Five Essential Black Friday Ideas

Rock Black Friday Without Giving Away the Farm

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Think you need to give away the farm to have a successful Black Friday? Think again.

The five days following Thanksgiving are chock-full of promotions designed to offer exception value to customers looking for deals on their holiday shopping. There’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving known for cah-razy sales, then Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. You can use any of these promotional ideas for any of the days between Friday and Monday, where customers are looking for those deep, deep discounts.

Black Friday was developed by big-box retailers who utilized loss-leaders, products they are willing to sell at a loss, to attract visibility and traffic into their store. Today, these retailers are willing to have crazy low prices on a limited number of select products because they know the benefit outweighs the loss. They have limited quantities of specific items, but they are drawing in more people than can take advantage of the deeply discounted products, so they win. They make more than they lost by selling a product at a loss.

Keys to a Successful Black Friday Promotion

There are two key elements that factor into a promotional offer strategy:

  • Scarcity
  • Exclusivity

Scarcity means there’s not a lot of this, and not everybody and their brother can get this. You can achieve scarcity by either limiting the number of offers that are available {first five customers only} or putting a deadline on it {order in the next 12 hours}.

Exclusivity is similar to scarcity in that not everyone has access to this deal. The offer is only available for an exclusive group of people. The customer has to do something {ideally, something that benefits you} for the right to know about the offer. Perhaps it is joining your email list, messenger bot, or following you on social media.

Once you’ve determined how to create scarcity and exclusivity, the last thing you want to do is offer something that devalues your existing offerings. Having a fire sale on your most popular product may earn you big bucks for that weekend, but it will also alienate and infuriate your customers who paid full price.

But worse than that, you’re training your customers to become bargain hunters. Let’s be honest, do you ever buy anything at full price at Kohl’s? Hell no! You wait until there’s a sale and you can add your Kohl’s cash, plus the 30% off scratcher at the register. They have trained you to do that.

That is the exact opposite of what you want to do. So, let’s look at five ways you can leverage the excitement around Black Friday-Cyber Monday without decimating your existing customers and giving away the farm, so they never pay full price again.

#1: Create a new product

Instead of discounting an existing product, create and launch something new around Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If no one has ever purchased it, there’s no benchmark for pricing. You can create a product or service that you intend to sell at $499 and offer it for $249 for that weekend, and you’ve magically created a 50% discount. Offer it only to previous customers or your email list {exclusivity} and only for a short window {scarcity} at that price, and you won’t devalue your existing products.

Shhhh, this is what I’m doing this Black Friday for my email subscribers. Not a subscriber? Whatcha waiting for?

#2: Make a mini of an existing product

Instead of creating an entirely new product from scratch, create a new product that is simply a portion of an existing product at a different price point. You can take your most popular, higher-end product and offer one lesson or module, one portion of that product at a lower price. Now, instead of devaluing the entire product, you’re giving a little taste of your brilliance to new customers.

And, even better, you can use your follow-up strategy to upsell the mini-buyers in to purchasing the whole enchilada after they’ve had a taste. Mo money, mo money!

#3: Add a bonus

Instead of bringing the price down, increase the perceived value by including a free bonus. I know I’m not the only girl who spent the ’00s trying to use up all the Clinique I purchased in the ’90s during “Bonus Time.” I mean, really, how many tote bags and mini bottles of Happy does a girl need?

When you include an additional resource to an existing product, you increase the value instead of devaluing the product.

If you sell a physical product, easy bonuses are gift wrapping or expedited shipping.

#4: Create a Black Friday Bundle

Similar to adding a bonus is creating a limited-time product bundle. With a bundle, you offer multiple products together at a price that is lower than if the items were purchased individually.

A great strategy is to combine a popular product with a less popular product and offer the bundle at a discount. If you have two products that are $100 each, and one flies off the shelf and other one is getting a little dusty, you could create a bundle for $139. Your customer may not $100-love the second product, but she $39-likes it and is willing to bump up her order total to get both products.

#5: Bundle with a business bestie

This idea combines a few of the previous ideas. Create a whole new product or product bundle through collaboration. Partner with another microbusiness owner who serves a similar ideal client and create a bundle to both of your audiences.

You aren’t devaluing your existing product, because the price and value of the bundle is higher than your stand-alone product.

And, even better, your product is being offered with endorsement to your collaborator’s audience.

Whether you sell a physical product, digital product, or a service, you can partner with someone who offers a complimentery product or service and everyone wins. You win, your partner wins, and your customers win.

Bonus Idea: Do good on Giving Tuesday

Tug at those heartstrings and generate goodwill by donating a portion of sales to a non-profit organization on Giving Tuesday.

Select a charity that is meaningful to you and your ideal client, and give back. Let your customers know exactly what you’re doing, whether it’s 5% of all sales, 10% of a specific product, or 100% of your profit. Then, once you’ve made the donation, thank your customers for making it possible.

You do not need to give away the farm to have a successful Black Friday promotional strategy. Tell me which idea you will be implementing in the comments.

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