Way back when I worked at Pepsi, we used to run a Flash Sale ever another weekend on close-dated pop...
Whenever we found something close to going out of date, we'd slap a sticker on it for 50% off and push it in a cart up to the registers in the front.
Within a few days, all the close-dated pop would be gone, and I didn't have a manager breathing down my neck anymore... Problem solved.
The very first time I got an email announcing a "Flash Sale," that's what I thought of... And since then, it seemed that everyone and their brother was doing these 'timed sales', which tells me one thing...
So, we started running our own, in lots of different niches and on lots of different products... All with fantastic success!
And when you think about it, Groupon and Woot have used this idea of a Flash Sale to build their entire business model! And don't get me started on Black Friday... Black Friday is a collection of Flash Sales, all day long!
I share all this to say...
Flash Sales should be a part of what you do. There are plenty of benefits to a Flash Sale, and by the end of this post, you'll have a great idea of how to get one launched in your business...
What Is A Flash Sale (In Marketing Terms)
The whole goal of a Flash Sale is to get a prospect to take action, using scarcity and discounts as the motivational tools behind it. Traditional advertising like billboards and customisable pens don't work for urgency...
When your prospects know that they only have 3 days to purchase for an extreme discount, each day that passes makes their activities more and more urgent - if they want what they're selling of course!
For instance, over the weekend, Woot had a FitBit wristband for sale. I saw the email but didn't take action. I logged in this morning (knowing of course that it'd be gone), and it was...
And I kicked myself for not checking the site sooner!
The same thing will happen to your customers. They'll understand that you're giving them a HUGE discount.
They'll know that they have a few days to buy.
And if they don't, they lose out!
Why Flash Sales Work
Fear of loss is a very powerful motivator.
Now, there's a reason why we see Flash Sales all over the place. Honestly, it's not about the income they produce (especially if you're selling a digital product).
If you have a video course that's $47 and you discount it to $7 for a 3-day Flash Sale, that's a big break for your customers.
But... If you sell 100 copies, you've only made $700.
The REAL reason you run Flash Sales is to get more of your customers into an upsell funnel.
Let me repeat that so you get it...
The REAL reason you run a Flash Sale is to get more customers into your upsell funnel.
If you have a $7 front end offer and then the next offer in the upsell funnel is $47, you might have 30% or 40% who take you up on that!
And, if there's a second upsell at $197, you might have 10% who take you up on that!!
So, the $7 front end product is more about qualifying buyers than anything else, and moving them through your upsell process. If you want to move more of your prospects to buyers - run a Flash Sale!
PRO TIP: If you need a sales funnel set up with upsell and down-sell copy... Or just someone who knows what they're doing to look at the one you built and optimize it... Click here to book an Action Plan call!
Closing The Flash Sale Down
At the end of the Flash Sale, you need to close it down.
That means you can stay up until midnight or whenever it's all done and redirect the page... Or you can employ any one of the countdown widgets to redirect the page for you.
I use the OptimizePress template which has a countdown widget as part of it. Once the clock hits zero, the page redirects somewhere else. Usually, to a "Thanks, but you missed it!" page.
You might get some emails about extending the sale for a customer due to some special case, but that's for you to make the call on...
You just want to make sure that publicly, the page is closed when you say it's going to be!
Executing Your Flash Sale
They aren't tricky and most of the complicated work is probably already done for you...
It'll involve changing the price of one of your products, figuring out how long your Flash Sale should be in place for, and letting your audience know about it!
Choosing Your Offer
You can choose any front end product or service to do a Flash Sale with, but the best ones are always your newer offers or the one that stands out as your best.
If you're releasing something new into the market, a Flash Sale might be a great way to get it out there and generating some sales quickly, or...
Free Plus Shipping book offers or new digital product launches are great for this kind of timed event.
If you've got a flagship, lower-end product that always serves as one of the best in terms of moving folks from being prospects to paid customers - use that one.
You want to be able to offer it at a substantial discount, so the publicly available price should be $37 or more...
Maybe you have a video course that sells for $67 or an ebook that sells for $47... It doesn't matter how much it normally sells for - you just want the discount to be pretty substantial!
Nothing gets people's attention more than an email that says, "Get 80% off today!"
How Long Is A Flash Sale?
When putting together your Flash Sale, make sure to put a time limit in place.
In thinking about the question, "How long do flash sales last?" You want to consider one very important thing... How long it's going to take folks to find out about your offer.
If, however, you are running a paid traffic campaign, then it might have to be 3 days as it'll take at least a few hours for the ads to get approved!
We've found that 3 days works the best for digital products, physical products, and software. If you're promoting a service, you might need a little longer.
Sometimes, the best flash sales last only a day... 24 hours. If you've got an email list or distribution that's pretty engaged with you, a 24-hour flash sale can work. If you're hustling for every shred of traffic you get though, you're going to want to make it a little longer.
One of the reasons we keep it to a multi-day process is to make sure that everyone on the list sees the email at least once... If we make it 12 hours or 24 hours, there's a good chance that folks on your list won't see it!
The 3-day Flash Sale also allows for folks who aren't quite as diligent about checking their email or who are busy...
At the end of the day, remember that every single one of the emails you send out is going to a real, live person who has their commitments, obligations, and lives of their own!
Letting Your Audience Know
Of all the ways to drive traffic to a website, there are very few as dependable and quantifiable as sending out an email to your list!
Your email list is made up of people who have expressed interest in you and your products at some point in the past - it only makes sense that they'd be interested in a Flash Sale!
Use the Flash Sale announcement as a reason to communicate with them, even if you haven't had that much interaction with them recently...
You'll be surprised how many of your prospects will jump into your fold once they learn about the discount that you're giving (and the fact that it's going away in so many days!)
The Final Push
It's easy to forget sometimes, but the last email on the last day that you send is what will drive 70% of your sales...
4 or 5 hours before the promotion is set to end, email your list one last final reminder to jump in. You'll notice a steady stream of buyers come in the hours between when that email is sent and when the offer closes.
That means, more people in your upsell sequences where you can start bumping up the average customer value of your buyers!
Launching Your Flash Sale
Inside this Flash Sale Autoresponder Template...
You'll get a 4 email, 3-day template that you can use to promote a Flash Sale to your list. Included in the template are:
- Directions on when to mail it out
- The exact subject lines that have been proven to increase open rates
- Email body copy that's more effective in getting someone to click to a Flash Sale
- The "Final Push" email that engages your last-minute shoppers
If you need help getting it out the door (like setting up your CRM or writing upsell/downsell copy or putting together a sales funnel!), click here to fill out a short form and schedule a call with us!