30 Black Friday Marketing Ideas

November 19, 2012

Black Friday is the busiest single retail sales day of the year for many businesses, most notably large chain retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target. But small retailers and non-retail businesses can profit handsomely from Black Friday as well. The key to Black Friday sales success is a strategic marketing campaign that reaches your target customer base with a relevant and attractive offer, and leaves ample room for return on investment. To kick start your Black Friday marketing strategy, consider the following 30 Black Friday marketing ideas; each a powerful and proven method for generating profits.

1. Print Catalogs

Direct-mail catalogs are holiday marketing staples for many retailers. You can print catalogs that highlight your Black Friday sales, and also allow customer to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals online.

2. Lead with Stickers

Sticker marketing can help you boost Black Friday profits in two ways: They can be placed in unexpected areas to generate interest, and they can be affixed to floors and walls to lead customers to your hottest (and most profitable) Black Friday sales.

3. Play Dress Up

You’ve undoubtedly seen the costumed characters who hold signs at busy intersections to promote special deals. Even though the strategy might seem a little corny, it’s cheap and it works.

4. Banners

Large banner printing is another excellent strategy that helps you take advantage of busy holiday traffic. Print vinyl banners cheap and maximize your reach.

5. Hang Tags

Hang tags can help your products stand out, deliver features and benefits, and ultimately persuade customers to make a purchase.

6. Give Away Calendars

The initial investment to print calendars might seem prohibitive to small businesses, but the fact that customers use them daily means that calendars are actually the cheapest way to great a large audience for less than a penny per person, per day.

7. Send Postcards

If your company is limited to a limited product offering, if you make sales exclusively in-person or online, or if you do not operate a retail business, a direct mail postcard campaign is an economic way to maximize your Black Friday profits.

8. Booklets

Print booklets for big ticket items you’re promoting on Black Friday. You might, for example, print a booklet that compares different home theater products; or, print a booklet that promotes a new car model.

9. Place Posters

Posters strategically placed where your target customer base frequents can drive traffic to your store, online or off.

10. Distribute Flyers

Flyers can be placed like posters – nearly anywhere – and they can also be handed out to passing shoppers to drive traffic to your retail location or online store.

11. Try Door Hangers

Door hanger marketing can be incredibly effective for three reasons: It’s impossible to ignore, it motivates sales, and it’s extremely cheap. Enlist a team of volunteers or employees to blanket your target customers’ neighborhoods with door hangers on Thanksgiving – a day when the mail isn’t delivered.

12.  Strategic Table Tents

You’ve probably never considered table tents to be Black Friday marketing tools, but the fact is that many people eat out on Black Friday. Hit your target customer base on the table top, and you can generate instant sales.

13.  Print To Mobile

Print a QR code on your posters, flyers, table tents, banners, and other marketing materials to allow customers to make instant purchase via their mobile phones. They get to skip the lines, and you get the sales.

14. Send a Greeting Card

Be the first greeting card of the holiday season, add in a coupon or special offer, and reap the rewards. Remember, the early bird gets the worm!

15. Email Blasts

Send email blasts to those on your subscriber list. You might also consider renting a double opt-in list comprised of those who meet your target customer demographics as well.

16. Newspaper Inserts

Sifting through Black Friday newspaper inserts is a family tradition at many Thanksgiving celebrations, and it’s also a strategy that puts you on a level playing field with larger competitors.

17. Paid Magazine Advertising

Advertising in magazines that cater to your customer base. Be sure to get in touch with sales departments early; many publications have lengthy lead times.

18. Television Advertising

National advertising might be prohibitive for smaller, budget-minded companies, but chances are your local television stations have ad packages that are budget-friendly for even the smallest businesses.

19. Radio Advertising

Radio ads are another great way to broadcast your Black Friday sales to large listening audiences. Radio sales people have demographic information on their listeners, so you can easily target your promotions to the right stations.

20. Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are playing more prominent roles in buying decisions, so they’re great for getting the word out about your Black Friday deals. Consider promoting your posts for even larger reach.

21. Online Advertising

Whether pay-per-click, affiliate-based, or publisher-targeted, online advertising can be a good way to promote your Black Friday specials.

22. Car Magnets

Print vehicles magnets to place on your cars and trucks, and enlist friends, family members, or even paid volunteers to do the same. Make sure to log plenty of miles in target neighborhoods and shopping districts the week of Black Friday.

23. Get PR

Host a special event, something that is fun, entertaining or a contest with prizes, and promote your event with press releases.

24. Print Deals on Employee ID Badges

Many retailers have their employees wear ID badges to make them appear friendly and helpful; you can add a special offer to your ID badges for Black Friday sales, before and during the event.

25.  Host a Friends Sales

Increase your sales by offering discounts for multiple buyers. For example, a fashion retailer might offer a 10 percent discount for one shopper, but a 30 percent discount if three shoppers buy together. This strategy allows you to collect contact information from new customers so you can market to them year-round.

26.  Make a Map

Print a map of your retail location and denote the specials so customers can quickly find what they’re looking for. You can use your map as a sales tool to show customers products they might not know you carry.

27.  Get ‘Em Back with Coupons

Print coupons to give away to everyone who makes a purchase on Black Friday. Make your offer time-limited so you can get them back before Christmas.

28. Market Early and Often

Start your Black Friday Marketing by Nov. 1 to get a head start on your competitors, and repeat your marketing efforts across several different channels. You might, for example, send a catalog and then follow it up with a postcard mailer.

29. Try a Sales Letter

If you’re in a service-based industry or a big ticket retailer, you might want to consider a special sales letter and coupon mailer. The personal touch can help gain attention for your offer, and you can promote the idea that spending thousands on something that will last is better than spending the same for trinkets that won’t. This strategy would be a great idea for a replacement window company, a remodeler, or a vacation planner.

30. Print Gift Certificates

Restaurants, masseuses, and other non-retail businesses can print gift certificates customers can buy for their friends and family members. It’s a great way to offer a unique gift customers will want to give away for the holidays.

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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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