12 Black Friday Marketing Ideas That Cut Through the Noise

If shopping is like a sport, the day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday, is the ultimate showdown. So you better get your Black Friday marketing strategies ready. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of noise out there when it comes to Black Friday marketing campaigns. Here are some ways to make yours stand apart from the pack.

Skip the early morning madness.

Instead of forcing your customers to get up while it’s still dark out, invite them to hit snooze. It doesn’t make sense to try and compete with big-box stores for early-morning deals, so save your special sales and promotions for later in the day, such as noon and later. You can still open at your regular time, but there’s no need for you and your staff to be on dawn patrol. Be sure to let your customers know about your sale well ahead of time. Square’s email marketing software makes this easy — we’ll have a custom template designed for Black Friday marketing ideas so you can quickly create email announcing your deals to your customers.

Offer gift cards.

Gift cards remain hugely popular. During the 2015 holiday season, 73.4 percent of people bought at least one gift card, according to research by Gift Card Granny. And this year, CEB TowerGroup predicts gift card sales will reach $140 billion. They’re also great for business. When people come in to redeem their gift cards, 72 percent spend more than the value of their gift card — as much as 22 percent more, based on our findings.

All of this goes to show how important it is to have your gift cards ready to go — and on prominent display — before Black Friday hits. (If you act quick, there’s still time to order Square gift cards). Once you get your gift cards, read our tips on how to sell a ton of them this holiday season.

Find your hook.

When creating Black Friday marketing campaigns, think specific and unique. What can your business offer that’s better than the competition? If your shop stocks a lot of limited-edition, local, or handmade items, for example, focus your promotions around those. Whatever you choose to be your marketing focus, get the word out to your customers with Square’s email marketing software.

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Team up with other small businesses.

It can be tough to make your voice heard over the advertising blitz of corporate chains around the holidays. A strong Black Friday marketing strategy is to partner with other small businesses in your neighborhood and focus your efforts on a common goal: attracting shoppers. This can include everything from planning a joint shopping event to splitting the cost of an advertising campaign. The greater the number of participating businesses, the more tempting your promotion is for shoppers.

Make it a party.

To entice customers into your store, make Black Friday shopping an event. Put on music, serve snacks and drinks, or even host special demonstrations to make your store feel more festive. As with other Black Friday marketing strategies, email your customers and take to social media to get the word out about your event and any sales you’re offering.

Give back.

Organize Black Friday marketing campaigns that make a positive difference. In addition to helping your community, it can be good for your business. According to a study by Cone Communications, 89 percent of Americans are likely to support a brand associated with a cause, if price and quality are comparable. Team up with a local food bank or shelter and offer customers a discount or free gift with purchase when they donate a nonperishable food item or gently used clothing. Promote your food or clothing drive on social media with a designated hashtag, and spread the message by inviting your fans to tag their friends in the post.

Bundle products together.

Another great Black Friday marketing idea is to bundle products together instead of selling them individually. Not only do nicely packaged gifts make great presents, they’re also a great way to upsell customers to a slightly higher price point. You could even offer a discount if customers buy three related items.

Reward your social media fans.

Growing your social media engagement is a must-do in today’s marketing landscape. Sharing great content does the heavy lifting here, but if you want to give your social media accounts an extra boost this holiday season, try incentivizing your customers with special discounts. Starting on Black Friday, offer a special deal every day throughout the holiday shopping season, like 25 percent off sweaters one day or 15 percent off shoes the next day. Post a discount code for customers to mention at checkout. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #Blackfriday (and preferably another one that’s unique to your business) for Twitter and Instagram.

Offer specific exclusive discounts.

Black Friday marketing strategies often involve discounts, but how about offering special discounts to students, senior citizens, other local business owners, or people in the military?

Offer an incentive to spend.

Thank your customers for their business by giving them gift cards when they spend a certain amount in one transaction from Black Friday through the following Monday. Another Black Friday marketing idea: Email your best customers and offer them an even better deal on gift cards when they shop during these dates. It’s quick and easy to send targeted email and promotions to different groups using Square’s email marketing software. And if you don’t place any restrictions on when they can use the promotion, chances are good that they’ll come in again during the holidays, either to treat themselves or pick up some last-minute gifts.

Stay open late.

We already talked about not opening up shop early on Black Friday. However, it could make sense to stay open late for people avoiding the day’s madness. If you switch up your hours as one of your Black Friday marketing strategies, be sure to let your customers know in one of your marketing emails, on social media, and on your website.

Go the extra mile.

Offer something special as part of your Black Friday marketing campaigns. That could mean offering free gift wrapping or a free greeting card with every purchase above a certain amount. Think about what would delight your customers and be of value during this busy time of year. For example, giving out helium balloons to customers’ kids, or offering a more generous return policy.

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