9 Creative Black Friday Marketing Ideas To Drive Sales

We’re approaching the holiday shopping season. It means a sharp increase in online Black Friday traffic and high potential revenue for online businesses.

In 2020, consumers spent $9 billion on Black Friday, a 21.6% increase from 2019. Considering the trend, this number may grow significantly this year, too. Yet, the competition among businesses is higher this year because many of them go online.

This article will show you nine Black Friday marketing ideas to help you drive sales despite the stiff competition. We’ll also cover Black Friday campaigns from popular brands for inspiration.

Before creating any campaigns, check whether your hosting plan can handle the traffic spike. If not, upgrade it using Black Friday web hosting deals to save money.

1. Plan Your Campaign Timing

Many online stores aim to grab people’s attention on Black Friday, confusing consumers by sending similar marketing messages. Thus, have a different Black Friday timeline to stand out.

For instance, Target held #BlackNovember in 2020 and offered deals during the whole month instead of one day. You can also extend the Black Friday campaign by creating a series of sales throughout the holiday season, like Cyber Monday and Christmas.

Another great example is from Macy’s. In 2020, this fashion brand started the Black Friday campaign earlier and gave bonuses to early-bird customers.

Alternatively, hold an hourly deal like BestBuy. This marketplace launches promotions for a different category at each hour. This strategy can keep customers coming back.

2. Make Memorable Offers

Black Friday deals are not only about offering discounts for individual products.

Consider creating bundles to make your offers more interesting. Sell a set of products like various pens in different colors or mixed products like pens and papers.

Buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotions are also an excellent bundling strategy. It makes consumers feel they get extra value. In fact, 66% of consumers like BOGO the most out of all promotions.

Another special offer is gift cards. They’re one of the most popular gifts in 2020, with each consumer purchasing three to four gift cards on average. Design physical or digital gift cards with personalized messages to make them memorable for consumers.

If you have a loyalty program, it’s also possible to combine it with the Black Friday campaign. For instance, Estee Lauder gives the VIP members double loyalty points for purchases made on that day.

3. Support Certain Causes

Besides discounts and promotions, swap deals for donations to a particular cause. For example, a feminine care company BeYou donated all profits made from the 2020 Black Friday to a project focusing on educating people about menstrual health.

This Black Friday marketing campaign can improve customer perceptions of your business. 78% of consumers believe that companies should contribute to society. In fact, 87% of people are willing to pay more for brands donating for an issue they also care about.

4. Launch New Products

Introducing new products in line with holiday promotions is a great marketing idea. It brings a fresh look to your online store and draws attention.

Consider taking pre-orders several days before Black Friday to build excitement and measure the new products’ demands. By offering pre-orders, consumers can pay a deposit or full price to reserve the product and receive it before the launch.

Alternatively, launch new and limited products that are only available on Black Friday. This method creates scarcity and exclusivity, motivating people to buy it quickly because they may miss the special deal.

5. Create Gift Guides

Gift shopping during the holiday season can be overwhelming since there are many recipients and options.

Therefore, help your customers by creating gift guides, a web page, or blog post categorizing products to guide visitors to find suitable gifts. You can organize your products based on category, price, and popularity.

For a more creative option, check out American Eagle’s interactive quiz. It helps people get relevant recommendations based on their answers on personality, favorite color, and budget.

Gift guides aren’t only useful for customers but also business owners. They can increase conversion rates by 253% and engagement by 76%.

6. Send Out Email Campaigns

With email marketing, it’s possible to segment your customers based on their location and purchase history and send personalized offers.

Therefore, email campaigns will be beneficial if you have subscribers interested in the upcoming sales. Don’t wait – start growing your email list a few weeks before the shopping day. Create an email popup and incentivize new signups by giving them an additional discount or early access.

Approaching the big day, send these emails to your subscribers:

  • Reminders
  • Sneak peeks of the discounted products
  • A link to the gift guides
  • Your Black Friday promotions

Ensure that the subject stands out to increase open rates.

Take Chubbies as an example. Typical Black Friday subject lines are about discounts and alerts, so they go beyond that by saying, “black friday is CANCELLED,” from a funny sender address

7. Leverage Social Media Presence

Black Friday conversation on social media increases year over year. Compared to 2019, total messages about this shopping day increased by 175.5% in 2020. The engagement even shot up nine times higher.

Use the following social media practices to maximize buzz:

  • Integrating hashtags. Use Black Friday and niche hashtags based on your products.
  • Partnering with influencers. Ask them to share posts or host a live session where they try or unbox your products.
  • Sharing countdown. Build anticipation and remind your followers about the shopping day.

Since you’ll be busy on Black Friday, consider automating your social media posts in advance using a tool like Buffer or Sprout Social.

8. Use Gamification

Gamification in marketing has shown positive results. For example, Domino’s Pizza increased its sales by 30% after releasing a game app in 2018. It can also engage customers because it needs their active participation.

You don’t have to create an app to gamify your Black Friday sale. Instead, use these practical gamification ideas:

  • A virtual wheel of fortune. Add this feature to your website and give visitors a prize in exchange for their contact information. Tools to help you create this feature are Omnisend and Scratcher.
  • “Peel it” deals. Give a surprise by integrating a scratch card into your website or email marketing. Use a tool like Zembula to create this interactive offer.
  • Contest. It helps create a buzz and increase followers. For instance, Shetler Fine Jewelers asks people to follow and comment on their posts to join the Black Friday contest. You may also hold a photo contest to encourage user-generated content.

9. Provide Free Shipping

Of all the online shopping promotions, 94% of customers want free shipping as an incentive for the holiday season. This offer also encourages them to shop more and reduce the cart abandonment rate.

However, the cost of shipping can fluctuate throughout the year, especially during the peak season. Some carriers may take advantage of this opportunity to charge you more.

Here are free shipping strategies for the holiday season while still making a profit:

  • Add minimum spend thresholds on qualifying for free shipping.
  • Ask for shipping contracts to carriers before the holiday season to avoid extra fees.
  • Promote free shipping for a limited time.
  • Include free shipping for email subscribers or loyalty program members only.


Black Friday gives online stores opportunities to increase traffic and sales. However, with the high competition, it can be challenging to reap the benefits of this big shopping day.

In this article, we’ve learned nine campaign ideas to increase your Black Friday sales and make you stand out:

  • Have a different campaign timing.
  • Create memorable promotions.
  • Donate to specific causes.
  • Release new products.
  • Make gift guides.
  • Use email marketing.
  • Increase the social media presence.
  • Gamify your campaign.
  • Offer free shipping deals.

We hope you found some insights to apply to your business and eventually help you drive more sales this holiday season.

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