25 Black Friday Marketing Ideas

November 11, 2014

Black Friday rapidly approaches, and if you want to earn mega-sales you know what to do: apply huge discounts to your products, print a flyer to insert in your local paper, open at midnight and let the onslaught begin – that is, if you’re Walmart. If you operate a small business, however, you know the reality is you can’t compete on price against big box stores that are able to arrange mass volume wholesale deals to create rock-bottom – yet still profitable – markdowns. That means you have to find other ways to compete and draw customers in for Black Friday sales. The following lists 25 Black Friday marketing ideas you can use to level the playing field and boost sales this holiday season.

  1. Plan early – Work out your entire Black Friday marketing plan well in advance, which will let you rest easy and take advantage of last-minute promotional opportunities.
  2. Repetition is key – Use multiple channels, repeat messages, and don’t be afraid to send several postcards, because repetition sells.
  3. Send postcard coupons – Postcards let you reach your target audience, making each postcard an excellent investment. Send postcards with special Black Friday coupons only to those who are likely to buy.
  4. Sell expertise – If you can’t compete on price, compete on your expertise. You can help shoppers find the perfect gift for their loved ones.
  5. Sell quality – The cheapest isn’t always the best, a notion you can reinforce with your marketing.
  6. Sell customer service – Customers like to buy from people they trust to offer excellent support and service, if needed.
  7. Print big stickers – Get creative and make them look like footprints that lead to your best (or most profitable) specials.
  8. Hire a street team – Have them head to the local mall to hand out flyer promoting your Black Friday sales.
  9. Use social media – It’s free or dirt-cheap (if you take out ads), and you can reach a huge local audience.
  10. Print business card coupons – Business cards are super-cheap to print, so you can hand out special Black Friday coupons to everyone – and even leave them laying around for shoppers to find.
  11. Host a Black Friday pre-sale – Encourage shoppers to skip the rush and shop from you early; promise great prices or other benefits without the hassle.
  12. Host a Black Friday extended sale – In a similar vein, hit last-minute shoppers with an extended sale promising Black Friday prices or other benefits.
  13. Partner with others – You might not be able to compete on price alone, but you could partner with other businesses to develop attractive packages in which shoppers get a great deal and all partners still profit. Plus, you double, triple or quadruple your marketing reach.
  14. Use QR codes – Print posters, flyers, and banners with QR codes customers can use to redeem coupons – provided they give out their email address, social media likes or other information.
  15. Offer multi-person discounts – Encourage shopping buddies to come to your store together and offer an additional discount for every person in the group.
  16. Print gift certificates – This should be a no-brainer since many people like to receive gift certificates and shoppers love them because it lets them give the perfect gift.
  17. Print window clings – Get passers-by into your shop on Black Friday with bright, attractive, promotional window clings.
  18. Print in-store adhesive banners – Adhesive banners can be placed high on your store walls to attract customers to certain areas of your shop.
  19. Offer freebies – Simple giveaways such as free coasters can be just the incentive customers need to buy from you instead of a competitor.
  20. Mail VIP invitations – Send special Black Friday sales invitations to your best customers, perhaps your best 20, 50 or 100. Let them know that they’re the only ones getting access to your special deal in appreciation of their loyalty.
  21. Send greeting cards – Get greeting cards to your best customers expressing your appreciation, and include a Black Friday coupon to get them to your store.
  22. Bundle items – If you have individual items that move slowly, try bundling them in gift baskets to move them fast on Black Friday.
  23. Use email – Emails are cheap, and work will when used in conjunction with a direct-mail postcard marketing campaign.
  24. Let customers relax – Black Friday wears customers out. Stage an area with comfortable seats, free doughnuts and coffee, and easy access to some of your best Black Friday deals.
  25. Don’t forget Cyber Monday – Get a head-start on Cyber Monday sales by sending a postcard that arrives between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What’s your favorite Black Friday marketing idea? Let us know in the comments!

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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