Tom Welbourne

Tom Welbourne

Helping Small and Medium Businesses Achieve Their Full Marketing Potential | Digital Marketing Expert

Best Insights From Black Friday: What Not To Do & What You Must Do

We don’t know about you but we had a whopper of a Black Friday with some massive results for our clients – particularly those in the Ecommerce space, which is expected!

Not only did we keep a close-eye on our own ads, but we kept a track on other companies to see what was working and what wasn’t this Black Friday.

How much do people spend during Black Friday?

According to Sales Cycle, consumers in America spent $7.4 billion in 2019, which is up by 16.21% from 2018.

How does this compare with previous years?

In 2018, consumers in America spent $6.2 billion up by 23.50% from 2017.

Consumers in America spent $5 billion in 2017 which was up by 16.9% from the year before. 


  1. Our best performing ads weren’t product-specific or lifestyle images/videos, but single-images with the focus being on just the words, “Black Friday”, and then the percentage our client was discounting

  1. Even with big discounts, consumers still won’t buy unless the value for the product/service exceeds the price paid

  2. Make use of accelerated delivery on Facebook Ads in order to expedite your ads

  3. Have your ads tested beforehand and know what works for your specific client

  4. Be firm but fair with losing ads

Let’s delve a little deeper into the 5 lessons above…


The acronym, K.I.S.S. really did come into its element this Black Friday!


We assumed beforehand that focusing just on the discount rather than the product or lifestyle the product promotes was going to work best, but we wanted to test it anyhow to avoid our own biases.


Lo & behold, that’s exactly what happened!


For example, here’s what we used for one of our clients:

(And yes, we did get past the 20% text rule Facebook penalises ads for with this one.)

We had our doubts though… 

Because even though this is clear as a whistle, the client sells hair extensions; and with a product such as this, we honestly thought that our target audience (young women) would respond well to the hair extensions being used or the product on its own, in the adverts.

However, sometimes that’s all you need in the marketing world when you’re selling a product – a big discount that gets the punters out of their armchairs with credit card in hand!

What is our own personal opinion as to why the ad above worked better than product-specific or lifestyle creative?

Well, Black Friday is known world-wide and it’s an annual event just like Christmas day in this day and age.

And people are expecting big discounts from absolutely every business out there, so they don’t want to see the usual ads that are running year-round.

They want massive discounts and they want them…NOW!

Despite Black Friday being extended to over the weekend and now there is Cyber Monday, it still creates an urgency in both businesses and consumers.


Just because you’re slicing the price by 50% or more, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to have people breaking down your front-door trying to buy your product or service.

The product or service comes first, then the big discounts.

We noticed this with some of the ads we were seeing online where companies that don’t have a great product/service were dropping their prices by as much as 90%!

Black Friday aside, we’ve noticed this with clients of our own who launch a product or service that just isn’t up to scratch and doesn’t provide enough value to the customer to warrant the price charged.

You have to test the waters with new products or services. So we aren’t saying this is necessarily something you should avoid as a business, but you must learn from this simple mistake. 

Don’t try and pull money from your customers or target audience for the sake of temporary money, because it can prove very damaging in the long-run with customers not trusting you. 


FYI – This lesson applies to Facebook.

When you have short-period of time to get an offer out such as events like Black Friday, you must make sure your ads get seen and heard before the show is over.

Businesses and advertisers are piling in on platforms such as Facebook so your competition is competitive no matter the space you’re in.

Give yourself a least a chance to be in contention.

What is accelerated delivery?

Accelerated delivery is where Facebook aims to spend your budget as quick as it can which may cause higher ad costs.

This is the dice you roll with accelerated delivery which can put you at risk of higher ad costs.

But, in our opinion, it’s a risk you should take for a brief period of time such as Black Friday.

The learning phase can take up to 48 hours and therefore you don’t want your focus on optimisation. Instead, you want your focus on getting as many people seeing your ads as possible so they can take you up on your Black Friday offer.


You can actually get a headstart on your competitors by simply testing your ads beforehand in non-related Black Friday ads.

Try that new image or test that headline which is a bit out there a couple weeks or months beforehand.

Just like a footballer wouldn’t test a new pair of boots in the World Cup Final, you shouldn’t be trying out new ads during the biggest selling event of the year.

Get your ducks in order beforehand, and know which ads work for that particular client or particular product/service so you avoid any unexpected mishaps!

With our own clients, we know which ads work for them because we may have been working with them for a considerable amount of time; and even then, we don’t take it for granted that we know best.

Proper preparation gets you optimal results.


Ok, so we don’t mean your friends with this one, but your losing ads.

Just like in our first example – with our hair extensions client – we knew which ads were getting the results and which ones weren’t quite early-on.

Time is not on your side during Black Friday so you can’t be resting on your laurels here and letting your ads fall by the way-side.

Keep checking up on those ads and be firm but fair with them.

If they haven’t been running long or they showing promising signs, then give them a bit longer but don’t be scared to cut them.

Get focusing on those ones which are bringing in the money and double-down on them by duplicating and plugging in more money into them.

Again, you should have a good idea before Black Friday which ads are going to get the best results.


Fortunately for you, the digital marketing world doesn’t stop after Black Friday and there is now Christmas coming up and then before you know it, Boxing Day sales!

Increase those sales of yours and boost your profits in the next couple of weeks by getting your ads in order for the Festive period.

We can help.

Just schedule a call with us and speak to one of our team.   

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin