Q4 Madness

How to Generate $100k+ Black Friday

and $250k+ BFCM weekend!

It’s that time of year again! Q4 is just around the corner, and with that, your eCommerce stores’ biggest sales quarter of the year. It’s those 3 months that can turn your year into an amazing success, or a miserable failure and it all comes down to 1 thing. Being prepped!

So far 2020 has been a strange year with most of the world on lockdown for months and eCommerce stores worldwide hitting their best months ever in May and June. This Q4 is not going to be any different.

People are relying on e-Commerce more than ever and this is the time of year to make sure you make up for lost sales throughout the year, or to make your year even better.

In this guide we’re going to take you through our full Black Friday strategy. It’s the exact strategy we ran for our clients in 2019 that got them to $100k+ sale days and $250k+ sale weekends. The best part is, we’ve added some things to it that are going to make this year even better.

k Friday and the run-up to it as well. So this was a great ‘test’ of how it would work.

In the first 2 days, we did close to $50k at a 55x ROAS, so we were pretty certain the strategy was working so far!

And then after 7 days we had done over $150,000 in sales from just Facebook & INstagram ads and close to $300,000 storewide.

In this post, I’m going to show you exactly what we did and how we used this strategy so you can implement and test it for yourself.

What we'll cover:

The Facebook Strategy

01

This is the tried and tested strategy we have used and optimised on over 50 client accounts in the last years. Just last year we ran a test with this strategy in August and were able to generate close to $100k in one day.

Below we’ll give a full breakdown of how we actually run this strategy at Heavy Head Social so it’s easy for you to implement in your store.

Let’s begin!

At Heavy Head Social, about 80% of our clients are fashion clients, it’s something we specialise in and we have nailed down the process of absolutely smashing collection launches and end of season sales.

This strategy consists of 3 simple steps:

1. Pre Sale Campaigns – warming up your audiences
2. The Launch Day – where the fun begins!
3. After Launch Optimisation
4. Facebook Tips

When you implement these 3 steps the right way, just using Facebook and Instagram ads you can absolutely smash a sale and get results like below.

In Chapter 2 we’ll give some more ideas on how to build further on this, so keep that in mind.

1.1 Pre Launch Campaigns

This is the backbone to the success of any type of sale and especially this one.

What we typically see is that clients are afraid to give up a little bit of profit short term, to make a massive win long term. One of the biggest issues at the moment in eCommerce is that most people are so focused on the front-end profitability, that they put a glass ceiling on their own success.

For success with a strategy like this, you need to shift that focus to a long term win. (And to be honest, we’re only talking about 2-3 weeks, so that’s not even long term)

For the brand in this guide, their break-even point was 5x due to the expensive print fabrics and production line (handmade products). With a massive end of season sale, our goal was to get a 10x return minimum and make sure we sold out of their summer stock.

Something we started doing 2 weeks before the sale started is signalling all audiences of the upcoming sale, which was a massive one with discounts of 50% on almost the entire collection.

While normally we would get a 7-8x return on this account, doing over $200k in sales a month, we made the decision to drop this return the 2 weeks before the sale, to profit from it afterwards.

So 2 weeks before the sale started, we started signalling on all channels.

We sent out emails about the upcoming sale, we changed all our creatives around on Facebook and Instagram to show the upcoming sale to as many people as we could.

Every step of the funnel had different creative and copy variations and some of the audiences we targeted were:
Over the next few days, we changed up the creative to build up suspense about the sale further. Since we were targeting the warm audiences with a big part of the budget, we needed to change this up a lot.

This also gave us the opportunity to show different items that were on sale and signal the sale coming closer.

What we saw?

A drop in ROAS… (surprise, surprise)

We went from our nice 7-8x to just over 4x… which is still ok in most cases, but this brand has smaller margins and needs the high ROAS of 5+.

But what we also saw was a MASSIVE increase in ATC’s.

We were getting ATC’s for around $1 and got a lot of them. The days before the sale we got over 1,200 add to carts and over 10,000
content views.

We saw that people started shopping around and leaving things ready in their basket to buy.

1.2 The Launch Day

This is where the fun begins! All your prep work and looking at lower returns is going to pay off. This is where you make the money!

For this client, their end of season sale started on the 7th of August in the afternoon and by that stage, we had built up massive audiences
to retarget.

We had the following pre-sale audiences:

These were the audiences that engaged with the pre-sale ad creatives.

Besides that we also retargeted in separate ad sets:

And of course we also targeted:

They were all targeted in different stages of the funnel and the main shift was the budget shift for the first 2 days, where we shifted the budget further from 50/50 cold/warm to 20/80 cold/warm.

We were getting ATC’s for around $1 and got a lot of them. The days before the sale we got over 1,200 add to carts and over 10,000
content views.

We saw that people started shopping around and leaving things ready in their basket to buy.

Important Note

We see a lot of people not targeting their email subscribers on Facebook and Instagram and just send out emails. We made a separate campaign for email subscribers and this generated a return of 56x and over $4k sales in 2 days. The audiences we targeted were:

After 2 days of the sale, we generated close to $50k at a 55x return on Facebook & Instagram.

By combining the Facebook Strategy with email marketing and omnipresent retargeting we were able to generate close to $100k in an 8-hour timeframe!

And after 7 days we were able to generate over $300k in sales.

Something we advise most of our clients is that you open up your Black Friday offer to your existing customers early. Give them a ‘first pick’, especially when you sell fashion or items that run out of sizes. Treat your existing customers well and give them a first pick, they will appreciate this!

1.3 After Launch Optimisation

You had a great first day of your sale, now it’s important to keep the momentum going!

To get the maximum out of any sale you will have to optimise it and especially with a short time window as you have for BFCM.

So what did we do for this sale?

After 2 days of hitting the warm audiences with 80% of the budget, we started shifting budget back to cold audiences. Our warm audiences had been hit a lot in the first 2 days and we found the creative that worked best on these audiences.

This is the creative we started putting out to cold audiences to attract new customers to the brand.

The goal of the sale is, of course, selling off the old stock, but when you can do this and introduce new customers to your brand at the same time, this is a double win.

Important Note

For Black Friday this is something you want to focus on as well because you want to introduce people to your brand so you can focus on making a long-time customer out of them.

The main audiences we’re hitting are lookalikes and the same as with Black Friday we’re using:

The longer the sale goes on, the more you want to shift the budget from warm to cold. Ideally, you get back to a 70/30 split between cold and warm. (depending on product price and AOV)

Don’t forget to change your messaging in the creative to create urgency.

Especially when you’re hitting the warm audiences with high budgets, they will have seen the messaging a lot in a short period of time. When a sale nears the end, add this into the copy and creative to create new interest in the sale.

Some additional tips:

Tip 1: We started introducing some new item ads in some steps of the funnel as well. We know that when people are getting big discounts they will buy everything, so it’s a good way to introduce some new stock and keep the margins ok during a sale period.

Tip 2: Don’t forget to post organic content on your Facebook and Instagram page. During a sale we advise to post multiple times every day and it helps us keep the CPM’s down. We see a lot of difference between accounts with high CPM’s and low CPMs and the amount of engaging content they put out. Of course, we have signaled the sale A LOT in the time leading up to the actual sale as well on both the Facebook and Instagram pages.

Tip 3: Something that works extremely well because of the large volume of sales that we generated for this client during the sale was running a broad catalog ad with all products – this is running to a wide audience with as only targeting the age range and this was producing a steady return of 6x+ to a cold audience.

1.4 Facebook Tips

This wouldn’t be a good guide if we wouldn’t include some in-depth Facebook tips to get the most out of your sale, launch or Black Friday campaigns.

So here goes…

1.  We ran a Reach and Conversion campaign targeting our add to carts at the SAME time with similar creative. Our conversion campaign got a 112x return in 2 days, the reach one over 40x. We did this so we could hit people in this stage as quickly as possible and this is definitely a Black Friday tactic where you want to profit FAST.

2. After 5 days we even introduced a 3rd retargeting campaign to target the same audiences with a dynamic product catalog. Because we used different types of creatives and different optimisations we were able to hit the same people as many times as possible in a
short timeframe.

3. We ran some of our top of funnel campaigns on Value optimisation so we could hit a different segment and get people to spend MORE during the sale and not get the 1 sale for $15 people in mainly.

4. We used CBO campaigns for our top of funnel and middle of funnel to target engagers so we could scale this up quickly. For our email subscribers, bottom of funnel and retention campaigns, we used normal ad set budgets as the lists and audiences had a lot of different sizes and we wanted every ad set to get a proper budget. (for short term sales and if you’re mixing different audience sizes in a campaign for retargeting, I would still recommend using ad set budgets to make sure your smaller audiences get enough budget!)

5. We didn’t use a product catalog initially as this wouldn’t display the sale good enough and we used creative clearly stating the sale in every step of the funnel. After 5 days when the initial creative started to go down a bit in return because of the frequency, we introduced product catalog ads.

6. We mixed up images and videos in ad sets and kept the creative to 2-3 creatives per ad set and made sure that a customer journey was followed in different steps so if we used a similar video we made sure the copy was different. We’ve written this before, but in this account as well we saw that where we used images, that the images worked very very well, even though we had really strong video creative.

Additional Strategies

02

Even though we love Facebook and Instagram ads and spend close to $1M a month on it for our clients, we also know that when you combine it with different strategies, the effect of it will be even bigger.

Especially for an event as Black Friday and Cyber Monday where you have such a short timeframe to drive sales that you want to make sure you make the most of it.

Some of the strategies that we use besides Facebook are:

By combining all of these you’ll be able to create an omnipresent strategy that will get you sales you could only dream about when you would only use Facebook and Instagram.

2.1 Email Marketing

Still, one of the most powerful marketing tools to drive sales and any good eCommerce store should generate around 25% of their monthly revenue from email marketing.

Being a Klaviyo Silver Partner we recommend using Klaviyo for all flows and email marketing.

For the client in this guide, we started warming the audience up for the upcoming sale just like we did in our Facebook and Instagram ads. We created a countdown for the sale and something that worked amazingly well was giving our loyal customers pre-access to the sale.

This is something we recommend doing for Black Friday as well. Give your existing customers early access to the sale. In fashion, we do this in a simple way, by saying something around the lines of ‘don’t miss out on your size’.

On the day of the sale we sent out 5 different emails, all showing different styles that were available during the sale. On Facebook on the day of the sale, we generated around $30k in sales that were attributed to Facebook.

We did just over that with email and generated around $35k in sales attributed to Klaviyo, the rest came from organic posts and messenger marketing.

The rest of the sale we kept showing different items that were on sale and showed different deals that were on. Besides deals, we also introduced some new items to up the margin, just like we did with our Facebook and Instagram ads.

The entire sale period we sent out multiple emails a day, towards the end of the sale we did this more with resends than new content.

Tip:

Don’t be afraid to send out multiple emails a day. We hear so often, I don’t want to ‘annoy’ my customers with a lot of emails, but by not sending out multiple emails a day, you won’t break through the noise. This is especially important during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Every competitor will do the same!

2.2 Lead Generation

With email marketing being so powerful, it’s very important to build your email list. While a good popup on the site will absolutely help drive leads into your funnel and email marketing campaigns, for a good launch or sale or an event as Black Friday this is not good enough.

You want to actively get people into your funnel and run ads to get people to signup for your offer.

Some of the strategies that we use besides Facebook are:

For the client in this guide, we didn’t run a signup strategy at the time of the sale in August. We did test this strategy for several of our clients during Black Friday 2019 and got some amazing results with it.

When you use the right hook for your signups you will grow your emails list very very fast.

Below is an example of one campaign where we added close to 2,000 people to an email list for $0.37 per signup. Once we opened the door to our offer on Black Friday, we had 2,000 people extra to email.

Besides that, don’t forget, we also used these new signups in Facebook to advertise to in our middle of the funnel.

Tip:

Besides using a hook/lead magnet and email marketing to advertise to people, you can do the same with Messenger Marketing and Manychat. Instead of getting people to give their email you can put them in a flow in Manychat.

Once the sale/event goes live you do the exact same thing as with Email Marketing and notify people of the sale that has gone live. You can use the same early bird access for existing customers and give exclusive access to people that want to be notified of the deal going live. Important to keep in mind with the changed rules of Manychat, is that you need to keep engaging your audience so you can notify them on the day.

2.3 Text Messaging

Last but not least, text messaging has been very successful as a marketing tactic for our clients. We’ve started using this mainly since 2020 and have generated massive amounts of sales with it.

Text messaging is definitely something we’re including in our Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies as it’s an easy way to reach existing customers.

In the screenshot below you can see the 30-day results for one of our clients where we used text messaging combined with a product launch and generated close to $40k in sales.

The tools we recommend for text messaging are:

Both work very similar and have the option to set up a flow, as well as send out campaigns.

For Black Friday we will set up specific flows for the weekend that specifically to get existing customers back to the store.

Tip:

If you can create a hook/lead magnet that gets people to sign up with their phone number this will work very well to acquire new customers. Typically you only have phone numbers of existing customers that have placed an order, so keep that in mind when creating your hook/lead magnet.

Offer Ideas

03

We get asked a lot of times by clients, what is a good offer? What do I need to do?

The success of Black Friday is all down to planning, but if you have a bad offer, you can do all the planning in the world, but sales will still be slow.

A good offer doesn’t always have to be a massive discount. If you’re a brand that normally doesn’t give discounts, giving a 20% discount can be more than enough.

On the other hand, if you normally give 20-30 or even 50% off for end of season sales, you can’t do any less for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Since the sky is truly the limit with offers, here are a couple of ideas that will get your creative juices flowing.

By combining all of these you’ll be able to create an omnipresent strategy that will get you sales you could only dream about when you would only use Facebook and Instagram.

Tip:

Something we advise most of our clients is that you open up your Black Friday offer to your existing customers early. Give them a ‘first pick’, especially when you sell fashion or items that run out of sizes. Treat your existing customers well and give them a first pick, they will appreciate this!

As you see, it’s not that difficult to come up with some good offers and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Important is that you don’t overcomplicate your offering for Black Friday.

A good percentage deal still beats a lot of difficult offers and you can easily generate $250k+ on a good percentage deal.

We hope this guide was helpful to you and has given you some ideas of how to smash this Black Friday weekend!

If you’d rather get us to take this entire process over for you and make sure you have that multiple 6-figure weekend, we’re still taking on clients to help them get ready for the biggest sales weekend of the year.

Book a call through the link below, and we'll discuss what we can do for you!