7 Black Friday Strategies Still Relevant for 2015

Thanksgiving is approaching quick and Black Friday is just around the corner. Businesses big and small are preparing to take advantage of the busiest shopping day of the year.

But with all the shopping activity going on and sales offers popping up everywhere, many companies wonder how they can rise above the masses and attract some of the many shoppers to their stores. So, let’s take a look at seven Black Friday strategies that are still relevant for 2015.

1. Emails

According to Forbes, email marketing in 2014 was responsible for 27% of holiday sales. The nice thing about sending out an email is that it doesn’t cost you a dime and it will reach your customers right where they are – either on their desktop computer or on their mobile device.

When drafting your email, consider the following ideas:

• Include an offer in the subject line
• Avoid too much text in the body and instead focus on eye-candy like high-quality images of your products
• Make all images link directly to the sales page of the displayed product, or provide the necessary store location so customers have no trouble finding you
• Offer a contest that can only be entered via email

2. Social Media – Inbound

While social media is nothing new, it’s most certainly still relevant in 2015 – if not more so than ever before. According to data revealed by Mobile 500, almost 30% of all e-commerce sales are taking places on mobile devices, where the majority of people use social media.

So, this Black Friday, make sure to be part of relevant conversations by using trending hashtags in your social posts. Share direct links to coupons, promotions, and other Black Friday themed content that audiences are likely to share with their network of friends (e.g. a blog listing the “10 Best Presents this Holiday Season”).

3. Social Media – Outbound

When it comes to social media, however, don’t leave it all to chance. You will obviously not be the only business trying to get a share of all the valuable social conversations. Make use of Facebook’s, Twitter’s, LinkedIn’s as well as Pinterest’s “promoted posts,” which act like digital billboards that – after you pay and launch your campaign – can be put in front of the right audience at the right time.

Instead of just boring advertisements, however, you should use these promoted posts to provide entertainment, information, or interactive experiences so that your target audience will want to respond to and share them.

4. PPC

Speaking of paid online advertisements… while not as fun and thrilling as social media content posts, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns through major players like Google AdWords are just as valuable.

Investing in PPC campaigns is the most effective way to make sure that potential customers, who are searching for deals and offers on Black Friday, will see you on their search results page.

However, do your keyword and keyphrase research well ahead of time to be ready to outbid other PPC campaigners when the time comes to get in front of your audience.

5. Guerilla Marketing

Even though a very old technique, guerilla marketing still works – especially if your goal is to get your audience to a physical location. This can consist of everything from handing out free hot chocolate or food samples all the way to staging a concert or building a human pyramid.

As long as you stay within legal and politically correct boundaries, nothing is off limit to gain the attention of potential shoppers.

6. Good Customer Experience = Customer Satisfaction

Once you have your shoppers’ attention, try to create the opposite experience of what they might have at a big retailer like Wal-Mart. Part of creating a positive customer experience is managing foot traffic through your store, making sure people can easily find what they are looking for, and displaying deals in ways that are easy to understand.  

If satisfied, customers will not only show up on Black Friday, but they will appreciate your store and return again at a later point in time. So pay close attention to customer satisfaction.

7. Sense of Urgency

Finally, creating a sense of urgency when advertising your deals and promotions is still relevant in 2015. You could, set clear time limits for when offers expire and use sentences like “only while supplies last.”

In the end, the easiest way to think about attracting customers is to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, “What would I respond to?”

About the author: My name is Nick Rojas (nickandrewrojas@gmail.com) and I am freelance business/marketing journalist and a business consultant.

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