I dislike the overblown, frenetic, & scarcity-minded ethos of Black Friday. Plus, dignify always has our own one-day, once-a-year sale earlier in November. So: why participate in any of it?!
This is a tension that I have wrestled with over 6 holiday seasons, end every year, I’m back at the drawing board.
This year, we decided that yes, we would offer free shipping over the weekend as a BFCM (industry shorthand for Black Friday/Cyber Monday) bonus. And yes, what led us there was simple economics. It works, it makes money, it makes sense. But, probably not in the same way that you think...
In the world of online retail marketing, email is still King & Queen. It’s intimate, it’s direct, and as a business, you don’t have to pay every time you pop into someone’s inbox (unlike, say, showing an ad on Facebook or elsewhere, where you have to pay every time). This is why you see such common incentives to “Sign Up!” for mailing lists, and why so many retailers give discounts, downloads, or other goodies in exchange for your email address.
We, of course, email on the regular — our Saturday morning “Keep Up” email is a crucial piece of our dignify puzzle. I don’t give any incentive to sign up other than first-to-know access (which, for a shop full of one-of-a-kind items, is indeed a benefit!). But, I use the same “best practices” as any other online brand: I try to create content & provide writing and links that are interesting and appreciated by the audience who is receiving it.
The feedback I hear generally echoes that many of you find this true!
Two years ago, I tried an experiment. Instead of announcing a BFCM deal/bonus, and then trying to promote it & generate sales amidst the Black Friday noise, what if I just used the deal as an incentive for joining the email list?
I promoted this idea — sign up to find out what our Black Friday deal is — and, as a result, there were 120 new subscribers to our weekly email list. How many of them made purchases that weekend? 3. But, how many of those sign-ups purchased sometime over the course of the year? Many more, spending over $2,000. Two years later, the total spent by those BFCM sign-ups is now around $4,500.
I will be doing the same thing this year, this upcoming week. I think that our email content is good, the "Shop Good" message is important, and the conversations we have around here are valuable. And, I want more people to discover this!
I also, of course, want to sell blankets. Not to anyone who can't afford them, or as another item to covet, or to complete the "perfect" home decor. But, to the ones who want them, need them, value them. Yes. Let's keep this good work going.
Any thoughts? Questions? Disagreements? Share them in the comments below.
In my recent reader survey, one reader shared this (remarkably prescient) comment:
“The world moves too quickly now and we are expected to keep the pace but in my opinion it is far from healthy and we need to realize that.”
Here I am, in my home office, typing at my computer, surrounded by kantha blankets. This is nothing new; in fact, my work situation (and my husband, Wayne’s) is, on its best & most productive days, remarkably resemblant to “social isolation” or “social distancing”. Some weeks (most weeks?), I barely leave my neighborhood.
But there's a difference...
Where does my kantha blanket come from?
But, today, let’s join the journey with one kantha blanket, to give you a glimpse of the travels it takes from creation to enjoyment in your living room!