This year, we wanted to document our Black Friday/Cyber Monday journey and discuss some of the key results from the brands we worked with. More often than not, we see this period as a time where stock is heavily discounted and prices are slashed. Unlike other agencies, our boutique agency is focused on profit, not revenue. We want to give our clients the opportunity to make as much profit as possible, and so for this reason, we aren’t always the biggest advocates for discounting.
In the last fortnightly roundup, I described heavy discounting during the silly season as “working harder, not smarter”. To circumvent our brands from falling into this trap, we decided to prepare well-thought out BFCM strategies from August onwards that weren’t just driven by percentage-based discounts. So what was our process?
At the start of August, we sent an in-depth questionnaire to each of our clients covering a range of topics regarding inventory levels, VIP customers and margins. This gave us the tools we needed to strategise what would work best in each account, and after 6 weeks of planning and preparation, we came back to all of our clients with a rigorous plan to get the most out of BFCM.
So what worked? This year, we used a range of tried-and-tested promotion tactics and squeezed in a few newbies too! In particular, we saw gamification as a stand-out method across all the accounts we used this in. Race add-to-cart incentives drove insane conversions by creating hype and FOMO. The best part about a race incentive is that it drives sales without sacrificing insane amounts of profit. Pushing traffic to the website meant that even those who didn’t receive one of the race discount codes were still reaching the checkout and converting.
Another method we tested this year was a closed subscriber-only sale. We like to compare this method to the tortoise and the hare analogy. While a closed sale appears to reduce those immediate short-term wins you get from heavily discounting to the public, it has major long-term benefits that in-turn, provide much healthier BFCM results. How so? Closed sales are focused on two things; list growth and motivated customers.
Our clients that used this strategy were able to offer a smaller promotion with even greater conversions by focusing just on increasing subscribers and those genuinely engaging with the brand. Not to mention, the exclusivity factor also played a major role in converting sales. This method does require strong planning and preparation though, so it’s important that all marketing channels are on board with promotional activity in the month leading up to BFCM.
For this particular client generated we where able to generate 9,299 new subscribers during the course of their five day sale.
Additionally, our clients that used spend and save offers saw fantastic results! Spend and save is a great way to drive conversion and increase average order value. Offering a higher promotion to big spenders avoids the chance of heavily discounting to those customers making just small purchases on your site. This ultimately meant that our clients using spend and save offers were able to maximise sales without jeopardising their profit margins. It’s also important to note that spend and save doesn’t have to be based on discounts either. One of our clients saw great results using free shipping and a free gift with purchase. We highly recommend giving this tactic a go!
Now to get into the juicy number crunching, we thought we’d attach some of the recap emails we sent to our clients.
This detailed the results of their campaigns and flows as well as growth metrics on this time last year. Across the board, we saw some really incredible results.
An average of 44% of total revenue across all clients that participated in BFCM was attributed to their Klaviyo based email marketing, totaling at an incredible $1,038,758.
While BFCM is the most exciting time of year for many brands, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. If the right strategies are not implemented from the get go, many brands can be left disappointed, over-expensed and at worst, unprofitable. So what do we advise to stay away from during the BFCM madness? We’ve listed a few of our top points for your next BFCM below.
- Avoid heavily discounting prior to BFCM. This should be your biggest sale of the year!
- Don’t decide on your BFCM promotions at the last minute. This should be strategically planned months in advance by looking at previous data, inventory levels and profit margins.
- Don’t just offer a percentage-based discount. While this does work, we highly recommend testing different methods that can result in greater profit margins.
- This is probably our favourite - Don’t be a sheep, be a goat. Although it’s very easy to follow the crowd, what works for others might not necessarily work for your brand. It’s vital that you think about your brand’s identity and remember your USP when deciding on your BFCM strategy.
- Don’t be afraid to test! Try different offers on different days to gauge what your audience is most responsive to.
- If your brand values don’t align with BFCM, then don’t feel pressured to get involved. It’s okay to say no!
- And finally, don’t let the agencies that you work with be the ones to craft your offer. Be sure to run your numbers and figure out what works for you.