Black Friday month: how to prepare [3 tips]

Gone are the years when Black Friday was just Friday. But how do you approach this month full of action days? Do you participate in every day promotions? Are you doing nothing? And perhaps more importantly: when do you start preparing? Below you’ll find all the information you need to make this Black Friday month the best yet.

Trends in search behavior

Compared to previous years, the trends in search behavior around Black Friday have not changed much. The search term’s popularity starts to pick up in late August/early September, and obviously peaks around Black Friday itself.

What is striking in the graph below is the decline in the popularity of Black Friday in 2020 compared to previous years. This may be a result of the corona crisis. In addition to the ambiguity and uncertainty associated with this period, online purchases were higher throughout 2020 than in previous years. Black Friday is expected to break new sales records in 2021.

Popularity top 3 search terms fall 2016 – 2021.

In addition to the ‘normal’ days around the festive season, there are a number of important moments earlier in November. Think of Singles Day, (November 11) but also the beginning of Cyber ​​Week (November 22) and Cyber ​​Monday itself (November 29).

Black Friday, of Black Friday-maand?

For several years now, Black Friday has been more than just ‘a Friday in November’. Under the influence of online retailers, ‘Black Friday week’ has grown into a real ‘Black Friday month’. The ideal moment for retailers for promotions, selling old(er) stock and booking huge sales before Sinterklaas and Christmas.

Especially since the introduction of Cyber ​​Monday, Cyber ​​Week and Singles Day, it is no longer an option for most webshops to stay behind when it comes to promotions in November. Because suppose you don’t participate and a competitor does? Certainly with the same product range, the customer will look for the most advantageous price and/or best service.

Tips & tricks

An important word before the hectic pace is ‘planning’. Certainly in the world of online marketing, it is wise to determine a strategy in advance, to prepare actions, to build a target group list and to set up campaigns. This way you can be sure that you will not run out of time just before these important days.

For the example of coolblue to use: the page for 2021 is already online, although without products:

Bol.com's Black Friday page.

Coolblue’s Black Friday page in October 2021.

1. Audience lists

Many marketers use lists to re-reach certain audiences at certain times. Combined with the right strategy, a good target group list can give a big boost to your online visit, number of transactions and revenue.

In the orientation process for purchasing large appliances, such as a large television, it is not surprising that a customer waits until an important date to complete the purchase. Especially at times like Black Friday, when prices are often sharper than normal, these kinds of purchases are made more. And how nice is it if you can serve these people at their beck and call? These lists come with a big ‘but’: they don’t work retroactively.

So the tip for target group lists is that you should create them in time, before the orientation process of a product starts. Suppose that for a television this is an average of 30 days, then it is important to have the target group list collect people well in advance of that time. This way you can serve them at the right time via a targeted Search or Shopping ad during this month.

2. Sale Countdown Ads

Black Friday is already well established in the Netherlands, but of course it remains an American marketing hype. Many people do not know by heart when Black Friday takes place. To give these people a helping hand and to prepare them for your upcoming sale, you can use a sale countdown using Google Ads Scrips.

Screenshot from Google.

Google Ads Scripts | Bron: Google.com

Ad parameters allow you to add dynamic content to your ad that shows how long it will take for your sale to start. By adding a piece of script to the ad-group you want to highlight, you activate the countdown feature. The script shows how many days and hours it will take before your sale starts. It is also possible to do this for several ad groups set at the same time. It is even possible to set the sale countdown for an entire campaign.

As a follow-up step to the sale countdown, it is also possible to use a similar widget while the sale is running. This can, for example, show how many days and hours the sale is still running. If you have separate ad groups for both the countdown ads and the live sale ads, you can switch from countdown to live on Black Friday. With the help of Google Ads scripts you can have your new ad group again display a countdown that shows how long the sale will last.

3. Clever bidding strategies

Certainly not new, but no less valuable for that. Since the introduction of ‘Smart Shopping campaigns’ in 2018, Google has taken the path of AI and algorithms. By using a large amount of data, purchase signals from potential customers can be noticed earlier. This makes it possible to bid more efficiently during the auctions. As a result, a smart shopping campaign works and performs 99 times out of 100 than a ‘manual’ campaign.

This is of course the perfect way to get the most out of Black Friday in terms of purchases, conversions, ROI and ROAS. An important condition here is that a smart shopping campaign needs time to ‘learn’. So start setting up and arranging on time.

Important dates in 2021

The most important dates in 2021 around Black Friday are:

  • Singles day: Thursday 11 November 2021
  • Black Friday: Friday, November 26, 2021
  • Cyber ​​Monday: Monday, November 29, 2021
  • Cyber ​​Week: Monday, November 22 – Monday, November 29, 2021
  • Sinterklaas: Sunday 5 December 2021
  • Super Saturday: Saturday, December 18, 2021
  • Christmas Eve: Friday December 24, 2021
  • Christmas Day: Saturday, December 25, 2021
  • Boxing Day: Sunday, December 26, 2021
  • New Year’s Eve: Friday December 31, 2021

Ready, set, go!

Good preparation, that’s what it’s all about. Don’t just focus on Black Friday itself, but also on all other (holiday) days. Have a clear schedule that is known throughout the organization. Get started with unique expressions for each channel, collect good target group lists in time, target them for the orientation process, use countdown ads and smart bidding strategies.


Source: Frankwatching by feedproxy.google.com.

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