Promotions & Offers
With your BFCM offers, keep in mind that your customers will remember what you had "last year", so don't do anything for a short-term revenue gain that might lower your brand perception. You don't want to turn into just a discount brand (offering 50% off site-wide) because next year, the sales from your loyal customers will drop beginning October and they won't buy until that 50% off sale hits again.
The punchline is: be smart with how you package these promotions and discounts for your customers. You're not just handing away free money, you should have some strategy around moving inventory that’s lacking sell-through, or coupling other products that have lower sales velocity with those you know people will buy immediately.
On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I like to keep things low-key. To your active customer list, thank them for being a loyal customer, in your brand's tone of voice.
Right around post-Thanksgiving dinner time, which may depend based on your customer base, send a note to your most valuable customers (MVC) giving them early access to the Black Friday sale.
The MVC segment is typically your subscribers, loyalty/rewards members, ambassadors, general high LTV customers, or maybe even your first 1,000 customers. There's a lot of opportunities here to make these emails feel very 1:1 with very little work on your end, thanks to Klaviyo.
It's Black Friday — the Super Bowl for us marketers! People are ready to shop, and spend money. If your sales start to slow down in November, remember its because customers are waiting until Black Friday to make sure they get the best deal possible.
My favorite offer for Black Friday is a high-discount + high-AOV offer. If you're selling a $20 product, try to build a bundle that sells for a $100 AOV, but a 30-40% discount. When you multiply the AOV, you can afford to give a bigger discount on the product.
Also, be conscious of how to make shipping the most efficient. If you're selling candles, can you ship up to 4 candles for the same price as 4 candles? If so, make your offer revolve around 4 candles. Look for those efficiencies and double down on them.
I would also recommend using this offer in your warmer prospecting audiences (1-2% LALs) to drive in new customers or retarget those who have engaged with you but haven't purchased. You'll be shocked how many people are ready to try the product when there's a discount attached. Make sure the creative very explicitly details the discount.
Saturday and Sunday
The Saturday after Black Friday is also known as Small Business Saturday (coined by American Express). Sunday is still open... maybe someone will try to claim it?
On Saturday and Sunday, I like to push different offers, when you have the resources to do it. You can test subscription focused offers on Saturday/Sunday, or you can just put together new bundles where you include products that need a bit of love selling.
I'll give you an example from what we did last year with JUDY. JUDY had a few main kits at the time: The Safe, The Mover Max, The Starter, and The Safety. On Saturday, if you bought The Safe, you got The Safety for free. And, on Sunday, if you bought The Mover Max, you got The Starter for free. Saturday was about a $45 discount to the customer, and Sunday was about a $60 discount.
These types of promotions can be great for driving trial of new products or categories you launch, or if you're looking to stop selling certain products and want to get rid of inventory. At a beverage brand, we used to do this with carbonated products that were getting close to the point where they would no longer be carbonated.
Not just one day, but the whole week. Now everyone is also free from their family, so there's more time to spend shopping online. My favorite Cyber Monday promo runs for the full week, making it Cyber Week.
Run a site-wide, tiered promotion for your customers. Blast the full CRM list, and tell them the more they spend, the more they save. Here's an example:
- Spend $50 & get free shipping
- Spend $100 & save 10%
- Spend $250 & save 25%
- Spend $400+ & save 35%
Tuesday is known as Giving Tuesday, so find a charity of your choice, or use a tool like Shopping Gives, and donate a percent of your net profits. If you think this will make you less money, you're wrong.
Gameday Tactics and Tips
On the day of, here are some things we like to do to maximize the sale opportunity:
1. Launch advertorials
Whether you reach out to a well-known publisher or decide to use Medium, write something entertaining about your sale. People like to consume and be entertained, not just look at flashy ads with discounts on them.
2. Influencer whitelisting
This one is straightforward. People are more likely to buy from other people. With whitelisting, your CTRs, CPMs, and CPAs will all trend in your favor.
3. Post on your owned channels
Leverage your organic social media, your founder's social media channel, and any other properties (digital or non-digital) you own to push the sale.
4. Write a blog post with your/other offers
Similar to the first idea, list out what's on sale in a simple blog post. You can make a second version of it where you include offers from other brands your customers might shop from too. CPCs to content is always cheaper than CPCs to a landing page.
5. Run a promo with another brand
It doesn't mean they have to push it, but let's say you sell the Fab Fit Fun box, partner up with Spotify to give your new subscribers 3 months of free Spotify premium. To Spotify, their customer acquisition cost just became 3 month's worth of COGs, which is probably pennies.
6. Blast out a calendar link or FB event link
This one is one of my favorite tricks. Create a FB event for the Black Friday promotion and run ads against your LAL audiences to RSVP YES to this event, in addition to emailing your CRM list to RSVP. This becomes powerful because while everyone else is sending emails and texts, Facebook will light up a push notification on this person's phone when the sale starts.
Same goes for sending a calendar invite to your customers, or inviting them to put a calendar invite on their calendar of choice.
7. Build site experiences per promotion
This might be something as complex as landing pages per traffic source (TikTok vs Snap vs Instagram), or it might just be as simple as a duplicate collections page with a hero banner that speaks to the promotion you're running. Either way, the more you can minimize clicks for your customer, the better off you will be with the conversion rate.
8. Enable Google Shopping extensions
This is easy and free. Populate Google Shopping with your promo codes and the right schedule so that when someone searches for your product, they see there's a code available to use.
9. Reach out to publishers and affiliates with discounts
Do you know who loves Black Friday more than us? The affiliate publishers that create hundreds of articles per day to try to garner as much affiliate revenue as they possibly can. Reach out to all the publishers you think would mention your brand (BuzzFeed, Digg, Insider Picks, etc) and make sure their affiliate editorial teams know about your upcoming promotions.