Black Friday is one of the most important days of the year for retailers. Actually, Black Friday spans an entire weekend now–a weekend that starts on Thursday for many retailers trying to drag it out as long as possible. Since it’s just next week, you really can’t afford to delay any longer. Here are some tips to help you prepare for Black Friday.

Schedule your messages

On the day of, you’ll be much too busy to worry about sending out emails and text messages to your subscribers so use your bulk SMS and email service providers to schedule your Black Friday promotional messages now and get all of those messages written out so you don’t have to worry about it later.

Segment your audience

Depending on your business’s niche, it may be helpful to segment your audience by sex, age group, interests, or other characteristic. You don’t want to waste valuable marketing dollars sending offers to people who don’t view them as relevant. The better you’re able to send ads to the people most likely to act on them, the more ROI you’re going to see this Black Friday.

Don’t wait until Black Friday

Many Black Friday shoppers like to plan their trip a few days in advance. They have a shopping list and a priority list of Black Friday deals they want to try to claim. Even for those shopping online, they know that the best deals can be done in seconds. Aim to send out at least some promotional messages a few days before Black Friday so that shoppers can incorporate your products/services into their shopping plan.

Don’t forget Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday started out as a day for online retailers to get in on the fun of Black Friday. These days, however, many brick and mortar locations still offer great Cyber Monday deals just as many online retailers offer deals on Black Friday. Whether you have a store location, an online store, or both, you can use the entire weekend–including Monday–to drive more sales.

Use SMS and use it generously

Black Friday is all about flash sales–steep discounts that only a small number of people can claim before they’re gone. Since these are time-sensitive offers, flash sales can be a great way to get people to sign up for SMS notifications since it’s the channel best-suited for time-sensitive communications. Typically brands are told not to overdo it with SMS marketing. Too many texts in a short period of time can come across as spammy. But during Black Friday weekend, you can ignore that advice. Consumers want as many deals as possible so you can text more than you typically would that weekend.