15 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotional Marketing Ideas (2024)

Between rising customer acquisition costs and growing competition for online attention, your offer, more than ever, will determine how effective your marketing campaigns are this Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM).

The good news is you don’t need to start planning months in advance or slash your prices to have a successful BFCM. With this guide, and a few days of planning, you can put together and execute a profitable and creative promotion this holiday shopping season.

15 Black Friday sales promotion ideas for your store

  1. Facilitate gift giving this holiday season
  2. Offer a gift card with a purchase
  3. Curate a bundle of your products
  4. Gamify your offers
  5. Break it down into daily deals
  6. Offer a free gift with a purchase
  7. Partner with influencers
  8. Donate to a cause
  9. Email exclusive offers
  10. Offer referral rewards
  11. Create a gift guide
  12. Create Black Friday and Cyber Monday collections
  13. Offer a coupon at checkout
  14. Use countdown timers
  15. Offer free shipping

Running a successful sale involves more than just planning around store traffic and profit margins. Your overall performance will also be determined by how creative your offer is and how you market it to potential customers.

While coming up with a unique sale will require some brainstorming, here are Black Friday marketing ideas you can use for inspiration.

1. Facilitate gift-giving this holiday season

The holiday season is a time for giving gifts to friends, family, and coworkers. And with so many loved ones spread out over long distances, ecommerce can help bridge those gaps, whether your customers are shopping for ways to surprise friends and family or participating in a long-distance gift exchange.

You can make this easier for new and existing customers with gift-related upselling and cross-selling, offering gift wrapping services, personalized cards and messages, and the option to select a target delivery date for the gift to arrive.

There are several Shopify apps that can help you incorporate gifting options into your checkout flow, such as Super.

John’s Crazy Socks checkout page with a gift-wrapped box of socks.
John’s Crazy Socks allows shoppers to add gift wrapping to their orders.

2. Offer a gift card with a purchase

One of the more creative ways to leverage gift cards is as an incentive in a promotion. When a customer purchases a certain product or makes an order above a certain threshold, they could get a free gift card for a future purchase. If you’re on Shopify, gift card support is available on all plans

Since gift cards are only redeemed when they are used, this approach creates a win-win situation where you either get a repeat customer down the road or a new customer if the gift card is given to a friend or family member.

3. Curate a bundle of your products

Bundling products is one of the easiest ways to provide more value to customers while increasing your store’s average order value, which is a key way to retain a healthy profit margin for your business.

Depending on your brand, you can take this idea even further with a mystery bundle containing some of your best products offered at a significant discount for those willing to buy everything. This has the added benefit of helping you clear your underperforming inventory.

Three holiday gift bundle columns with product images and details from Nguyen Coffee Supply.
The holiday gift bundles from Nguyen Coffee Supply are a good example of grouping products together.

To make the offers even more enticing, you can create tiers of bundles, like Nguyen Coffee Supply does. Offering multiple bundles and various price points could help you connect with customers who have different budgets.

You can also keep some of the items in the bundle a “mystery” and slowly reveal them on each day of the sale. By revealing the items one at a time, you can appeal to a different segment of your customers each day and drive consistent traffic and revenue throughout your entire sale period.

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4. Gamify your offers

If you haven’t experimented with gamification—allowing customers to “play to win” your offers—BFCM is a great opportunity to do so. By incorporating gamification into your online store you can get more engagement from your BFCM campaign. Gamification comes in many forms, but there are a few approaches you can set up and easily try using Shopify apps.

Wheelio is an app that turns email collection into a fun game of chance. Your customers spin a wheel or can play a slot-machine-style game and hope to land on a big discount, for example: 30% off orders over a predetermined amount, a free gift with purchase, etc.

The game is meant to increase email and SMS opt-in rates for new visitors and re-engage your existing customers by offering a new way to save on their favorite products.

Wheelio gamification example of a holiday-themed slot machine with text boxes for email and phone number.
A Wheelio pop-up game can help you interact with your customers. Wheelio

5. Break it down into daily deals

Keeping the momentum and excitement throughout your entire sale period is one of the most challenging aspects of an extended BFCM campaign. Successfully engaging new shoppers during a four-, five-, or even seven-day period may require you to create exclusive single-day sales for specific products.

Daily Deals, available in the Shopify App Store, can help you execute on these time-sensitive promos. You can add countdown bars to create urgency and set up a single page on your website where all your live deals can live.

If you sell several categories of products, this type of promotion creates opportunities to focus on individual segments of your customer base. Having a daily (or even nightly) deal may also improve email open rates, since each day you can send a new message that features fresh content and a limited-time offer.

6. Offer a free gift with a purchase

Even though BFCM is perhaps the most socially accepted time to put your products on sale, many brands still fear losing their luxury appeal by discounting their merchandise. An alternative way to take advantage of the holiday rush without slashing prices is to offer a gift with purchase.

Our Place was able to maintain its luxury appeal for its cookware by offering customers a mystery gift if they spent over a certain amount on their order. This helped to increase average order value, unload inventory, and engage customers who might have been on the fence about making a purchase.

A description of Our Place’s free mystery gift Black Friday promotion next to images of pots and pans.
Our Place offered shoppers a free mystery gift with every order over a certain amount.

A typical “gift” usually consists of a free low-cost item with every sale. You also may want to consider offering a free high-value or limited edition item with a minimum spend, which can help make your gift stand-out amidst a sea of other offers. Whatever gift or bonus you decide on, aim to create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to take advantage of the deal before it’s gone.

7. Partner with influencers

Partnering with influencers to promote your product can be an effective way to build widespread brand awareness and trust. Done the right way, influencer marketing can also drive direct sales during your seasonal campaigns.

The key to setting up a successful influencer promotion is knowing in advance how your product resonates with their audience. Look amongst those who you’ve had some success with in the past and choose your top-performing influencer partners to promote your sale.

Instagram video from Milani Cosmetics introducing its Holiday Heist collection beside comments.
Milani Cosmetics partnered with influencers to promote its Holiday Heist collection. @milanicosmetics on Instagram

Creating an exclusive discount code or deal that is catered to an influencer’s followers will help personalize the offer. Additionally, having the influencer curate a bundle of their favorite products builds a more authentic connection to the products they’re promoting.

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8. Donate to a cause

Some brands choose to not run any traditional BFCM promotions at all. Instead, many of these companies publicize donating a portion or even all of their proceeds to a charity. This approach not only appeals to shoppers who don’t want to participate in the seasonal frenzy but can strengthen your messaging around corporate social responsibility.

A 2022 Shopify survey focused on BFCM trends revealed that 40% of shoppers are willing to pay extra for climate-conscious products and are even more likely to buy from brands who use sustainable practices.

The movement toward socially conscious commerce has taken off so much that it now has its own day of celebration, known online as Giving Tuesday. The Give & Grow app makes it easy to personalize donations from within a customer’s cart or on the checkout page. For example, hatmaker Brixton offers customers the chance to donate to Rollin’ From the Heart, an organization that supports mentorship for at-risk and disadvantaged youth.

Brixton hats product page for a donation to the Rollin’ From The Heart charity.
Brixton allows customers to round up or choose their donation amount when they check out.

9. Email exclusive offers

People on your email list are already invested in your brand and what you have to offer. Secure a few sales ahead of Black Friday by sending out an exclusive BFCM email campaign just for your subscribers. This type of exclusive promotion incentivizes customer loyalty and provides a direct channel to reach interested shoppers. 

You can offer an extra discount to your email list or give them an extra day or two to snap up some deals before your offers go out to the wider public. 

Yolélé’s Black Friday launch email with its fonio pilaf packaging featured.
Yolélé gives its email subscribers early access to Black Friday deals so they don’t miss out.

Offering exclusive first-look access is a great way to create a sense of urgency and ensure valued customers feel looked after. Yolélé, which sells ready-to-cook fonio (one of West Africa’s oldest cereal grains) to wide audiences, explicitly calls out this first-chance opportunity in its email. By referring to those not on their email list as “everyone else,” Yolélé makes its customers feel exclusive.

10. Offer referral rewards

Word-of-mouth marketing is still a powerful way to get more business. Use this to your advantage during BFCM by rewarding customers for promoting your business. For every new customer they refer, offer a reward like money off, a coupon, or points they can redeem at a later date. By incentivizing customers to refer their friends and family, you can drive sales, expand your customer base, and increase brand awareness.

Reward loyalty everywhere customers shop

Only Shopify’s integrated loyalty apps let customers collect and redeem loyalty rewards when shopping with you both online and in store–no complicated workarounds or required.

This tactic also helps secure long-term customers rather than one-time sales, increasing retention rates across the board.

Feel Unique has offered loyal customers a 20% discount if they refer a friend during the Black Friday event. Plus, the referred customer alsogets a 20% discount, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

Feel Unique’s refer-a-friend promotion with offer details on the left and bold sale terms on the right.
Feel Unique’s Black Friday referral discount benefits the long-time customer and the new one.

11. Create a gift guide

Shoppers are often looking for gifts they can give to family and friends over the holiday season. Creating a collection of gift guides can help shoppers find the perfect gifts, saving them time and effort while also showcasing a larger chunk of your product catalog. 

Use target persona research to create gift guides for different customer segments—for example, you can create gift guides by interest, personality type, or activity. You can take it one step further and feature discounted items or bundled goods to drive sales and capitalize on holiday shopping. Luxury fashion house Chanel has product guides bundled by unique personas, for example.

Chanel’s gift guides promoting different product collections with models aligned in front of a night sky.
Chanel has a selection of gift guides for shoppers to browse through, including a skin care list, a fragrance list, and a list for trend seekers.

12. Create Black Friday and Cyber Monday collections

Sometimes shoppers know exactly what they’re looking for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and sometimes they need a little inspiration. By grouping together relevant BFCM items, you can highlight your best deals, attract customers, and increase sales. You can base your collections on similar items or a specific theme, or align them with your existing gift guides. 

These collections tap into the excitement of BFCM and can drive impulse purchases by encouraging customers to take advantage of limited-time offers. 

Email fromArt of Play promoting a mystery collection with an illustrated package of a deck of cards.
Art of Play put together a mystery collection of card decks, especially for Black Friday.

Art of Play combined multiple tactics with its mystery playing card collection. Not only does putting together a collection entice curious shoppers to buy, but it also introduces them to a wider selection of the brand’s product range. In addition, putting a 24-hour time limit on it creates a sense of urgency.

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13. Offer a coupon at checkout

Reward customers who make it all the way to checkout with a coupon they can use to unlock even more discounts. This will give on-the-fence shoppers the nudge they need to finish their purchase and give them a little surprise at the same time. 

By offering coupons that can be applied at checkout, you can entice new customers with extra savings and ensure they make it all the way to checkout. This strategy increases the perceived value of your deals and can lead to higher conversion rates. 

The Pro’s Closet email with an image of a bicycle and a unique coupon code.
The Pro’s Closet offers a unique code for each email subscriber that can be used at checkout to claim a free gift.

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14. Use countdown timers

Countdown timers create a sense of urgency—perfect for a limited-time event like a Black Friday sale. This sense of urgency can encourage impulse purchases and get on-the-fence shoppers across the checkout line. Flavored water retailer Hint put a countdown on its promotion of its Cyber Monday sale. It sent a clear message to its customers: Buy now or miss out on the discounts we are offering you.

Email from Hint announcing the start of a sale with packages of various water flavors and a countdown clock.
Hint creates urgency with its countdown timer.

15. Offer free shipping

Shipping fees can be make or break for a new customer. In fact, many consumers expect free shipping, especially if they place an order over a certain value. 

Consider offering free shipping during your BFCM sales to incentivize shoppers. Alternatively, you can offer free shipping on orders over a certain value to encourage customers to add more items to their cart and boost the average order value, like clothing retailer Anthropologie does. 

Email from Anthropologie offering free shipping and includes an illustration of a mouse skiing.
Anthropologie offers free shipping for orders over $50 in its Black Friday marketing campaign.

Plan for profit this Black Friday Cyber Monday

Deep discounts and blanket sales aren’t the only ways to motivate shoppers this BFCM. 

Planning your Black Friday marketing strategy shouldn’t take as much time as you might think, as long as you’re asking yourself the right questions and setting smart, achievable goals. A successful BFCM campaign involves coming up with a standout offer and executing it in a creative way. 

Taking the right steps on both of these fronts, as we’ve outlined here, will help you sell your best this holiday shopping season.

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Black Friday promotions FAQ

How do you promote a deal on Black Friday?

There are many ways to promote deals on Black Friday, including:

  • Offering a free gift or gift card with each purchase
  • Curating product bundles
  • Gamifying your offers
  • Breaking products down into daily deals
  • Partnering with influencers
  • Donating to a good cause
  • Emailing exclusive offers
  • Offering referral rewards
  • Creating a gift guide
  • Creating BFCM collections
  • Offering a coupon at checkout
  • Including countdown timers
  • Offering free shipping 

What are some promotional ideas for BFCM?

BFCM promotions aim to create awareness and urgency among your customers. You can:

  • Offer discounts on product bundles to introduce customers to your entire product catalog
  • Provide unique coupons at checkout to push on-the-fence shoppers across the finish line
  • Reward customers who promote your sales to their friends and family
  • Offer free shipping to customers who place an order over a certain value 
  • Include countdown timers to create a sense of urgency
  • Partner with relevant influencers to spread the word about your promotion 

What makes a good Black Friday campaign?

A good Black Friday campaign entices new customers to make a purchase while also rewarding existing customers. This might mean big, exclusive discounts or coupon codes for each shopper. Your campaigns should be relevant to your brand and cater to the wants and needs of your target customers.

How do I promote Black Friday on Instagram?

Start planning your Black Friday Instagram promotions ahead of time to generate a buzz around your sale. Then, share eye-catching content every day throughout the promotion to reach as many customers as possible.

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