How Membership Site Owners Can Capitalize on Black Friday
Black Friday is almost upon us…
What was once a US-centric highlight (or for some, a ‘low-light') of the holiday shopping season is now a global grab for hot deals and discounts.
And for those of us who prefer not to be trampled in a supermarket doorway, the Internet provides plenty of opportunity for frenzied bargain-hunting.
As a membership site owner, it also presents business opportunities and indeed some challenges to content with; so here are our top tips for how to survive and even thrive this Black Friday:
1: Decide whether to participate
Do you embrace the madness of Black Friday when it comes to running offers and discounts for your membership site, or do you simply refuse to give in?
Discounts and money off promotions can be tricky business for membership websites; moreso than for one-off purchases, information products, courses and software.
You need to consider the possible implications that running a big discount could have on your existing members who may feel slighted by the fact they missed out.
It also needs to be worth your while; it's far too easy to get caught in a race to the bottom on price when it comes to participating in the sort of crazy cost-cutting people expect on Black Friday; and you have to think about the sort of members you could potentially be attracting with your offer.
2: Figure out your offer
If you do decide to get in on the action; then you need to come up with a great offer.
5-10% off really isn't going to move the needle – people expect BIG savings on Black Friday so you need a headline-worthy offer.
Bundling together products or adding in exclusive Black Friday bonuses can be a great alternative if you don't want to underprice your membership.
Or alternatively offering a membership option that isn't available at any other time – like a lifetime option – could generate a lot of buzz.
And don't forget about your existing members either…
Taking care of your existing members is even more important than attracting new ones, so if you can offer them a great deal for Black Friday then that can be great for retention.
3: Find a way to get above the noise
If you do decide to run a discount promotion on Black Friday then keep in mind that you'll be one of many.
Getting the attention of your audience can be challenging at the best of times; never mind on the craziest day of the year for online sales.
Whether you have a strategy for rising above the noise of everyone else is something that should be a major factor in your decision to run a promotion or not.
Warming up your audience in advance by letting them know that a deal is coming can be a great approach; and be sure to research which influential blogs in your market typically curate details of the best deals, ensuring that they include you too.
4: Double-up on resources
So you concoct the perfect offer for your market, along with a promotional strategy that makes sure you stand out from the crowd, and you have potential new members flocking to your site at a rapid rate.
Then, your server crashes…
We've seen this happen countless times and it's a devastating waste!
Don't let it happen to you – make sure you speak to your hosting company and let them know that you're anticipating higher levels of traffic. A good web host will help you out by ensuring you have temporary extra resources available.
And it's not just your web resources you need to think about – consider your in-house resources in terms of support too. If you have virtual assistants or staff members on hand to answer queries and deal with member issues then make sure you have all hands on deck just in case.
5: Don't miss bargains for yourself
Membership sites typically involve dozens of different products and services behind the scenes.
Whether it's plugins for the website, design and marketing tools, or even book-keeping software.
Make sure you don't get so entrenched in running your own promotion that you miss out on some great deals for your own business too!
6: Consider alternative ways to tap into the Black Friday buzz
If you decide that offering a Black Friday discount isn't the right decision for your membership business; then that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the opportunity that the occasion brings.
If you're running a blog or a podcast, then you can be the go-to person in your industry for details of what deals other people are offering.
Commit yourself to hunting down bargains for your audience, and leverage this to drive more traffic to your own site.
(Speaking of which… be sure to check back on this site for our own roundup of the top Black Friday deals for membership site owners…)
Whether it's by offering discounts to new members, special deals for existing ones, or curating information about what bargains others are offering; make sure you have a plan for how to tap into the Black Friday madness for your membership site!