The holidays are a busy time for every small business. In the past few months, you’ve probably ordered additional inventory, stocked the shelves and hired additional staff to handle the rush. With so much to do, devoting time to Black Friday may have been overlooked – but it’s not too late! That’s why we’ve created a list of last-minute marketing ideas to make sure your business brings in the Black Friday bucks.
1. Email your customers an irresistible promotional offer
Black Friday shoppers are the ultimate bargain hunters and they have high expectations of steep discounts and sales. Create a holiday-themed email campaign that presents shoppers with a few offers they can’t refuse.
“People are looking at $10 toasters and $100 TVs,” says Kari DePhillips, owner of The Content Factory. “Definitely create content that highlights what kind of deals or cool products you have for Black Friday.”
Of course, as a small business, matching the door-busting deals that big box stores offer is tough to do. If you can’t offer a similar discount, make up for it by offering additional incentives.
For example, if you own a plumbing company, offer a discount like the one below but promote your on-time service guarantee, too.
If you run a boutique pet supply store, offer as much of a discount as you can and throw in a free grooming session for the following year. If you sell electronics, mention your one-on-one customer service or training courses in your email.
Remember, a good deal isn’t defined solely by price. Point out your strengths to sweeten that last-minute holiday deal.
2. Create a holiday gift guide
Shoppers need inspiration. Help them out by creating a gift guide. Pick five of your products and create the equivalent of a digital sales flyer, showcasing each of the products and offering a variety of price ranges. Here is a gift guide example by Macy’s.
For service-based businesses, highlight your best service or maintenance packages that have sold well throughout the year. A computer repair shop could showcase its virus protection plans, annual maintenance packages and hard drive backup options.
You can tweak these ideas and use them in several ways. Here are a few other gift-guide ideas:
- Gifts for her
- Gifts for him
- Five gifts you missed this season
- Our five hottest gifts for less than $25
- Affordable gifts your parents will love
- Our hottest service plans at the lowest prices
Once you’ve created your gift guide, make sure you cross promote it. Put it in an email to send to appropriate segments of your list, put the guide on your blog, and highlight one gift from your guide each day on social media. With the short holiday shopping season, you want to maximize your exposure.
3. Grab attention with social media
This holiday season, turn to your social media channels where you already have an audience full of shoppers waiting for your Black Friday updates. Take a look at a few creative ideas that retailers have used in the past. Use these suggestions to spark your own ideas and cash in on the Black Friday buzz.
Get inspired by some of our favorite classic Black Friday campaigns:
- In 2014, Best Buy created a Facebook campaign specifically for Black Friday that nearly broke the internet….or at least their website for a few hours! Use social media to keep shoppers informed on the latest sales and limited edition stock items.
- In 2011, JCPenney gave $25 to the Salvation Army for every customer that checked in on Foursquare on Black Friday. Consider giving back to your community in some way. Maybe donate a canned good to your local food bank for every new follower you get on Twitter.
- For holiday season 2014, Target gave away gift cards to new Facebook fans last year. You can try something similar. Whether you give away gift cards or a small gift, incentives can attract customers. Always check the individual rules for each social network to see what is permissible.
For more holiday marketing tips, check out our Everything Holiday site.
Get your holiday email marketing started now with VerticalResponse.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 14, 2014 and has been revamped and updated for relevance.
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