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How to Create an Effective Black Friday Sales Plan (Even with Limited Time)

Did you know that nearly 35% of Americans will increase their expenditure by about $441 on Black Friday? And one in five Americans will do their holiday shopping this Black Friday. This is according to a study conducted on three thousand shoppers by Emarsys. It's estimated that consumers will spend 16% more this year than in 2021.

If you haven't started planning, start now. While the most effective sales plans for Black Friday can take about three months, it's never too late to start. As we enter the one-month countdown to Black Friday, here is a list of strategies that you can employ in your business to have successful Black Friday deal sales (even with limited time).

Build SMART Goals.

The first step is to set SMART Goals. Create a list of goals for the sales plan. Ensure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-specific.

Here are some questions to help you as you develop your goals:

  • What revenue do I intend to achieve during Black Friday?

  • Are the revenue targets achievable?

  • What would be required to achieve these targets?

The key to creating achievable goals is to be 100% honest with yourself and realistic about the targets you wish to achieve. For example, if your business usually brings in average revenue of $50,000, it would be unrealistic to create a goal of earning $500,000 in sales in a month without looking at the capacity and inputs, such as marketing campaigns, that would be required to achieve that.

Do preliminary research on your customers.

By understanding your customers' interests, you can curate ads and content they are more likely to respond to, converting your leads to paying customers. Black Friday is almost here, and you don't have time to research new customer segments. It's also harder to acquire a new customer than to persuade an existing one to buy your product or service. Review your buyer profiles, find out who they are, research which items are most popular, and curate your promotions based on that.

Choose which products to sell.

Once you understand your customers better, select the products with the highest sell-out potential. Remember you want to maximize your sales on Black Friday. The planning will only lead to conversions if you have a list of focused items. Also, because of limited time, evaluating your pricing model for your products may be more challenging than just choosing a few.

Create a pricing model.

Once you have your items listed, determine what discounts to offer. Then review the pricing strategy to ensure the discount doesn't affect your cost of goods or sales. Cost of goods is the costs you have already incurred in producing the goods or the costs you have incurred while offering your products or services. Remember, you're trying to increase revenue, not lose money. The discount amount offered shouldn't lead you to losses.

Make a to-do list and block time out of your calendar.

It's time to create an action plan for your sales strategy now that you've completed the upfront work. First, include detailed steps you have to accomplish daily or weekly. This will help you stay on track to achieving your SMART goals before the big day. The next step is to block out your calendar to ensure there are no distractions to completing your tasks.

Engage your audience.

Start engaging your audience on all your social media platforms. You can create polls on stories, and entertaining or educational reels, ask questions on your Instagram posts and respond to inquiries about your products and services.Since you've already researched your customer base, you can now create content they can relate to. A highly engaged audience is likelier to see your sales offers and leads to organic conversions with a minimal advertising budget.

Keep in mind that an early launch requires an early marketing campaign so you can attract more customers to your offering(s). This will enable them to know what to expect for your Black Friday deals so they can budget and timely plan their purchases.

Revamp your website.

Did you know that most websites crash during Black Friday due to an anticipated influx of traffic? In most cases, websites have a 15-20 times higher traffic rate than usual. Is your website capable of handling such traffic?

The average site visitor spends about 52 seconds on the pages before exiting. Therefore, if your website isn't loading fast enough, you will have many ready buyers shutting down your sales page before making any purchases. During this time, reach out to your web developer to revamp and optimize your website to make it easier for your customers. Run the necessary tests to ensure every button works, check the page loading time, and make the checkout process as simple as possible.

Revise your return and refund policies.

If your value proposition is product-based, you must revise your return policies to meet the Black Friday sales campaign. Digital shoppers must have faith in a business before purchasing a product they have yet to see.

With a high sales rate also comes high return rates. You may not be able to process refunds within your usual timeframe, so revising the policies to meet the increased demand is crucial. For example, if your refund policy is seven days, and you get an average return rate of ten products a week, it may be challenging to implement the same policy with a return rate of 100 products a week.

Think in advance about your shipping plan.

If your sales plan is successful, you will get a higher number of orders. Your usual shipping plans may no longer be implementable. If you don't have an order fulfillment center, bring in an extra set of hands to package and ship your items. Ensure you revise the shipping days and add a clause that reflects your special discounts and offers for Black Friday.

Hire additional staff, volunteers, and interns.

Without a doubt, you will need an extra hand to help you with the sales. You might need an additional customer service agent, an IT expert on stand-by to troubleshoot any tech issues, and someone to help package your products. Having the right team available will ensure the sales process is seamless to help you reach your goals.

Branding and promotional copywriting.

To stand out from competitors, rebrand your social media pages and website to match the Black Friday deals theme. This helps to keep your messaging consistent. Create unique designs that align with your existing company's brand so current customers can quickly identify you. Most competitors will opt for the usual black, white and red color blends, but you can use this opportunity to differentiate yourself.

Here are a few tips that will help you with branding promotional content for Black Friday:

  • Again, be consistent with your message

  • Use simple and easy-to-read fonts

  • Don't use stock images if possible; use your own for more personalization

  • Engage with your audience and let them be a part of the process

Marketing copy is essential for any sales campaign. If you don't have copywriting skills, you can hire a short-term freelancer or a consultant to develop this for you. Essentially a great copy has the following:

  • A strong headline

  • Be bold and memorable messaging

  • Power words throughout that grab the reader's attention

  • Words that are SEO-friendly

Email your subscribers early.

Create momentum by bringing awareness of your Black Friday deal(s) to your email subscribers. Design an email marketing plan with timelines and the right copy with a call-to-action. Send the email a few days before the big day so that it's fresh on their minds. Avoid spamming your customers by finding a delicate balance between bringing awareness and conversions. Ensure the email has a compelling copy and a link they can opt-in to alert them when the Black Friday deal goes live automatically.

Develop creative sales tactics.

Many companies will have Black Friday deals running on this day. Ask yourself how you can stand out from the competition. Your differentiating factor is the edge you'll need. Some options include social media giveaways, hourly sales, buy one get one free (BOGOFs), trivia, treasure hunts on your website, and other social media platforms. The more creative your sales plan is, the more customers will buy.

Although Black Friday is only one day, this is your chance to maximize your sales and get more people to buy from you than they usually would. Remember that you can continue selling for the rest of the weekend through Cyber Monday. Even with limited time, following this short guide will give you a better shot at maximizing Black Friday sales. If you haven't started, now is the time to build that Black Friday sales plan. Black Friday is just a few weeks away.

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