Blog > Conversions > BFCM strategies: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing Best Practices

BFCM strategies: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing Best Practices

black friday and cyber monday in an X's and O's playbook

Black Friday and Cyber Monday — historically the busiest shopping weekend of the year — is upon us, and in 2021, it’ll be bigger than ever. For millions of shoppers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday present an unmissable opportunity to get a head-start on their holiday shopping and cash in on some massive savings.

2020 brought us unprecedented conditions that fueled the Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping spree. That year, Shopify merchants made $5.1 billion in sales, up 76% from 2019. Yet, even under normal circumstances, customer spending tends to reach a record-breaking high over the Black Friday weekend. According to Digital Commerce 360, consumers spent $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday alone (updated with 2023 numbers).

In essence, Black Friday is one weekend you cannot miss. Follow these vital BFCM strategies to leverage the sales season for your business success.

5 BFCM strategies to maximize your sales

The best marketers and eCommerce owners prepare for Black Friday well in advance of the Holiday season. They know Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year; to reap the benefits, they need to have a strategic marketing plan in place. The earlier you start your Black Friday planning, the more time you’ll have to pull together a Black Friday campaign that wows shoppers.

Follow our Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing best practices to make this shopping weekend your most profitable one yet.

From optimizing your eCommerce store to hosting an event and planning strategic email sequences, these strategies will make your online sales soar this Black Friday weekend.

1) Optimize your eCommerce store for BFCM

From the moment people land on your eCommerce website, they should be able to navigate to your Black Friday offers easily.

With a few simple strategies, you can optimize your eCommerce store without compromising style or user experience.

Persuade shoppers with exit intent pop-ups

Website pop-ups can do more than simply generate email sign-ups. They’re also a great tool for promoting offers and information of interest to your audience.

If you already use exit intent pop-ups on your website, consider giving these a seasonal Black Friday refresh to remind site visitors of your upcoming or current Black Friday deals. This quickly and easily lets shoppers know about your Black Friday sale while they’re browsing your online store.

Delivering exit intent pop-ups is also a great way to prevent people from leaving your site without making a purchase, which boosts customer retention and can increase your online sales. The top-performing pop-ups have a 10% conversion rate, clearly demonstrating the power of pop-ups.

Take care when designing your Black Friday pop-ups. Have them appear after four seconds or when someone goes to close the browser window. Well-designed pop-ups that are carefully timed could lead to conversion rates as high as 60%, according to research by Campaign Monitor.

Engage customers with BFCM quizzes

Gamification makes shopping more entertaining for customers and can add a hidden motivator that encourages them to take action. eCommerce quizzes can be a powerful tool for increasing customer engagement and driving revenue.

You can use a Black Friday quiz to personalize the shopping experience for your customers. Add some fun personality and interest-based questions into your quiz, then use the answers to shape customer shopping recommendations.

For example, an eCommerce brand that sells scented candles could use their Black Friday quiz to ask shoppers about their dream holiday destination, favorite scent, and go-to seasonal treat. Then, at the end, they could present customers with recommended candle scents based on their answers.

By using LeadQuizzes on their website, the eCommerce brand Bourbon and Boots, for instance, generated 35,752 leads and doubled their sales in just three weeks.

Reward BFCM shoppers with bonus loyalty points

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are prime opportunities to reward your most loyal customers.

52% of loyal customers will join a rewards program. Furthermore, over 39% of customers are willing to spend more money with a brand they’re loyal to, even if there are cheaper options elsewhere. So, if you aren’t rewarding loyalty, you’re missing out on the chance to nurture customer relationships and increase repeat orders.

If you offer a loyalty scheme for returning customers, you could reward Black Friday shoppers with bonus loyalty points. This will encourage them to shop with you during the Black Friday sale. More importantly, it will persuade them to shop with you again in the future, knowing they can cash in their bonus loyalty points.

Advertise your Black Friday bonus loyalty points to existing customers through email marketing, on social media, and on website banners. After all, if your customers don’t know about your loyalty offer, you can’t expect them to take part in it.

2) Host a BFCM weekend event

Shopping events don’t have to be reserved for in-store customers only. You could host an online Black Friday event that offers customers an interactive virtual experience and encourages them to shop with you over the weekend.

This event can form part of your promotional activity in the lead-up to the weekend. You can use it to promote your Black Friday deals, let customers know about new product launches, and offer them something in return for their loyalty.

From engaging influencers and industry experts to sharing event-only special offers, hosting a Black Friday weekend event can be a great way to boost your Black Friday and Cyber Monday ROI.

Run BFCM contests

As part of your Black Friday event strategy, you could run Black Friday or Cyber Monday contests. Adding this fun, interactive element to your events will help you reach your target audience and incentivize them to engage with your online store.

Many retailers will simply share special discounts for BFCM, so running a contest where customers can win a prize will give you an edge over competitors.

Work these contests into your Black Friday weekend event to create a lucrative event that your target audience will be excited to attend. You could, for example, give all event attendees the opportunity to win a Black Friday “golden ticket,” which grants them a large once-in-a-lifetime discount. When running contests, make sure the prize is something that genuinely interests potential customers.

You could also encourage people to share the contest with their friends as a way to gain a bonus entry into the prize draw. This is a great way to expand the reach of your Black Friday campaign and get even more people to visit your online store.

Add live shopping to your BFCM marketing strategy

If you’re thinking about hosting a BFCM weekend event, you may want to incorporate live shopping into your marketing strategy.

Live shopping events are all the rage in the eCommerce world right now. Retailers using live shopping have experienced increased conversion rates. Hosting a livestream shopping event could be a lucrative way to ramp up your Black Friday revenue.

These livestreams are also a great way to increase demand and encourage impulse purchases. You could offer limited-time promotions and flash sales as part of your Black Friday live shopping event. Use a countdown to remind attendees that time is ticking to redeem the offer. This creates a sense of urgency and can subtly increase purchases throughout the event.

Don’t forget to make your live shopping event interactive. Consider teaming up with popular influencers to raise interest, and work some interactive elements into your event such as Q&As, live product demonstrations, and competitions.

Read: Live shopping: How to use livestream videos to boost eCommerce conversions

3) Go all out on your BFCM social media campaigns

Social media allows online retailers to connect with customers outside of the retail environment. So, when it comes to Black Friday, make sure you develop a show-stopping social media campaign.

This should include organic social media posts in the lead-up to and duration of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Use these posts to promote your offers and products. However, your social media pages shouldn’t be strictly sales-focused, so be sure to share fun or informative posts that pique the interest of your target audience.

Outside of organic social media, you may also want to run influencer campaigns or Black Friday social media ads.

Prep your influencer campaigns

The influencer industry is fast growing, and with good reason; almost 90% of marketers report the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. With such strong ROI potential, we believe any eCommerce brand should consider incorporating influencer marketing into their upcoming campaigns.

Whether its micro-influencers with smaller followings and more accessible budgets, or large-scale influencers with millions of followers and large budgets, influencer marketing can be a lucrative marketing tactic for retailers of any size.

Be sure to prep your influencer marketing campaigns for a Black Friday promotion. You could work with influencers on a gifted basis, wherein you send them products in return for online promotion. Alternatively, you could invite influencers to speak at a Black Friday event or to collaborate with you on a special offer.

When it comes to influencer marketing, you can get creative with your campaign ideas. Consider which influencers align best with your brand and target audience, then work on developing an influencer campaign that will really appeal to your audience.

Read: Influencer marketing strategy: How to find the right partners for your brand

Run BFCM social media ads

Social media ads are powerful for two reasons: first, they reach people outside of your existing audience; secondly, they re-engage existing customers and store visitors.

Increase your social media presence with a Black Friday-focused social ad campaign. When planning your ad creative, use branding and messaging that’s consistent with your website and your wider Black Friday marketing activities. This uniformity is appreciated by customers and can help drive up your sales revenue.

The platform you use for your social media advertising will depend on which channels your audience is most active on. If your audience commonly uses TikTok, invest in TikTok advertising. More likely to find them on Facebook or Instagram? You’ll want to set up Facebook and Instagram ads. Wherever you go, take time to tailor your ad objectives and messaging to your audience.

4) Create a winning BFCM email sequence

Email newsletters offer retailers a direct line of communication with an already engaged audience. Take advantage of this channel by creating a winning Black Friday email sequence.

As part of your sequencing, you may want to include the following types of emails:

  • Pre-sale announcement
  • Sneak peek of upcoming sales and offers
  • Pre-sale reminder
  • Black Friday event invitation
  • Black Friday event reminders
  • Announcement email when your Black Friday sale opens
  • Black Friday exclusive coupon code
  • Last-chance email for offers ending soon

When sending emails, it also pays to segment your audience. Doing so allows you to personalize your email content to suit different customers. This increased relevance and personalization can, in turn, increase click-through rates and on-site conversions.

Update your abandoned cart emails

As well as being proactive with pre-scheduled Black Friday email marketing campaigns, retailers should also remember to activate abandoned cart emails.

All online retailers experience cart abandonment. But, with well-thought-out emailing, you can recover some of those abandoned carts and turn them into sales.

Research by Moosend found that 50% of people who click on cart abandonment emails will then go on to complete their purchase. So, be sure to activate your cart abandonment email automation ahead of Black Friday weekend to recoup any half-finished purchases.

You could go the extra mile by creating a personalized Black Friday cart abandonment email template and offering customers a time-sensitive coupon code if they complete their purchase during the BFCM weekend.

Read: 7 Keys of eCommerce email marketing

5) Prepare your logistics

While running promotions and campaigns can be brilliant for increasing sales, it’s equally important that you’re able to fulfill orders.

When working on your Black Friday marketing campaigns, don’t overlook the logistics side of fulfilling the expected uptick in online orders. You may want to increase customer support over the Black Friday weekend, announce shipping deadlines earlier, and invest in inventory and fulfillment support.

Announce shipping deadlines

If you suspect shipping may be slower than usual due to the increased demand, you can preemptively warn customers of expected shipping delays.

Add a Shipping Information page to your eCommerce store that informs customers of any shipping delays that may occur for orders placed over bank holiday weekends. Pair this with keeping your customers updated on the status of their order to help calm their nerves.

Add inventory and fulfillment support

If you want to make sure your Black Friday orders are fulfilled to a high standard, you may want to invest in inventory and fulfillment support.

Inventory support will ensure your Black Friday promotions go off without a hitch. The last thing you want is to sell a product, only to realize it’s already sold out. Preptopia® provides you a clear picture of your inventory status at all times. This is ideal for high-traffic periods such as Black Friday weekend when you expect a higher influx of orders than usual.

At MyFBAPrep, we can also handle the prep and fulfillment of orders to Amazon Fulfillment Centers or direct-to-consumer orders. This means you can focus on the sales and marketing of your eCommerce store knowing we’re handling the shipping process.

Read: What to look for in a third party logistics provider

Wrapping up — BFCM strategies and marketing best practices to amplify your sales

While it only lasts a few days, the Black Friday weekend is a key sales period for online retailers. Solidify your BFCM marketing strategy in advance to ensure you have the best Black Friday marketing campaign that drives sales for your online store.

Remember to look at cross-channel marketing opportunities, from email marketing to social media and live shopping. The more places your Black Friday offer is visible, the more people you’ll connect with.

After the Black Friday weekend, continue your marketing efforts with post-Black Friday marketing campaigns that re-engage BFCM shoppers.