Maximize Your Sales: The Ultimate 7-Figure Black Friday Marketing Guide
Here’s the deal.
Black Friday is the BIGGEST time of year for eCommerce brands. It’s your opportunity to make as much revenue in a week as you typically do in a month. If not more.
In order to help 7 figure eCommerce brands get the MOST out of their Black Friday sales, we’ve put together an in-depth guide to walk you through the strategies we’ve put together based on everything we've learned from running Black Friday sales over the last 5 years.
Our goal is to put EVERYTHING we’ve learned into this guide so that YOUR BRAND can have its biggest Black Friday ever.
Are you ready? Ok, great, let’s jump in.
The Psychology of Black Friday Sales
First, let’s make sure we understand the psychology of Black Friday.
Black Friday is all about creating a feeding frenzy. It’s like when sharks smell blood in the water. That means it’s feeding time, and it's game on.
When it comes to Black Friday, your customers are smelling blood in the water, and they are ready to EAT!
Everyone knows Black Friday is coming up, so they pull their credit card out, get it ready, and start planning for what they want to buy.
It’s time for a new phone, a new vacuum, and a new wallet. Oh, and while I’m at it, let me fill out my wardrobe while everything is on sale AND get started on my Christmas shopping.
It’s all about SAVE SAVE SAVE, BUY BUY BUY.
Your goal as a brand owner is to take advantage of this mindset to get as many sales as possible while putting as much money back into your pocket as you can.
So, how are we going to do that?
Keep reading to find out. 👇👇👇
First, Let’s Talk about Your Offer
The first thing you need to consider is this—what should your offer be?
Here are the different types of offers you can consider:
Percentage Discounts: Offer X% OFF Sitewide
Up to X% OFF Discounts: Advertise up to X% off (let’s say 50%) and then mark some of your products down to 50% and the rest of your products to 20%-25%
BOGO Deals: Offer a free or discounted item with the purchase of another item
Bundle Deals: Package related products together at a discount rate (for example, a gaming console bundled with games)
Free Gift with Purchase: Offer a free gift or sample with a purchase above a certain threshold to incentivize larger orders
Tiered Discounts: Give a bigger discount the more people spend.
Now that you know about the different types of offers, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
First, it’s important to make sure your offer is super easy to understand. Sometimes, if you do too much, like offer a free gift and a bundle and a percentage off, it can get confusing. The #1 thing to do is to make sure that your offer is super easy to understand because confused buyers won’t buy.
Second, you need to consider what you’re able to execute. You may see a brand that offers a different discount every day heading into Black Friday, but is your team big enough to pull something like that off? If not, it’s better to keep it simple.
Based on all of the factors above, our recommendation for 7-figure brands, especially if you’re under $5M per year in sales and don’t have a large team is to:
Do a sitewide percentage off sale like Save 25% OFF Sitewide, OR
Do an up to X% OFF sale like Save up to 50% OFF with some products marked down to 50% and others marked down to 25%.
These sales keep it simple AND are super easy to understand.
Don’t Forget about Your Margins
One more important factor to consider is your margins because the goal of your business is to make money after all.
That means you want to craft a deal that puts as much money in your pocket as possible WHILE ALSO generating as much revenue as possible for your brand.
With that in mind, if your discount is too low, people aren’t going to be that excited about your offer, aka you’re not going to create a feeding frenzy around your brand.
People are expecting your BEST DEAL of the year when it comes to Black Friday, which means your discount needs to be at least as good as the best deal you’ve offered this your.
But you should also consider a few other factors, such as:
What are your inventory levels? If your inventory is low, you may not need to discount as much as you would if you’re looking to move more inventory.
What are your profit margins? If your profit margins are tight, then you should do a smaller discount so you keep more money in your pocket.
What are your goals? If your goal is to acquire as many new customers as possible, then you can offer a super amazing deal. If your goal is to maximize profit, then you’ll want to offer less of a deal.
At the end of the day, our recommendation is to offer AT LEAST 25% OFF or to do an Up to 50% OFF sale. Keep in mind you can do less than that depending on how you answer the questions above. For example, if you have low margins and low inventory, you could decide to do 20% off and then live with the results since you have low inventory anyway. Etc.
How Long Should You Run Your Sale?
Next, we need to consider how long you should run your sale. Should you run it for 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, or more?
Here are some factors to consider…
First, each year, more and more brands decide to run their sale for a longer period of time. Best Buy, for example, will start on November 1st and run “Black Friday Deals” all month long. This is their way of taking advantage of the feeding frenzy and the Black Friday mindset most consumers enter into starting on November 1.
Other brands will only run their sale for 1-2 days and do, "33% OFF Sitewide. Today only. Hurry, buy now!!!"
Those are the two ends of the extreme, and here's what we typically recommend for brands we work with...
The 1 Week Black Friday Sale
With the 1 Week Black Friday Sale, you start the sale 1 week before Black Friday, and then you run the sale until Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
The great thing about this sale is:
It gives your ads time to warm up and kick in. If you only run a sale for 1-2 days, it doesn’t give you much time to get your ads going.
You take advantage of the feeding frenzy for longer. Instead of just 1-2 days, you get your offer in front of customers for 1 whole week.
You get people buying from you BEFORE their budget starts getting too low.
We've seen a lot of success with 1-week Black Friday Sales and recommend it for most of the 7-figure brands we work with.
Don’t Forget to Offer VIP Access
Ok, now that we’ve talked about your offer and how long to run your sale, what’s our plan for our customers and email subscribers?
Well, we want to make them FEEL like VIPs. Here’s how we do that…
First, make sure you get your Black Friday lists and segments ready. This includes all of your past customers, email, subscribers, and SMS subscribers.
Next, create an email + SMS marketing schedule where you plan to message your subscribers and customers 48 hours before your Black Friday Sale starts.
You can tell them, "Hey, we're giving you VIP access to shop our sale EARLY. Shop now to get access to all of our products...before inventory starts running low!"
This does two things for your customers and subscribers:
It makes them feel special. As much as possible, we want our customers and subscribers to feel like the VIPs they are.
It creates a sense of urgency and scarcity where they need to shop NOW in order to make sure the items they are interested in are still in stock.
When you're writing the copy for your VIP email + SMS blasts, you definitely want to keep these two points in mind, i.e. make your people FEEL SPECIAL while creating a sense of SCARCITY and URGENCY. This will make sure your Black Friday Sale gets off to a strong start.
What about Cyber Monday?
For Cyber Monday, you have a couple of options.
First, you can run the same sale you’ve been running all the way through Cyber Monday. This is what we recommend for most 7-figure brands.
Second, you can come up with a different offer that you just run for Cyber Monday.
The choice is completely up to you, but based on our experience, most 7 figure brands are working with a smaller team, which means it’s harder to change offers over the weekend, especially around Thanksgiving when you’re also trying to spend time with your families.
We also haven’t seen that big of a bump from changing your offer, i.e. most brands won’t see a significant increase in sales from a different offer on Cyber Monday than Black Friday.
If you’re a 9-figure brand and have a full team, then yes, you should run a different offer. If not, it’s 100% ok to run the same offer all the way through to Cyber Monday and is probably the right move for most 7-figure brands.
What Type of Prep Work Do You Need to Do?
Ok, this is a great question. Black Friday is the BUSIEST and MOST IMPORTANT time of year for eCommerce brands. Since that’s the case, you want to make sure that you:
Plan ahead by making sure your get your Black Friday plan written down in 1-page doc you can share with your team. This doesn't need to be complicated and can be a super simple bullet-point plan that outlines your sale. The goal is to make sure you have something in writing so everyone on your team is ultra-clear about the offer, the start date, the end date, etc.
Share your Black Friday Plan with all of your team members, including your in-house team, freelancers, your agency teams, etc. As mentioned, you want to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows with 100% certainty what you're running for Black Friday, when it starts, when it ends, etc.
Start getting your ad creative designed asap. Black Friday and Christmas are the busiest times of year, which means you want to have your creative designed ahead of time and not wait until the last minute when your designer getsbooked and overworked.
Keep in mind, the earlier you write down your Black Friday plan, the sooner you communicate the plan with your team, and the quicker you get your ad creative designed, the better your Black Friday results will be and the less stressed you’ll be.
What about Your Website? What Do You Need to Do?
You definitely don’t want to overlook your website. In order to get your website ready, you will need to:
Design a homepage hero image that matches the theme of your sale and the design of your ads.
Update your website banner to mention your sale, including how long it’s going to last.
Make sure you know how you are going to mark down prices. Are you going to use a coupon? If yes, then be sure you test it and make sure it’s ready. Are you doing a sitewide markdown? If yes, make sure you know what tool you're going to use to mark everything down, etc.
Getting your website ready on time is absolutely crucial, but the main things you need to do are to make sure you have an awesome looking homepage image designed, make sure you update your website banner, and make sure your discount mechanism works so you don’t have people abandoning their carts and getting upset.
What about Ad Campaigns?
When it comes to your ad campaigns, you want to make sure that you…
Design killer Black Friday creative that immediately activates Black Friday Feeding Fenzy mode for your customers. Creative should be big and bold with an offer that hits people square int the jaw.
Upload your ad creative at least 48 hours ahead of time so you aren’t waiting for ad platforms to approve your ads the day your sale goes live.
Create Black Friday specific ad campaigns for your new creative and offers.
Keep your regular, evergreen campaigns going alongside your new Black Friday campaigns.
To dive a little deeper into the last point, most people don’t realize that your evergreen campaigns will often perform just as well (if not better) than your new Black Friday ad campaigns since they have weeks or months worth of data built up.
Instead of turning those campaigns off or putting your new creative into those campaigns, make sure you create new campaigns for your Black Friday creative and keep your evergreen campaigns going.
This provides more continuity, more stability, and better results overall during Black Friday.
When it comes to copy, you obviously want to make sure to get the point across quickly, aka that people can save money and can save BIG.
You also want to:
Make sure your deal and offer is super clear. It’s important to remember that confused buyers don’t buy. So make sure your offer is super super super clear.
Create a sense of urgency. As often as possible, you want to create a sense of urgency so people feel like they will miss out if they don’t act NOW. This includes ads, email, and SMS.
Build a sense of scarcity. Not only do you want to create urgency, but you always want to create scarcity. You want people to know that stock is limited and that they need to buy now so they don’t miss out.
One formula we use a lot to check all three of these boxes looks like this (or some variation of this):
Black Friday Sale: Up to 50% OFF 🎉🎉🎉
Stock Up Now, Inventory Is Running Low
Hurry, Sale Ends 11/27 at Midnight!
You can make this as simple or as sophisticated as you need to based on the brand, but something similar to this gets your point across quickly while also creating a sense of urgency and scarcity.
What about Christmas?
Now that we’ve talked about Black Friday, what should we do for Christmas, aka the next most important time of year for eCommerce brands?
We don’t have time to do as thorough of a rundown on Christmas as we just did for Black Friday, but the main thing to consider is this…
Now that you’ve run a massive sale for Black Friday, you don’t necessarily need to offer a discount for Christmas since people already need to buy gifts for the people on their list.
Instead of running a sale, you can position your product as The Perfect Gift for X (whoever X may be in your case). Then, you go straight up with no sale and get people to buy because you are the perfect gift for the right people on their list.
Other than that, a few things to consider are:
You’re going to need to flip from Black Friday/Cyber Monday really quickly after Cyber Monday, which means you need to have your Christmas ads designed by the middle of November AT THE LATEST as well. The beginning of your Black Friday sale to Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday goes by really quickly, which means you need everything ready ahead of time so you can flip the switch to Christmas ads as soon as possible.
December 17-23 is the shipping cutoff date for Christmas, depending on whether or not it’s shipped Priority or not. You’ll need to decide what your shipping cutoff date is based on the dates provided by USPS, and then communicate that in ads, email, and SMS to create a sense of urgency.
Overall, Christmas is an amazing opportunity to bump your sales, and we typically see our clients do at least 2.5X their monthly revenue in December in addition to doing 2.5X in November as well.
It’s a great time to have some fun with your creative and to push people to order in time so they get their gifts in time for Christmas.
If you have any questions about this guide or your Black Friday Plan, feel free to send us a message. We’re always looking to help 7-figure brands squeeze more ROI out of their paid ad campaigns and earn at least 31% of their revenue from email and SMS, and we'd love to learn more about your business and help you make Q4 and 2024 your biggest on record.