September 4, 2020

12 Black Friday Marketing Ideas to Increase Your Holiday Sales

Reading time about 17 min

Black Friday is coming — time to get planning your campaigns! These tips and ideas for your Black Friday marketing will help maximize your sales this year.

Whether you’re an ecommerce or brick-and-mortar business, Black Friday is an event that’s impossible to ignore. In 2019, a record 190 million people shopped online or in-store over the Black Friday weekend. 

Reaping the benefits of this holiday, however, requires some serious planning. So, to get you started, here’s a collection of ideas for your Black Friday marketing along with strategies for increasing your sales this year.

These Black Friday ideas are divided into two categories:

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Black Friday Marketing Ideas to Get Customers Into Your Store

Many business owners mistakenly believe that digital marketing and the in-store shopper experience are completely separate from each other.

While it’s true that tools like ads, social media, and email make it easy for ecommerce companies to reach out to customers and drive website traffic, digital marketing can also help enhance your in-store experience and vice-versa!

If you have a local business, the holiday shopping season is a prime time to start thinking about how you can link your digital marketing with your in-store experience (or ramp up your existing efforts).

Here are some ways you can use digital tools to encourage visits in person.

1. Offer Exclusive In-store Black Friday Promotions to Your Digital Subscribers

Consider offering special in-store Black Friday marketing promotions for your digital subscribers. Exclusivity is an effective persuasion tool, making this a great way to increase store visits!

Promotions can take the form of coupons, free gift wrapping, bonus giveaways, discounted delivery, or anything else that you can think of to excite shoppers and generate interest.

Advice from the experts
Jeet Bannerjee, Entrepreneur

Create an extremely unique deal or discount that really catches people’s attention. The reason why the biggest retail stores in the United States do so well on Black Friday is because they come up with an attention-grabbing deal such as “60 Inch TV for sale for ONLY $99.99 on Black Friday” and then you read the fine print and it says the first 5 customers only get this deal. However, what this has now done is that it has caught the attention of everyone and people will go into these stores to shop.

Make sure your emails clearly communicate when promotions will run — you don’t want to waste shoppers’ time during this busy season.

Plus, being specific and incentivizing shoppers to visit on a particular day, weekend, or week creates the kind of engagement that will increase foot traffic and sales.

2. Add a “Find a Store” Call to Action

If you have multiple locations, include a local-friendly call to action in your Black Friday emails to help orient subscribers towards visiting your physical store.

You can do this by including a button that takes recipients to the section of your website where you list locations. Remember to make sure this page is optimized for mobile and search engines (these Black Friday SEO tips will help with that).

Find a store CTA example

3. Host In-store Events

Promote in-store holiday events via digital channels like email, social media, or SMS marketing — announce upcoming happenings and remind your audience when events are approaching. Not only will you raise awareness within your existing audience, but it will also help encourage shoppers to share the event in their network.

Remember to include social media profile buttons in your emails to give recipients an easy way to follow your brand for the most up-to-date information regarding these events.

4. Inform Subscribers When New Products Arrive In-store

Give digital subscribers the most up-to-date information about which products you have in-stock or the latest features and updates to your product.

This is especially important for the season’s hottest products. It allows you to build brand buzz and encourage more visits.

The email below is a prime example of how Black Friday doesn’t have to be all about discounts. Instead this Black Friday campaign takes the opportunity to shine a spotlight on a new product. 

Under Armour Black Friday product announcement


If you run out of stock for a popular item, you can also share information about new shipments that are coming in to replenish the inventory. This is a great way to encourage customers to come back for a particular product.

5. Get Shoppers to Sign up for Marketing Emails in the Lead up to Black Friday

This way you can entice them back into the store when Black Friday comes! But, what’s the best way to collect the email addresses? Here are some options:

Set up a Signup Sheet

It may sound silly to advise putting out a basic signup sheet, but offering a way for shoppers to sign up for your emails is always going to be more effective than not asking at all! You may be surprised how many shoppers will sign up (even those who were just casually browsing).

With an internet connection and a tablet or computer, you can make it even easier for customers. Just leave your device open to a page with your email signup form so users can type their email address directly.

Ask at Checkout

One of the best times to ask someone to sign up is once they’ve actually bought something — these customers are more likely to want to stay in touch than window shoppers. 

Talk up the benefits of signing up, while avoiding being too pushy, to give shoppers a reason to provide their personal information. A particularly effective tactic is to offer an incentive such as a coupon for their next visit.

Create a Raffle

Free raffles are an easy way to collect a lot of email addresses that you can use for your holiday marketing and beyond.

However, you should make it clear that signing up for the raffle also signs shoppers up for your promotional emails. Otherwise you may end up with some grumpy recipients and unsubscribes after the holidays.

Digital Marketing Ideas for Black Friday

Black Friday marketing doesn’t differ much from your normal year-round best practices, except that it concentrates more effort into a smaller time frame. So, don’t forget the basics in terms of elements like email design and marketing copy when creating your Black Friday campaign.

If you’re at a loss for ideas on how to optimize your overall marketing strategy specifically for Black Friday, here are some suggestions.

6. Use Segmentation to Send Targeted Black Friday Promotional Emails

Email always works better when you tailor the message to the recipient.

Advice from the experts
Neal Schaffer, Social Media Speaker, Consultant, and Author

Like any other marketing campaign, Black Friday engagement really comes down to understanding your email list. You need to divide and group contacts into several different segments according to their interests and engagement. I think through segmentation, through personalization, and through really finding your true fans — both on social media and in your email campaigns — you can get the most engagement with people who are most likely to buy from you.

Segmenting your email list is the number one way to get this done. Target a smaller subset of your email contacts that share certain characteristics and align the content of the email with exactly what they need.

So, what kinds of segmentation work well for Black Friday marketing?

Past Purchase Data

Use purchase history to segment customers and then customize emails to appeal to their purchase behaviors.

Targeting subscribers based on what they’ve purchased before allows you to promote complementary products and suggest other types of products that may interest them.


Using customer-defined preferences as a basis for segmentation is a surefire way to create email content that will appeal to subscribers. To do this, give subscribers a chance to tell you a bit about themselves at the time of signup.

For example, a common strategy for clothing retailers is to collect information about gender so they can tailor email content accordingly. However, depending on your business there may be other relevant fields you want to add, such as geographic location.

Gender preference in opt-in form

If you allow subscribers to set topic and frequency preferences at initial signup and respect these preferences, the engagement rate will be much higher than sending generic emails to your entire list of contacts.

Previous Engagement

Depending on subscribers’ level of engagement with your previous marketing campaigns, you might want to adjust your content.

Not only does this allow you to reward subscribers who have shown a higher level of interest in your brand, but it also lets you take a softer approach with less engaged subscribers. It can even help improve email deliverability:

Advice from the experts
Chad White, Researcher and author of “Email Marketing Rules”

Email volume skyrockets during the holiday season, which can lead to deliverability problems. Take a look at your list hygiene now. If a big portion of your subscribers haven’t opened or clicked one of your emails in the past 14 months, you should seriously consider not mailing those subscribers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This is great practice because it keeps your email list clean and improves overall engagement rates for all of your campaigns.

Further reading: 5 Holiday Email Marketing Strategies to Boost Engagement

7. Tap Into Social Media

To get the most out of your Black Friday marketing, it’s important to reach shoppers wherever they are. And that means going multi-channel.

One effective strategy is getting your email and social media marketing to work in tandem. For example, you can retarget email subscribers using Facebook ads. With the flood of holiday marketing in the lead up to Black Friday, you’re more likely to get shopper’s attention if they see your message more than once. 


Further reading: How to Create a Facebook Ad That Drives Conversions

8. Start Your Black Friday Marketing Early

A great way to create excitement around your Black Friday offers is to start talking about them early. Just because Black Friday itself is centered around a small time window doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start building anticipation. 

So, when exactly should you launch your Black Friday campaign?

You can already start sharing Black Friday teasers via channels like social media and email from the end of October onwards.

For example, this pre-Black Friday campaign by Bose effectively uses suspense through a scratch card which reveals their upcoming offers to subscribers.

Bose pre-Black Friday marketing example


As well as building up excitement, teasers are also great for email list building as you can encourage people to sign up to be the first to know about your offers.

Another effective strategy for getting Black Friday planners’ attention is to create shopping guides or product spotlight campaigns throughout November. This will help your brand stay top of mind once the big day arrives.

9. Create a Sense of Urgency

Urgency is a very powerful marketing tool. This is especially true when talking about email promotions. In fact, creating a sense of urgency in your emails can increase sales by over 300%!

Now there’s a number to write home to Mom about!

But, how exactly can you achieve this?

Compelling Language

Utilizing limited-time language in your email subject lines and calls to action (CTAs) is a savvy way to create urgency and increase sales. Mirror this language with an action-based tone to create a seamless experience.

Make sure your CTAs leave no doubt about what your offering and what the subscriber should do next to get the offer.


The psychological effect of seeing a ticking countdown clock is a very powerful incentive for shoppers to take action and make a purchase.

Try including a countdown timer in your emails to increase conversions. For example, your countdown could tick down the hours and minutes left on flash sales or display the amount of time remaining until shipping cut-offs for major holidays like Christmas.

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a powerful marketing tactic that you can draw on through your use of language.

Use phrases like “biggest sale of the year” or “best prices of the season” in your Black Friday marketing to encourage recipients to shop before it’s too late.

Re-engaging Shoppers that Abandon Carts

As with any time of the year, there will always be some shoppers who do not complete their purchase. Around Black Friday, setting up abandoned cart emails becomes an even more important tactic for ecommerce businesses to win back these potential customers. 

Offering discounts and other promotions is one of the most effective ways to bring shoppers back, especially during the holiday season when they are likely browsing the many different deals available.

But, don’t forget that Black Friday entails a much tighter window of opportunity than typical shopping periods so you’ll need to adapt the timing of abandoned cart emails accordingly.

Advice from the experts
Chris Arrendale, Email marketing expert

Don’t wait hours and hours to trigger a cart abandonment email! Consumers are making decisions much more quickly than usual, so retailers need to respond more quickly as well.

10. Increase Average Order Value

It’s great to have people making purchases at your online store, but you know what’s even better?

That’s right! Having those people order more things at the time of purchase. There are a few ways that you can do this:

Free Shipping

Providing a free shipping threshold is the most common way to increase average order value (AOV). Just be sure to set the threshold high enough above your average product price so that shoppers must purchase another product to reach it, instead of simply opting for a small add-on.

Free shipping offer for Black Friday

For example, if your average product is $45, don’t offer free shipping on all orders over $50. Instead, offer it for orders over $75 so that customers have to buy more than one large good to meet the requirements.

Percentage Off Discount

Giving a percentage off orders over a certain value is another way to increase AOV. You can either set one threshold to receive the discount or create savings tiers (e.g. 10% off orders over $100, 15% off orders over $150, and 20% off orders over $200).

Customers who are on the fence about spending more will be driven to do so by the prospect of getting a larger discount on those goods.

11. Stand out with Your Subject Lines

The number one factor that determines whether or not a subscriber will open your email is the subject line.

However, Black Friday is one of the busiest (if not THE busiest) times of year for customer email inboxes. If you stick to the same old strategy and copy that you usually use, you’re going to get the same old engagement as well.

Advice from the experts
Tim Watson, Email Marketing Consultant

Keep your offer clear but pick words different to the norm. Don’t look like everyone else with “Cyber Monday treats”, “Don’t miss our…” Try stylish word structures, or perhaps even a rhyme.

Further reading: 40 Black Friday Email Subject Lines to Boost Your Open Rate

12. Use an Eye-catching Email Design for Black Friday Campaigns

With all the discounts and promotions flooding your subscriber’s inbox on Black Friday, you need to make sure your email stands out from the crowd. It’s therefore important to put thought and effort into creating an engaging email design.

For inspiration have a look at these seriously impressive Black Friday email examples.

We know that it can be daunting to design an email from scratch when you’re not a graphic designer. Not to worry though. With Sendinblue’s Free plan you have access to Black Friday email templates, as well as our easy-to-use drag & drop email editor.

Take Your Black Friday Marketing to the Next Level

There you have it! 12 Black Friday marketing ideas to get the most out of what’s become the biggest shopping day of the year. Now it’s time to start planning your own campaign and watch your sales take off.

And if you’re a small business owner, don’t forget to get ready for Small Business Saturday the next day.

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