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How to plan a Black Friday campaign that drives long-term ROI

According to the Drum “66% of Black Friday shoppers said they planned to do it all online. Given that ecommerce now accounts for over one quarter of all retail sales in the UK, this shift is hardly surprising.”

This is a huge number of shoppers and having the right strategy in place to ensure your campaign is really successful is more important than ever.

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The Challenges

As with anything digitally, there will be challenges:

  • How do we create the excitement to drive online sales?
  • How do we create the experience that in-store shopping can offer?
  • How do we turn Black Friday shoppers into repeat customers?

With the right strategy you can overcome these challenges and drive not just that quick burst of sales but drive some long-term ROI.

Driving traffic to your website

There are some quick actionable tactics that can drive more traffic to your website and the more traffic you have landing on your site drives brand awareness and in the long-term, sales.

Email reminders

We all know Black Friday is coming, it’s no secret and emails are a great way to tell your customers what you have coming up.

Social media calendar

Plan your Black Friday announcements and previews. It’s really important to set some time aside to plan what you’ll be posting over the next month, are you planning on giving sneak previews etc.

Paid social ads

Put some budget into Facebook or Instagram and really get behind your campaign. Test your target audience, one great tip is to target lookalike audiences on Facebook, these are people who look like the people who have visited your website, or used your app or interacted with your Facebook page etc. Facebook has so much info and data on how users behave they can build a lookalike audience based on what your audience looks like.


Can you remarket to customers who have already shown an interest in you or who have shown an interest in something that is very similar to what your business is?

Abandon basket emails and reminders

We put a lot of effort into getting people to our ecommerce sites, people get as far as to put things in their basket but then for one reason or another, they leave. How do we get those customers back on to our website and make sure they complete their purchase? Abandon basket emails and reminders are a great way to do this, you can use discount codes to encourage people to finish their purchase. I’m sure you’ve all received that email saying ‘Have you forgotten something? Here’s 10% off’, that little extra nudge or discount can remind and encourage someone to finish their purchase and remind them that they really did want that item.

Optimise your website for conversion

There are some key considerations you need to make during this time and it’s really essential to optimise your website for conversion. Think about how your website is laid out and what you can do to make sure that when customers land on your website they are ready to shop. Here are some things to consider:

Dedicated Black Friday categories

Thinking about the navigation on your website is imperative, can customers find what they want? If they have seen something on your social media about Black Friday and the offers available and they land on your website and can’t find the offer there is a good chance they will leave. Ensure you have a dedicated Black Friday landing page or dedicated Black Friday area on your website it will make it easier for people to shop.

Discount codes

If you are using a discount code is it short and easy to spell? If you use a code that is long and difficult to spell, it’s likely people may get frustrated and abandon basket if they have to keep typing in the code because of incorrect spelling and they keep getting an invalid code message. Use a code that is short, simple and in relation to the offer i.e. Black21 or BF21.


Do you have an easy checkout process? If someone is buying something and they get to your checkout, is it easy for them to actually purchase? Are there lots of steps, could this be refined?

Have a go at your own checkout process, do you find it easy? Is there anything you could do to fine tune the checkout process to make it easier for customers to shop?

Product imagery

Invest in high quality product imagery, a product page is one of the biggest deciding factors as to why someone buys a product. If the imagery doesn’t show off the product to its full potential or show off the detail of the product it makes it difficult for the customer to shop. If we go back to creating those in-store experiences, we can touch, feel or try on the item so product imagery is your biggest selling tool online. Invest in the imagery, use more than one image, show off all sides of the product and show the detail of the product.

Product copy

Do you have in-depth product copy on your product pages? Does it explain what the product is, does it show the benefits and the details of the item? Think of it as your sales pitch, this is your chance to sell this item to a potential buyer, why does somebody want or need it?

Clear call to actions

If someone lands on your website do they know where to go? How to shop? Is there an easy, buy it now button? You need to consider the user experience, are there clear steps taking your customers through your website? Is it easy for customers to navigate through the website to find what they are looking for?

Tops Tips

  • Your energy needs to be high! Your excitement needs to show online, this will feed your audiences excitement.
  • Give yourself enough time to prepare and plan for your campaign.
  • Mention, mention, mention! Not everyone will see your announcements, so make sure you repeat your message, repeat your offer, the discount code etc!
  • Don’t give up too easily! People may not be ready to buy at the start of your promotion but keep going.
  • Keep it simple, don’t over confuse things.

Long-Term ROI


Black Friday is no secret and the market is crowded. You need to build up some hype and excitement around your event before the event takes place. Repetition and a long-term strategy will help you stand out in customers’ minds and boost the likelihood of people thinking of you on the ‘big day’ when their choices are endless.

Existing customers

Don’t forget about your existing customers, you can build loyalty with your existing customer base by offering previews or specific offers just for them. Utilise your email marketing database to do this, your existing will appreciate you thinking of them and knowing they are at the forefront of your plans. Rewarding their loyalty with specific discounts or sneak peaks can build long-term brand loyalty and respect.

Leverage social media

Utilise your social media accounts to show off your offers and promote your deals. If you can, make Instagram shoppable so people can shop your sale easier, this makes it easy for a customer to follow through on a purchase as they don’t have to leave a platform and find the item on your website, it’s a simple user journey through to purchase.

And take advantage of user generated content (UGC) to show off what customers have purchased. Customers tend to feel special when their images are showcased on your account and UGC can show trust to other potential customers.

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Extend you campaign

Why not consider extending your campaign past Black Friday by a week or two? Specific deals on specific products for a limited amount of time can really draw shoppers in and create a sense of urgency to buy. It can also encourage them to return for more deals on other items.

Did you know:

  • Customers that buy once are 32% likely to return
  • Customers that buy twice are 54% likely to return

By incentivising repeat purchases during Black Friday, you can increase the likelihood customers will continue to return once the promotion ends.

Make it personal

With so many offers competing for attention consumers are unlikely to be drawn in by a blanket Black Friday discounts. Try segmenting your customers based on everything you know about them – age, average order value, purchase frequency, geography – then serve offers targeted to their needs and desires. Consider what motivates your customer segments to buy on Black Friday, leverage the data you have to drive offers to the customers who are most likely to purchase.

For many brands, Black Friday represents a short-term spike in sales and new customers. It is a valuable opportunity to boost revenue but offers little lasting impact. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With the right approach, Black Friday represents the chance to acquire loyal customers who deliver long-term revenue to your brand.

And finally, don’t forget to measure how your tactics impact customer behaviour and revenue. Utilise this data so you can better learn for next year.

Looking for advice?

Get in touch with us if you have any questions or are looking for any advice on how to plan a successful Black Friday campaign, our team of digital marketers would love to have a chat and see if we can help you reach your goals.

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