#268 Here’s How to Have the BEST Black Friday – Cyber Monday Promotion This Year

Episode #268


It’s that time of year! Small businesses are gearing up for the holiday sales rush.


I don’t need to tell you that it’s been a weird year, m’dear. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve successful holiday promotions.


In fact, we have been writing for years on how to host explosive holiday promotions 100% virtually.


Just last week I talked in detail about 7 Epic Virtual Trunk Show Ideas to Boost Your Holiday Sales.


This week I want to be a little broader and talk about how to have the BEST Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion, no matter how you’re planning to sell.


#268 Here's How to Have the BEST Black Friday – Cyber Monday Promotion This Year Show notes

“And one of the things that I love to do is to really start local, especially if you're a small business because people love to support local audiences and local businesses. And right now more than ever, people really want to support businesses. ”

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.

Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy and the host of Thrive by Design today and I am super excited to be here today to talk about planning for holiday. And just for funsies I'm actually recording this from New York City. I haven't been back here since March. I've been here for about three weeks now for most of August. And it's been sort of an interesting bittersweet experience like to come back home, but fine to be back recording in my closet. Love it. Anyway, right now. I mean, this has been such an interesting year, I think for everyone in the world. And right now has been, you know, more than ever, an important time for all jewelry, creative product brands, makers, artists of any type to figure out what they're doing for their holiday sales and promotion plan early because online is where it's at this year party peeps.

So I just wanted to mention that because I'm going to be focusing this entire episode on the ultimate holiday sales promotion plan. And really, this is relevant for any type of promotion that you do, but In particular, I'm talking I'm going to be referencing Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, for the most part during this episode, so you're going to hear things like inner switching, etc. If you haven't listened to or watched last week's episode, I think there's a video that goes with it as well. If you haven't listened or watched somewhere, then I would really want to recommend that you go back and listen to it. I talked about how to pull up virtual trunk shows. And I think if you really want to have a ninja, and awesome holiday season, if you could figure out that trunk show system and figure out how you're going to kind of pull it off. definitely consider doing one or many of those throughout the holiday season because I think that's going to be a great way for you to get in front of people, even if you can't get literally in front of people and host a party.

So listen to that episode, for sure. And I also want to mention something several months ago I posted on Instagram, sent out an email and I mentioned on a couple of other social media platforms that we were going to be hosting a mentorship program for BIPOC artists and I wanted to mention it today because we are starting a waitlist. So if you would like to apply for mentorship with Flourish and Thrive Academy, we are giving away six scholarships to various brands at different businesses, and mentorship along with those scholarships. 

So we have several programs. Over here we have our laying the foundation program, we have our Momentum program with two levels, we have the accelerate level and elevate level. And those programs we're going to be mentoring six designers through those programs four years giving coaching mentorship, and at the end of it, we're going to be hosting a grant competition. So if you are interested in learning more about the Flourish and Thrive Academy BIPOC mentorship program, I'm going to have a link for that in the show notes and I'll be talking about it. In the coming weeks in all of the episodes as well, plus I also, you know, it's timely because we have a very interesting season coming up for holiday season. 

You know, in the United States here, it's an election year and things are a little bit hectic. The coronavirus outbreak has definitely affected everyone's sales in one way or another impacted it. For some people, it's actually like been super beneficial and their online sales are skyrocketing for other people. They might have been struggling a little bit more to try to pivot their sales process. So I want to try to make this holiday season the easiest no matter where you are, or whether you're even if your sales are flat. Because you know we've done some research based on our study that we did back in June, that the only category that is up for revenue this year significantly over anything else is selling online, on your branded website. And I want to remind you that people are going to be shopping online, people are kind of still weirded out, especially in the United States, I can speak because this is where I live, about going out and meeting people in person. 

And I don't know about you, but I've been buying almost everything online, just because it's convenient. And I also haven't been in New York City, so a lot of the stores are closed. So this is your opportunity to really build your audience. Expand your business, reach your customers, right where they are, and build a stronger direct to consumer sales channel. And everything that I'm going to be talking about today is part of something that we're releasing called the Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine. It's our newest bundle in our series of bundles. And I really want to encourage you to go check it out. We have it on pre order right now. It's going to be released in mid September for $97. And when it goes live to the general public, it's going to be $197 and as it gets closer to the holidays, that price is going to be increasing. Now I want to get allow you to get in on this super early and that's why we're doing this presale in between because I know that people who are action takers and actually commit to their business and show it and invest in their company, even at a small price point like $97 show, you know, basically show themselves that they're like ready to take action and plan in advance.

And so that's exactly what this bundle is designed to do. We're going to be giving you a lot of really amazing assets with this. It's like such a steal, I swear. So first and foremost, you're going to be getting the Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine system. And that's going to just walk you through step by step about how to have an urgency promotion, pull it off without a hitch, and really amplify your results. We're going to be giving you a Done For You Urgency, promotion, marketing calendar, and what I mean by that is that we're going to be talking a lot about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday and those types of things. However, when you pull this off, right, you can do the same thing for Valentine's Day. You can do the same thing for Mother's Day. You can do the same thing just for like a flash sale. If you mark things down, so it doesn't matter if you're actually discounting items, or if you're going to be offering things for full price, but just having limited edition and stuff like this, you can use this system for just about anything. 

We're also going to be giving you sample email marketing scripts, and follow up templates so that you can build your order after the sale, you're going to be getting a timeline and a checklist so that you can pull your system off without a hitch or this plan off without a hitch. Plus, we're going to be giving you a bonus, which is a story selling framework. This is one of our best resources over here at flourish and thrive Academy. We sell it individually for $295. And this comes as a bonus with the Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine. So you definitely want to get in on this now while the price is only 97. So if you're interested in that, head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/salesmachine/ and you can check that out right there. And I'll be referencing some of the things that we talked about in that sales machine in this episode. Now, obviously I only have about 20 minutes here to talk on a podcast, we are going to go super in-depth in this system in the bundle. So you're definitely gonna want to check that out. So now let's talk about having the best holiday season ever. Let's dive into today's episode, the ultimate holiday promotion plan. I'm super excited about it. So first and foremost, when you are getting ready for your holiday season, you definitely want to make sure that you are prepared. 

So step one is really the sub zero Ground Zero really about this is like getting into the mindset of getting prepared so that you're planning and in the zone, which brings us on to Step one, which is to decide on your offer. This is really the most important thing when you're planning any sort of holiday promotion especially over the Black Friday, Cyber Monday weekend. And this is all about figuring out what you're going to do. So if you're doing this for you know, on Black Friday, and that whole weekend, Cyber Monday etc. Like most people who are shopping on that weekend, who get the best result typically offers some sort of discount. So if you're not in the game of playing discounts, you can try something else. However, the feedback that we've gotten from our audience over the years is that discounts are typically what people want, especially when the audience is growing. Now, if you have a big audience, and they aren't they already buy up everything you do, you might have a better experience doing different types of offers, like a buy one, get one free, or some sort of bundled offer or something like that. But the feedback that I've gotten is that discounts typically work the best, but I think the best thing that you could do is figure out how you're going to plan your offer. 

And I'm going to be referencing some of the students in our programs who have pulled this off. So amazingly, in fact, Jeana and Jared Rushton I will link their podcast in this episode, I interviewed them a while ago after they pulled off one of the most amazing black Friday's in cyber Monday's for them. They did over $8,000 I think $8,200 in the four day weekend, just by doing a different offer every single day, and how vibrating that offer with different types of promotions like selling through email one day, selling on a virtual trunk show the next day selling one of a kind items. And like excess inventory the next day having like a final promotion on the final day. So there was always something different each day and it worked out really well for them. Now that is a lot more complicated. So if you are someone who's a newbie to this, I would just pick out some sort of offer that you're going to have the entire weekend. 

So a couple of ideas for this or maybe discounting a scale discount or a tiered discount the entire weekend. The way this works really well is if you have limited items. So if you have limited items and you're discounting you can keep tearing up the discount over that period of time over the weekend. And people who buy on the early parts get the first dibs and then later on they get sort of like what's leftover, maybe for a higher discount. 

The next thing which I reference with which Jeana and Jared did is to have a new offer every single day. You can also do Something that I think is really fascinating my friends over at BestSelf Co, Cathryn Lavery taught me this promotion strategy once they did an epic hot Black Friday promotion just for like 24 hours or 48 hours that brought in six figures for their journal business and my do its low price point and they have a big audience. But they basically were giving away X amount of journals like in the beginning, so people were up there, they had like 25 journals that they were giving away for free. And then they gave like discount codes for 75% off for 50% off and 35% off and tiered them in different ways so that there was only a certain amount available for each discount code. And their offer blew up and then they gave unlimited discounts for like the lowest discount that they offered. But it actually created so much urgency and buzz because they were able to build a waitlist so that people were waiting and ready to put the code in as soon as they opened the cart right then so if you want to try something like that is definitely more of a complicated situation with tech and stuff. But it is definitely something that can be amazing and work. Another way that you can really make an amazing holiday promotion is to offer limited edition items. 

So the things that are only available that weekend or in limited quantities, this works really well. People want to kind business or you're dropping, you know, Special Collections just for the holiday, this is your way to kind of sell out quickly, or do special boxes just for that time. You can also do a gift with purchase gift with purchases are great. You can if especially if there's value added like one of my favorite strategies for gift with purchase is when someone buys something, they get a selection of another item and you can typically get rid of old inventory this way, which is a great strategy for just cleaning out your inventory, which we always want to do because that's just cash sitting on the shelf. And there's a lot more options here. So I want you to really think outside the box. If you're new to having a promotion, I would definitely keep it simple. 

Now, step number two is to decide on your sales mechanism. Now, are you going to be doing this on your website? Are you going to be selling via virtual trunk shows? Are you going to do an in person event or a pop up? You know, are you doing a trunk show in a store, there's a lot of different variations that you can do, we'd be selling via email on just social or whatever. Now, I always recommend promoting this and marketing this on multiple channels, meaning email, setting up, you know, a whole marketing plan in advance and getting things really organized and then doing like hybrid sales mechanisms. But once again, if you're just learning how to do this, you want to keep it simple. So that step two is really about deciding on your sales mechanism.

Step three for this is to create a reason for people to show up. Now. This is similar to why they would be coming maybe for a discount, but also there's other things that you can incentivize to get people there or Right away, right when it opens, I talked about this giveaway strategy, or this tiered offer strategy that the BestSelf Co had. You can also have a giveaway like the first 25 people who order or the first 20 people who order will get like this, this piece for free, or maybe the first 20 people who order get entered into a raffle for a giveaway or something like that. So you make it super enticing for people to show up as soon as the cart opens. Now, the next thing that you really want to consider when you're creating a reason for them to show up is to give them some type of urgency. Like if you're just doing here's the issue sometimes with a blanket discount that can work in particular really well for big brands. But one of the things like if people just know that, that they can use the same discount all weekend for unlimited items. It doesn't give them a sense of urgency to get there right away so they might put it off and wait till later. 

What you really want to do is to create some reason or something that expires so that they can get there as soon as they possibly can. Maybe that's even opening up for the first hour of the sale like a bigger discount than you would for the rest of the weekend. Because you can do the reverse tiered offer like bigger discounts come earlier. And then as the weekend goes, the discount gets less. So think about how you can really create a reason for them to show up and show up early. 

Now, step four is to map out your marketing. I want you to think about your pre launch content, and everything that you're going to do to tease and let people knowing that you're that you're going there. But you want to get this super organized and on a marketing calendar. Think about your teaser emails, the sales emails that you're going to write social media content, your ads, anything that you're going to do for social search, like on Pinterest or YouTube. These are really important in order to get things to the next level.

Step five with your ultimate holiday promotion plan is to build your audience now. Now I know that building an email list and figuring ideas on how you can expand your audience can feel a little stressful at times, and you want to really be thinking about how you're getting going to get more people to the offers. So the best way to do this is to nurture your existing list and ask them for referrals. have maybe ambassadors involved in, in this referral system. So maybe you can list some ambassadors, you are savvy enough, you can set up an affiliate promotion program. I'm guessing that all of you are savvy enough to do that. But it is more complicated. So if, if you're someone who is a little bit more tech challenged or hasn't tried something like this, like I wouldn't go complex in the beginning, I would start with simple. 

You can get other people promoting for you and then getting them to get a commission on any sales or any leads that they get to opt into your list. You can do a grassroots marketing campaign to build your email list. And what I mean by this is just reaching out to your friends and family and your network and asking them for referrals. And a lot of times when they know people know you, they're happy to do it just on their own, you can give them an offer. Maybe have some sort of giveaway to help get people there. You can also just do a general giveaway or contest to build your list now. So maybe it's giving away a free piece of jewelry, or something like that, where you're really using social media, your email list and all those things to grow a contest and the more referrals people give, and the more sharing they do about the contest, the easier it is for you to get more leads, and then they they get more incentives maybe for that giveaway or the contest that you give.

And I just want you to think outside of the box of collecting email addresses in any way you can. And when I say that, collecting them illegally now one of the best ways to collect email addresses over the years has been to collect them at your in person events. However, since a lot of those have been off this year, and people aren't doing it, you might, you know, have to think outside of the box about what you're doing these days. And, you know, obviously when people buy something from you more than likely they're going to be automatically opted into your email list. But the outside of the box, grow your list in any way that you possibly can. And I don't want you to forget about one of the most important ways to grow your audience, which is to get press public relations partners with influencers, do an advertising strategy that warms up people in advance that's not press. But this is another way to get exposure. You can also leverage and use your press to warm up audiences as well, especially in your local area. And PR exposure that can include anything like articles written about you press, TV appearances, newspaper articles, and one of the things that I love to do is to really start local especially if you're a small business because people love to support local audiences and local businesses. 

And right now more than ever, people really want to support businesses. I just went for the first time to my local coffee shop here in New York City, Colombe in Hudson Yards. And I used to go there sometimes twice a day to get my favorite coffee, Corsica by Colombe. If you love coffee. Go check out https://www.lacolombe.com . It's la-co-lombe.com They're the best coffee ever just like a short little plug. I love them so much. And they're Corsica flavor, because I like dark roast coffee which is delicious. Anyway, I went in there today for the first time because I saw that it was open. And I was chatting with some of the baristas. And I said, Hey, like, what's it been? Like? They're like, well, we were closed for five months. And I just gave them a really nice tip. My order was like $3. And I gave them like a $10 tip. They're like, wait, I think you made a mistake. And I was like, Oh, no, no, that's for you. Because I feel bad for people who haven't been able to like getting in front of people or like to make money. 

So I give them a bigger tip. But this is the same thing about people wanting to shop local, is people in your local area. They want small businesses to survive and thrive. And so this is your opportunity to kind of expand that local audience and play on that energy of your local area, in particular, if your ideal client is hanging out there. So step number five is to build Your audience now. And there's a lot of ways to do that. And mind you, this can all mean like building your social media audience as well. But the best audience to build is your email list audience and you use all these other channels to build that email list because that's where you market through to make sure that people are going to see what you're doing. 

Step number six is to get your assets together in advance. Your assets include things like your collection, or your products ready to roll, if you're going to do some sort of special packaging or boxing for it, you're going to be doing gift wrap for it. These are all really important. You want to make sure that your pieces and collection are photographed, and you have any image source that you're going to need. So what I mean by that is like you're photographing and creating all the images that you're going to need for social for product photography for price and all those things. So that's a variety of white background lifestyle shots and model shots. So make sure that you have this ready. And then finally, if you are going to be not finally but another thing you want to consider is that if you're going to be running ads, you want to be thinking about all the creative ads You're going to need for that. 

So maybe it's visual photography, maybe it's a video, maybe it's a combination of assets, get those together, so that your ads are ready to roll. And you're thinking about copywriting for your ads. And like one of the most exciting things for me right now is that our Momentum program, we're about to have our retreat this week, the week that this podcast goes live. And I'm super excited about it because we're doing a whole advertising training about writing amazing headlines and captions for e-commerce in particular, in particular, creative product brands and jewelry. Amazing. And we're gonna be talking about how to source amazing creatives to get things rolling, which is exciting. 

Now the next step of this is to write all of his social captions and copy that you are going to need to in order to get this going right and then we're gonna really recommend that you have your emails written in advance, and that if you're going to design emails, or have a combination of text and images, that you get those rolling in planned out, super important and one of the most amazing things About this ultimate holiday sales machine bundle that we're doing is that we're going to be giving you some templates and scripts for email marketing. I know this is one of the things that really gets people stressed out and hung up about it. And then that's it. So you want to make sure that you have all your assets together in advance. that's step number six, get your collection and product ready any packaging all those things, your images, photographed and sourced, out creative developed social captions and copywriting and anything that you're going to write and design emails are ready to roll, super important. 

And then finally, we're on to Step seven, which is to get organized and ready for go time. So this is really about you know, when I think backwards when you're planning anything, you really want to get this stuff organized in a project management tool like Asana or Trello. Or whatever you use.

There's another program called Clickup that people are really loving right now. We're actually considering moving over to that haven't tested enough yet though. And we still use the free version of Asana, you don't need these expensive fancy versions that cost anything. So a lot of these tools are really epic and amazing. And they're going to be super helpful for you in organizing everything that you go to. So step seven, is really about getting organized and ready for go time. So make sure that your production is done, that your shipping is like dialed in your email schedule and then you have links for whatever you need in spreadsheets or whatever. So if you're doing a virtual trunk show, you want to get that all organized, so that you're ready to roll with this.

So let me walk through the steps one more time step one, decide on your offer. Step two, decide on your sales and mechanism or mechanisms. If you're gonna do more than one, step three, create a reason for people to show up. Step four, map out your marketing. Step five, build your audience now start today, please do this important. Step six. Get your assets together and in advance, step seven, get organized and ready for go time. And that's it, you're going to be prepared and ready to roll. And remember, all these things like come back, save this podcast because you can listen to this over and over again. And especially if you're going to consider grabbing this bundle, like just to save you a ton of time and really have things laid out for you. The reason why I want to mention this is that when you can take the stress and thinking out of some of these promotion plans, and start testing, you can spend more of your time evaluating what worked and didn't instead of thinking about how to do it, and we really want to get you into this identity of being in a place of action all the time. 

So instead of like being in a place of overwhelmed so like the more that you can keep moving forward and getting things done and implemented, is going to be so much easier for you to grow your business in the long run. So all the tools that I ever share with you on this podcast, the programs that we do are just meant to do that is to help you cut through the noise so that you can focus on one What really matters instead of trying to guess all of the time.

So as I mentioned before, if you're interested in getting some help with your holiday sales promotion, I'd love to introduce you or invite you to grab our ultimate holiday sales machine bundle. For pre-order, it's $97 just for you during the pre-order period, and grab it today, you can head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/salesmachine/  to check it out.

And if you're interested in learning more about our BIPOC scholarship, head on over to the show notes atwww.flourishthriveacademy.com/268  and we'll have more details right there. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. This is Tracy Matthews, signing off. 

Click here to download the show notes


Create A Reason To Show Up


Why should people bother showing up to your promotion? Here are a few strategies I suggest…


Plan irresistible offers. A tiered offer means the more they buy, the better the offer. If your promotion takes place over multiple days, you can create a new offer each day that keeps people coming back for more.


Host a giveaway. People will flock to your promotion for the chance to win a free product or gift card to your shop through a raffle or giveaway.


Create urgency. Your promotion should only be available for a limited time, otherwise people might procrastinate buying and forget. Use email, ads, and social media to create urgency that drives people to buy.


Map Everything Out In Advance


Planning and executing a successful promotion can be stressful.


While some of that stress comes with the territory, a lot of it can be avoided by preparing in advance.


Here is a list of things you can map out well before the promotion happens:

  • Social media posts
  • Advertising copy
  • All of your photography
  • Teaser emails
  • Sales emails
  • Video content
  • Website copy


The list goes on. Try to get as much off your plate on the day(s) of the promotion as possible, so you can be free to support your customers and have a good time.


Build Your Audience NOW


Don’t wait for the holiday season to start building your audience. You should be doing that all year long.


Nurture your existing list. You don’t need a special occasion to treat your existing customers to a fun offer or promotion. Plus, just building daily engagement through email and social media goes a long way.


Keep list-building. Growing your email list is a constant priority in business. I’ve already covered plenty of successful list-building strategies for e-commerce businesses.


Get good press. Any chance you have to get your brand in front of new eyes through collaborations, features, and PR is a win.


Listen to the full episode above for more essential strategies to pull off the BEST holiday promotion this year. You got this!


xo, Tracy


Links:


BIPOC Mentorship Program


Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine


Episode #267 7 Epic Virtual Trunk Show Ideas to Boost Your Holiday Sales


Episode #178 The Epic Online Promotion Strategy that Brought in $8200 in 4 Days


Best Of Series #2 EP87: How to Build an Email List for Your Jewelry E-Commerce Business


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