Flashing Through the Snow

Phew! For better or worse, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to kick up your heels and take a break from marketing until the January One. Far from it! The shopping season isn’t even close to over, so you’ve got plenty of time to reach out to your client base with great deals and incentives.

“Well, OK, super genius marketing guru AJ, how do I create buzz and get the attention of my Fah-la-la-fatigued customers after they’ve already done so much shopping?” Great question! First, thank you for the compliments, very generous. Second, the answer is simple: Flash Sales!

“Your answer only produced more questions, bro. What, if I may be so bold, is a flash sale?” Another superb question! You’ve already seen a million of them this year. Flash sales are short-term or limited quantity deals often shared through email newsletters.

Over the past two years, flash sales have become unbelievably popular among businesses of all sizes; studies show that these announcements can as much as double transaction rates during sale periods!

Before we jump into why flash sales work, I want to pass along two quick tips for making your flash sales really count. First, shoot for a late afternoon launch. Lots of research shows that it’s the most effective time of day. Then, try and limit your sales to three hours or a limited number. The same studies have identified these as the most successful formats among all business verticals.

Alright, so back to the “why”. This excellent article from the savvy scribes at Lonelybrand.com includes some great info (and tips!) about the efficacy of flash sale newsletters sent via email. The key here is capitalizing on two major customer trends: impulse and avoiding regret.

Impulse. First, the impulse buy works just like the candy display by the register at supermarkets. The customer doesn’t have a ton of time to think about it, but they know that peanuts, chocolate and caramel are awesome, so they pull the trigger. Similarly, your customers receive a beautiful email newsletter, don’t have a ton of time to think, and they know your product or service is awesome. Boom. Ring it UP.

Regret. Second, everyone hates missing a great opportunity. We’ve all done it. Looked at a limited sale, decided it wasn’t something we needed, and passed. Then, like the second it’s over, we find ourselves saying “I really should have done that. When’s the next time I’m going to be able to buy a jetpack for that little scratch?” Here again, your customers subscribe to your newsletter because they like your product. You have something they want, and few tools are more effective at getting them to seal the deal than a well-timed flash sale.

Now, get out there and flash your custo–whoops, hold on. Let me try that again. Get out there and offer a flash sale. That’s better.