Black Friday & Cyber Monday are right around the corner. After experiencing many Black Fridays & Cyber Mondays, the guys give out their not so obvious checklist so you can be confident when the time is here!
This is a direct transcript. Please forgive any grammar or spelling errors.
Kevin: With your creative call out Black Friday and Cyber Monday .
Jason: When something’s working, let it work. And if you want to make edits to it or improvements to it, just duplicate the campaign.
Kevin: But if things are working, stick with it.
Jen: You’re listening to e-commerce uncensored with Kevin Monell and Jason Caruso.
Kevin: Hey everyone. And thanks for joining us on another episode of e-commerce Uncensored. My name’s Kevin Monell, and I’m here
Jason: with Jason Caruso.
Kevin: So we have roughly about four weeks or so coming for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, coming up and, um, you know, we’re getting ready with a lot of our clients, all of our clients and our personal businesses as well.
Kevin: So I thought it would be a good idea to kind of go over some things that. Kind of look over or quote unquote checklist of things that we look over for our Facebook ads or social media ads in general, that we thought that, you know, it’d be good for you guys to kind of review before the time comes and it’s too late.
Jason: Yeah. I mean, you know, a lot of Black Friday Cyber Monday is preparation prior, right. And there are some things that, um, you should, and you shouldn’t do.. And we’re going to talk about those today because we’ve, and we’re telling you this because we’ve made the mistakes before, right. And there are some ones that you would think are just very.
Jason: You know, elementary sort of speak, but when you’re in the heat of the battle, you kind of don’t think about them. So,
Kevin: I mean, you’re you, everybody out there is, you know, running their businesses day to day. You know, I mean, a lot of people were, were that we’re speaking to on this podcast are growing. Their businesses are small businesses and they’re just in the thick of things leading up to it. And. Ended up waiting to the last minute to think about Black Friday, Cyber Monday. And, um, it gets, it gets difficult at that time because the competition is so high. Everybody’s vying for that spot in front of somebody on, on the newsfeed. So it gets tougher and tougher as you get closer. So.
Jason: So what, what’s the first one, Kevin, what is the first thing that you would say is on your list during black Friday, Cyber Monday I think the first thing, and it doesn’t even involve like your actual offer for Black Friday. We kind of touched on it a couple of weeks ago in our preparing for black Friday podcast and is start some ads early. To start building up your audiences in your, in your Facebook and your Papa, you know, start bringing some people in, start building that awareness up, get your messages out there. So like when it’s time for your ads to go out there, you have like fresh audiences, you have fresh eyes on your ad. You have a new eyes on your, on your ad. You have a bigger, broader audience to start serving your ads up to. Yeah, I actually, my number one thing actually would be. Prior to that would be to have your ads set up a week before so that they all get approved and they, you can schedule them for black Friday cyber Monday that I think that was like a big one for me. Like, I felt like. You know, I know it’s such an easy thing, but I feel like it makes it makes sense. Like instead of doing it like a day or two before, and then just hoping that they get approved in time, get your ads done a week in advance and have them approved and scheduled so that you’re not twiddling your thumbs, you know, 24 hours or 48 hours before you’re ready to launch.
Kevin: Yeah, I do that a lot with like, just, even during the year, like when it’s not black Friday, cyber Monday, I just like create the ads and I can. I just put them in draft. Like if I’m not quite ready to launch the ad yet, and you don’t have to schedule them necessarily, they just have to be there in draft. You’ll notice that you’ll be working on an ad and you’re not done with. You know, you’re, you’re still working on it. You’ll get an email that says it’s approved. Sometimes I go into a panic and they go shit that I, that I launched that ad by accident. But if it’s sitting there saved as a draft, Facebook will go in and its system will review it and give you an approval on it before you’re actually ready to actually post it. So that’s the, you know, that’s, that’s huge because. If you’re looking to post an ad, even the day of black Friday, say you’re starting the Monday before black Friday, and you’re starting that ad that same day. It could take a day or two to get approved or worst case scenario doesn’t get proved at all. And then you’re kind of screwed.
Jason: Yeah. So why don’t we have go back and forth? Why don’t you tell me your second most important thing, and then I’ll go to my second.
Kevin: Well, I, I don’t really have an order to my list to be honest, look at my notes here. Another one I have here is, and it’s, and it’s such a simple thing. And it came up today in one of our client meetings and it’s something that we didn’t do and we didn’t think about, and it’s just looking at what, what you did last year and just seeing how those things performed and decide whether you have to create something new or just kind of. Open the door back up to those old ads, not necessarily old ads, like start the offer can do the same. The messaging can be the same. The creatives can be the same. No one from a year ago is going to see your ad on Facebook and say, oh, they just did this. They did this last black Friday. Why are they doing the same exact thing again?Like, I don’t think there’s, it’s a huge, everybody always wants to be so creative and reinvent the wheel every black Friday to create this really special offer when they have this offer that. A year ago during the same time when everyone had the same thought process and they think they have to like change everything around to get better results. Yes. And I
Jason: think that is like, so one thing that I think that amateur marketers, the mistake that they make is that they don’t use beta. Right? Like they don’t like, you know, when you have a history of stuff, you know, even if it’s failed. It’s still useful data that you can go back to and look and say, look, oh shit, you know, this worked, that didn’t work. Um, and if you, if you feel the need to refresh the offer, you can certainly do that. Use different creative, you, different videos, use different copy, but use the same offer that you already know. Like we, we had this offering from one of our clients that killed it last year. In fact, The only thing that stopped it was that we had to turn them off because black Friday cyber Monday was over. So, so instead of like, we had this conversation today with our clients, instead of reinventing the wheel, like we had this thing that killed it, like, why wouldn’t we just want to make new ads? You want to make new copy. That’s fine. But use the same offer. I think that’s a really using data, I think is a Important part of this, um, because it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gonna have the same impact, but you can at least use it as sort of like a compass to kind of steer you in a direction,
Kevin: um, that you. Yeah. And you can use some of the other things, not just last black, Friday, cyber Monday, all the things you did from last black, Friday, cyber Monday, leading up to this black Friday, uh, use that data to help drive your offers and you and your, your messaging and things like that.
Jason: Yeah. I liked that. That was a good number two. My number two, Kevin. Cause you’re looking at your list, like you’re about to do number
Kevin: three. I’m trying to get my thoughts in order here, Jason, you, you know how I like to get my thoughts in order before I speak?
Jason: Yes. For me, I think that’s a good number two. Um, I don’t want to say that, that, that, uh, because that really could be before even number one, but I would say that’s a really good one, but another, another good one is, um, not to change your ad. Right. Like, instead of make editing your ads during black Friday, cyber Monday, create a new one and you know, like let them both run together. If you have to for an hour or two, don’t get too. Oh, I got, I got two ads running. It’s going to screw everything up. Like, no, like instead that’s why this is like a lesson. I think we learned is like, when something’s working, let it work. And if you want to make edits to it or improvements to it, just duplicate. The campaign with the same ads, the same settings, and then whatever that one or two things you want it to change in that first one, for example, I’ll tell you one that happens to me a lot.
Um, I, whenever we run ads and then I start seeing the ads in my newsfeed, I’m like, oh shit, I didn’t exclude our pages. Now. I think they’re doing a way with that. Kevin, when I was doing these new ads, There, there was, there was a message saying that they’re, they’re doing away with it. I don’t know. But the point is that. Like a simple change like that. You don’t really want to screw anything up. So I would just duplicate the campaign and make that little change and then wait until it’s, it’s actually showing some history. So I would let both of those run at the same exact time and just make sure that that second ad is, is that having the same.
Kevin: Uh, success as the first one. Yeah. It’s an interesting thing this time of year, because the, the thought process of these campaigns are kind of go against what Facebook and Instagram and these platforms say to do. Like they say to let ads run for a long period of time and let Facebook learn and get better. But this is, you know, this is a different kind of time. Like you have a two weeks, let’s say we usually do two weeks, one week for black Friday a week for cyber Monday. You have to be prepared to, to watch your ads. And as they, in that time period, when you see it working, don’t touch it. We, and this is a mistake that we’ve made because we thought, you know, we wanted to do. You know, we wanted to switch from black Friday, cyber Monday. So we changed the creative a little bit. It’s offer was exactly the same, but we went in and we changed the creative. What that does is it completely throws off Facebook’s algorithm when it’s starting to learn, it’s going through that learning process and you’ve got, you’ve gone 17. Done really well. And just because you feel like it should say cyber Monday, you go in and change, change the ad. And that kind of just throws things out of whack. And we saw like a F like a 50% decrease in sales last year when we just made that one mistake. So I would just stick with a plan, you know, obviously if it’s not working, if you’re going like three or four days and you’re like, I’m just spending money, then you need to maybe adjust.: But if things are working, stick with it,
Jason: um, okay. So. My question is with your example, if black Friday is over with then what do you do?
Kevin: Well, what we did actually is we just combine the two, like we had black Friday cyber Monday. So like I liked them. I liked that. Maybe I wasn’t clear with that, like too. I mean, it’s just like what it is.
Jason: You didn’t say that, but that makes that, that makes all the sense. It’s like, you know, combine them together. And at the end of the day, like, People are buying on black Friday or cyber Monday.
Kevin: I don’t think it really matters. And we always recommend to our clients and our clients. Don’t always, uh, listen to us, but we just say continue the same offer. You know, maybe in your emails where you have the flexibility of changing your creatives, make it cyber Monday focused. But when you have a two week period where your ads have to run, they have to learn to have to do all these things, keep them consistent. So just combining the two, the two. We actually did.We actually did a, uh, a video and the copy said black Friday slash cyber Monday sale going on now. And the video and the cross, the banner, it had the offer in the middle. I could show the price that they were giving and then it had our cause we have to, we had different creatives for black Friday and cyber Monday. So we just put those in the banner together. So that kind of leads me into like the next one is just. You know, with your creative call out black Friday and cyber Monday, you know, make it clear. Don’t like beat around the Bush and just have an offer. Like say it’s cyber Monday, say black Fridays here. Say these kinds of things, because those are the things that people are actually actively looking at. And it will draw their attention because they’re thinking they’re getting the best deal that they can.
Jason: I think that there for the psychology also is like, they’re actually looking for the deals too. Like that’s the other side of it is like they’re looking to spend money at this time a year, you know, Kev mind number three. And it’s, it’s probably just this year only is if you’re selling physical products and you know that it may arrive to your client’s late.
Either, let them know. Right. You can let them know, like you put a message on the website and say, look, you know, due to COVID and supply chain issues, things are not, are just running a little bit behind. Um, or another thing you could do is start your ads actually early and say, in your ads, if you want this by Christmas, you have to purchase by
Kevin: whatever. Yeah. I mean, th that’s happening more and more. Every year. People are starting earlier and earlier and earlier, and I think it’s no different, especially now. And to your point about, you know, not being able to get the products out on time, I think people are, are, they get scared that they’re gonna lose a sale because of it, but you have to be really upfront with people. And I think people will appreciate that. If you say to them, you know, you’re not going to get this til after Christmas. Uh, we’ll do whatever we can to, to make sure you have some. To represent the gift under your tree or something like that. But if you’re just like, kind of like, kinda like put it on the side and don’t really tell people, that’s when they get turned off and it kind of gives leaves a bad taste in their mouth and they’re more willing to then find out about it in their order confirmation later, and then cancel the order, just be upfront with them and let them know what what’s going on with your business. As far as the shipping goes, I totally agree. Um, I know you’re not a big, uh, creative guy, um, like you as much as I am, but I think to get your creatives in place and make sure you have the right formats for your Facebook ads, have all the different sizes ready. I really I’ve been noticing a lot lately that people are doing a lot of the, you know, they’re just putting one ad out there and they’re publishing it to the fate, to the story ads. The same creatives to everything. And I think it does. There’s a lot of value in setting up different formats for different platforms, like a square ad for your Facebook newsfeed and your Instagram newsfeed. And then, then like your vertically formatted ads for your, for your story ads. Cause you’re, we recommend you do the automatic placement. So you’re going to want to customize that for every placement in my eyes.
Jason: All right. So. Put a little disclaimer on what you said because not a disclaimer, but a little bit. I want to you’re right. I was always, I was not a, not a creative guy. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t, I wouldn’t say that, but I think like with this whole iOS 14 update, I think testing different creative is going to get a lot more important because you, you have to give Facebook more data. Right. We’re in the past, in the past, they were, it’s really easy for them to track everything and, you know, attribute everything. And now it’s getting a little bit more tricky. So I think that, you know, I think that it’s really important to have different creatives so you can give Facebook more information. So I think my position on that has changed a little bit with the iOS 14 update, but, um,
Kevin: I think they like it, I think as a platform, because we know, you know, they control the ads and, you know, they have these so-called and they’re not called relevancy scores anymore, but they’re called like quality scores or whatever. And I think, I think your costs, I don’t know for sure. I can’t don’t quote me on this, but I think you’re going to pay less and you’re going to get a higher score on your ads. If you have creatives that are specially specifically designed for. Placements. It just makes sense to me. It makes it make sense for Facebook to want to put, because I’ve seen, you’ve seen ads, you’ve seen ads in stories, Instagram stories that you can tell. I can tell because I do this, but that’s just like a whole page of text. And you’re like, that’s just the text from the Facebook posts that they put into their Facebook ad. And I think just because I know that Facebook is very concerned about their user experience, that they’re going to try to put a. The right formatted content in front of people, more likely to put it in front of people. If that makes sense.
Jason: Yeah. Okay. I got another one. Do you have another one over there? Kev, go ahead. Okay. So this is when we spoke about today and I think it’s really important because I think it’s going to, I think it’d be very difficult for brands to do this and it’s because of just the way corporate America is built. Uh, but one thing that I think that you’re going to have to get used to going forward is not attributing your marketing or even reporting on the various platforms. Uh, your ROI on the various platforms. What I mean by that is with this iOS 14 update, you know, the big thing was with Facebook, but it’s not just Facebook. It’s like every platform has a harder time attributing sales to your ads. It doesn’t matter which w which one it is really. Um, but yeah, I mean, I think that looking at your ad spend as a whole, and then. Seeing what your ROI is on the platforms collectively. I think that is a little bit, that’s going to be the norm going forward because like I know, you know, Facebook really made it really easy to attribute sales to their platform.And that’s really, you know, that was really the genius with Facebook, right? Like you were able to see all this data and now we’re going back to, you have to now be a good marketer. Right. It’s not just about knowing every little thing about somebody, so now you can sell them anything. Right. It’s, it’s changing a little bit now. Now you actually have to be good at marketing and good at copy and good at that sort of thing. So, you know, we’re encouraging all the people that we work with to, to sort of look at their marketing, spend as a whole and see what they got back as a whole. Instead of saying, oh, I spent a thousand on Facebook and I only got back 200, like, well, like we’re going through that right now with our, our journal. Right? Like we, we, things were slowed down a little bit. October is always slow, though. It really is just a bad month because everything’s kind of happening
Kevin: next month. We should start a new on our computer that says October slow because we had the same conversation last year. Yeah. It’s a slow month. And, um, So like whenever we get sales at this point, we know it’s coming from our ads.Right? So the point, the point is like, okay. Yeah, like maybe Facebook is not telling me that all their ads are that all the sales came from their platform. But if you do a little investigation and you look. You know where they came from. If they’re on your email list already, those kinds of things will tell you if they’re new orders, um, with Klaviyo exact actually, it’s pretty easy to do that.Like you can, you have a segment right now, like new customers in the past 24 hours that tells us. You know, and then you can look at each of those people and say, oh, okay, this person’s on our list. This person isn’t on our list. Okay. So they must have come from Facebook. You know, you kinda gotta have, you have to dig a little deeper, but the point is, is looking at every one of these platforms. Rather than individually looking at them as a whole. Yeah. That’s something that came up today too, in our conversation as far as, you know, cost of acquisition and stuff, reading the numbers in Facebook. And it’s funny because we’ve been talking about this for a long time. Like, we’ve been saying that this multi-channel marketing strategies, it’s like you can’t, it’s like money in and money out.
Plus the, the. The the time and the stress and pressure that goes into trying to track down every single dollar and where it came from. It’s it’s time, better spent, you know, trying to optimize something that’s already working. You know what I mean? So money in for us money in money out, really? I think that’s, that’s the biggest, obviously you’ll, you’ll be able to see if something’s completely dead and not working, but when you’re trying to like say, okay, I got 12 orders today, but Facebook’s only saying nine. Let me try to figure out where those other three are coming from. It’s a wasted. Right. The last, uh, the last one I have on my list is more technical, really. And it’s just something that I’ve been dealing with over the last couple of weeks, not with Facebook as well with Google is just to make sure. And this is for, if you, if you do run dynamic product ads and things like that is to make sure all your, you know, your catalog feeds and everything are, are good to go, you know, are clean. They’re they’re following the guidelines. You don’t have any, uh, Issues with the platforms connecting, make sure everything’s synced up because I’ve, and it’s kind of a good thing that it’s happening now, but I’ve been going through hell with Google ads, uh, merchant center, um, and. And it’s like, it’s almost like this invisible thing that these robots are going and looking at information and it’s not matching up. And you’re like, I can’t see the numbers as clearly as these merchant center robots can see. So, um, it’s been a little bit of a struggle, so just make sure all that information is, is good to go,
Jason: but, but how, why that happened because we’ve made changes that. Probably shouldn’t be making this close to black Friday cyber Monday, right? Like that’s another side of it. It was like, don’t be f-ing with things a couple of weeks before. You’re the biggest time of the year for physical products, right?
Jason: you know, that’s like a big thing. Don’t be making big changes. Right now,
Kevin: it’s just, yeah. They shipping change shipping costs, shipping changes, shipping calculations, calculations.
Yeah. Those are all kinds of things that kind of like are generated automatically. It’s not something you have total control over. So if it’s, if you’re not having an issue now, don’t like make those changes now because who knows what’s going on. No, and
Jason: then anything can come up. I mean, like we were just going, you’re going through this right now. Or one of our clients changed, like the way the taxes or being calculated. And it, Google has been down for weeks because of it it’s been horrible. So don’t make those changes. You know, I totally something slipped in my mind. What was the one thing I wanted to talk about? Not the one thing, but remember I said
Kevin: to you, we were talking about increasing your resource. Yes.
Jason: Okay. So that’s another thing that I think if you’re not using Shopify, if you’re using Shopify, then you can ignore this because you really can’t do anything about it. But if you, if you’re on like a custom build or you’re on Magento or you’re on woo commerce, like we are, you may want to look into your, your resources of the website. You know what Kev, this is something that we need to figure out with our business. We have these little bottleneck. In our website that really are slow. They slow things down. And if you’re going to have increased traffic at this time, you want to make sure that your website can handle it. So you may want to update or upgrade your hosting platform. You may want to make sure your CDN is working and you may want to, you know, make sure these things are all. Optimized so that the website is moving quickly. That’s something that we talk about. And sometimes we do, but we, we probably should be doing more of that with the journal. Kev is like actually going through every step and fixing the problems that are coming up.In fact, you don’t have, I mean, this is a side con content, but we may be getting to the point where it’s time to switch platforms because. These recurring revenues are gonna, are gonna stop sooner than
Kevin: others. Yeah. I mean, I’ve noticed that too, man it’s was like something that we really should put some attention on, especially now. Um, it’s it. But every time I go on the website, like I get bothered by something else and I’m like, ah, like we should fix that.
Jason: Yeah. Sometimes it’s hard though. With WooCommerce, you fix one thing, something else breaks, they update a plugin. Something of that that’s one thing we’ve been going through now is like the plugin was updated and it fucked everything
Kevin: Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah. Yeah. All right. That about, does it for me, man. Me too. All right. Cool guys. Thank you guys so much for listening as always, you can check us out at e-commerce uncensored.com and we’ll talk to you guys real soon.
You can also check out the video of this podcast and see our beautiful faces on our YouTube channel. Click here to check that out and subscribe.