Black Friday Marketing Ideas and Promotion Strategies to Use in 2021

Discover the best ways to up your Black Friday marketing game.

Kate Neuer
November 02, 2021












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The Importance of Black Friday Marketing

Black Friday may seem to have been invented for marketing to consumers, but consumers are the ones who started the phenomenon. It was first noticed in Philadelphia when high traffic occurred immediately after American Thanksgiving. But why is Black Friday black? Black Friday is now a day that helps retailers and ecommerce brands move from the red into the black before the end of the year.

Cyber Monday was officially established in 2005, following a noticeable trend in consumer shopping online after the Black Friday weekend. This could have been due to consumers shopping for the gifts they needed but couldn't find on Black Friday. 

With this said, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both equally huge marketing opportunities to boost sales. We'll go over a few ways to use Black Friday marketing strategies and promotions to your advantage.

Who Can Benefit from These Black Friday Ideas?

Black Friday marketing campaigns can be used to boost any business' bottom line. In fact, you may find it hard to find a business who isn't trying to take advantage of the sales customers are searching for. 

Whether it is Saas companies, service providers, independent contractors, or simply just stores trying to sell a product, the Black Friday marketing ideas are endless. 

Black Friday Sales Ideas

You may be thinking of promotion ideas throughout the year, but Black Friday gives you a small window of time to showcase the best deals. Luckily, Black Friday is the unspoken holiday for more shoppers to seek out sales. 

To get the most out of this season, you can have a creative Black Friday marketing plan with a few of these Black Friday sales ideas. It doesn't matter if you are selling products, software, or wanting to advertise an offer on ecommerce stores like Shopify, all of these techniques can be applied to any small business to start raking in that customer count.

Whichever idea you decide to go with, whether you're thinking of your site or in-store business, the best way to boost traffic and gain consumers, is to advertise offers early. This means you should start thinking about your product sales and marketing strategy by the end of the summer, long before Thanksgiving ads start circulating.


Black Friday Marketing Offers You'll See Often

If you are or were one of the shoppers on any given Black Friday, chances are good you've seen many businesses push out ads for that special time of year. 

When it is peak season for gift shopping, however, you may have been blindly trying to find a particular product. Possibly from a particular business as well. This is because businesses and brands are smart about which course of action to take when advertising sales.

They tend to advertise a few hot products, such as a big screen TV for more than 65% off. This aggressive marketing oftentimes leads consumers to shop for more hot deals the business could have advertised. It's all about psychology!

Let's take a look at these Black Friday marketing ideas that you can incorporate into your own Black Friday strategy for marketing. 

A Deal Per Hour

This type of deal is best for online shoppers for Friday after Thanksgiving or Cyber Monday. You can offer a special discount promotions on different products every hour to entice shoppers to stay on your website and add more items to their cart. 

You can even take these sales ideas a bit farther and make a deal on multiple products every day. However, each day will offer different deals on different products or content, like a free expansion if a consumer buys and downloads a particular software or platform from your site. 

You can announce these hourly deals by email campaigns as well. An email for each hour to advertise what product promo you are marketing.

If you are a business with a store, you can make this idea work for you buy giving a mystery discount every hour. This is similar to a flash sale. And it doesn't have to be a promotion every hour. You can announce the mystery deal in the store every few hours and this is still considered part of your Black Friday marketing.

Just make sure shoppers know that deals are coming their way, whether you decide to advertise the precise promo beforehand in an online ad or spread the word about your mystery discounts on social media. This will bring more traffic online and in your store!

Create Gift Guides or Collections

Grouping items together as a sale is a great way to add to the excitement for the shoppers. Have you seen a "buy more for less" deals? This is common for Black Friday deals since consumers will feel they are getting more bang for their buck.

For example, a brand may advertise their plates and bowls on sale but also advertise the boxed dining set for ultimately a better deal than buying the same amount of plates and bowls separately. This is oftentimes referred to as a collection from a brand.

A gift guide is like a collection on a grander scale and relates to a certain subject, like "workout gear for women", which is most likely advertised in ads as "workout gear for her". This is followed by a list of the item sales, such as half off all workout clothes or "buy one, get one kettle bells".

You can use these types of black friday promotions on your website as well as in an ad for your in-store shoppers. 




Free Gift

Consumers could receive a free gift for spending X amount of money. This is a great Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer idea since it can equally be utilized for in-store products as well as online products. 

For a product example: you could make sales on shoes as well as giving a free pair of socks for each pair of shoes. Customers love getting free things and will likely buy an item they weren't looking for just for the chance to grab an extra gift for someone else. 

Whether customers are shopping for others for the upcoming holiday season or for themselves, they love getting free things. For software as a service, shoppers are likely buying products for themselves. However, this free gift idea can still get you traffic.

For example: you could make a discount on a software and offer a free expansion pack that is isn't usually offered with regular downloads.

Extend Your Sale from Black Friday to Cyber Monday

This one seems obvious, but some consumers expect a sale promotions to extend into the next week. Sometimes, brands offer the deals for the entire week and following weekend. 

This doesn't necessarily mean your deals have to be the same. You don't even have to have flash sales for Cyber Monday like you did on Black Friday. Or, you can! 

The beauty of extending your Black Friday promos is that you can advertise on your website pages about the upcoming Cyber Monday sales.

Don't forget to include details and create some marketing content before the event just like you would for Black Friday. This can be anything from banners, emails, to posting ads on mobile apps.

Sharing Your Black Friday Marketing Ideas

Now that you've got some great offer ideas above, choose one (or more) that fit your industry.

For example, a dentist running holiday campaigns like "buy 1 filling, get 1 free" may not make sense.

However, they can bundle a few of their best cleaning and whitening products into a gift basket and offer it at a discounted price for customers who usually buy those products after their routine visits.

Good Strategies for Brainstorming Black Friday Gift Ideas

  • If you sell a product, offer a limited discounted service as the special deal.
  • If you sell a service, offer discounted products the customer can use to maintain their products.

Here are some a examples of each concept as a thought exercise to spur your creativity with Black Friday ideas.


Product sold What is the product used for? What could you offer the customer as a limited discount service?
Vacuum cleaner Cleaning their floors X% Off vacuum maintenance check-up and internal servicing so the unit continues to run properly.
Lawn mower Cutting the customers lawns X% Off oil changes and blade sharpening for a year to keep the engine running and the grass easy to cut.
Write in your product here    


Service provided What is the service used for? What could you offer the customer as a limited discount product?
Lawn care services Keeping customers' yards looking well-kept 1 Free package of lawn grass seeds each month to fix dry and empty patches in their front yards
Car Insurance Protecting customer's vehicle investments and liability 2 Free plastic card holders to protect customers' insurance cards from damage
Write in your service here    


You get the idea.  What you're doing is simply asking yourself "what products or services would my customer need next, or would find valuable", and providing a great deal on those things.  Aside from the extra boost in business you could generate, you're marketing them something they actually need to make their lives easier or more pleasurable.

It's a win-win strategy for thinking up Black Friday marketing ideas your customers and audience will enjoy.

Implementing Your Black Friday Ideas

Use Email and SMS Marketing Campaigns to Advertise Deals

For Black Friday (and other holiday event marketing), having an engaged email contact list with phone numbers can be a goldmine. 
Hopefully, you didn't miss the important adjective for the email list: engaged.

What Does Engaged Mean in the Context of an Email List? 

Simply put, it means that a majority of your contacts:

  • Open up your messages each time to you deliver something to their inbox.
  • Can click on any links, buttons, or calls to action (CTAs) in the body of the messages. 

These actions demonstrate that your contacts are interested in the content you are sharing, or engaged with your brand's messaging. 

Why Is This a "Goldmine"?

An engaged list values your opinion. As such, any future information or offers you present will be taken seriously. 

Imagine having the ability to share offers monthly (or weekly) with your audience and have them trust you enough to buy consistently. That's a goldmine for any business with a great product, service or idea. 

How Could You Increase the Value of an Engaged Contact List?

Segmenting - or grouping - your contacts based on different criteria allows you to personalize your "relationship" with your list.

Knowing which contacts are valid customers, and which are mildly interested, but need some more incentive to buy impacts the offers they receive is important to know. 

Understanding which customers bought product "A", and would also like product "B" allows you to get more revenue out of your customers. 

In fact, some businesses build their entire sales strategy around learning what a customer is interested in buying by offering freebies, then selling them complementary products after they "show their hand."

Segmenting Your Contact List: knowing Who's a Loyal Customer  

Message personlization is a key to successfully using your Contact list in your Black Friday campaigns. 

Clearly, you wouldn't offer a longtime customer a "Welcome to the Family" offer. And it doesn't make sense to offer a "Frequent Buyers Discount" offer to someone who's never bought from you in the past. 

Each group of customers will clearly respond to offers matching the level of commitment they have made to your brand.  

Within the context Black Friday marketing, you should adhere to the ideas highlighted above. 

Share Custom Offers for Current Customers 

Contacts who have bought from you before should be rewarded and treated like they are special for supporting your business. 

Your language with them should a bit more personal. You should come up with deals and offers that reinforce that they hold a special place in your business, and you want to reward them differently than people who have been just window shoppers.

A great way to treat current customers that way is by offering:

  • VIP access to deals
  • Early Bird pricing on upcoming products or services
  • Private offers only available to your top contacts
  • A flash sale
  • Etc. 

Provide Custom Offers for Potential Customers

People who have not bought from you in the past should be given a strong incentive to make a purchase (and become part of your business's family.)

Some ideas to spur your creativity include:

  • Order 1 product at full price, and get a 2nd for 50% Off
  • Buy today's featured product at our cost, plus shipping.
  • Schedule your first manicure, and get a free pedicure this week. (Mon. - Wed. only)
  • Etc. 

As you can see, these offers are not meant for people already buying what you offer. And you should not put them in front of current customers. 

The personalization of your messages to this part of your contact list is only available through proper segmentation. 

Use Black Friday Designs for Landing Pages to Convert Better

Design matters. 

Several years ago, when newspapers ruled the marketing and advertising world, you could get by with ads that only showed text. 

In the current, digital media driven world, the visual elements in your messaging can mean the difference between prospects noticing you or missing your sales efforts completely.

In fact, getting the attention of buyers is getting more difficult every day due to competing brands overwhelming prospects with more and more ad content. 

Landing pages help you customize messages and experiences with your contacts, without it interrupting the look and feel of your home page.

More custom designs on those landing pages help personalize the visitors' experience when you send out an offer. 

As such, it's a good practice to have pages that support your Black Friday sales efforts. 
Some guidelines for creating great Black Friday themed pages for your audience include:

Copy Essentials:

Your copy should be easy to scan.

  • Use bulleted copy blocks, and present a clear, sequential thought process. 

Brevity is best for landing pages.

It should clearly communicate your value proposition.

  • Speak directly to visitors’ wants and needs.
  • Pay special attention to point-forward headline construction. (Placing the benefit at the beginning or end of your headline.)
  • Landing pages written at a sixth-grade language level have a higher conversion rate.

In your calls-to-action (CTAs), use words like:

  • Get
  • View
  • Enjoy
  • Activate

Focus on what your client will receive. 

With forms, less is more.

  • Only ask for the information you absolutely need.
  • Make it really easy for people to provide you order details.
  • Use placeholder text inside the fields to guide visitors on what to enter.

Design Essentials:

Choose images that reflect client needs. 

  • Figure out what buyers identify with most. 
  • People prefer photos of real people over stock images. 
  • Invest in getting crystal clear, helpful images of your products and/or team. 

Color plays a role in how people make decisions. 

  • Your audience's preference for color can help or hinder the success of your landing pages and CTAs.
  • Use common colors that relate to the event your landing page is showcasing.
  • In this case: Black Friday, which occurs during the Thanksgiving / Christmas season, choosing colors that match the time and climate can evoke feelings that support buying decisions. 
  • Remember to think of how colors will look in emails versus on social media posts.

White space improves readability and helps your visitors focus on vital parts of your landing page.
    - The Headline
    - The Contact fields
    - The Navigation buttons
    - The Benefit bullets
    - Etc.

Use the design guidelines above as a checklist for creating your own landing pages for the upcoming Black Friday event. 

Use Chatbots That are Customized for Your Black Friday Ideas and Greater Visitor Engagement

Chatbots can support your Black Friday marketing efforts in various ways. The key lies in understanding that any conversation someone can engage you with can be shifted into a sales opportunity.

And if you can do that in person with someone at a store, your chatbot can do that whenever someone visits your website. 

Here are just a couple ideas for making your chatbots do a lot more for Black Friday than just receive customer service requests. 

1) Edit the Design of Your Chatbot Screen to Match Your Black Friday Design Strategy

  • Add a Santa hat to your avatar images.
  • Add a festive background to the pop-up screen.

2) Update Your Chatbot Screen to Guide Visitors to Black Friday Deals

  • Add a few links to product or service specials available until Black Friday is over.
  • Add holiday contests and prize giveaways to visitors who join your email list.
  • Add a video links to your chatbot that offer product specials for each day leading up to Black Friday.
  • Etc.

3) Use Your Chatbot to Deliver a Message from the CEO 

The list of things you could do with your chatbot is endless..

Just visualize the experience of...

A visitor lands on your page.

The chatbot opens up near the bottom or side of the page

The design looks festive and highlights a product special only available until Black Friday, and requires subscription for the discount.

The chatbot has a "click to register" button to start taking the visitor's information and adds it to your email list.

You have an autoresponder that's programmed to hit their inbox with Black Friday offers until the event is over. 

Again, chatbots can have any conversation a human can.
It just has to be pre-planned, tested and implemented. 

Offer a Sneak Peak of Your Black Friday Deals

This type of marketing strategy requires businesses to think about their Black Friday marketing strategy months in advance since they will be offering sneak peaks of their deals earlier than most other retailers who decide to publish ads.

Usually, retailers and services will send email campaigns, post on social media and publish ads with Black Friday details a week or so before Black Friday.

A sneak peak is a great way to gain interested shoppers. Once you are one of the first on their shopping list, the more likely you will get a loyal customer. You don't have to give away your entire secret promotions. Think of dropping small details every once in a while.

Perhaps once a week you announce a different product that will be on sale for the Black Friday weekend. Here are some other ideas for giving consumers a sneak peak:

-Post deals on social media with an extra percentage off purchases coupon code sent only to subscribers.
-Get subscribers by asking for email to send them a code to view the Black Friday ad ahead of time. 

-Don’t forget to use pivotal hashtags #blackfriday #cybermonday for social media posts.
-Send current subscribers a sneak peak of deals or the entire ad exclusively before announcing to the general public.

Invest in Your Black Friday Ad(s)

It's smart to increase your ad spend during certain times of the year, generally around holidays since most consumers are specifically looking for this type of marketing to help guide them on what to buy or consider buying on Back Friday.

The cost per click will be higher than normal during Black Friday for obvious reasons, but it will be worth it to create an ad and post on apps, such as Flipp, black Friday Deals 2021, etc.

Customers will think highly of a business that advertises their ad not only online but in print as well.

If you have a store where customers often view the printed version of your ad, you can place your printed ad in the store for shoppers to see a sneak peak of your Black Friday promos. You can do this before you place an ad online or send as an email blast. 


Black Friday Promotion Ideas

Here are some less common Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers that most businesses can apply to their products or services.

First 50 or 100 Customers Benefit

You can set any number of customers to benefit from a special promotion. This will entice customers to arrive early for the chance to get a large discount. 

JCPenny is a great example of this deal. Most years on Black Friday, they've offered the first 100 shoppers a scratch-off card with a discount to be applied to their entire purchase. What is also enticing about this deal is that the scratch-off cards are all different, ranging from 15% to 75% of an entire purchase.

Naturally, shoppers love a mystery because it gives them hope of getting handed a larger percentage card. 

Here are some other deal ideas like this:

  • first 50 customers get 25% off total purchase
  • first 100 customers get 15% off total purchase
  • first 200 to make a purchase online get 50% their next online purchase

As you can see, this type of promotion can be applied to site visitors as well. You will have to track the number of people, or traffic, to your site on Black Friday, but you can even offer a free gift to the first 200 website visitors by giving them a coupon code to apply to their cart at check-out.

Create Black Friday Surprises

Some surprises are good. You don't have to advertise everything that will be on sale online or via email at once. You can create short ads to show the best or hottest ticket items your brand will have on sale the following day. Here are some of the best examples of ways to use surprise marketing.

  • Offer extra savings to leads at the right time, such as right before Black Friday, such as Thanksgiving morning or Tuesday.
  • Post a surprise discount on any order on social media or through email.
  • You can even give loyalty members or previous shoppers a special discount as part of a special Black Friday program.
  • Give a limited time for shoppers to check out online or in your store.
  • Give coupon codes for Black Friday shoppers to come for Cyber Monday orback next year 

Make a Memorable and Creative Black Friday Strategy

Make an Email Blast Content Schedule

You can send multiple emails out to advertise your special Black Friday promotions. When you create a few email- think of about three to send out in the month of November - you will be taking the smarter approach of gaining eyes and visitor count on your website or store.

Every business has the choice of whether to schedule their email blasts right before school is out for Thanksgiving break or once every week in the month of November or October. 

Most sales will diminish but not disappear in December, therefore, businesses should feel safe sending out ads and email blasts in the first weeks of December as well. However, these specific sales will be different in discount and product type for December. 

Check out our email templates that you can customize for great Black Friday marketing campaigns.


Plan for Black Friday Sale Banners on Your Site

Pop-up banners and windows are a great way to remind site visitors that your business has one of the best sales for the upcoming Friday. This Black Friday marketing strategy can be applied to any business that has a website.

Here are a few Black Friday sales that have been advertised in the past for services, product retailers, and saas companies.

Services and independent contractors can advertise to customers to buy one service, such as a massage, to get a free facial or beauty product. Customers also love discounts on services, so you can advertise your banner on mobile apps created specifically for deals in your particular industry, such as spas. This means you might want to look into placing sales banners on Groupon, for example. 

Retailers usually take advantage of banners on every page of their website to show Black Friday promotions and build hype. You can promote a specific product that will be on sale or promote a site-wide and store-wide Black Friday deal.

The deals on your website can be different as the ones in-store, such as offering free shipping or getting free sweet treats for stopping into the store to shop.

Saas companies can offer more of their paid services or downloads for free if they aren't already. This is a great way to catch the attention of site visitors when advertised on a banner or pop-up.

Customers generally will be taken to a landing page, but businesses can choose to have a link on any page that will take them to a page with a Black Friday deals pop-up or banner.

Remember that consumers are shopping online and looking for store ads before Black Friday to anticipate which deals to shop for.

This means they are even more willing to sign up for newsletters. That's why it's important to create a banner or great Black Friday landing page in order to gain leads and, hopefully, turn those leads into loyal customers.

Get Creative with Striking Images

When you create images for your website or printed and online ads, it's important to make sure they catch the eyes of potential customers as well as current customers.

Sometimes, images focus on the price number of the sale, such as "75% off everything!" or the actual images of the products that will be on sale for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. 

Whether images are on your website or in an ad, it is smarter to double check that the images represent what is actually for sale. This may be more important than making the image eye-catching, depending on the product.

You would hate to show an image of a vacuum with accessories only to have the customer find out they do not receive the accessories with the deal. This could not only turn into an angry customer situation but also a possible return of the product.

Let's not have any false advertising for Black Friday. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that can happen when businesses rush to advertise many products.

Don't forget these images can be of the products your selling or a fantastic, memorable image advertising your massive sale. This can go on your emails, webpages, landing page, social media ads, etc. So, it shouldn't be necessary to mention that the pixel and quality of the image as a whole should match the requirements for the platform on which you place them. 

What's Next?

We hope these marketing ideas help your business decide which course of action to take during this busy time of year. None of these promotions ideas should take any business much time at all to set up, either!

Black Friday marketing is not something to take lightly, though, as it can dramatically make a difference in the percent of leads you gain and profit you make overall.

If you take nothing else away from this article, hopefully, you have learned that consumers love brands and businesses that show ad content ahead of time.

Also, you can apply these marketing ideas to the regular marketing you do on any given day, not just for Black Friday. After all, Black Friday marketing is simply a day for regular Friday marketing ideas that you can create to be more memorable.

So, what's next? Check out our other Black Friday marketing tips coming soon. In the meantime, check out our listicles for ideas to spark your marketing creativity.