Black Friday Marketing Checklist 2012

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Black Friday marketing yields huge profits for companies that know how to get their special day-after-Thanksgiving deals in front of targeted customers. Basic marketing tenets such as targeted marketing distribution (i.e. a mailing list), an excellent offer and a compelling call to action apply, but beating competitors on Black Friday also requires strategic timing and creativity. Small businesses can’t compete with powerhouses such as Wal-Mart when it comes to Black Friday marketing, so you have to dig deep into your repertoire to promote your unique selling points and find customers where the “big boys” aren’t looking. To help you level the playing field and maximize Black Friday profits, I’ve created the following Black Friday marketing checklist for 2012.


Flyers are among the most dominant Black Friday marketing tools, inserted in newspapers and strategically placed wherever your target customer base frequents.


Print catalogs to distribute via direct mail with special Black Friday deals.


Postcards are the perfect way to deliver coupons to your customers, to be used online or off. Print postcards for Black Friday and Cyber Tuesday.

Door Hangers

Chances are your competitors aren’t taking advantage of the power of door hanger marketing, and Black Friday presents the perfect opportunity to get your marketing message to targeted customers in an attention-getting manner with door hangers.

Greeting Cards

Greeting cards with Thanksgiving wishes can double as Black Friday marketing tools; simply insert a coupon or print a URL to your special deals page.  Tell customers your special offer is a gift to thank them for their business.


Stickers can prove to be the most powerful tools in your Black Friday marketing arsenal, especially if you operate out of a busy retail environment.  Print creative, attention-getting stickers to help customers find your retail store; then, use them to lead customers to your most profitable display rack.

Posters and Banners

Places posters in areas your customers frequent, and banners in high-traffic areas, to maximize your marketing efficiency. Don’t be afraid to place banners and posters near competitors’ retail locations; if you have a more attractive offer, you can lure Black Friday shoppers away from your competition and toward your store.


‘Tis the season to put up a new calendar. Be the early bird on this and you can market to your customers for an entire year!


If you don’t have a website, get one.  If you do have a website, make sure your Black Friday deals are front-and-center. Also consider paid advertising on search engines and on other websites your customers visit.


Promote your Black Friday offers via a targeted email list, preferably a double opt-in list you compiled yourself.


Mobile devices present plenty of Black Friday marketing possibilities, from paid advertising to customer convenience apps to interactive campaigns. Try printing QR codes on your posters so customers can see a video of your products in action or make an immediate purchase without ever entering your store.

Social Media

Use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to announce your special offers. Consider launching a campaign that engages your customers, such as unveiling special deals by-the-hour on Twitter.


Know what your customers read, watch and listen to, and your message will be known.

If you’re on a limited budget, your best bet is to launch a streamlined campaign that mixes elements of measurability, maximized coverage and economic efficiency.  For example, a vinyl banner places at a busy intersection will reach the most potential customers for the cheapest investment, but a postcard mailed to a great mailing list will yield a measurable return.  Used in conjunction with one another, you get the best of both worlds.

Have I missed anything?  Let me know in the comments!

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