Ecommerce Blog

Make the most of Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)

Black Friday is a multi-billion-pound event. It’s growing every year, and even if in-store sales are declining, the good news for us is that ecommerce sales increase by millions every year.

Here’s the best bit: Even if you’ve not got your Black Friday deals in place yet – it’s not too late. In fact, marketing is often most effective on the day itself. And did you know that Cyber Monday sales are even higher than Black Friday?

So let’s get straight to it: EKM’s guide to making the most of Black Friday (and Cyber Monday).

Make some noise

Yes Lifecycle Marketing mined their 2016 data and found that promotional emails sent on Black Friday itself were more than 50 per cent more successful than emails sent on any other ‘business is usual’ day.

Better still, Cyber Monday emails were 50 per cent more successful than Black Friday emails, too.

So what better time to get back in touch with your prospects list?

The most effective emails are the simplest. You need three things:

  1. clear branding
  2. a clear idea of what’s on sale and the discounts available
  3. a very obvious link that takes the reader to your site.

Next, hit your social media channels. Work those #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday hashtags to promote your best deals. Sure, there’s a lot of competition for attention during these critical days, but there’s also a huge, interested and eager audience searching out bargains.

Remember: the most effective social media is designed with specific audiences and platforms in mind. Twitter users respond to different messages than Facebook users, which again is different from Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat users.

To stand out this Black Friday, put a bit of thought into your ideal shopper, and create tailored messages for each site you’re posting to.

Finally, if you’ve got an absolute sure-fire winner of a deal, consider investing in an online advert. You can have a Facebook advert up and running in under 30 minutes for less than £100, and the beauty of the site is the ability to drill down into the finest detail the users who will see it. A well-thought-out Facebook campaign is one of the most cost-effective promotional tools around.

Be prepared for bumper sales

With any luck you’re going to see a spike in sales this Black Friday, but it’s important to remember that it’s not all about the income – now you’ve got to process them.

If you don’t have employees on hand who can help pack boxes, print labels, make vital cups of tea and coffee… now may be a good time to call in some favours for friends and family.

And perhaps most crucially, make sure your site is ready. One of the worst things that can happen on Black Friday is to spend time, effort and money enticing in a customer only for them to find you’re out of stock – and to see them go seek out a rival shop instead.

One way to avoid this is to point your marketing click-through links to an overall Black Friday page, rather than to a specific product. That ensures even if you do run out, there will still be something on offer.

Then, head to Settings > Stock control (for EKM users) and change your ‘sold out item’ message to link back to the Black Friday page. (Sample message: “Oh no! It looks like Black Friday has taken its toll on that particular item. Don’t worry, head over to our deals page to find more great bargains.”)

Finally, you can edit the product description of sold out items to list suitable alternatives, reducing the chances that a potential customer will walk out your (virtual) door empty-handed.

Plan for the long term

At its best, an effective Black Friday campaign is more than a short-term orders bonanza.

Your marketing will draw in many new visitors. You’ll be a new name to many of these. By building up your social media following, offering a brilliant service during and after sales, and collecting email addresses to add to your database, you have a golden opportunity to reap the benefits long term.

Now, we’re not saying you’ll make Black Friday level sales every day. But, this is your chance to shine. Put on your best front, treat each interaction and sale as the beginning of a long-lasting and fruitful relationship, and turn this once-a-year event in a year-round opportunity.