Grey Thursday isn't a thing, but it's certainly a shade lighter than Black Friday.
For online shops, the five days around Black Friday are the most important. They set the tone for your Christmas campaigns and let you know what you can expect until the Christmas cut-off where people get a bit panicky about having goods delivered in time for the big day.
So what should your calendar look like over this period?
Thursday 26th November (Grey Thursday)
It's weird, but Black Friday weekend really begins today.
- Pick a collection or product group and make a big deal of it on social and mail subscribers.
- Run a competition to draw traffic. Make the prize good enough to cause some Buzz.
- Update your banners and navigation to draw your traffic to a simple landing page.
- Use custom tracked links so that you can see how effective your campaigns are over this period.
- Create a simple landing page with an obvious process for your customers: 'Sign up to our mailing list for a chance to win', 'Buy a thing from this collection for your chance to win a thing' etc.
Friday 27th November (Black Friday)
The Big One. There is going to be traffic chaos today as every online shop will be putting on it's best suit and tie combo!
- Have a sale! Make it worth it! Yes, you will take a hit on margins, but clear that old stock? Use the sale as a leader or an up-sell?
- Create bold banners. Use the Black Friday hype to your advantage. Tag everything you do #blackfriday #sale etc.
- Again, use those custom tracked links. You need this information for next year.
- Again, create simple destination pages or collections just for Black Friday. Promote them on social and any other sales channels that you have. Seriously, go wild today but stay focussed and on-brand.
- Promote three times as much as you would on a normal day. The signal-to-noise ratio will be rough out there.
Saturday 28th November
- Do the same as yesterday!
- Add another element you can push and promote. Another competition that is really meaningful, but keep your Black Friday weekend messaging in tact throughout.
- Use a competition as a part of your Black Friday sale - 'Win a thing if you spend over X with us this weekend' etc.
Sunday 29th November
- Rinse and repeat ANYTHING that has worked over the last three days!
- That is all.
Monday 30th November (Cyber Monday)
So this is it, the last day.
Don't be downhearted though, traditionally sales will pick up going forward until Christmas and it's your chance to re-use some of the ideas above to beat last year's revenue.
- Go out with a bang! rejuvenate the weekend sale by adding new products only available at a low price today
- Create new banners, new links and evolve your campaigns by adding a hint of Christmas. Not Santa. Not yet :)
- Rinse and repeat anything that has worked so far and add it to your play-book. This is how we get better at running our shops.
Tuesday 31st November. Day 6
Ok, so this is an extra day, but a handy one to use for making sense of the last five. Your analytics should have updated for the last 24 hours by now, so save a snapshot to refer to next year.
Really delve in and see what worked and what didn't and begin to use this knowledge when you enter the Christmas selling phase. Repeating mistakes costs sales! Repeating things we do well is our path to being better at what we do.
Or something :)