Black Friday Marketing Strategy

Black Friday Marketing Strategies
Table of Contents

    Black Friday will be here before you know it. As you start to think about this year’s Black Friday marketing strategy, consider including these 15 things for greater impact. 

    Collect Customer Data Now

    Black Friday is a fight for attention in the inbox. One surefire way to stand out and keep attention is through personalization. Personalization requires customer data, preferably first-party data. First-party data takes time to build, so start collecting it now if you haven’t already. Here are a few ways to collect the data you need now.


    RAEK instantly collects and organizes first-party data on your website visitors. It creates a first-party fingerprint for unknown website visitors a builds a profile for them once they have been identified on the RAEK network. 


    With quizzes, you can direct customers towards the right product for them and build first-party data you can use to personalize marketing campaigns for them. OctaneAI is one of our favorites. 


    If you are only using popups to capture email addresses, you are missing out. Use radio buttons on your popups to ask customers what product categories they are most interested in. 

    Need more ideas? Here are a few resources.

    First-Party Data Collection for Small Businesses

    How to Use Popups the Right Way

    Ultimate Guide to First-Party Data

    Build Your Email List 

    The average 8-week customer retention rate is below 20% (psst…it’s even lower for ecommerce). If your email list hasn’t seen a ton of growth lately, the bulk of your subscribers may be unengaged. Leverage all your marketing channels to collect email addresses. Run giveaways, events, change up your popups, promote early access for subscribers. 

    Here are a few resources to help you grow your list:

    Build Your Email List for Black Friday

    38 Ways to Grow Your Email List

    Complete Guide to Exit Intent Popups

    Have a Plan for Unengaged Shoppers.

    Do you have people who have purchased from you in the last year or on the previous Black Friday? Use this year’s sale as a way to reactivate them. 

    Segment these shoppers into a different list and try to drive them to purchase again. Make it tempting and make it easy. 

    Last year I received a one click reactivation email from a subscription service along with a discount for the next two shipments. 

    Nurture Your List Now

    Start nurturing your list now. You don’t need to sell to them. Send them tips and tricks, customer stories, educational content that positions you as an expert. Build them up, build trust, and they will be primed and ready to go on Black Friday. 

    Figure Out Your Timing

    Black Friday sales are starting earlier each year. Figure out when you will start yours to have the greatest impact. Smaller brands usually can’t afford to offer big discounts for weeks on end, but they can structure their Black Friday campaign for maximum impact. 

    Send out your first teaser email no later than a week in advance. You can simply say the sale is coming, or you can tease specific details, so shoppers can plan and prepare for the big day. 

    Teaser emails are important, as 90% of Black Friday online purchases are made by people who opened and email from the brand prior to Black Friday. 

    Email Design Matters

    The design of your email is important. It has to be on brand, so it builds trust and people instantly know it’s from you. But don’t bury the lede. People are receiving and opening a massive amount of emails on Black Friday. Get to the point right away and then give the details. Direct is always better on Black Friday. Don’t make people dig for your offer or the coupon code. Make sure it’s front and center.

    The Subject Line Matters More

    Your email design doesn’t matter if no one opens your email. There is a recipe for email opens on Black Friday, and it’s probably not what you think. Any other day of the year, email marketers are trying to come up with clever subject lines to get opens. Black Friday is a little different. You are competing with a packed inbox, and you need to save people time. 

    The recipe for opens is to be direct and create urgency. People are scanning senders and subject lines in an overflowing inbox. Save them time and directly state your offer and a time frame. 

    Black Friday creates urgency all on its own, but if your sale is only for one day, or stock is limited, or there is an exclusive product — say that in the subject line.

    Need some ideas?

    Black Friday Subject Line Examples

    Set Up Personalization and Automated Flows Now

    All the data you’ve been collecting — now is it’s time to shine. Use it to personalize the promotional emails you’ll send out. Segment your list and use dynamic content blocks to send subscribers just what they are looking for.

    Make sure your browse abandonment and cart abandonment flows are set up properly and ready to go if they’re not already.

    Set up cross-device cart regeneration with your cart abandonment emails to remove friction in the buying journey. I.e. If someone abandons their cart on their phone and clicks the cart abandonment email on their laptop, you want the cart to autopopulate what they added on mobile. Make it as easy to complete their purchase as possible. 

    Leverage Your Loyalty Program

    If you don’t have a loyalty program now is your chance to set one up. Emails and SMS messages about loyalty rewards have the highest open rates. There are several ways you can leverage the program to increase sales.

    • Plan a VIP campaign just for loyalty members. 
    • Offer double points.
    • Offer early access to members.
    • Use personalization and dynamic content blocks to remind them they have points to spend in your Black Friday emails. 
    • Offer points if they give you their cell phone number for SMS messaging, where you’ll have less competition on Black Friday.

    Use SMS Too

    SMS messaging is where it’s at on Black Friday, and it’s not just because of the 98% open rates. There is simply less competition in a person’s text messages than in their inbox. 

    Use your other marketing channels to get people to give you their phone number. You can use progressive popups, run a giveaway, offer loyalty points, offer exclusive early access, etc.

    Need more ideas? Check out this resource.

    How to Grow Your SMS Marketing List

    Email All You Want

    We always say send the email because you are probably under emailing your list. Most businesses are. Yes, you can email too much, but not on Black Friday. Go ahead and send an email every day. Very few people are taking the time to open each email and unsubscribe because there are so many of them. 

    One of the biggest mistakes we see on Black Friday is brands only sending one email. If you want to make more money, send more emails. It’s as simple as that. 

    Don’t Damage Trust

    You all, how many times have you received a sale is ending in 2 hours email only to receive a sale extended email in the morning? I received 3 extension emails from one brand last year. 

    This damages trust. All this does is make your subscribers not trust you. Mean what you say and say what you mean. When your customers are used to you forever extending sales, you kill the urgency you are trying to create, and they will wait to purchase from you and spend their money on sales that are actually urgent. 

    Answer Questions Up Front

    You need all hands on deck for shipping and answering questions on Black Friday. You can significantly reduce customer service inquiries by answering the most commonly asked questions up front in email, on product pages, and at checkout. Preparing ahead of time will significantly reduce the burden on your team.

    Increase AOV

    You can increase your average order value on Black Friday by offering discounted product bundles. Be strategic about this. Don’t offer bundles of products that people buy all the time. All that is doing is pulling future sales into the present. Bundle a popular product with products people normally don’t buy or most people haven’t tried yet. This creates new buyers for those products in the future, increases LTV and increases AOV right now. 

    You Don’t Have to Offer a Discount

    Are you not a company who discounts your products? There are other options, such as free shipping, which works well if you don’t typically offer it. You also can use Black Friday as a way to cement your companies mission in the mind of your customers. Remind them why they buy from you. There are several easy ways to do this.

    • Appeal to family oriented consumers by not offering a Black Friday sale, so employees can send time with their families. 
    • Promote your mission like REI does by encouraging people to opt out of Black Friday and get outside. 
    • If your company has a one-for-one giving program like Bombas or donates a portion of each sale to charity like Who Gives a Crap, increase the amount you give per order for the holiday sale. Or remind people you don’t discount, so you can continue to give at the same level.

    Looking for More Black Friday Resources?

    39 Black Friday Email Subject Lines that Get Clicks

    11 Ways to Build Your Email List for Black Friday

    Black Friday Email Examples

    The newsletter for marketers who want to make better use of their data.

    Sign up for our newsletter to get first-party data marketing tips and strategies, delivered straight to your inbox.

    New to RAEK? Sign up to start collecting first-party data on your website visitors. 100% free.

    The RAEK Team

    RAEK was built by a group of digital marketers on a mission to help small businesses grow and easily utilize their first-party customer data.