• Lane Anderson

7 Secrets to Create a Successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday Campaign

How do you market your business for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Here’s seven tips to ensure a successful BFCM.


The busiest shopping day of the year is coming soon!


Your customers are saving up to be able to take advantage of big savings on the post-American-Thanksgiving weekend. If you don’t plan for it, they’ll head elsewhere with their money. Don’t miss this opportunity to fill the cash register as the Christmas shopping season begins!


Note: I’m not talking about the 4 a.m. door-crasher specials you see on the news where people trample each other for a deal. The rampant consumerism of Black Friday is a pretty shameful mark on Western culture. There is a way to participate in the shopping frenzy responsibly. You want to get your valuable product or service in the hands of the right people in a way that’s mutually beneficial.


#1: Make the Offer Huge


The offer has to be really f—ing good.


The average discount in 2019 was 37% in savings (source).


And that average would be brought down by the many 10-15% savings offered by brands making token efforts to get on the Black Friday train. The successful campaigns will have much bigger savings.


An insignificant discount will be appreciated by repeat customers and people who were planning to buy either way. But that’s the biggest fear when discounting: you don’t want to give a discount to people who would’ve paid full price and not attract any new customers.


Deeper discounts are going to be much more effective at getting first-time customers. They see this as a rare opportunity to try a product or service at a significantly lower cost.


Go deep with your discounts. And if you’re worried about the viability of selling for so cheap, keep reading. This doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) destroy your ability to turn big profits.


#2: Offer an Impulse Purchase


Your Black Friday campaign should be focused on something that people would buy on a whim.


This aim is not to convert prospective customers who’ve been thinking about buying for weeks or months, holding out to see if they can grab your product or service at a discount (they’ll likely buy at full price after BFCM once they see there won’t be a discount opportunity).


The goal is to get first-time buyers. Which means you need a very short customer journey (the path from becoming aware of your offer, to considering, comparing, and evaluating it, to buying it). That journey could take a few minutes. You don’t have weeks or months to build confidence and persuade people to buy.


You want your offer to be the kind of thing someone would buy without needing to think about it for long. That means the price needs to be in impulse-purchase range (this varies by audience). It shouldn’t need a lot of research and consideration. A new Dodge pickup isn’t really an impulse purchase. A pair of heated slippers could be.


#3: Offer Something with a Fixed Cost


Since it’s recommended to deeply discount, it’s helpful to focus on offers that have enough margin to do so.


You should consider an item that has no variable cost like a digital product, online course, ebook, etc. so you don’t lose money. Physical products like shoes and lawnmowers, and services like pedicures and tax filing have real costs associated with them. And you could easily be losing money if you discount a large amount. But digital products have very little difference in cost whether you sell five or 5,000, meaning they’re almost all profit and have room to discount.


If this doesn’t quite suit your business, another option is to use Black Friday to liquidate old stock. You may have a stockroom full of last year’s merchandise that you don’t mind clearing out for a lot less than its original price. Keep in mind people still have to really want it. No amount of discounting makes a 2020 calendar appealing.


#4: Make Your Money Later


If neither of the above options work for your business to keep margins in the black with the large discount, there can still be justification to cut prices significantly. Because a well-crafted Black Friday strategy doesn’t have the intent of making all the money off the deeply discounted thing.


Your Black Friday offer can be a loss-leader (selling something below value to earn future sales of more profitable products). Use the discounted item to attract the customer, and then offer an upsell, cross-sell, or to enter into your ecosystem for future growth and sales.


The upsell is the item you want them to buy instead of the discounted item, because it’s more suitable for them or is better quality or has more features. Once they’ve engaged with you in the process of buying your Black Friday offer, you can capitalize on their attention by selling them on the upsell item.


A cross-sell is different from the upsell because it’s something you want people to buy in addition to the discounted item, not instead of. So it’s a complementary, related product with good margin. Again, once they’ve engaged with you to buy the Black Friday offer, leverage that attention to sell the additional item that is not discounted.


And, lastly, neither of those purchases need to happen right on Black Friday. You can also gain future value from that customer entering your ecosystem. New customers are hard to acquire, but once they’re a customer, it’s much easier to get another purchase. So Black Friday should be about gaining as many new customers as possible, even when that comes at a cost. Down the road you can market to your new customers through direct methods (email, mail, phone), targeted advertising because they’ve been pixeled, or just by giving them fantastic value and an experience that makes them want to come back to be a customer again. That’s where the money is made.


#5: Create a Digital Funnel


There is so much lost value by not fully implementing all the tactics and tools that can be put to use in a Black Friday offer. This is your chance to get a lot of attention and new customers, so build a robust campaign!


That means you should send emails to all your contacts and run social media ads to get the offer out there. Emails are free to send and social ads are very affordable (though more costly than usual during this week because of how many businesses launch ad campaigns all at once).


Then you want to send people to a landing page to claim the offer, because then you’ve captured information. And, if possible, you want to utilize ecommerce to complete the purchase to make it as quick and easy as possible to get the offer.


This step-by-step customer journey makes it clear how people can take advantage of your sale, rather than just putting a message out there and hoping they come to you. And the systems used minimize friction, which increases conversions.


#6: Remarket to Those Who Show Interest


Since you’ve captured information on the landing page (name, email, and maybe phone number), or have indications of engagement (because of email opens and clicks or ad interactions or being pixeled on your pages), you want to set up further campaigns that convert more of those that showed interest but didn’t buy, or to upsell and cross-sell. That means getting further emails and ads to those who engaged with your campaign.


This doesn’t just apply to online campaigns. If you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer, and you can target people who were physically in or near your location with social ads. Or, if you capture customer information at the point of sale (name and email), you can also upload that database to places like Facebook for retargeting campaigns.


Importantly, all this (and the funnel in #5) needs to be set up ahead of time. There are many elements and all the collateral and targeting and triggers should be in place so that when the first people start interacting with the campaign, everything automatically does what it’s supposed to.


#7: Start Early


This is really important. You need to start well before Black Friday. All of this takes some careful planning and time to build, and can’t be thrown together the week of the event.


But, also, start early by launching elements early to get more sales!


You could get a large number of sales before Black Friday even arrives. Do early marketing (social media posts, emails, mail) only to your existing contacts and followers. This is about leveraging three very powerful motivators: exclusivity, scarcity, and urgency.


Let these people who are already in your ecosystem know that they’re the only ones getting early access to your offer (exclusivity), that there is a limited number of the thing you’re selling (scarcity), and that it will become available to the public and likely sell out on Black Friday (urgency). Together, this messaging will get many people to take action before you’ve even officially kicked off your Black Friday sale.


Bring It All Together


This is a once-a-year opportunity to do something very impactful for your business. If you’re just going to throw up some Black Friday signs and offer a meager discount, you probably shouldn’t expect much in return. But when you design a strategic campaign that fully capitalizes on this unique moment in the year, this can be enormously beneficial to your business.


Again, for Black Friday campaign success:

  1. Make the offer huge

  2. Offer an impulse purchase

  3. Offer something with a fixed cost

  4. Make your money later

  5. Create a digital funnel

  6. Remarket to those who show interest

  7. Start early


Good luck!


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