There are so many different ways to approach Black Friday. To help you narrow it down, our SMS marketing experts have created this blueprint. Check out the whole thing, or skip for tips!
Step 1: Start planning & plotting
In the months leading up to Black Friday, consumers have shopping and the festive season on their minds. They may hold back on purchasing knowing that deals will soon be coming their way. It’s a good time to prepare yourself: Start by growing your SMS list and choosing your promotion.
Grow your contact lists
When it comes to shouting about your awesome offer, the more the merrier! Grow your SMS contact list by showing off the prospect of a Black Friday deal. At this point, it’s okay if you don’t know exactly what your deal will be – just that there’s definitely going to be one.
Read our guide to Black Friday lead generation for some awesome inspiration and ideas on how to do this – including QR codes on in-store posters, and pop-up forms on your website.
Divide your data pots
Data pot division – what is that?! By separating contacts into different categories, you can create more relevant SMS content per group. If the message is relevant to your different pots of people, they’re more likely to engage. Here’s some data pot inspiration and how messages will change depending on who you’re talking to:
Loyal customers: ‘Thanks for staying loyal 🙌 Here’s your exclusive early-bird access to our Black Friday sale:’
Customers who haven’t purchased since last November: ‘Hey you, Lou from Cords here. It’s been a while. Pick up from your last Black Friday purchase with us & treat yourself to 24% off all products here:’
New leads (not yet purchased): ‘Hey, it’s Lou from Cords. Thanks for signing up to SMS – stay tuned for the best Black Friday deals coming soon (next week!) 👀’
Cart abandonments: ‘Hey, it’s Lou from Cords. You were so close to bagging your Black Friday bargain. We think it would suit you sooo much, that we’ve added free delivery to your basket:‘
Choose your promotion type
What’s your goal?
A great promotion strategy revolves around a clear goal. ‘Increasing sales’ can be a bit vague, so why not make it super simple. Here’s some example goals:
- Make 500 sales
- Generate 200 extra SMS leads
- Get 350 VIP member sign-ups
High performing promotion strategies are led by clear goals. For example, offer a discount to people who sign up for SMS to achieve your sales goal, while generating extra leads. This is a great way to be able to contact them in the future, and to encourage purchasing.
What will your offer be?
Get the team together and choose your Black Friday promotion. What will your main offer be? Will it differ depending on who you’re talking to? For example, you may reward loyal customers with an exclusive deal. Some deal inspiration includes:
- 24% off everything (a random number makes it memorable)
- A free gift with your purchase
- Minimum spend rewards (e.g. spend £60, get 20% off)
- Free delivery on all orders over Black Friday period
Top tip: Launch your offer early to avoid overwhelming your audience. Tease your offers as early as October to get them engaged and manage their expectations.
When will your offer begin & end?
Will your offer last the Black Friday weekend, the whole of November, or will it extend beyond the 24th November? We’d recommend launching or teasing your offer earlier than Black Friday. This gives your customers a chance to expect a good deal, and puts you high on their agenda without overwhelming them with deals on the day (like your competitors will).
With so much noise surrounding Black Friday, the drip-feed approach – of gently trickling multiple messages to your recipients over time – is a good way to provide multiple touchpoints. Block out time to review and adapt your communication plan as you analyse the behaviour of your recipients. For example:
If they purchase, they receive a follow-up message one week later to say thanks & that the deal has now extended so they can purchase other products.
If they don’t purchase, they receive a message reminder a week later to say that the offer has extended and it’s the last chance to bag a bargain.
Every journey will be different depending on the action each consumer takes, so have an agile plan and adapt with consumer behaviour in order to work around them and encourage a purchase.
Top tip: If you’re promoting a quick purchase – like clothing – it’s easier to plan shorter promo timelines and send last-minute campaigns. However, if it’s a purchase that requires more thinking time – such as a car or pricey device – it’s best to pre-warn of the offer super early, and keep it going for a longer period of time (possibly weeks).
Step 2: Prepare your content & tease your offers
Around October time, customers are in discovery mode. They’re starting to look forward to Black Friday and the festive season. With many on the lookout for potential items they may want to buy, it’s a good time to hype things up in the lead-up to launching your offer.
Prepare your Black Friday content
At this point, you know what you’re promoting, to who and when. Now it’s time to draft the content for your SMS campaigns. Keep the messages clear, simple and targeted to your different audience pots.
The key to any good Black Friday messages includes:
A clear introduction: Something as simple as ‘Hey, it’s Meg from Cords‘ makes it feel personal.
Add context: Who are you sending your message to? How can you personalise your message to them? For example, ‘As a VIP, you get early-bird access to our most fashionable Black Friday sale yet 🙌’
Include a clear time limit: Add a little bit of urgency to encourage purchases. For example, ‘Don’t walk, run to your new wardrobe – your exclusive sale ends tomorrow at 11pm!’
Use emojis if effective: An emoji can transform the way a sentence looks, making your message extra fun and friendly. Just let us know if you’d like to include emojis and we can ✨ enable ✨ them.
Include a clear call to action: A clear, accessible call to action is vital. Use action-based words, such as ‘call us’, ‘check it out’ or ‘click here’. For links, use FireText’s track URL feature. We can help you create a branded version of this to help increase click-through rates. This tool transforms your link into something like below 👇
Provide an opt-out: Include an opt-out in your message to give your audience the chance to back out of communications with you if it’s not the right time. This means going forwards, you’re only engaging with those who want to be engaged with.
The most common opt-out retailers use is an opt-out landing page. We can create a personalised URL for you to include in your messages, like the example below 👇
Top tip: Always send a test message to yourself so that you can see what your audience will see. It allows you to make any last-minute tweaks.
Tease your offers
Let your audience know waaaaay in advance of the offers coming their way. Trust us, they’ll appreciate the heads up! Plus, teasing your non-exclusive offers on places like social media or in-store will help you grow your SMS contact list for the long term.
Step 3: Kick-start Black Friday
Come November, consumers are in full research mode. What deals might they expect this month? Which brands are likely to be offering big deals? And what makes your product stand out?
Launch your offers
It’s offer launch time! You can launch your promo as early as you like before Black Friday. You may ‘launch’ your Black Friday deals over a specific timeline to different pots. For example, why not give loyal customers early-bird access?
Send reactive messages
Look at the user behaviour in your campaigns so far. If some users haven’t clicked, could you send a reminder message? Imagine you’re the friend reminding them of something – chances are, they need a little nudge amongst the daily chaos of working, home life and being bombarded with Black Friday emails.
Step 4: Keep going into the festive season
December is the month of urgency and last-minute purchases. Now is not the time to stop – you want to be there to catch the huge demographic of last-minute shoppers and make things as clear and accessible for scrambling shoppers.
Extend your offers
It could be a great time to extend the offers you had for Black Friday, depending on uptake and the success of your campaigns so far. Why not extend the offer to extend the generosity? This is a great time to send a message while the competition quietens down.
Keep analysing consumer behaviour
Analyse the performance of each message you send and you’ll get a clear picture of what is and isn’t working. Make use of FireText’s Track URL feature to see which recipient have and haven’t clicked on your links. If they have clicked, did they go through with the purchase? If they didn’t, could you send a follow-up message?
Download your blueprint calendar
Use this blueprint to create your very own calendar for Black Friday! Download our simple template so you can plan ahead.