Black Friday for Ecommerce Brands: The Definite 3-Month Strategy for Pros

Michael E.
Michael E.
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Black Friday is by far the most lucrative time of the year for most ecommerce brands worldwide. Despite this fact, most companies are not properly prepared. To make sure that doesn't happen to you, we're going to show you an action plan that you can follow every single year to maximize your profits like huge enterprises.

I'm not kidding when I say that it was common for my brands and the companies I'm working with to generate up to 50% of the annual sales from a well-laid-out Black Friday strategy.

Preparation and planning make the difference between a beginner and a pro. Most ecommerce brands have Black Friday on their radar but don't create a strategy and come out with mediocre discount codes afterward.

When you consider that you can get 30-50% of your annual sales during this time only, doesn't it seem like two weeks and a discount code is too little? It sure is.

While you don't need to spend the entire year working toward Black Friday, we've found that 3 months in advance is a good guideline.

Now, let's get started on what to do within these months.


Think you can wait until November to start planning for Black Friday? Think again.

Getting the basics right means setting up your tech, figuring out your customer groups, and ensuring your main workflows are smooth. If you haven't tried SMS marketing, now is a good time to jump in.

As for emails, they must land in the inboxes, so make sure you're doing well on that front. This matters when Black Friday rolls around because you need people and inboxes to trust your emails and not be left unseen.

Also, if you want to grow your marketing list, why not run a giveaway or a contest? It's a fun and proven way to get more subscribers. Plus, it helps you grow your list without spending big bucks on ads, especially when ad prices shoot up around Black Friday.

And here is the entire plan for the first month.

Black Friday September Calendar Outline

September Checklist:

  • Configure Essential Integrations for Black Friday: Connect your email marketing software with platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook to streamline your marketing efforts.
  • Implement and A/B Test Key Automation Flows: Develop automated email sequences for scenarios like welcoming new subscribers, recovering abandoned carts, and post-purchase follow-ups. Make sure to A/B test these to optimize performance.
  • Optimize Signup Forms via A/B Testing: Fine-tune the signup forms on your website through A/B tests to maximize visitor engagement and capture.
  • Execute a Pre-Black Friday Acquisition Campaign: Conduct a dedicated campaign to expand your email list in preparation for Black Friday.
  • Accumulate Product Reviews: Start gathering product reviews and integrating them into your marketing for social proof.
  • Initiate List Warming: If your email deliverability requires it, commence a list-warming process at least 6 weeks before executing large email campaigns.

Email Deliverability Guidelines for Black Friday

To maximize the visibility of your Black Friday emails, it's crucial to ensure they land in your subscribers' inboxes. Confidence in email deliverability is key, especially before initiating any large-scale email campaigns. Four major factors influence your reputation as an email sender and, by extension, your email deliverability:

  • IP Reputation
  • Recipient Engagement
  • Content Quality
  • Sending Domain Reputation

To make sure your investment in campaign planning and execution isn't wasted, pay attention to the following dos and don'ts leading up to Black Friday.


  • Purge Inactive Subscribers


    Manually suppress subscribers who haven't engaged with your content in the last 365 days to clean your main list.

  • Target Engaged Segments


    Concentrate on sending most of your messages to actively engaged segments, such as audiences who've interacted with your brand in the past 30, 60, 90, or 180 days.

  • Provide Opt-Out Options Early


    Before your Black Friday promotions kick off, offer subscribers an option to opt out and exclude these individuals from future sale emails.


  • Mass Mail an Unsegmented List


    Avoid blasting campaigns to your entire, undifferentiated subscriber list.

  • Resend to Disengaged Audiences


    Do not resend campaigns to non-openers who are unlikely to engage with your content.

We have written a very detailed article about email deliverability, make sure you check the key points there to avoid email spam filters in particular.

To give you some benchmarks, you can monitor the following metrics and ensure that they are in line.

Healthy Email Metrics for High Deliverability


It’s time to smooth out the details of your Black Friday plan. Are you thinking of giving a percentage discount, a certain amount off, or something even more fun?

Explore more on this in the following sections, but remember: Black Friday usually brings in people looking for deals, which can lower your brand’s profitability. A thoughtful and catchy campaign will not only bring in a one-time buy but also encourage more buys even after the sale is over.

Don’t forget about your SMS list – what can you do now to make sure you have lots of subscribers when Black Friday rolls around? Start by sending messages to different groups from your email list. Ask them to join SMS updates, and think about other ways SMS can get people interested.

Black Friday October Calendar Outline

October Checklist:

  • Set your BF objectives and promotions.
  • Outline the BF campaign dates, sends, and segmentations.
  • Advertise SMS opt-in as VIP access to Black Friday deals.
  • Clean up your list and remove inactive subscribers.
  • Review and refine paid advertising spending before the expensive Black Friday season.
  • Send a Halloween “treat” campaign to very active subscribers, like those engaged in the past 30 days.

Black Friday Promotion Tactics

Optimize your promotion to increase engagement and Average Order Value (AOV).

Leading brands maintain a fine balance. They fulfill consumer desires with appealing offers while incorporating elements that can increase the AOV or decrease the reliance on discounts by providing a gift with substantial purchases.

Dermalogica's Tiered Offer & Twining's Product Aware Discount
Success Story Black Friday Tatti Lashes

Try to make your offer unique. You can achieve this in many ways, by using a different from normal discount structure, adding a product, launching a limited edition on top of your discount (e.g. Dyson once offered a black version of their latest vacuum cleaner for Black Friday only), or something else. Think about your product and come up with ideas that match your business.


It’s go time!

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all campaign schedule that guarantees optimal outcomes, so you won’t find any rigid send times for different audiences detailed here. Should such a magic formula exist, its effectiveness would quickly diminish as everyone would adopt the same approach, leading it to become clichéd and unproductive.

Instead, the provided dates are intended as a generalized guideline to help you finalize the tasks on your Black Friday checklist. November is your final opportunity to optimize and quality assure before you activate the “schedule” function.

Another critical component for a triumphant Black Friday? Personal wellbeing. Allocate moments to unwind, alleviate stress, and simply breathe. While Black Friday is a significant occasion, it should never overshadow your mental well-being – seriously.

Black Friday November Calendar Outline

November Checklist:

  • Provide an option for BF opt-out and subsequently exclude subscribers who prefer not to receive messages.
  • Construct and set up your multichannel communications, such as emails and texts.
  • Finalize optimizations to automated flows and your website to emphasize your BF deals.
  • Run BF campaign, featuring early/VIP specials, targeted sends based on data, etc.
  • Oversee post-purchase engagement to motivate new customers to make additional purchases.

Motivating Outcomes and Straightforward Guidance

When designing your Black Friday emails, bear in mind: your customers are busy. Your campaign’s blueprint may be complex, but your content needs to be clear and to the point, eliminating any risk of confusion or distraction.

Receive insights from a fellow marketer emphasizing the significance of simplicity.

"Our primary objective for Black Friday was to promote offers that were easily understandable for our customers, while simultaneously optimizing our trading opportunities. As a brand that does not typically emphasize discounts, we aimed to maintain clarity and avoid over-complicating our promotions"
Leighton Kearns, Head of Ecommerce at Montirex
Montirex Black Friday Results

Montirex's Campaign Highlights Behind the Scenes:

  • Early Black Friday sale
  • Site-wide flat discount
  • Enhanced VIP discount via email + SMS
  • Lead generation before Black Friday
  • Integration of email + SMS

What’s Awaiting Your Customers This Black Friday?

Throughout the year, numerous opportunities arise for crafting unforgettable customer experiences that can result in purchases.

Utilize our calendar outlines to devise a Black Friday campaign that will astonish and please your customers, offering them distinctive value that only your brand can provide. Elevate these campaigns by coupling them with intelligent email nurture flows to captivate those who haven’t promptly completed a purchase.

As you can see, marketing automation plays a big role in implementing an effective Black Friday strategy. If you're not using any software yet or you're not satisfied with your current solution because you don't have all the features you need, check out our Finder Tool. Just answer a few short questions, and you'll get the perfect recommendation for your ecommerce business in a few seconds.

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I used to sell everything online. Today I teach others to do the same. As an ecommerce consultant, I explore opportunities and test new strategies to leverage what others have yet to see.