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5 Step Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) Strategy

Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) Strategy
5 Step Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) Strategy
Steve Walton
Steve Walton
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Rocket Conversions
  • Understand how BFCM Conversion Rates, CPMs (cost per 1000 impressions) and CPCs (cost per click) will be impacted
  • Ramp up your traffic 3 weeks ahead of BFCM
  • Build a BFCM Bundle Offer to increase AOV
  • Advertise your Bundle Offer 1 week ahead of BFCM, and your sitewide offer on BFCM
  • Get your BFCM Ad Spend plan in place

Black Friday & Cyber Monday


IF your business does it right (and it’s a big if for those that don’t already have a proven strategy), it can be a huge opportunity for you to get a flood of customers. But most brands lose money by making 1 BIG MISTAKE:

Starting. Too. Late. (You’ll see why this is so crucial, so keep reading).

To make it as easy as possible for you not to lose out during this time, and to give your business the best chance at nailing it, check out our 5 Step Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) Strategy.

We use it for our clients, and it has delivered huge success.

The best part? There’s nothing overly complicated about it. No tricks, just solid best practices!


Black Friday Cyber Monday


5 Step Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) Strategy


1) Understand the impact of BFCM conversion rates, CPMs, and CPCs


Everything in e-commerce really comes down to 3 factors.

V × CR × AOV = $$$

Visitors × Conversion Rate × Average Order Value = $$$

Multiply these and you’ve got the formula of how much money you’ll be making. It’s that simple – and for BFCM you need to understand how you can maximize all three of these variables.


  • Visitors:

To maximize the number of visitors coming to your store, you don’t just want to ramp up your budget during BFCM (of course you want to do that). The thing is, every brand is trying to get the most out of BFCM, so competition will be crazy on these dates and you will see much higher CPMs i.e. prices to get in front of your audience.

Remember, Facebook is a marketplace/ bidding platform. You will want to reach your audience ahead of BFCM when prices are still lower (covered in Step 2).

  • Conversion Rate:

The good news is, your conversion rate will automatically be much higher than usual during BFCM. People are literally waiting with their credit cards to take advantage of Black Friday deals, so their purchase intent is way higher than usual. But, how can you prepare to maximize this during BFCM?


Here are 4 ways:


  • Test different offers during the year
    Be strategic about your offers. Generally speaking, offers are tools that shouldn’t be overused because you can inadvertently condition your audience to only buy your stuff during promos. In addition, you should experiment with different types of offers (eg. normal discount, product bundles, discount ladders, Buy 2 Get 1 offer) throughout the year to understand which type of offer your audience engages best with. Once you understand that, you can just increase the incentive during BFCM (eg. Change Buy 2 Get 1 to Buy 1 Get 1) and you won’t leave your results up to chance since you analyzed data to make sure it’s the best performing offer.


  • Optimize your landing pages ahead of BFCM
    During these short days of BFCM, you don’t have the time to effectively optimize your landing page. Nevertheless, if you’ve used the year leading up to BFCM properly to test different offers, you can optimize your landing page, headlines, and layouts in your “test runs” already. This will help you ensure that your offer page converts properly. Schedule specific tests during BFCM, so you have the insights for next year to get even better results.


  • Build a waiting list
    When you ramp up your traffic ahead of BFCM, you should build a waiting list to get people excited for the event. People’s Newsfeeds will be flooded with different offers, so make your Black Friday an event your audience is already excited about.


  • Make a detailed plan for September, October, November and December
    To prepare for the holiday event, think of the following tasks and schedule them out in your calendar: Do I need to build new landing pages for my different offers and/or waiting list? Do I need to do photo-/ video shoots for product bundles, gifts etc.? What email campaigns do I need to prepare for my different customer segments? What email flows (cart abandoners, post purchase, welcome flow) and pop-ups do I need to update/ replace? When do I start to increase budget to build up my retargeting audiences and email list?


Average Order Value
There’s no better time to get people to buy more of your products than a holiday. Prepare offers with higher AOVs than you usually receive. Buy more, save more tiered offers is one of our favorite way to do this. While we recommend keeping your actual BFCM offer rather simple and straightforward to maximize your customers, you should maximize this variable the week before BFCM (=step 3).

You may also be interested in learning how to increase your AOV in general, see also: How To Improve Perceived Value To Increase Average Order Value


2) Ramp up your traffic 3 weeks ahead of Black Friday / Cyber Monday


The real way to win BFCM is to win in the weeks leading up to BFCM, by buying cheaper traffic ahead of time. Why does this work? Just think about it: You will likely have a long list of stuff you want to buy during BFCM.

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of all. Bank on it! Buy the underpriced ad space leading up to BFCM. Drive them to a BFCM waitlist (eg. you could give them a gift guide that is related to your offer so they know exactly how good of a deal they’re going to get if they wait), keep them engaged via Email and make BFCM an event!

Then, remarket heavily during BFCM.


3) Build a Black Friday / Cyber Monday Bundle Offer to increase AOV


When crafting your offer, think about what has the highest perceived value with the LOWEST impact on your margin. Often, a Buy 1 Get 1 Free for example has a much better clients compared to a 30% discount. You should also think about ways of how you can maximize AOV with your offer, for example Freebies with orders over $100 or increased free shipping threshold etc. And don’t make it too complex. Especially your main BFCM offer (the one you run on the actual BFCM days) should be rather simple. We recommend one of the following:

  • Sitewide Offer (at least 20% off, anything less is not enough and people will buy your competitors’ product instead). Don’t use coupon codes but just mark your whole site down to make it easier for your customers.
  • Fixed $$ Off
  • Buy 1 Get 1 Free

We highly recommend creating a bundle offer (that gives a slightly better discount than your BFCM sitewide offer) that you run the week before Black Friday.

Consider the following for your Bundle offer:

  • Stacking discounts
  • Bundle Discounts

Besides BFCM, a lot of brands also run Gifting / Shipping Cut-Off offers in December leading up to Christmas. If this is on your agenda, make sure to plan ahead for it as well. Finally, think about different offers for different customers. Think new vs. repeat customers, subscription buyers vs. regular customers, leads that never bought before and so on. What offer is most relevant for them?


4) Advertise your Bundle Offer 1 week prior to BFCM, and your sitewide offer during BFCM


Most of our clients who followed this strategy saw their biggest ROAS the week before BFCM. But why?

It works because a week ahead is close enough to BFCM that if the offer is really good, people are ready to buy. And because you have a high AOV paired with cheaper CPCs, while still being able to make use of the BFCM conversion rate spike.

The other great part: You not only win the week ahead of BFCM but also on the BFCM weekend because you are priming your customers to come back a second time of the BFCM weekend itself, so even if your bundles don’t appeal to the customer, the bundle offer is a great reminder to come back during BFCM and you’ll see your delayed attribution go through the roof.

Black Friday Meme


5) Get your Black Friday / Cyber Monday Ad Spend plan right


Here’s how we recommend using your BFCM budget to execute this plan:

  • Opt-in Page (2-3 Weeks before BFCM): 15%
  • Bundle Offer (1 Week before BFCM): 55%
  • Sitewide Offer (BFCM Weekend): 30%

If you spend most of your budget on new customer acquisition during the year, then you should spend most of your budget during BFCM on retargeting – that’s where the biggest returns are going to be.

Note: Compared to your normal customers that pay full price, the lifetime value of your BFCM customers is on average about 30% lower. You should consider this when calculating your offer metrics and planning your campaigns.



Black Friday Strategy

To sum up, do the following to maximize your results from Black Friday:

  • Drive traffic for three weeks leading up to BFCM, ideally to an opt-in page that already gives an idea of the great offers you’ll be releasing on BFCM
  • Drive as much traffic as possible to your BFCM Bundle Offer landing page to drive up AOV the week before BFCM
  • Release your BFCM Sitewide Offer on Black Friday while keeping your BFCM Bundle Offer live


Whew! These 3 pieces should be enough to get you started on your way to nailing BFCM, good luck!


Don’t have enough input yet? Check out Facebook’s break down on the biggest surprises and lessons of the 2020 holiday season, and what it all means in 2021 here.

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