It’s almost here. Black Friday. If you love a good deal, it’s the day you’ve been waiting for the whole year. If you work in retail like my little sister, it’s the day you have been preparing and dreading for weeks. Of course, Black Friday is slowly starting to bleed into the entire week, with most retailers either opening their doors on Thursday or offering discounted items as early as Sunday.
Whether you’re planning on starting your doorbuster sales on Sunday or on Friday, I would hope that you’ve been hard at work marketing your special discounts, showing how your company, store, product, etc. is better than your competitors. If you haven’t done anything yet, well, you missed the boat. But, for next year, let me offer two suggestions: start early and be creative.
Sneak Peak Emails
While I think this is the obvious choice for most bigger businesses who are already participating in email marketing, I’ve been surprised by the lack of Black Friday emails I’ve have received in the weeks leading up to the big day. On average, I receive 15 to 20 emails a day from companies marketing their products, yet until this week, the only company that promoted its Black Friday sales early was Best Buy.
Obviously, you don’t want to send your Black Friday mailer out in June, but it’s important to realize many of your shoppers already know what they want—they just don’t know where to get it. You can get ahead of your competition by sending out “sneak peek” emails a few weeks in advance of the event. If you choose to go this route, be sure that the content in your email or in the webpage that your email sends users to includes your best deals, as well as vital information like when doors open or sales begin (if your business primarily sells online).
Creative Social Media
Getting creative with your social media strategy is never a bad idea, but when it comes to such a highly competitive time in the market, it’s absolutely essential if you want to stand out from the crowd. One of my favorite social media campaigns that I’ve seen this Black Friday season is from Lowe’s.
For the last three weeks, they’ve been releasing Vines (shared on Twitter and Facebook) that showcase some of the products that will be on sale Friday. Now, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill videos of an employee holding some leaf blower. No, these Vines include high-quality stop-motion animation, recreating classic stories like “The Three Little Pigs” or crafting cute snowmen who melt when they get too close to the fire pit.
I’d love to know what other Black Friday marketing techniques you’ve seen this year. And, if you didn’t plan to do anything this year, it’s never too early to start planning for next year!
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Faith Jones – Writer & Editor