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How to Prepare for Black Friday: Digital Marketing Checklist from Promodo

Digital Marketing
October 30, 2020
12 min

As the days grow shorter and the holiday season draws near, businesses across the globe are gearing up for one of the most significant shopping events of the year – Black Friday. This day marks the official kickoff to the holiday shopping frenzy, and for digital marketers, it presents a golden opportunity to boost sales, engage customers, and outshine the competition.

To make the most of this high-stakes shopping extravaganza, you need a well-crafted Black Friday digital marketing strategy. That's where our comprehensive Black Friday Digital Marketing Checklist comes into play. In this article, we'll guide you through the essential steps to ensure your digital marketing efforts are primed for success on this critical shopping holiday. From optimizing your website to crafting irresistible promotions and leveraging the power of social media, we've got you covered with a step-by-step plan for achieving Black Friday success. Let's dive in.

Black Friday Checklist

Your Website’s Under Pressure. Ready?

If you want to cover all your customers’ needs and requests during Black Friday, make sure your website is working smoothly. Among the most annoying technical show-stoppers reported by consumers is the unstable performance due to the large number of visitors, the inability to provide regularly updated information about items in stock and safety concerns. In order to minimize all the potential risks, we recommend the following:

  • Analyze the data from previous years and prepare for the worst case scenario;
  • Check your page loading speed both on desktop and mobile using the PageSpeed Insights developed by Google;

page speed
PageSpeed Insights Results for

  • contact your web hosting provider to discuss the traffic limitations of your store to check if the servers will be able to handle increased traffic or you need to upgrade;
  • make sure, your best sellers are in stock before the sales officially start and keep track of the items in stock, also run tests to check if items are marked as out of stock each time they are sold out. Otherwise, prepare to pay for overtime of your customer service teams who answer inquiries;
  • apart from the regular “allow cookies” pop-ups, display a signage on your website’s checkout pages to prove that shopping with you means complete safety.

You can also ask your hosting provider to help you to set up an SSL certificate (an authentication and encryption system — meaning, data is transferred online safely).

  • the fact Google postponed mobile-first indexing till 2021, doesn’t mean you can postpone optimizing your website for mobile, especially during Black Friday. When in a hurry, consumers will find themselves annoyed if any images, for example, are displayed in a wrong way. Responsive design and smooth performance on smartphones and tablets matter.

Shop. Return. Repeat

Another serious concern of shoppers is the checkout process and return policy. Black Friday is a whole room for emotional purchases. Prepare for 30-35% of all online purchases to be returned.

Which is not bad, if customers had a good shopping experience with you, they are likely to remember and repeat it again. Apart from the smooth UX and a smart website design, the shopping experience boils down to the checkout process. Minimize the customer journey to a literally 1-2 step process from the cart to a completed order. This is crucial on Black Friday.

When it comes to return policies, make these visible, so that your customers don’t waste their time hesitating and fearing they will lose their money in case a product appears not exactly what they wanted.

zappos fast free

UGC Matters

Online shopping is a way too different from taking your close friend on a tour around the malls. Of course, you can make a screenshot and text your friends to ask for their opinion (and we are sure you do so), but no real-life photos and lack of comments approving or disapproving can become crucial when making the decision.

Attention, Passengers! Black Friday is Landing

Landing pages are a great way to make customers aware of special offers and discounts during the Black Friday season. Tell all your benefits, discounts and add a clear and encouraging CTA. Collect your best deals in one place and be sure your customers are not spending their precious time loading different pages of the website.

Countdown timers are a common thing used in banners, pop-ups, and landing pages. They will not only heat up the feeling of expectations but make customers aware of the exact time the hunting for a great deal starts on your website. This is especially important for those who come to your website with an intent to purchase a particular item.

black friday landing page

Email Marketing: Aim, Fire!

Yes, consumers still check their inbox from time to time. Catchy subject lines increase your chances of being seen. But note that just announcing the sales in your online store is not enough. Replace such emails with something more personalized. Here's a digital marketing checklist for you before Black Friday:

  • Announce discounts for user’s favorites, the items they purchased with you before or the ones left in the cart;
  • Based on user’s previous orders, create personalized selections of products that would make a perfect match to the items purchased before;
  • Distribute special/VIP coupons;
  • Set up you email campaigns, so that you can reach customers at different stages of your Black Friday sales;
  • Be precise explaining your offer and clear CTA;
  • Use gamification;
  • Be bright to stand out from the crowd of your competitors.
black friday email campaigns
black friday banner gif

Using the Power of Messengers

most popular social media networks

Another relatively fresh digital marketing asset are messengers. Statista reports two thousand million monthly active WhatsApp users in the U.S. Telegram, Facebook Messenger and Viber are extensively used in different parts of the world. Missing the opportunity to use them during the Black Friday season would be a waste. Create secret chats or groups to tell customers of the special offers and activities planned at your store for Black Friday. Distribute unique coupons and offer exclusive deals for your loyal and VIP customers. Don’t forget about chatbots. They will not only take the waiting time of your call-center agents, but make the checkout process as easy as possible.

SEO: How you can use the low and medium frequency Black Friday queries

“Black Friday” or “Black Friday deals” are considered the most frequent search queries in past years. Usually, consumers searched for special offers from specific brands. The brand name will become an even more important choice factor.

During Black Friday, market giants drain their large budgets, increasing the amount of work that is aimed at promoting a specific pool of search queries. For online stores that do not have the resources to fight for the top spots in the search results, we recommend creating more thematic landing pages – and get their share of the traffic. Categories and products optimised for low and medium frequency Black Friday queries can attract up to 30% of traffic from the top 2 search results for the main high frequency query.

A Few Words about Black Friday’s PPC

If you have the budget, you can make the most of Google Ads with promotion extensions. Display a short description of the promotion, the date when the deal is valid, and the promo code if applicable.

promo extension

Make sure you apply to whitelist your account for ‘merchant promotions.’ These act like promotion extensions and allow advertising special offers in your product ads.

How to Prepare for Black Friday in November

Last year’s report has shown that you’d better get prepared for Black Friday in summer. And we are sure you already thought of an action plan. Well, if you haven’t, we’ve got one prepared for you. So, let’s focus on what we can do now, when there is one month left before Black Friday.

45% of all purchases were made by customers who visited the website for the first time ever. This is a good thing to remember when planning your Black Friday sales. Among your potential clients during the Black Friday season are:

  1. Those who are new to the website and are not currently looking for BF-related deals
  2. New visitors, who come exactly to find the best deal for Black Friday
  3. The ones who visited your website before, loyal customers

To catch the attention of group A, you first need to make them aware of what you are offering. Facebook ads, GDN, Instagram and YouTube are the places where you can find them.

Group B is ready to see your deals. Use Google Search ads and organic search to show them.

Group C mostly needs retention. You need to catch their attention and don’t let them go until they complete an order (or several) with you. Use email marketing, do SMM and remarket.

Final words about Black Friday

Black Friday is known as the most awaited time for all marketers and online shoppers. Another good thing about Black Friday is that it makes us closer to the end of this crazy year 🙂 When planning your marketing strategy for the Black Friday season, try to be supportive and helpful for your customers. Use a multi-channel strategy and don’t forget to entertain. Preparation for Black Friday is a long story. But don’t worry if you didn’t start in summer. We know how to help you prepare for Black Friday, even if less than a month away.

Written by
Dasha Yaskova

Marketing Content Manager

October 30, 2020
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