How to Get Your App Ready for Black Friday

How to Get Your App Ready for Black Friday

Black Friday is a golden opportunity in the retail world. Shoppers are excited to pounce on great deals, and brands are wise to drive up the hype. Mobile app users are far more likely to make in-app purchases and take advantage of Black Friday specials so it’s important to do what you can to boost app conversion and engagement ahead of and during this holiday.

One thing to keep in mind about mobile shopping this Black Friday is that your customers are doing more than shopping that day. In America, Thanksgiving weekend often means family obligations (and the stress that can come with them), and this year, the World Cup will be a focus of many people’s attention throughout Europe. Though mobile users are nearly always operating under a state of distraction, it's especially true on Black Friday. Some users may be looking for great deals for holiday gifts, while others may be looking to treat themselves to something special, but it’s safe to assume that nearly all of your users will be looking to their phones for escapism, stress relief, and a dopamine rush this Black Friday. Will you have what they’re looking for? 

To help you get your app ready we’ve put together some Black Friday app marketing tips to drive user acquisition, engagement, and conversions.

Must-Know Strategies to Attract New Customers During Black Friday

Increase App Installs With Special Offers for First-Time Users

One way to increase the number of downloads and installs for your app before Black Friday arrives, is by offering discounts or freebies to first-time users for the holiday season. For example, you could enable first-time users to get free delivery or shipping on their first order, or you can make one or more “doorbuster” products available at a lower price. Ahead of the holiday season, this could attract many new users who otherwise might not take the first step of using the app.

In addition to special offers, you can also use a referral program to encourage people to share your app with others. For instance, users could share an app to get additional discounts if their referee signs up and uses the app. The new user should also receive a reward that functions as an incentive for them to follow through with the referral.

Use Black Friday Push Notifications

In the days or even hours leading up to your mobile campaigns for Black Friday, you should use push notifications to let users know when you’re launching promotions. It’s not enough to use general push notifications, however. Instead, make them personalized for different segments of your user base.

You can send users push notifications letting them know that a favorite item of theirs is on sale or indicating when a promotion will begin for certain items based on their specific interests. Don’t forget to send another round of push notifications when your campaigns are about to end to encourage people to return and make a purchase before a deal runs out.

When developing your push notifications, there are a few best practices to follow. To start with, ensure your copy excites users while remaining aligned with your unique branding. To attract users’ attention and maximize engagement, send your Black Friday push notifications early, ideally even weeks before promotions begin, which will build excitement. Finally, make sure your offers are highly specific and eliminate any potential confusion when people see your notification. Taking these steps could help you create and launch successful push notifications that drive both engagement and sales.

Work With Social Media Influencers

Another great strategy to consider is partnering with social media influencers, including influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms. Make sure these influencers are within your app’s specific niche; If you believe the influencer represents a typical user or a specific user segment, it’s likely a good idea to work with them.

When looking for the right influencer, keep in mind that you don’t need to target one with millions of followers. Many micro-influencers have loyal followings of hundreds or thousands of potential users, and they don’t charge nearly as much as larger influencers for app endorsements. Micro-influencers also have a higher engagement rate than mega-influencers, with an average rate of 3.86% on Instagram compared to just 1.21% for mega-influencers. Working with multiple micro-influencers can help extend your reach and encourage their followers to associate you with them. 

One key advantage to working with influencers is the ability to create shoppable videos. These are videos that could feature influencers showcasing or unboxing a particular item you want to sell, along with a CTA button encouraging people to buy it. Shoppable videos are highly engaging and can direct users to purchase pages to complete an order more efficiently.

Use Email Marketing to Reach New and Existing Users

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools to use for businesses. ROI can be as high as $42 for every dollar spent on email campaigns. In addition to marketing products and services, and keeping leads and customers engaged, it can also help promote your app on Black Friday. Once you get leads and customers into your email lists, you can send out emails about deals that are exclusive to apps, discuss new app features and general updates, and encourage people to try your app if they haven’t already.

Be sure to use this channel to reach both new and past customers. For past customers, you can push exciting new offers to get them to return. New customers may also appreciate offers for products that are only available for a limited time. Meanwhile, you can bring previous customers back with offers or special deals just for them. You can even use this opportunity to ask past customers for their input with a survey, including what items they’d like to see promoted for Black Friday. You can then use the data collected to inform your Black Friday campaigns and determine how to keep customers coming back after the holidays.

In-App Marketing Strategies to Maximize Conversion of Existing and Active Users During Black Friday

Continue Updating Your App

As a general rule of thumb, you should continue to update your app and add new features as needed. If your design could use some additional work, it may be worth it to engage in a redesign before the holidays begin. In addition, you may want to add certain new features that help improve app sales on Black Friday. Example features could include searching by voice or visuals, or a simpler checkout process with one-tap purchase capabilities.

Keep testing your app to make sure it’s as good as it can be, and take steps to improve any weak areas that might otherwise hold you back. By optimizing the user experience ahead of Black Friday promotions, you’ll ensure users enjoy every interaction with your app and brand. You may even want to use technology like augmented reality (AR), which would give users the ability to use their mobile devices to view virtual products in their homes before buying.

If you take the time to make any necessary or potentially critical updates before the holidays, you’ll make sure all of your users benefit from a consistently great experience. In turn, you’ll be able to dramatically increase app sales on Black Friday and other major holidays.

Reward Loyal Customers

One of the most effective ways to increase engagement for your app on Black Friday is to reward customers who are already loyal. Using Black Friday push notifications and other in-app story features, you could show your loyal customers gratitude in a number of ways. For example, you may be able to push early promotions for items that each user segment would like. You can also provide exclusive information about sales to loyal users that other users won’t be able to access as early.

To boost more app installs and sales, you could also offer deals that are only accessible to mobile users if your business isn’t app-exclusive. Advertise these deals via social media, your website, and email marketing campaigns to attract more app users.

Use In-App Stories to Get the Most from Your Black Friday Campaigns

Using any of these strategies with in-app Stories, you can drive engagement, conversions, and sales for your apps both before and during Black Friday. The key is to use the right solution to develop your in-app Stories. With the help of Storyly, you can easily develop personalized Stories that establish a strong connection with users and keep them consistently engaged. From quizzes and surveys to countdowns and reminders, you can use Stories in so many innovative and interactive ways to get the best possible results from your campaigns.

Remind Users Through Countdowns

Storyly's story countdown feature

If you want to remind users to revisit your app as sales periods approach, in-app Stories with countdowns are a great choice. They will help you make sure that users know when to begin shopping with your app, and you’ll draw attention away from competing apps. In Storyly, you can easily create countdowns that feature a bell-shaped icon. When users tap on the icon, they’ll receive a push notification on their mobile device reminding them that Black Friday sales will start within a certain period.

For example, you can send reminders letting people know that Black Friday deals will begin within a certain number of hours or days. Push notifications could also appear a set number of times ahead of the sales period, which will maintain awareness leading up to Black Friday.

Create a Sense of Urgency for Your Campaigns Using These Countdowns

You can also publish in-app Stories with countdowns in the back half of the sales period, indicating how much time they have left to take advantage of Black Friday deals. This will create a sense of urgency as users worry about missing out on potentially great deals. Specifically, through Storyly, you could use stickers that remind users about the final hours and days of your Black Friday campaign.

In addition, apps could also activate a social share feature that allows users to tap on the share icon on an in-app Story and share it within their social circles. This feature is crucial for generating word-of-mouth marketing that builds awareness and encourages more app conversions. At the same time, the feature can improve user acquisition efforts. It achieves this by directing people to the appropriate app store if they don’t currently have the app when tapping on a shared story.

Empower Your Customers by Appealing to Their Preferences

Another way to use in-app Stories is to request user input to help deliver content that they truly enjoy. Interactive stickers such as quizzes and polls make this easier than ever. Through these stickers, you could ask users which promotion or campaign they would like to see in the app, giving them multiple-choice options. You could then announce the results of the survey the next day.

For instance, a retailer may discover that most of its app users want to see discounts on electronics, in which case the retailer could announce a promotion for electronics via in-app Stories. The retailer could also share this announcement on other platforms, including their website and social media, driving even more app conversions and engagement.

In-app Stories also offer enhanced targeting capabilities to help ensure you reach your target audience. Using the previous example of an electronics promotion for Black Friday, app marketers could show users interested in this particular promotion a related Story. This would further build excitement among this audience segment. Marketers could also show different personalized Stories to other groups of users based on their responses to in-app Stories. As a result, every user can benefit from a fully personalized campaign that entices them to engage with your app during Black Friday promotions.

Use Shoppable Videos Before or During Black Friday to Drive Sales

Grabbing the attention of prospective users through influencer videos on social media is great. Why not benefit from the same effect on your app thanks to shoppable and interactive videos that you can publish as Stories? These can help supplement your other video marketing efforts in a big way, as viewers spend around 47% longer watching interactive videos compared to traditional videos. In addition, shoppable videos can increase purchase intent by as much as nine times!

With highly engaging shoppable videos from influencers, app marketers can do everything from requesting user input regarding discounts to directing users to purchase. For example, a shoppable video could show a well-known influencer opening a box with Black Friday items. It could also feature a product introduction or a poll and emoji reaction bar asking them which categories they’d prefer to see in a promotion.

In driving people to perform a specific action, you can include product tags, swipe-ups, and CTA buttons in your ads, which could take users straight to purchase pages. You can also use these videos in the days leading up to Black Friday or throughout the entire campaign. Visually compelling shoppable videos can ultimately be a great way to get people to engage and make a purchase as you attempt to maximize sales.

Harness the Power of Gamification

During Black Friday or in the days or weeks before, use Stories to gamify your campaigns. Gamification is a great way to engage users and boost app conversions through in-app Stories. Turning your promotions into a kind of game can effectively bring users back to you and lead them toward a sale.

One way to use gamification could be to develop a promo code consisting of five letters that are initially hidden from public view. Every day or hour as Black Friday approaches and you prepare your promotions, you can reveal each letter. You could require users to open the app and interact with a specific feature that unlocks the letter when available. To further engage users, include a countdown to the time when the next letter will become unlocked. At the end of this process, the user will be able to use the promo code when shopping.

Another way to gamify your app could be to include something like a raffle or lottery. Every day, users could have the chance to choose one of five digital cards in the app, one or more of which hide potential discounts. When the user taps on a card, it could give them a discount on a specific item. Again, a countdown could let users know when they’ll have another chance to play the game again and win another discount.

Deliver Personalized Stories to Prevent Abandonment

One of the biggest issues for all businesses is shopping cart abandonment. Based on current data, the average cart abandonment rate is nearly 70%, which means that seven out of every 10 consumers don’t complete their transactions online, including through apps. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce and even eliminate instances of cart abandonment.

Using Storyly’s in-app Stories, you can deliver personalized content that encourages people to come back when they’ve added an item to their cart without purchasing it. These Stories will remind users that they have one or more items in their cart and invite them to complete their order. This also applies to favorites—if someone adds an item to their favorites list, you can remind them with Stories to return and buy it.

Show the Right Deals to the Right People

When preparing to launch a Black Friday campaign, you need to make sure it’s highly targeted at the right audience. Otherwise, you may not excite users if you’re promoting deals that don’t interest them.

Through the use of Stories, you’ll be able to make mobile native surveys with quizzes and polls to discover users’ individual preferences and favorite products. After doing so, app marketers can then create segments based on the data collected. As an example, marketers may conduct surveys that find that women using the app are more interested in a certain product, while men are interested in another. Different age groups and other demographics may also have unique preferences. From there, you can more carefully target your Black Friday marketing efforts to generate excitement among each segment.

In-app Stories will also allow you to make loyal users feel special by addressing them by their first name, offering discounts more strategically, and recommending products based on their previous behavior. In the process, users will feel more valued as you engage with them. Personalized Stories make it seem as though a person is working to understand them, as opposed to just a brand merely trying to sell to them

Experience the Success You Want This Black Friday With the Right Strategies

By implementing a good Black Friday strategy for your app, you’ll be able to experience significantly increased user engagement and sales this holiday season. Through the use of in-app Stories, influencer marketing, email campaigns, and more, you can ensure your app’s continued success. You’ll ultimately be able to attract more long-term users who are likely to remain loyal to you long after Black Friday ends. For more on retaining users after the holidays, be sure to check out our new eBook!


Deniz Tasyürek

Content & Brand Marketing Strategist at Storyly. Writes about mobile user behavior, user engagement, and retention. A genuine Potterhead. She also loves succulents, cats, and aerial yoga.

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