Schedule five Broadcast campaigns in ConvertFlow to cover the Holiday period of Black Friday through to Christmas. You'll grow your list while CPMs are lower, then maximize revenue with AOV-optimized offers to a warm, first-party audience.
- Metrics affected:LTV; AOV
- Campaign type:General
Tools you'll need
- Email/SMS marketing software
Q4 is where you need to make it rain as an ecommerce brand. But with ad CPMs at astronomical highs, you can’t simply buy traffic and expect to profit.
Savvy store owners have a plan in place.
So, we got some advice from ecommerce experts on what that plan should be and researched some of the best offers and ideas among top DTC brands. Here, we share a down-and-dirty playbook for putting it all into action.
The best part?
You can create and schedule most of the on-site campaigns ahead of time with ConvertFlow’s Broadcasts feature. Set it and (almost) forget it, just like you would with emails, ads, etc.
By the end of this post, you’ll have everything you need to create an engaging, profitable campaign through Black Friday and the Holiday season.
Before getting into this post’s meat and potatoes, let’s look at the overall campaign and its goals.
There are five broad phases:
Of course, everyone wants to increase CVR and order numbers throughout this period. But to become seriously profitable on your BFCM campaign, it’s all about AOV and driving more revenue per customer.
This excellent thread from Nik Sharma (of Sharma Brands) says it all:
With all this in mind, we suggest thinking long and hard about the offer(s) you’ll be running throughout BFCM and Q4 as a whole.
- Make sure your basic unit economics add up
- How can you maximize AOV during BFCM?
- How can you maximize LTV post-BFCM and up to Christmas?
So, before going any further, plan out your different offers—what they consist of, how they work, and when exactly each one will begin and end.
Bonus info: Check out this post Scott McLeod (Chief of Staff at Resident Home) put together for ConvertFlow on offer building. There’s also this exceptional post from Common Thread Collective showcasing hundreds of successful Holiday offers and campaigns you can model.
Step 1: Pre-BFCM list building
- Timeline: October through early November
- Goal: Buy traffic and build first-party audience early before CPMs rise during the Holidays
This step is all about list growth. The aim is to pay for cold traffic here while CPMs are lower, then maximize the revenue from those email and/or SMS subscribers further down the line.
Because a lot of people tend to earmark things they want to buy around this time of year. They’ll then wait until Black Friday to actually make the purchase.
- Don’t be afraid of a low ROAS this time of year
- Test ad creatives relentlessly and track metrics like cost-per-click (so you can use the best ones when retargeting during BFCM)
- Get people subscribed to your list(s) (ideally with something like a quiz, so you can segment your audience for later use)
- Use this period to engage them and build trust with your brand
- Go for the revenue with AOV-optimized offers when BFCM rolls around
Whatever your offer is, we recommend giving a reason why someone should become a subscriber and STAY a subscriber. In other words, make it clear that they’ll be the first to know about upcoming BFCM sales.
See how Long Wknd not only promotes its 10% discount in this popup, but also makes clear subscribers will be getting exclusive content:
If you use a quiz, you’ll be able to recommend products at the end. For those that don’t buy, you’ll then be able to use the quiz answer/shopper preference data to segment your list and make more personalized offers in BFCM email, SMS, and retargeting campaigns.
Here are some template ideas you can use to get started building these offers:
We’ll set this up in ConvertFlow ahead of time using Broadcasts. This allows you to schedule multiple on-site campaigns together that take priority over any existing, default standalone ones.
So, for example, your standard year-round discount popup will be replaced with a BFCM-specific one for a set period.
Head into ConvertFlow (create an account, if you don’t already have one), navigate to Broadcasts from the sidebar, create a new blank campaign, and name it something like “Pre-BFCM List Building.”
- Scheduling. Go from October 1st (or whenever you want to start BFCM list building) and the Sunday night before Black Friday week begins.
- Campaigns. Add all relevant list-building campaigns (discount popups, quizzes, sticky bars, etc.)
- Targeting. Set targeting conditions for which kind of visitors you do/don’t want to see these campaigns—you can do this at an overall Broadcast-level or individual campaign level.
- Automations. Set up any ConvertFlow or CRM automations you want to run when someone converts on any of these campaigns—like subscribing to lists or adding/removing tags.
In the end, your Broadcast might look something like this:
Step 2: Black Friday VIP launch
- Timeline: Mon through Thu of Black Friday week
- Goal: Launch exclusive pre-BFCM to subscribers
Here’s where you can start cranking up the revenue generation efforts. But, start with a pre-Black Friday offer exclusively to your email/SMS subscribers.
You’ll need to create:
- Email campaigns
- SMS campaigns
- Retargeting ads
To maintain exclusivity, you should also keep all your deals and discounts housed on a dedicated products showcase landing page and set any on-site calls-to-action to only display to subscribers.
Here’s a template you can use for the landing page:
We’ll also create a dedicated Broadcast campaign in ConvertFlow for any on-site campaigns. You’ll want to:
- Promote exclusive deals via time-delay popups, exit popups, sticky bars, etc. that direct to your landing page
- Only show these messages to those who are subscribed to your lists (OR one specific list, if you want to get even more exclusive)
The Broadcast might look something like this:
Step 3: Full Black Friday launch
- Timeline: Midnight Black Friday through end of Sunday
- Goal: Full Black Friday sale with AOV-optimized offers
This is where we really start to put our foot on the accelerator trying to bring in as much revenue per visitor as possible.
Your focus should be on promoting a sale (or multiple sales) across the weekend that’s heavily focused on AOV. Think carefully about things like:
- Discount thresholds (especially if running tiered discounts)
- Free shipping thresholds
The dollar amounts these are at vs. your store’s typical AOV can play a monumental role in BFCM order values.
The sale will be open to all website visitors. But, traffic should mainly come from:
- Email flows
- SMS campaigns
- Ad retargeting
Find the ad creatives you got the most click success with during the list-building phase. Prioritize these (or a slight variation of them) for use in your retargeting ads over the Black Friday Weekend.
For your on-site campaigns, duplicate the Broadcast and campaigns in ConvertFlow from step three and tweak messaging to reflect the new offers:
Step 4: Cyber Monday launch
- Timeline: Cyber Monday
- Goal: Switch up offers for start of new week
No extra fireworks are needed here beyond what’s already been talked about. Just switch up your offers or change the products involved for the start of the new week.
Continue sending emails.
Continue sending SMS campaigns.
Continue running retargeting ads (and testing creatives).
For your on-site campaigns:
- Duplicate the Broadcast in ConvertFlow
- Switch the schedule dates for Cyber Monday
- Create another landing page showcasing your Cyber sale
- Tweak the messaging in the popup, sticky bar, etc. campaigns
Step 5: Post-BFCM sale extensions
- Timeline: Rest of Q4 up to final Christmas shipping day
- Goal: Launch “extended” sales to maximize LTV
CPMs will likely stay pretty high post-BFCM and up to the end of the Holiday season. But, there are still a variety of key calendar dates to take advantage of for the rest of the year.
This means working that first-party audience as much as possible with “extended” offers and sales up until Christmas.
It’s best to segment your list into at least two buckets:
- Standard subscribers and/or customers
- VIP customers
What quantifies a VIP will differ for each brand. But, these are essentially your top-spending customers over the recent BFCM period—identify these shoppers and entice them into spending as much as possible over the remainder of Q4.
Create special offers for your segments—each with a different set of emails, messages, and ads.
You can also, once again, duplicate your Broadcast in ConvertFlow with on-site campaigns targeted at your different segments:
Get your Holiday campaigns scheduled today
It can be tough competing with all the BFCM noise around Q4—crazy high CPMs, huge brands leaning on their huge marketing budgets, and a race to the bottom with how big a discount you can give. But, it doesn't mean you can't have a successful, profitable period.
All you need is:
- A plan that starts early
- Offers that stand out, but maintain solid unit economics