When’s the best time to start Black Friday marketing?

Topic: Black Friday, Marketing
When to start Black Friday marketing campaign

How early is too early to start a Black Friday marketing campaign? Most businesses launch 2-4 weeks before the big weekend. Here are 3 tips to follow.

From marketing promotions to general gossip, people are talking about Black Friday earlier each year. When we surveyed over 4,000 consumers across the globe, we found 93% want to hear about Black Friday in advance, with 53% up to a fortnight before and 28% up to a month before the big day.

So, the data suggests that best time to launch your Black Friday marketing campaign is between 2-4 weeks before.

But just how early can you push it?

If you launch too soon, you could be ridiculed on social media and consumers might be tired of your campaigns by the time Black Friday hits. So, there’s a balance that needs to be struck.

If you’re preparing a Black Friday SMS marketing campaign or exploring your options with other channels, follow these tips to make sure you launch at the optimal time:

  1. Analyse customer data to understand who will respond well to early campaigns
  2. Tailor your offers to individual customers
  3. Vary your offers in the lead-up to the big day

1. Analyse customer data to understand who will respond well to early campaigns

As it’s close to the likes of Christmas, many consumers use Black Friday as a chance to do the majority of their Christmas shopping. It’s a great time to catch a bargain, after all. But not everyone will be planning in advance to be prepared for the holidays. 

Andy Mulcahy, Strategy & Insight Director at IMRG, the UK’s leading e-retail organisation, said in one of our recent webinars: “Every shopper is a little bit different. Some people are shopping for Christmas now…they’ve been doing it for two months already. And then you have other people like my brother who won’t buy anything until Christmas Eve.”

He recommends reviewing your customer data to get a better understanding of customer behaviour. You can then segment into groups who will respond positively to early Black Friday communications. 

“Everybody exhibits different behaviours. Break them up as per these behaviours and you’ll know when is the best time to start marketing to them.”

2. Tailor your offers to individual customers

In addition to knowing which customers will respond positively to early Black Friday related news, understand your individual customer’s needs. What are they looking for? What do they typically purchase? 

“Consumers shop around more over the Black Friday period,” said Andy in our webinar. “They may even look at brands that they may not usually go to. So, it’s important to give them the experience they’re looking for when they come to you.”

Here are some ways you could personalise offers:

  • Promotional codes on specific product ranges that the customer typically purchases
  • Exclusive bundles depending on customer purchase behaviour
  • If you have a loyalty scheme, offer discount codes that increase in amount depending on how many points customers have accrued
  • Discount codes where the amount saved depends on the basket value

You can even reach out to the customers who often buy Christmas gifts at the last minute. Rather than offering exclusive promo/discount codes and bundles (which likely won’t work due to their buying behaviour), think of other ways you could offer them value. 

For instance, how about shopping guides based on a loved one (e.g. gifts for him/her)? While they may not necessarily hit ‘purchase’ just yet, this will get them thinking in advance.

3. Vary your offers in the lead-up to the big day

Another tactic you could try when marketing for peak season is launching different offers in the lead-up to the sale period. For example, if you’re going to have a week-long campaign, offer different discount codes across the week. The discount can increase in value as you approach the big day.

Some retailers launch teasers in the run up to the event. For instance, Apple launched a cliffhanger campaign for Black Friday last year. Weeks before the day, they sent out emails that gradually revealed snippets of the upcoming deals. 

Varying your offers can help boost customer engagement, exciting people prior to the big sale event and encouraging them to spend money.

Black Friday: How early is too early to start talking about it?

It’s no secret that the last quarter of the year is typically the busiest period for retailers. For example, in 2022, global online sales over the Black Friday weekend hit an all-time high of $9 billion. Additionally, 77% of consumers are planning to stop spending up to a month before the day so they can splurge when the time comes.

With data like that, it’s no surprise you want to prepare for and launch your campaigns in advance. But is there an ideal time for launch and how early is too early? The answer to those questions depend on your customers.

Start by analysing your customer data to understand their typical behaviours and then tailor your campaigns accordingly.

Want to learn more about peak season and how retailers like yourself can prepare? Download our exclusive eBook below.

Author Avatar
Laura Haynes

Hey I'm Laura, UK&I Marketing Manager at Esendex 👋 I enjoy developing and implementing marketing strategies and campaign experiences that create brand awareness and drive revenue by winning, growing and retaining engaged customers.