Black Friday is the single most important day of holiday shopping and is responsible for $2.72 billion dollars in sales. If you add in the early bird sales that begin on Thanksgiving Day then that number jumps up to $4.45 billion dollars according to sales data released by Adobe.
Making sure you have the proper strategy to reach your customers as well as the right product-promotions mix is crucial for your success.
In case you are wondering, my name is Daniel Bussius and I am a marketing agency CEO for In The Mix Promotions as well as a professional marketing consultant.
I have worked with Fortune 500 brands and small business owners helping them to develop and implement well-thought marketing strategies to engage customers, deepen loyalty and grow sales.
That's a lot of money to make in a short 5 day window! I'm going to share my tips and strategies so you can boost your sales this holiday season.
Start off by segmenting your database to separate those who have purchased and those who have not. You will want to treat these two segments differently as people who have purchased from you have already determined that you offer value and they trust you.
Those who have never spent any money with you have not found a strong enough reason to buy from you. Outside of what the reason(s) could be, if your offer is strong enough then the timing is less relevant. The exchange of value for money and the potential loss of the opportunity can outweigh and override other factors during the Black Friday sale.
For the segmented list of previous buyers, you can push them right into your Black Friday Build-Up Campaign.
Note: The Black Friday Build-Up Campaign is a pre-launch campaign that is designed to create awareness of the upcoming sale as well as intrigue and excitement to spark strong sales numbers at the launch of the sale.
You're going to want to run ads to support your Black Friday marketing campaign so I suggest you add a new audience into your current audience sets that receive ads. The new audience should go a bit wider then your normal target demos. I'd suggest skewing a bit younger down to age 18 if that makes sense for your product and/or service.
Benefits of including the 18-24 demographic in your ads: Millennials are tech savvy, and 48% of them stated that they plan to increase their holiday spend compared to the previous year. According to the US Census Bureau, 31.2 million Americans are aged 18-24 years old. If 48% are planning on increasing their holiday purchases that is a total of 14.97 million people ready to buy. Those odds are in your favor to include them in the demographics for your ads.
Arguably the most critical factor for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales success are the offers. The first important step in developing a compelling offer for your sale is understanding what the goal of the offer is.
Make sure to follow the next steps when developing your offer.
It's important that when you create the offer you are looking at your internal Customer Life Cycle Journey and identifying where this sale fits in the cycle and how it sets you up for success so that the customer is progressing along your life cycle journey in purchases.
Remember when crafting your sale that you are not simply discounting your product(s). Discounting is a scary path to take your company down as it creates a behavior for your customers that they should only buy when you put on a sale. It then upsets customers who recently bought that did not take advantage of the sale thus causing partial refunds. Furthermore, as you continue down this path because you see a jump in sales when you launch a product sale, it then reinforces to customers to wait for the next sale before they buy.
What happens is you are creating a price loyal, brand indifferent customer. These customers shop based on price and care little about brand names and lack brand loyalty. These customers are focused on the price. These are the people that shop at Wal-Mart.
You don't want your business to be Wal-Mart unless you can generate the massive volume of sales that companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon see daily.
Make sure that your offer clearly shows high value. When possible, state the actual monetary value they are receiving. Statistically speaking, customers respond better to seeing a dollar value in savings rather than a percent.
Notice the two examples above. The recipient has no idea what 40% off translates to but the $400 off example gives a clear, easy to understand value they are receiving with the purchase.
Using the strategy from Tip #3, develop product bundles. Product bundles enable you create high retail value bundles at a significantly lower price point. This is how you manufacture a sale without actually discounting your product. Additionally, this prevents you from cannibalizing your existing product line by offering holiday specific bundles that don't normally appear within your inventory or store.
If the bundles you are creating are hard to understand, if they have asterisks to them with fine print, if they have multiple steps or have specific requirements for the purchase, then you created a bundle that isn't going to perform well. Don't make the sale difficult to understand for the customer. The more you make a customer think about what a product is, the less likely they are to buy it.
Barry Schwartz, author of "The Paradox of Choice” (HarperCollins, 2003) contends that:
Your bundles need to be priced to address 3 different engagement levels of your customers. Developing these 3 core price offerings will help guide your customers painlessly and seamlessly right into the core offer that fits their needs. The three price point strategies should be:
The ideal product for your first-time buyers and budget-minded buyers.
This is a monthly recurring auto-charge.
The true product you are pushing all of your buyers too. This is the sweet spot.
All taxes included in
This product should make your Sweet Spot product look like an amazing deal.
All taxes included in
Design a low priced offer that has a low barrier of entry/financial effort for the customer. This specific sale will speak to customers who may be questioning whether they should buy, is ideal for customers who have never purchased from you before and customers who have financial constraints. A good strategy to use for the low-priced offer is making this a recurring product/service. That way you can continually monetize the sale .
The mid-priced offer should be designed so that the most sales come from this product bundle. You'll want to make sure to have a high profit margin for this product. Statistics show that the mid-priced product tends to be the best seller..
The high-priced offer should be packed with perceived value, ideally showing the highest possible monetary savings and with the most features included.
I'm going to start this tip off with a quick example. What better way to let this sink in, right?
Watch this video.
Now, please take a look at this video.
Do you see a pattern of behavior? One video shows consumerism at its best, the other video shows survival. Two stark differences in reality but the reactions to scarcity are identical.
Get my point?
Make sure you state how many items will be sold at that price. Once they sell out, honor your word! Do not get greedy and then re-open the sale. That creates distrust and will damage you more than those few extra sales you'll make!
Personal note: I used the two video examples above as a subtle reminder that even though in the US we have abundance and people are fighting over useless items, in other countries people are fighting over food for their families' survival. I encourage you to have a fair percentage of your profits to go to an upstanding charity. It's the right thing to do and you are blessed to be in the position to launch a sale while others can share in your blessing to help feed their families.
Click the image above to see an example of how Macy's makes it easy to find a gift and spend money with them.
People don't know what they don't know. Most people have no idea what they are going to do next weekend nonetheless what product they should buy or why they should but it. Furthermore, they usually have no idea what gift(s) they should purchase nor do they really know what they personally want.
This is why you should provide them with a guide. Use this when your sale goes live. You can include it on your landing page as well as within your email. This way you prevent your customer being stuck from indecision and gently nudge them in the direction of the sale in a useful, non-aggressive approach.
If you have physical products that require shipping then give them free shipping. Take a play from the playbook of one of the world's most successful online businesses and offer the customers free shipping with your sale.
Now, don't really give them free shipping, make sure you bake that shipping cost into your product bundle, but tell them they are getting free shipping. People hate to pay for shipping.
If you have technology to pre-populate information directly into the order forms then please do so. Make the process as simple as possible for your customers to purchase.
If you don't have the technology that can automate your email marketing as well as pre-populate your customer's data into the order forms then please contact me and I'll get you set up with the right tools to grow your business.
Make them feel safe by giving them a guarantee.
For example; satisfaction guarantee, quality guarantee, no questions asked return.
Whatever is appropriate for your business model, your sale needs to include some form of promise to the customer that they will be safe and can get their money back if the product/service does not deliver on it's promise.
Make sure you reduce as many possible questions, clicks, info to complete, and please do not pull that amateur move forcing your customers to enter promo codes to receive their special pricing!!!
The above video is a perfect example of how you can create a "What's Included In Your Purchase" video so your customers can see and understand what they are buying.
Video is incredibly effective and many people statistically can retain and understand information easier if they hear it rather than read it. So, make sure that the launch of your sale and the landing page as well as product bundle pages have video explaining everything they are getting. Make it so easy and pleasurable for your customers to buy that they have no friction anywhere during the buying process.
Remember, when people don't understand something, they don't buy it. Even if they send you an email asking a question about the purchase, the delay in response allows that customer to cool off, to rethink the purchase or, worse, receive your competitor's email that was clear with the offer and they purchased that offer instead.
This tip sounds almost crazy for me to write but it's really important. Although almost every website and shopping cart technology is now optimized for mobile that does not mean that it looks good on mobile. For that reason, test everything to make sure that your landing pages and order forms look exactly how you want them from a mobile device as well as an iPad.
Tip for iPads: People using iPads have the highest chance of making impulse purchases. It's in your best interest to make sure they look good and load fast on iPads!
Over 60% of online sales come from mobile devices and if your pages don't read well on mobile, load slowly or re-arrange the content in a way that confuses the buyer, you will be losing money. On Black Friday alone, $583 million in sales came directly from mobile purchases cites Adobe.
This one is easy for you to do. Make sure to promote often and across the different social media channels to gain awareness of your upcoming sale. Supplement your social efforts with boosted posts, promoted tweets and ads.
Always use hashtags and the other resources each social channel provides you to widen the reach and to make your post easy to find for those who are seeking the subject matter.
If you know or have influencers in your social sphere then it would also be beneficial for you to host a Facebook Live Q&A with them, include them in an interview that also promotes your upcoming sale and use a tactic such as News Hijacking to gain exposure and attention.
If you are uncertain of how to implement these strategies please take advantage of my free 30-minute consultation by clicking here to schedule yours now.
It's important that your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale campaigns have a story arc to them so your customers can align their needs and values with your brand.
Running a sale just to run a sale on Black Friday isn't really that effective anymore. Everyone is running a sale, everyone is offering huge discounts so unless your brand has a compelling story line that a customer can connect to, they probably won't care.
Email is usually a static experience where the user views still, non-moving images and text. By changing this experience with an animated image we can grab their attention and increase the likelihood of them clicking our call to action. Click here to learn more.
A great way to spark urgency is to have a countdown timer embedded in the email showing how many days, hours and minutes are left before the sale ends. Click here to learn more.
This is a great way to grow your list for free with the potential to reach an exponentially larger audience. The strategy is to incentivize your user to share your content with their audience in return for getting a special discount or early bird access. If you use this strategy in line with online ads and your email marketing well in advance of Black Friday then you could see a massive list gain for little to no money. Click here to learn more.
Hopefully you have a cart abandonment campaign if you sell anything online. It's crucial to have one not only for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale but this is a must-have for any business selling anything online.
When someone who is in your database visits a shopping page but fails to complete the purchase, your system should recognize this and immediately launch an automated campaign to email the person and provide them with the link to purchase.
This campaign should be fully automated and run in the background 24/7. This campaign alone can bring you a 3-7% increase in sales annually. That's a huge growth in revenue for doing almost nothing!
If you don't have a cart abandonment campaign or your current site and tools you are using can't do this for you please contact me and I'll be happy to get you set up with one so you can start seeing instant improvement in sales.
Understanding your traffic, open rates, click rates, bounce rates and buy rates is crucial for you to gauge how successful your promotion, pricing and offer is for your audience.
If you see strong numbers for the product landing pages but not an equal equivalent for the buy ratio (for example, 30% buy ratio from those who visit the landing page) then you may be lacking the right copy, visual assets and call to action on the page to drive purchase actions.
If you see that your open rates are high but the click rates are low, then you most likely have a poor product mix and/or pricing/offer. You'll want to start there in your research for improvement.
Finally, if your open rates are poor then you most likely have an email deliverability issue, your subject lines aren't strong and/or your list is not engaged or your list is suffering from exhaustion.
Quite possibly the most important tip I can provide you is to hire an expert to assist you with this campaign. In doing so, it can make a difference between you earning a few hundred thousand-dollars versus a few hundred-dollars.
If you haven't already taken advantage of this offer, make sure to do so now by scheduling your free consultation with me to discuss how I can help you develop your own Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign to ensure your success. Doing this could put an extra $10-$20 thousand-dollars in your bank account.
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