It’s that time of year when Cyber week is just around the corner. There are tons of deals out there, but it takes a well-defined and executed marketing strategy to get more sales. Let’s learn from the best.
Each year, Black Friday Cyber Monday breaks spending records, and figures show it’s still the largest online sales day in the US. To help you make the most of this opportunity, we’ve put together a list of our favorite promotions from previous years to inspire your BFCM campaigns.
We’ll be looking at different marketing tactics, what some major retailers have done to promote their deals, and which tricks work.
Before diving into our list, check out this video about 2022 BFCM online shopping trends to see how you can use them for your ecommerce business this season.
Last year, Forever 21 went with a simple and clear approach. Everyone knows them as a brand, so the only thing they needed to communicate on their homepage was the deal amount. No bells, no whistles, no frills. This is a great way to make it all about the discounts.
Another brand that doesn’t need an introduction is Nike. With the clever phrase and lighthearted lettering their approach comes off as more fun, but they still only focus on informing customers. Cyber week is a great opportunity to inject some added fun into your promos in an effortless way.
Another brand that put the entire focus on the deals was Calvin Klein. Their homepage promo was slightly edgier (a high contrast background and bold ripped paper design) but still simple. Their approach shows that effective campaign messaging can be straightforward, without lacking personality. Think about borrowing this in your own BFCM marketing.
Tip: If you can get away with it, less is more.
Some brands used Cyber weekend to promote their memberships or rewards programs. One of these brands was H&M, creating an early access opportunity for their members—those who joined would get their discounts early. This strategy is great for BFCM shoppers (they get early deals) and great for brands (they get more signups).
One of the brands notorious for having a membership program is Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, so it only makes sense that they took the opportunity to promote it. Their promos added some extra hype to BFCM deals. Even if your brand doesn’t have a major membership program, you can use this idea to promote other loyalty perks while touting BFCM discounts.
In contrast, Urban Outfitters took a more subtle approach to promoting their rewards program. They framed the deals as a gift to their customers, rather than a VIP opportunity, all without taking away from the excitement. This is an effective way to utilize BFCM not only for sales, but also to get repeat customers and mailing list subscribers.
Tip: Don’t just focus on getting sales during BFCM. Promote your mailing list, plug your rewards program, or even feature a cause that matters to you.
Not all brands stick to conventional Black Friday campaigns. Pretty Little Thing renamed the holiday to “Pink Friday” to make it more cohesive with their branding. They also added in other promotional techniques—a countdown clock and a plug for their mailing list. Take advantage of the high volume of BFCM customers to make the shopping event your own, and go all out.
Last year, Vans promotions didn’t focus on Cyber Week at all. Instead, they applied to the entire holiday season, featuring fresh visuals and fun perks like a game and a playlist. Riff off this approach to keep your peak period marketing relevant longer.
While most brands went for the black and red combo, Tarte decided to lean into the fall/winter season. Black Friday comes at a gloomy time of the year, so people want to feel cozy and comfortable. Take into account what’ll resonate most with your customers when preparing campaign designs.
Tip: You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, especially if it doesn’t fit your branding.
A great way to make your promos get noticed is to give them a human touch, the way Crocs did in 2021. Their messaging was friendly and pleasant, and the design centered around happiness and bright colors. Follow their example and remember that Cyber Week is all about the customer.
Instead of going for a trendy look or big discounts, New Balance chose a more understated approach. They were honest about not giving out massive discounts and called their BFCM sales “a little extra motivation” for customers. Sometimes down-to-earth marketing is a good way to connect with sensible shoppers who know what they want.
While Uniqlo didn’t take design risks, their message was very clear and suited to their branding. Their sale promotion was presented as gratitude and not as an exclusive opportunity, making customers feel appreciated. Think about how you can show BFCM customers you appreciate their continued interest and loyalty to your brand.
Tip: Your spin on BFCM doesn’t have to be limited to sales and the holidays, think about what would make your customers happy.
While big promo banners work on websites, Glossier is a great example of adapting to social media platforms. They went for authenticity and fun in an Instagram post from last year, featuring a screenshot from Twitter. It’s the perfect example of using social proof!
Fenty is a brand that knows how to leverage social media, especially when it comes to influencer marketing. They promoted their Cyber week sales in several different posts, but one that stands out is an influencer video of a makeup artist showing off his favorite products. Make sure you’re harnessing the power of your following to promote BFCM deals.
Tip: Don’t forget to adapt your promotions based on the platform.
Some brands choose to avoid Cyber week sales for various reasons. A great example of this is Patagonia—their brand isn’t compatible with consumerism and big sales. But they still had a holiday banner, just one that didn’t focus on making sales. If your brand values don’t align with the reason for peak season, think about alternative ways to still have some visibility this time of year.
As you can see, Black Friday Cyber Monday can’t be one-size-fits-all. You have to take a look around, see what other brands are doing, and figure out which aspects of your business you want to bring out the most.
Remember to think about your target audience and how you’re going to appeal to them. You should make your customers feel that you’ve done your homework as a business.
Be sure to check our Holiday marketing guide for a little more help from us. Good luck this season!
This article was originally published in November 2016; it has since been updated.
Elizabete is a Content Writer with an affinity for brand building and strategic communication. She's an eager communicator with a mindful approach to adapting content for a diverse range of audiences and platforms.
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