It’s that time of year! That’s right, Black Friday/Cyber Monday is right around the corner. This year is definitely different due to shipping delays, costs going up, and other issues. The guys break down how your business can set up your business now and how to do it successfully.
This is a direct transcript. Please forgive any grammar or spelling errors.
Jason: Everybody likes talking about the big list, the a hundred thousand people, the 200,000 people, the 500,000 people on my list. Oh, I got a million people on my list. None of that matters if people aren’t buying
Kevin: Tell your email list that there, because they’re a subscriber, they have like special privileges, you know, to get ahead of everybody else because there could be some issues getting things before the holidays.
Jason: Getting new people on your list so that when you have this offer created, you can send them an email and you can, you can send them early access.
Jen: You’re listening to eCommerce Uncensored with Kevin Monell and Jason Caruso.
Kevin: Hey everyone. And thank you for joining us on another episode of e-commerce Uncensored. My name is Kevin Monell and I’m here with
Jason: Jason Caruso.
Kevin: So Jason, we are quickly approaching that time of year again. Do you know what that means?
Jason: Yeah, we were approaching Black Friday, Cyber Monday. So that means you’re going to be in Aruba.
Kevin: I was going to say no, that’s uh, yeah, the time that I go away, that’s what I’m talking about. What do you, what are you referring to? Yeah, Black Friday.
Kevin: Cyber Monday is what I was referring to, but they go hand in hand. Whenever we have a big client facing type holiday, you tend to just leave.
Kevin: Oh, because I’m so responsible.
Kevin: Everything is ready to go before I leave pretty much everything’s scheduled out and it goes seamlessly.
Jason: Like the year we got fired by, by one of our clients,
Kevin: because you weren’t around and then they came crawling back because of me, not because of you.
Jason: Right. But it’s a good, you know, it’s a good segue into what we’re going to talk about today.
Jason: You know, like you said, uh, you know, you have everything by the way. If, if you left me to have everything prepared before I went. I, I would be doing it like I’m like at the airport trying to make like,
Kevin: yeah, yeah, I’ll get that done in the, in on the plane. I’ll get it done. Don’t worry.
Jason: Yeah. I, you know, I, I, I mean, well, it’s, it’s just that, um, yeah.
Kevin: What does a different world, man? And especially for me, like, I don’t have to be in the office. Like we’re working remotely. I could just like, I’ll take a picture of my background, my shelf here. And I’ll just whenever we’re on zoom, it’ll be like, I’m home. You’ll never know the difference, except my might not be wearing a shirt and I’ll be drunk.
Kevin: So yeah, that’s about what it looks like when
Jason: you’re away. But, um, you know, it’s funny because we were just talking before we got on here about how our sales for our, for the journal of wildlife photography, um, are kind of really bad right now. And you know, it’s funny because we. Uh, I, at least for me, Kevin, like, I’m not in the thick of things for clients like you, like you are and like how I used to be.
Jason: So for me, it’s like, you know, I forget that this is a slow time of year. October is just a very, very slow month. It is. It’s, it’s like this every year. It’s like this every single time we’re trying to like getting ready for Black Friday, Saturday. We’re still trying to make some sales up until that point.
Jason: And it’s just always been like really slow.
Kevin: Yeah. We have like these, uh, these short-term memories for, for the whole year. It’s like, we, we go through these little spurts and be like, you know, January is slow. You’re like, ah, I can’t believe January. So what are we going to do? Like our clients are saying they’re slow.
Kevin: We’re like, this is, you know, every. For a year has its ebbs and flows. You know, August is a slow month too. Cause it’s the end of summer, everyone’s on vacation. And then you get into this time period, October, the beginning of November where people are there, you know, they’re waiting. They’re like, yeah, I’m not, you know, I’m not going to buy anything now.
Kevin: Like there’s going to be great offers coming up here soon. And you know, I, you know, I’m going to be, I’m not going to buy my kids something now, you know, when they’re going to be having Christmas here soon. So I think overall there’s like a little bit of a. lull In sales for everybody. And I think you just gotta be prepared for it and know what to expect and use the time wisely and know that you’re leading up to something that’s, you know, the fourth quarter is it makes or breaks a lot of e-commerce brands year, essentially.
Jason: So it’s like you time a year for, for us. Um, you know, one thing, you know, the one thing that’s really, you know, sort of interesting. We’re not interesting, but some of that, every time we come around to this time of year, you know, we, we kind of do the same thing and that is like, oh my God, what’s the offer going to be?
Jason: And it seems like, uh, regardless of all the planning that we try to do and all the coordinating that is done. You know, at the very least you have to have an offer. Yeah. It’s funny because it’s not sort of what you think about when you’re preparing for Black Friday Cyber Monday, right. You’re thinking about like, oh my God, I got to get all the creative done.
Jason: Oh my God. Like, uh, what am I email’s going to look like, like you’re like, you’re, you’re, you’re trying to figure out all these things and like you really, and it happens like right now for the journal, like, do we have an offer for Black Friday?
Kevin: No, we have an offer.
Jason: And, and that’s like, you know, it’s really, the first place you have to start is like, what is the offer going to be?
Jason: And I think, you know, one thing that we do very badly is that we tend to look at this thing backwards or like, You know, what are the concepts for emails? What is the concepts for this? What is like a, we don’t even have a frigging offer, right?
Kevin: And you have, and you have like a, at this point and everybody, I think a lot of times over overthink it a little bit and they want to come up with this grand plan of this special offer.
Kevin: That’s going to happen in this time of year. When you have kind of like this whole year, including last Black Friday, last Cyber Monday to take a look at. Your sales look at all the offers. You’ve tried over the last 12 months and just, just use something that worked right over the last year.
Jason: Well, you know what?
Jason: I was going to say, Kev, like, as you were saying that I was like, thinking, this is like, you know, we with rev air two years ago, right? People are businesses are willing. And this is like, it’s funny because I really never thought about this way, but now that looking back, right, like rev air, the reason why they’re doing the kind of numbers that they are doing is 150% because we tried an offer that we got everybody to agree to for Black Friday, cyber.
Jason: And most brands are willing to be more creative during this time. So you should use it as a way to test things. The test offers because dude, at the end of the day, man, like we hit an absolute home run two years ago with, with, with Rivera where. You know, like they would never do an offer like this. It was like, oh my God.
Jason: It was so like out of the ordinary, it was like crazy. It was like, and then we did it and then I’m like, oh my God, this thing is like killing it. And now we use that same offer pretty much throughout the year.
Kevin: Yeah. I was going to say it’s like once we found that offer and we found out that it worked, we didn’t wait for Black Friday Cyber Monday to use it.
Kevin: It’s just, you know, you position it in that Black Friday Cyber Monday window because people are prepared for. We’ve used the same offer all year long. We use
Jason: It’s just right. But you know, the psychology of it is this is all the same, obviously. And you know, I was thinking about this, Kevin, because, you know, we are living in a world at this time where like, you know, people are watching every little penny, every single penny.
Jason: Right. And like, and it’s, it’s so true. We are trying to get the most bang for our buck. So our offers, right. Tend not to be discounts. They tend to be multiple products stacked into a bundle because people feel like they’re getting more for their money and you that’s a really good way to not discount, right.
Jason: Where you see like a lot of brands are like, okay, 75% off. 50% off of everything. And for the brands that are doing that, they’re losing a lot of money, but they’re trying to make it up in volume where if you can create an offer, that is just more stuff, right. They tend to be more profitable and they tend to work better because people want more things for them.
Kevin: Yeah, it’s kinda like that. Uh, you know, what is it, what do they call it? The offer stack or whatever. And the, on the, in the online course stuff, I guess it’s the same kind of thing for an e-commerce product. So instead of, you know, having a TV, you know, and discounting at 50% off, like a lot of the big box stores have like Walmart.
Kevin: And we can’t really do that as small businesses necessarily take 15 per 50% off of our merchandise, but we can take our other products and bring them together with that main product. Maybe some, some higher profit margin products that we can stack on top of that bigger product and make it look like you’re getting, you know, you’re going to pay almost, you’re going to pay for that big item, but look, you’re going to get this.
Kevin: You’re gonna get this. You’re going to get this. You’re going to get this for free. And it just, the psychology of it makes it more.
Jason: And then oftentimes you can actually ask for more money in that bundle. So like, if you have a bundle, that’s to say, you know, you’re selling a widget and the widget is, you know, five bucks, you’re selling it for five bucks, right?
Jason: Like you can, you know, package like give them more things and maybe charge $10 right now. It’s still cheaper than all those things to get. But it’s more than the $5. And it’s really just kinda the way w w what we try to do is just cover the cost of the item. So, for, in your example, for, uh, let’s say you buy a TV, right?
Jason: Maybe the wall Mount for the TV is an extra 50 bucks, but it only costs you 10 bucks or 15 bucks. Right. You can raise the price a little bit and offer that, that wall stand for. And maybe you don’t get the full 50 bucks, but maybe you just charge an extra 20 bucks and then that’s actually built into the offer.
Jason: And what that does is it allows you, as we said, to not discount your stuff, because people start waiting around for them and, you know, and, and that sort of stuff. But, um, it’s a really good way. And it’s what we do often. We very rarely. Discounts off products. We tend to, we tend to create packages that allow us to.
Jason: Hey, ask for more money and make, look like the savings, you know, give the customer like huge savings that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Kevin: Yeah. And when you’re, when you’re in this time period, when you have those people, you know, those customers that have like that dopamine flying all over in their brain, when you get them to buy that one offer, right.
Kevin: You want to make sure you have, you get as much out of them, you know? Kind of bad to say, but you want to pull as much money out of them while they’re in that position while they’re in that mindset. You know? So I think it’s important to also like, you know, while you have that package of things, while you have that irresistible offer, make sure you have some follow-up stuff.
Kevin: Upsells poach upsales, or, you know, what did I say? Post
Jason: I know what you’re trying to say, but posts
Kevin: post-purchase upsells cross sells, you know, have those combinations of things ready? So. When you do get that person to your site because they are being distracted by your competitors, by Amazon, by Walmart, by all these other op options that they have to buy, you have their eyes, you’ve gotten their credit card.
Kevin: You’ve gotten them to that position where they want to trust you to give them, get your product. You can offer them other things that go along with the original product, because they’re more likely this time of year, they’re more likely to take it, position it correctly. Yeah. And the other
Jason: thing is like, depending on what your audience is, like, depending on what you’re selling.
Jason: I mean, think about it. I mean, if, if you can buy your son or daughter or whoever, niece, nephew, whatever, if you can buy this one thing and get multiple things without having to pay for it and rat, you can wrap multiple things. You know, for the same price, you know, it’s a really, really strong way to present, you know, your, your Black Friday Cyber Monday deals.
Kevin: Yeah. I mean, like, as a, as a parent, it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s hard to sometimes find like it by the gifts. Right. But like, when there’s a theme, like for instance, like you buy a, I was going to say a we, but a we as like frigging 15 years now, like if you buy a switch, like the kid’s going to get a switch this year, Then you have like so many other opportunities to buy the games, the extra controller, the charger, there’s so many different things that you’re just in that mindset to buy at that point in time.
Kevin: And like, you know, you’re telling your parents to buy something that goes along with this gift, you know, you’re buying a bike, you got to get the pads or the helmet, all the things that go along with it. And if it’s, if you make it easy, you know, it’s not even really going to have to be discounted that much if it’s just convenient for them in that time period.
Jason: We started off Kevin by talking about planning. Uh, we’re kind of now talking about an offer, but obviously it’s a very, very important part of this whole equation because we’ve basically, and I say we not just you and I, but with web Rivera specifically. This is basically why they are having this success that they’re having.
Jason: Because collectively as a group, we came up with this Black Friday Cyber Monday offer that they would never have done if it weren’t for this time of year. And it happened to be exactly what we needed because the company is going bonkers.
Kevin: Yeah, well, you kind of pulled the fast man on me, a fast one on me.
Kevin: He was like, we were planning this podcast. We were talking about the topics you wanted to talk about creating an irresistible offer. And I said, I wanted to prepare, talk about preparing for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and you were okay with that, but then you steered it in a direction that was your topic.
Jason: I guess not what happened. You, you also went along with it. You are going
Kevin: deep. That’s what a professional podcaster, you know, whatever you want to call me, does it rolls with the punches and it, and it does this kind of thing. So I’m a professional. What do you want from me?
Kevin: Right? Exactly. I did want to mention some other things though. I did want to talk about some other things that you can do, or you can think about during these kinds of downtimes where, you know, sales might be going down a little bit and you might be like, You know, pissed off or whatever that things aren’t going, like, you’re all prepared.
Kevin: You’re all hyped up for this big sale period. And then you’re like, okay, this is a law. Like, what do I do? But there’s a lot of things that you can think with, like, you can start building. I mean, you can start building these audiences that, you know, when the time comes, they’re going to be the perfect person to, to buy your offer to, to, to take advantage of your offer.
Kevin: You know, we’re going to say something.
Jason: No, no, no. It likes that. You’re saying like, like, like. Right. Like, this is something that we’re talking about doing is getting new people on your list so that when you have this offer created, you can send them an email and you can, you can send them early access, which is what we’re doing with one of our clients is we’re giving them early access to a Black Friday Cyber Monday.
Kevin: But we’re also running, you know, more like lead gen type Facebook ads. It’s not like selling my product. Like we’ll put some, some piece of content out there or like a, you know, a PDF download or for one of our clients we’re running a giveaway. So we’re, we’re giving away. We’re, we’re, we’re choosing a winner.
Kevin: That’s going to get. That’s going to be the offer of Black Friday. So we’re capturing these emails of people who are interested in winning this thing. Yeah. There are going to be, you know, some people in there who are just like giveaway people who are just looking for something for free, but we are generating some interest.
Kevin: So we have this giveaway. People are signing up to our email list and we’re sending them like 10 to 20 emails after they sign up. And then we’re just kind of indoctrinating them into the business. So then when it’s time to send these emails, cause we send, you know, how many emails did we send over Black Friday, Cyber Monday within those two weeks, you know, 20, a lot, one a day, at least.
Kevin: Yeah. I’m more than that.
Jason: I mean, even like you may, you may sending like w like starting now ending tonight, ending in an hour. I mean, in 12 hours, whatever. I mean, we, we try to find any way.
Kevin: Right. Exactly. So building up that email list, so you have those people in your arsenal, so they’re ready to receive it and seeing, and seeing, and start engaging with them.
Kevin: Just build awareness around your brand. Like even blog posts. Just pay some boosts, some blog posts, a Facebook ads, get your pixel and get your engagement up. So you can then retarget those people. When it comes down to your Black Friday, offer on Facebook with the understanding that, you know, there may not be.
Kevin: The return or there probably won’t be that return that you’re used to on your Facebook guide, because that’s not the goal. That’s not the goal of these things. The goal is to build up this group of people within this group. I mean, your audiences and Facebook on your Facebook pixel that you have sitting there waiting for your offer when it’s time.
Jason: Right? Yeah. And you know, that’s, it’s important right now. Cause like Kev, we have, you know, it’s interesting this, this wildlife photography business. You know, truth, be told it’s, it’s really like our first business like that we’ve done on our own sort of speak, right. It’s not like we’re not doing the client work.
Jason: It’s basically our own. And you know, I feel like I’ve really learned a lot from this brand. Like, you know, we have 70,000 people on that email list and. You know, if I’m being honest, you know, cause everybody likes to come on these podcasts or whatever and talk about how great everything is all the time.
Jason: If I’m honest, you know, it doesn’t, it does feel like the list has been worn out a little bit. It feels like it’s not as lively as it used to be. Like we used to send out an email and we were able to make, you know, five to $10,000. You don’t know. You know, unless we send an offer a specific offer, they’re not doing as well as they used to.
Jason: So, and we’re not getting new people on the list, which is another big problem that we’ve, we’ve come into. You know? So like everybody likes talking about the big list, the a hundred thousand people, the 200,000 people, the 500,000 people on my list. Oh, I got a million people. Not like none of that matters if people aren’t buying.
Kevin: Yeah. It used to be, we were just talking about how exciting it used to be. We would send an email and just like put a, uh, I go to the little tagline at the end of the email and people would just did just by and kind of fell off. I’m like
Jason: now, you know, you know, we haven’t really grown that list that much, we haven’t really concentrated on bringing new people into that list.
Jason: You know, we’ve kind of been. Living off of, you know, that list and some, and some other things that we’re doing, but it’s, it’s really becoming crystal clear that we do have to start getting new blood on that list. And that’s basically, you know, what we’re talking about for Black Friday Cyber Monday is building that list up, creating that audience on Facebook, doing these things so that when you are ready to send your.
Jason: For Black Friday, Cyber Monday, you have some, you have people, you know,
Kevin: waiting for. Yeah, man. I was hoping we could take it easy on this thing. It’s like, we always have to be on top of this thing, man. And this is like, you hear all these gurus and things on Facebook talking about all the money they’re making and making it seem so easy, but you gotta, you gotta stay on top of it, man.
Kevin: It’s like it never ends.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah. I was, um, it’s funny. Cause I was listening to Mike Dillard. Most people probably haven’t heard of him, but he’s been around for a really long time. And he disappeared for the last three years and said he had some sort of brain issue and long story short, you know, he’s like, you know, I’ve had he’s, he has like several multi-million dollar businesses and he’s like, they all just kind of went to crap when he couldn’t do anything for them.
Jason: And so he, he started like trying to figure out ways to get like real passive income. Obviously investments, you know, like income properties or having like investments that kind of grow slowly over time, those sorts of things. Um, which is interesting because like, you know, we think of ourselves as internet, you know, entrepreneurs or like laptop entrepreneur type people.
Jason: But the truth is, is like, if you stop, it just stops. And it’s crazy how.
Kevin: Yeah, soccer, man. I mean, keeps you on your toes for sure. Um, yeah, but there’s one that list. There’s one. That’s just, the last thing I wanted to mention was like, cause I think it’s one thing that people sometimes forget is like, don’t forget about your existing customers, right?
Kevin: Like during Black Friday or Monday. Yeah. It’s like, everybody’s so focused on bringing all these new people in and attracting these new people when they have this really nice list of customers who. Are the easiest people to sell to. So, you know, for like Jason mentioned a little bit earlier, like the easy, easy, uh, the early access thing, like give your customers the opportunity to get in early, especially like, especially now when I know a lot of companies are going through like supply chain issues and inventory and, you know, holiday stock might be an issue shipping.
Kevin: It’s always an issue nowadays. Um, give your customers, or just maybe give your customers like first priority to get in on that offer first, like
Jason: You just said something that’s really important. I think that we didn’t think about is that we should have, because this is kind of like a layup, but, you know, we could have been running ads like, Hey, there are supply chains, supply and chain supply chain issues.
Jason: Order now to get it in time for Christmas, or we haven’t done that and we probably could have, and should have. Yeah, but a lot of the companies we’re dealing with have, has had their own supply chain right now. So they can hardly even sell what they have or they can hardly even keep in stock.
Kevin: And not even thinking, like, like I said earlier, like thinking about last year, like this was a thing last year to stock issue.
Kevin: Like we were running holiday campaigns prior to Christmas and they had to like give cards out to people to put under the tree or whatever they couldn’t, they couldn’t ship them because they. You know, and when we did that during mother’s day, too, like we had a lead up to mother’s day, be like, you can buy this now, so you can have it in time for mother’s day.
Kevin: So I think it’s a good opportunity to, to get ahead during this down period where the sales might be a little slower than usual. Go ahead and tell your customers that they have early access to Black Friday. Uh, tell your email list that they’re because they’re a subscriber. They have like special privileges, you know, to get ahead of everybody else because there could be some issues getting things before the whole.
Kevin: We’re on Black Friday. Cyber Monday.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think at the end of the day, man, like I think brands, I think the moral of this story is, and I see this with like the bigger brands we work with Kevin, but the smaller ones, I don’t see this with. And that is the bigger brands they’re really starting to think about Black Friday, Cyber Monday in like Q3, you know, like.
Jason: September we’re like the smaller brands that we work with, tend to wait until the last minute to get the offer out. And when I say smaller blends, that prints that we work on, I’m even talking about our own brand
Kevin: ourselves. Cause we like to drive with it. You know, it’s cruel punishment for ourselves, I guess.
Jason: Well, I’ll tell you man. It’s it’s um, when I talked, when we talked to Kim, which is one of our clients and we’re going through. The product page and she’s like, oh, I got to go through this and make sure that all this text is right. And I got to like, make sure the flow of all, this is good. Like I envy that her only job is to work on the river.
Jason: And I think part of our problem is that we have our own businesses. We have clients and we don’t focus on one. A hundred percent of the time. So we’re left with doing Black Friday Cyber Monday at the end of October, instead of the end of.
Kevin: Right. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good point. I feel the same way. I feel, I feel jealous too.
Kevin: Being able to focus. I feel like the things that we could do, if we could just have a single singular focus, you know, cause I felt the same way when she was going through that, like, oh, we have to worry about the car, the user experience, make it easier. Make the convert, focus on the conversion rates. Make sure we’re in a really good place for that.
Kevin: So that we’re ready
Jason: ever do any of that for our stuff, because we just don’t have the time.
Kevin: I want to, I write stuff down in my notepad and I opened the tab. That’s why I have 400 tabs open on my browser because there’s things I want to do
Jason: when you have to update your computer, you lose them all.
Kevin: All right. I think that’s a pretty good one. So, um, got anything else to add, Jason?
Jason: No, just make sure you’re planning far enough in advance. Figure out what your offer is going to be, because that is the number one thing. If you, if this is another thing that I think people also can, before we go, this is important.
Jason: We tend to think that people watch every little thing that we do. You can test different offers. There’s nothing wrong with having different offers. People may call you out on it, but just honor, whatever the better offer is of the two, not that big of a deal. But I would encourage you guys. This is an amazing time to test different offers because truth of the matter is just because it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday.
Jason: It doesn’t mean that these offers don’t work the entire year. Right? There’s just more people looking for them during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, but people’s psychology is still the same. And may as it is in, you know,
Kevin: November. Yeah. Right. That’s a good point. All right, fellows. All right, man. I fellows, I don’t know who I’m talking to.
Jason: Fellows, men listening to us. I hope ladies.
Kevin: Fellows, what a sexy voice like mine is hers. Him. Him.
Kevin: All right. Thank you guys so much for listening as always, you can check us out at e-commerce uncensored.com. We’ll talk to you guys real soon.
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