Black Friday sales and marketing strategies that work on a budget

23 Nov 2021

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and marketing strategies don’t have to be expensive or complicated; paper flyers, sandwich boards, vouchers, loyalty offers, gift cards, writing on your shop window, and broadcasts can work well for high street businesses.   It’s worth noting that many purchases made on the day or days surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday are impulsive, and it’s all about price; can you offer deals that competitors can’t?  

Woman sorting out rail of shopping in a shop

Black Friday sales and marketing strategies that might work on a budget 

We’re going to discuss many straightforward, cost-effective and rapid sales and marketing strategies you can put in place this week to get ready for the weekend.

Bear in mind that you can evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign and consider repeating the exercise in the run-up to Christmas. The parts that work can get used on Black Friday weekends over the coming years; the details of your strategy might only need tweaking year on year.  

Online or offline, some sales and marketing principles are time-proven 

We’re going to separate high street retail from online retail here. Still, it’s fair to say that many of the initiatives we’ll suggest can easily migrate to service and consultancy businesses too. If you have a Black Friday offer or idea, you don’t have to shelve it because you’re not in retail. A discount or offer is still an effective tool whatever the industry and business.  

Recent figures reveal that 76% of UK businesses are single-person enterprises and 96% of UK SMEs have fewer than ten employees. It’s fair to say you need to find inexpensive and imaginative methods to compete with the big guns.  

Let’s be frank; you can’t outspend Amazon and eBay as e-tailers or massive high street retailers when it comes to Black Friday sales and marketing strategies. 

It’s worth noting the Pareto principle when it comes to sales; 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. Rather than try to win new business during the week, it would be best if you considered marketing heavily towards your already loyal client base. 

Black Friday high street retail sales and marketing ideas 

Let’s consider a few simple ideas to generate interest in your high street operation on the day. You could consider using all or just some. None of these suggestions takes much time to prepare. All should gain from the increased footfall on the day, which according to Springboard, will improve significantly this year compared to 2020. But keep to a basic rule; push what works on the day, don’t get too experimental as the day unfolds.  

  • Sandwich boards 

  • Vouchers 

  • Leaflets 

  • Gift cards 

  • Discounts  

  • Raffles 

  • Shop window use 

  • Broadcasts 

Sandwich boards are time-proven methods to attract interest, and you don’t need them to be unique and sign written for the day. Using a bit of imagination and a printer, you could glue or tack your daily offers to the board to get people in the store. 

Depending on the reaction, you can change these board offers throughout the day, ensuring that passing interest remains high. If you sell consumables, you can gauge the appeal to see if you can discount deeper and if it’s worth it. If, for example, you’re a salon, you could discount certain services if the offers are popular.  

As footfall builds slowly, you may be able to hand out vouchers to the passing shoppers in the morning, which illustrates the store’s offers. If you’re a café, restaurant or other service business, you may be able to book all your covers and appointment space early. You can then relax knowing you’ve done all you can on the day. If you’re full, why not offer a disappointed potential customer money off if they return on another day?  

Raffles can be an excellent method to get clients to return to the shop to see if they’ve won any of the prizes. You get a second opportunity to sell or at a lower price. You can repeat the raffle every hour or build excitement for the most expensive raffle prize towards the end of the day.  

Your shop window can be one of the most cost-effective and efficient tools at your disposal. You can start to get potential customers interested today; you don’t have to wait for Black Friday. Many shoppers on a local high street will pass your shop by foot, local transport or car each day, so advertising early offers on the most prominent free advertising space you have can work exceptionally well.  

Black Friday online sales and marketing ideas 

Your first challenge is to keep the online initiatives simple for your staff to execute and your clients to understand the benefits. Many of the ideas mentioned above in the high street retail campaign might also work well online. If you’re an online retail business, this Black Friday strategy could be the ideal practice run for your Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year sales campaigns.  

Loyalty vouchers for existing clients can be emailed to your client database, and Black Friday discounts can be applied to shopping baskets at checkout. You can host hourly online raffles, which clients can enter by subscribing to your mailing list, encouraging visitors to return to the site or continually refresh the page.  

Your online shop window is the first page or the landing of your site. You should quickly and easily change the copy depending on the sales and marketing platform your website is built on and hosted. You shouldn’t need to involve the web development company that made your website because you should access and control the CMS content management system. 

You can temporarily replace the homepage with a landing page of Black Friday offers or use a banner ad, which gets easily removed after the day. If you have some rudimentary skills, you might be able to place a clock on the homepage counting down the seconds to midnight when your sales begin.  

Social media use for Black Friday 

Your social media use is critical on the day too. It’s impossible to stress just how crucial these channels can be for small businesses. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the three essential tools at your disposal, and small businesses who use these channels well can get creative and have an advantage over larger competitors.  

If you search online, you’ll discover plenty of advice on how to organise a comprehensive social media campaign for Friday in minute detail. However, it’s fair to say most of it is common sense; create hashtags, offer free delivery, etc.  

You have your followers, and this is your unique and loyal database that’ll be most receptive to your marketing and sales initiatives. You’ve spent thousands of hours building and curating these followers; it’s now time to put it to clever use.  

Customers who’ve bought off you in the past will most likely buy again if they signed up for your emails, newsletters and blogs. Once again, these social media campaigns do not cost much, if anything. You only need a bit of imagination, an image and a strapline to build a compelling message.  

How your campaign stitches together  

To finish, let’s put most of the ideas listed above into a credible plan that costs buttons to put together. Let’s suggest you’re a high street retail business with an online presence and online store that generates a steady sales level. In a four-day campaign beginning the Tuesday before Black Friday, you organise offline and online ideas.  

Offline ideas 

You design the vouchers, leaflets and gift cards and your storefront window ready for Friday. The paper used can be limited to black and white, saving on printer ink. You change the storefront window design each day to keep passing footfall engaged and interested during the week. You use your sandwich boards to announce upcoming sales and excite passing trade that other discounts and offers will get revealed on the day.  

On Friday, you take it in turns with your team to hand out the leaflets and vouchers to passers-by, don’t forget this creates excitement around your storefront, and most shoppers won’t feel awkward taking money off coupons. After all, they’re out to shop and potentially save money. 

You also broadcast raffles throughout the day if you have some form of PA equipment, emphasising that customers must be present in-store at raffle time to receive your gift or offer.  

Online ideas 

You design a temporary homepage for your website that you can remove on Saturday and restore your regular page. You organise a new landing page for your offers and discounts. 

You tweak the shopping basket section to offer free delivery. You also provide multibuy discounts. You discount certain lines and use the day as an opportunity to rid your business of stock that has stuck. 

The social media campaign is straightforward; you get busy on all relevant channels. If you sell consumables, you repeat all the offers on your printed material to reinforce the message. 

Suppose you’re a service business, for instance, a salon, café or restaurant. In that case, you encourage people to book early through your online booking system and encourage clients to bag the deals and discounts now because they’ll disappear at midnight.

The total cost is negligible if you put the above into action; it mainly takes time and effort. As a bonus, if you’re not necessarily sales and marketing savvy, you might begin to learn the basics and realise that putting together a comprehensive programme isn’t too tricky, whatever your level of skills and experience. You’ll also gather valuable data concerning the response. You’ll know what worked, when and why, information that can prove invaluable for your next campaign.  

We’ve discussed preparing for the Christmas sales in an earlier blog article which you can read by clicking here. Combined with our Black Friday and Cyber Monday suggestions, you should be forearmed and ready to compete. 

If you think you might need help before Black Friday or after that, why not start your business loan application with us today and find a finance product to suit your needs?

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Courteney Way
Courteney Way

Marketing Director

Courteney Way is the Marketing Director at Funding Options, raising the profile of the fast-growth fintech within the ecosystem and building brand awareness as a vital provider of finance solutions to SMEs. For the past ten years, she has worked across UK, European and South African markets and In 2022, she was recognised as part of Women in Fintech Powerlist.

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