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Black Friday Marketing Strategies to Maximize 2021 Sales

29th September 2021

Black Friday 2021 is just around the corner and you might be starting to wonder if your website is really ready for the busiest day in retail.

This guide will help to make sure that you are prepared for the boost in traffic that comes with the Black Friday shopping trend. It will give you 5 marketing strategies that you can use for your website to turn all that extra traffic into extra sales.

What Is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a sales event that companies run at the end of November, before the lead-up to Christmas. It is not like any other sales event in the year, however, as it is characterised by big discounts and exclusive offers.

It began in America in the 1950s when stores noticed an increase in shoppers after Thanksgiving. The stores captialised on this, competing against each other with offers and discounts. From there, the Black Friday spread and has become an online event as well in more recent years.

Why Black Friday 2021 Is More Important Than Ever

The global pandemic of 2020-2021 drove more of us online, and with shops closed most of us turned to the internet to buy the things that we needed. This online shopping trend is still growing, so experts are predicting that Black Friday 2021 will be bigger than ever.

That means that now is the perfect time to drive your Black Friday marketing with strategies to maximise the extra sales potential.

5 Black Friday Marketing Strategies

1.   Load Testing

Have you ever clicked on a website and not been able to load it? It’s frustrating and the experience probably stopped you from buying from that website.

Black Friday traffic can cause lots of issues with your website’s ability to load. An influx in traffic can cause your whole site to crash and be inaccessible, or it could cause your pages to load really slowly. Either way, it would create a lot of frustration for potential buyers and impact your sales. So to combat this, you should aim to load test ahead of the big day. This will prepare your website for any potential traffic surges so that you can stay up and running every hour of the day. To do this you will need to discuss your website’s traffic limitations with your web hosting provider. You may need to pay a little extra to cope with increased traffic levels or you may be able to increase the threshold for free as part of your plan.

Aim to do this well in advance, however, so that you can test your site ahead of the big day.

2.   Pop-ups

You have likely experienced pop-ups yourself on a variety of websites as you’ve been browsing. They can be annoying but if executed correctly they can also give you one last chance to make a sale.

If you don’t have pop-ups enabled on your website already, you might want to consider trailing them for Black Friday. You can try targeting people exiting your site without having made a purchase with an extra discount code. Or you could target people exiting your site after making a purchase with a free gift when they refer a friend on Black Friday. You could even try to add channel-specific pop-ups, only targeting visitors who came to your site via PPC.

However, pop-ups can be frustrating to visitors if used too often, so be mindful about where and when you place your pop-ups. If you can, A/B test placing pop-ups on your site ahead of Black Friday itself.

3.   Personalized Emails

On Black Friday your inbox is probably full of brands telling you about their offers. By 9am you probably have unread emails from most shops you’ve ever bought from. So what is stopping you from deleting them all?

You need to stand out from the rest of the Black Friday emails if you want yours to be opened. So you will need to think about time of day and audience segments for your emails, but you will also need to consider personalisation. Not as many brands utilise personalisation during Black Friday than you think. Have you ever seen your name in the subject line of a Black Friday email? Or have you ever be given information that is valuable to you before you have even opened the email? Probably not. But brands that do experience higher open rates and therefore higher click-through rates, which lead to more sales.

Try adding personalisation into your email sends this Black Friday, as well as planning for timings and segmentation.

4.   Discount Deals

Don’t you love it when you visit a website and it shows you exactly what you want right there on the homepage? We all do. No one wants to spend hours scrolling through a website or Google to find what they want.

You can use the desire for ease in your Black Friday strategy. During the sale period, don’t make your customers work to find your best deals. They expect you to do the work for them and tell them exactly what they want to know from your homepage or the product page. For example, Nike’s homepage is stylistically all about branding, showcasing the new ranges and collaborations. However, during Black Friday, the look and feel of their website changes with images focusing on prices and discount percentages. This makes it easy for their customers to find what they want. Black Friday isn’t about brand building, it’s about selling.

However, there is something to be said for interactive games like hide and seek with your discount codes. Just don’t make your customers search for the rules on how to play.

5.   Urgent Messaging

Have you ever felt FOMO? It happens to us all when we hear about someone else’s dinner plans, or hear about an upcoming movie release. We crave it and don’t want to miss out.

You can use that FOMO in your Black Friday marketing. Show visitors to your site that you have something really good to offer, something that they don’t have, but are about to miss out on. Make them feel like they don’t want to miss the really good deal that you’re offering them, or that they are just about to miss some freebies unless they act now.

It’s already a part of digital marketing for brands like Dominos and Myprotein. These brands capitalise on the buyer journey to give shoppers the FOMO when they are displaying the slightest bit of hesitancy. For example, if you are considering buying a pizza for your and your friends to watch the football, Dominos could offer you a buy one get one free promotion that ends just as the football game kicks off. It will likely make your decision for you and you will order it straight away because you know if you hesitate it will cost you more money.

Try this type of FOMO marketing messaging for yourself this Black Friday by making your customers feel like they are about to miss out.


With Black Friday 2021 set to be the biggest one yet for online retailers, now is the perfect time to ramp up your marketing plans with these 5 sales strategies.

For more great guides on maximizing eCommerce sales, check out Sellerdeck insights.

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