How to Crush Your Black Friday + Cyber Monday Promotions [+4 Marketing Campaign Examples]

It’s no secret that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest sales events of the holiday season, so much so that, in recent years, they’ve combined to form Cyber Weekend.

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual report, more than 165 million Americans are expected to shop from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday in 2019. Last year, retailers raked in $6.22 billion in online and in-store sales. $2 billion of those sales came from smartphones alone, so about 33% of holiday sales now take place on a mobile device. The average shopper spent $313.29 on gifts and other holiday merch, with Gen-Xers and older millennials spending the most.

And, if you think that Cyber Weekend only benefits large major retailers, like Amazon and Walmart, think again. 2018 was a big year for small business, too. Small Business Saturday hit a new record of around $3 billion in sales, with around $400 million being spent Saturday morning alone. Plus, with over 47.4 million shoppers, SBS was the second-largest in-store sales day, only behind Black Friday.

The opportunity to reach more customers during Cyber Weekend is huge. It also means that competition is steep. With so many retailers vying for customer attention, as well as the reality that the average customer is much savvier than before, how do you stand out? In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how, using examples of holiday campaigns from some of our favorite retailers.

1. Start Planning Early

Getting started early seems like a given, but it’s easy to get so swept up in the daily ecommerce grind and all of life’s other responsibilities that such an important holiday event might slip your mind, costing you potential sales. Starting and organizing your holiday promotions ahead of time (ideally, in September) will not only give you peace of mind, but you’ll also have time to be more strategic with your marketing initiatives. You’ll also be able to:

  • Clearly define your sales goals
  • Create a well-thought-out campaign strategy
  • Differentiate yourself from your procrastinating competitors
  • Build up customer excitement for your holiday promotions
  • Plan for shipping deadlines
man writing on a notepad with laptop next to him

2. Decide on What Holiday Perks You’ll Offer

Cyber Weekend is a big deal. Customers are looking for the best deals. Making their shopping experience worth their while is extremely important. Here are just a few popular sales perks you’ll never go wrong with:

  • Free shipping. Offering customers free shipping reduces shopping cart abandonment and, according to human psychology, is even more effective than offering a straight discount on an item. Kin Custom offers free standard shipping on all products, regardless of time of year, so you and your customers are in luck!
  • Flash sale. A flash sale is a great way to drive action immediately.
  • Free gift with any purchase. Everyone loves free stuff. Offering your customers a free gift with any purchase adds to the festive spirit, and shows them that you care. It’s also a great way to distribute low-performing merch.
  • Early-bird discounts. Beat the Cyber Weekend rush by giving your customers an early-bird discount. By doing so, you can offer better deals that people will notice. Plus, less competition means more eyes on your brand.
  • Giveaway or contests. A classic tried-and-true marketing promo that gets people excited, whatever the occasion.
  • Promo code. Another great incentive. At Kin Custom, you can now get an unlimited 30% off all orders using the promo code BLACKFRIDAY at the checkout. Offer ends November 3, 2019 at 11:59pm EST.
black friday email marketing promo

At Kin Custom, we believe every day should be Black Friday–or at least the month of October. That’s why we’re offering you an exclusive Early Bird Discount of 30% off.  Please note that this promo has since been extended to November 3rd.

3. Select Top Holiday Products to Sell

Once you’ve decided on your promotion strategy, you’ll need to begin thinking about what products you want to feature. You may love the design on your all-over print swimsuit, but a swimsuit may not be the most appropriate choice for the holiday season. If you’re having trouble deciding which custom products to sell, no worries! We’ve compiled our top-selling products from Cyber Weekend 2018, and the following products were by far the most popular:

  • Men’s Hoodie
  • Men’s Bomber Jacket
  • Daily Zip Pouch
  • Slip-On Canvas Shoe
  • Women’s Hoodie
  • Men’s Tee
  • Hightop Canvas Shoe
  • Stylish Tote
  • Crossbody Sling Bag
  • Women’s Yoga Pant
man wearing a black hoodie with pink and blue jewels on it, all against a yellow background

4. Be Mindful of Order Deadlines

This is probably the most important step in the entire promo pipeline. It’s no use putting so much work into planning if your products don’t make it to their customers in time for the holidays. If you sell print-on-demand products, check your supplier’s shipping and processing policy to gauge approximately when your products will arrive.

If you partner with Kin Custom, you’re looking at an average 72 hours for production and 7-10 business days for free standard shipping. For ease of mind during this busy season, however, we recommend upgrading to Expedited Shipping (3-5 business days). During this 2019 holiday season, we recommend importing all customer orders on or before Friday, December 6 to ensure your products make it on schedule.

5. Plan Your Marketing Campaigns

Now that you’ve prepared your strategy, now comes the fun part–planning your holiday marketing campaigns. Have a little fun with your campaigns and remember that the holiday season is not just an event, it’s an experience. Bring a little magic to your customer with holiday campaigns that get them in a festive mood.

Here are some creative examples for your inspiration:

1. Lulus Black Friday Flash Sale

Why It Works: We love this flash sale email campaign because of its immediacy and the intense FOMO vibes it gives. Not only does Lulus encourage people to visit its website before deals are gone, but it also offers its user-base extra goodies with a 25% off promo. What’s more, even though you can’t see it in the gif, Lulus offered free shipping in its campaign, providing just one more convincing reason to shop Lulus.

Lulus Black Friday Email

2. Student Universe Black Friday Email Promo

Why It Works: This email totally works because of, again, how time-sensitive it is. Student Universe also listed their top deals to popular destinations to increase engagement. If anyone knows anything about flights, they know that prices can change at the drop of a hat as more people snag seats, especially around the holiday season, so this email reinforces serious FOMO.

black friday promo email

3. Fabletics Black Friday Instagram Post

Why It Works: Fabletics’ Instagram feed is on-brand, well-planned, and visually appealing. Get creative with your Black Friday promos and have your own photoshoot with stylized, flat-lay products!

Instagram Black Friday Instagram Post with Pink Athleticwear

4. Old Navy Holiday Look Book

Why It Works: While this video is not Black Friday specific, it does get you in the holiday spirit. Plus, a look book is a creative way to see your products in action, or how your customers could wear them!

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