Your 9 Step Guide to a Super-Successful Black Friday Campaign.

As an agency, iLEAD et al has run numerous successful Black Friday, Cyber Monday campaigns over the years, leading to valuable learnings and insights that I’d like to share with you today.


Step 1: What to do in September


It may seem surprising at first glance, but successful campaigns begin implementing search advertising for Black Friday as early as September.


This is because many people start searching for Black Friday deals early on in anticipation of the big day. Catch these early birds by ensuring that your website features prominently on the results page for these searches.


Additionally, Cost-per-Clicks for your relevant keywords will still be comparatively low and affordable in September.


Step 2: Collect and Build Your Audience


By starting your campaign early, you can initiate the process of collecting audiences to use in your marketing closer to the time.


To capture possible sales before competitors, don’t stop at only allowing potential customers to register for early access – go so far as to actively encourage it.


By encouraging people to supply their details for access to early deals, you are building a pipeline that you can market to closer to the time.


The second upside to this is that you’re simultaneously building a database you can market to long after Black Friday, Cyber Monday has passed.


Step 3: Tease, Tease, Tease…


In mid-October, start your teaser campaigns.


The idea here is to build both awareness and anticipation by showcasing the deals to come. Your advertising should appear on Google Discovery, YouTube and the Google Display Network.


Step 4: Start Selling Earlier


People buy early due to a fear of losing out and not knowing whether deals will still be available on the big day.


Even more importantly, however, by selling early you effectively spread out your sales, thereby relieving pressure on your site and easing delivery logistics following Black Friday.


So, to recap:


  • By concentrating on search results in September, you can influence consideration early on;
  • By deploying Display, Discovery, YouTube and even email campaigns mid-October, you can generate awareness and encourage consideration amongst undecided shoppers;
  • Then, starting sales early on in November will enable you to drive action amongst the potential shoppers you’ve reached.


Step 5: Keep to Budget by Getting Your Timing Right


If you have a limited budget, instead of running your ads all day, every day, rather plan for the most optimal times. These being:


  • 24:00 – 02:00
  • 08:00 – 10:00
  • 13:00 – 15:00

The above times are verified by both Standard Bank (i.e. on their credit card transactions) and by Google in terms of search volumes. From our own experience, we can certainly attest to the accuracy of the time suggestions.


Step 6: Keep to Budget by Targeting Better


Still on the topic of a limited budget, make the most of your spend on Google by staying away from bidding on expensive, generic search phrases, such as:


  • “Black Friday deals,” and
  • “Best Cyber Monday specials.”

These searches often lead to clicks (costing you money), but they also attract low-intent shoppers with a low chance of converting (making you money).


Step 7: Great Content Equals Great SEO


SEO can be criminally overlooked when it comes to holistic Black Friday, Cyber Monday campaign planning.


A simple way of driving quality traffic to your site, organically, is by writing and optimising content on your website that’ll appeal to customers.


Consider, for example, articles like: “5 Must-Know Black Friday Tips”.


Key phrases (e.g. “Black Friday Tips”) usually have high search volumes, and therefore high clicks to your site. Many of your competitors may not focus on this, which will give you an edge when it comes to organic rankings.


The principle is straightforward: People love useful and readable content that gives them value.


Anecdotally, one such article taught me that one can add a product to a cart, then abandon the cart and wait for the company to alert you that this item is now on sale on Black Friday.


That’s pretty useful information to a serious buyer.


Step 8: The Sale Doesn’t End with Payment


Lastly, I need to underscore the importance of making sure your after sales execution is on point!


With something like delivery issues after Black Friday, Cyber Monday, you run the risk of getting a bad reputation on social media.


This, unfortunately, has a lasting effect on your business and credibility.


Plan for high sales, and always consider the end-to-end user experience.


Step 9: Feel Free to Get in Touch


If the above seems a bit daunting and you’d like some assistance in your (smashingly successful) Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns for 2020, feel free to reach out to us at

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