Tweak your Sales Strategy before Cyber Monday!
Every year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to grow bigger as consumers save up their money for when they think they’ll get the most bang for their buck. But most of the really big deals are limited, and not everyone is looking for a new 60 inch TV or fancy espresso machine anyway. There are plenty of consumers that don’t even know what they want, and they’ll just be browsing online on Cyber Monday for anything that catches their fancy. And that’s why authors are missing an opportunity if they don’t try to capitalize on all those new eyeballs. Here are a few ways to get yourself and your catalog ready for the biggest online sales day of the year.
For decades, America has been gripped by Black Friday fever. The day after Thanksgiving – the last Friday in November – is when department stores and retailers traditionally offers huge sales, savings, and discounts – including the loss-leading “door busters” – in the hopes of getting their ledger books out of the red and into the black (hence the name.)
Since then, it’s practically become a national holiday in America. Families camp out in the parking lot of stores, waiting for them to open at midnight. The news networks are filled with stories of retail staff and members of the public getting trampled or assaulted in the onslaught of customers. Pretty much everybody you know has at least one story involving the craziest thing they saw on Black Friday (and the BEST deal they ever got, too!)
But digital retail has led to Black Friday being followed by something called Cyber Monday. It’s the biggest online sales day of the year; and digital retailers like Amazon often offer equally massive savings on a bunch of products just to try and get people to their website.
And it works!
In 2020, digital sales hit $10.8 billion – a 15% increase from the year before (no doubt helped by the fact that many retailers had curbed their Black Friday events in the face of the ongoing pandemic.)
Since the majority of sales for many self-published authors are online, a lot of writers might wonder how they can take advantage of the increased digital traffic on Cyber Monday. Here are some tips:
Tip #1: Create your own Door Buster deal!
Cyber Monday is a GREAT opportunity to offer some “door busters” of your own. Take the opportunity to offer one of your books at 99 cents and think about running a newsletter campaign or a Facebook ad campaign over Black Friday weekend. But be warned – advertising costs will be up that weekend. However, if you’re strategic in the book you offer at a discount – perhaps the first in a series, for example – it’s possible you can turn that non-profitable first sale into a read through of all the books in your series.
Tip #2: Be prepared for a lot more impressions!
If you’re running Sponsored Product Campaigns through Advertising on Amazon, you’ll notice a big spike in impressions over the course of the Black Friday weekend. This is because so many more people are trawling through Amazon looking for the best deals – and that means they’ll see so many more ads!
Now, competition will be stiffer since a lot of other authors will have the same idea as you do – but there’s also a lot more opportunity. So, if you take the time to review your bids and keywords and put your campaigns into a good place prior to the Black Friday weekend, you’ll hopefully be able to reap a harvest of impressions and a bounty of lower-cost clicks.
Tip #3: Don’t forget to leverage your mailing list!
On Facebook especially, advertising costs tend to spike during the Black Friday weekend. However, that’s because online traffic does, as well. It’s predicted that retailers can expect up to 10x their typical traffic and a lot of that gets funneled to them through Facebook.
Ironically, this often makes organic posts on your author Page or social media account a lot more visible, because there are so many more people online. If you’re running your own Door Buster deal, it’s definitely a wasted opportunity not to tell your followers or fans about it.
And if you don’t have too many? Don’t worry about it. Now is the time to change that. Once you’ve posted on your Facebook page, Twitter account, or wherever else you choose to, share that specific post with your subscriber mailing list and ask them to share it.
Likes, Comments, and Shares are the gasoline that fuel the virality of a social media post – so by asking just a few readers to smash that Thumbs Up button can help your posts on Black Friday be seen by much larger audience even without having to spend money on advertising.
(BONUS) Don’t be afraid to do some shopping for yourself!
If you don’t feel ready to plunge headfirst into Cyber Monday 2021 yourself, do at least take advantage of the opportunity to see what other successful authors are doing.
The reason Black Friday weekend is such a big deal is because the SCALE of traffic and purchases has increased so much – and that means you get a microcosm of months of online shopping traffic within just a few hours. The trends and bestsellers during Cyber Monday are often a really good example of what will be most popular in the months to come.
So, even if you’re not confident about investing in advertising or marketing yourself, be sure to visit Amazon on Cyber Monday and check out the Top 100 in your category. Be sure to compare the cover of the books ranking at the top of the charts to your own, and use it as a gut-check to figure out whether your books look like they belong there.
Likewise, read through the blurbs of the books at the #1 spot and see what it is about them that compelled so many people to buy these books. Remember, even with the massive spike in Facebook advertising, a huge amount of the traffic on Cyber Monday is purely organic, so what you’ll be seeing are sales driven through organic traffic; meaning you get to analyze what grabs readers attention more than which books have the highest ad budgets behind them.
Sometimes, the most valuable thing you’ll get out of Cyber Monday is an “ah ha” moment as you spot some small detail in some of the best-performing books in your category and it transforms the way you approach writing, publishing, and marketing your own books.
Nothing succeeds like success, and Cyber Monday is your opportunity to see what’s truly successful first-hand.