Fall is here and Halloween is over, guess what’s next? Black Friday and all the craziness that comes with it. I know it looks like we totally skipped over Thanksgiving, but I promise you we did not. Actually, Thanksgiving is a huge part of what I call “The Black Friday Experience.” The whole thing kicks off on Thanksgiving evening and runs all the way through Tuesday night. But the BIG question is are you ready? Actually, the BIG-ER question is your website prepped for Black Friday and everything that revolves around it?
You may be asking yourself right now, “How do I prepare for Black Friday online?” I’m glad you asked. I’ve prepared a 10-point checklist, with resources to make sure your website and business are ready to accommodate the frenzy, traffic, and sales that come with Black Friday.
Give Your Subscribers Special Attention
First things first, give your subscribers; you know the ones who raised their hand, showed interest, and actually opted in to your list? Yes, those awesome individuals. Give them first dibs on any sales or specials you’re running. Make them feel special that they are part of your tribe. After all, your subscribers will be around long after Black Friday is over. Treating them in a special way now will make them want to hang around and see what else you’ve got for them.
- Send an email this week to let them know something special is happening for Black Friday and they’re going to love it. This will build excitement and anticipation.
- Give them a discount or coupon to use now. The Big Box retailers aren’t waiting until Black Friday to start their sales and neither should you give your subscribers an early discount on products or services and encourage them to use it now.
Let the Discounts and Sales Begin
As I said earlier, the Big Brands aren’t waiting to sell and neither should you. You’ve already got your subscribers taken care of, now is the time to bring in some new blood. Start advertising Pre-Black Friday deals. Make these deals and specials enticing, but not as good as the ones you gave to your subscribers. This gives people a reason to get on and stay on your list.
- Create a Black Friday landing page that features your top-selling products and services accompanied by a special discount code. Think McDonalds’ popular $1 Menu.
- While customers are shopping, show them a “You may also like” section that presents them with products and services others have purchased.
Create Copy that Clicks
One thing all your marketing has in common . . . copy. To be exact, exciting, click-worthy copy. Everything you produce that people read, watch, or listen to has to be exciting, on-brand, and full of information they can’t wait to click on.
Whether you’re writing emails, social media posts, signs, titles, blogs, or podcast notes, your endgame of getting your readers to click has to be the main focus. Keep in mind that people are lead to purchase based on emotion. Use storytelling to enhance the connection between you and the reader so they feel they must support you by purchasing from you.
- Your blog posts should tell your brand story in different ways. You can showcase how and why you’re different from competitors and how buyers score a win with each purchase.
- Emails should also include stories. They can be testimonials, case studies, how to’s, or even break down why NOT buying from you is a bad move.
If a prospect feels that they’re missing out, they will do something about it. Whether you’re writing copy or presenting a webinar, use the scarcity model to incentivize sales.
- Offer a defined number of products. When they’re going, they’re gone.
- Instead of decreasing the number, increase the amount they’ll pay. If you can start out with a lower price and then increase as the time goes by. Example: $97 tonight, but if you wait until Saturday, the price goes up to $147.
It’s OK to be a Little Extra
This is the biggest selling season of the year. As the quarterback does in the 4th quarter of the Superbowl, it’s time to pull out all the stops.
- Have a dedicated person on Twitter during the Black Friday Weekend. Twitter has become the new customer service contact spot.
- Add a Live Chat feature to your website so questions and comments can be addressed quickly.
You Better Come Correct with Mobility
It’s predicted that 2019 holiday retail sales will exceed $1.1 Trillion dollars. The bulk of those sales will take place online, via mobile devices. Check your website using your phone. How does your site look?
- Your website should be responsive and resize to fit the smaller screen. Use this website to see if your site is mobile friendly.
- If your website doesn’t resize, consider installing a plugin like Elementor that allows you to create landing pages in minutes. Or sign up for a service like LeadPages where you can create landing pages and link them to your domain name. It’s much easier to create a one-page landing page verses an entire website when you only have a few days to do it.
How Fast Do You Download
Your website’s speed is imperative to your success over the Black Friday weekend, and beyond. If your website is slow to load or has too many hiccups, users will bounce to your competitors.
- Check GTMetrix to test how fast your website’s download speed. This happens when a user clicks your URL and lands on your website. How long does it take for your website to show up in the browser window?
- Check LoadImpact to measure the amount of stress your website can take before it crashes. Don’t’ think this won’t happen to you, it could.
Safe Shopping for All
Cyber security is a huge talking point in the tech world. There’s not a better time than right now, before people start their purchasing frenzy, to get your website’s security on track.
- If your site doesn’t begin with Https://, you need to contact your hosting provider ASAP and see how to get your SSL Certificate installed right away.
- SSL certificates use to be reserved for e-shops and online stores. But Google decided that EVERY website needs to be secure or Chrome will show the dreaded “This site is not secure” message. That isn’t something you want potential buyers to encounter.
Don’t Forget the Little Things
With everyone scrambling to get everything in place. It’s so very easy to forget the little things that can wreak havoc on your sales plans.
- Set up an abandoned cart funnel so people will be reminded of their items they need to finish purchasing. WooCommerce has a free plugin you can use to set this up in your store. No more missing out on sales.
- Did you pay your hosting for this month or domain name renewal for the year? What about your email service provider or any other program you’ll need to be in great working order during this time. Check. Check. Check.
What if it ALL Goes South?
Just like in a wedding, something always goes wrong. Whether it’s a big thing or a little glitch, you need to be prepared for whatever.
- Have your plan in place and your players at their station. Then create a Plan B for everything.
- Go through the plan with your team, even if the team is Y.O.U. If and when things do go wrong or not quite right, at least you’ll be prepared. If the website goes down, the cart won’t load, products don’t download, or the emails just won’t send, you’ve got it covered. If you have a plan, you can work it all out and come out OK.