How To Maximize Your Black Friday Profits in 2019

The trick no one talks about: Announce that you’re raising prices

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This morning I received an email titled 7 Easy Ways to Earn More this Black Friday. There is a tip they didn’t cover though, that’ll earn you way more than if you follow the typical marketing advice that rises to the top this time of year.

Resist the Urge to Run a Sale

It has always confused me how all kinds of brands across all kinds of industries lower their prices in order to get into the black toward the end of the year. They lower their profit margins in order to try to increase profit. Let that sink in.

“The only way to win by discounting is to become a discount brand.” — Sean McCabe, seanwes podcast episode 164

If you want to be like Walmart, go ahead and live by discounts. Be the cheapest option, but understand that that means you’ll be seen as cheap in every sense of the word.

Low profit margins mean you must sell in huge quantities. If you can do that go all out, but if you’d rather be known for quality then stop discounting. Yes, even on Black Friday.

“Discounting is a middle finger to your previous customers.” Sean McCabe, seanwes podcast episode 164

As soon as you run a sale, you punish anyone who has ever bought from you before. They feel dumb for not waiting for the better price and you send the message loud and clear that if they want the best deal from you in the future they should wait, not buy when you first launch your new product. Discounts train people not to buy. This is a huge problem.

“If you’re selling your services or a product, you don’t want your customer to wait six months. By then, they will have changed their mind or bought from someone else.” — Barry Davret

If they don’t buy now they may never buy from you at all. Think of all the time, all the marketing dollars that it’ll take to keep your customer’s attention for months as they put off buying in the vague hope that you’ll run a sale.

Then, even if they do keep your product on their wish list until Black Friday, there’s the chance that some other brand will sweep in and distract them with a better deal.

You want your customers to buy from you. You want their loyalty.

“To counteract this tendency [of putting off purchasing], you have a powerful tool at your disposal. Urgency.” — Barry Davret

You know the marketing tactics, fast-action bonuses, cart closing, salesall the things that try to get you to buy now. Of these three the weakest is sales. After all, if you run a sale today chances are high you’ll run another tomorrow. Why buy now when there could be a better sale later?

Black Friday sales work, otherwise, brands wouldn’t run them. But there’s a tactic that works even better.

Instead of Discounting, Raise Your Prices

“As long as you have the headroom to increase your prices, you can use this to create urgency by running a campaign for people to buy before the price goes up permanently.” — Sean McCabe, seanwes tv episode 112

The urgency of a discount comes from the pain of paying more in the future. You can leverage that same pain point without punishing loyal customers by essentially making the price they paid the sale price.

Events like concerts and conferences often use this model of pricing: Super early birds get the best price, early birds who buy in advance get a decent price, and the people who show up at the door pay a premium.

Imagine if you bought your ticket months in advance only to find out that everyone who got their tickets day-of got a “closeout” deal and paid half what you did. It wouldn’t feel very good. On the other hand, when you are confident that the super early bird tickets are the best deal you’re happy to buy early.

Here’s How This Might Look Around Black Friday

Instead of a sale, create a campaign communicating that the price of your product will be increasing soon. Stress that after this price increase you’ll not lower the price again in the future (and stick to your word).

Be clear about when the price will increase in the same way that you’d talk about a sale ending.

This approach rewards loyal customers, thanking them for buying early and making them more likely to buy quickly from you in the future.

What if the Product Isn’t Worth a Price Increase?

Of the seven suggestions in the article I referenced earlier, number four came the closest to the heart of this article: Add a bonus.

If you don’t think you can justify increasing the price of your current product offering, make your product better by adding to it. Add a module to your course. Bundle a new PDF with your ebook. Craft a template that makes it easy to execute on what you teach.

Make this new value-added version of your product available at the current price for a limited time. Center your marketing around the message that the price of this upgraded product will be going up soon but that anyone who buys now will get the bonus content for free. This is your Black Friday “sale.”

Beware of burning your past buyers. A bonus can be as much of a middle finger to your previous customers as a discount because it rewards anyone who waited to buy until now.

The way around this is simple: Send the bonus to everyone who bought your product in the past. Even better, send them the bonus before announcing it publicly and thank them for buying from you early.

So What Will It Be?

Will you continue to devalue your brand, punish loyal customers, and shrink your profit margins by running Black Friday sales like everyone else?

Or will you choose to stand out as a premium brand who cares for its customers and makes a healthy profit in the process?

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