Q4 2022 - Post 8: What to Do During Your Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale

Email & paid campaigns are scheduled, website is optimized, and team is aligned with your campaign calendar. Now what? Optimize, troubleshoot, and scale.

You have your email and paid social campaigns set up, dialed in your website experience, and aligned with your team on the campaign calendar. You’re ready to roll into the holiday season… Now what?

bfcm sales do something meme

Don’t just sit there… stay on your toes with paid media optimizations and make sure your customer support team has lots of resourcing, guidance, and a steady stream of caffeine.

How to Optimize Black Friday Cyber Monday Campaigns on Paid Social

We’ve gone over how you’ll want to prepare for BFCM by investing in prospecting early, then retargeting those new audiences with your offer when it launches in our post on preparing your paid ads strategy for Black Friday. 

Start with budgets, goals, and timing

When it comes to turning that strategy into action and optimizing campaigns over the course of your sale, start with your budget and work backwards. Plan on doubling or tripling your spend for BFCM compared to your evergreen campaigns, increasing gradually starting in October all the way through to the big Black Friday push.

Refer to your campaign calendar to plan timing around when you think budget pushes would be most effective. You can map out your spend in as much or as little detail as you want depending on how you approach paid ads during the year. 

We typically like to work with budget floors and ceilings based on performance thresholds and goals. That approach allows us to push more aggressively when we see great results (which we will) and pull back if something goes sideways (which it won’t).

An approximate layout of your Q4 budget approach could look something like this, with an approximate budget of $1k per day during the year and the ability to scale up to $5k per day during the holidays:

October: from $1,000/day to $2,500/day

  • Focusing on awareness and acquisition through traffic, email lists, social engagement, and video views. 
    Emphasize creative testing to inform your approach for BFCM. 
  • Lower ROAS targets and put more of an emphasis on secondary metrics like email signups, CPC, CTR, cost per add to cart, and cost per initiate checkout.

Early November (pre-sale):from $2,500/day to $4,000/day

  • Continue scaling acquisition while CPMs are below the peak, increasing retargeting budgets as audiences grow.
    Final VIP lead gen push for early access, gift with purchase, added discount, giveaway, etc. 
  • Refresh your ad creative; focus and iterate on what’s performing best. 
  • Build out everything; have ads published and scheduled to run when your sale goes live.

BFCM Sale: pushing for $5,000+ as client and performance allows

  • The most active you’ll be in your ad account all year. 
  • Keep an eye on recent and real-time traffic performance in tools like Google Analytics, TripleWhale, and Northbeam. 
    Make optimization decisions and steer spend where you’re seeing the best performance. 
    Use backup ad sets and ads built in advance to make quick decisions and not slow down spend during the sale. 
  • Be hyper aware of timing, offers, and the ads for each. Make sure you’re turning off ads the moment they’re not relevant. 
  • Some brands may change their offer from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (increase % off, etc.). If so, make sure to build new creative and launch ads that reflect this difference between offers.

Early December (after sale, before shipping cut-off):down to $1,500/day

  • Revert back to evergreen structure and start building prospecting audiences back up for shipping cut-off and the New Year.

Last minute gifting & shipping cut-off: up to $3,000/day

  • Use learnings from BFCM to inform your approach for the last sales push of the year: last minute gifting opportunities and the shipping cut-off deadline. 

Build your dashboards, know where to look, and check often

As the clock strikes midnight on Black Friday, you need to know how you’re going to measure all the success you’re about to experience.

Build out your dashboards across all relevant platforms with the key metrics to gauge performance and make optimization decisions. Our typical tech stack we use for dashboards includes the ad platforms themselves, Google Data Studio for custom reports, Google Analytics, and Triple Whale.

Within your ad accounts, create a custom column view that reflects the most relevant metrics to your brand’s success on BFCM. The custom columns we use at Kulin are:

  • Amount Spent 
  • Budget 
  • Delivery 
  • Results (Purchases) 
  • Cost per Result (CPA) 
  • Purchases 
  • Cost per Purchase (CPA) 
  • Purchase ROAS 
  • Purchase Conversion Value 
  • AOV (website purchases conv value / website purchases)
  • CVR (website purchases / link clicks)
  • Checkouts Initiated 
  • Cost Per Checkout Initiated 
  • Adds to Cart 
  • Cost per ATC 
  • Click > UATC (Adds to Cart / Link Clicks) 
  • ATC > Pur (Website Purchases / Adds to Cart)
  • Reach 
  • Impressions 
  • Frequency 
  • CPM 
  • First Time Impression Ratio (reach / impressions - as a percentage)
  • Thumb Stop Rate (3sec view / impressions - as a percentage)
  • Link Clicks 
  • Link Click CTR
  • Landing Page Views 
  • Click Quality (Landing Page Views / Link Clicks)

Staying on top of customer support & user experience

One in three customers are willing to pay more to receive a higher level of customer support. 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching after just one instance of poor service. Providing great customer support similar to what’s expected from a brick and mortar experience can be a challenge for online retailers during BFCM, but it’s not impossible. And it can be the key to how you win the holiday shopping season this year.

Pro Tip 💡 use dynamic coupon links for emails and ads promoting your major BFCM offers to make a more seamless shopping experience for your customers and cut down on customer support headaches.

Make sure your Customer Experience (CX) tech stack is ready for BFCM

Customer service is a critical component of your store’s success, and offering round the clock support is becoming more and more of an expectation for retailers in 2022. That can feel like a daunting task, but there are many tools out there that can help you streamline your team’s customer experience efforts.

Before signing up for all the free trials and loading up with a ton of apps that can slow down your site, consider the biggest pain points for your customer (and customer service team).

understand frustration customer service gif

Are clunky customer service processes slowing down your response times? Are common complaints on paid social slipping through the cracks and bringing down conversion rates? Do you recognize opportunities for personalization and more streamlined data collection to improve overall customer experience, but don’t have the tools to execute? 

Start wherever there’s the greatest friction between your ideal customers and their first purchase, and your returning customers and their next purchase. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) software can combine capturing customer data with a wide range of marketing automation and analysis features. One of our favourite CRM solutions is Klaviyo for email and SMS, which works really well with customer service platforms like Gorgias for two-way conversational marketing. We also love Retextion to manage subscriptions and improve LTV. 

It’s worth paying special attention to SMS this year as it can have as much as a 2000% ROI during BFCM. We’ve heard great things about Attentive or Cartloop for SMS specifically, although Klaviyo is catching up on features and functionality, and streamlines effort for brands already using the platform for email. 

For most brands that drive online sales, it’s worth investing in a customer support platform that can centralize and manage inquiries from all platforms that customers can reach your brand through. 

These customer service tools can integrate with your CRM software and allow your team to manage interactions across the entire customer lifecycle in one place, from first question to first sale to retention. 

A few of our favourite customer service tools are Gorgias and Zendesk, which integrate very well with Klaviyo. Gorgias specifically has a flawless integration that can turn a text into an open CX ticket and manage a two-way SMS conversation between team and customer. 

Another key customer experience opportunity is in personalization; capturing customer profile data to create individualized experiences and improve engagement. 

One of our favourite tools to leverage ahead of BFCM is Octane.AI, which captures leads through engaging on-site quizzes that collect insights to use for greater personalization. Octane can share that data with Klaviyo and other integrations for more personalized experiences on your website, email, SMS, and other marketing channels to improve conversion and retention.

Prepare and empower your customer service team to go above and beyond 

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth re-emphasizing: you need to proactively prepare your team for the biggest sale period of the year where customer inquiries will hit its highest point. 

Set notifications to make all teams aware of any website issues and products going out of stock. Establish a communication plan to avoid wasting ad spend and avoid customer frustration while you address any issues. 

Customer inquiries from all platforms will reach new heights during BFCM, so make sure your customer service team is equipped with answers to common questions to keep response time quick and conversion paths as smooth as possible.

Keep in mind that people are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones, and human-to-human interactions are still valued over automations. Here are a few customer service tips you can share with your team ahead of the holiday season:

  • Make sure everyone is on the same page with the timing details of your campaign calendar, and their roles and responsibilities for each stage. 
  • Plan for the highest volume of inquiries you’ll see all year. 
    Knowing how you respond to your current high points should help you properly resource your team for an even greater flood of questions, especially once the sale ends and the inevitable order and shipment questions come in. 
  • Make sure internal processes and shortcuts are updated and shared with your team so they’re prepared when the BFCM floodgates open. 
    Especially important to share resources related to brand voice, products and features, and other FAQs.
  • Get ahead of the most frequently asked questions or problems (including any questions around your specific BFCM offer) and prepare default responses within your customer service tools. 
    If you’re using Gorgias, creating macros is an easy way to keep response times fast when questions start flying in. 
  • Using a live chat app can be helpful to answer customer questions and improve conversion rate during BFCM. A few of our favourites are Shopify Inbox, Tidio, and Smallchat
    If you’re really looking to upgrade your live chat experience, check out Tolstoy that uses interactive video to create more engaging face-to-face conversations with your customers.
  • Take a step back to assess every touch point and automation running:
    What kinds of notifications and automations do you currently have running? 
    Do you need to scale back and consider inbox over-saturation? A big one that most brands miss is Shopify notifications on top of Klaviyo post-purchase communication.  
    Can you customize any experiences (like an order tracking page through Wonderment) to enhance that brand experience?
    Is there anything you may want to turn off during BFCM?

Avoid additional stress on your customer service team during the busiest time of the year by ensuring that your website has clear instructions for how to use your product and an easily accessible frequently asked question (FAQ) section. 

The more you design your website to answer common questions, the easier life will be for your customer service team, and the more seamless the path to purchase will be for your prospective customers.

Congrats! You and your team have made it through Black Friday Cyber Monday. But the work doesn't stop there... learn how to make the most of the post-BFCM period here.

© Kulin Co 2022