Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) can be a great time for store owners to generate some extra income for their business to take them through to the end of the year. Whether you’re in retail and the holiday season is usually your best quarter, or you’re in services which tends to be slower, running a good BFCM sale can be a boon for your business to finish the year strong.
That’s why we’ve got Jason Coleman on the show with us today. He’s the founder of Stranger Studios, the company behind Paid Memberships Pro and the new Site Wide Sales plugin for WordPress. In this episode, he gives us tons of advice based on lessons he’s learned over the last 10+ years running a digital business, and 4+ years intentionally working on BFCM sales.
Let’s dive in!
In This Episode: the best ways to prepare for and run a Black Friday Sale (or any sale)!
Like anything in life, you stand to be most successful when you prepare for a BFCM sale in advance. That means not waiting until the last minute to throw together a landing page, or emailing your list the day before.
Instead, you want to start by properly segmenting your mailing list (you’re building a mailing list, right?) so you can target them with the right sales. For example, if you sell a widget, you don’t want to email people who’ve already purchased that widget letting them know it’s 33% less than they paid for it.
“Warming up” your list is important for deliverability too. Email them when everyone else is emailing them, and you’ll get lost in the noise. But beyond that, you may have deliverability issues. Email providers will find it suspicious that a list that has been dormant for a year is suddenly emailing everyone multiple times a week, and not everyone will receive those emails.
Once your list is segmented and “warm”, you should set your sale (33% and 50% off work well), run it for less than a week, and email your list regularly to remind them to take advantage!
- Some people worry about devaluing the product and hurting the brand, but people expect sales around BFCM, so there’s not too much danger of devaluing around this time.
- Similarly, some worry about existing customers seeing the sale, but most people understand that they bought something when they needed it. It’s not as big a problem as most think.
- When setting a price, sell at a discount, but still at a profit so it’s worth the extra customers. A 90% sale does devalue the product, and likely isn’t worth gaining that new customer.
- Jason has found that 33% sales and 50% sales do well (i.e. 1/3 off, or 1/2 off), so aim for one of those.
- The sweet spot for sale duration is less than a week. Make sure to create urgency, but don’t fake it. People will catch on if you’re always having a sale.
- Segment your list so your targeting warm, or warmed up, leads. They will be the most likely to buy.
- Don’t worry about unsubscribes. The people unsubscribing from your lists are unlikely to buy from you anyway.
- Don’t overthink the emails. Long, story-like emails work, but so do short, to the point emails.
- Social Proof is key, and Testimonials are a great way to prep ahead of time. Make sure to get those early…don’t ask for testimonials the week of Thanksgiving.
- Other good times to run sales are during slow months and for natural occurrences in business, i.e. If you’re changing your offer or discontinuing a product, put it on sale one more time.
- Even if it’s late and feels last minute, run the sale and treat it as a test. Don’t expect to make a ton of money, but try to learn something!
- And remember: Sometimes business owners can be more sensitive to “tactics” than consumers. So running your sales or adding opt-ins are tried and true – that’s why they’re so common!
The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring
Joe is a college-accredited course developer and podcast coach. You can find him at Casabona.org.
Jason is the founder and CEO of Stranger Studios, the folks behind popular plugins like Paid Memberships Pro and Sidewide Sales.
Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!