Black Friday and Christmas sales are two of the biggest retail opportunities of the year. And, with online transactions increasingly encroaching on in-store sales, web based retailers have never been better poised to cash in.
However, reaping the rewards of the world’s biggest shopping frenzies isn’t as easy as it seems. Creating a successful Christmas or Black Friday marketing campaign takes thought and planning – otherwise, you may find your sale doesn’t quite deliver.
Here at We Influence, we achieved some amazing results for our clients over Black Friday, with some clients achieving year-on-year revenue increases of over 200%! See our case studies for some of our success stories.
With this in mind, we think it’s fair to say that we know a thing or two about creating a successful Christmas or Black Friday sale campaign. However, perhaps more importantly, we also know what can make a campaign fall flat.
Here are five reasons that your Christmas or Black Friday sale may have been disappointing…
- Not planning well enough
- Not using your learnings from last year
- Failing to advertise your plans well enough
- You didn’t stay competitive
- Your budget wasn’t enough
Read on to find out more about them and how to put them right next year…
1. You Didn’t Plan Well Enough
Planning with plenty of time advance is fundamental to the success of a Christmas or Black Friday sale campaign. If you were only just starting to think about your Black Friday campaign in November, the chances are you that you have missed a good few golden opportunities and have found yourself with too much to do in too little time.
Don’t underestimate how valuable thorough preparation is to maximise the potential of your sale. Here are just a few things you should have planned for:
- Your products. Take stock of them and decide which ones you want to include in your promotion or discount.
- A landing page. This should be done early, with your copy and products ready to go. If you had one last year, be sure to update it for any SEO value.
- Promotional graphics. These need to be front and centre on your homepage so potential customers can see you have offers available.
- Social media posts. Create some buzz around your offers well in advance and research some hashtags. Prepare any paid social media advertising.
- A content marketing calendar. Blogs or gift guides are good to have. If you want to do any outreach with influencers, this needs to be started nice and early to be executed in time.
- Making sure your ads are relevant. They need to be tweaked to push your sale. Don’t leave a PPC campaign until the day before.
These are just a few things you should be planning for. If you don’t give yourself the time to prepare them all, it will show in your results.
2. Not Using Learnings From Last Year
So, last year’s sale wasn’t what you hoped for. What are you going to do differently this year to make sure you don’t repeat the same disappointment?
If you don’t learn from past mistakes – and successes – you’re never going to see a change in your results. When the rush has died down, make sure you take the time to reflect and analyse what you’ve done. Try and identify the things you could improve on or spot any opportunities you may have missed and note them down for next year.
Don’t just focus on what went wrong, however. If you found that certain tactics worked well for you or that particular products were big sellers, then these are invaluable insights for coming sales.
Most importantly, don’t feel too disheartened if your sale seemed to be disappointing – you’ve gained valuable experience in what makes your business tick.
3. Failing to advertise your plans well enough
Again, planning is a big part of this. You could have the best sale in the world, but if people don’t know about it, it’s not going to deliver.
Wherever you are advertising your sale, whether it’s with display ads, emails or social media, you need to make sure the message you send is compelling and encourages click-throughs with strong calls to action. It is also vital that it reaches the right people at the right time, not falling on deaf ears.
Your sale message should be clearly visible on your website with banners, top page bars or a spot in your navigation bar. You could even have a countdown timer on your homepage or emails, or give customers a sneak peak at products you’ll be discounting, to create a sense of urgency and anticipation.
4. You didn’t stay competitive
This doesn’t necessarily mean undercutting your competitors with discounts you can’t afford. Pay attention to what your rivals are offering, and if you can’t discount, consider other perks such as free delivery or gifts on minimum spends. While the lowest prices might attract new customers, your loyal repeat customers may be tempted by added value.
You might also want to compare your website and user experience to your competitors’. Mobile browsing is becoming more important than ever, so if your site is lagging behind in this respect, it may be dragging your sales down with it. Make sure your site speed and navigation isn’t turning customers off and passing them straight into the hands of your competitors.
5. Your budget wasn’t enough
Did you plan in extra budget for your Christmas and Black Friday sales? If not, you may have found yourself caught short. If you are using ads, bids will become more competitive during Black Friday and Boxing Day, which will increase your expense if you want to remain visible. This should be factored in well in advance to ensure you have enough to make the most of any opportunity.
While it may cost you more, your audience is likely to be much more receptive at this time of year, making it a worthy investment. Potential customers actively want to make purchases and can easily be swayed during sale periods, so be sure to make the most of it with plenty of well-targeted ad budget that will give you the best return on spend.
So, in conclusion…
Overall, the biggest factor in avoiding Christmas or Black Friday sale disappointment is to make sure each factor planned down to detail.
If you want some help with your next sale campaign, whether it’s for Valentines Day, a summer holidays push or a special promotion, why not contact us for a chat about how we can help?
Or download our fantastic ebook, SEO SOS, to learn about how you can save you website from sinking.