News | 29th October 2019

Black Friday – do you or don’t you?!

It’s that time again - and there’s no denying that Black Friday / Cyber Monday has made the transition from across the pond and is now a prominent shopping day right across the UK - so, do you partake and claim your share of voice - and - if so, how do you position the campaign so as to not displace Christmas revenue or harm your brand? We’ve got some ideas…

Over the last 5 years or so, I’ve worked with a number of hotels, structuring campaigns, coming up with clever ideas with the marketing teams and generally trying to find the right way to get their message out and claim their share of the cyber weekend shopping frenzie and over that time, there’s been great learnings and successes and one thing we are certain of, there’s always a way to create a great, impactful, on-brand campaign.

First things first, where to start -

Decide on the campaign goal

  • Do you want to create a mass market message with a blanket discount to drive demand? If so, it’s worth noting that we’ve typically seen the best response to discounts of 15% and above to really get some traction on your campaign. You could think about staggering your discounts, e.g. spend X amount to get 15% off, spend X to get 20% off, increasing the minimum basket spend as you go.
  • Are you targeting your current gift voucher database - if so, and remembering these are your valuable and possibly loyal buyers, it could be worth offering them a discount for an increased spend. You can use the ‘minimum basket spend’ feature when setting up a promo code on your Gifted platform to support this. If typical purchases are c. £100 and knowing this is a great Christmas buying opportunity for your customers, encourage them to buy multiples or spend over say £250 for a great discount.
  • Is your campaign going to run on Black Friday only, across the weekend or on Cyber Monday? Remember, you can set up your campaign to automatically end when you’d like it to. If you need any support with this, just get in touch.
  • If you are creating dedicated vouchers to sit within a Black Friday campaign, put a limit on the number available - create some urgency and sense of demand with this clever little tool on your gift platform.

Get your Gift Voucher Site Ready Early

  • Create an ‘announcement’ on your gift site using the functionality on your Gifted platform - let your customers know the Black Friday Sale is coming soon! Build some anticipation and get your message out there early.
  • Activate your Black Friday category in good time and be ready for the big day - In 2018, Springboard reported that online sales had reached a 46% increase YOY by 4pm! Online website visits across 19th - 25th Nov were at 1.2 BILLION - 194 million of these on Black Friday alone.
  • Don’t overwhelm your customers with too much choice, however, it’s important to keep a good range of price points in your sale.
  • Include some exclusive cyber weekend packages/experiences at high price points - many people buy for themselves, so target that opportunity and if including an overnight stay, target weekends that are typically ‘low’ throughout the year to protect margin and drive footfall when you want it.

Marketing Messages

  • It goes without saying that your direct marketing campaigns should feature your fantastic Black Friday message - with direct links through to the relevant category within your site - make the shopping experience as easy as possible for your customers.
  • Keep your social media audiences engaged - think about possibly releasing a sale each day over the cyber shopping weekend to keep your audience interested - for example, you could release your Spa sale on Black Friday, your dining sale Saturday, overnight stays on Sunday and finish up with an unveiled sales message for Cyber Monday!
  • Keep it clear and uncomplicated - remember, there are so many brands all trying to reach the consumer over that weekend. Really use your USP’s and keep your messages clear and easy to understand what you are offering.

Touch Points In-House - don’t forget your captive audience

  • Think about tent cards for tables or pop up banners for your reception - showcasing your stationary and gift offering. This can be a great way of reminding your customers on site - to pick up their gifts whilst there.
  • In-room menu’s / info tablets etc are a great way of reminding your customers about your gift voucher offering.

Protect your revenue

  • Keep your parameters clear - and determined, in regards your discounted offering. Drive footfall when you want it, so heavily discounted vouchers might only be valid Mon-Weds, between 11 and 2 for example.
  • Don’t include your very best sellers - as Afternoon Tea tends to be in the lower price ranges and is the absolute best seller for hotels, UK wide, you probably don’t need to be discounting these.
  • Remember, many people are buying for themselves as well as gifts, so if you are creating dedicated Black Friday vouchers, consider placing the discounted voucher with restrictions, beside the normal priced voucher with no restrictions - if the buyer is giving a gift, they are more likely to pay the extra for no restrictions and you don’t lose revenue. This is particularly useful if the variation in price is not that significant, it will encourage the higher spend for greater flexibility for their recipient.
  • Don’t include monetary vouchers in your sale! There have been examples of some quite savvy buyers in the past, buying up discounted monetary vouchers to then pay for a large scale event they are holding in the hotel. You can easily exclude monetary from any campaign you are running on your Gifted platform.

We really hope that has been useful for you - there are some great results to be had and with careful positioning, you can entice your buyers in and still hold onto the brand you’ve worked hard to build. As they say, a great deal doesn’t have to be a cheap deal!

Best of luck and please remember, the team are always on hand to offer some support should you need it, or if you’d like to discuss any specific campaign ideas, you can reach me at -