Last updated on August 29, 2023

Michelle Bitran
Head of Content @ Yotpo
October 1st, 2021 | 6 minutes read

Will your Black Friday campaign stand out?

Table Of Contents

Building your Black Friday Marketing Strategy

Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the beginning of the busiest holiday season in retail: in 2020, consumers spent a record-breaking $9 billion online during Black Friday and more than $10 billion on Cyber Monday.

But as every brand goes all out with massive markdowns, making your site stick out can be tricky. And if you do attract relevant shoppers on Black Friday, how can you ensure they’ll stick around and become loyal customers?

Creating an impactful, clever Black Friday marketing campaign can go a long way towards gaining and keeping more customers this holiday season. We gathered some of the most effective and original Black Friday campaigns in this post to give you a bit of inspiration before the shopping frenzy begins.

1) Kopari: Influencer-sourced gift lists

Creative black friday campaigns

It’s no secret that shoppers have their minds on their holiday gift lists as early as October. However, in the mad rush of Black Friday, they might find it hard to focus on what they were looking for. Brands can use their Black Friday campaigns to help customers cut through the noise with curated lists of products.

In the lead-up to Black Friday, Kopari shared influencer gift lists that mention their products. This gives shoppers both inspiration for those tough presents to purchase as well as social proof from the influencers vouching for “must-have” products. A well-timed push like this can easily take an Instagram follower to a first-time buyer.

2) REI: Opting out of Black Friday

best black friday cyber monday campaigns

REI caused a stir when they launched their #OptOutside campaign in 2015, announcing that they would be closing their stores on Black Friday and encouraging their staff and customers alike to spend the day in the great outdoors. With this non-BFCM Black Friday campaign, the brand was able to align their mission with that of their customers, deepening relationships in lieu of offering Black Friday deals.

They recently turned the campaign into an “experiential search engine.” The engine collects user-generated content with the #OptOutside hashtag on Instagram and combines it with real-time information about various outdoor activity sites across the United States.

The result is a campaign that creates a community of outdoor enthusiasts, while also giving them informative, inspiring, and authentic content to consume. While REI’s target audience might be busy climbing mountains on Black Friday, this campaign will help them develop a bond with the brand that will pay off year-round.

3) Steve Madden: Early access email list

best black friday cyber monday campaigns

Steve Madden launched a Black Friday email campaign to collect shopper email addresses for early news about upcoming deals. This is a clever campaign both because of the message and the medium. By offering Black Friday sales in a way that promoted exclusivity, the brand was able to generate excitement for their BFCM offers.

Early access to discounts and sales makes shoppers feel like VIPs while adding a sense of urgency to take advantage of the deals before they’re “made public.” Additionally, email is the highest converting channel for Black Friday promotions, with a 4.29% conversion rate, according to Shopify data. Collecting the email addresses of new BFCM shoppers will give you a way to continue connecting with them year-round, and to ultimately grow your loyal customer community.

SMS marketing is also a great way to leverage the urgency of BFCM promotions to drive conversions and engage customers. You can offer shoppers the opportunity to opt in to your subscriber list for the chance to know about deals as soon as they are released, and then create campaigns for ongoing engagement post-holiday.

While any Black Friday marketing campaign should bring in sales on the biggest shopping weekend of the year, the added value of a campaign that will foster long-term relationships with those customers cannot be overstated.

4) MeUndies: Hosting a virtual event

black friday marketing

MeUndies never misses a beat on seasonal campaigns, and Black Friday/Cyber Monday Weekend is no exception. One of their most successful Black Friday campaigns was an exclusive Facebook Live party that attracted more than 13,000 viewers, who converted at a rate of 25%. As more people joined the event, which included a DJ and dance contests, the brand unlocked more significant discounts.

In addition to being a great conversion-boosting tool, the event also prompted a ton of free word-of-mouth marketing. MeUndies invited just over 300,000 followers, but excited brand enthusiasts organically shared the invite on social, and news of the event ultimately reached 660,000 people. An event that’s worth sharing is the perfect way to create a buzz around your brand that people will keep talking about well past BFCM weekend.

With this Black Friday campaign, MeUndies went beyond the traditional avenues for promotions, and it was super successful. Don’t be afraid to get creative to get the word out about Black Friday.

5) Ivory Ella: Making noise about what matters

black friday promotion ideas

Cause-based brand Ivory Ella opted to focus on Giving Tuesday instead of hyping yet another Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. For every customer who purchased a beanie on Giving Tuesday, they donated 100% of the proceeds towards buying coats for children in need.

Not only did Ivory Ella support a good cause through this campaign — they also were able to publicize it after the Black Friday buzz started to die down, meaning it could reach more people. Additionally, the hats create an ideal opportunity for customers to snap and share a quick photo showing how they contributed to the charitable campaign, while spreading the brand’s reach.

Conclusion: Black Friday campaign ideas that stand out

BFCM Weekend is the craziest time of the year, but with the right campaign, you can stand out from the crowd and win customers that will keep coming back all year.

To make an impact on Black Friday, create a campaign that:

  • Leverages social proof from your best customers and influencers. Let your brand fans do your Black Friday marketing for you in an authentic way.
  • Makes people want to share their experience or your products on social. Create more buzz around Black Friday with hashtags and organic posts.
  • Collects email addresses and phone numbers to foster future communication. This sets you up for retention after Black Friday is over.
  • Rings true to your brand values. Black Friday doesn’t have to be a time just to push sales – it can be an opportunity to connect with what your customers care about.

This Black Friday, take inspiration from one of these innovative brands and try something new. BFCM is a great time to test out new approaches, and find creative ways to make that first connection more impactful. When next year rolls around, you’ll have a new slate of tried-and-true tactics to woo the next wave in. Then, you can focus on what you do after this biggest shopping day of the year — lean into retention, and give them a reason to come back again and again.