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November 23, 2009

Quick Hits for Black Friday Marketing Pushes

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It’s a short holiday week for most, but if you’re a retail business owner or an SEO of a small retail business, this week holds little rest for you. Days away is Black Friday, the mega shopping day that falls the day after Thanksgiving and ushers in the winter holiday shopping season.

The flurry of sales that come on Black Friday is anticipated by businesses all year long. Because of the big bucks that historically get spent on Black Friday, for some, it’s as though the first ten months on the calendar are a practice run leading up to the big event.

Marketers have been optimizing and planning their holiday season campaigns for months now, and for good reason. But if you haven’t already been planning for the holiday season and would like to capitalize on Black Friday mania before it’s flown by, it may not be too late to capture some of the excitement surrounding the holidays and cash in on Black Friday frenzy.

So what can be done to push your brand for Black Friday with less than a week to go?

Here are some ideas that can be implemented relatively quickly and pushed out in time to garner some visibility before Black Friday.

1. Send out a holiday-themed e-mail with deals and featured products

Amazon.com Black Friday e-mail

While we’re all inundated with too much mail (both snail and electronic varieties), I pay attention to e-mails from my favorite companies and to e-mails with can’t-resist offers in the subject line. What can I say? This girl’s got brand loyalty and an eye for bargains.

And this time through the holiday season, you’re aware of how important budget saving deals are for the average consumer. We want the same quality, comfort and reliability that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. But this year we want it to come with less of a punch to the pocketbook.

If you’ve got news worth sharing — whether it’s a coupon, across the store savings, free shipping or a hard-to-find product — design an e-mail that highlights these great offers. It doesn’t have to be flashy, but it should be clear, easy to read, visually appealing, and it needs to get there quick!

2. Create PPC ad copy featuring “Black Friday”

Pay-per-click advertising is an especially awesome platform during the holiday season because it has great reach, it’s nimble and it’s measureable. An SEM can quickly see which ads are getting clicks. Changes to ad copy, location, time of day, and budget are relatively simple to make and it doesn’t take long for changes to go into effect. If your site isn’t ranking organically for “Black Friday” related queries, PPC is a fast and efficient way to get prime search engine real estate during a highly trafficked and highly competitive time of year.

If in the future you plan to optimize your PPC campaigns in the time leading up to the holidays, check out Holiday PPC Campaign Planning for ways to prepare for the holiday rush in the months leading up to December.

3. Connect your brand with charitable causes

LeapFish and Make-A-Wish Foundation team up

In the U.S., generosity and giving are at their height this time of year. And businesses stand to benefit by joining in. Not only can a business receive the tax benefits of charitable giving, but by attaching the brand to a non-profit cause the brand also gains from the positive perception of consumers.

Much of marketing on the Web is about visibility, about getting your name in front of people. The person that sees your ad or reads about you somewhere online knows that when the time comes that they need widget X, you’re the best source of widget X and they can go to WidgetX.com to find out more. After seeing the brand name so many times within positive contexts, your brand becomes imprinted in their mind in a positive light.

One brand making the most of this strategy is LeapFish with their Make-A-Wish tweet campaign. So far the message has been tweeted more than 5,000 times, forging ever more positive associations with the brand in front of countless eyeballs.

4. While you’re at it, target Cyber Monday shoppers

Cyber Monday shoppers are kind of like the lazy cousins of Black Friday shoppers. They’re keen on getting the best deals and don’t like to settle for second-rate products, but they also don’t want to leave the comfort of their desk to get it. While you’re targeting your site and your campaigns toward Black Friday shoppers, don’t forget about the savvy Cyber Monday shoppers. [As a desk-shopper, I like the term savvy much better than lazy. –Susan]

Cyber Monday falls on the Monday after Black Friday, and it’s the shopping day extravaganza for online shoppers. If after Black Friday you want another big push, extend the deals through Monday and welcome the rush of happy online shoppers.

5. Make shipping dates and deals super clear

There are deal seekers (of the human and bot variety) scouring the Web all the time, like Ask.com’s Deal Detector™. Any special offers should be extremely clear on your site, in your ads, and on blogs, forums and third-party deal sites.

Making shipping dates and logistics easy to find is also important. Your speedy delivery promise could just seal the deal. The shopper wants to know what deal they can get from you and when they can have it delivered. If they have to hunt for this information they’ll be on to the next site in no time. If you can hand it to them exactly when they’re looking for it, it might as well be wrapped up in a pretty bow.

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One response to “Quick Hits for Black Friday Marketing Pushes”

  1. Tessa Carroll writes:

    Thanks for the tips, Virginia. While it’s true that many retailers began getting the word out about Black Friday sales, it’s certainly not too late to start for your company. With Black Friday only 3 days away, your message might be hitting the mailbox (virtual or physical) at just the right time.

    Tessa Carroll
    http://www.blogs.vbpoutsourcing.com



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