Do you have your Black Friday-Cyber Monday holiday sales strategies all mapped out and ready to go for this year?
When everyone else is already promoting their sales, that’s usually too late for you to begin deciding your offer for Black Friday-Cyber Monday. Plan ahead of time how to handle the holiday sales season. Decide early what you’ll promote and how you’ll market your promotions so you can create your marketing materials well in advance.
No one has a crystal ball to know whether ongoing pandemic considerations will lead folks to spend more money online or hold tighter to their cash during the spending season. So keeping that in mind, it’s now decision time.
First Step: Decide
The first decision you’ll want to make is this: Do you even want to participate in Black Friday-Cyber Monday with an offer to your community during that holiday sales weekend?
Or will you sit it out this year?
Even if you’re planning to opt-out of the frenzied sales weekend this year, you’ll still want to read on. There are strategies in this article you could implement at other times during the year. These ideas can be used whenever you want (or need) a money infusion from your business.
Always Be Building an Email List
To make any of these strategies work, you want to always be growing your email list. Build relationships with the people on your list. Don’t just collect email addresses–engage with the people on your list regularly.
Build the Relationship For the Know, Like, Trust Factor
People buy from other people they know, like, and trust. That means you want to build a relationship with the people who sign up to be on your email list. The easiest way to do that is to have a conversation with them. Send consistent emails and keep the conversation going. Encourage them to hit reply and answer questions, join your Facebook Group, or fill out polls.
Don’t ignore the people on your email list all year long and then suddenly send a bunch of sales emails post-Thanksgiving. People will forget why they signed up to your list in the first place if you do that. They’ll resent that you’re now sending sales emails seemingly out of the blue. This is a recipe for instant unsubscribes or claims that you’re spamming their inbox.
Build a relationship with people by consistently sending emails throughout the year. And if you’ve ghosted your folks for a long time, now is always a good time to start sending some emails to try and engage them before you start asking them to buy something in late November.
Develop a deeper relationship with readers by sharing stories about yourself and case studies about your clients. That helps people get to know you, your business, and what you can do for them.
Share tips/strategies/ideas/resources with your readers also. They’ll know you care about them and know you want to see them succeed. Be authentic and vulnerable so they trust you and your recommendations.
Your relationship with your community is a big factor in the success of any sales strategy.
Second Step: Decide on Your Sales Strategy With These Ideas
You’ve decided you’re all in for the Black Friday-Cyber Monday holiday sales weekend this year. You’re going to make your community an offer. Here are some ideas to think about to structure your sales strategy for the weekend.
No matter what strategy you decide to implement, be excited about what you decide to offer. Know how this offer is going to help your people. Know what transformation or benefit your offer is promising them. That’s what will make it compelling to your audience no matter the price tag you’ve put on it.
Screw the RulesThere are no rules you have to follow for Black Friday through Cyber Monday sales weekend. Click To Tweet
Here’s the bottom line regarding which strategy or idea to use: offer what feels good to you. And what you feel to be fair to all.
You know your industry and your people best. Do what feels comfortable when it comes to sales and discounts.
Remember, there are no rules you have to follow for Black Friday through Cyber Monday sales weekend. This is your business, so don’t listen to the should’s and have-to’s from the online gurus.
Make up your own mind how this weekend sale will work best for you and your people.
You may be thinking about how your current full-priced customers will feel when you offer a huge discount. That’s a particularly important consideration, especially in ongoing monthly payment programs.
Will you also offer this discount to existing customers or only for new sign-ups?
Consider how loyal customers will feel when you lower the price for an ongoing monthly membership they’ve been paying a set amount for each month. Now new customers are coming in paying a fraction of what they’re paying, even if it’s for a limited number of months.
Or someone who bought a digital product last month might feel bad and wished they’d waited if that product is now on sale for a significant amount less.
Think about how you feel when you buy something at full price and then it goes on sale soon after you bought it. Let that guide your decisions regarding whether you discount certain products, especially those products with monthly payment plans. There are no right and wrong answers here. Remember, there are no rules–do what feels right for you and fair for everyone.
You also don’t want to train people to hold back with their purchases for the rest of the year. That happens when they don’t buy your products as they’re launched during the year because they hold hopes they can get that same product at a discount when you put it on sale over Black Friday – Cyber Monday.
For these considerations, it may feel better to create a ‘new’ offer around a previous offering instead of offering a blanket discount. You might also consider making a personalized or special offer to a select group of people instead of or in addition to making an offer to your entire community. Let’s dive into these strategies and more in the following section.
Your Own Products and Services
Do you sell products or services, or both throughout the year? Go over your digital product inventory now and decide what you want to offer. Look through your files for retired, archived, or past digital products, too. You might even have digital products that were never released sitting there in your files!
Here’s a big consideration for offering discounts on services that require time from you in the future. This is especially important for 1:1 coaching services, private VIP Days, and consulting services that only you can fulfill.
You may want to include a scarcity component–only offer so many openings for these types of services. Once those spots are filled, they’re gone at the discounted price. Or consider a gift certificate or voucher for your service for the future with a specific expiration date by which the services must be completed. Be sure you have plenty of time in your schedule to fill those requests for your services, too.
This would be a good strategy if you know your December or January calendar slots are typically slow to fill up anyway. Having some bookings–even discounted ones–is better than no bookings.
Consider limiting how many of those discounted slots can be booked per month. Once those slots are filled, start booking the next month. This will encourage people to get on your calendar and not wait until the last minute to redeem their voucher. If that strategy is implemented, be sure you don’t oversell more slots than you’ve got open until the expiration date for your discounted vouchers.
Having a store filled with digital products is a great thing to have during Black Friday through Cyber Monday. You’ll have many options to create income from your digital information products. Pick one or more of these ideas and have fun.
‘New’ Digital Products
You can create one or more ‘new’ digital products specifically for this weekend. I don’t mean for you to create a ‘new from scratch,’ digital product though. That would take too much time and effort. Instead, create a bundle (or call it a kit) of related digital products that you normally sell individually on your site. Offer this bundle/kit at a discount.
Make no exceptions in the price or substitutions if a buyer already has one of those digital products in your bundle. Once you start substituting products for someone, it becomes a logistical nightmare to do this for everyone. No exceptions.
Another type of ‘new’ product is to use the resources from a course, training, or workshop that you’ve taught live in the past and make it into a self-study product. You can sell that at a discount from the price when you taught it live. If you have recordings made from the live presentation, you can use that or make a quick audio or video recording to add to whatever resources you used with the original training. Voila! You now have a self-study product you can sell as an evergreen product.
Yet another ‘new’ product is an oldie but goodie. What resources have you got in your archives that’s not currently being offered? Something that you can bring out of the vault for a discount for your people just for this weekend. You may have many new subscribers on your list who have never seen this product before and would be happy to snatch it up at a discount.
You can offer a blanket discount on all of your existing digital products in your online store. Or maybe you only want to apply the discount to specific items or categories of products.
People are looking for significant discounts during this time. Aren’t you? If you’re not willing to offer a hefty discount close to 50% off, at least for a short time during the weekend, maybe you want to consider a bonus with purchase option instead (see the next section below).
Instead of having the same discount each day of the weekend, you might like to offer a disappearing discount over the weekend on the same product/package on sale. That would look like this: Black Friday discount is 35% off, Small Business Saturday discount is 30% off, Sofa Sunday discount is 25%, and Cyber Monday is 20% off. This encourages more sales on Black Friday but anyone who missed that day’s discount might still feel the other discounts are juicy enough to pull the trigger and buy.
Another option is something called a Dime Sale. That’s where the price is initially very low for X sales. Once that number is reached, the price rises by a dime or a small increment with each subsequent sale until it reaches full price. You’ll need special software set up for this strategy, though. This encourages early sales once the discount is announced so people get the offering early before the cost starts rising and before it hits full-price.
Bonus With Purchase
If you don’t want to discount a course, product, or membership but you’d love to increase your sales for that product, offer a bonus for buyers who buy it (at regular price) during the BF weekend. If you already offer a bonus, switch up the bonuses or add bonus content or complementary content. But just for this weekend, then go back to regular programming.
New Product Launch
You might not have thought about it but if you’ve got something that’s almost ready to go, plan to launch it during the Black Friday weekend. Plan to offer your Early Bird Price to coincide with Black Friday. Make the expiration of the Early Bird special price at the end of Cyber Monday and continue your launch at the regular price. You’d offer that discounted early bird price as a launch price at any time of the year. Since it’s a new product, your customers will be excited for new material from you and consider getting this with your ‘BF-CM’ Early Bird special price.
Some of these strategies will work for physical products if that’s what you’re selling. Two important things to think about with physical product sales over this weekend would be your inventory and profit margin. Do you have enough physical products to fulfill all the orders? Will you still be able to turn enough profit when you factor in the discounts?
For more specifics for selling strategies for physical products, check out Tracy Matthews on the Thrive by Design podcast. She focuses on jewelry products, but you can apply her strategies to your particular physical products where you see her ideas fit your needs.
Are there people you’ve worked with in the past that you would love to work with again in the future? Send a personal email to those past clients or customers and make a personal offer to reward and thank those folks in your world.
If you have access to the information, this could apply to those who have bought through your affiliate links in the past.
For example, ConvertKit usually offers a special deal for monthly customers to switch to annual payments and get 3 months free. You could offer a special personal bonus to anyone who initially used your affiliate link for monthly access when they upgrade to annual payments using your link. Maybe you could offer a bonus ‘Ask Me Anything’ group call with you for those who switch.
Get creative! Find out what types of offers resonate with your folks.
Affiliate Products and Services
If you’re not promoting your own products for a sale this year, you can still promote others’ products and services to earn affiliate commissions. You can even do this in addition to having your own products for sale, too.
Think about services and software you use and love, coaches you’ve taken courses from or coaching with, or other products you recommend. Find out as soon as you can what deals these companies are having over the holiday weekend. Then get your affiliate links, and plan your promotions.
Create a round-up page or post on your blog that lists the products you’re recommending. Then you can send your community to one specific page with all the promos listed in one place. Your affiliate links are already embedded so all the readers need to do is click on the deals they want from your webpage. You can even include your own promotions at the top of the page to direct readers to your sales page for your personal promotions.
Some of these affiliate promotions get competitive during the weekend, so consider offering a bonus for those who use your affiliate links to buy the deal. Just be sure that the bonus you’re offering isn’t worth more than your affiliate commission check. And be careful about offering 1 on 1 time with you as a bonus. You may find your first quarter is filled with servicing people claiming their bonus. Depending on the price of the item and your affiliate percentage, that might still be worth it to offer personal time bonuses.
Third Step: Promotion
Now that you’ve decided what to offer and what strategy you’ll use for Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, decide the details of how you’ll promote your offer.
Always be clear about what’s included in your sale and when is the expiration for a discount or added bonuses. Spell it out clearly when service vouchers expire, how to book the service, what needs to be delivered to you ahead of time for you to be able to perform the service, and how many discounted service hours can be booked per month per voucher-holder. Make your terms very clear so there is no misunderstanding on either side.
When will you start promoting?
Promotions have started earlier and earlier each year, with some marketers starting to launch their discounts in early November. No matter when you decide to start your sale, begin telling your community about your offer for BF-CM so they can make plans for how they spend their money during this sale season. Since some marketers have already opened their BF-CM sales at the beginning of November and some at the beginning of Thanksgiving week, if you don’t let your people know what you’ve got coming, they may be out of money by the time your carts open on Black Friday.
Where will you promote?
Of course, you’ll want to email your list and let them know about your sales as soon as you have an idea of what you’ll be offering. Since you’ll likely be sending out multiple emails about your promotions, create a special link to opt-out of all Black Friday promotions if they’re not interested in what you’re offering. That way, they just skip all the rest of the promos and still stay on your list. Your email service provider should have a way of doing that through tags and/or segmentation.
Be sure to exclude anyone from the promotion emails if they’ve already bought the product(s) you’re discounting. This can be usually done through tags in your email service provider, also.
Social media is another place to promote your offer. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn–whichever platforms you know your people will be watching. If you’re experienced with ads, set up your ad campaign. If you’ve had no experience with paid ads, this is not a time to experiment with this strategy on social media.
Let your own affiliates know early about your deals so they can plan to promote to their people, too. Make sure you have images and swipes prepared for your affiliates to use.
How often will you remind your community about your sales?
Email and post on social media early–before the week of Thanksgiving–to let your community know about your sales plans. You’ll want to send several emails before your discounts take effect, through the weekend if your sales continue, and several emails on closing day to let your people know the discount is ending.
Fourth Step: Analysis
When the cyber dust settles after this holiday weekend sale, it’s now time to analyze your efforts and see how your strategy paid off. Here are some questions you’ll want to answer to decide whether this strategy is one you’ll want to repeat in the future–whether for Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend or some other special promotion during the rest of the year.
How many total sales came in during the sale period? Were there add-ons or upsells that people took advantage of?
How much money did you generate?
What’s your bottom line profit?
What’s the Return on Investment if you paid for advertising for your offers over the weekend?
Compare to similar data if you have it from last year at the same time.
Timing of sale–when did you get most of your sales?
What social media channels worked best?
Which emails performed the best for clicks and buys?
How many new subscribers do you now have on your email list?
Watch What Others Do
Study what catches your eye as a smart strategy to duplicate for next year. For instance, White Label Perks sells packages of done-for-you content monthly. They create 10 or so extra social graphics each month throughout the year and have a new social image product to sell during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend sale–a collection of 120 new social media graphic images ready to be branded and shared on social media.
By creating a few of these each month and saving them to include in a new product to launch over BF-CM the work is spread out over the year. White Label Perks customers know this product comes out each year and look forward to grabbing this resource at its lowest price over the weekend.
How can you implement something like that for next year? Create resources throughout the year so the work is spread out and manageable. Then release the collection over Black Friday as a new product at a special price.
Be smart, though! Before you decide to adopt a strategy or anything that looks cool as your very own BF-CM sale plans for next year, make sure to find out how successful it was for the marketer implementing it this year. Things may look like a cool idea and be a total flop in reality.
Above all, don't repeat someone else's marketing mistakes next year. Click To Tweet
Get More Support
Well, there you have it. Plenty of ideas to plan your strategy for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. If you want more feedback on your ideas for holiday sales or accountability for getting it all done, join the She’s Got Content group mastermind. You don’t have to do it all alone.