Back to Blog
Published at | Updated:

6 last-minute Black Friday marketing ideas to boost sales

An illustration of a sign that reads “Last minute tips for Black Friday” next to a shopping bag and cart.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and everyone is starting to count their blessings, say thanks, and create their wish lists ahead of the holidays. Thanksgiving is an important day, but its long five-day weekend brings two even more prominent holidays, at least for shoppers: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Combined, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday make up the most lucrative time of year for many businesses. While it’s especially crucial for anyone in retail, this weekend is relevant to every business that sells anything, whether it’s goods, software, or services, and whether they are business-to-business (B2B)Business-to-business (B2B)Business-to-business (B2B) refers to operations done between businesses. B2B payments are transactions made between two businesses or companies. or consumer-oriented.

3 Thanksgiving Weekend facts to get your marketing juices flowing

  • In 2020, the long weekend attracted 186.4 million U.S. shoppers. Each spent an average of $312, which translates into over $58 billion in sales.  
  • Last year, on Black Friday alone, online shopping amounted to $9 billion.
  • Predictions for this year are even higher, with Adobe expecting online sales to amount to $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday, $9.5 billion on Black Friday, and $5.4 billion on Thanksgiving. That’s over $26 billion, without taking into account in-store sales, which will likely also rise after last year’s lockdown-infused holiday season.

It’s not too late to grab a piece of the Black Friday pie

We know what you’re thinking, and we get it. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you’ve already bought your turkey, which is safely thawing in the fridge. It may feel like there isn’t enough time left to try new tricks ahead of Black Friday.

But, what if we told you there are some last-minute Black Friday marketing strategies that can give your business that extra holiday boost without months of planning or even much spending on your part? 

Now that we have your attention let’s dive right into the tricks and tips that will make this holiday season more successful for your business.

Easy-to-implement Black Friday marketing strategies

Following the six strategies outlined below can make a huge difference.

Strategy #1: Make a long weekend out of it

Instead of coming up with a different marketing strategy for each of the three events, combine Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday into one long shopping celebration. 

This way, you save time and money on making separate banner designs, and ads, while also creating momentum around your holiday offering.

Over the five-day weekend and the days leading up to it, be sure to communicate your special offers and deals to customers via email, text messages, social media, and in-store banners or flyers.

Strategy #2: Start a flash sale

A great way to create a sense of urgency among shoppers is by offering time-sensitive deals that change at least once a day during Thanksgiving Weekend.

This strategy encourages shoppers to make faster decisions while showing them that it’s always worthwhile to check out your store and see what’s new. 

Flash sales are also a great selling point to encourage shoppers to sign up for your newsletter, so they’re among the first to know about the next deal.

Strategy #3: Use loss leader pricing

Choose one of your bestselling or most compelling items and significantly slash its price. Before you ask, no, we haven’t lost our minds. Loss leader pricing is actually a well-established method of getting customers through the door and attracting them away from competitors. 

The idea behind this strategy is that once shoppers are in your store, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar or an online shop, most of them are likely to buy additional items since they already feel they are getting a great deal. Be sure to strategically place relevant products near your loss leader to encourage upsells. 

Still, we suggest you tread lightly when using this strategy. Unlike mega-retailers like Walmart, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) cannot afford to overdo it with loss leaders. 

To make sure you’re not losing money off of your own Black Friday sale, consider limiting the number of items sold at loss-leading prices and the number of discounted items allowed per shopper. Another option is to offer the super-low price only to those customers who spend a certain amount at your store. Whatever precaution you choose, it’s important to clearly specify it in all your marketing communications.

Strategy #4: Be thankful

Thanksgiving Weekend is an excellent opportunity to express our gratitude to friends, loved ones, and, of course, the loyal customers who play such an important role in keeping you in business. 

One great way to say thanks is to reward existing customers with exclusive deals or coupon codes around the busy shopping season. This serves a dual purpose: making your customers feel appreciated while reminding them of the great service and value your business provides.

Strategy #5: Give a gift-picking hand

The holiday season is busy for everyone, and gift shopping can become quite a chore. If your business offers products that can be gifted, your customers will truly appreciate your help in sorting out the best presents for everyone in their lives. 

When it’s easy for people to find something for everyone on their list without leaving your store, they’re less likely to start looking elsewhere. So, consider creating gift guides and, pre-picking the most relevant items from your catalog to fit various gift recipients such as significant others, kids, parents, colleagues, etc. 

For an online shop, creating a gift guide can be as simple as adding tags to products—for example, “kids aged 6-12” or “work friends”—and linking to the relevant search pages in your marketing communications. 

If your shop is brick and mortar, you can use social media posts to curate gift lists by bundling pictures of products relevant to each category together in one post.

Strategy #6: More is, well, more

While every purchase is a win, it’s evident that the bigger the deal, the better it is for your business. 

One way to encourage upsells without being overly pushy is to offer a special Black Friday benefit to shoppers who spend over a certain amount. 

The benefit can be free shipping, 10% off, or even a small but useful complimentary item related to your business. The key here is to make it something valuable enough for your customers that they’ll be willing to reach deeper into their pockets to get it.

Get started

By now, we’ve established that you don’t have to be a marketing expert or spend months planning your campaigns to improve your Black Friday sales. 

Using one or more of the simple yet effective Black Friday marketing strategies outlined above can give your business the boost it needs without draining your budget or adding too much to your workload. 

In other words, you can boost your Black Friday sales and still be home in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.