Run it up

It’s been nice to be on the brand side of Black Friday week for the first time in my career.

Up until this year, my role during BFCM has always been trying to tell other brands what I’d suggest they do and hoping they did it (none of them did).

And now I can do what I want :)

Turns out that one of the key things I always talked about as a Google rep worked out for one of my stores…

In the months leading up to November, I had always pushed the concept of lowering efficiency in exchange for volume to build up a funnel of potential customers to convert with discounts during the peak shopping season.

“Fill up your funnel with people that you can hammer with email and remarketing when your promos are launched… it’ll work, trust me bro”

So I tried doing that myself.

For the two months prior to November, I drove a (relative) ton of volume to my store. I spent $140,000 on ads and hit my first 6-figure month driving $130,000 of sales in October and $100,000 in September and ended those 60 days with a nearly breakeven ROAS.

By the time BFCM came around, I had an email list of over 23,000 people, a “fairly seasoned” conversion pixel, and tons of remarketing audiences to hit over the head with discounts and new ad creative.

Since I have a one-product store and no true “brand”, most of my sales come from people coming to my store from ads and converting within a day. So for better or for worse, I view my email list as a bunch of people who showed some interest but didn’t convert.

So, I thought that since I already paid for them to get my site, I may as well try to make some profit from them…

I worked through my margins and decided that since I didn’t have to cut Zuckerberg a check to get these people back to my site, I could afford to offer this list a 50% discount and still come out profitably (with a much lower AOV but who cares).

Over the BFCM period and a few extended sales (it’s still live) I used ChatGPT and Klaviyo to power 3 or 4 emails a day to this list which collectively led to a little over $15k in attributable email revenue and ~$6k in profits.

These additional sales, driven with minimal costs, skyrocketed my ROAS which then allowed me to spend more aggressively on ads during BFCM (I realize I’m mansplaining the benefits of email marketing here, sorry).

Here’s how it all panned out, where I’ll take home close to $16k in profits this month alone.

All this to say… that we’re heading into a very important month and we’ve got to keep the momentum going.

December typically makes up like 36% of Q4 revenue and the doomsday side of me thinks this is the last real month to push sales before a consumer-economic collapse.

All of us have generated a ton of interested potential buyers on our email lists prior to BFCM and have now added way more over the past week.

Take this opportunity to clear your inventory, generate whatever profits you can, and head into 2024 in a state where you can weather the potential storm.

The average US consumer is expected to spend $1,652 (Deloitte) of money they don’t have (me) this holiday season. That’s a 14% YoY increase and sure sounds like a YOLO to me with household savings (stimmy checks) on a steep decline, credit card interest rates reaching a record high 21%, and credit card delinquency rates reaching nearly 3% (highest since 2012).

If we're being honest, most of what we sell are not things that people need. We are selling to discretionary income that is slipping away each and every day. Now's an incredible time to strike while the iron's hot - people are living it up and spending on themselves and their loved ones without much regard.

Run it up.

Hi! I'm Ben

I’m a CMO (and former Googler) helping DTC brands and online retailers make sense of the things that matter. Subscribe to my newsletter for my unique perspectives, relevant data, and ways to grow your business.

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