The question on everyone’s mind: “why am I reading about holiday marketing strategy when it’s still beach season out?”

Because the time between now and the night before Black Friday – when the holiday marketing rush officially starts – is going to be gone in the blink of an eye. Save yourself the stress and start planning now.

Since many online stores generally see less traffic in the summer, it’s the perfect time to kickstart the planning of your Black Friday and holiday strategies. After all, preparing now can be the difference between driving more traffic and conversions to your own store vs. seeing all of that value go to your competitors.

Make sure your site is working and functioning its best, start building up your email list, and plan the promotions that will attract – and convert – the masses in November and December.

Ready to start tackling the holidays? Explore our strategies below to take your Black Friday and holiday marketing to the next level.

12 High Impact Black Friday & Holiday Marketing Strategies

1. Build Custom Holiday Gift Guide Category Pages

The majority of shoppers between November and December are looking for gifts for friends, family, and maybe themselves too. Make this shopping experience a breeze for your customers by creating pages dedicated to different types of gifts. Categorize these based on who the gift is for, their interests, and the cost, and then promote them throughout banners on your site and in your navigation.

Try these, for example:

  • Person-based: For Her, For Him, For You
  • Interest-based: For the Adventurer, For the Cook, For the Party Host
  • Price-based: Under $20, Under $50, $100+
Indigo's Holiday Gift Guide Navigation

Indigo features custom categories for a wide variety of gifting needs

Make sure to also include SEO friendly copy on these pages to attract online shoppers looking for gifts on Google.

Black Friday and holiday email marketing has huge value. With a high quality email list, you can give subscribers updates about your upcoming holiday promotions, and give them first access when your Black Friday discounts go live.

A quick way to convert site traffic into email subscribers is with a website lightbox. Launch one on your homepage promoting the incentive to subscribe in order to get initial access to all Black Friday discounts.

West Coast Kids lightbox encouraging users to submit their email addresses

This lightbox is triggered on West Coast Kids’ website, encouraging users to sign up for their email list

You can take this strategy to the next level by offering an exclusive discount for anyone who joins your list.

3. Run Customer Segmented Promotions

Reward your best customers and encourage new customers to purchase again. With personalized promotions you can offer discounts and incentives based on how a customer has already interacted with your site.

For example, try rewarding VIP customers with early access to your Black Friday deals, or a bonus holiday discount like free shipping on any purchase.

Williams Food Equipment's VIP Black Friday Email

Williams Food Equipment gave their best shoppers early access to all of their Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals

4. Build A Black Friday Landing Page

Basically everyone who comes to your site on Black Friday is looking for one thing – deals! So make it convenient for your visitors by hosting all of your discounted products on one convenient landing page.

Make this landing page highly accessible by linking to it through banners across your site, and in your navigation.

Best Buy's Black Friday Landing Page

Best Buy features all of their key Black Friday information on a dedicated landing page

5. Reward Shoppers with a Promo Code to Use Later

Keep your customers coming back after Black Friday. For every purchase during the weekend, email your customers a promo code to use in December during the rest of their holiday shopping. This will help you benefit from Black Friday long after the weekend is over.

6. Promote Product Bundles

Have products that are commonly bought together? Or even that just go great together? Create product bundles for your Black Friday and holiday marketing promotions! Bundled products make it easier for customers to purchase all of the products they need at once – without any additional cross-selling efforts from you.

You can discount these products for Black Friday, and even feature them in your holiday gifting campaigns.

A product bundle from Amazon

Learn from the masters of product bundling – Amazon

7. Optimize Your Abandoned Cart Emails

With increased traffic over the Black Friday weekend and holiday season comes increased chances of cart abandonment. Decrease your abandonment rates by changing your abandoned cart email to be focused on taking advantage of savings before they’re gone, and buying gifts before it’s too late.

This can be a quick copy and design change to highlight what your discounts are for the weekend, when they end, and even the last day to buy gifts on time.

Kate Spade's Abandoned Cart Email

Kate Spade’s abandoned cart email could easily be edited to include holiday messaging

8. Add A Wish List Feature

Great discounts on Black Friday lead to products selling out – fast. Help your customers get the products they want by encouraging them to make a wish list in advance of the weekend.

Make sure your store has wishlist functionality, and include messaging on your site and in your email marketing that encourages customers to build their own. To help them prepare even more, email them a landing page showing the products that will be on sale.

Even past Black Friday, encourage your customers to build a wishlist and email it to their friends and family for gift giving inspiration.

American Eagle's Wish List Feature

American Eagle allows their shoppers to save their favourite items – and even send it to others

9. Run A Door Crasher Campaign

Drive increased traffic and conversions by rewarding everyone who purchases from you within a certain time frame – ex. first 1,000 orders get a free gift.

This doesn’t have to be like the classic door crasher where people have to wake up at 5:00am to take advantage. Instead, hold yours when you know most of your customers are likely to be awake and ready. Give people a heads up to make time in their schedules – make sure to include this timeframe in emails and on your site a couple of weeks in advance.

10. Launch a New Sale Every Hour

Take a note from Amazon’s Prime Day and keep your customers coming back by launching a new sale every hour. This can be as simple as adding a new product to a pre-existing sale, or as advanced as launching a new type of promotion each hour (ex. BOGO, 10% off your order, free gift, etc.).

Make sure you include a list on your landing page of each upcoming sale, and keep your audience in-the-know with regular email updates.

11. Launch Time-Based Promotions

Change up your promotion based on how people are interacting on your site. Using Google Analytics data from previous Black Friday weekends and holidays, figure out when most people are shopping on your store and when your downtime is.

Using this data, include enticing, but lower margin, promotions during high traffic periods. And then delight the select people on your site with higher value promotions during off-hours (like night owls shopping between midnight and 6:00am).

J Crew's email rewarding all-night shoppers

J. Crew gave an all-night discount of 40% off for Black Friday 2016

12. Update Your Paid Media Plan

More shoppers during the holidays means more demand and ad competition. Take advantage of the increased demand and stay competitive by ramping up your budget and efforts.

Reach customers where they are during the winter holiday with an updated media mix across platforms, devices and budgets – including ad creative that reflects your holiday promotions. Remember to keep your plan flexible to take advantage of high ROI opportunities and to keep a pulse on your share of voice (SOV) as competition intensifies.

ModCloth's Holiday Display Ads

ModCloth makes sure their display ads reflect holiday messaging – including gift guides and sales.

Put Together Your Own Black Friday & Holiday Marketing Strategy

Now that you’re armed with ideas, it’s time to start putting them into action! Contact us using the button below to choose the best options for your store, and launch them on time for the holidays.

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Lindsay Arnold

Lindsay is Northern’s resident expert in all things email and lead nurturing. From strategic workflow setups and advanced list segmentation to multi-channel promos, she knows exactly what goes into creating strategies that drive impressive ROI. If you’ve got a question about email, you can bet Lindsay has your answer.