#270 3 Ways to Test Your Black Friday Offer Before Cyber Weekend

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The weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is probably the most important weekend of the year for small e-commerce business owners.

We’re nearing the end of September right now, which means it’s time to spring into action and get ready to pull off an epic Cyber Weekend promotion.

It’s possible you’re thinking, “Tracy, isn’t it a little early for this?” Not at all, m’dear!

The months leading up to Cyber Weekend is prime time to be building your audience and generating leads.

That means you should be…

  • Building your email list.
  • Growing your social media following.
  • Boosting engagement in your Facebook groups.
  • Mapping out a grassroots marketing plan.
  • Incentivizing customers for referrals.
  • Creating lead magnets.
  • Running ads.

…And ANYTHING ELSE you can think of that will expand and engage your audience so they’re ready to buy when that glorious sale weekend rolls around.

While you’re doing all this, you may want to take the opportunity to test out your Black Friday offer in advance, so you’re ready for the big day.

There are quite a few different ways to do this, with the pros and cons of each strategy.

#270 3 Ways to Test Your Black Friday Offer Before Cyber Weekend

“This time being lead generation time and audience building time is that is going to be super important. And what you want to try to do is to sell that everyone on your list or as many people as you can, or in your audience, if you're talking about social media audience, you want to transfer those social media followers to get them to opt into your email list in any way that you can think about”

Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.

Tracy: Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast, Episode 270. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy. And I am thrilled to be here today to talk about something that I love talking about, and that is sales. So we're gonna be talking today about three ways to test your Black Friday, cyber weekend sale, or event, whatever you're having. And when I talk about Black Friday, use that as a general term or Cyber Monday, all that stuff, it's really the four to five days that include or after Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States that typically kick off the holiday sales season or the holiday mad rush. Now, these days, it's important to get ahead of it. And that is exactly why I am doing this episode today, because we've been talking about holiday sales in our Momentum program a lot. And in fact, the entire everything I'm going to teach you today is something that we learned from our ads team that presented at the event. And they shared with us how to basically validate your offer in advance, which I think is super important.

So you're not getting lost in the shuffle of everything that's happening. And also, so that you make sure that people actually want what you have to sell, and they want the offer that you're creating. And so I'm going to walk you through three ways today and how to do that. And this is a super timely episode, because we just released earlier this month, a brand new bundle called The Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine and I've developed several bundles this year that are super affordably priced, including this one, which is honestly quite epic. Let me tell you a little bit about what it includes. Because I think this is the most important piece of it. You know, when I was talking with some of our students, one of the biggest, you know, challenges, in particular, for certain creative types, not all creative types, because I've spoken with many very organized creative types lately is that sometimes they get overwhelmed by all the things that they have to do and what they did before is no longer working. 

And so they feel frustrated. And that's exactly the problem that we solve in our Momentum Program is we help people break through their profit plateaus, and get to the next level, whether they're trying to cross six figures for the first time, or they're trying to scale their business to multiple six figures, and beyond a year, because there are different roadblocks and challenges that you get at each of those points. And so as we were speaking with people, the members of our program to figure out what would make this simpler, and we're developing this content for our Momentum retreat. 

Part of this conversation was like, you know, be awesome if we just had a plug and play plan. And so we went through all the things that they were frustrated with. And we created this amazing bundle based on feedback from them based on feedback from our other students who've worked with us for a long time. And based on what we know works, which is super exciting. So I've created the complete Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine System. And the best part about it is that this can be used at any time of the year that you're launching a one to four days, urgency, style promotion. Now we're talking about the cyber weekend right now. So it's timely to grab something like this right now, in particular, because we're coming up close, and you're going to have a lot of work to do if you don't get on it soon. I dial it all in for you. But literally you can use this like if you wanted to have a New Year's, New Year's Day Sale or New Year's Eve sale or if you want to do something for Valentine's Day. Or if you wanted to do some sort of promotion for your birthday, or any sort of like three day weekend or a Mother's Day promotion, you know, whatever you like to do, or whatever you want to promote this, the system works for anything. 

So it's super reusable. And in the sales machine system, I talk about how to plan your offer, or how to plan your promotion, create an irresistible offer. And it's not all about doing discounts. But during the Black Friday season, I think it's important or like that holiday weekend season. People are really looking for discounts. So I want you to keep that in mind. That's what people are kind of like hunting for. So we're also going to do how to build a waitlist and create urgency for that offer so that you get people there, right when your sale launches, we're going to teach you how to sell like crazy. And then also make sales way after a long after I should say, the event is over, I'm gonna share with you some of my favorite follow up tactics, which is awesome. The entire system includes PDFs, we're giving you project planning, templates, video training, and so many other done for you resources, including a Black Friday through Cyber Monday Done For You marketing calendar, The Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine Done For You project plan, we're giving you a Trello template that you can copy and paste into your Trello.

And if you don't use Trello, we're also giving you the format and a PDF. So you can just copy it in whatever project management system you use. We're giving you a bunch of scripts for email marketing, to get people there, create an urgency build that waitlist also follow up after the event. And we're also giving you an amazing timeline and checklist. And I'm creating a couple of extra surprise bonuses that you are going to love. Now it's regularly $197, but we're offering it for a very limited time for just $97. So if you're interested in grabbing it, I would go now because by the time October hits, whenever you're listening to this podcast, the price goes up to $197. And there's so much value in this honestly, it's gonna save you like weeks of time, trust me on that you're gonna love it. Alright, so with that being said, you can head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/ultimate-holiday-sales/  we will also have it in the show notes. 

So you can head on over to our show notes and check it out. Now, as I just mentioned, we just wrapped up our Momentum retreat, we have a couple of retreats a year, we usually do two to day events, one typically in April one typically in September. And then we do half day retreats twice a year as well. This year, obviously, they've been virtual, I can't wait till we can do them in person again. And they're always so awesome. I feel like every single time we do a retreat, I'm so excited for the next one, there's so much planning involved in it. But I'm so excited for the next one. And this one was no exception, we had so much fun. But the whole gist of the retreat like what we spend time on was really about driving traffic, getting people to your event, planning out the entire event and getting things done. And now we had our advertising experts over at ATTN:Labs at our advertising team to come over to share how to get people actually buying and actually how to validate what it is that you're trying to sell. So they gave us an entire ad strategy.

And we're not going to be totally focused on that today. But I'll give you one tip, one little insider tip that they shared is to make sure that you have if you want to run ads during Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, get them designed, write the copy, get everything done, run them through your Facebook Ads Manager, Instagram, or Facebook Ads Manager for Facebook and Instagram. And we're talking specifically about Facebook ads, get them approved before November even starts. So that when the event happens that you're ready to roll, and you actually have some legs in the game where you can get your offer seen, which is pretty cool. With that being said, really important to get your ads up and running early. And one of the ways that we are going to talk about testing your offer is to pre-sell your offer one month early, which sounds crazy. So there's a couple of ways that you can do this. And it's super simple. So what I want you to do is to decide on what you're going to offer in the Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine System. I talked about all different types of offers that you can do, you can bundle things together, you can just have a site wide discount, you can have tiered discounts, buy more, save more like whatever works for you.

We also in the sales machine, we share with you some applications that you can use in your Shopify store that actually help with this process. So you're not doing things manually. And it's awesome. One of my favorite apps is an app called BOLD. And we'll have a link in the show notes for that as well. The Bold applications for Shopify, and they also work with some other websites too, so you can check it out. They have a variety of apps that work for all different types of scale discounts, cross-sells, upsells, and all the things so I'll drop a link in the show notes so that you can definitely check that out. And make sure that you have everything that you need. And yeah, so first and foremost, let's talk about what you should be doing now. Because it's as this episode goes live, we're nearing the end of September. And right now is your time to be building your audience. This is super important. So that means you need to be building your email list. That means you need to be building your social media following and that means that you need to be building your Facebook groups like however, you're selling your product. That means you might want to do a grassroots marketing campaign, whatever it might be, to get more people to actually sell to you.

You also want to be enlisting some of your previous customers or your best customers to refer people to you. And as I mentioned in the sales machine system, we tell you how to actually do that, to get referrals and stuff like that. But I want to remind you that right now should be your opportunity to generate leads, and get more people build your audience overall. And you can do that, you know, by offering a lead magnet and a lot of different referral systems having a giveaway and a lot of different things like that. But also, you can do that by starting to run ads, now, it's trying to get sales, because once someone buys the first time, the chances of them buying again, assuming that they're happy customer is really, really high. And so we're trying to get confirmation, or to get people onto our email list who are actually, you know, have behaviors that we want, which is buying our products, which, which seems funny. And it's proven that once someone buys once, the chances of them buying again are much higher than trying to get someone to buy for the first time, it's actually 10 times harder to sell a cold lead on something that you do.

And a cold lead means someone who has no awareness of your business at all. And they just come across what you do, it usually takes sometimes seven to 10 touches for them if they like what you do to actually buy the first time. So this is your opportunity to get those touch points in and maybe have some trunk shows or virtual trunk shows or whatever to get people engaged in your brand and start the referral process now or the ambassador process now where you're building your audience and getting leads in the funnel. So that's my little preamble about this time being lead generation time and audience building time is going to be super important. And what you want to try to do is to sell everyone on your list or as many people as you can, or in your audience, if you're talking about social media audience, you want to transfer those social media followers to get them to opt in to your email list.

And any way that you can think about but more than anything, what we want you to be doing is to, in general, be building this audience and nurturing them way before Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Giving Tuesday, Thanksgiving, all of it, cyber weekend, even start. So the best way to validate your offer. And to make sure that or to test validating means testing your offer is to first decide on what you're going to sell, or what your offer is going to be. And then pre sell that offer one month early. So that means by the end of October, you're doing some sort of flash sale or promotion for a very short period of time, to your bigger audience in general. So this is a great way to get a bunch of sales in early you can even call it a free Black Friday, or please pre cyber weekend sale, whatever you want to call it. And that can be super duper powerful and bring a lot of sales in earlier. 

And the main pro to this, I really believe is that you start getting some people who just found out about you potentially buying, by the time Black Friday comes around, you have one month to like warm them up and prove to them that you're awesome and get them buying more gifts or more for themselves, whatever it might be, by the time you cycle the offer around, it's also can be a great way to capture people ahead of time, because when that cyber weekend happens, there's a lot of offers coming out at all places, so you don't get lost in the noise. And then in the very least you've captured, you know, you've captured some sales, you know, for Black Friday in advance. 

Now the downside, especially if you're going to be sending this out to your bigger audience is that people have already seen that offer. By the time Black Friday comes around, if you do exactly the same thing, they're gonna be like, Oh, well, I already saw that. And I already did it. So you risk that maybe offer fatigue, maybe be one way. And if you're not doing a new product or something different than the first offer, you might not have something for the people who are in your audience to actually buy what's new. And so those are just some considerations. But there's ways to kind of work around that you can offer something different on the flash sale like the one month before and offer something different on Black Friday, but just test the type of offer that you're going to do. Whether it's a discount, a Bogo, a bundled offer, or tiered offer tier to offer a discount where you're where it's like a buy more, save more event or at certain times of the day. You know, the discount is bigger earlier in the day and it expires to a smaller discount later in the day. 

Now another workaround This is to the second idea that we got out of this is just pre sell it to your VIP list. Now I know a lot of you have great customers who've bought from you over and over again. Some people call their VIP list just their email list because they're the people who have actually subscribed to their email list. Other people like some of the brands that we mentor in Momentum, they have a VIP list that's a serious legit VIP list who spent like thousands and thousands of dollars with them. So you can decide if you just like promote this to your email list here, your top spenders to people who have already purchased before. And or just the top cream of the crop tier of people who've purchased from you Who are your top spenders. And what you would want to do is just tell them like, hey, VIP, like whatever your name is, and

basically set shoot them out an email and say, like, Look, I'm having this pre cyber weekend event just for my VIPs.

And I wanted to invite you, here's how you RSVP and you can send out a couple of emails in advance of the offer, I would do it really short, maybe even just a 12 hour or 24 hour window, you don't even necessarily want to do it the same amount of time. And just say this is a thank you for being a great customer of mine, and see what the response is to whatever it is that you design, you can also ask them for feedback especially since they're oftentimes your best customers. So I want you to think about that as you're doing this. Now. The pros of this are that you know, your VIPs to feel taken care of. And they've got to purchase things early, they're already checking stuff off on the list, which is awesome. And the downside is it would be similar to what I said to you before, you know, these are your best customers, and they may or may not buy.

Again, if it's the exact same offer on Black Friday. However, the difference between the two, depending on what your offer is, is that it might work in both spaces. Like let's say you're doing just a site wide discount, it could definitely work for both spaces. And I would just acknowledge if you're going to use this methodology to test your offer, is to just make up the VIPs are the people who are sending us this offer to a small segment and make them feel special and that this is a reward for them being a really good customer of yours. So that is that's another idea to actually test to see if people are going to respond to your offer. 

Now the third idea is to only test your offer with ads, to warm traffic and look alike audiences of your buyers. This can work really well because you're reaching another audience that is similar to the people who have already purchased from you. Plus, if you're running it through ads, you can do like a short event or promotion for three to four days. I know that a one day ad campaign sometimes doesn't garner like the most amazing results because it's a very short window. And sometimes it takes a while for the ad to build the algorithm in time. But there's two benefits to doing it this way. The first is that you can test your ad copy and see how people react to it. 

And if they actually buy through the ads. And when you're doing this, you might upload your email list and create a lookalike audience and all those things. So you're actually selling to people who've already purchased from you before. And but you're not, you're also not emailing them. So it's a little bit of a different strategy, you're just hitting them with ads to get social proof on the ads and to see if the ad copy resonates and you're actually making sales. So this is a great way to validate if your ads are going to work for Black Friday as well. The second reason this works is especially if you're going to do the lookalike audience in addition to your warm traffic or the warm people on your email list, is that you're starting to expand the audience with people who actually know like and trust you and or who are similar to people who know like and trust you already, and are our purchasers. 

So it's an audience building technique as well. And then you can work on warming people up and prepare them for the next offer as well. And then if the ad performs well, you start getting social proof, you get likes and comments and everything on the ad. And it's a great way to build engagement and trust. Now, I want to remind you of the most important things here. If you are thinking about running ads to your offer,

it is really important that you set them up at least one month in advance to make sure that they get approved and everything because the auction of Black Friday, and what I mean by the auction is that there's a lot of people competing for ad space. And there's a limited number of number of inventory or spaces that people could actually use. So you're competing with a lot of people like big brands with big budgets, and you want to make sure that you're sliding in there in advance.

And another thing that I want to mention is that you don't even have to run ads over the Black Friday weekend, if you don't want to. You can run ads, like from now up until then build your audience warm them up on your email list or having a conversation with them. And when that happens, you get them ready and primed right in your email list. So you don't have to run ads and compete with all these big brands. So I really think that that's an epic strategy. So that flash sale promotion idea doing it about a month in advance through ads is a great way to kind of get people prepared for the real cyber weekend sale. So I hope that this was helpful. And I know that there's a lot of things to think about because this is just like one tiny little facet of actually pulling off an amazing cyber weekend promotion and so I would love to invite you to just take a look and check out The Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine

It is something that is going on To be super helpful for mapping your entire strategy out, we share with you a couple of pre-sells or pre-test your event ideas in that system. So it's super helpful. And I don't know about you, but time sometimes feels like it's not my friend. And this bundle is designed to help you save so much time and make you money doing it. So for a very small investment, especially if you're grabbing it this week for just $97, you can save yourself probably weeks of time planning for your cyber weekend event. Or if you only decide to do a pre-event, your cyber weekend pre-event. And as I mentioned before, you can use this system for any time that you're doing a short, urgency promotion. That's all I got today, if you want to check out The Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine bundle, head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/ultimate-holiday-sales/   and check it out because you're gonna love it. And I also want to remind you that over the years, I've done so many episodes about having a great cyber weekend. So I'd really love for you to head on over to the show notes. And or just skim our blog or on Apple Podcasts. And check out all the episodes, you can do a little search that we've done that help you with your Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales because they will be super helpful. And I want to remind you that a couple of weeks ago in episode 268. That was just a few weeks ago, and I just talked about how to have a great Black Friday holiday promotion. So our cyber weekend promotion, maybe I should say. So that's all and I hope you're having a good day and good luck with your promotion. Whatever you decide to do. And yeah, this is me. Tracy Matthews, signing off. Until next time.

Click here to download the show notes

Pre-Sell 1 Month Early

Know what you’re going to offer at least one month in advance. Then, you can do some kind of flash sale or quick promotion at the end of October to test out that offer.

Pros: It’s a nice opportunity to make some sales right before the big holiday season. You get people warmed up to your brand, and you may even be able to capture some new customers while you’re at it. Plus, adspace will be way less competitive than it will be during Cyber Weekend. 

Cons: If you do the exact same offer for Cyber Weekend, people will already be familiar with it. You can work around this by changing the offer slightly and/or selling never before seen product for the final promotion.

Pre-Sell to VIPs

You know those loyal customers who buy from you over an over again? This is your chance to reward them with an exclusive sale while you test out a new offer.

It’s as simple as sending some emails that say, “Hey, I’m having a pre-Cyber Weekend event just for you!”

Pros: You make your VIPs feel special and hopefully make some extra sales before the big weekend. You can ask for social proof and feedback in exchange for a little bonus.

Cons: Similar to the first one, people may not be as interested in your Black Friday offer if they’ve already seen it.

Pre-Sell Through Ads

This strategy is particularly advantageous since it’s harder to secure adspace the closer you get to Black Friday.

Pre-sell the offer through advertising only. That means a short 3-4 day promotion that you don’t include in emails or on social media.

Pros: You can test ad copy ahead of time and see how people react to it while expanding your audience in the process. If it goes well, you may even get some social proof together before the big weekend.

Cons: Advertising costs money that could possibly be better spent elsewhere.

Listen to the full episode above for a more in-depth review of each pre-selling strategy and more tips on how to pull off the ultimate Cyber Weekend promotion!

xo, Tracy


The Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine

Apply for a Free Business Accelerator Audit

The Momentum Program

Virtual Trunk Shows That Sell Done For You Bundle

Episode 268: Here's How to Have the BEST Black Friday – Cyber Monday Promotion This Year

Waitlist for the BIPOC scholarship

BOLD Apps for Shopify



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