A musicians guide to Black Friday, Cyber Monday & Holiday Marketing

Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be here before, which means now is the time for bands and artists to start planning their holiday marketing for the coming season!

Guest post by Dayna Young of Fred & Augustus

Musicians: start your marketing engines. Black Friday & Cyber Monday are coming. This annual shopping event is often overlooked by artists who are missing a key opportunity to optimize their store sales. Let’s take a look at how musicians can market their ecommerce offering during one of the largest shopping events of the year.

What can I offer during Black Friday & Cyber Monday?

Potential Black Friday sale ideas include: 

  • Store discounts (on all items or specific collections) 
  • Discount codes for exclusive Black Friday email subscribers
  • Offering rewards to customers who spend a minimum amount
  • Product bundles or mystery boxes
  • VIP discounts, or early bird access to sale items

When should I start promoting Black Friday & Cyber Monday?

Ideally you’ll want your marketing strategy in place at least a month prior, however your actual promotions typically won’t until the week of Black Friday. During that week you’ll want to let your fans know some of the deals you’ll be offering in your online store.

What assets do I need to promote Black Friday & Cyber Monday?

You’ll need graphics and video for email campaigns and social media posts. 

Black Friday is an extremely competitive timeframe for advertising and costs can escalate while results (click through rates) drop, so assess prior whether this is a tactic you want to implement or if you’ll choose to focus on email and social media marketing only.

How do I promote my Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale?

Start by making your sale memorable. For example during this timeframe customers often respond less favorably to discounts any lower than 20-25%, so if your tactic is to offer a store discount, ensure that it’s enticing. 

Other ways in which you can promote your Black Friday sale include: 

  • Building your email list
    • While building your email list should be an ongoing process, 2-3 weeks prior to Black Friday you might consider adding a pop-up on your website which promotes the sale and provides an incentive for subscribing such as ‘early access’ to your Black Friday sale. Then share early access to your sale with subscribers 24-36 hours before general sales begin
  • Confirm your Email Automations are in place. At a minimum you’ll want a Welcome Email and an Abandoned Cart email actively running
  • Plan your email Email marketing campaigns
    • Plan and schedule your campaigns including your ‘coming soon’, ‘early access’, ‘sale now on’ and ‘last chance’ emails. Keep in mind that the types of emails and the timing for which you send them will change depending on your strategy
    • Ensure your email Subject Lines and Pre-headers are catchy and stand out
  • Schedule pop ups on your store for potential flash sales or bonus offers for exit intent
  • Share social posts throughout the campaign
  • Work with an element of surprise
    • Some brands offer huge, limited time discounts (50% and higher for 3 hours) which surprise and delight customers, however it’s also possible that you could create an element of surprise by focussing your messaging on Black Friday and then switching to Cyber Monday messaging as an extension of that sale
    • Whatever will work best for your fanbase is the best approach, just keep it simple, direct and ensure it maintains an element of surprise.

Beyond Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Christmas

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind you, the Christmas period looms. Super Saturday (the Saturday closest to Christmas) is the largest shopping day of the year and the lead into the holiday season provides an opportunity to continue leveraging your ecommerce sales.

In fact, CNN reported that a record $34.4 billion was spent on December 21, 2019. This outweighs the $7.4 billion spent on Black Friday during the same period.

For online stores super Saturday is typically deemed as the final weekend before shipping deadlines apply for delivery before Christmas. For musician stores this will be dictated by where you ship to, and how long shipping is taking during Covid times. Keep in mind that international shipping for example is taking far longer than ever before, and that even local post deliveries are delayed during this high-volume period. 

However, with delays in local and global shipping due to Covid-19 you’ll want to be prepared for early holiday shoppers. Many shoppers started early in 2020 and that’s likely to be the case again in 2021, especially if bricks and mortar stores run sales in October again. In fact it might mean that you consider running your ‘holiday sales’ before Black Friday potentially. 

Whichever way you choose to go, ensure your shipping deadlines are clearly relayed to customers and that you focus on messaging which implies urgency for placing orders so that gifts can be delivered in time.

In addition to some of the Black Friday & Cyber Monday tactics mentioned above, additional ways you can promote your holiday offerings include:

  • Sharing potential gift ideas from your store. For example you might highlight gift ideas ‘Under $30’, ‘Under $50’ and so forth.
  • Sharing potential gift suggestions. Audiences you could suggest gifts to include ‘for best friends’ (eg. matching band tees), ‘for coffee lovers’ (eg. if your store sells coffee products and merchandise), ‘mega fans’ (eg exclusive, high-end merchandise or one-off items) and ‘the fashion forward’ (eg socks or other cool merch you offer). 

Ensure you’re ready for the holiday season and the most magical time of the year with a pro-active and responsive approach to your marketing. By creating a smooth shopping experience for fans, building your email list and reinforcing for customers why your store should be top of mind your days will certainly be merry and bright.

Dayna Young has 15+ years of global experience in music, marketing, and digital artist development. As the Founder of Fred & Augustus, she provides strategic marketing resources for artists seeking to grow their online profile and engagement, with a focus on developing existing and new revenue streams. Ultimately, what gets her out of bed in the morning is the knowledge that she’s creating opportunities for artists.

Share on: