Black Friday and Cyber Monday create the sandwich of the best shopping and sales weekend of the entire year. With each year, both of them get bigger and bigger and everyone in the country rushes to get gifts for their friends, family, coworkers, loved ones, and of course, themselves.
How are you planning to make this Black Friday and Cyber Monday your best year for sales yet?
With getting further into the fall, there’s a good chance that you have already started planning your campaign. Whether that is the case or not, here is a simple and effective checklist that we put together so that you can make your best weekend in sales even bigger than ever.
1) Get Ahead of Your Customers (customers already searching)
The first thing that you should be doing is creating as much awareness as possible with your existing audience and fans. People who love your brand, product, or service want to know when you are running promotions so that they can get the best deal possible on their favorite things.
The best way that you can do this is to give them as much lead time as possible. If you already aren’t promoting your sales now, you should get started. Give your audience weekly (or daily) reminders that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. Doing this before and more often than your competition will help give you a competitive edge with customers that might be on the fence.
2) Focus on One Major Offer or Product
What is the key product you are offering or the big sale that you want to promote? It can be difficult not to want to test a lot of different offers and promotions, but one of the best ways that you can have your best BFCM sales in history is to focus on the best, door-busting, jaw-dropping sale that you have to offer. This is going to be the best way that you can generate a greater buzz and more sales.
3) Prep and Organize your Sales Strategy
BFCM isn’t the best time to wing it. In fact, you can totally sabotage your own sales strategy and create more problems than dollars if you wait to run promotions at the last minute. Take out your calendar and plan when and how you are going to be running your sales and discounts.
When you are planning this out, start with the end result in mind. If you have a specific sales goal, you can work backward to find out what you need to be doing now to get there.
4) Make Sure Your Website is Ready
What’s one of the worst possible things that could happen on the biggest sales day of the year?
Your website crashing.
If you plan and execute your marketing and advertising strategy well, you can expect to get a massive influx of traffic to your website for people who are salivating to get to your sale. Month to month, your website may see a pretty steady flow of traffic, but during this weekend, you need to prepare for an uptick. Test your server’s load capacity so that you can be sure that your website can sustain a big wave of traffic.
5) Have Backup Plan
During that weekend you want to be prepared for anything.
What kind of contingency plans do you have in place should the worst happen?
Making sure that your website can sustain the traffic is one thing, but do you know if you are going to have enough in your supply or inventory to meet a huge increase in customer demand? Thankfully, there are some great sales forecasting tools that you can use to get a clearer idea of what kind of demand you can expect to see during these days and that weekend.
6) Prepare for the Best
Use a forecasting tool to give you the best idea of what kind of demand and sales that you can expect to see during this wildly popular holiday shopping bonanza. You don’t want to overstock and tie-up too much of your budget in inventory, but you don’t want to be turning away sales dollars either.
This might mean just giving your customers notice far ahead of time. Let them know that due to expected increased demand during the holidays that shipping and processing times may take a little longer.
7) Plan Your Ad, Sales, and Content Copy
Now that you already have an idea of the offer that you are going to be promoting, you need to sit down and plan out the messaging and content that you are going to use. The verbiage that you use with your ads, emails, blogs, and all of your content are going to be critical for closing the sale.
Ask yourself these questions:
– What are the key benefits of your product that your customers love the most?
– How can you condense that to an easily-digestible statement for your target audience?
– Where, when, and how are you going to be advertising your upcoming offer?
These are all going to have a direct impact on any online advertising that you are doing to promote your product. Keep in mind that online advertising gets exceedingly more competitive over this weekend, hiking up the cost per click. You need to plan your keyword and bidding strategy accordingly, and the more time you have to do that, the better.
8) Create Graphics and Banners Accordingly
Now that you have your copy and messaging nailed-down, it’s time to start thinking about the graphics. Your customers can either be captivated or put off by the type of imagery that you are using to promote your sale. Since it’s the holiday season, your customers may want to see something that frames your offer in a fun and festive way.
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to create great visual assets. There are tons of great, free design tools and apps that you can use to create stunning graphics and banners.
9) Build Excitement Leading to the Sale
What is your plan for building excitement leading up to the sale? Whether you have a large existing customer base and audience or are planning on running a huge ad budget to reach first-time customers, there are lots of ways that you can be building excitement for your sale including
– Email marketing campaigns to existing customers
– Sharing blogs and content to your website
– Posting info about your BFCM sale on social media
– Running ads on social media to stay in front of your target audience leading up to the sale
10) Follow-up Emails
There are a lot of second-guess shoppers on this weekend, which means that a high percentage of shoppers bail on their digital shopping carts at the last second before check out, perhaps rationalizing that they don’t actually need something.
That makes following up key for generating more sales. Make sure that you have an automated email campaign set up to follow up with shoppers who leave or abandon their shopping cart at the last minute. You’ll have far better chances of turning could-have-been sales into long-time, loyal customers.
11) Make Sure You’re Mobile Optimized
This should go without saying, but the majority of your customers start most of their searches and do the majority of their shopping from their mobile device. Test your website to make sure that it is optimized and loads quickly on mobile devices.
12) Run Yourself Through the Process
Testing is key. Make sure you and your team run through your website and test everything in your on and off-site sales process several times before giving it the stamp of approval.
13) Use Tracking Pixels and Retargeting
Set up a Facebook pixel on your website so that you can retarget your website visitors with Facebook ads. Just because they didn’t buy on their first visit doesn’t mean they won’t during that long, shopping weekend.
14) Offer a Generous Return Policy
Don’t let your return policy be the only thing holding your customers back from buying your product. Offer them a generous return policy so they have the comfort they need to buy in that very moment.
15) Track Everything and Get Emails
Since you are taking in more customers this weekend than any other weekend of the year, you should be tracking everything. Make sure that you set up pixels on your website and all the necessary pages so that you can get as much relevant information about your audience as possible.
BFCM is one of the best weekends of the year to build your list. Make sure that whether people buy your product or not, collect as many emails as possible.