ShoppingThe clock is ticking and the holiday hurrah is building up to one of the biggest shopping days of the year. If you haven’t jumped on your holiday planning just yet, all is not lost. You still have some time to build a sweet, little Black Friday marketing campaign. With 25% of shoppers (that number jumps to 56% when you include online shopping) already planning to hit the streets on Black Friday, you can take advantage of this unofficial holiday, even if you’re a procrastinator.

1. Produce a Holiday Gift Guide

Your holiday gift guide can be thematic, “Gifts for Him,” “Gifts for Her,” “Gifts for Entrepreneurs,” etc. or they can be product oriented, like “Best Cosmetics of the Year.”

Either way, they should be centered around a concept that ignites enthusiasm in your target customer. If you provide a service, you can still make a gift guide. Just make sure your service is front and center.

2. Create a Tie-in Promotion That Complements Your Business

In order to build on the Black Friday excitement, you can use a tie-in promotion that kindles more loyalty to your business. A spa could offer a discount on products for customers who buy gift certificates for holiday presents. A life coach might offer special 15 minute coaching sessions for those who purchase coaching packages that customers can use or give away to family and friends. There are various ways to appeal to your intended audience that build your brand and bring in customers who are ready to shop.

3. Utilize a Time Sensitive or Limited Supply Gift with Purchase

If your emphasis is to make substantial sales on a particular day, a special gift with purchase is the way to go. It might be tempting to use something promotional like a branded memory stick or other bauble, but when you offer something substantial as a gift, you realize authentic enthusiasm. Feel free to implement a minimum purchase amount to trigger the gift with purchase if it makes it easier to do the giveaway.

4. Promote a VIP Treatment for Returning Customers

Treat your returning customers to a special favor to thank them for coming back. Whether your store is online or offline, free shipping can be a great way to thank your dedicated customers, especially if you offer to send the gift to its final destination. Whatever you decide to do to treat your faithful shoppers, make sure they know well advance, so they can plan to take you up on your generous offer.

5. Create an Event

Events are a great way to build buzz and offer something extra to your clients. There’s a reason that shopping centers offer the ubiquitous photos with Santa each year: more traffic = more sales. Events are a great way to welcome customers, both new and old. You could do something as simple as a cute photo booth with glamorous props (remember to promote your brand!) as nowadays most people have camera in their hip pocket, or you can do something more substantial like a holiday rest stop with cookies, tea, and a place to rest during the Black Friday crush.

6. Start Promoting Now

The main way to make sure that whatever method you choose to offer something extra to your customers is a success on Black Friday is to start promoting now. Use social media posts and updates, your newsletter, the popups on your website, ads, or postcards to tell your audience about your promotion for the biggest shopping day of the year. This is the time that customers are looking for deals, so make it easy for them to find yours and it’s another win-win situation.

Use some of that hard-earned cash from your Black Friday sales to invest in incorporating your business. It’s a smart business decision you’ll be glad you made.