How to Make a Winning Black Friday Ad Strategy

MediaGo Staff | 10/12/2020

Typically, Black Friday happens the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., and in recent years, sales have kicked off before the turkey is even out of the oven — forcing people to choose between family and crowded malls to score the lowest prices of the year. However, we’re living through an atypical year, to say the least. 

Like everything else in 2020, expect Black Friday to look a little different. According to a recent survey conducted by, 84% of shoppers say that COVID-19 will directly impact their holiday shopping behavior, with 56% planning to shop online, and 50% more consumers than last year planning to do curbside pickup after making an online purchase. Furthermore, the same study found that one third of consumers will begin holiday shopping earlier this year compared to last year, with 24% starting in October and 32% saying they’ll start in November. To accommodate consumers’ early shopping behavior, many retailers have announced that they’re starting their deals earlier than usual and extending them through the season to give people more time to shop.

In other words, Black Friday isn’t canceled. In fact, e-commerce brands should gear up for an extended, e-commerce driven holiday season. Here’s our advice for top digital ad strategies that will captivate consumers and nudge them towards clicking “add to cart.”

Tip 1: Make a Black Friday Landing Page and Ad Creative

Even though it’s officially only one day a year, Black Friday 2020 is shaping up to stretch from October to December. With this longer timeframe in mind, we recommend creating a special Black Friday landing page on your website. Depending on your marketing goals, this page could be a bottom-funnel sales page or a mid-funnel lead-gen page. Regardless of how you ultimately choose to structure your landing page, it should help consumers easily identify the sales you’re running and the products you’re promoting. 

On your landing page, you can even compile gift guides that feature your products and spell out the type of people who would enjoy them as a gift. To make your landing page feel more festive, it could make sense to share holiday craft ideas or easy-to-make recipes that relate to your specific industry, in turn boosting organic traffic.

In addition, we recommend prominently highlighting your products with the words “Black Friday” in your ad campaigns. This way, you can ensure that eagle-eyed shoppers won’t miss your message.

Tip 2: Highlight Delivery Options & Curbside Pickup

As consumers look for the safest ways to shop, curbside pickup offers them the ease of online ordering paired with the (almost) instant gratification of retail shopping. With more people than ever slated to use curbside pickup this holiday season, we recommend that companies providing this service at their brick-and-mortar locations communicate it clearly to their perspective audience in their Black Friday digital ads. Not only is it more convenient for the consumer, but it is also a safety measure as it reduces the number of people shopping inside the store. For e-commerce retailers, offering free shipping is one way to edge out possible competitors online, so be sure to highlight this offering clearly in any digital ads. 

Tip 3: Create Shopping Incentives

Black Friday shoppers thrive on deal hunting and tracking down the absolute best price around. One way to add value and motivate consumers is by offering them shopping incentives, such as a small gift card, extra loyalty points, coupons, sample-size products or free shipping as we noted above — consumers can earn these with the purchase of certain items or when a dollar amount is met. By earning an incentive, shoppers will feel like they’ve gotten the best bang for their buck.

Like we shared in our Halloween e-commerce post — stick with non-edible incentive items as a rule of thumb because you’ll be able to steer clear of food allergies and varying food preferences.

As we’ve learned throughout 2020: expect the unexpected. In the case of an extended Black Friday season, marketers and advertisers should embrace this notion and leverage specific strategies to boost end-of-year sales, ensuring a strong start to 2021.