And Black Friday isn’t a strictly one-day event, either.
Its sister holiday which is catered specifically for online shoppers, Cyber Monday, packs even more of a sales punch.
To see how much of a punch, check this out:
The four day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday accounted for the highest sales points in all of November last year, by far outperforming anything seen in December.
So what’s the deal with Black Friday?
Shoppers everywhere are on the hunt for a bargain, and if you market your storefront correctly, that bargain might just be yours.
Though tread carefully, because not all bargains are made equally.
The coupon conundrum
It’s an unpleasant reality, but a truth that you can’t avoid: with everyone from big-name retailers to your competitors rolling out the discount carpet, you’re going to have to cut your prices down to stay in the running.
That said, coupons and discounts are a fickle art to master. Offer too good of a deal, and you might accidentally train your customers to expect a slashed-down price all of the time.
And it’s a happiness that people are willing to chase. 53% of price-conscious consumers spend as much as two hours a week looking for coupons.
Add in the fact that coupons increase customer loyalty and you’d be hard pressed not to see the value of a good discount, even with the potential risks to your brand.
Mitigating those risks is surprisingly simple, too.
Because while you can’t prevent them altogether, you can curb bargain-hunting behaviors with your regular customers by limiting your use of coupons overall. Except for special events like new product or membership launches and Black Friday, you should be stingy with your coupons.
The rarer they are, the more effective they’ll be -- and the less likely they are to eat into your bottom line.
A coupon that gets a new customer in the door is a positive, but coupons that get customers in the door who won’t stay without more coupons will wither your profit margin.
Use them sparingly, however, and you’ve got a golden opportunity on your hands. Media items -- like your online courses and digital downloads -- are a popular product with over half of coupon users.
Keep couponing to a minimum to make them effective sales-boosters without permanently discounting the value of your products.
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Since we’ve been talking about the need to keep coupons scarce, let’s create a limited coupon. This type of coupon can only be used by a set number of customers before they expire.
After you select the second option, you’ll be asked to designate how many customers can use the coupon before it expires and how much -- as well as what type -- of discount it creates.
28% of consumers are more likely to dish out extra cash if your offer includes a percentage (as opposed to a flat fee), so let’s keep ours with the default setup and limit it to the first 50 customers.
Ready to go? Hit “create coupon.”
And like that, you’ve got an exclusive coupon ready to share on your social media feed without your discounts spiraling out of control.
If you’d prefer to create a coupon that anyone can use, but that expires after Cyber Monday, check out our other post here on launching a membership site for a quick walkthrough on timed coupons.
You’re almost done with your bundle. Before you get ready to kick back with your leftover pie, though, scroll back to the top of the page and switch over to your sales page.
From here, you can add all sorts of extra goodies -- a thank you video, a product cover photo, and most importantly, a FAQ.
Including a FAQ on your bundle serves the same purpose it does for a profitable course launch: it increases user trust when they’re considering taking the plunge.
And since as many as 40% of shoppers on Black Friday end up regretting their purchases, it’s even better if you give them the run-down on your refund policy on your FAQ.
No one likes to handle returns or refunds, but if you make it easy for them to find the information they need, you’ll have a better chance of retaining the customer for future purchases.
If you have to choose between losing a one-time sale and losing a customer for life, the former is definitely the lesser evil.
That’s all you have to do at this stage. Once you switch out of draft mode and publish, you’ll get even more options for promotion and sales tracking.
Your bundle is ready to go for sales day. But if you want to make it even more appealing, consider using our next tip.
#2. Create niche-ready gift guides
Why is the weekend period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday such a hot spot for sales?
It’s less about the days themselves and more about the mission of the shoppers. Expecting great deals, many consumers tackle their shopping list with a goal.
Chiefly, they’re trying to clear off as many gifts as possible for Christmas.
Capitalize on that mission by giving them a helping hand on your blog ahead of time. Blogging and SEO should already be part of your sales strategy, but if they’re not, creating gift guides is a great place to start.
And the earlier you start, the better. Only 32% of US shoppers planned to get their gift lists cleared out during December last year. The rest of them were ramping up in the period before Thanksgiving and shopping through to Cyber Monday.
Keep in mind that when you’re creating a gift guide, you should include more than just your products. Think about your audience: do they have families? Are they in a specific industry or interest group?
For instance, if your products primarily cater to people who want to learn visual design, there’s a good chance that they -- and their friends -- are interested in the arts.
Your gift guide could focus on providing artistic gifts on a budget and talk about your planned Black Friday promotions for relevant products.
In addition to providing visitors with information about your products and planned promotions, direct them to a landing page with the promise of keeping them up to date with exclusive sales information.
For every new signup and current user on your email list, run a pre-Black Friday promotion drip campaign. Think of it as a teaser for what’s to come.
AVON does. In fact, they used a popup box over the course of five days by offering users an exclusive peep at new offers and scored almost 4,000 new leads.
Just imagine how much more their list could have grown if they’d combined it with a landing page. Remember, popup boxes like the above only have an average signup rate of 3%.
So this tactic? Ultra powerful.
And, AVON isn’t the only retailer who uses this strategy. Amazon, whose Black Friday deals start earlier and get bigger every year, regularly runs drip campaigns leading up to and through the sales period.
Most experts recommend starting your campaign at least a month ahead of time around Halloween.
They also suggest making your offers clear -- don’t just tell people that you’ll be providing a discount, tell them what you’ll be discounting -- and keeping faithful to your brand style.
But the take-home advice for this strategy?
Above all else, know the people you’re emailing. What are their goals and motivations for being on your list?
“We have best practices and rules of thumb,” explains Nate Wright of Small Biz Triage who has created hundreds of Black Friday drip campaigns for clients, “But at the end of the day you have to do the groundwork way ahead of time to understand what your subscribers want.”
If they signed up from your landing page, you already have a strong starting place.
They want deals no one else is getting.
So that’s exactly what you should give them.
Getting your turkeys in a row
November has a special place in the entrepreneur’s heart and the online consumer’s budget. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of it for your sales:
Black Friday may have started in the United States, but it’s an international phenomenon.
And phenomenon is the right word. The period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday account for the highest sales of the Christmas season.
People expect great deals during that period, but be cautious about how you apply discounts. You can’t skip giving them out on Black Friday -- you’ll be outcompeted before your coffee cools -- but you should limit them to protect your bottom line.
Want to sell more products? Sell more of them at once with product bundles. People are already in the market for big purchases on Black Friday, and Podia makes bundles a breeze.
‘Tis the season for gift-giving, which means it's the season for gift-buying. Make it easier for your visitors by creating relevant gift guides for the people in their life. All the better if those guides include your products and upcoming promotions.
Finally, use a landing page to start building your email list up and run a special drip campaign in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. Keep your offers clear and get people pumped for your upcoming holiday promotions.
Sure, following these tips will help maximize your sales without hurting your profit margin, but more importantly?
You’ll get that last piece of pumpkin pie and time off to enjoy it, and if that isn’t something to be grateful for, I don’t know what is.