So everyone in the Northern Hemisphere knows about Black Friday!


And if you’re a business owner, I’m sure you’ve at least felt compelled to run your own Black Friday¬†promotions, right?

Because this is the biggest weekend of the year!

Or so they say. ūüėČ

The problem is this – yes, it’s the biggest time of the year.¬† But it’s also the most saturated.

And what I end up seeing is small business owners running Black Friday promotions, only for them to flop.

They either get no sales.

Or they spend more on advertising than they ever make back (although this can still be a plus, which I’ll explain in a bit).

As Black Friday 2017 is now behind us, I have seen the same cycle as I’ve seen in the past.¬† Small businesses trying to play big on the biggest weekend of the year, only to end up frustrated with their poor results.

There are a couple of reasons for this.¬† Let’s delve into them.

1) You’re Competing with Coca-Cola, Apple, and Toshiba!

Yes really.

Here’s the thing: there’s only so much real estate on the web for ads.¬† And when you’re fighting for a spot and the bigger guys are coming out with million dollar budgets (for 1 day), the price per impression skyrockets.¬† See the image below.¬† Normally our CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) for an ad for a client is under $10. On Black Friday, it went over $100! That’s 10x.¬† And those prices roll over into the CPC, CTR, Cost per conversion and conversion rate.

2) Your offer isn’t what people want!

The number one vertical that succeeds on Black Friday is commerce.  Box stores.  Clothing Stores.  Home stores.  They win big on this day.


That’s what the consumer wants!

80% off TVs.  50% off computers.

When it comes to promotions, stop looking at what the other guy is doing and start listening to your audience.¬† If you’re not in this verticle, do not run Black Friday promotions.¬† Run something just as good another day.

3) Your offer sucks!

Sorry, that may hurt, but when you’re competing with the big guys, your offer needs to be just as good.

I saw offers for 10-20% off and that’s just not good enough for Black Friday.

If you can’t afford to discount at least 50%, keep the offer for another day.

4) People just don’t know you!

Small businesses don’t have the trust authority that Microsoft and Apple have.

Doesn’t mean an offer won’t work, but offer it to anyone on your email list who hasn’t purchased before.¬† That’s smart marketing.

Don’t advertise to a cold audience when there’s no brand authority.


So what’s a small biz owner to do?

Use Black friday as a point of strategy, not sales.

(HINT: bookmark this page to come back to next year)


This is my recommendation for Black Friday promotions for Small biz owners:

A) use it to build awareness not sales!

Run a brand awareness or video view campaign on Facebook.  This will be significantly cheaper than running a traffic or conversion campaign and will still build trust and authority for the long term.

Content ideas include:

*How To Video

*How We Do This Video

*Case Study

*Entertain/informational video


B) Build your list

Offer something for free.  This can be a report, white paper, checklist, coupon.  Whatever you currently use to gather emails will work, but feel free to create something new.  Run this as a traffic/conversion campaign.  The cost will still be high, but at least your ask is smaller than a sale.


C) Promote to your list only

Create a great offer and send it to people who are warm.  People who like your page or are on your email list.   This will lower the CPC because the audience is highly niched.


Black Friday, when done effectively and with some foresight, can be great for a small business.¬† But don’t follow the big guys.¬† Step outside the path and create your own.

One last comment Рmost Black Friday promotions last for 5 days.  Even Saturday and Sunday will see significantly higher CPMs than other times of the year.  Just keep that in mind.



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