Now is the time you should be constructing a good campaign to capitalize on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday. These faux holidays help retailers and merchants unload unsold stock and help turn their books from red to black. So how can a small business get the upper hand on Black Friday? I’ll share nine helpful tips for small businesses to market themselves for Black Friday.
Face it; you won’t be able to beat Wal-Mart or Best Buy selling bargain HDTVs and Xbox Kinects next week. However, Wal-Mart and Best Buy don’t have your service, your expertise or your fantastic customer service. Likewise, American Express has sponsored a nationwide effort to promote shopping locally on Small Business Saturday to help consumers support their local economy. You might be interested in checking that out – you could easily get your hands on $100 of Facebook Ads credit.
I’ve included nine solid marketing tips for Black Friday. If you have others, let us know in the comments below!
- Differentiate your marketing.
Understand that as the holiday shopping season goes full throttle, so do the marketing messages prospects receive. Make your message clear, understandable and to the point. That means shorter emails, fewer emails and emails that are more effective. Add a complimentary channel to your mix by marketing a special offer via a postcard. It’s different from email and results in a favorable response from your contacts.
- Offer extended support and service.
This is important.People are sometimes impulsive and need to be reassured about their purchase. Most big-box sales are final with limited exception for refunds. You could instill more trust in your prospects by having a favorable guarantee policy. Perhaps your product requires support – offer extended or premium support. The name of the game is to bundle it with your service, not bend them over a barrel when they purchase.
- Reward your most rewarding customers.
It sounds simple, but with bargain email marketing solutions, it’s much more difficult to do. Use your CRM to find your most active customers and send them a thank-you offer, like special pricing, free shipping, gift with purchase or upgrades. Similarly, you can reward customers who spend (X) amount with a credit towards their next purchase.
- Lay the bait and offer it to who responds.
What I mean by this is let your contacts know that you will have a special deal for them, but they have to let you know they are interested by clicking a link. Not only does this show you who is responsive on your list, you can better target your special offer to those who are genuinely interested in it. Feeling brave? Make the offer available to the first 10 people who click the link – then work with only those 10 people directly. It might feel uncomfortable because you’re not mass emailing the same offer to your entire list, but you’ll have better conversion and your customers will be impressed with how customized and personal your message and offer is. Infusionsoft’s Automation Links make this a breeze.
- Double-down on Google and Facebook Ads.
People are definitely going on Facebook during the holidays.(They have to in order to escape the in-laws somehow…) Double-down on your investment and go big with an attractive campaign that people want to share with their friends. Google is also a huge asset as people are looking almost instinctively for the best possible deal for products. Use targeted phrases including “Black Friday” to nail this target searcher.
It would be a crime if your favorite marketing automation software company didn’t remind you to follow up with your customers and prospects. Simply because someone didn’t purchase your special offer doesn’t mean they weren’t interested that time. Invite them to sign up to discuss your offering at a later date or for more helpful tips about typical challenges or needs your customers face in your industry. Following up with customers is just as important as prospects. Let them know you appreciate their business and start building even more trust from there.
- Hunt down bargains for your contacts.
No matter what industry you’re in, there are sure to be some great deals that you simply can’t offer that someone else can. Advocate for your contacts and let them know where there’s a special deal. It could be on electronics or even floor jacks; if you know your audience, you are in a better position to share deals that matter to people. BFAds.net is a good source to check out the bargains happening during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Be active in social media.
Savvy shoppers will ask their friends on Twitter and Facebook for best deals. Don’t you want to be a part of that conversation? Let your audience (or non-audience) be aware of your specials for Black Friday and Cyber Monday by using those in hashtags on Twitter (#blackfriday or #cybermonday, respectively). Perhaps you have a killer Facebook deal, you could ‘game’ the news feed algorithm by asking fans to like your Facebook Page to see a special offer. Apps like Wildfire App or Bulbstorm make this a bit easier for small businesses to manage. It’s not just about making sales, but it’s a good time to monetize your social media audience by offering something they like.
- Provide premium digital goods to compliment your product and service.
With the advent of digital good, you should be able to leverage the ability to package a ton of digital resources with others effortlessly. Bundling a useful training guide, free videos, or cheat-sheet to mastering a skill or area of your product can be a lifesaver to new customers. Help them out and help them trust your expertise.
These suggestions are ways to enable a business of any size to compete against the bigger dogs. That’s the beauty of all this, it requires virtually no additional budget to execute well. While your Black Friday or Cyber Monday performance will greatly vary, one thing is clear – following up with customers and prospects is a wise thing to do to keep your business top-of-mind as they have credit cards in hand.
Have you run a Black Friday offer or learned any lessons? Share your expertise in the comments below.