What Are Your Plans for Black Friday?
We’ve wheeled out some variation of this line on client calls since the beginning of August at least, with the most common reaction being surprised that we're starting so early.
It’s true that while Black Friday will be looming in every e-commerce business owner’s mind (and calendar) from the start of the year, most leave it too late to get into the details of their Black Friday Strategy.
With this in mind, we’ve put together four crucial tasks you can be doing now to ensure that you get as much value as possible from the most lucrative period of the year.
Use September to Test
With the potential rewards Black Friday has to offer – UK shoppers spent £4.81 billion online last year – it’s important to make sure your content, messaging, and offers stand out from the pack.
This is especially true given the competition the period brings. With so many brands and advertisers targeting this period, you need to know how to make sure your target audience stops scrolling and picks your brand out.
As such, consider using the weeks leading up to Black Friday as an opportunity to learn as much about what makes your audience tick (as well as what makes them click!) as possible.
While we recommend you have an A/B testing schedule running all year round, you should really turn it up ahead of this peak period. Test content and messaging that will still be relevant during November and December as this will allow you to get the most value possible from your insights.
Variables you can be testing are virtually endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
• % off discounts vs money off.
• Different placements – consider testing a reel-only campaign against square placements.
• Videos vs Still Imagery
• Short v Long copy.
Beyond split testing in ads – why not use this extra time to make sure your site is as optimised for conversions as possible?
If you can draw some solid conclusions about which of these options works best with your audience, you’ll be in a great position to achieve the results you want over Black Friday.
Optimise Customer Retention
One problem with the Black Friday period is that brands can become over reliant on a relatively short period which accounts for a disproportionate amount of their sales. A marketing campaign which focuses on how much money customers can save will naturally attract less loyal customers than ones won over by a more brand-focussed marketing approach. As such, you need to work hard to retain these customers.
An active email marketing setup is a great way to ensure that buyers continue their interaction with your brand following their initial purchase. Use automated flows and customer journeys to educate new users about your brand’s USPs, products, and any further promotions.
As well as using email to improve lifetime value after customers have purchased, you can also use Black Friday to drive sign-ups and brand affinity before your deals even go live! One winning strategy we’ve used in the past is to offer a week of early access to users who sign up early. This works especially well for brands in industries such as fashion where stock of products is limited, as you use FOMO and scarcity to drive a cheap lead. Other industries where stock is less scarce can try this too with incentives such as unique offers only available to those who sign up.
Harnessing slower-burn marketing channels such as email will ensure you are driving long term value from any new Black Friday customers.
(If you’re still not convinced, consider that email and other forms of primary data will become increasingly valuable in a privacy-conscious digital landscape – don’t miss out!)
Pay Attention to Last Year’s Data & Set Well-Researched Goals
One question you need to be asking when prepping for Black Friday is ‘what will success look like?’ Of course, the classic business-owner answer to this question is something along the lines of ‘as much money as possible’, it’s important to set realistic goals. If your brand AOV is £15 and your ad budget is £1000, you’re unlikely to come away from Black Friday with £200,000 in revenue, no matter how good your ads are!
Use this period to look deeply into your data and work out a target that you would be happy with and – crucially – stand a chance of achieving. By all means, be ambitious, but if your targets are based on vibes, you’ll likely end up disappointed.
Once you’ve established your goal – take a look into what KPIs you need to be achieving via your key marketing channels in order to hit it. If your target is revenue based, how many site sessions do you need to drive based on your average conversion rate? What cost per purchase will you need to ensure your budget is sufficient, how will this differ per channel? The clearer an idea of the data, the more simple a record-breaking performance becomes.
Following these steps and starting early will give you a good chance of smashing your Black Friday period!
If this all sounds like a bit too much work, why not get us to do it for free? Sign up for our Black Friday competition today and get a chance to win a marketing strategy, planned and delivered by our experts absolutely free. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up so sign up for our competition now!