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It’s the end of August and my brain is in yard work, back to school shopping for my daughter, and last days
of summer adventure mode.
It seems like I have all the time in the world until the holiday buying season (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday); but believe it or not, now's the time to start preparing.
Just remember back to that hectic, last-minute rush last year (I’m sweating just thinking about it). Let's not relive that.
Why the urgency?
US consumers spend more in this time period than any other weekend of the entire year.
Cyber Weekend is the largest online sales period many of us will experience in the entire year. In 2022, US consumers dropped a record $9.12 billion online on Black Friday, and a whopping $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday last year was hailed as the largest online sales day ever!
And it’s not just Amazon and Walmart who see a
surge in sales, American Express estimates shoppers spent $17.9 billion during Small Business Saturday in
What should you do about it?
Decide on your promotional strategy.
The biggest strategic decision you should focus on making soon is what your unique Black Friday - Cyber Monday (BFCM) offer will be. Potential customers are definitely willing to open their wallets over BFCM, but they’ve been trained to have an expectation that they’ll get something special or extra as part of the deal.
Here are a few things to think
- Discounts: This is the most obvious one. BFCM deals are so popular that entire websites pop up tracking the best of the best. You should consider some sort of financial discount as part of your strategy. Don’t feel like you need to slash prices to the bone, there are other ways to stand out.
If you’re going to discount - make that discount works for you. Make sure you explicitly call out the cost savings.
Research suggests that if your product is under
$100, you should show the discount as a percentage (eg. 20% off). If it is over $100 you should show the discount as a whole number (eg. $20 off).
- Free shipping: Another popular option if you’re selling a physical product.
- Bundles: This is a great option if you’re selling a course or digital content like fitness plans or design assets. Put
together a bundle of your best content and offer it at a discount.
- Bonus content: For example, if you sell a course, offer an extra worksheet or tip-sheet. If your course is written content, consider adding a bonus video lesson.
Whatever your strategy, you will want to focus on the time-sensitive nature of your offer. To add an extra layer of urgency, consider only offering a limited number of slots, or calling out limited
Build your bench of potential customers.
Offer a webinar or new lead magnet (you can create these in less than a day) to build up
a list of folks who are prequalified to want what you have to offer. If you’re a course creator or service provider, this can give potential buyers a taste of what you have to offer. It also positions you as an authority in your niche.
Prepare your marketing theme.
Once you’ve nailed down your strategy, it’s time to put your actual marketing messages together.
In my opinion, the single most powerful thing you can be doing right now is gathering
testimonials from your customers.
Testimonials give your product a sense of legitimacy and help prospective customers feel like they’re getting a more objective review of your content than they do from your promotional messaging. Also, there’s no better way to come up with marketing messaging than to use the words of happy customers who actually paid for what you sell. They know why they bought it, and what it actually did for
When I need testimonials from AWeber customers, I (ready for it) send them an email. I’ve found that people are usually stoked about the service and willing to share why. All it takes is an ask.
You can use segmentation to only send your request for a testimonial to people who have purchased from you in the past.
Once you have testimonials in hand, make them the cornerstone of your marketing campaign. Analyze the testimonials to find common themes and interesting ways your customers describe the benefits of your product, Use those themes and words to craft your messaging, and include quotes from customers in your social posts, ads (if you run them), and emails.
Map out your email flow.
Folks are going to be hit with a deluge of offers
around BFCM, so it’s important you plan a strategy that catches people’s attention early. One email, on the day of your offer, is probably not going to work for you. Your goal is to build excitement for your offer in the week leading up to BFCM.
To get your creative juices flowing, we put together a campaign template showing how you could structure your email in the week leading up to BFCM.
To get started, just grab a piece of paper and map out the messages you think will get your audience excited to take advantage of your offer when you send it to them.
Audit your site and checkout flow.
You’re going to be driving a lot of attention to your site, it’s important that it works. Here’s a quick
checklist of things to test to make sure prospective customers can turn into actual customers:
- Can someone actually purchase your product? Go through the purchase flow yourself to make sure there are no technical issues, or opportunities for confusion.
- Can people navigate your site and make a purchase on a phone? For the first time, most online sales during the five-day Cyber Week period came from mobile: 51% in 2022 versus 46% in 2021.
- Are your images and videos clear?
- Is my website content easy to
understand? I like to ask a friend to read my website copy and describe back to me what the benefits of my product are. Avoid jargon or technical terms at all costs.
- Is there a single, clear call to action? Tell people what you want them to do, such as "Buy now" or "Sign up for the course." Make sure your call to actions are clear and prominent.
Finally, whenever you make changes to your website, it's important to test and monitor it to make
sure it's working properly.
That might sound like a lot to do, but trust me, if you start now and make a little progress every day you’ll be in a solid position come Black Friday.
Start with one small step today to get the ball rolling. I’ve pulled a few easy ones out from the steps above:
☑️ Ask 1 customer for a testimonial.
☑️ Test that your website works well on a phone screen.
☑️ Write down 3 ideas for a bonus to offer as
part of your BFCM offer.
What did you think of this email?
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[New] Keep your formatting when you paste
If you write your content in Google Docs, Word, Notion, or another editor and then paste it into AWeber, I know you don’t want to spend
precious time reformatting content to match your email template.
That's why we've updated the message editor to ensure that your pasted content adopts the text formatting of your template. These improvements will make you more efficient and ensure your emails have a polished look.
When you copy content from editors like Google Docs, your clipboard carries a tremendous amount of formatting junk. When you paste that content into AWeber, we keep the important
details and discard the rest.
You'll be happy to see that your headlines, links, and basic text formatting will land perfectly into your message, allowing you to focus on writing and not waste time fixing formatting problems.
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As always, thanks for reading!
- Chris V. and the rest of the AWeber team
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