • Who Are Your Favorite Customers and Why?: Think about the customers who not only bring in revenue but also joy and value to your business. What makes them special?
  • What Do They Really Want?: Now that you know who they are, think about what they’re really after. Is it a quick solution to a problem, or are they looking for something deeper, like a lifestyle change?
  • What Are Their Options?: Don’t just think about your products; think about all the ways they could solve their problem or achieve their goal. Yes, even the DIY options they might consider.
  • Pros and Cons of Alternatives: Be honest about how your offer stacks up against the alternatives. What can you provide that others can’t?
  • The Fast Track to Success: How can you make their journey easier, faster, or more enjoyable? This is where you can really differentiate yourself.
  • Where Do They Hang Out?: Are they scrolling through Instagram, reading industry blogs, or maybe they’re old-school and read print magazines? Knowing this helps you decide where to place your ads and content.

This step is crucial. The better you understand your audience, the more targeted and effective your campaign will be. You’re not just selling a product; you’re offering a solution to their specific needs and desires.

Step 4: Craft Your Offer: What Will You Sell?

You’ve got your goals, you’ve done your research, and you know your audience like the back of your hand. Now comes the fun part: crafting an offer they can’t refuse.

  • Solution-Based Thinking: Start by framing your product or service as the answer to your customers’ problems or the key to their desires. You’re not just selling a thing; you’re selling a transformation.
  • Itemized Benefits: Break down the elements of the desired outcome. For example, if you’re selling a fitness program, don’t just say “get fit”; say “lose 10 pounds, boost your energy, and sleep better.”
  • Feature-Driven Results: Link the features of your product to the results they deliver. If you’re selling skincare, don’t just say it has “Vitamin C”; say it “brightens your skin and reduces wrinkles.”
  • Why It’s a Win for Them: Make it clear how your offer is the safest, fastest, or most effective route to their desired outcome. This is your value proposition, and it needs to be compelling.

Remember, your offer isn’t just about price; it’s about value. You could be offering a discount, but if it’s on a product that doesn’t resonate with your audience, it’s not going to move the needle.


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Your offer is the core of your Black Friday campaign. Make it irresistible, and the rest will fall into place.

Step 5: Choose The Marketing Channels For Your Black Friday Marketing Campaign

You’ve crafted an offer that’s too good to pass up. Now, you need to make sure it lands in front of the people who’ll jump on it. But here’s the catch: you can’t—and shouldn’t—try to be everywhere. Your focus is your superpower.

Top 3 Communication Channels

First things first, pick your top 3 channels. These should be the platforms where your audience hangs out and where you’ve seen past success. You can go for fewer channels, but don’t stretch yourself too thin by adding more. Trust me, less is more here.

Align Strategies with Goals

The key to a successful Black Friday marketing campaign is focus.

Before you go all-in on any channel, let’s make sure it aligns with your goals. Here’s a quick guide to help you out:

Black Friday Marketing Ideas Get New Customers Sell More to Existing Customers Make Money Clear out Inventory Drive Referrals Get Engagement (and Data) Build Email List
Social Media Promotions
Email Marketing Campaign
Exclusive Deals
Referral Codes
Free Gift with Purchase
Limited-Time Offers
Interactive Quizzes

Now, let’s match these channels with your specific objectives:

Black Friday Marketing Ideas Get New Customers Sell More to Existing Customers Make Money Clear out Inventory Drive Referrals Get Engagement (and Data) Build an Email List
Social Media Promotions
Email Marketing Campaign
Exclusive Deals
Referral Codes
Free Gift with Purchase
Limited-Time Offers
Interactive Quizzes

The secret sauce for each channel is knowing exactly when and how to use it. For instance, email is your go-to for customer retention, while social media is your playground for engagement. Use these tables as your cheat sheets to align your objectives with the most effective channels.

Step 6: Create Your Content and Assets

You’ve got your goals, your research, your audience insights, and even your channels all lined up. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create the content that’s going to make your Black Friday marketing campaign pop.

It’s all About Compelling Content

Let’s get one thing straight: your content is the vehicle that’ll deliver your irresistible offer to your audience. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. You need to grab attention, spark interest, and drive action.

Types of Content for Your Black Friday Marketing Campaign

Depending on your chosen channels, you’ll need a mix of content types. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Ads: If you’re going the PPC route, you’ll need eye-catching ads that get straight to the point.
  • Emails: For your email campaigns, think about a series that nurtures and guides your audience toward the big Black Friday reveal.
  • Landing Pages: Where are you sending all this traffic? Make sure your landing pages are optimized for conversion.

Best Marketing Tools

Don’t let the content creation process overwhelm you. There are tools out there that can make your life a whole lot easier:

  • ChatGPT and for Copy: These tools can help you whip up compelling copy in no time.
  • Canva for Images: No need for a graphic design degree; Canva’s got you covered for all your visual needs.

Organize Your Assets

Before you hit “publish,” get organized:

  1. Create a Folder in Google Drive: One for copy and another for images.
  2. Canva for Images: Create all your visuals and store them here.
  3. Copy in ChatGPT and/or Write out all your copy and store it in your Google Drive folder.
  4. Campaign Calendar: For each date of the campaign, write out the copy and link to the images. Organize by date and then by channel.
  5. Scheduling Tools: Use tools like Zoho Social or Buffer to schedule everything out.

By the end of this step, you’ll have a treasure trove of content and assets, all ready to go live.

Step 7: Set Up the Campaign

You’ve got your content and assets ready to rock. Now, let’s get everything set up so your Black Friday campaign runs smoother than a hot knife through butter.

Create a Campaign Calendar

First off, you need a roadmap. Create a campaign calendar that outlines what goes live when and where. This could be a simple spreadsheet or even a document. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Google Drive Folder: Create a master folder for your campaign.
  2. Sub-Folders for Copy and Images: Keep everything organized. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
  3. Content Links: For each date on your campaign calendar, link to the corresponding copy and images. Organize it by date and then by channel.

Scheduling Tools

Now, let’s get everything scheduled. Whether you’re using Zoho Social, Buffer, or any other tool, get all your content queued up. This way, you can focus on engaging with your audience rather than scrambling to post content.

Test Runs

Before you fully commit, consider doing some test runs. A soft launch can help you iron out any kinks and make sure everything is working as it should.

Final Checks

  • Links: Double-check that all your links are working.
  • CTAs: Make sure your calls to action are clear and compelling.
  • Tracking: Ensure that your tracking pixels or UTM parameters are set up so you can measure your campaign’s performance.

And there you have it! Your campaign is set up and ready to go. All that’s left is to hit that “launch” button.

Step 8: Launch and Monitor

Alright, you’re all set up and ready to hit that “launch” button. But once you do, the work isn’t over. In fact, it’s just beginning. Here’s how to keep tabs on your campaign and make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.

Best Practices for Launching

  • Soft Launch: Consider a soft launch a few days before Black Friday to work out any last-minute issues.
  • Announcement: Let your audience know that something big is coming. Build anticipation.
  • Engage: Once you’re live, engage with your audience. Answer questions, handle objections, and keep the excitement going.

Key Metrics to Monitor

You can’t manage what you can’t measure, right? Here are some key metrics you should be keeping an eye on:

  • Traffic: Are people visiting your landing pages?
  • Conversion Rate: Of those visitors, how many are taking the desired action?
  • Average Order Value: How much is each customer spending?
  • Customer Lifetime Value: Are you acquiring customers who will stick around for the long haul?
  • ROI: At the end of the day, is your campaign profitable?

Real-Time Monitoring

Use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, or whatever analytics software you’re comfortable with to monitor these metrics in real-time. This will allow you to make quick decisions and tweaks to optimize performance.

So, your campaign is live, and you’re keeping a close eye on performance. But what if things aren’t going as planned?

Step 9: Optimize and Adjust

So you’ve launched, and you’re monitoring your campaign like a hawk. But let’s be real—no campaign is perfect right out of the gate. That’s why this step is all about fine-tuning and making real-time adjustments.

Making Real-Time Adjustments

  • Pivot, Don’t Panic: If something’s not working, don’t freak out. Assess, adjust, and move forward.
  • Audience Feedback: Listen to what your audience is saying. Are they loving a particular aspect? Double down on it.
  • Resource Allocation: If one channel is outperforming another, consider reallocating resources to maximize impact.

A/B Testing for Better Results

You’ve probably heard the term “A/B testing” thrown around. But what does it really mean, and how can you use it to improve your campaign?

  • What is A/B Testing?: Simply put, A/B testing is a method where you compare two versions of a webpage, email, or ad to see which performs better. You change one element in version B and measure its performance against version A.

How to Start an A/B Test:

  1. Identify What to Test: Start simple. Pick one element to test, like a headline, call-to-action, or an image.
  2. Create Two Versions: Version A is your original; Version B has the one change you’re testing.
  3. Split Your Audience: Divide your audience into two groups. One sees Version A, the other sees Version B.
  4. Run the Test: Let the test run until you have enough data to make a meaningful comparison.
  5. Analyze the Data: Look at your key metrics. Did Version B improve conversion rates? If yes, you’ve got a winner!

Quick Fixes

  • CTA Tweaks: A simple change in your call-to-action can sometimes make a world of difference.
  • Price Adjustments: If a particular offer isn’t converting, consider a limited-time price adjustment.
  • Bonus Offers: Sometimes, throwing in a last-minute bonus can tip the scales in your favor.

By continually optimizing and adjusting, you’re not just hoping for your campaign to succeed; you’re steering it towards success. A/B testing is your secret weapon in this journey.

Your Roadmap to Black Friday Domination

You’ve made it to the end, and you’re now armed with a killer strategy to make this Black Friday your best one yet. But remember, a plan is only as good as its execution. So don’t just sit on this goldmine of information—take action!

Don’t let this be another article you read and forget. Use it as your playbook for a Black Friday campaign that not only meets but smashes your goals. You’ve got this!

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