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5 Marketing Strategies for Black Friday Weekend (And Beyond)

Last updated on December 2, 2019
12 minute read
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The chaos of the holidays can sneak up quickly, and being prepared in advance will help you get your business ready for maximum sales. The popularity of online shopping continues to increase every year, especially around the holidays, so it’s important to make gifting easy and accessible to customers through your website. 

The good news is the preference for experiences over material gifts has been growing in popularity as well. In fact, 63% of U.S. adults (ages 18 – 65+) would prefer to receive an experience gift over a material gift this holiday season, and 50% of U.S. adults plan to give experience gifts this year.

The excitement around the holidays presents a huge opportunity for businesses in the tour and activity space. So how do you make the most of the weekend? We have a few ideas up our sleeve.

1. Incorporate seasonal campaigns into your marketing strategy.

We know this one comes as no surprise, but it’s true! The sooner you start preparing for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, the better your campaign will go. Put time and energy into the process, and the outcome will naturally follow suit.

So where to start? Grab a box of donuts, get your team together, and spend a few hours figuring out exactly what your marketing strategy will be for the holidays. Here are a few questions to get the brainstorm started:

  • What do we want to push customers towards? Seasonal items? Gift cards? Best-sellers? Package deals?
  • Will we offer a discount? Buy-one-get-one-free? A branded item with purchase?
  • How do we want to advertise our promotions?
  • Do we want to send out an email? Should we segment our email list?
  • Which social sites should we market on? What hashtags could we use?

2. Take advantage of online gift cards.

Although gift cards make an important addition to any holiday marketing campaign, this is especially true in the tour and activity industry. Gift cards are a user-friendly way for customers to gift an experience to friends or family or to purchase an activity for a future trip.

Because they eliminate the need for tricky details like dates, times, and even group size, gift cards are an easy sell in your off-season, especially as people begin buying gifts for the holidays.

  • If you use FareHarbor as your online booking system, you can sell gift cards just as easily as you sell any other item. Link directly to gift cards from a button on your site, or add them to your reservation page alongside other bookable items.
  • If you want to sell gift vouchers or certificates for a specific activity at the exact price it’s offered on your FareHarbor Dashboard, our Support team can help set that up. Keep in mind, gift vouchers or certificates may only be redeemed for the activity it was purchased for.
  • Remember, gift cards sold through FareHarbor are digital gift cards that can be redeemed online, in-person, or over-the-phone, all through FareHarbor.
  • Don’t hesitate to promote gift cards on your homepage and in your email marketing campaigns. They’re an easy purchase for your customers, they help boost off-season sales, plus 75% of gift card holders end up spending more than the original value.

Interested in selling gift cards through FareHarbor? Fill out this form and we will have it set up and ready to go in no time!

3. Offer a deal they can’t pass up.

Consumers are constantly searching for the best deals online — and the holidays are no different. Even if you don’t offer promotions throughout the year, consider adding a Black Friday or Cyber Monday promo code to your website. According to a recent survey, 74% of Americans say offers are a top factor when deciding where and what to buy online.

Promotions are also a great way to capture new audiences and first-time bookers. Try adding a 10% off code to your website and promote it prior to the holidays. Create a sense of urgency by putting a time frame on when customers can use the code to book. FareHarbor makes offering promo codes easy, and they can be set up in no time. 

Make sure to promote your discount code and drive website traffic utilizing different channels:

  • Post the promo code discount on all your social media channels. Facebook and Instagram are great places to reach large audiences at once. Make sure to include a link to your website so they can start booking right away!
  • Send an email promoting the discount. Utilize your FareHarbor contact list or other CRM lists to promote your discount to customers. Emails are an easy and cheap way to market your business, and coupons can increase revenue by 48%
  • Add the promo code to your website. Update your website with a blurb about your special holiday promotion. Make sure the code is easy to find so customers don’t get frustrated and leave. 

Need help setting up promo codes in your Dashboard? Check out our help guide, or just fill out this form and we can set it up for you!

4. Get serious about social sharing.

In a world where shoppers are exposed to dozens of brands on a daily basis, it’s no wonder consumers are growing fatigued with digital marketing. As a result, consumers are learning to look for user-generated content — such as photos, reviews, tweets, and blog posts — that is created by unpaid contributors.

Considered to be 85% more persuasive than content that comes directly from your brand, user-generated content is just as effective as a personal recommendation from family or friends.

User-generated content is considered to be authentic and honest, which makes it as good as gold for your business. If you collected user content last year, such as customer reviews and photos, now is the time to put it to use. If you didn’t, focus on collecting it this year and then use it to boost Black Friday sales in the future.

Here are some ways you can encourage social sharing from your customers:

  • Feature your customers’ content on your own social pages or blog whenever they tag your business or use your hashtag.
  • Offer a discount, stickers, or t-shirt to customers who @mention your business, check-in on Facebook, or use your hashtag.
  • Run a contest on social media. Sound daunting? View this webinar to learn more about promotions on social media.

5. Go big on email marketing.

With so many sales and deals to choose from, it’s easy for your business to get lost in the noise. An email marketing campaign can put your offerings directly under the nose of your customer base, whether they are local or from afar. After all, what’s the point of running an epic Black Friday promotion if nobody knows about it? Here are a few tips to ensure email success:

  • Create anticipation. Sending your first email out before the promotion begins helps overwhelmed consumers prioritize their shopping strategy, and it creates anticipation for what’s to come.
  • Give extra love to past customers. The best way to create loyal customers that return time and time again is to show them just how much you appreciate them. An additional discount or early-bird access helps build the kind of relationship that can transform a past customer into a full-on brand advocate.
  • Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. Big, bold, image-heavy designs can be tempting — just make sure it’s all mobile-friendly. There’s nothing worse than getting your email in front of the right person, then losing the sale because your call-to-action button is hard to find on mobile.
  • Include CTAs that link directly to the promotion. If you’re marketing a specific tour or activity, don’t forget to link your call-to-action directly to the item that you’re promoting. This prevents the user from having to click around your site, thus increasing your chances of converting the customer.

Whether you opt for all of these strategies or just one, take advantage of the increased engagement that comes with the holiday season. If you need any help along the way, our team is just a call or email away!

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