This month at eCommerce Growth, our focus is on Q4 and planning for Black Friday Cyber Monday for our clients'. I’ve always had the rule of thumb for using the 5P’s for success - “proper planning prevents poor performance” and so with that, here’s Part 1 of our Black Friday Cyber Monday edition.
The biggest problem with Q4 is that if you're not careful, it can be the most unprofitable quarter of the year. You see, excessive discounting is one of the biggest killers to any brand in the eCommerce world, and Q4 generally means BIG REVENUE AND DISMAL PROFITS or quite simply as I like to put it WORKING HARDER NOT SMARTER…
I remember last year seeing numerous brands go out with discounts of up to 70% off with FREE shipping and wondering how profitable they are over that period.
If you’ve read my blog post on the 8 Strategies to Convert the 8 Types of Customers Coming to You're Store you’ll know that in Australia alone, we have the - Vogue Online Shopping Night, Click Frenzy, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas related sales campaigns and Boxing Day Sales in the space of NINE WEEKS. (Out of control!)
So with this, my advice to you is, just because your competitors are participating in all 6 of these sales (and I can guarantee they’re working much harder and not smarter), doesn’t mean you have to.
The idea of this fortnightly roundup is to get you starting to think about your Q4 game plan STRATEGICALLY and planning for it now because who wants to endure *poor performance*.
Nah, not me!
TIP #1: SET CLEAR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR THE SALE PERIOD
Here’s an example of the five goals I had for a clients strategy last year.
- Turn F1s into F2s
- Turn subscribers into new customers
- Increase AOV using a three-tier approach with ‘spend and save’.
- Turn new prospects into email subscribers
- Reward VIPs
Instead of treating their entire 30,000+ email marketing database as 1 type of customer (as we all know they aren’t created equal), I created specific goals for each of them. [This should be the first thing you do when setting out you're BFCM strategy!]
TIP #2: YOUR MARKETING AGENCY OR INTERNAL MARKETING TEAM SHOULD NOT CREATE YOUR OFFERS WITHOUT YOUR FINANCIAL GUIDANCE.
As a business owner, you NEED to liaise with your marketing team on creating offers. In most cases, your marketing team or external agency won’t know your bottom line figures and therefore should not create your offers. It’s that simple. Disclaimer: And before you do liaise with your team, ensure you know your numbers! (This is a given.)
As a rule of thumb - ensure you calculate your ENTIRE marketing costs including agency fees, marketing team wages, additional customer service enquiries, add in a buffer and factor this all into your decision. This calculation is your TRUE ACQUISITION COST not what your paid traffic partners tell you it is. If your CLV (customer lifetime value) is less than your CAC (cost to acquire a customer), then you are losing money. And if you smack another 10%, 20%, 30% or 40% on top of that, then you’re losing even more.
When I’m working with brands on their strategy, I’ll always ask the brands I work with upfront for the offer(s) that they’re *financially comfortable* with. I’ll also ask for them to give me a list of any low-value dollar products, the highest value dollar products, the best selling products and stock they need/want to move or clear out that I can change up the offers with.
I then work on building them a more formal and comprehensive strategy from there for their approval.
TIP #3. BE STRATEGIC WITH YOUR OFFER(S)
Black Friday Cyber Monday generally attracts the WRONG type of low-value customers you invest so heavily in acquiring. You know, the discount hunters that only buy on sale. Generally, these customers don’t care about brand loyalty; they care about price - so, in essence, be strategic with your offer(s).
Last night I analysed a BFCM strategy I ran in a clients account last year and found that on average all 235 buyers over that weekend had spent an additional $65.61 to get a free gift that cost the company less than $7 to produce AND this was all because we were strategic about our offers. Being more strategic with our offering meant an additional $15,418.35 in revenue for that brand over the 4-day weekend.
Think about how you can increase your AOV with a free (low-value cost to the brand but high perceived value gift to the consumer) with purchase.
TIP #4. BE LOYAL TO YOUR BEST HIGH-VALUE CUSTOMERS
Most companies always reward the WRONG customers during sales periods.
The best thing you can do is use BFCM to reward your best high-value customers and foster better relationships with them. Think about ideas such as early access or VIP shopping times with specific offers for your best customers.
In essence, you should use this time to spend more emphasis on your best customers, not your worst!
TIP #5. FOCUS ON EMAIL MARKETING AND BUILDING YOUR MAILING LIST EXPONENTIALLY NOW
If you analyse your last years BFCM customers (which you can do so in Klaviyo by exporting their segment with customer data), it’s highly likely that you did not acquire them just over that weekend and that you more than likely acquired their email sometime throughout the year BEFORE the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend.
We all know that paid ads are cheaper now than over the BFCM weekend so this is why your number one goal should be focusing on growing your mailing list and acquiring new subscribers now - and not customers via paid ads over the BFCM weekend.
At the moment, I personally love competition opt-ins for supercharging list growth. It's an opt-in offer that doesn't devalue the brand or for example, takes $10 off your AOV. As long as you're proactive with list cleaning and segmenting your welcome series based on subscribers vs. customers - competition opt-ins can be incredibly beneficial to growing your email list as you can see from some of my clients’ results below.
THIS FORTNIGHTS OFFER
This fortnight's offer is a little unique as next fortnight, we’ll be launching online for sale our first-ever digital products! [Way more to come in future!] This includes:
- 50 Advanced Email Campaign Ideas for your Klaviyo Account [Including Campaign Goals, Extensive Notes on Each Campaign, Segment Ideas for Each Campaign and Segment Strategy]
- Sending a Klaviyo Campaign: Standard Operating Procedure [A Complete Checklist and How-To Guide for Sending a Klaviyo Campaign]
*Both of these digital products will do wonders for enhancing your Black Friday & Cyber Monday strategy and overall campaign strategy moving forward.*
WHY THE FORTNIGHTLY OFFERS BRYN?
*I’ve added this little snippet here to my audience as I regularly have companies offering me great deals and offers for my clients so I thought why not share them with you all.
THINGS I'M LOVING AT THE MOMENT
Tool #1: Really Good Texts. At the moment, I’m obsessed with Klaviyo's SMS functionality for my U.S. based clients. Now, I’m not as keen on SMS campaigns, but I am LOVING SMS incorporated into my clients Klaviyo flow strategies, like their welcome series and abandoned carts. If you’re struggling to find some good inspiration for SMS messages, check out Really Good Texts! They have some great examples on their site. 📲
App #2: Instagram Feed Stories. A few months ago, I stumbled across this app on the Shopify App Store. It’s essentially a way to showcase Instagram stories on your website that your visitors can watch directly from your site without having to navigate away to Instagram. You’ll see below an example on a client of mine's website Naked Harvest Supplements below. Notes: Functionality is epic but just ensure you do a site speed test before and after using this app as I’ve noticed a decrease in site speed using it.
Book #3: The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Recently I read Mike Michalowicz’s book the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and loved it. 💖 In summary, Mike’s book teaches you why a business plan is a waste of time and gives a great formula for building a better plan instead. This includes:
- Creating a Daily Metrics Plan
- Creating a Quarterly Plan
- Creating a Prosperity Plan
I highly recommend reading this book - Braedi and I are now using this method in eCommerce Growth and with our clients to ensure we are kicking more goals daily and focusing more heavily on each quarter. [You can also use the Headway App to read this book in 20 minutes if you’re time-poor and want the gist of it!]
THINGS BRAEDI IS LOVING AT THE MOMENT
Social Page #1: Gymshark's Company Linkedin. I absolutely LOVE Gymshark’s Company LinkedIn page if you haven’t checked them out already. As a successful UK based activewear company, the content team behind Gymshark always hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging content, and set a great example of how powerful LinkedIn can be to connect with customers and employees. 🎉
Blog #2: Nerd Marketing Blog. I spoke about Drew Sanocki’s article ‘ROAS vs ROMI’ last fortnight. Drew’s blog, Nerd Marketing, provides a refreshing ‘no BS’ approach to marketing and has changed the way I think about customer acquisition, retention, and evaluating marketing costs. 🖥
YouTube Channel #3: Women of Impact. This YouTube Channel and podcast is hosted by entrepreneur and founder of Quest Nutrition, Lisa Bilyeu. Each week she has different female guests on her show to talk about anything from business, to psychology, and much more! I love to put an episode on in the background while I’m getting ready in the mornings as each episode is incredibly insightful and inspiring; the perfect way to start the day.
INTERESTING PROJECTS WE'RE WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT
This month, we’re working on a Klaviyo based project for Alkira Skincare. Brother and sister team, Alison and Simon, are the original creators and founders of one of Australia’s most successful natural skincare brands Sukin!
Check out their site, branding and photography! It’s no wonder these guys are a powerhouse when it comes to creating beautiful and stunning brands! #supportlocal