How to Build Your Email/SMS/Push Notification List for Black Friday

How are you preparing for the big day?

  • Written by Matt Holman
  • Published on October 12, 2020
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming soon. How are you preparing for the big day?

Don’t wait too long before you start planning your Black Friday promotion. More than half of customers start doing their research on Black Friday sales in early October.

So, if you want to maximize your sales for Black Friday, now’s the best time to get started. Here are some of the best tactics you can use to build your list before Black Friday comes:

Use Email Popups on Your Homepage

When visitors first land on your website, you can get their attention with an email pop-up that includes your exciting Black Friday offer. It’s a great way to optimize your traffic and supercharge your list.

For example, if you’re offering a special 20% discount on all orders for Black Friday, you can create a pop-up with your special offer and ask the customer to opt in. Here’s an example of how that can look like:

Stores can use a tool like Privy to set this up for their website. The platform comes with countless templates to choose from, along with A/B testing to help you create high-converting pop-ups.

Add a Promotional Bar on Top of Your Website

Another way to inform visitors of upcoming sales is through an action bar near your navigation. It’s an excellent tactic to leverage the holiday season and win more sign-ups.

Ensure your short action bar includes an exciting offer and a deadline. An extra tip to make your bar more effective is to add a countdown timer to emphasize that time is running out.

Optimize Your Social Media Pages for Black Friday Sales

Social media is one of the channels for generating leads during the holiday season.

For example, you can add a sign-up button on your Facebook page so they can join your list. They’ll be led to a landing page where they’ll have to sign up with their information, just like Dollar Shave Club in this example:

Something else you can do on social media pages is to include banners that announce your upcoming Black Friday sales. Consider pinning posts on Twitter and Facebook that provide all the information customers need about your promotion.

Run Segmented Ads on Facebook and Instagram

Another tactic to use on social media to generate leads is running ads.

The first and most vital step of running a successful social ad campaign is to use previous customer data to segment your ads. It ensures your message is getting in front of the right people.

Make sure to include engaging imagery and copywriting in your ad. Since you don’t have a lot of characters to write, keep the ad as straightforward as possible with a clear CTA.

Here’s a great example from top retailer Target:

In this ad, they’re giving customers a preview of the deals they expect to launch during Black Friday.

Provide Loyal Customers With VIP Access to Pre-Sales

Your loyal customers are vital to your success. 41% of a company’s revenue comes from only 8% of its customers. On top of that, it’s around 2-3X more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

This Black Friday, something you can do to grow your leads is to offer loyal customers early access to sales. It’s your way of rewarding them, making them feel valued, and getting them excited to make more purchases once the big day comes.

Create a Referral Program for Black Friday

A referral program is perfect for spreading the word about your Black Friday sales and boosting your list. Each time a subscriber refers your brand to one of their friends and family, they get to win a special prize for their efforts.

Here’s an example of how you can set this up during Black Friday:

You start by providing subscribers with a 10% discount and encourage them to share it with the people around them. Each time one of their friends redeems the coupon, they win another discount for 20% off on their orders.

Boux Avenue is a top lingerie brand that uses referral programs to promote their sales. In the example below, customers have the opportunity to receive some loyalty points if they refer a friend:

Collect Customer Data During Checkout

Customer checkout is the perfect time to collect leads for the upcoming Black Friday season.

As they’re about to finish their purchase, you can ask customers to sign up for your email/push notification list or SMS number so they can be up-to-date with the latest Black Friday sales.

For example, you can offer them a Black Friday coupon in exchange for their information. Avoid being too pushy, and make sure to emphasize the benefits that come with signing up for your list.

Host Special Black Friday Contests and Giveaways

A classic tactic for Black Friday is to run contests. It builds excitement around future Black Friday sales and drives more subscribers to your email, SMS, or push notification list.

What’s also great about contests is the many ways to style it. Some of the different giveaways can include:

  • Running text-to-win campaigns by asking customers to send an SMS to win a special prize
  • Asking customers to share your promotional Black Friday email so they can get a special discount
  • Giving social followers to win a free bundle by signing up for your email

Here’s how Shein Organized a Black Friday Contest to promote their brand last year:

Use Traditional Marketing Methods to Promote Your Sales

Do you have a physical store on top of running an eCommerce business as well? If so, you can use traditional tactics to grow your list for Black Friday.

Let’s say that SMS is a big part of your Black Friday strategy. You can add signs to your store and have business cards with your text number so customers can contact you. If you can, billboards can work, too.


The main takeaway is not to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to building your list. By using a diverse choice of tactics, such as social ads, referral programs, and contests, you can build a solid list of customers that are going to be ready to purchase on Black Friday. Now, it’s up to you to get out there and start promoting your sales!

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