Marketing Strategy Guide for Stress-Free Holiday Selling Part 2: Know When and How to Offer Your Deals

We have Made Freshly sharing the second part of their holiday sales marketing tips. This one focuses on nailing the schedule for your sale. Hope you find it helpful!

If you read Part 1 of this guide, you now know how to create content to promote your holiday sales, but you’re probably still feeling a bit overwhelmed. 

You need to know which deals to run on which days to maximize your holiday sales.

Enter: Part 2. Here you’ll find example sale templates for day-by-day execution and marketing strategies for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year’s Sales.

But before things get too crazy, have everything organized in our downloadable Promotional Content Calendar found in the Holiday Guide Checklist. At this point, you’ve created your promotional copy and images so all you need to do is copy and paste. (And if you haven’t, read Part 1!) If you get your content and strategy ready beforehand, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done and your sale will run a whole lot smoother.

But before you go riding off into a wonderland of sales, there’s still part two of "The Mega-Ultimate Holiday Planning and Marketing Strategy Guide" that will walk you through just the right times to get the right deals out there for more sales–with detailed and proven successful sale examples!

Here’s How to Time Each of Your Holiday Deals–From Beginning to End

Hold on to your jingle bells. Now that you have all of your marketing material ready, let’s get into the actual execution of your sales.

Keep in mind these are examples and you should adjust your deals based on your profit margin!

IMPORTANT: In the big scheme of the holidays, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to bring you the most money, so your best deals should be focused during that time.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales

The worst thing you could do is offer the same deal every day during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping spree. The trick is to run the sale from Friday all the way until Tuesday and offer deals strategically to push people to buy with a sense of urgency and exclusivity. Remember, this is a specific example of a sale. Yours will vary but this is the general flow to create that necessary urgency.

Let’s break down the timing…

BLACK FRIDAY

DEAL: Everyone is just waking up from their turkey and stuffing-induced food comas, with their eyes on the prize…KILLER DEALS!

That being said, your Friday deal should be something of serious value (second only to your Cyber Monday deal). Offer something they can’t refuse like 60% OFF or BUY 1 GET 1 FREE.

MARKETING: Your posts and ads should start to create a sense of urgency. Post things like, “Hurry and get them before they’re gone” and “Limited supply” to instantly up the value on whatever you’re selling. Let your customers see the deals for the whole week so they take full advantage TODAY.

SATURDAY

DEAL: You can see the aftermath of Black Friday, evident in the poor fitting room attendants picking up mountain-sized piles of clothes from the floors of every department store. But the shopping is not quite over and neither should your deals be.

Saturday’s deal should be less than Fridays but still appealing.

25% OFF should do the trick.

Customers will realize that they missed out on the best deal yesterday and feel like they need to buy today instead of risking losing out even more tomorrow!

MARKETING: Again, keep that sense of rarity and urgency up with posts and ads like, “One Day Only!” Still promote the rest of the week’s sales so they know tomorrow won’t be as great of a deal as today!

SUNDAY

DEAL: We’re all still eating turkey sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the shopping craze hasn’t ended either! But, things have slowed down since Friday.

So Sunday’s deal should be a tad lower than Saturday’s but still keep people’s attention as you wait to blow their minds with your Cyber Monday sale! So something like, FREE SHIPPING would work perfectly.

MARKETING: Now’s the time to make sure you share teaser posts for your Cyber Monday Sale. “Get Ready for Our Cyber Monday Sale!”

CYBER MONDAY

DEAL: The time has come. Last year’s Cyber Monday set an all time record, with an increase of 21% in sales from the previous year. Yep, that’s 2.29 billion dollars in sales. Let’s make sure your name is in the record books this year!

Make today’s deal the best one you offer, something of serious value, like 70% OFF. A good idea is to mix things up and push a different product for this sale too. Keep things interesting.

MARKETING: Don’t hold anything back today. Go big, go all out. Your teaser posts should have peaked everyone’s curiosity but today your posts shouldn’t keep any secrets. Promote the deal clearly and directly! “Today ONLY, Cyber Monday 60% off!”

TUESDAY

You might be thinking, “Shouldn’t my sale be over by now? I can’t afford to keep things marked down forever!”

Not to worry, Tuesday is the pity-deal day. There’s going to be those people that come to you saying, “Boo hoo I missed the sale! It was only yesterday…is there any way I can still get the deal?”

If you gave them the same deal you gave everyone else that was on top of their game, well, that just wouldn’t be fair! But you don’t want to shun them away either…

The magic solution = offer a smaller deal on Tuesday for those people who missed out during the mainstream craze (something like 20% OFF). The trick is, do NOT promote this deal before hand! You can promote it today: “In case you missed out…”

Christmas Sale

It’s been a couple of weeks since your Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale and Christmas is right around the corner. Most people planned out their shopping and got it done during the crazy deals you already offered. But hey, we all know that one procrastinator who leaves their gift shopping ‘til the last minute, so don’t forget about those poor, stressed out souls.

The perfect deal to offer for Christmas is FREE SHIPPING. It has become the ecommerce standard and your customers will pretty much expect it.

Decide the cut-off date (the latest day you can ship to get products out in time for Christmas) and guarantee your customers “Free Shipping in Time for Christmas” if they order by then.

New Year’s Sale

Okay, so we usually don’t celebrate with gifts on New Year’s. We’re more of giant ball countdowns in Times Square and resolutions that probably won’t last beyond February kinds of folks. But hey, it’s a holiday. Give 'em a lil’ somethin’ like 10-20% OFF.

There Will Be Questions. Have Answers Ready.

So you’ve offered the right deals on the right days, with the right marketing strategies. Give yourself a high five!

But, ensuring the success of your business doesn’t end after the sales are over. If you want your next holiday season to be just as (ahem, I mean MORE) successful than this one, make sure your customer service is on point.

Customers will always have questions. Be ready for them so you aren’t overwhelmed with a filling inbox while you’re busy enough trying to ship everything out on time. Some common questions you might get are:

  • How long will it take to ship?

  • Do you ship internationally?

  • What’s your return policy?

Start Preparing Now and Be Ready for Your Store’s Best Holiday Season

With the holidays coming up fast, there’s no time to waste! But don’t worry, it’s definitely not too late to get your online shop sale ready.

If you plan ahead and follow the strategies in part one and two of this article, it will make for an epic seasonal sale. With viral shopping comes viral sales…all that’s left to do is for you to make it rain!

(The original version of this guide appeared on MadeFreshly)

Rachel is the resident Content Fairy at MadeFreshly, the ecommerce platform that makes your passion pay off. Click here to get her actionable tips and inspiration for entrepreneurs every week!