It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to capitalize on your warm audience.

With the holiday season right around the corner, there is so much opportunity to serve your audience and grow your business.

But only if you know how to strategically leverage these times in your marketing and ads.

If you’re like me and have a plan to finish out 2020 strong, tune in to today’s episode for my secrets on marketing during Black Friday and going into the New Year.

I’m splitting it up into two different segments.

First, I’m covering everything you need to know about marketing for Black Friday, including:

  • Choosing your sale + deciding if it’s right for you
  • How to strategically and cohesively plan your promotion
  • Setting your sales goal + ad spend budget to maximize your profits

Next, I’ll show you how to leverage the time from December leading up to New Year’s by crafting messaging that hits on their biggest pain points and desires for their 2021 goals, and how you can meet them where they’re at to best serve them.

Tune in and let me know if this episode sparks any inspiration for your holiday marketing plans over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!

If you need support in planning your Black Friday/ holiday sales and your strategy for going into December and the New Year, we’ve got your back. Apply to work with Team Hirsh today at helpmystrategy.com.

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello everybody, welcome back to the podcast. I’m recording this going, oh my gosh, today is going to be a crazy day the day this podcast comes out because it’s election day. So who knows what will be happening when you’re listening to this, but I am excited for it to be over and us to just get to the other side of this and have whatever’s going to happen, happen and deal with it. Cause that’s all we can do, right? So I hope you guys are having a great week. We’re into November and two more months left of the year. What a crazy year. I know that for myself, I am willing to make it the best possible. It’s been an amazing year for me on so many different levels and also very challenging on other levels. 

Of course, we always have challenges. Everything, Brooke Castillo says everything is 50 50, right? You’re only going to be happy and everything’s great. 50% of the time, and the other 50% of the time you’re dealing with negative emotions or experiences or challenges. And that’s the life for everybody, no matter how successful you are, no matter where you are in your career, no matter where you are in your business. That is the reality. That’s something that’s really helped me this year, but this year has been actually incredible for our growth, for my own growth personally, every part of my life personally, and in my relationships and business has all been really incredible. 

And I’m actually taking this week, I talked about it a little bit, but I’m taking it off and I’m calling it CEO week. I made it up and I am going to be basically, I actually made a schedule because I have things that, of course I did. I have things that I want to get done during this time, but I will be doing a bunch of thinking time meditation, self care appointments, walks, really just giving myself time to recalibrate from the launch because the launch was such an amazing experience and so much came out of it, of ideas and what’s next and projects. But I’ve learned over the years as an entrepreneur that you really have to give yourself that gap and space, because sometimes even though you think you’re thinking clearly, if you don’t give yourself that space, you really, you know, you might not be thinking clearly and you need to give yourself that time to actually recalibrate process and white space to think, which we just don’t have a lot of. So that’s what I’m doing this week. Also when the world could be crazy, but that doesn’t matter.

Today what I want to talk about, it does matter, but today what I want to talk about is the holidays. I promised you guys this episode in a previous one, marketing through the holidays and strategies for the holidays. So I’m going to kind of split this into two. We’re going to talk about Black Friday, and then we’re going to talk about December, Christmas and like going into the New Year’s, cause there’s a lot of potential there too. And this is some just overall best practices for marketing during the holidays. 

The first thing is Black Friday. So a lot of people, here’s the biggest mistake they make is they decide to do a Black Friday sale like a week before Black Friday. So if you’re listening to this episode now in this week, like start thinking about do you want to do a Black Friday sale? We pre, like we have already sent out an email to our clients where we’re pushing it. We’re talking, having the conversation for, you know, does it make sense for them? And ideally we get everything done by the middle of November so we actually can have a really successful Black Friday promotion because we have things done in advance. 

So first thing is to start thinking about, obviously, you know, as much as you can ahead of time, do you want to do a black Friday sale? And what will that Black Friday sale be? And here are my strategies on actually running it and what you should choose. So Black Friday, for most people, most businesses, like maybe with e-commerce is an exception depending on the brand, is all about your warm traffic. You’re going to put an offer potentially at a discounted good price that you don’t normally offer at this price, but your audience knows about the offer. And that’s kind of like one of the keys to success because they’re already convinced that it’s something they wanted. And the reason why, you know, sales like Black Friday work is people are like, oh, I haven’t bought it yet, now I have this no-brainer reason on why I need to buy it because it’s on sale. And so I’m going to do it now and that, you know, that’s why it works.

And so instead of stressing about, running ads to people who don’t know you in promoting your sale, that really doesn’t work because they are bombarded with advertisements, people are during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Like, people are just bombarded with offers, and so really like lean into your warm audience and create a whole strategy. So don’t just look at the ads, or just look at the emails, or just look at your social posts. You should be coordinating all of those. 

So the first step is obviously deciding what your sale should be, and this is going to vary greatly based on the business. It can be a percentage off your course or your product. It can be courses bundled together as one sale. It can be X amount off of your services. Whatever you decide, make it completely irresistible, but don’t go so low that you’re going to lose money. I’ve also seen people do that, where they do a massive Black Friday sale and they put it so low that it’s like, they kind of regret it. Don’t do that. You know, put it at a price where you’re still profitable, it still feels good to make the sale, or don’t do the Black Friday sale. I’m not saying you have to do one. This is if you want to do one and make the decision, yes or no I want to do one. And then if you do decide, what product you want to sell, how you want to potentially bundle it, and what that price and that discount that irresistible offer is going to be for your audience. 

Then the next thing is going to be planning the actual promotion and for this to actually work. My recommendation is that you plan social posts, strategic emails to your list, and then ads that you can run re-targeted to all of your warm audience. So your email list, your video viewers, your web traffic, your engagement on your page and Instagram, anybody who’s come into contact with your brand and has a high chance of actually knowing what you offer, what problem you solve you would want to target to this promotion. So those are the steps. 

And a lot of people have been asking us, at least our clients, of like when to run the promotion. Now, of course this can vary, but typically what I recommend is having the promotion start either late Thursday night after Thanksgiving or early Friday morning and run all the way through that Monday and have that be your sale. So a long weekend sale is what we generally recommend. Like I said, you should be timing an email or two every day with the promotion to your list, as well as the re-targeted ads, and as well as your organic social posts to create a full, holistic promotion that is successful. 

Now, another piece that you know, of course I’m going to say this, if you follow me you know, I want you guys to set number goals. So I actually had a friend recently ask me, hey we’re doing this Black Friday promotion. What’s your opinion on how many I should sell? Like, what should I set the goal as? And the thing is, they’ve never done the promotion, so they don’t have that data. So I said, well set a goal. Set a goal that you feel like I’d be really excited if we sold this many. Make it realistic, but also the other piece that you need to have here is what is the amount you’re willing to pay with your ads to acquire that customer? Because you may not know exactly how much it’s going to cost you if you’ve never run this sale before. 

So let’s say you’re selling your course at a discounted price and you’re going to run ads discounted to that course. You may not have ever done this before, so it’s hard for you to say, okay, I have to spend X amount of dollars to achieve 50 sales, or whatever it is. Have the number of your sales goal going into your promotion so you and your team, you’re on the same page with your goals, Make it realistic so you guys can hopefully like hit it and celebrate versus make it so far off and you don’t even hit it. But also what you need to know, the metric you need to know is throughout this promotion, especially with ads, of course, what are you willing to pay per customer that you acquire? And that will help you make the decision on how much you should spend. 

So let’s say your goal is I want to sell 50 courses and my course is regularly $500. I’m discounting it down to $300 for Black Friday. I think I can get half of my sales through my email, into my organic channels, or I want to sell half through ads and I’m willing to spend $150 to acquire a customer. So then that gives you your ad spend 150 times, what did I say? 50 sales, 25? That would be your ad spend that you’re willing to spend. And you may not even need that. It is warm traffic, so you don’t need as much ad spend, but going into a promotion this is what I want you guys to know and to have those numbers and not just dive into it and be like, I don’t know, we’ll just set the budget at $50 a day and see what happens. Because then you might be day two in the promotion and wishing you spent more money because you only have two more days left.

So go into that with a daily ad budget that you have set aside. Base it off of two things. How many sales do you want to get? But also the amount you’re willing to pay per sale. And of course, those sales with your ads would be how many sales you want to get directly from your ads, cause you’ll have hopefully your email and your organic channel also driving some sales. So those are the majority of my black Friday sales strategies. 

The last thing I’ll just say that’s really important, and a mistake that people make is they think because they’re offering a discount on their product, that that’s convincing enough for people to buy. In order for this to still work and this promotion to still be successful, you can’t throw out the window everything we know about marketing, which is we have to talk about what that offer does for the person, the pain that they might be experiencing and why they need that offer right now, testimonials, case studies, leveraging that credibility. You still have to sell. You still have to convince your audience, and so don’t look past that. 

And I’ve seen people do this a lot because they’re so focused on the sale, and on coordinating the sale, and on the discounted amount of the sale, this is especially true for digital products because physical products are a little bit easier. You still have to do this, but it’s a little more obvious with the physical product. Like you either like it, or you don’t. Either want it, or you don’t with a physical product. And so it’s a little easier, but with a digital product, such as a course or a service, you still have to sell. You still have to talk to those benefits. You still have to talk about why your potential lead and customer should buy this right now versus in a month from now, and why they need it in their life or their business right now, and what the benefits for them are. 

I recently had a conversation with someone who was explaining their offer to me, and she was like, well, my offer is different because we put all this research and money and time into it, and so that’s why it’s better. And I was like, I’m not trying to be mean, but nobody cares about that. And nobody cares about the research and the time and the money and the energy you’ve spent putting into the offer to make it better than everybody else’s. They care about what it’s going to do for them. So any time you’re talking about it in a video, in ad copy, in your emails, in your social posts, you need to speak to those benefits and to, okay, you’re in pain or you’re here right now, you want to be here and my offer is the answer to that in some sort of way.

So don’t forget that when you go into a sale. And of course you’re going to focus on the urgency of the sale, that it ends Monday night and that’s going to be pushing sales, but you’re also going to have to convince them based on the benefits of the offer itself and why they need it. So don’t forget that in your messaging, very, very important. 

So that’s Black Friday plan your plan, your potential promotion, plan out your budget and what you’re willing to pay to acquire a customer based on how much your product costs, that gives you an ad spend. Make sure you have a down to a daily ad spend that you’re going to spend throughout your promotion and then create compelling messaging and copy and assets that push that promotion through all of your channels, to your warm audience, so organic social media, your email list, and ads are probably the main places you’ll be doing this. Maybe if you have something like a podcast, you’d be putting it on that podcast as well. So thinking through that, so you can hit people in all the different areas will help you really get the most out of the promotion. Which I always think, you know, whenever you are committing, if I’m going to commit to do a promotion in my company, that means myself and my team. We’re putting not just money behind it, but effort and energy. and so let’s make it the best we can or let’s not do it at all. 

And so if you listen to this and you’re like, I don’t have the capacity to create a promotion where I can put it out on the channels and I can really think through it and I can write the copy and I can create powerful messaging, don’t do the sale. Like don’t do a Black Friday sale just to get a couple of sales. Do a Black Friday sale to make a splash, to have a really great weekend like that for your business and really leverage and capitalize on hopefully the leads and the audience that you’ve been building. That’s why sales are always so awesome because you’ve been building this audience that you then get to kind of capitalize on. And this is where like long game marketing comes into play. Do it for that reason. Don’t just do it because you think you have to, you don’t have to. Last year, we didn’t even do a Black Friday sale because I didn’t have the bandwidth to put it together properly and I’m not going to do it just to get a couple sales. You know, it’s not worth it. It’s not worth the time and energy from the team. I’d rather put it into whatever is working right now. So that is my advice on Black Friday. 

Now let’s talk about going into December and the New Year, because there is a ton of opportunity in this month. December is oftentimes some of our clients and our best month in new clients signed because so many people, especially if you’re targeting entrepreneurs and business owners, but also if you’re targeting people in the health and wellness, like so many different industries, health, and wellness and entrepreneurs, they are already thinking about the New Year. During this time, they might be like stressed out a little bit about the holidays. They might be busy. They might be maybe waiting for things to happen, for the holidays to be over before they do something. But I feel like you can actually create this messaging in during this time where it’s like stop waiting for January one to see results, do the, you know, do this, do what I offer, get your marketing in order, get your business plan in order, create this product or get your health in order and your diet or whatever you offer. Like you can leverage that messaging to actually have people preparing for January. So don’t do a Black Friday sale or run ads through the end and be like, well, I’m just going to take December off and just like wait and see, because it’s actually a great time for marketing iif you can hit the messaging, right? 

So this is where, and I did talk about this in the last podcast episode about overall marketing and Q4, but you have to remember that any time you’re advertising, you need to meet your lead and your potential customers where they are at. So for example, I know that my customers will be thinking about 2021. They’re going to be thinking about their business growth, their potential marketing plan, how are they going to get the sales that they want? And so I will be speaking about setting up your business and your marketing for 2021, creating that marketing plan, setting up potentially your ads team or your ads plan before January one. Like let’s do it now so we can pre-plan, we can get ready, we can be organized for that. So making sure your messaging speaks to where your audiences now can make December a really successful month, especially the New Year messaging.

There are so many businesses and niches and audiences that this is relevant for if you do it right, because a new year for people is such a, just it’s powerful. Most people are thinking differently and are excited and are ready to invest in their health, their business, their relationships, themselves when a new year is coming. And that doesn’t mean you have to wait until January one for that to happen. And so whatever you offer, think about how do I connect with my audience in the month of December and going into January and through January, where I’m able to speak to wherever they’re at, whatever they’re going to be thinking and whatever they’re going to be going through, whatever they need during this time. And I’ve actually seen really successful launches happen in early December. Obviously don’t like open your cart over Christmas, but we’re going to be doing a live experience in early December because I think so many people are still working, you know, up until fall Christmas and after. 

You know, people actually don’t take a lot of time off, but let’s say they do, but what happens is people are thinking differently. And so if you can really leverage that for your business and connect with people in that way and serve them in that way, the way that they need, you’re able to really create opportunity for yourself in a time where you might’ve been like, I’ll just wait till January. So don’t do that because I really have actually seen December be extremely successful for many businesses when done right. Even the week between Christmas and New Year a lot of people are like, well, I don’t know, should I? And ads, I’ve seen ad costs go down because I think my theory is during that week, people do take time off, but they’re on their phones more. They’re sitting around on Facebook, on Instagram more.

And it was just like when COVID hit, that was happening. People were like super tuned into super social media because of everything that was going on. And so opt-in costs like dropped. So while sales might dip a little bit during that week, sometimes I think that it’s a great opportunity to still get people watching videos, engagement ads, lead generation ads, and just planning for that. Which is also, you know, I did touch on that deeper in the last episode, but if we go into quarter four or these months or these promotions with realistic expectations in our marketing for what we want to get out of it, then we’ll be fine. So if we think between Christmas and New Year’s that we might get less sales, but we’re going to still focus on lead generation or brand awareness or both, then we’re going to be fine. But if we go into it and we’re like, well, if sales dip I’m out, I’m turning my ads off. Well, then you’re going to, that will probably happen. You know? And you’re, and you’re just kind of setting yourself up for that failure. 

So in December, going into December, after you think about Black Friday and either decide to do a promotion or not do a promotion, think about how you can leverage that time, because it’s a very powerful time of year. People think about their life differently and are very willing to invest. like I said, in growth, both during that time period, which also applies to so many different industries and niches and audiences, that if you do it intentionally and you do it from a place of serving your audience with what they’re going to need based on the experience they’re having, you can create a lot of opportunity for your business.

So that is my advice on leveraging the holidays for your marketing. And whatever you do, try and do it organized and preplanned and very powerful messaging with goals set up. Don’t go into any live this in a chaotic way or an overwhelm, last minute way. Cause like I said, there’s no point, then you may as well just not do a special promotion. If you’re going to come at it from that place, let’s make it really, really effective. 

Now, if you want support with any of this, you can reach out to Team Hirsh to see if you qualify to work with us. If you need support with your black Friday sales, it’s getting close, but we still can definitely help people with that, but also going into December and the New Year and really setting up a solid marketing strategy. So if you want support with that from planning the ads, planning the funnel, implementing the ads then the funnel, you can go to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify to work with us to get that free, you get a free strategy audit with our team. And then from there we will go through where your business is at and what makes sense for you and the next steps. Thanks so much guys, and I’ll talk to you on Thursday.