How to Create a Winning Summer Sale (A Step by Step Walkthrough)
Need a bit of help with your next online marketing promotion?
Want to run a summer sale but not sure how to maximize the chance of success?
According to web analytics firm RJMetrics, sales for ecommerce businesses decline by 30% in July (from a high in December).
So what can you do about it?
This article will break down a complete strategy for running a summer sale for your online store.
I'll create a hypothetical campaign - based around 50% off women's sandals - show you how to set up your landing page and popups, break down Facebook Ad design and targeting, and give some email templates you can use to turn interested, prospective customers into buyers.
Everything you need to know to get the most from a summer promotion.
Create an Optimized Sale Page:
Your first stop is your website developer or, even better, a landing page tool.
When creating a summer sale, you want to focus prospective customers on that sale, not anything else.
Distraction (in the form of too many links or multiple offers) will do nothing more than drop conversion rates.
As a result, design a page which limits your visitor's options. Ideally something like this (built by me within the Wishpond product page builder):
To see this page in action, it's live on a Wishpond subdomain.
Create an Exit-Intent Popup to Get More Out of Your Traffic:
Next, hedge your bets with an exit-intent popup specific to this campaign.
The best way to turn prospective customers into paying customers is with an incentive (like the promotion we're running here).
But not everyone's going to take advantage of your seasonal promotion. And in the eventuality that they leave (say… 90% of them) an exit-intent popup will appear, prompting them to subscribe in order to get exclusive discounts and first access to promotions.
Again, I put something together with Wishpond's popup builder in a few minutes (notice that, stylistically, it matches the product page it appears on. This continuity is crucial):
Advertise on Facebook
Alright, we have a campaign-specific product page and a campaign-specific exit-intent popup. Now we just need to send some traffic there.
I should absolutely notify my current email list of this promotion. Ideally I'll already have a segment in my email marketing tool which is comprised of women who might be interested in summer sandals.
But those people have already bought from me. I'd like to drive new customers with this summer campaign.
As a result, I need to set up an ad campaign.
If you have any questions about Facebook Advertising, check out my free resource The Complete Guide to Facebook Ads.
Let's take a look at the Facebook Ad I put together for the 50%-off women's sandals summer campaign:
The Facebook Ad:
Notice that the image itself is very simple, and the border eye-catching. The border also matches the color-scheme of my product page and exit-intent popup.
I've put the value of my offer front and center (as well as the limited-time element). This is best practice.
The Facebook Ad Audience:
For this Facebook Ad, I've set a daily budget of $40 (though it's unlikely to reach even half that). I've targeted women in my target demographic (22 - 55) within the US (where my hypothetical company ships).
Facebook also enables me to exclusively show this ad to women who have previously bought shoes online.
I could also target by women who have clicked the "Shop Now" CTA on a Facebook Ad in the past week - indicating they're active online shoppers.
I could also target far more broadly by including all women in my demographic, to see which strategy works best.
If Facebook's estimated reach is even remotely accurate I can expect roughly 7,500 impressions/ad views a day. If .5% of those click through to my product page, and 10% of those people buy my product (with an average order value of $40), I'll get a 200% ROI from this campaign even with the 50% discount.
Create Follow-up Emails To Turn Contacts into Sales
So I have a 90% bounce-rate from my product page, but my exit-intent popup is converting about 3% of those people. So I need to create a strategy which turns those new contacts into sales.
So that requires two things: 1) An email marketing tool and 2) Segmentation.
And luckily, I already have an email marketing tool (Wishpond) and the campaign-specific popup I created is an effective way to segment your leads.
My first action would be to create a workflow (still within Wishpond) which sends people who convert on that popup to a specific segment as well as my general subscriber segment. That'd look like this…
Then I'd send the segment three emails over the course of the next 10 days:
Time Delay: 4 Days
Subject: Check out a style guide from fashion guru Mimi Banks!
Check out this style guide from our good friend (and my personal fashion hero) Mimi banks!
In this guide, Mimi breaks down her footwear do's and dont's for summer.
Jen, Customer support at Hipson.com
Time Delay: 4 Days, 1 Hour
Subject: 48 hours left to take advantage of free shipping!
Just wanted to remind you that our free shipping coupon code (exclusive to new email subscribers) expires in less than 48 hours.
Remember, that coupon code is [LIST2178]. Just paste it into the prompted box upon checkout.
Any questions, just let me know!
Jen, Customer support at Hipson.com
Wrapping it Up
Does all that make sense?
This strategy - a promotion, exit-popup, ad campaign and follow-up emails - is everything you need in a campaign, and all of it can be done (with a bit of practice) by the most beginner of online marketers.
Feel free to copy any or all of the steps I've provided above. Steal away!
And let me know if you have any questions or comments. I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.