How to Leverage Online Shopping Trends with Black Friday Camp or Class Specials


The day after Thanksgiving many Americans will find themselves hitting the mall for Black Friday while others will celebrate that day as #BuyNothingDay. (It’s a real thing!)

Too Much Stuff

Either way, believe it or not, it’s the best time to promote the virtues of your camp, clinic, or class. Whether they’re boycotting consumerism or shopping for the best deals, more and more people are opting for the giving of experiences. Why? In addition to the stress of overspending, just take a look at our addiction to stuff:


The Best Time (& Way) to Give the Gift of Experiences

Last year Black Friday sales were astounding.1 Take advantage of this trend and give shoppers a fun, good-for-you gift option that’s always the right size and requires no batteries or late-night assembly!

Step 1: Identify Your Audience

Start by segmenting consumer groups for your online deal: Are they new or returning customers? Are they moms who are looking for good deals for something they will purchase anyway?

How will they search? By gender, age of child or type of activity or sport? What words would they use if they want what you offer?

What are their motivations? Why do they register? What will they gain by buying now? How is what you offer different than other similar activities out there?

Step 2: Create your gift

Now it’s time to think about what you’ll offer. You can go 2 ways here:

Option 1: Drive registration with specific holiday offers

  • Limited or exclusive registration for upcoming programs through the holidays.
  • Free or discounted merch with customer registration for “under the tree”.
  • Time-sensitive discounts.
  • Exclusive gear/merchandise.

Option 2: Create a generic gift certificate option (Perfect if your programs aren’t finalized!)

  • Target grandparents and relatives.
  • Include a special offer, early registration access, or a stocking stuffer.
  • Create printable gift certificates, and attach them to confirmation e-mails.

Step 3: Roll out your content

There are so many ways to get your offer out there. Here are just a few:

Build anticipation and buzz on social media

  • Create a social media calendar for the holidays, using themes, hashtags, and countdowns as guideposts. (Download our free marketing calendar to help you get started.)
  • Update your social media pages with holiday-themed images and profile pictures.
  • Use personal pages to share posts, content, and promotions.
  • Try Closed Groups to communicate with your best customers and biggest fans.

Develop strategic emails

  • Schedule emails ahead of key shopping dates.
  • Start your email with a brief thank you or update before promoting your holiday offer.
  • Send reminder emails the day before a deadline.


holiday-website-with-no-backgroundUpdate your website

  • Add offers and promotions to high-traffic areas of your site.
  • Place registration buttons “above the fold.”
  • Change your website banner to a holiday theme.

It’s Not Too Late – ’til December 24

Finally, if you’re new to Black Friday promotions, move quickly to create your offers.

Even if you’re running late for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday, parents and grandparents will be looking for gifts all the way up to Christmas Eve – when a present that doesn’t require a trip out in the weather (or out to the garage to rummage for a box that’s big enough) will be a welcome relief.



1 Washington Post: 151 Million People Shopped Over Black Friday Weekend