Thanksgiving is just around the corner. With the holiday season, comes the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday. Many shoppers look forward to this day every year to score good deals on a popular item or items. It’s no longer considered just a 24-hour event. It’s evolved into a week-long holiday shopping spree that retailers and shoppers alike look forward to each year. When you think of Black Friday, you usually think of retail stores having the best sales. Though Black Friday is largely thought of only as a retailer’s sale, there are many other opportunities to utilize Black Friday in other markets of business, like online courses! Today, I’m sharing how to prepare for Black Friday as a course creator and my go-to prep checklist.
How to Prepare for Black Friday as a Course Creator
As I mentioned, Black Friday sales aren’t just for stores. Everyone is ready to open their wallets during the holiday season, including all the people you have been nurturing with your free content. It’s a great time to simply say “thank you” to your existing students and all of your email subscribers too!
Now you may be wondering what you could offer that would entice your potential customers. And that’s really up to you and what your comfortable with. You could offer a special promotion or discounted rate on your product page, if you want. Or maybe you could offer an added bonus for purchasing the course. This could be a free downloadable PDF, worksheet or group coaching call.
Some examples of a free downloadable PDF might be a pitching email template that customers can utilize, X number of steps to land your first client or X programs to help your business run productively. Group or 1-on-1 coaching calls are also enticing to potential students because they get to ask you specific questions about their business. Or maybe they’re really stuck on a certain area of their business that they want to talk through with you.
Group or 1-on-1 coaching calls are basically like hitting the jackpot for new entrepreneurs. They just want to know what they’re doing well at and where they need improvement. Having the opportunity to talk to a seasoned entrepreneur in their niche is highly sought after – especially if it’s at no additional cost to them.
Partner with Someone Else in the Industry
Another great offer to entice the purchase of your course would be to partner with someone else in your industry to offer something that’s adjacent to what you do, but that they might offer more expertise in. For example, as a course creator on how to build a profitable virtual assistant business, I could partner with someone who has a blueprint to how to use ClickUp like a pro. ClickUp is a task management system that helps keep a team’s tasks organized. Virtual Assistants would love this because task management is basically a love language for us.
This is kind of obvious, but probably the most important. You want to be thinking about Black Friday 2021 weeks before the big day. First, you need to set a goal for the Black Friday campaign. Do you want to gain 60 new students? Do you want to sell X number of gift cards? Then, with that goal in mind, begin planning your tactics. Who is your target audience? Where is your target audience going to see your promotions?
You also want to make sure the back end of your website is in tip-top shape, and can handle an increased volume of online sales in a short period of time. Does your website accept all major credit cards? If so, is your website secure to accept those payments? These are all things that are important and vital for online shopping to be a success. A dedicated landing page to the sale is also a good tactic to incorporate into your sale plan. That way, all the information is easily found in one spot and makes it easy to purchase the item or service.
Build Suspense with an Unforgettable Teaser
We all love a good suspense movie or book. You know those ones that keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end? Well in essence, you want to do the same thing with your teaser for your Black Friday sale. A few weeks before, you can mention that you’ve been working on something extra exciting and can’t wait to share with your audience soon. You can utilize social media to get this message out on your Instagram or Facebook stories, on your feed posts or on your blog. Promote your Black Friday sale through Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest ads to widen your reach.
Launch an Email Marketing Campaign
Another great way to promote a sale directly to your already-engaged audience is to launch an email marketing campaign specifically for your sale. Send out one or two emails a week for three weeks that include some teasers and intriguing subject lines. For example, if I were to promote my Virtual Assistant course, one of my email subject lines could be, “Learn How to Trade Your Dress Pants for Sweatpants.”
During the sale, you can utilize an email marketing campaign too. For example, if someone does the cart abandonment tactic, which is adding the item or service to their cart on Black Friday, but doesn’t follow through with purchasing, then you can send them a targeted email. The email could remind them they have that particular item or service in their cart. Then, you can list everything they will get for a limited time, and then all pricing will go back up without the cool incentives.
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Don’t Forget About Cyber Monday
Because Cyber Monday is all about online sales, it’s a good idea to keep your sale live until at least the end of the day on Monday. This gives shoppers one last chance to purchase your course or product and take advantage of the sale and incentives. Don’t forget to remind your followers on social media and your email subscribers that this is the last day of the sale (or maybe you decide to keep the sale going until the following Friday – whatever you think is best). But just continue to remind your audience that the sale is happening and remind them the price jumps back up on X date.
Your Checklist: How to Prep
I’m using this checklist below to prepare my small business for the Black Friday online shopping event. These tips will help you make the necessary arrangements and adjustments before the influx of customers.
- Go ahead and get your coupon code ready, if you have one
- Encourage people to get on your email list NOW
- Let them know to be on the lookout for something special on the day you announce the sale date
- Review your course and make sure there are no broken links and all content is fresh and up-to-date
- Test the coupon code and checkout process to ensure there are no tech issues
- Write and review your email and social media copy
- Schedule your emails and social copy ahead of time
- Reach out to your affiliates, if you have them, and notify them of the upcoming sale
- Provide affiliates with social promo graphics and email copy
- Promote on social media beforehand so that your audience is ready
You want to think of Black Friday as a mini launch. You want to build hype, offer value and deliver on it! But we also believe at The Virtual Assistant Studio in work-life balance, so it’s a good idea to plan ahea, so that you can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with your family. The last thing you want to do is try to type up a sales email at night the night before.
Sign up for our email list, so that you get exclusive access to our Black Friday special as well!
Are you a course creator or another small business? If so, are you going to offer Black Friday deals? Let me know in the comments below!
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