Boost your sales in this year’s Black Friday event with careful planning and testing now. That’s right, July’s marketing focus is Black Friday 2022. In this article I’ll walk you through the planning and testing you should be doing now, to maximise the ROI of your Black Friday marketing strategy.
Before we dive into how to use this event to increase traffic and boost sales, let’s look at the dates that make up Black Friday weekend.
Black Friday Key Dates 2022
Online shoppers are becoming seasoned Black Friday sale shoppers. Your customers will start thinking about Black Friday weekend discounts early on in November, which may cause them to hold back on purchases until Black Friday kicks off. And then, they’ll be looking for bargains until the end of the month.
And here’s a tip if you’re new to Black Friday sales. This one weekend in November is popular for all types of consumer goods including Christmas gifts.
Should you Take Part in Black Friday Sales?
What started as a post Thanksgiving sale day in the United States has grown into the biggest sale event of the year in many countries, including Australia and New Zealand.
According to Shopify, customers spent almost $3 billion globally on Black Friday 2021.
Buy now pay later firm, Klarna, found that sales volumes on Black Friday jumped 298 per cent on the previous year. And sales volumes for the ‘ Black Friday Weekend’ were up 353 per cent. But a boost to revenue is not the only reason to take part in Black Friday weekend. Strategic marketing and advertising throughout November can have a ripple effect in your ecommerce business.
- Increased visibility online
- More traffic to your website
- A growing email list to nurture and promote your products to throughout the year
It’s true, Black Friday sales present a clear opportunity for ecommerce businesses. But there is a downside. Consumers expect heavy discounting at this time of year. And discounts affect your bottom line. By implementing a strategy of Planning and Testing before the big sale event, you’ll have valuable data that you can use to make smarter decisions when it comes to Black Friday promotions.
The metric you’re testing for is called your Marketing Return on Investment.
What is Marketing ROI?
Marketing ROI is the practice of attributing profit and revenue growth to the impact of marketing initiatives (Marketing Revolution). Put simply, it’s a way to measure the degree to which your marketing campaigns contribute to revenue growth.
Marketing ROI is a measurement you should use for all of your marketing campaigns. But it’s particularly important when you’re applying big discounts to your products, like you may choose to do over Black Friday weekend.
How to Calculate Marketing ROI
Marketing ROI can be calculated in a number of ways. The simplest being;
(Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = Marketing ROI
However it’s possible to gather much more accurate data is you use this formula instead;
(Sales Growth – Organic Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = Marketing ROI
Preparing for Black Friday in July
Evaluating performance is one of the most important parts of a marketing campaign. If you don’t know whether your marketing efforts are improving your bottom line, you can’t judge the success of a campaign and you won’t know how to tweak it to improve results. That’s why we recommend running test campaigns now. You should be testing offers, sales and landing pages, email copy, social media copy and channels, funnels and lead generation strategies. Doing this now will help you to know which products, discounts and promotions are going to make the biggest impact on your bottom line in November. It will also help you to know how far you can go with discounts and special offers like ‘two-for-one’ or ‘free shipping’.
Throughout your testing be vigilant in considering important metrics like the ones below, whilst also asking yourself this simple question; what would a 1% improvement in just one of these areas mean for the profitability of my Black Friday weekend promotions?
- Customer acquisition costs
- Conversion rate
- AOV (average order value)
- LTV (lifetime value)
Plan for a Surge in Traffic
Along with testing you’re going to want to start planning for the Black Friday surge in traffic that your marketing and advertising initiatives generate. Now is also a good time to look at your sales and customer service processes generally.
Here’s a checklist of planning to-do’s to dive into over the next month:
- Assess your store’s Core Web Vitals
- Identify your top sales channels
- Monitor your competition
- Evaluate your inventory
- Optimise fulfillment processes
- Review the way you track data
- Test your site for traffic surges
- Determine your Black Friday weekend shipping strategy
- Review customer service performance
Black Friday Countdown
From July until 2 months out from Black Friday is a good time to work through the planning and testing tasks I’ve outlined already in this article. But what comes next?
The tasks in our Black Friday Countdown Checklist will ensure your online store is primed for sales on Friday 25 November 2022.
2 Months and Counting
During September you’ll work on strategies for building a nicely warmed audience of ideal customers to target with your Black Friday promotions. Consider both social media and email marketing strategies. And don’t forget to nurture the customers you already have on your email list!
Paid Ads can be highly effective for building your list and bringing in sales during Black Friday Week. If ads aren’t your area of speciality, now’s the time to reach out to our Paid Ads Specialists for help.
Along with finalising the details of your promotions, including what products you’ll be focusing on and what incentives you’ll be offering consumers to shop with you, it’s time to work on your marketing collateral; images, videos, copy.
1 Month Before
Earlier in this article I highlighted that many consumers start thinking about their Black Friday purchases in early November. This makes building your list in October very important. What can you do to entice potential customers onto your email list? Now’s the time to invest in paid ads strategies using giveaways, discounts, buy one get one free offers, free shipping over a certain amount and anything else you think will entice your ideal customer to give you their email address.
2 Weeks Out
Paid Ads will remain the focus in the 2 weeks leading up to Black Friday. We recommend ramping up your budget for general campaigns and continuing with ads that offer incentives in return for an email address. If your campaigns are performing well you can start to scale and add in some additional touchpoints like SMS marketing.
Now’s also a great time to lay a runway to your Black Friday Sale on Social Media. It’s time to build excitement!
1 Week To Go
If your paid ads strategy has done its work you should have a good amount of people to retarget with your Black Friday ads. You’re also going to want to make sure your Black Friday Week ads are scheduled to ensure they are approved in time for the relevant sale days.
Stay dialed in to what’s working and what isn’t. Be prepared to change your messaging and your offer if you need to. And don’t forget customer service. Don’t leave consumers waiting for answers to the questions they’re sending you. Your competitors aren’t only your direct competitors. Everyone selling online has the ability to turn your potential customer into their customer. If you snooze, you’ll lose!
After Black Friday
Your Black Friday Week Strategy should include details of how long you’ll promote Black Friday deals for and whether you’ll be promoting different deals for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Once again, stay dialed into the data so you know what’s working and what isn’t and tweak where required.
Post Black Friday
- Conduct a review of what worked and what didn’t using the data you’ve collected following your promotional campaign.
- Deliver on your promises to your customers.
- Nurture your expanded list of future customers and consider offering them an incentive to buy from you in the weeks following Black Friday.
Are you ready to start preparing for Black Friday?
I’ve given you a comprehensive list of planning and testing to do this month to prepare for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. As an ecommerce business owner you likely already know that it’s the work that you put in on the back-end of your business that lays the groundwork for the results. And our help doesn’t stop here. Our team are Black Friday Campaign specialists!
Contact us for help with Paid Ads, Social Media Marketing and a marketing strategy and plan for your business.