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How To Execute A Flash Sale (Money Levers #5)

How can you execute a flash sale – in the right away – to acquire new customers while not killing your bottom line? The 5th installment of the Money Levers series spells out how to use this tactic in the right way.

The entire idea of the Money Levers series is to give you predictable ways to grow your business. You can’t effectively grow your business if you’re left depending on other people or waiting for lady luck to get around to you.

Your “money levers” are the levers – or controls – of your business. Just like your car has a steering wheel and a couple of pedals as your controls, your business is very much the same.

At this point in our series, we’ve now covered each of the 3 basic money levers. They are:

Now, I want you to make note of something here…

Nowhere in here will you find a blog.

Weird, right? 🙂

Because I’m here to tell you that your blog is NOT a money maker. It can be a traffic source, but it is not a money maker. It is not a money lever.

If you want to build a business or grow an existing one, then you spend your time concentrating on building your 3 money levers.

  1. Create new offers.
  2. Create sales funnels.
  3. Drive traffic through those funnels (including the use of paid traffic to do it).

Now, at this point in our series, we begin to talk about how to USE those 3 levers.

How can you manipulate the controls of your business to create a payday? Or, how can you improve or add to your existing money levers to, again, create a payday?

At this point, we’re going to get into tactics. So, let’s get started…

Before We Continue…

Want to ditch all the usual confusions, overwhelm and lack of focus which often goes along with building an online business? Join us for the Business Building Bootcamp – where we will work together to build they money levers for YOUR business – in a live workshop setting. Click here to learn more.

How To Execute A Flash Sale To Get More Customers – Quickly

A flash sale is when you offer a time-limited heavy discount on a front-end offer for the purposes of acquiring new customers.

At first glance, it seems obvious. Just offer a discount and throw a deadline on it? Sure. However, let’s be very specific about the purpose of doing this.

The purpose of a flash sale is customer activation. The purpose is to take people who are not currently customers of your business and turn them into a customer, or to take inactive customers and re-activate them into one of your funnels.

Because it is a heavy discount, you’re not usually making your “big money” on the sale of the front-end offer. If I take one of my Lab Action Plans and offer it on a flash sale for $7, well… I’m not exactly making huge money on the back of $7 offers. 🙂

But, that’s not the point, is it? The point is to turn people into customers of my business. And because I have funnels in place, those $7 buyers will be presented upsell offers. A certain percentage of them will buy it.

Whenever I have done a flash sale, I sell a bunch of front-end offers. Obviously. But, every time, I get a bunch of new Lab member signups, too. That’s really the long-term play.

So, what you’re doing with a flash sale is giving a heavy discount on a product in order to put people directly into one of your sales funnels.

You need to give your flash sale a specific deadline. I like to use countdown timers to make it extremely obvious. I personally use Deadline Funnel for that, which even allows me to have nice countdowns inside the emails I send.

You would promote your flash sale as follows:

  • Send emails to your general list, but be careful to exempt previous buyers of the product you’re offering.
  • Set up a Facebook ad campaign with an ad pointing direct to the flash sale page. For targeting, I would use only your retargeting custom audience to place your ad in front of previous visitors to your site. Set the campaign to auto-expire when your flash sale expires.
  • If you use any other networks to do paid ads, do the same there. But, it is best to use retargeting for this. A flash sale isn’t really appropriate for people who are not already aware of you and your brand.

During the flash sale period, you’re going pretty heavy on the promotion. In fact, you’ll probably be emailing your list every day during the sale. So as not to annoy the whole list, though, you need to employ segmentation. An example for a 3-day flash sale could be:

  • Day 1: Email the whole list (exempting prior buyers)
  • Day 2: Email only the people who opened day 1.
  • Day 3: Email the whole list again.

Lastly, we have to plan out the followup. If the whole basis of the flash sale is only the front-end sales, then it is going to be a lot of noise for no long-term game.

First, have upsells. You should have a real funnel behind that flash sale offer so that those little sales can become bigger ones.

Secondly, you can plan followups to the people who responded to the flash sale but didn’t buy. For instance:

  • For people who opened the flash sale emails but didn’t buy, you can email them after it is over to ask them why they didn’t buy. Make it a simple survey email and use that as an opportunity to find out what they would respond to. Possible cross-sell opportunities, or feedback to tweak your offer for better conversions later.
  • Optionally, you can simply email those who opened the flash sale emails with a cross-sell to another front-end offer. Perhaps they’ll respond to something else. But, you know they’re interested since they opened in the first place.
  • You can do the same thing using paid ads. By retargeting people who visited specifically the flash sale page but didn’t buy, you can place ads in front of just those people with either a survey or a cross-sell to another offer.

Thirdly, you can followup with the people who purchased the flash sale but didn’t take any upsells. You should have an ascension campaign in place to automatically followup with these people and potentially get them to upgrade down the road.

One thing to keep in mind with any promotion you run is that there is an echo effect. You just made a lot of noise during your promo period. A lot of people are now aware of you more than they were before. And there is an echo to that. So, don’t make the mistake (as I’ve done before) to simply go silent after the promo period. You should follow up to keep people engaged.

A flash sale is a pretty easy campaign to run. It is pretty formulaic, in fact. The emails and ads you set up for a flash sale can be re-worded slightly and reused for future flash sales.

You can put a flash sale into your marketing calendar whenever you wish, however I would caution you from doing it too often. The last thing you want to do is “train” your list to expect discounts all the time. A business which depends on discounts is a business which is racing to zero and harming their long-term growth.

At most, I would do a flash sale once per month. And don’t repeat it on the same product every time. Mix it up.

Let’s Review…

Remember, there are 3 ways to grow a business:

  1. Get more customers.
  2. Get customers to buy from you more often.
  3. Increase transaction size (higher prices).

Having the funnel as the basic structure of your business accomplishes all 3 things.

For a full walk-through of how to run a flash sale, complete with email swipe file to give you a head start on running it, see the training video inside The Lab: How To Run A Flash Sale. 

The flash sale specifically comes in to hammer in point #1: Getting more customers.

The time-limited discount reduces friction and allows new customers to enter your business. From there, your funnels take over and do points #2 and #3.

… and that’s why a flash sale is most definitely a money lever for your business.

In our next Money Levers installment, we’ll discuss another tactic. See ya then. 🙂

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