Facebook Marketing Tips For Holiday Seasons (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, Thanksgiving, XMas, New Year etc.)

As we approach the most competitive time of year, here are a few considerations to ensure that you are already running toward a successful Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, Christmas, and new year sales. Here are the tips on how to get ahead of the Holiday rush.

Facebook Marketing Tips For Holiday Seasons

Customer’s intentions & retargeting

Your customers are already researching gifts and adding to cart – in fact, according to Deloitte’s holiday retail survey, 60% of holiday shoppers will start before Thanksgiving, and early bird shoppers are projected to outspend late shoppers. Take advantage of heightened intent and influence conversations along with shopping behavior – especially among gifters!


  • Set up the audience in Facebook audience manager well in advance so that Facebook already has enough data for retargeting
  • Analyze the audience checkout funnel and set up the audience for each of the steps so that you can bid differently on each of the audience types as per their intent of purchase.
  • Allocate budget and design AdSets accordingly so that you do not rush during the holiday seasons on setting up the campaigns

Facebook Marketing Tips For Holiday Seasons (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, Thanksgiving, Xmas, New Year etc.)

Targeting Gift givers

Two ways to influence Dad (or Grandma, a Significant Other, a Best Friend, etc.)/ gift givers

  • Think outside the box and broaden your targeting parameters – your core demo needs to hear from you, but so do those who care about them.

Consider appending an additional ad set with open targeting to your existing conversion campaign(s) – remove gender constraints and/or broaden age targets, and don’t include demographic targeting of any kind. Remember, a Female, aged 18 – 25 target of consumers interested in your competitors won’t reach Dad.

Targeting the parents was an easy task. Now you need to compel him to action. This is where contextual relevancy comes into play. Have you tailored your copy for the moment? How about your creative? Your ad should address the following:

  • Does your product offer a unique value prop?
  • Is it on sale/promo? (e.g. Buy X, get Y)
  • Any shipping incentives?
  • Does it make for a nice gift?

Rely on Facebook Ads Manager as the platform for optimization

I am not advocating for Facebook here but you do not want to spend manual time allocating budgets to individual Ad sets. Instead of spending time manually allocating budgets to individual Ad sets, turn on Campaign Budget optimization – you’ll save time while lowering CPAs.

Get beyond the campaign learning phase:

prospecting campaigns created for this purpose will expand your potential retargeting pool, leading to greater efficiency at scale (lower CPAs, higher ROAS, more conversions)· We need time to figure out who your next best customers will be – by now, you’ve either seen or caught wind of the “learning phase”, a process that occurs at the outset of any campaign flight, or as a result of an edit to a campaign’s parameters.

With that in mind, here’s a thought experiment: if it takes around 50 optimization events to exit the learning phase, and your campaign starts on Black Friday, during the most volatile time of the year… I think you know where this is going. Instead of spending Black Friday wondering if your campaign will ever exit the learning phase, give your campaign some additional runway by starting it at least a day earlier – and focus on putting out fires elsewhere.


  • Set up your campaigns well in advance so that they are not in the learning phase anymore. Maybe, you should set them up in a day or two in advance.
  • Try to have minimal edits in any of the campaigns especially the ones targeted towards holiday sales such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, new year etc.

Don’t leave campaign stuck under review:

One more thing… you don’t want your ads stuck in the review on Black Friday – regardless of when your campaign is slated to begin, recall that Facebook ad review SLA is 24 hours (and may exceed that during peak). Do yourself a favor and create your campaigns at least 2 days ahead of your scheduled launch date – you can always schedule them in Ads Manager so that they’ll remain inactive after approval up until your desired start date and time.

Tips for ensuring Facebook Ad delivery during Holiday seasons

Delivery: This is the most common issue during the holidays! Review the following levers to impact your delivery:

  • Placements (Increase Inventory)
  • Add more placements or switch to automatic placements at the ad set level
  • Use campaign budget optimization (switch on at the campaign level)
  • Bidding: Increase your bid to remain competitive (example: 30%+ increase)
  • If underdelivering on lowest cost, switch to a significantly higher bid cap. Bid value should be higher than the average cost per purchase, you are willing to reach.
  • Use expanded interests to increase the size of your interest based audience
  • Consolidate your audiences to improve the ability to deliver and increase reach
  • Creative: Add new creative to ad sets
  • Pivot strategy to different video, image, copy or ad unit

Beyond Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving and other Holidays

While we all know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the peak holidays for driving sales, people continue to search for holiday gifts or deals from now through the end of December.

A few Holiday facts

  • According to a Salesforce article, nearly 40% of people do their holiday shopping on Black Friday. I interpret this as an opportunity to reach the 60% of potential customers who haven’t done their holiday shopping yet.
  • According to Dropoff’s Holiday Survey, “3 out of 4 (77%) consumers plan to do last-minute shopping.

It’s important that we maintain the momentum in order to maximize our return and reach your sales goals for the 2019 holiday season. Below are a few strategies along with tips & resources that are top-of-mind to help you take full advantage of holiday shopping behavior post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

Tips for ensuring Facebook Ad delivery during Holiday seasons

Retargeting (utilize custom audiences from BF/CM)

While some customers love Black Friday shopping, not everyone is going to buy something that very day. Keep your retargeting strategies in place so you can follow up with the people who never checked out online.

Dynamic Ads for Retargeting campaign

continue to push spend & scale to these audiences to ensure that we are taking advantage of everyone who expressed interest but did not purchase.


Holidays are prime-time for returning customers and CRM audiences perform very well here. Upload these audiences to get started:

  • Inactive subscribers – people who have not opened an email in last months or 2.
  • Unsubscribers – Those who have unsubscribed from your email campaigns.
  • “Marked as Read” – People who have opened but have not clicked on any links in email campaigns.

Cross-Selling/ Up-Selling

Focus on selling complementary items to existing customers. You’re enticing someone with something that just happens to go perfectly with a product they’ve purchased. That being said, it doesn’t have to only be for them! Given it’s the holidays, prime the target with how perfect this would be for a gift for a friend/colleague/teacher/sister in law/etc.

Tips to Accelerate your Performance After Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Prospecting (net new customers)

Retest or Scale Up Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences. The holiday season will cause a huge influx of behavior and intent signals on the platform, which powers DABA campaigns. This means that there are likely new users who we could consider “in-market” for your products during this time of the year.

Target Broad Lookalike or Interest-based audiences

Continue to target broad Lookalike or interest-based audiences during this time. Going after new customers can encourage people to buy for others and not just themselves.

Audiences to consider:

  • If seed audience is >1,000, build a lookalike of everyone who purchased from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
  • Value-Based Lookalikes off of your Pixel
  • A lookalike of customers who purchased last year during this time
  • Lookalikes of FB/IG Engagement
  • Lookalikes off of your pixel events
  • Engaged Shopper interest audience (audience of those who clicked a “shop now” CTA in
    the last week)
  • “Online shopping” interest audience along with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, new year, shopaholics, gifts etc.
  • Any other broad, relevant interest-based/competitor audiences

Focus on keeping Relevant Creative for Holidays & Gifting:

Emphasize Last Ship Dates & Holiday Promos – It’s important to create a sense of urgency not only in your ads but also on your landing pages. Using time-sensitive offers can push hesitant prospects to convert. Even if you don’t have a December promotion planned, leverage messages like “Free Shipping” and “Limited Time
Offer” and create urgency around limited time products, holiday gift sets, etc.

Examples of time-sensitive offers

  • “Order by 12/17 to guarantee 12/24 delivery!!”
  • “Get 20% off & delivery by Christmas!!
  • “Hurry, our top sellers will go FAST”

Gifting Perspective – Position your product as a gift by showing different personas in the creative

  • “The perfect gift for the ___ in your life”
  • “Gifts for everyone on your list”
  • “Love it for you? Buy it for ____”
  • “Cross gifts off your list!”
  • “Treat yourself! If you want it, buy it.”
  • Try using some Holiday Buzz-Phrases:
  • “Beat the Holiday Rush”

For custom items

  • “You make it, we ship it”
  • “__ unbeatable deals in one merry place”
  • “Get into the holiday spirit with ___”

Best Seller Product Set (can be used in Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences or Retargeting). Highlight your best-selling items in a product set! Use this to prospect to new customers or upsell to existing customers. Have the copy or image call out that these are “best-selling” items for the holiday season.

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