🤬 Bleeping Black Friday
Can we talk about Black Friday sales?
Can we also make it the last time we talk about Black Friday sales?
Okay, good. I’m glad we are on the same page.
This article is the “be-all, end-all” for the discussion of whether you should, or should not, run Black Friday sales in your business. Next year, when this conversation comes up, just send this article to the person who is asking the question.
When you first start a business, you wear many hats, from janitor to CEO, and everything in between. You are the one to make the big, strategic decisions for the company, and then you are the person who has to implement them.
Smart entrepreneurs understand that they don’t have the answers to every unique situation, especially the first time around. As such, they often rely upon their network for advice on certain topics.
And inevitably, one of those topics is Black Friday.
I am a member of a few entrepreneurial groups (mostly around the WordPress space) and like clockwork, around October people begin to ask whether they should have a Black Friday sale. This then sparks lengthy discussions that go into weird directions, from ethics and capitalism to politics and cultures.
At its core though, whether you should or should not have a Black Friday sale is an odd question as the answer is quite obvious (yes, you should), but nonetheless people seem to want to overcomplicate it.
There is no gray area: it is incredibly stupid to not have a Black Friday sale.
For a few years while running LearnDash, I decided not to have a Black Friday sale, and I convinced myself that my decision was the right one using the same arguments I see others use today. I’m sure you have seen, or maybe even used yourself, one of these:
“Black Friday sales devalue our product.”
“It’s not fair to people who purchased before the sale.”
“It feels dishonest.”
“Current customers will get mad.”
“Current customers will want the sale retroactively applied.”
Every one of these statements is unequivocally false. If you think this way now, purge it from your head. You are wrong.
Whenever I see people present (terrible) arguments against having a Black Friday sale, I want to shake them to their senses. Though over time I have come to realize that this is just a “growing pain” that every early entrepreneur has to go through.
Look, I get it. I know that being an entrepreneur is hard. We are constantly faced with decisions, and the answers aren’t always clear. We are used to solving these complexities. But that’s not the case for this one, and this super easy decision will add thousands upon thousands of dollars to your bottom line, like it did for Maarten:
That's a wrap! Black Friday was a success! pic.twitter.com/TUXgjigqpG— Maarten Belmans (@PoeHaH) November 30, 2021
Make sure you maximize the impact of your Black Friday sale.
My first year doing a Black Friday sale, I didn’t do any kind of promotion. I just threw up a site wide sale announcement on my website and slashed the price by 50%. Even then, it resulted in over four times the normal sales on a typical day.
Over time, I added some more elements, but I never went overboard with the promotion. At a certain point, it can have diminishing returns. Remember, the point of Black Friday is that you maximize revenue for very little effort.
Here are some tips for maximizing your Black Friday sale reach. These are the exact ones that I used to reach strong six figure Black Friday sales:
- Offer 50% off – Anything less than 50% is a waste of time and isn’t enough to elicit impulse purchases.
- Use countdown timers – Put a banner on every page of your website advertising the sale and include a timer for when that sale is over to create a sense of urgency. Important: include a button to your purchase page on the banner!
- Create affiliate materials – Leading up to the sale, email your affiliates to let them know of the discount. Give them promotional materials like website banners, images, videos, and email swipes. Make it as “point-and-click” as possible.
- Don’t offer lifetime deals – I won’t drain this topic, as I have written about it quite extensively already. The biggest benefit of doing a yearly Black Friday sale is that it will compound over time, assuming you have a yearly renewal.
- Renew at full-price – Black Friday special pricing is for new customers, not existing. When renewal comes for these purchases, it should renew at the full price or close to it. Be upfront about this with your promotion and you’re all good.
Black Friday is a great time to experiment with your marketing in general as well! It’s the perfect testing ground to try out those strategies you have been thinking about implementing. My friend Joe Casabona did this and had his best Black Friday ever!
Black Friday is not a hard decision. It’s the easiest one you will ever have to make for your business.
The best part about Black Friday sales is that the world understands how it works. There is no educating people on what it means and why the sale exists. Consumers know they can get a deal on products, and that this deal is limited in time. They also know that the deals around this time of year are often the best deals ever offered by a company.
There is absolutely no need to apologize, feel bad, or feel like you owe something to those who purchased previously. If you feel this way, you are overthinking it.
Keep it simple because the reality is that Black Friday is exactly that: simple.
It is a win for your customers and a win for your business. My advice to anyone questioning Black Friday is to take the win, and put your energy into the real issues you are facing with your business. You can then use some of that Black Friday revenue to help solve it. 😉
At the end of the day, the best way to help your current customers is for your business to do well. The more money you make, the more you can do for those who have trusted you and your product. If you choose not to have a Black Friday sale, you aren’t doing everything possible to properly serve your customers.
Have the sale, and know that everyone benefits from it.
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