Guest post: Black Friday RIP

Black Friday is dead - Jarrang CEO Stafford Sumner explains why this isn't necessarily a bad thing


When UK retailers started to embrace Black Friday several years ago, it was a novelty for both consumers and businesses. The traditional American post-Thanksgiving sale day didn’t necessarily seem the best fit for a country that didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but it quickly became a big hit – with excitement about it competing with that of the Boxing Day sales.

Yet in a relatively short space of time, the gloss has faded and what we’re left with is – in my eyes – a cynical push from brands to boost their pre-Christmas sales by jumping on the bandwagon and offering what sometimes prove to be rather suspect discounts to their customers.

From an email marketing perspective, this means that consumers are set to receive  a flood of emails, all on the same few days, promising amazing discounts. With inboxes full of such messages, many deals get drowned out and consumers and brands end up missing out.

With open rates and sales declining around Black Friday, brands are aware of the increasing futility of such deals and messaging, yet many are terrified of jumping off the bandwagon and potentially  losing out to their competitors on pre-Christmas sales.

So what should brands do instead to communicate honestly and engagingly with savvy consumers? There are three routes to consider taking,  all of which can be executed very effectively via email marketing campaigns:

  1. Call it out. Put out a refreshing message to your customers saying that you’re not going to run a Black Friday sale, and instead guarantee to offer great value good throughout the year. This gives your customers the confidence and time to make their sales choices without feeling rushed. And they’ll appreciate your honesty.
  2. Offer value added products rather than discounts to drive sales, thereby giving your loyal customers an incentive to purchase at the original price. A free night; an extra complementary product – whatever it is, it will make your customers feel special and there’s no question marks over whether the discounts are legitimate or not.
  3. Offer exclusive deals to newsletter subscribers, throughout the year. This is a great way to build your database, and instil a sense of mutual loyalty and trust with your customers. Just ensure they can’t get the deals through other channels!

To talk more about your email marketing campaigns, whatever the season, contact Jarrang on