12 Black Friday marketing ideas

It’s never too early to start thinking about Black Friday marketing ideas for your business. It is an exciting time because for most businesses, it is the single most profitable day of the year.

When I ran my first software company, I didn’t bother with a Black Friday sale in the early years. Then, one year, I decided to give it a shot and never looked back. Year-over-year, it became the most successful sales day in the company, eventually leading to 6-figures in a single day!

Black Friday is a time to get creative with your business. You have tremendous freedom to think about ways to gain attention for your product, which is important because Black Friday is very competitive!

Not sure how to begin? Don’t worry, I will discuss some simple and proven Black Friday marketing ideas that you can use in your business to maximize sales.

You should plan your Black Friday marketing strategy early.

Start thinking of Black Friday marketing ideas early.

The biggest mistake I made when I was planning my first Black Friday marketing strategy is that I waited until November to even think about it. This didn’t leave me much time to come up with good ideas or to prepare my strategies effectively.

I recommend that you start planning for Black Friday in mid to late September, or early October at the very earliest. Get your ideas in place and plan ready to execute so that when Black Friday does come, all you have to do is press “go”.

What kind of things can you do to prepare? Well, it depends on the strategies that you choose!

Before we jump into strategies, let me first say this: The point of Black Friday is to get the most return for the least amount of effort.

At a certain point, doing too much to prepare for your Black Friday sale is going to have diminishing returns. The reason Black Friday is so great is that you don’t have to educate people on what it means. Everyone knows that this is the time of year to get great deals, and they are prepared to spend!

As this is the case, don’t spend countless hours trying to come up with complex offerings or promotional techniques. Do what is proven, and it will go a long way.

Proven Black Friday marketing ideas for the type of sale you offer.

Here’s the thing about Black Friday sales: you don’t have to be too creative to get maximum benefit.

All you need to do is look to some of the bigger brands, either in your industry or a similar one, to see what works for them. Then, you modify the strategy slightly for your target audience.

Let’s discuss a few of these proven Black Friday sales options. Note that not all of them will apply to your business. Some work better for physical products, while others are better suited for digital ones (like software).

BOGO 50% Off

This is your standard “buy-on-get-one 50% off” deal that you see in stores all the time – sometimes year round. If your business is notorious for not having sales, then this one can do well for you. Also, this is best for physical products.


Same as above, but instead of getting the following product for 50% off, your customer gets the second (less expensive) product completely free. This is a great deal for physical products and one that can get customers really excited.

Deep Discounts

This will work for physical products and digital ones, particularly if your products are above $100 USD. Deep discounts are 50% or more (up to 70% off) of the product’s normal price. It has to be big because people are desensitized to 35% off at this point.

Lifetime Deals

Best for digital products or software, these types of deals will make your business a LOT of money. However, it’s a double-edged sword, especially if you typically have a renewal structure in place.

Extended Access

This will work only for digital products, software in particular. You can sell a yearly license to your software, but instead of only getting a year, the customer gets 18 months (or possibly even two years). Their money “goes further”. While this can be successful, it will have less an impact as the deep discount and lifetime deal approach.

Bundled Deals

If you have several products, then consider giving a discount for purchasing all of them at once. Most companies do this anyway, so make sure that you also ensure the discount is 50% or more. This will work for both physical and digital products.

Once you have decided on the deal you will offer, it’s time to decide on ways to get customers to your business.

red sales tags on a black table

Choosing your sale strategy for Black Friday is the easier part, the harder part is getting the word out about your sale. There are a number of ways you can do this, depending on the type of product(s) you sell.

Here are some Black Friday marketing ideas to help you spread the word about your sale:

Giveaway Campaigns

Prior to your Black Friday sale, hold a giveaway campaign that encourages people to share your business website. Your goal is to get email addresses from people who participate in the campaign so that you can email them when your sale is live! Using giveaway software makes managing this process simple.

Interactive Ads

It’s not an innovative strategy, but it’s proven. Use interactive ads to draw attention to your sale. This should be done before the sale happens (maybe about a week) on your website, and then during Black Friday. Adding a countdown timer is a great option. Have this ad appear on every page of your website.

Partner with Influencers

Want to take your Black Friday campaign to a whole new level? Finding the right influencer is the way to go! You can get your message in front of tens of thousands of people pretty easily with this method. Finding influencers is easy, as there are marketplaces and services designed specifically for this use-case.

Listing on Black Friday Websites

This is an easy way to get interested people to your website. There are many popular publications that will aggregate Black Friday sales for certain industries. They will then email their massive email list about the sale, including your business in the email. By way of example, WPBeginner does this for WordPress software products.

This is where it makes sense to have a very attractive sale available, otherwise your offer will be lost in the noise.

Affiliate Contests

If your business has an affiliate program (it should), then notify your affiliates that your sale is coming, and offer a prize to those who make the most sales (the top three). Simple prizes that work well include iPads, special discounts, or free products from your business.

Emailing Customers

This one may seem obvious, but worth mentioning because it can also be overlooked. You should send out emails to customers (or prospective customers) about your Black Friday sale – and more than one. Use automation software to target segments of your email list based on their demographics.

Black Friday is the equivalent to printing money. All you need to do is put in a little thought beforehand.

Black Friday is the best time of year for any business, but its success largely hinges on the efforts you make prior to the sale to help increase awareness and to make the deal attractive.

Whatever you do, do not make the mistake of thinking a Black Friday sale devalues your business. Nothing is further from the truth. Think about it: do you think any less of Samsung because they discount their products on Black Friday? No, of course not. It’s just a sale!

Do your business a favor: start preparing now for Black Friday. Don’t overthink it, though, just get the wheels in motion so that when Black Friday arrives, you are positioned for maximum profits.

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Justin Ferriman
Justin Ferriman
Justin is the founder of GapScout, the easiest way for solopreneurs and small businesses to find profitable gaps in their market. Follow Justin on Twitter→

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