Everything You Need To Launch Your Black Friday Ideas in 2018

BONUS: FREE Black Friday Subject Line Cheat Sheet

Black friday marketing

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Black Friday Everything.

Here we are, ready to Black Friday the core of your business!

Black Friday ideas are sort of growing into our special field of expertise: this is the first of many Black Friday stories to follow, all complete with actionable checklists, original ideas, extraordinary branding, and automated conversions specifically designed for you in 2018, by us.

To give you a fresh article with Black Friday ideas, we are turning Black Friday into a board game to properly break the mould in your industry.

You can pick your player as we go over the three Marketing launch scenarios in the following industries.

Before we begin, let me lay down the rules of this game:

You can choose to play as Player 1 (Domino’s, the largest pizza restaurant chain globally), Player 2 (Selfridges, UK-based high-end department store chain), or Player 3 (Currys, major British electronical operator with hundreds of superstores and high street shops), or Player 4.

Player 4 is a player undercover: Can Player 4 devise their own master plan off of these players?

Remember, Marketing is a game of strategy, so don’t be fooled: get as much information on the other players as possible. Use their knowledge to your advantage.

Pick a player:

Black friday marketing

Let’s see what you got.

I work for Domino’s- Got your appetite all worked up?

Player 1 works in the Marketing department of a business in the Food & Beverages sector. Suppose that this is Domino’s the largest pizza store chain in the world. Now, the objective is to differentiate the offering from the competition.

This must be done in two ways:

  • Differentiate the product in the short term, during the days leading up to Black Friday.

This means that the brand needs to stand out from every direct and indirect competitor. In other words, in the case of pizza restaurants, not only does Domino’s need to differentiate itself from Pizza Hut, but also from regional competitors either in the pizza business or kebab, Chinese takeout, etc.

  • Differentiate the product in the long term to build brand loyalty.

This is done incrementally, one event or one product placement at a time. Brand loyalty is like building a tower; every time your brand is present at an event your target audience is, and is so in a meaningful and relevant way, the tower grows taller and stronger.

For instance, if your brand is like Red Bull and you sponsor a chess competition, chances are you won’t find your primary target audience there.

Another example could be for Red Bull to sponsor a Parkour & Freerunning event. Imagine Red Bull giving away pens and pins instead of having designed games and experiences for attendants with product placement of the soft drink, Red Bull bumper stickers, and branded merchandise such as T-shirts or GoPro cameras.

Essentially, your Marketing event will be memorable only through establishing emotional connections with the brand- and events are a great opportunity for brands to reach their target audiences. Bear in mind, our audiences needs to talk, live, breathe our brands with their every cell, when we are around.


Plan breakdown

Our brand aspires to be a household name. While it competes head to head with homemade food, we are focusing on making sharing a pizza to stand for togetherness and quality time spent with peers. [Find out more on Domino’s buyer persona examples.]

To that extent, these values can be communicated on the daily, depending on the post frequency that the medium we choose allows for.

For example, to motivate our audience to order when the X Factor show is on or when a game is on, we can post on Twitter if that’s the medium most popular with that segment. Twitter calls for witty one-liners, word puns, and sassy taglines, therefore we could start posting earlier on the same day. This way, our followers will be inspired to make time to invite friends over and share the moment.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Any plans for tonight? No? Well, pizza is a plan!
  2. Tuesdays are boring, but they don’t have to be flat! Nor does pizza. Unless you want it so.
  3. Hit refresh for the 37th time already? Text them lads to come over tonight- a match and a few pizzas make it right. Now, back to work.
  4. Is your computer screen larger than our Jumbo pizza boxes? Didn’t think so!
  5. We love us a good night out, but we crave us a Domino’s night in.
  6. “You had us at hello.” How cheesy of us!
  7. [photo of a half-opened pizza box] “How many squares do you need per week?” [“Square”=meal]
  8. It is about time. Pick up the phone to order.
  9. Order now and get garlic bread for free. First 100.
  10. [commenting on X Factor] “Ohh, what a burn! Nothing like our crunchy, crusty bake.”

Keep spirits up with fun captions during the months leading up to November- this is the long-term plan.

As Black Friday approaches, you can go for something like this:

Black-Friday-specific subject lines

These could range from pre-Black Friday to post-Black Friday ones. Try to cover a range of emotions, namely shoppers who are anxious to get their hands on specific items, shoppers who found what they were looking for, and those who didn’t.

Here are a few examples:

– Worried you might not find that camera you had your eyes on? Remember, you will always have Domino’s!
– Black Friday not turning out as expected? Some words of wisdom from S. Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Try better. In the meantime, order Domino’s.”
– [photo of Gollum] Got your precious? Just when you thought your day can’t get any better, you get $5 discount for today.
– “SOLD OUT”: Now here’s something we’d never tell you.
– Shoppers’ worst nightmare on Black Friday: “Please wait”, “Checking availability”, “Stock: 1 left”, “Wrong PIN number. Please try again later”. No one is quite like us. 

I admit, I couldn’t help myself so here are a few word puns for the food industry. Which one is your favorite?

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All-year-long-valid puns with food:

  1. I am very good at Thai management.
  2. This gets me every thyme!
  3. You’d butter call now!
  4. Butter now than never
  5. I look forward to our meat-up!
  6. Fry-day!
  7. I doughnut turn food down.
  8. Some people wear blue and bring me pizza- these are my fave kind of people. [for Domino’s]
  9. Let’s taco ’bout it!
  10. We’re the taco’ the town!

This is the real deal: THE most original Black Friday ideas for the food industry:

– There are many ways to grow your exposure in light of the occasion of Black Friday, one of which is to sponsor a Black Friday event. Before you pick a brand to synergize with, be sure to have all these on your checklist:

  • Brand value composition alignment: You and your partner-to-be brand should be inspired by the same values. Ensuring that the brand has a clean record and has never been accused of mistreatment of any kind, or that they have a Corporate Social Responsibility program that matches your own, are things that you should look for in a synergy.
  • Color ID alignment: Let me illustrate this point with an example of Coca Cola and Pepsi. The former’s primary brand color is red and the latter’s is blue. If Pepsi were to synergize with a brand whose brand color id is red, a conflict would be generated. Not a conscious one, possibly, but still. The point is to have a seamless visual identity even with the synergy of the two brands.
  • Target group alignment: It goes without saying that however perfect the aforementioned component alignments between your brand and the synergy brand are, the target groups must coincide on many levels. With regard to age group whatsoever, we can be more flexible for neighboring age groups.

Extraordinary Black Friday ideas

Below we discuss a few ideas for your Black Friday marketing campaigns and events to take your event off the ground.

One idea is to build power pit stop stations on-site (food and drinks). Depending on the estimated number of visitors, even consider themed cookies or anything Instagram-friendly that could get a younger age group to take their iPhones out and start posting stories.

Another idea to engage customers would be to put one of these claw machine games so that shoppers (or friends of the shoppers) can take a break. Here’s where I got the inspiration from:

Black Friday Marketing ideas

Pictured above: This is @camilacarril, a fashion blogger attending Atelier Cologne’s event. This is what she posted on her Instagram account earlier today. I loved the idea of the brand and it can be adjusted to so many different and fun concepts; yes, fishing for triangle pizza boxes is one of them!

– “Nobody should have to miss Black Friday.”

What about those who work a 9-5 job and can’t make it to the megastore sales?

How about you slip discount coupons for your partners over the weekend?

Simply by ordering in at work, customers get the chance to claim these coupons for “Back to the future” chance to shop.

The coupons read: “Nobody should have to miss Black Friday”.

– Grow your own following in the most …tasteful way!

This time, instead of crafting Facebook ads (or complementary to those), throw a little scavenger hunt in there. Your pizza/delivery boxes could be treasure-trove worthy. Here’s something more to add to the excitement of pizza!

How-to: Just like Willy Wonka’s golden tickets, slip in special “free pizza for every month of the year” for top orders/ callers/ contestants, and so on. Don’t be surprised if this goes viral…Have your Community Managers on stand-by. It’s going to be a very engaging Black Friday!

– How truly thoughtful of you to come up with a Black Friday survival kit!


Now, this Black Friday kit is delivered with orders of 50 pounds or above on Black Friday, as well as the days leading to it. What’s in this Black Friday survival kit?

How-to: The survival kit consists of a small bottle of water with a label reading “Hang on in there” or “When the QUEUEING gets tough, the tough get QUEUEING”, add a nutritious bar (with a branded sticker of “NEW-trition Friday”), a sticker, badge, or pin of your logo, and a sceptre or other item that offers many potential uses (e.g. tripping someone up, or heading straight to the throne). All of these are in a collector’s canvas bag with a printed logo of your brand.

– The Queen of Ideas: “Delivery on …queue.”

For this one major day of the year when we are all equally rich and shell out (that is, until the clock ticks November 24th in), restaurants and coffee shops can make themselves part of the deal. How?


“Delivery on …queue” is delivery at the right time! When is that? On Black Friday, it can only be when they are stuck in meandering queues, stuck behind wrong pins and declined credit cards. Here are a couple of tagline ideas:

  • “Let us know where you are.”
  • “Get the Black Friday special. Trust us with your hunger. And your queuing.”
  • Add a sticker for the day: “Winners are made of this.”

– And this really cool Email Marketing tagline:

“You’ll be tired hunting for the best deals. Don’t go hunting for dinner, too. We got you.”

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I work for Selfridges – Suit up for these ideas!

The “pain”: There is no actual pain. Selfridges will be packed either way, with or without Black Friday. But high-end customers don’t get their money’s worth in terms of recognition from the store. What’s in for them for the loyalty they’ve shown?

The goal: To add value for high-end shoppers, those who almost single-handedly support the high-end flagship store.

Trivia: Judging from 2017, Selfridges does not do Black Friday sales, instead it runs a “Christmas Comes Early” Marketing campaign over the same couple of days of Black Friday through Cyber Monday, or so. This makes perfect sense as Black Friday is considered to address a rather mainstream target audience, whereas Selfridges targets high-end customers.

In the following section, we see a few concepts I came up with, followed by the expected gains of each marketing/promotional action:

Everyone is doing Black Friday. Selfridges can do Platinum Friday.

With special-edition platinum passes printed on “Do not disturb” shaped cards for high-end customers, starting a week in advance, Selfridges can reach out to their most loyal customers.

That being said, loyalty can be measured with many pointers, namely with purchase value or purchase frequency. Now, the objective is to reward loyalty, so something between high-frequency high-spenders should be targeted for this event.

Again, it is of paramount importance to design the Black Friday event in accordance to brand building; the target audiences of Selfridges are not price-conscious, therefore a simple cut in price won’t cut it for them. Instead, a premium, exclusive event that celebrates their loyalty helps Selfridges claim a special spot in consumer perception.

Selfidges presenting: “The 25th hour”

Along the lines of no price-conscious customers, who are not tempted by lower prices, what we can do is “the 25th hour”: Give your precious customers some privacy and the special treatment. “Welcome. You have entered a parallel universe of …”.


The floors are filled with butlers and sales representatives and there is a dress code: everyone is dressed in “all black, everything” (you bet I referenced Jay-Z), and cool music is on. Every customer is considered a Selfridges guest who just checked-in their universe.

This a no-cash event; everyone has already charged their Platinum Selfridges gift cards they received in the mail.

As soon as they finish shopping they enter the special lounge area in the store, and are offered black tea, black cocktails, the original black dish- caviar, black ice cream (…vanilla!) and so on. Before the party is over, they are given goodies bags, reading “YELLOW is the new black”, in Selfridge’s iconic font.

Black Friday Marketing targeted at Men

Men, as a segment, are often overlooked by brands who prefer to target audiences by the Poretto principle, having women’s needs catered to and leaving men a lot to desire.

For this Black Friday event, Selfridges hands out a special edition Selfridges T-shirt. It reads nothing about Black Friday; instead, it reads “the 25th hour at Selfridges”. This T-shirt could even be designed by one of the brands of the store who would want to participate in the event by leaving their mark, too.

To inform them of the event concept and stir up some excitement, Selfridges sends their male segment customized “outfit total” recommendations of X+Y+Z, classics. This way, they will be tempted to make “ensemble” purchases to avoid bothering to match items on that day.

At the same time, influencer marketing comes into play. On the day of the event, there is a feed of photos of bloggers sporting outfits of the brands in Selfridges in life-size screens, along with inspiration photos from this year’s Pitti Duomo event, and a real-time Instagram hashtag feed of the Selfridges event (and the De Bijenkorf event, provided that the sister department store in Amsterdam joins in).

To top it all off, a famous male model or London-based blogger could be in store, casually hanging out with the guests, giving them styling tips or sharing lifestyle tips or grooming tips.

Alternatively, this could be done through mailing those who are about to attend the event with short tutorials on styling, etc. so that male shoppers already know what to look for.

Selfridges’ special Black Friday Marketing for Women

Women have always experienced the most of brands and events. At Selfridges they will be in for a special surprise. Playing on experiential marketing, the entire women’s floor is a themed party of fashionistas’ paradise; fashion items, drinks, food, special “ensemble” offers and, the most Instagram-friendly and socially-aspired aspect of the day; special packaging for the day of the event.

This packaging will not be handed out on another day. Essentially, what this means is that we add value to packaging. By rendering it into a limited edition, collector’s item, we make it iconic. Of course, we send out a Press Release about the event with undisclosed information, but leaking just enough bits and pieces to create buzz.

At the same time, we ask journalists and bloggers/influencers invited to the event to be on stand-by to post this.

And, as for the remaining Selfridges shoppers whom we cannot afford to leave dismayed, there is one more thought:

Overseas customers, top online shoppers also get their cut

What happens with all the brand loyal shoppers overseas/online? Those who are regulars but cannot make it to the Black Friday special because they live in China, the UAE, or the US? How do we add value to those shopping online?

Email Marketing comes to the rescue once again, with email marketing automation, drip campaigns, and Dynamic Content emails perfectly mirroring each customer’s preferences or interests! Here’s how you can get started right away:

  • Advanced segmentation: Retrieve the most loyal customers in terms of purchases or in terms of purchase frequency, then add filters to segment out the users you are looking for.
    • Make them part of the celebrations by mailing them some of the Platinum Friday or other goodies you have prepared, wrapped up in a special package!
  • Haven’t set up website tracking yet? Well, good news is it’s free, as is signing up with us!

I work for Currys – Technically, this is what you’re looking for!

This plan is primarily brand-building oriented: with the upcoming eshops and offers, Currys needs to establish its presence as an offline and online brand. To achieve that, Currys as well as all similarly-challenged businesses in the same industry or other, can try a few of the following ideas:

Provided that on Black Friday consumers are looking for the best deal, chances are that all your competitors will have done their best to give an absolute low of a price tag.

But how do you set yourself apart if you don’t have the brand value that your competition does?
Here’s how: You raise everyone’s purchases.

Add a bonus complementary item: e.g. headphones with every smartphone for the first 10 customers, special accessory box for headphones, stylus, etc. Getting more for the same price (or even marginally higher price) is always appreciated by savvy customers.

More original Black Friday ideas over here

1. OK, this one’s a little extra, but then again, Black Friday is extra by default.

So, why not put up a Wheel of Fortune in-store and online? Those who can play are those who have a receipt from shopping with you in the past 6 months. One wins a TV set (latest model), and if the winner had already purchased a TV set, you can exchange the gift for one of the same brand you are doing the giveaway with.

2. In September, you are all about student home gear, in the summer you are all about selling TV sets and sound boosters, but on Black Friday, a breath away from New Year’s Resolutions, you can play the Chef’s Dream card.

It’s simple: all your kitchen appliances no longer fall into the category of the Kitchen Department. They are now part of everyone’s potential to make the time to pursue their dreams, to make some “me” time, to cook for friends and mess up. It’s not about succeeding. Maybe somewhere further down the way, it is. But not now. Build your new buyer personas.

Here’s how Referral Marketing can help out on Black Friday

Another promotional tool to grow your current customer base and engage your existing customers is through referral marketing.

Launch a competition and share it with your followers.

In order for them to win, they can enter with as many entries as they wish; they will be getting an entry for every referral they make and joins your platform.

Now, usually as soon as these contests are over everyone unsubscribes from these lists or simply disengages. To avoid that with your newcomers, send out a massive discount to use in the following 30 days.

If you manage to engage with them while they’re still hot, then you also establish the perception in their minds. You could be giving away items on the hour.

Some Facebook action for your Black Friday Marketing 2018

Let a refreshing breeze in your Facebook following; here are a few more ways to get more people to engage with your page and posts:

A. Plan out your Integrated Marketing Communications for October and November.

Grab a free monthly calendar – this one is my favorite.

If you are a romantic print it and make notes on it, if you are more on the practical side and don’t like walking around with pieces of paper peeking out from your books, agendas (or backpockets, it happens) then work on it on Buffer.

Start with your facebook posts and set them in the right order to build up excitement among your followers.

B. Take the time (and creativity) to reward your all-year-round engaged users.

In some regions, Facebook allows for a Top Fan badge for a page’s most engaged followers.

Next time one of your Top Fans makes a public comment (this way, we get past GDPR limitations), you can reply to the comment publicly and invite them to a Black Friday special event or send them a branded crown.

You can also play on the words “brand evangelist” and send them a branded book with your logo and empty pages inside so that they can write their …manifesto!

C. It doesn’t have to end on Black Friday.

Establish a mid-year Black Friday and give away gifts. Wondering what you are doing this for?

Build anticipation. Everyone who participates in your contest will have something to wait for the next couple of months. In the meantime, you will remain a top-of-mind choice for your audience.

You know, I realized this when I was on a trip to Crete a couple of years ago. It was early June and we had just had lunch at this picturesque tavern at the old port of Chania. When we asked for the bill, the waiter brought us a shot of raki (the local drink) and a card of our entry to their upcoming draw. The draw was to be held in September and the winner would get a 3-day trip in Chania including accommodation expenses. I WAS so excited with this opportunity (and the fact that it had not been advertized along the lines of “Have lunch here for a chance to win…”).

This unforeseen [potential] gift made me so enthusiastic about this (and oh, am I a skeptic when it comes to Marketing) (but also a fool for anything that plays on my optimism) that I even marked the days on my calendar JUST IN CASE we won the trip.

Look, I’m not saying your customers will go “full Boyle” on a similar prize (yes, I quoted Brooklyn Nine Nine), I’m just saying what worked with me, as if I were participating on a qualitative research. This could spark your imagination, for all I know…

Grow your social media presence and community

With regard to lead generation and increasing user engagement, you could put up a couple of different posts on Facebook or Instagram asking them to “Caption this”.

Another idea is to post funny quotes, for example:

  • Based on the popular video: “All these phones but you still won’t talk to me/ All these headphones but you still won’t hear me out/ All these USBs and you still can’t connect with me.”


  • “I love you but not as much as I love my new plasma TV. It texts me every 3 hours. You can learn a thing or two, Josh.”
  • “Don’t wait for a text when your Netflix subscription is running.”
  • Alternative ideas: “Give our copywriters a day of paid leave; write the caption and win.”

Taking things to the next level? I got you.

Open: 24 hours on Black Friday.

“We’ve got everything your home needs. Need proof? Come spend 24 hours in store.”

This might seem rather over the top, however it wouldn’t shock me to see this rolled out in the US (if they haven’t done it already)! Accommodate a small number of participants at one of your stores for 24 hours.

This would be targeting a young age group (e.g. 18-25), the brand would essentially be nurturing its future “customers with buying power” by crafting unique experiences for them in the now.

This event starts in the evening giving the participants time to adjust to the new space:

It takes place at designated areas on every floor’ beds have been crafted out of cardboard boxes and packing peanuts, breakfast is served on vinyls or filing folders, laptops and printers are stand-by for everyone working remotely and a small robot helps around with the “honey-can-you-fetch-me…”-tasks, a quick lunch takes place next to the Leisure room and a ping-pong table has been placed there just for the day, and so on.

Who’s in?

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Email Marketing done right for electronics retailers

As the Email Marketing fan that I am I cannot but share a few email marketing ideas I had:

For your existing users: Throw a Newsletter Jackpot special. You can make this more targeted by segmenting all your most engaged subscribers, for instance those who have opened most emails in the past X months, or those who have made more online purchases.

– In case you have integrated your Zapier or CRM software with your Moosend account, you can quickly use advanced segmentation variables to reach out to those subscribers who have generated the most Pings on your platform, for whatever reason you wish.

– Give your most loyal customers access to a virtual room on your site where they will be able to find a reserve of items, even sold out ones, specially reserved for them. They will have access to this virtual room for a couple of hours and then they are “locked outside”. This “limited time access” will keep potential customers on the tips of their toes and will be quick to make decisions and share them with their friends to bulk-buy.


We’re a safe few weeks apart from Black Friday.

Countdown for my next Black Friday blog post full of actionable tips and ideas has already started!

You’re playing next! Roll the dice.

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