Hey there! As all of us retailers know, major sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are pivotal for that huge revenue spike leading into the holidays. But driving customers to take advantage of your ecommerce deals takes careful planning.
In this post, I'll walk you through 10 proven tactics to effectively promote your sales and special offers. We'll look at strategies across email, social media, search marketing, on-site banners and popups, and more.
So take a look at these tips for making the most of your next big ecommerce promotion and watch those sales pour in!
Start Planning Early
First things first - you'll need to start planning your major sales promotions well in advance. I'd suggest at least 2-3 months ahead for something like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. This gives you ample time to coordinate across marketing channels and operations.
Develop a promotional calendar highlighting key dates, assets needed, marketing initiatives, and responsibilities. Share this across your teams - it'll help keep all promotions, emails, social posts, and banners aligned.
Pro tip: Look back at past promotions and your most successful initiatives. See what you can replicate for this year's events. Consistency and repetition from previous wins can help boost response.
Send Early Announcement Emails
Whet customers' appetites by announcing upcoming sales in advance via email. Maybe send the first teaser announcement 2-4 weeks out from the sale. Get people intrigued about your upcoming deals and steals.
In the announcement email copy and creative, consider including:
Date when the sale starts
Any key promotions or featured products you'll highlight
Request for subscribers to opt-in for sale alerts (more on this next)
Countdown timer building anticipation
Social media follow/share prompts
This email should get people excited about your promotions, driving them to opt-in for more updates (critical for future reminder emails).
Collect Email Opt-Ins for Deal Alerts
Well in advance of your sales, enable customers to opt-in to receive special deal alert emails. These are super useful for sending reminder emails when your promotions finally arrive.
You can incorporate an opt-in form within your early announcement email mentioned above. Or, add opt-in forms on-site through popups and banners. Offer an irresistible hook like "Get Early Access to Our Black Friday Deals!"
Pro tip: Make this VIP list easy to opt into - you want to rapidly grow your subscribers. Avoid tedious multi-step opt-ins.
Send Reminder Emails Leading Up To the Sale
Once customers have opted-in to receive your deal alerts, send a series of reminder emails leading up to the sale date. This helps keep your promos top of mind. Consider about 2-4 reminder emails spaced a week apart.
In each email, highlight key details like:
Specific products/categories that will be discounted
Sneak peek example deals
Countdown to kickoff
Call-to-actions for adding items to wishlist/shopping cart
These reminder emails work hand-in-hand with your social media and search marketing initiatives covered later. The coordinated omni-channel approach provides maximum exposure.
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Craft Attention-Grabbing Email Copy
Your announcement and reminder emails need succinct, exciting copy to capture attention in crowded inboxes. Some tips:
Subject lines with "Sale!" "Deal Alert!" "Black Friday Sneak Peek". Numbers can work well too like "Our Biggest Sale of the Year - 70% Off!". Test different options.
Create urgency with dates, deadlines, limited-time offers
Bold, vivid fonts and images that pop
Focus on benefits like saving money, getting a steal, limited inventory
Clear call-to-actions to visit your site, share with friends, etc.
Keep the copy punchy and scannable - you've got 2 seconds max to get their attention!
Provide Early Access to Top Customers
If you have a formal loyalty program, offer early sneaks and access to deals for your VIP customers and brand advocates. Give your top-tier members special treatment to maintain brand loyalty.
Send them deal previews 1-2 weeks before general access. You could even give free express shipping as an extra perk. This helps turn your loyalty members into brand ambassadors who spread the word.
Promote Upcoming Deals on Social Media
Social media is key for broadcasting your ecommerce sales far and wide. Develop an extensive schedule of organic social posts across the major platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc.
Start teasing the deals about a month out. Create buzz and momentum leading up to the sales.
Try these types of organic social posts:
Sales countdown posts building anticipation
Posts highlighting specific hot deals and products to watch for
Behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at products that will be discounted
User-generated content of past purchases and reviews during big sales events
Polls and quizzes related to upcoming deals
Marking key milestones in the countdown
Responding to fan questions about upcoming promotions
Mix up text, images and short videos to catch the scrolling feed. And optimize all posts for maximum organic visibility - leverage hashtags like #BlackFriday, post at high-traffic times etc.
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Run Paid Social Ads Geared to Deals
Take your social promotion up a notch by running paid ads pointing to your ecommerce sales and products. You can geo-target customers in your service areas too.
Some effective paid social tactics include:
Product collection/catalog ads showcasing what will be discounted
Offer-claim ads for signing up for early deal alerts
Dynamic retargeting ads with special deals for those who abandoned carts
Messenger ads that drive conversations and sales
Lead generation ads offering free shipping for email sign-ups
Installation/promotion of your social media shopping apps leading up to events
Make your ads focused 100% on deals and savings to maximize sales.
Optimize Landing Pages for Sales Events
About a month before your big promotional events, develop dedicated landing pages for the sales themselves. These are critical for capturing emails, social follows, and driving traffic to shop deals.
Your landing pages should include:
Huge sales headers/banner images
Email sign-up forms for deal alerts
Social follow prompts
Countdown timer to the launch date
Sample featured deals and products
Links/buttons to shop the sales
Drive traffic to these pages through your email, social, and search efforts. They focus visitors on your promotions and convert sales. Don’t send people just to your homepage - create these dedicated hype-builder pages!
Run SEO and PPC Traffic to Deals Content
Optimize search visibility for deal-related content and product pages leading up to big sale events. This helps people who are actively hunting for your promotions.
For SEO, create blog sales guides well in advance that target keywords like “your brand Black Friday deals”, “your brand Cyber Monday promos”, related product keywords + “sale”. Make the content all about deals.
For PPC, build out keyword campaigns around branded and non-branded deal terms. Bid aggressively on Black Friday-specific keywords in the weeks leading up to the sale date.
Drive all of this SEO and PPC traffic to either your sales landing page, or directly to related product pages that will be discounted. Popping in search is key for deal-seekers!
Launch Special Sitewide Banners and Popups
Make your ecommerce site impossible to miss when your sales go live. Create bold, branded banners and popups across the homepage and other key pages. These should consistently promote:
The sale and discounts
Links directly to the relevant category and product pages
Countdowns expiring soon
Social sharing/follow CTAs
Email signup forms for future deal alerts
Refresh banners and popups frequently with different designs, colors, imagery and calls-to-action. Keep them prominent everywhere - at the header, page body, footer, sidebar etc.
Make the experience feel like a non-stop promotion party!
Send More Reminder Emails During the Sale
Keep sending reminder emails when your sales actually hit. Aim for at least 2-3 emails during the first few days of the promotion.
Reinforce the key deals and savings, share new flash discounts, and use urgency to encourage immediate purchases.
These “last chance” style emails work great for driving more revenue during the sale period. Keep the reminders coming!
Run Retargeting/Remarketing Ads
Retarget shoppers who visited your site but didn’t purchase with Google/social remarketing ads. Showcase specific products they viewed or have in their carts.
For Facebook remarketing, create a Custom Audience of all site visitors during your sale period. Then target them with ads for individual products on sale or reminders for the expiring discounts.
This technique helps you rescue and convert abandoning visitors. Keep your deals in front of them across the web!
Offer Free Shipping or Site-Wide Discounts
Remove barriers to purchase with enticing free shipping or percentage-off sitewide offers during peak sale times.
You can gate these behind email signup, sms sign-up, social shares/follows if you want subscribers. But removing friction with free shipping or 10-20% off everything can incentivize buying.
Sweeten the deal for your shoppers! Just remember to promote the heck out of site-wide discounts prominently across all marketing channels - they should be the headline.
Analyze Performance and Optimize
Carefully analyze performance and metrics across all campaigns and channels during and after your big sales. Key indicators to monitor:
Email metrics like open rates, CTRs, unsubscribes
Social engagement and clicks
Paid social ROI and conversion rates
SEO and PPC traffic to landing pages and product pages
On-site behaviors like pages visited, clickthroughs, cart additions, purchases
Lifetime value and churn rate for newly acquired subscribers and customers
Look at which initiatives drove the most revenue and engagement. Then double down on those wins for your next ecommerce promotions. Rinse and repeat.
The Power of Promotions
Major sales events require an all-hands marketing approach to succeed. But properly planned promotions can truly explode your ecommerce revenue.
Now you’ve got a blueprint of tactics across email, social, SEO, ads, onsite popups, and more! Use these tips to make your next big sale a blockbuster. Let me know how it goes - I always love to hear your success stories.
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