Prepare for the most competitive time of the year with a Black Friday online handbook prepared by Tomasz Babiec, founder of B Interactive.
1. Get your ads online 2-3 days before Black Friday.
Lots of people are going to be uploading ads LITERALLY the day before Black Friday. There are 7 million advertisers on Facebook. So even if just half of them will run ads, it means that 3.5 million people will be uploading ads most likely on the same day. Last year, Facebook Ads Manager went down the day before Black Friday. Therefore, it’s better to be on the safe side and upload ads in advance. Your Black Friday online advertising plan better be prepared in advance! The last thing you want to happen is for you to wake up on Black Friday, check the Ads Manager, and see that none of your ads was approved. If you upload in advance, you’ll also have the ability to fix your creatives or copy in case the ads get disapproved.
2. Make your Black Friday online offer clear and easy to understand.
Don’t make your Black Friday online offers confusing and hard to remember. Go for simple promos and discounts, e.g., 30% off storewide or BOGO (buy one get one). If your ad says something like “If you buy creams A and B, you’ll get free shipping and a gift if the total amount is over $200”, people will be confused, and it won’t work. Use simple discounts and communicate your offer clearly. If they get X more, tell them it will last a month longer and that they’ll be able to get 2x or 3x more results!
3. Make your offer special. Don’t just offer the same deals as you always do.
Black Friday is the time when people prepare the CRAZIEST promos and offer the best online deals. If you usually offer 20% off during a sale and you have enough margin, give a higher discount, a gift with every purchase (it could also be a mysterious gift!), or a discount on products that you don’t normally do. By making your offer special, you will stand out, and people will have a greater incentive to purchase.
4. Come up with catchy creative that shows your offer within the first 3-5 seconds. Make your images and videos stand out!
Your customers will be attacked with HUNDREDS of Black Friday online ads, EVERYWHERE. Facebook, Google display, TV, radio, billboards, stores… What’s going to make YOUR ads stand out from the crowd?
You have to make your ads punchy, upbeat, and good looking. Immediately show what your offer is and why people should care. If you don’t pay enough attention to creatives, your CTR will be lower, and you’ll end up leaving money on the table!
5. Focus on creatives more than on tactics.
In today’s world of AI and machine learning, tactics are becoming less important than creatives. If your Black Friday ads don’t look great, they won’t convert. Split testing VC and ATC optimization may increase your ROAS, but the benefit will be much smaller than in the case of good looking videos and images.
6. Test all your Black Friday online discounts and promos in advance.
If you usually offer a 20% discount and you want to do 30% off on Black Friday, make sure that people can’t stack the discounts. We’re pretty sure that you don’t want people to get another 20% off on top of the 30%.
Additionally, if you offer a gift (or gifts), make sure your customers can actually add them to the cart and that people can check out and purchase. If your offer doesn’t work, you’re going to get lots of frustrated customers who might abandon their carts without even messaging your customer support and thus losing your sales.
7. Use automatic discounts wherever you can!
You should seriously consider automating your Black Friday online discounts. People may forget what your discount code is. If you tell them there’s no code, this won’t happen!
In our experience, automatic discounts DRAMATICALLY increase sales and conversion rates. If you’re on Shopify, basic automatic discounts are pre-built into your backend. On WooCommerce, you may need to use a plugin.
8. Monitor your account every 1-2h, especially if you’re planning to spend a lot.
Keep an eye on your ad account all day. This is the time to hit the gas, so be proactive and check your stats! Doing so will help you identify all opportunities and potential problems. Not looking at your ad account may be expensive.
Get a big cup of coffee and prepare for a long day. ☕
9. If your Black Friday online advertising plan includes spending more than $5k/day on Facebook, ask support for a spend increase.
Most ad accounts have a spend cap at $5,000/day (or local currency equivalent). If your Black Friday online advertising plan includes spending more than that and you’ve never done it before, make sure to ask Facebook support for a spend increase. There’s a good chance your ad spend will be capped exactly at $5k, and you won’t be able to spend even a penny more! If you ask for a spend increase on Black Friday, they may not do it immediately, so prepare in advance and monetize the opportunity.
10. Increase the budget if you see positive results.
Act like you want to crush it! If you see good results, ramp up the spend. Black Friday isn’t an ordinary day! People are in a shopping mood, and they want to spend, so take advantage of it! If it’s 8 AM in the ad account time zone and one of your ad sets already has 5 sales, increase its budget.
In addition, you may want to check if your card has enough money. If your card runs out of money, there is a chance that your ad account might get suspended for unusual/suspicious activity. That would be horrible, so check if there’s enough money. Apart from that, some credit card transfers may take a couple of days to clear, so prepare in advance. You wouldn’t want your ads to stop because your card got declined.
11. Don’t test too many Black Friday ads and ad sets if you don’t have a big enough budget.
If you want to spend $500 on Black Friday ads and your conversions cost $100 on average, don’t run 20 ad sets because your budget will get diluted, and Facebook’s algorithm won’t be able to optimize properly! Aim to get AT LEAST 3-5 conversions (purchases, ATCs, etc.) per ad set and use 3-5 ads per ad set. If you set the budget too low, the algorithm won’t get enough data to optimize correctly.
12. Target potential and existing customers separately.
Facebook’s algorithm will always try to give you the lowest hanging fruit first. Even if you target a 10% lookalike of purchases, your ads may still get delivered to your existing customers if you don’t exclude them. A likely outcome is that you’ll get, e.g., 10 very cheap sales, you’ll get excited, you’ll crank up the budgets, and then your ROAS will take a deep dive because the lowest hanging fruit is not going to be there anymore.
If you exclude existing customers from prospecting campaigns, you’ll have a better idea about how things are performing. Additionally, you’ll be able to properly segment your campaigns and tweak messaging.
13. Heavily retarget warm audiences.
Warm audiences usually convert a lot better than cold ones, so retarget everyone you can, but don’t go crazy. Showing ads to someone who visited your site six months ago most likely won’t make them buy. They’re cold traffic again.
Focus on retargeting audiences from the past 30 days, so retarget Facebook & Instagram engagement, video viewers, top 25% time spent on site, people who added to cart, etc.
If you get good results from the past 30 days, test 60-day audiences but exclude the 30-day ones to avoid auction overlap (you’re competing against yourself and driving up ad costs).
14. Email your list a couple of times during the sale. Use FOMO and scarcity.
People are going to get dozens of emails with Black Friday ads and may not even notice yours. Sending multiple emails (e.g., to people who haven’t opened your previous email) increases the odds of them finding out about your sale and buying.
Remind people that your offer is time-limited, that it expires on a given day at a given time, that supplies are limited, and that there are hundreds of other people shopping the sale.
Use customer testimonials, communicate FOMO (fear of missing out), and use countdown timers in your emails.