For those of you who are new to the term, a “flash sale” is defined as “a discount or promotion which is offered by an e-commerce site/store for a limited amount of time.”
Of all the flash sales I’ve come across, the most successful sales were limited in BOTH quantity as well as time frame. I’m sure you’ve seen them all over the internet, as well as in the offline world as well.
And you know the ones I’m talking about, right? You know, the “TODAY ONLY! 1,000,000,000,000% OFF EVERYTHING!” sales. You see them everywhere and especially all over the freaking interweb, but that’s because they work, and they work well!
These types of “flash sales” are usually enough to turn those dreaded “window shoppers” into “impulse buyers” (buying now, on the spot, since there’s no time to “think about it”).
Hosting your own Facebook flash sale is a great way to draw attention to you and your products. If you’re new to flash sales, here are a few useful tips when launching a flash sale on your Facebook page.
Step 1: Choose A Sale/Deal Type
Before you can create your first flash sale on Facebook, you need to decide what type of deal you’re going to offer. Some of the more popular options include:
b. % off entire cart contents
b. amount off entire cart contents
b. on entire contents of shopping cart
b. buy 2 get 1 free
c. buy 1 get 2 free
b. $5 off $50, $10 off $100, $25 off $200+
c. Flat $5 Shipping on Order of $50+,
FREE Shipping on Order of $100+,
FREE Shipping + 20% Off on Order of $250+
These are just a few of the sale types I’ve personally run in the past. You are encouraged, however, to put your own spin on your flash sales and make them as unique as you are.
I’ve even seen some Facebook flash sales provide deals for new followers and fans, deals for fans that share the most content, and deals based on limited inventory.
While the options seem unlimited, it’s best to start with something simple and build from there. Some of the most successful Facebook flash sales are usually something simple like “35% Off” for all products or “Free Shipping” on entire store.
Step 2: Choose the Right Time
When choosing a time frame for your flash sale, you’ll want to think about a few things.
First off, you don’t want to run your sale when everyone’s busy at work (i.e. Wednesday at 2:00 PM). You also don’t want to run it when they’re heading to bed or sitting down to dinner.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people get it wrong.
I’d love to tell you the best day, the best time and the best sale type to run, however, this isn’t one of those “one-size-fits-all” situations.
Only YOU know your target audience so only you can determine the best time. I can tell you, however, if you notice that your Facebook page seems to get the bulk of it’s traffic or interaction between 6 and 9 PM on Thursdays, THAT is the time you want to run your sale, obviously!
Step 3: Build Up Some Excitement
One of the easiest ways to ensure a successful sale, flash or other, is to get as many people excited about your sale as you can. The more people hear about your flash sale, and the more excited everyone seems, the more successful it will be.
I personally suggest that you start “putting a bug” in your followers ears as early as 10 – 14 days prior to running your flash sale, especially if you’re planning on having affiliates promote it for you as well.
Start by announcing the upcoming flash sale to your affiliates first, as they will also need plenty of time to gather up their marketing material and put together their own marketing plans.
As for your own public promotions, you should start announcing your flash sale to your followers at least a week to ten days before it’s expected to go live. You’ll want to make sure people know exactly when your flash sale starts (and ends) and that usually takes quite a bit of promotion.
I suggest creating 20 or 30 posts promoting your flash sale and post a few of them each day throughout the week leading up to the day of the sale. You may also want to consider boosting your posts on Facebook as well. I’ve seen people spend as little as $3 – $7 per post which ultimately leads to more people seeing it which leads to more sales of course.
When promoting your sale, you’ll want to include details such as what type of discount(s) they can expect to receive. If you’re planning on limiting the number of sales you’ll allow at the discounted price, you’ll want to be sure to mention that as well. Most importantly, you’ll want them to know that they should shop quickly, before they run out of time and especially before all of the qualifying items have sold-out.
Step 4: Get Up Close & Personal
OK, maybe not TOO close, but definitely get personal. Don’t be afraid to message your loyal buyers/followers and let them know about your sale, on a personal level. And since these are the folks who buy from you most often, you’ll definitely want to consider adding an extra bonus, in addition to the existing offer(s), for them as well. Remember, it’ll be easier to get them to buy again, than it will be to get NEW customers to buy from you for the first time.
You may also want to ask your friends to share the sale. After all, isn’t that what Facebook was designed for? It’s important to be as social as possible (even at an individual level).
Even though you’re running your flash sale on your business profile, you’ll also want to share your promotions on your personal Facebook page too. Since many family and friends want to support you, you may make a few extra sales and even if your friends and family do not buy items themselves, they will definitely want to share it with their friends, which again, means more exposure for your offering.
Step 5: Post More Frequently on “Flash Sale” Day
This is another one of those “duh” mentions, but, again, you’d be surprised… On the day of your sale, you’ll want to post more often. I would even suggest posting once per hour, or every other hour, depending on the length of your sale. If you’re running a 6 hour sale, I would definitely post once per hour, possibly more, whereas if your sale us running the entire day, posting every 2 – 3 hours would be ok.
Most people are busy individuals and whatever it is that you are offering will probably not be the first thing on their mind. As a marketer, it is your responsibility to remind them of whatever it is that you’re promoting. Don’t go too crazy though. You could end up ultimately doing more damage than good.
Remember, since you are not the only person they’re following on Facebook, you are essentially competing for their time and attention. Posting just a few quality messages rather than a few dozen useful messages will give you better results — guaranteed! After all, no one wants you wasting their time, this will usually result in people “unfriending” you or “unfollowing” your page.
Step 6: Be Available During The Sale
Have you ever gone into your favorite shop and found a product that you’re interested in and that you have questions about only to realize that there is no one around? Well, imagine you customers having the same experience.
Do you really think you’d get the sale? Probably not, right? So…
Be sure that you make yourself available to answer questions during your sale. And, to score a few extra brownie points with your customers, if you see a sale come in from one of your followers, take a moment to post a thank you message to them individually.
You’d be surprised at how far gestures like this will go. Hell, I’ve even seen it when such gestures end up resulting in additional “there and then” impromptu sales.
Step 7: Create A “Real” Sense of Urgency
No, I am NOT talking about the FAKE SCARCITY bullshit here folks. I’m talking about genuine urgency.
When the sale is close to ending, tell your followers and potential customers that there is “only XXX minutes left” before the sale is over.
Post a message at the 2 hour mark, again at the 1 hour mark and then again every 15 minutes or so until the last 5 minutes or so.
When there is only 5 minutes to go, post one final time and then start on your “I’d like to thank….” speech, which you’ll want to post once your sale has concluded.
Step 8: Be Kind, Rewind…
Sorry, wrong post, lol. Seriously, once the sale has ended, be sure to post (a few times in fact) how grateful and thankful you are to ANYONE who had ANYHING to do with helping your sale be the success that it was. (Even if it was a flop. no one needs to know that.)
Be courteous and mention customers, affiliates and marketers alike. Let them know that the sale could not have been as successful as it was without THEM!!!!
Be sure to also mention that you will be offering another flash sale in the near future (even if you’re not necessarily planning on doing so) and that they should definitely subscribe to your mailing list if they want to be alerted as the time grows nearer.
Even if you decide NOT to host another flash sale, you can send that info in a future email and let them know that if they wish to unsubscribe, they are free to do so. I can assure you that the majority of new subscribers will actually stay subscribed — JUST IN CASE.
OK, well, now that the flash sale is over, your job is done, right?
HELL NO!!! Not so fast. In fact, you’re job as a marketer has actually just begun. Now is the time to prove to those who purchased your recent offer, why doing so was a GOOD thing AND to start promoting your NEXT flash sale.
This is also the perfect time to reflect on the flash sale and start crunching the numbers. What is worth it, financially? Did you meet/exceed your goals? Do you think the sale was the perfect offering, the perfect pricing, the perfect day, time and/or timeframe? Would it be beneficial to run your next flash sale on a different day? At a different time? At a different price point? Etc, etc, etc…
Maybe you, and your followers, would benefit from having a flash sale on a regular basis. Every Wednesday at 6:30PM or Every 10th of the month… The only person who can answer this is YOU, so, start crunching the numbers and figure it all out. But, most importantly, have fun!
Now that you know what a flash sale is, and you have a few starting pointers, why not visit my online catalog and grab a few products to help you get for your first, or next, flash sale going. Be sure to come back and let me know how it all went (by posting a comment below).
As always, please feel free to contact me at anytime if you have any questions or even if you’d like to discuss possible ideas for your next flash sale. I’m always more than happy to help any way I can.