The Black Friday Checklist For Before, During, And After Your Big Promotion

November 21, 2022
3 min read

Is anyone ever 100% ready for Black Friday slash Cyber Monday? Seems unlikely. 

This year, 64% of retailers started planning their BFCM promotion 1-3 months earlier. But the stakes are just as high. And there's always more you can do before the projected $158B sales day.  

Luckily, everyone from "the DTC guy" Nik Sharma to the folks behind The Hustle shared their BFCM tips and tricks.

So, we've compiled their best advice (and added a few nuggets of our own) into 1 last-minute checklist. Here's everything you need to do for BFCM peace of mind:

Pre-promotion

  1. Confirm you have the inventory available to support whatever promotion you’re running. While this might sound like retail 101, we can’t think of anything more frustrating (or embarrassing) than ending your BFCM early because you stocked out. Don't have enough inventory? Try offering a smaller discount (like 20% off instead of 30%) to decrease demand and increase your margins. 
  2. Set all your product-specific promotions live with Google Shopping. This way, when someone searches for your product, they’ll see your BFCM deal attached to it in the search results. 
  3. Ensure your ad creatives match the landing pages you’re sending traffic to. This lets folks know they’ve come to the right page and decreases the likelihood they’ll bounce. 
  4. Test everything (before and throughout the promotion). This includes buttons, coupon codes, Shopify scripts, and email automation. Why? Because things break. And if you don’t find those issues, your customers will – and it could cost you a lot more than a lost sale. 
  5. Double-check where you’re sending folks. Meaning, click every link you send in your emails, SMSs, and ads to confirm they take you to the right spot. (Hot tip: If you sell via Shopify, you can send folks a shareable discount link to automatically apply the offer and streamline the checkout experience.)
  6. Check your emails on different devices and browsers. To do this, simply send yourself a test email, then check that email in multiple browsers on multiple devices (you’ll notice different mistakes on, say, mobile Safari than on desktop Chrome). Every time you update the email, send yourself another test (or someone else for a fresh set of eyes) until nothing looks funky.
  7. Ensure your website is linked in your social bios (you can even temporarily change your bio to include your deal or discount codes). While seemingly small, this is an easy way to get customers 1 step closer to checking out. 
  8. Confirm that all your pixels are live, firing, and collecting data on all your pages. You can do this with the FB Pixel Helper (a Chrome extension by Meta) by simply clicking a button and confirming it’s collecting the correct data. (Don’t forget to check landing pages that might be hosted by another CMS too.)
  9. Remind influencers what you agreed to (if you’re working with any, that is). Meaning, send them an email confirming when to start posting, how many posts to make, what discount code to use, any creative requirements (like messaging), and so on. 
  10. Have contingency plans in place, like selling on backorder or offering digital gift cards via Govalo if your bestsellers stock out. 

Mid-promotion

  1. Double-check that all your sales follow-up flows are set up properly – and that they have complementing information going out to your customers. For instance, your typical flow might feature the price you normally sell your bestsellers at. In this case, pause that flow, duplicate it, and update the copy to reflect your BFCM promotion (this'll prevent confusion).
  2. Disable any discounting in your cart abandonment campaigns. Think about it: If you’re already offering a deep discount, you don’t want customers combining that with another offer, further shrinking your margins. 
  3. Tag anyone who shops with your brand during the promotion as “BFCM2022.” This way, you’ll have better data on what worked from a contribution margin and lifetime value standpoint. Plus, if anything goes wrong (like you experience shipping delays), you can easily communicate those updates to everyone with this tag. 
  4. Update your email pop-up copy to highlight the promotion you’re pushing. For instance, “Get 30% off today” is much more compelling than “Sign up for deals.” Then, tag these new contacts so you can track how they perform over time. 
  5. Push your BFCM offers every day on all your organic social channels. (Remember: Most brands will simply post a daily graphic with their promotion. So, bonus points for getting more creative with these daily creatives – like by leveraging video, which tends to be more engaging.) 

Post-promotion

  1. Reset any systems you paused or updated during your BFCM promotion. This includes your follow-up flows, email pop-up, social bios, and so on. 

Did we miss anything? Got any Qs? Drop us a line at team@cogsy.com.

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