Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital by Will Blunt - B2B Marketing Expert - Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing.
In 2018, Black Friday sales smashed all previous records with upward of $6 billion in revenue for eCommerce businesses. Things are predicted to get even bigger this year, with holiday sales forecasted to grow by more than 13% in 2019! How do you plan on getting your slice of that $6-billion-dollar pie? Here are 13 of the best strategies for boosting your sales this Black Friday:
1. Build anticipation
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the whole holiday campaign season is designed to generate a spike in sales by using powerful psychological triggers such as urgency and scarcity. But instead of following the lead of every other Tom, Dick, and Harry by offering your deal on Black Friday, build suspense and anticipation prior to the event.
via GIPHY You can do this by creating a teaser of your product, an offer, and a unique hashtag to track your pre-sale campaign. Use content that sparks curiosity but doesn’t give everything away, just yet. If you effectively build anticipation before Black Friday hits, your audience will be ready and willing to buy your product as soon as the bell rings.
2. Pre-sell to previous customers
Building suspense is a great way to prepare people to buy, but sometimes it can backfire. Someone may be “credit card in hand” ready to buy, but because you are merely teasing the idea of a potential deal in the future, they forget about it or don’t have the time on Black Friday to return and purchase.Instead, you could give a certain segment of your audience the option of pre-ordering your Black Friday deal. Of course, if you offer this to everyone then you are simply extending the deal period and it will lose its impact. However, if you choose a select group, such as your previous customers, to offer pre-orders to, it can be an excellent way to increase sales from the period.After all, people love being a part of an exclusive inside group that gets first access, especially if there is a deal on offer.
People love being a part of an exclusive inside group that gets first access, especially if there is a deal on offer."
3. Tier your closed-cart period
What is a tiered closed-cart period? Well, it’s something you would see quite regularly in the events industry. Basically, event companies offer an “early bird” price up until a certain time and date. After this time lapses the price goes up. Or, they provide a specific number of tickets (products) at a lower price but once they sell out the price rises to the second tier. This is an example of a tiered base approach to creating urgency.
An example of a tiered closed-cart period.
How can you use this approach on Black Friday? Simply set multiple deadlines that create layers of urgency for customers and result in spikes in sales over the period.
- Tier 1 - Best offer.
- Tier 2 - Compelling offer at a higher price or without something from the Tier 1 offer.
- Tier 3 - Compelling offer at a higher price or without something from the Tier 2 offer.
Luckily, after Black Friday comes Cyber Monday, so this tiered approach is already built into the weekend.
4. Make your offer exclusive
As I mentioned above, people like to feel as if they are apart of something special and unique. Plus, nothing persuades buying behavior more than a bit of genuine scarcity.This Black Friday, consider limiting your stock and make sure everyone knows about it. Scarce resources help you create urgency, inspire action, establish an “exclusive” feeling for customers, and perhaps best of all, stop you from needing to severely discount your products.
5. Bundle complementary products
Bundling complementary products is a great way to increase your revenue during Black Friday sales, rather than discounting an individual product. Ideally, you would have a lower cost, high margin product you can bundle with your primary offer to make it more enticing.Even if your business only has one product or service, you can achieve a similar thing by bundling a gift card, complementary product, or exclusive offer from a partner brand.
6. Give referral-based discounts
Black Friday shouldn’t be all about discounts. In fact, too many businesses slash their prices and see their profitability plummet. Not to mention you quickly become the discount brand if consumers are waiting until your next sale before they make a purchase.However, one way to secure more market share and increase your Black Friday sales is to incentivize referral-based discounts with paying customers. Do this by creating a multi-level referral system whereby customers are given various discounts based on the number of people they refer to your business. This approach has a gamification aspect to it that can go viral on social media if you execute effectively.
Referral-based discount example.
7. Reward previous customers
Another way to think about discounting is to reward your previous customers. As I mentioned before, it can be effective to re-engage paying customers during the pre-campaign period by offering them an exclusive opportunity.Even once the Black Friday campaign kicks into gear, you can communicate separately with current customers by segmenting your database, and offer them an additional bonus, product, service, or discount as a way to foster loyalty. Repeat customers are more likely to purchase from you than cold prospects, so this tactic will likely generate an increase in Black Friday sales for you.
8. Segment offers based on user behavior
This tactic may sound advanced, but in reality, it’s as complex as you make it out to be. If you are using a data-driven CRM or email marketing software you will be able to segment your audience based on numerous characteristics. Consider creating more than one offer during the Black Friday sales period that is unique and tailored to distinct segments of your audience. For example, you may distinguish offers by geography, previous buying behavior, pages visited on your website or general email engagement levels.
Consider creating more than one offer during the Black Friday sales period that is unique and tailored to distinct segments of your audience."
9. Create urgency with a countdown timer
The holiday sales frenzy is a textbook example of the power of urgency in generating action. You can heighten the intensity and effectiveness of this tactic by using countdown timers in your email campaigns and on your landing pages.
Urgency countdown timer in an email campaign.
For example, saying something like “This deal closes at midnight on Black Friday” is interesting, but not as compelling as “This deal closes in 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 35 seconds,” where someone can visually see the time ticking away.
10. Split test campaign elements
Marketing is really just a crazy science experiment. The more data you track, iterations you test, and meaningful changes you make, the better your results will be. Take this mentality into Black Friday by testing different iterations of your landing pages, emails, ad copy, banners, targeting, audience segments… anything you think is relevant and worth testing.Even though you may not see all of the benefits of these tests this time around, you can apply them next Black Friday or during the other campaigns over the holiday season.Casper mattresses did this with a subtle test on Instagram. They shared an image and video of much the same thing to promote their Black Friday sale, as you can see, the video significantly outperformed the image:
Casper Mattresses Black Friday split test example.
11. Buy prime influencer real estate
Did you know that 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference?Hence, social media influencers can play a crucial role in your Black Friday marketing campaigns.The problem is, most influencers will be hot property during this time of year, so you will need to put forward a compelling offer. There’s no point in working with an influencer who only sends out a couple of tweets about your offer. Ideally, you’d be pinned to the top of their social profiles and featured in a series of emails to their database at a minimum.You’ll find that most influencers won’t partner with businesses for Black Friday deals unless they are getting an influencer fee in combination with some form of referral commission.
12. Charge more
It may sound counterintuitive to bump up your prices for Black Friday, but it’s certainly a way you can increase revenue during the period. You don’t want to be misleading by bumping up prices just before the sale and then offering a “discount” to customers. Instead, create bundle deals, add complementary services, and find any way you can to increase the perceived value of your product so that you have the right to charge more and earn more from the campaign.
Find any way you can to increase the perceived value of your product so that you have the right to charge more and earn more from the campaign."
13. Personalize cross-sells
Promoting adjacent products to people who have just clicked the purchase button is a proven method for increasing the per-customer-revenue metrics of your business. Think about how you can use this tactic on Black Friday.For example, you may focus all of your initial promotional campaigns on one product or bundle. However, once people buy this product you can cross-sell additional products to them that will drive up sales. Obviously, this works much better if these products are closely aligned with the initial product they have purchased.How do you plan on boosting your sales this Black Friday?
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