It seems like the holidays are coming earlier and earlier every year. Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) deals are trending earlier and earlier too. Every company wants to end the year with big numbers in Q4, and that means that you have to have big sales during the week of Black Friday. So knowing that everyone, and I mean everyone, will have some sort of special deal for your prospects; how do you stand out from the rest? It’s hard to get on prospective buyers’ radar this time of year due to the influx of marketing messages they’re seeing.
When prepping promotions around holidays, a lot of companies will start weeks before the holiday in an effort to maximize the marketing and sales around that specific target. This is a common tactic because as one survey found, 30% of shoppers finish their holiday shopping before December! Side note: I’m definitely not one of them….But is it in your best interest to have your store or services on basically ‘perma-sale’ for an extended period of time? I think in the end, if your goods are on sale for too long it can actually damage your brand.
Obviously, everyone loves a good deal, but if you differentiate your products by starting with your ‘why’, then you can find the right customers & sell your products without having to go to ‘bargain basement’ pricing.
My recommendation to stand out on Black Friday or any day of the year is: focus on what makes you feel special so you continue to attract like-minded customers. Establishing an emotional connection is a powerful way to stand out from the crowd! Remind your customers of how they feel when they shop with you or use your services. The holiday season is a great time to give your VIP customers something special to reward them for being such a faithful audience.
How to Make it Happen? Create unique VIP deals that are exclusive to your email list. This segment is a great place to start promoting pre-Black Friday deals. Get creative with this group; these are your advocates. You can offer free gift with purchase, special referral deals, or even a holiday giveaway for those that buy in a certain time.
Here are a few more of my favorite tips to help amp up your end of year sales:
Don’t Just Push Your Products!
I know this seems counter intuitive, but it works! In the case of holiday shopping, you can create buying guides in the form of lookbooks, blog posts, video, or Pinterest Boards that will set you as a thought leader who’s sharing trends with your customers. You can also include links that people can purchase these items directly if they’d like.
Example: if you’re a company that sells clothing, you can share tips and tricks to be the best host or hostess this holiday season and share menus or décor ideas that your team loves, and pepper in that your outfit will make the affair even more memorable.
This is a much different experience than if you just say this dress is 60% off. You’re providing extra value and building trust with the customer. Customers are likely to spend more time engaging with your brand and be willing to pay a little more to be a part of it. This type of content is also great social collateral that people love to share increasing your brand exposure at a crucial time. In a sea of buy this at X percent off, you’ve differentiated your company and helped the customer navigate their purchases from you.
The holiday season won’t last forever, consider doing a flash sale to play into this generate more engagement. Flash sales work to generate interest & excitement because they can happen for as little as just one hour! I recommend that you have your sale last for about 72 hours to see the most impact.
Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday is a great time to try your hand at a flash sale because shoppers are already primed to seek out discounts. The messaging has to catch attention and of course note how long the offer is good for. You can also mention a specific product that’s on sale since many buyers have a product in mind that they want to buy. I always recommend using all of your channels to promote a flash sale: website, email, and social media channels all need to be included to make it an even bigger success.
How to Make it Happen? Buyers have a fear of missing out so focus your wording on deadlines and scarcity of your offering, for instance: “Time is running out”, “Last chance”, “Only X days left”, “Get it before it’s gone”. Stick to your time limit and pick compelling products that people want to put on a limited time only sale.
Remarketing, Remarketing, Remarketing
This is a marketer’s version of location, location, location. The holidays are a perfect time to bring in repeat customers. Display retargeting ads to get your offer in in front of previous site visitors that will follow them all over the web and social media. Remarketing is very effective because it keeps your message in front of the people who are most likely to be persuaded to make another purchase.
Upsell With “You May Like This” Product Recommendations
You know your customers and what products they love so increase your average dollar sale by upselling. If someone is looking at dishware set, then show them coordinating place mats, silverware, and glassware to complete the look. You can also show higher-end options if they are searching at a lower price point. How you upsell depends on your product catalogue.
How to Make it Happen? If you can, show 3-4 more items that they may like so there is more of a chance to catch their attention. Customers will see you as a trusted advisor, and will be more likely to purchase coordinating or higher ticket items.
Here are the key things to remember in order to make your Black Friday & Cyber Monday offers stand out from the crowd:
Focus on your VIP customers. Reconnect by offering exclusive deals to get a boost from your best customers during your holiday campaign.
Be strategic.. Don’t just aim to start early to try to beat the crowd because you’ll need to start at Halloween. Instead, use creative ways to attract attention, such as buying guides & lookbooks to educate customers on specific trends and products.
Create a sense of urgency. Short term flash sales are great ways to capture the audience’s attention without necessarily putting all of your offering on sale. Best practice is to keep it short 72 hours or less and mix highly popular items with some that you want to move out of stock. These will build excitement around your brand! You don’t have to just do one, you can do several of these.
Get relevant ads in front of your customers to put your brand top of mind and help them move down the sales funnel. Use remarketing ads to get your message to people who visited your site recently. If possible, highlight items they looked at or recommend similar items they may like.
Ready to increase your sales now? Contact Charisma Communications to help you create a strategic plan with your promotions! The marketing mix is important especially during the holiday season so you can make the most of your sales efforts.