Sales + Discounts: Should You or Shouldn't You
We are now headed into part three which is creating your holiday promotions so in our first segment we learned about key holiday shopping trends and those key fire you know, buying cycles that consumers and store buyers and even the media go through as we reach the holidays and then in part two we talked about all of your pre holiday marking marketing and how important that is to be prepared and we talked about how important email is for everybody and how that such a big part of your holiday marketing plan so now in part three we're going to talk about creating your holiday promotions this is where we actually decide what it is you're promoting during the holiday season and who you're promoting it to and how you're going to do it. But first I want to tackle the elephant in the room sales and discounts because I know we've been getting questions about that in our chat in our ask but and and keep those questions coming because we're definitely going to answer all of them but I know this ...
is a big question that people have should you or shouldn't you? So I'm guessing because you're all asking about it? Do you feel pressure to run sales or give discounts during the holidays because everybody else does you won't feel like that I see some good nose but I think we're getting a lot of people feeling that way online so here's the simple short answer you can run effective holiday marketing without sails and just counting one hundred percent and here's why the goal of a sale or a discount is to create a time sensitive need for your product it's to create an incentive to buy the holidays do that automatically that's the whole point people have to buy they already have a reason they already have that time sensitivity so you don't need need to discount so if you don't want to it all don't worry about it you don't have to if you want you want to talk about how to do it strategically because it can be a way to give you a strong holiday promotion for sure, but you don't have tio at all now one thing to keep in mind and researchers shown that customers to appreciate my grow discounts during the holiday season things like free shipping or free expedited shipping or even free gift wrap during the holidays so these little things can help get people to commit to buy they also make great email list sign up incentives during the holidays we haven't talked about this at all, but one of the great things that you should be trying to do for your business is all of those extra sales and those new customers that you're just going to get naturally over the holidays we want to keep them around way wanting to become repeat buyers and so, if they sign up for your mailing list, right before they buy to get that free shipping code, that now we have them in the future as we continue to market, so that could be a great way. Plus, we know that people who are signing up for our list to get something like free shipping are thinking about buying, so that could be a way to give that little micro discount without having to do a big sale. But I also want to talk about the power of the occasional emphasis on occasional and well placed sale, because youse, strategically, they can really work. Now, we've all seen, you know, all of the big box retailers who seemed to put everything on sale all the time. Any store in the mall and he big bob this week, it's, you know, it's really a matter of which promotion is it right? Is a twenty or thirty percent off today? It's, buy one, get one half off. Whatever it is, it seems like they're always running them so there's, no incentive and there's, no time sensitivity. But if you almost never run a sale, if you maybe run one, one or two days a year, or one or two times a year, those sales can be huge drivers for your business, because their occasional and in a minute I'm going to talk about some case that he's from my own business of how this works and why it's such a powerful tool but again if you don't want to don't worry about it we're going to talk about other things that you could do as well to drive sales during the holiday but if you're going to think about running a sale I want two injured introduce you to this idea of inventing your own holiday we talked in the first segment about black friday and cyber monday but how they only account for ten percent of all holiday sales but everybody feels the pressure to run a sale that weekend and what you end up doing is fighting through the noise you're trying to be one of a million brands saying go shot my sale today that's really hard to fight through especially when chances are they're going to the big retailers amazon target whoever the big stores are both online and off and doing they're having their first so not only are you shouting against all of the other makers you're shouting dance all of the other big stores as well and you're not getting hurt so if you are going to run a sale make it a stand alone event make it its own thing in its own space that you can claim now of course we know stores are running sales and discounts throughout the holiday season so there's always been the other people having sales, but you're going to be fighting through so much less if you could make it it's a stand alone piece so I just want to talk about a couple of case studies for my business and how I used the power of the occasional sale to guide customers through the awareness anticipation action cycle that we talked about in the last segment. So every year for the last couple of years iran a sale on my birthday this actually started completely by accident I was one hundred percent I don't know why don't you just count? I don't run sales I never dio and then a couple of years ago on my birthday actually nothing dubai birthday I ended up doing a hell with one kings lane and I wanted to do a sale with even if you're not familiar there one of the flash sale sites they do mostly home decor, a lot of interiors pieces and even I was selling jewelry, interior designers that's my market they loved my work so I knew that I wanted to be on one kings lane I knew it was going to be a really good fit for my product and was going to sell really well and the opportunity came up and there everything in my fail we did thirty percent off retail it just that was what we chose and it just so happened that the sale fell on my birthday just was when the timing worked out, so I did the sale and it was great. I made a lot of money in a week, and I worked really hard in a week, but I thought, okay, well, I don't have a one kings lane tell anymore, but I like giving people that just count on my birthday, it just seemed to make sense, so I decided to make it an annual thing, and I decided to do the percentage ofthe is my age some point that's going to stop because it's gonna get teo for right now, I'm ok with that because it is an incredibly time sensitive it is twenty four hours, and that is it. But it's, the on ly time in the entire year where every single thing in my website is that percentage off or even anywhere close to that percentage off I I occasionally I give the occasional maybe ten percent discount code, depending on what I'm doing, I might throw one out or throw one out to a special group, but I don't run failed like this, and so the first year I sort of threw it up on the day it happened and it was fine, I got some sales, and then the next year that I did it I gave people a little advanced morning because it's a friend pointed out to me, my birthday happens to fall at the end of october that's close enough the people are thinking about christmas gifts if they have a little advanced warning so this time about a week ahead through a social media post senate an email to my list this is coming next week much more successful just by giving people a heads up but I realized that I could do better I also decided that I wanted to run one more sale throughout the year exactly six months different for my birthday sale so I wanted to do something the end of april again one day super time sensitive but I didn't want to just d'oh the same thing as my birthday sale I decided to do it a little differently and this year was the first year that I did this and the reason I'm talking about this even though it's not holiday is because it's the first time that I really strongly applied this anticipation building as list building and it works like gangbusters so that's why I want to show you this and what I'll do is this year I'll apply the same strategy to my birthday sale what should then really work like gangbusters? We're hoping fingers crossed I'm not think I don't think fingers crossed I know it's working I've been seeing it so this sale was a little bit different in what it was was an online sample sale where I pulled pieces that were just sample sitting around my studio I sold them at fifty percent off and I did a little bit of excess inventory a thirty percent off but this is the first time where I really decided to use the sale as a way to drive email sign ups and it all sort of started happening kind of off the cuff I was making stuff up as I go along but now you guys don't have to I can I can tell you what I did and you can use it works for you so in the beginning I just said join the mailing list so you don't miss out but they're not halfway through I realized I needed a stronger called action so I decided you know it's a sample sale quantities are limited email list gets to shop an hour before everybody else that was huge because not only did it drive traffic to my list, but forty percent of the sales that day came in the first hour things sold out in the first hour because people know that they had to be there now you don't have to use quite all of these time sensitivity pieces but this just goes to show you the power of a well placed sale and in fact the sample sale this year accounted for, believe it's, right around twenty five percent of the total online sales for the first six months of this year. Then another, I believe, was twenty percent actually came in the contra collection launch, and I did a case study for that in that make a living selling what you make boot camp. So there product launch, but it's really about the same thing it's about building anticipation, and they're getting people on the email list. So when they get the email, they're just like click go by and the sample sale launch the birthday sale or the sample sale. The birthday sale and the contra collection launch are from those three action e mails or my highest open rate and my highest click through percentage emails because people were waiting for them to land in their in box so well, you don't have to do a sale. I wanted to show you the power of the occasional sale, but it only works because I don't do it very often, once or twice a year for twenty four hours. So that's a really strong incentive.