Let’s Play Black Friday Bullsh*t Bingo From iThinkMedia

Jack Minot
Nov 23, 2018

Black Friday is one of the most important weekends for online retailers. This creates a lot of hype, causing many businesses to jump on the bandwagon. In the pursuit of gaining traction on this big sales weekend, many marketing sites publish tips and tricks for retailers in hope to drive traffic to their sites. In the last four weeks alone, over 3,000 Black Friday marketing guides have been published. Now that’s a lot of tips.

With such an abundance of guides going out, quality tends to slip. Businesses want to get a post out simply for the sake of jumping on the ‘Black Friday marketing tips’ trend.

With our best Sherlock Holmes hats and pipes equipped, looked analysed over 1,000 articles to see what’s been suggested this year. Some tips were good. Some not so.

Heed our warnings for the stupid suggestions and learn from the top tips to prepare for Black Friday 2019.

1. Crash! Wallop! Bang!


Our Verdict

Thumbs Up:

Preparing your site for an influx of users is simply a must. Your site won’t be used to having such a great number of active users at once, so keeping everything working can make or break your Black Friday performance. Last year, Game, Perfume Shop, Macy’s and Ted Baker were all affected by site failures. You can’t run this risk on such a big day.

2. Optimise Schmoptimise!


Our Verdict

Thumbs Down:

Make sure that your Black Friday page isn’t stuffed with annoying Black Friday keywords and that the copy is actually useful to the user. This page should keep all navigation elements too, with links to all the categories that will be included. Showcase some of the upcoming/current deals on popular items to create some hype.

3. The Final Countdown!


Our Verdict

Thumbs Down:

Pretty much every brand blasts you with countdown emails and uses clock widgets. This is now commonplace with Black Friday marketing, giving a more physical feel to this abstract concept. Keep this fresh by using social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to post engaging GIFS, pictures and memes or Insta/FB stories instil a sense of urgency. Use a countdown timer with quirky comments and a jokey tone for something more engaging than a simple clock.

4. Send A Black Friday Email


Our Verdict

Thumbs Up:

Email marketing is 40 times more successful at acquiring customers than the social media forces of Facebook and Twitter combined, so it’s not to be ignored. Rather than generic text emails, push the boat out and take advantage of GIFs and animations for increased interactions.

5. Double Down On Discounts


Our Verdict

Thumbs Down:

Simply having sales won’t do. Create some buzz and anticipation around your discounts with an hourly flash sale, offering reduced prices that last for a limited amount of time. People will flock to your site to pick up on these fleeting deals.

6. Create A Gift Guide


Our Verdict

Thumbs down:

While gift guides can be valuable resources, a generic product catalogue is off-putting, even to the most crazed deal-hungry shopper. Use your knowledge and creativity to create a resource they didn’t know they needed. The Missguided “Jeans and a nice top” section springs to mind.

7. Competitions & Giveaways


Our Verdict

Thumbs Down:

While competitions can be a useful tool to rope in potential customers, heavily involved and laborious contests will be ignored in favour of flash sales.

8. Start Early


Our Verdict

Thumbs Down & Up: – We’re Unsure:

With it now being deemed Grey November, and Sofa Sunday coming into play, are these one-day or one-weekend holiday shopping sprees coming to an end? It doesn’t look like it, with 2017 sales reaching 8bn up from the 5.6bn in 2016.

9. Get Social


Our Verdict

Thumbs Up:

The Buzz around Black Friday on social is huge. On Facebook alone, ad spend increases by 600% from Thanks-Giving to Cyber Monday. Planning a paid campaign throughout the holiday period is an essential strategy for any brand looking to capitalise on the purchases.

10. Keep Your Sales Running


Our Verdict

Thumbs Up:

Prolong the Black Friday buzz with late-finishing sales. Don’t shut off your sales when the clock strikes 12, keep it going longer than your competitors to gain more customers. Or, create a ‘use it when you want it’ pass. This way, customers can get great deals in the days after Black Friday. Make customers sign-up for this to get more people in your email marketing list.


If you want to make this holiday season count for your e-commerce business, keep up to date with our Black Friday and Festive posts for helpful, in-depth information.


Auto Grow – 8 Practical Tips to Design a Black Friday Landing Page That Converts

Retail Drive – Meet the winners and losers of Black Friday 2017

Shopify – 8 Awesome Black Friday Cyber Monday Emails to Inspire Your Own Campaigns

Campaign Monitor – 24 Awesome Black Friday Marketing Campaigns [Updated]

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